Update 10/29/13 – Ensure you use a credit card that doesn’t add cash advance fees (see below). I’ve tested and confirmed that Barclaycard Arrival does not charge a CA fee.
Right now BigCrumbs is offering 2% cash back for American Express personal gift cards. I really like BigCrumbs because they have always been consistent and my success rate has been 100%. Although Topcashback has had higher cash back rates, I would always choose BigCrumbs over TCB because of its consistency. A 2% cash back for AMEX gift cards may not sound like a lot, but it can easily add up when you make a big purchase with the right credit card. Here is my AMEX gift cards BigCrumbs strategy to earn free money and points.
- Sign up for BigCrumbs (my link) if you haven’t yet.
- Click the AMEX gift cards link on the front page.
- Click through the portal to activate the BigCrumbs tracking.
- The largest personal gift card you can order is $3,000. Which credit card should you use? Almost any credit card you use will initiate a fraud alert and be denied. From my experience, business credit cards go through easier. I’ve ordered a $3K gift card with my AMEX SPG Business card without triggering any alerts. However, I would try to avoid AMEX credit cards because they could trigger a financial review. I’ve done $3K with no problem, but I would like to keep my big spending on AMEX at a minimum. Also, I would avoid Chase credit cards because there are reports of Chase charging a $150 cash advance fee. Seems like Chase cards are getting cash advance charges and AMEX cards are not. Barclaycard Arrival also reported not to get a cash advance according to Flyertalk
- Likely CAs on:
-Barclays (some cards, not Arrival)
No Cash Advance Fees on:
-Barclay Arrival (10/24)
- To get the best value, I would stick with the best non-category bonus spending credit cards. I used the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard to make the purchase. It instantly was denied, so I went to my Barclaycard login and was alerted of the purchase. I approved the purchase, and went back into AMEX gift cards to make the purchase again. It was then approved.
- A $3,000 AMEX gift card will have a $3.95 fee. Shipping is $8.95, but you can sign up for free shipping for 3 months. According to the terms and conditions, you can cancel the shipping within 3 months by calling 1-877-297-4438.
To calculate the free cash back and points from this purchase, I would take the cash back and credit card points minus the fees.
- $60 Cashback from Big Crumbs
- $3003.95 @ 2.2X from Barclaycard Arrival = 6,668 points or $66.68
- Minus $3.95 fee.
- Total Profit = $60 + $66.68 – $3.95 = $122.73 profit!
The next step is to liquidate the $3K AMEX gift card. There are different methods to do this, but here are some tips:
- Use the Amazon Payments 3-person method to liquidate $1,000 a month.
- Buy Vanilla Reload Cards at CVS
- Everyday Spend
- Kiva short-term loans to get the money back within 5-6 months.
- Load the Target AMEX Prepaid gift card and cash out at a local ATM for a small fee.
My method of choice is Amazon Payments because there are no fees. If you get your AMEX gift card now, you can send $1K end of October and another $1K at the beginning of November. You will barely have to float any funds in that case. That’s some gift card churning at its finest right there. Even if you buy Vanilla Reloads, you will still come out ahead by a good amount. That is basically my AMEX gift cards Bigcrumbs strategy to earn free money and points. If anybody has some other strategies or methods, please post below.