Buying Money Orders with a Debit Card at the Post Office
I have known for a while that you can buy money orders from the post office with a debit card. Unfortunately, Visa and Mastercard gift cards don't work at the post office even though they are sometimes considered debit cards. For the most part, Debit cards aren't usually too valuable since they don't usually have cashback or miles associated with them that can offset the fees.
Enter the Paypal Debit Card.
For the last couple of months I've been experimenting with the Paypal Debit Card as a way of creating Manufactured Spend. When combined with the Old American Express Blue and American Express Serve, the Paypal Debit Card can be a very powerful tool. See More at The Power Trio
The great part about the Paypal Debit Card is that it is a permanent debit card and has all of the functionality of a debit card including your name on the card. The Paypal Debit card does work at the post office.
Keep in mind that Paypal may and probably will shut me down eventually.
Fees - There is a $1.65 fee for a $1,000 money order. The fee comes to 0.165%, which is not too bad. You can also get up to $50 in cash at the same time with no fees.
I don't know the exact limits on this yet, but it seems as though when you try to buy $3,000 worth of money orders at one time there is Patriot Act paperwork that needs to be filled out so keep it at $2,000 a visit.
Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Raise and Top Cashback
Raise.com sells gift cards to retailers at a discount. They run almost weekly weekend sales where you can get an extra 5% off on top of the regular prices on select gift cards. I usually don't pay attention to them because they are companies that Raise is trying to reduce inventory on so they aren't usually exciting.
Keep in mind that the base price for the gift changes with inventory so I will list its current price, but it might not be the same if you try to buy it
I'm a little late to this party so most of you probably already know, but the news is still newsworthy.
Amazon Payments updated their terms and conditions and as of October 13th 2014, Amazon Payments will no longer support Peer 2 Peer credit card payments. This means you can no longer manufacture any credit card spend with Amazon Payments after that date. You can still use it for September and October until the 12th.
I can't say I'm upset that I can't get quite as much free money every money, but I still wish it would have continued.
There are lots of websites that sell discounted gift cards. Gift Card Granny brings the results of the main sites together on one page. You don't buy from them, but they will tell you which websites to check.
Today, Gift Card Granny tells me that I can buy a Starbucks eGift Card for 25% off from giftcards.com, a physical gift card for24% off from ABC Gift Cards. You can also get 21% off from Raise. We'll talk more about Raise later (Hint: Raise will end up with the largest savings for some).
Total Savings -
You still use your credit card to buy the gift card so your total savings for an eGift Card is 27% (2% extra from Fidelity American Express), 26% for physical from ABC Gift Cards and 22.5% from Raise (don't accept American Express).
*Note* Please keep in mind that the gift cards are being sold from other people who still retain the account number and pin of the gift card. They can sell it and then use the card themselves. I will only buy from websites that give a money back guarantee if that happens within 60 or 90 days. Only buy when you are ready to use them.
Also, prices are constantly in flux, you may get different results when you check.
Shopping portals are websites that refer you to the actual website you want to shop at. The Shopping Portal gets money for referring you and they give you most or all of that money for going to them first. Let's use the same Starbucks gift card as an example.
Start at CashbackMonitor.com to see which shopping portal gives back the most money for shopping at Raise.
Cashback Monitor tells me that I can get another 2% cashback from Raise if I start my shopping at Top Cashback.
So, I go over to Top Cashback, type in Raise and click there to confirm that I will be getting 2% cashback and it is false. Most gift cards at Raise get 2% cashback from Top Cashback, Starbucks is more popular so they only offer 1% cashback, but it is better than nothing.
However, when you check giftcards.com and ABC Gift Cards on Cashback Monitor, neither sites give any extra cashback through a shopping portal.
Total Savings -
Your total savings for an eGift Card is still 27%, 26% for physical from ABC Gift Cards and 23.5% from Raise.
Many stores allow you to type in promo codes to get extra savings. Promo codes are basically coupons for online stores.
Currently, Raise is offering a coupon code RAISE75AF for new customers. If you spend $75, you will get $5 off. Now the math changes in favor of Raise if you are a new customer.
The Starbucks card from Raise is for $100 and selling for $79. After the coupon code, it will cost $74. Combined with 1% off from Top Cashback and your credit card cashback, you will now get 28.5% cashback, more than the 27% from giftcard.com
Many credit cards have offers to specific stores. For example, when you log in to your American Express account, there is an area called "offers for you" that has a list of extra cashback at specific merchants.
My Current offers:
$5 off a $25 purchase at Carter's
30% off a hotel booking through American Express Travel
You have to add the offer to your card and spend the money on the card with the offer. You can use any other method to get a discount and as long as you spend $25 at Carter's, you will get $5 off. American Express also has offers that you can sign up for through Twitters, Facebook and FourSquare.
Here are some examples of useful ones from the past:
Bank of America also has BankAmeriDeals. Some have reported getting $10 or $20 off of $100 and $200 purchases at Staples which can be used to buy Visa or Amazon gift cards at good savings, but I have never seen that in my account :(
Sometimes, some shopping portals will give cashback even when you use gift cards to pay. This allows you to perform a double dip. You can buy a gift card directly from the store after using a shopping portal or after buying at a discount from a third party. Then, you can go back to the shopping portal to buy the merchandise and pay with the gift card. Many times you will get cashback on the entire purchase, even the part you paid for with a gift card.