When Office Depot pulled their variable value gift cards I mentioned the game had not ended, just changed again. The $6.95 fee for gift cards of only $200 value was too expensive in my book, so I devised another method that is actually working for me and has reduced my cost of UR points to just a little under .5 cents each. It is not available to everyone but should work for some of us for the next year.
I have a credit card that pays 6% cash back on a certain type of purchase that also happens to be a location where I can buy office supply store gift cards. Sorry, no names, you can figure it out yourself. Some of us that got this certain credit card before November 4, 2012 are able to do unlimited purchases for a full year and still earn the 6% cash back.
If I buy $100 of office supply gift cards my rebate is $6. If I do a split transaction purchase at the office supply store with my new gift cards for half the purchase price of the $200 gift card, and my credit card for the remaining $106.95 giving me 5 points per dollar for office supply purchases, my ultimate net cost is $0.95 per $200 gift card and I earn UR points on $106 of purchases or 530 points at the cost of 95 cents. If I do it five times my cost is $4.75 for 2,650 points. I can then take the five $200 gift cards and purchase two $500 VR’s which can then be loaded to my Bluebird card. Add the cost of the VRs at $3.95 per $500 and our total net cost is $12.65 per 2,650 or 0.477 cents per UR point.
Note: by doing a split purchase at the office supply store you can reduce your acquisition costs, but you are also reducing the number of points you will receive. I have used these technique twice successfully using the fixed dollar amount gift cards for office supply stores available at other non office store retail locations.
Note: I have not tried buying office supply gift store cards from the actual office supply store and returning later to use them for these split transaction purchases. At the office supply store on my island, the in-house gift cards do not have a specific dollar value on them so I am assuming at this point they are loadable at any amount you want. I like the 50-50 split which reduces the cost and still provides a nice category bonus amount.
The extra step may seem like too much for many and the reduced return in UR points may hamper others. For me it works as my closest OD was 50 minutes away and my nearest other chain office supply store is adjacent to the store where I can buy office supply gift cards and receive a 6% cash back. It is five minutes from my house.
In a different track, I could just use my bonus category card to buy variable value gift cards at the full value of $500 and earn my 6% cash back, but what fun is that.
My reason for this post is to show that creative thinking can and will solve our recent disappointments. There is always another way to skin a cat. We just need to share our ideas and move on. If you have another idea on how to skin this cat or, another credit card that can reduce the cost of $200 gift cards, the comments section or email would be appreciated.
“My name is Rick, and I’m a miles and points addict.”
Skin a Cat is just an expression so PETA people don’t take offense.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day American Airlines AAdvantage® has provided 2500 AAdvantage® miles for the best deals, fares, promotions, anything related to American Airlines, their oneworld partners or AAdvantage® partners. Add it to the comments section of this post or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post by 11:59PM ET (with your first name, last initial, and home airport) to be eligible to win.