Being forced to spend a couple thousand dollars in 90 days is not only difficult for some, it can be down-right scary. If you want to earn big sign-up bonuses for free travel it requires that you spend some money. The credit card companies are hoping you won’t pay the card off in full each month and that you will get in the bad habit of making minimum payments. If you are going to make minimum payments on your credit card, DO NOT sign up for travel credit cards. They have very high interest rates and you will ultimately lose. If you are going to pay off your credit card in full each month then you are ready to sign up for travel credit cards and travel for free! By paying your balance in full each month you pay ZERO interest thus making it FREE travel.
This is where you have to start shifting your mindset. So many people don’t sign up for travel credit cards because they think, “I only buy gas and groceries with credit, how am I going to spend $3k in 90 days?” That type of conventional thinking, while completely understandable, is what keeps so many people from traveling the country/world for free. What if I told you that you could rack up the $3k in spending and get all $3k of it back? (and probably a little more)
Gift card reselling has been going on for a long time but has gained a lot of popularity lately since the death of the Target American Express Red Card and American Express Bluebird. Those two cards would allow you to manufacture spend which essentially means you are just moving money around while ultimately showing purchases on your credit card. Gift card reselling has you purchase gift cards at a discounted rate and then sell them to break even or with a small profit. The idea is you buy a $100 Sears gift card for $80 and resell it for at least $80. You have now spent $80 on your credit card and will get it all $80 back to pay your credit card bill (with higher quantities of course). Your credit card company only knows that you spent $80 of your required $1,000-$3,000 (the average minimum spends).
I purchased three Sears gift cards that were each loaded with $100 for a total of $82 a piece on eBay (where I like to purchase my gift cards). Purchasing almost any item on eBay earns you eBay Bucks which accrue at 2%. Two percent in eBay bucks and a few dollars in profit is not a big deal but again we are working towards a sign-up bonus worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $400-$700 (we got two nights at the Park Hyatt which average $700 a night…). If you bought $3,000 in gift cards to resell from eBay, you would earn about $60 in eBay bucks on top of any profits or any shopping portal bonuses. Use CashBackMonitor to see which shopping portal will pay you the most for making purchases on eBay, yep, even more earning in addition to the resell of the gift card. (usually about 1-1.5% cash back or 1 point per dollar spent).
Before you consider purchasing a batch of gift cards you will need to make sure you will at least break-even when you go to resell them. You can check GiftCardGranny to see who is paying the most for that specific card before you make the purchase. Reselling your cards generally consists of inputting the card number online and then receiving a check in the mail, not too hard right? Some companies want you to mail the gift cards in to them but I skip on that, I want it to be fast and easy. Save Ya is one of my preferred sites to sell gift cards to. I usually receive my check from them about 5 business days after I add the gift card numbers online.
One thing to keep in mind is that prices for purchasing the gift cards as well as their value for resell are constantly changing. It is very important you check the “going rate” before you buy 5 x $80 gift cards.
The most time-consuming part is actually hunting for the cheap gift cards that you can break-even on or make a few bucks. Keep in mind that some people do this as a serious hobby and sell thousands of dollars a day in gift cards. I only do it if I am working on a minimum spend since it beats paying a 2.5% fee to Plastiq by paying my mortgage with a credit card.
Let’s recap my sample purchase of 3 x Sears gift cards loaded with $100:
I paid $82 per gift card on eBay = $246 total
I sold each gift card to Save Ya for $84.01 for a total of $252.03
I made $5 in eBay bucks since I bought the cards there
I earned 246 American Airline miles by going through their shopping portal
I profited $6 cash, $5 in eBay bucks and $3.50 worth of American Airline miles. Keep in mind that you are also earning points even during your minimum spend, so add another 246 points for whichever credit card you used (or double that if you have a 2% card like the Cap1 Venture card). Not bad for 15 minutes of my time and while working towards my minimum spend.
If I repeated my scenario a total of 5 times during my 3 month minimum spend period here is what I would net (for about an hour or so of my time):
$1,230 in purchases towards your minimum spend
$30 in cash from the resells (again, this varies, but sticking with my above scenario)
$25 in eBay bucks
1,230 in American Airline points (or 1% cash back). 1,230 points are worth $18 in travel
$73 in travel/cash/eBay Bucks or whatever you want to call it plus a good chunk of my minimum spend complete.
Make sure to follow Miles To The Max on Facebook as we post the best gift card sales from eBay and other sites. As always, hit us up if you have questions or input, we’d love to hear from you.