Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chase $500 Visa Gift Cards Fee-Free - Free Money

Update:  Success! I got my $500 card today, called up to activate and I was given a pin for Debit card use.  Just came back from Walmart to add the money to my Bluebird account and paid my credit card bill.  Free points!

Chase is temporarily suspending its shipping fees for gift cards that are bought online.  The cards themselves can be bought in increments of $25-$500 without any associated fees.  This is the picture from my purchase below.  My total cost was exactly $500.

Who cares?

Excellent question, you are buying money but ultimately you have to use the gift card and then you won't get the points, right?  Correct, and maybe also incorrect.

Correct - Even if you end up using the cards later there is still the benefit of spending now fee free.  If you need to hit a spending threshold for a sign up bonus, you can hit it easily and spend the money over time.  Similarly, if you need points soon to be able to go on a trip, you can manufacture spending quickly.

Incorect -  The blogs have been writing many articles about a Federal rule change to many gift cards.  Not all, but many, gift cards can have a pin added to them that will allow you to either get money back from the cash register when you pay for something with a gift card acting as a debit card or you can add money to your Bluebird account at any Walmart store.  $1,000 a day max and $5,000 monthly max to load onto Bluebird.  

Once it is on your bluebird account, you can use that money to pay your credit card bills or pay anyone via a check.  If this works for the Chase cards, and it is not confirmed yet, you should be able to buy gift cards fee-free, add them to bluebird and pay off your credit card bill to complete the circle.  Free Money.  Not too shabby.  I will confirm whether this works for me.

This is a major improvement from buying gift cards in stores because those all come with a minimum fee of $3.95 and this is fee-free at $500 at a time!

Bottom Line: You don't actually spend any money and you still get the rewards from your credit card.

The gift cards are fee free online because chase branches aren't able to offer them right now, but once they can, you can buy them at the branch as well.

If you are buying gift cards in stores, check the back of them to make sure you can add a pin and then call up to set up your pin.


Here are a couple of examples of articles about the new rule changes to gift cards:  Million Mile Secrets (I saw it here first), DansDealsFrequent Miler, and Hack My Trip

As with anything else, don't go too crazy, there is alway the chance of Chase shutting down all your cards.  $1,000 a month sounds reasonable to me, but I don't actually know what their threshold will be for cracking down on it.