Monday, April 28, 2014

Staples is Selling $200 Visa Gift Cards Online -The Best and Easiest Cashback Available!

Since CVS stopped allowing Vanilla Reloads to be bought with credit cards, a lot of people have been scrambling to find easy and cost effective alternatives of manufactured spending on credit card.

One alternative is American Express Gift Cards, which can bought for a 3.8% or even up to 6.4% profit!  I thought that was the best available, but I guess I was wrong.

As pointed out by Frequent Miler and DansDeals today, Staples has begun to sell $200 Visa Gift Cards online.  They come with the same $7 fee that the $100 cards come with so your cashback percentages will be much better.

The real way to maximize your cashback is to buy Staples Gift Cards first (I've already outlined this here, the only thing that has changed is that you now get more cashback).  I'll give you a little preview, you will get more than 10% cashback if you follow all the steps!

Remember to read all the steps before you start:

1) Start your shopping from Shop Discover and from there go to Staples website.  You need a Discover it® Card to access it ($750 sign up bonus when you spend $750 in the first 3 months).  Discover will give you 5% cashback for anything you buy at Staples.  At Staples you buy 2 $100 Staples gift cards for a cost of $203.98.  Pay for the purchase with your Chase Ink card.
     -  You will get 5% cashback, or $10.20, into your Discover account even though you didn't pay with a Discover card.  You will also get about 1,020 Ultimate Rewards points from Chase.  This picture is from a $75 Staples gift card I bought with my Chase Ink.

2) After your Staples Gift Cards comes in the mail, go back to Shop Discover and then on again to Staples.  Use your Staples Gift Card to buy a $200 Visa Gift Cards.  The final price for the Visa Gift cards is $206.95 so you you still need to pay $6.95 on your Chase Ink Card.
     - You will get another 5% cashback on the entire order, or $10.35, into your Discover account.  You will get another 35 Chase Points.

3) If your Chase Ink is a Visa Card, you can sign up for Visa Savings Edge.  You will get another 1% cashback for anything you buy at Staples on that card with a minimum purchase of $200 purchase.
 - If you are buying four $100 Staples gift cards, you will get $2.04 cents.

4)  You will now have more than $20 of rewards in your Discover account.  $20 of Discover rewards can be redeemed for a $25 Staples gift card, a discount of 25%!  You will now have an extra $5 towards your next purchase of Visa Gift Cards from Staples.

The Bottom Line

Here is the final math of one Visa Gift Card at a time.

You come out with a $200 Visa Gift Cards
Fees - $10.93 (1.99 x 2 and 6.95)
Shop Discover Money - $20.55 ($10.35 + $10.20)
Visa Business Edge - $2.04
Chase Ultimate Rewards = 1,055 points, which is worth a minimum of $10.55 because it can be cashed out for $10.90.

$20.55 + $2.04 - $10.93 = $11.66

Your Haul = $11.66/$200 = 5.83% + 1,055 points.  If you count the points as $10.55 you are getting
22.21/200 = 11.1% cashback.  Not too shabby at all.  If only we could still get $3 in Plink money!

In addition, you will get $5 towards your next Visa Gift Card purchase from Staples via Discover so the real final calculation is 27.21/200 = 13.6% cashback all from the cozyness of your couch.  That's pretty staggering.  We are still living in the golden times for manufactured spending!

1) Ink has either a $25,000 or $50,000 yearly limit on 5% cashback at office supply stores, depending on which card you have.

2) You have to be able to do something with the $100 Visa Gift Cards.  You can put them on Bluebird at Walmart without Fees.  You can pay someone on Amazon Payments without fees.   You can pay bills with Evolve Money. You can use them to pay for things, but then you aren't earning other points.  Lastly, you can cash them out with Square, Google Wallet or another service that will charge you upwards of 3% to send money to a friend.

3)  You don't want Chase shutting you down if you are putting $4,000 a month on your card.  I think this is a low possibility in this scenario as it is not so crazy for a business to spend that much.  I would start slower and then ramp up the spending.  I also don't think it's possible to do that much in one month because of #4.

4) Staples has cancelled some orders in the past for buying Visa Gift Cards with Staples gift cards.  They are also known to ban people from ordering online.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

American Express Gift Cards - 3% Cashback from Top Cashback

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Top Cashback 

Update: Coupon code MOMCNL will remove purchase fees until 5/31/2014.  Shipping fees still apply.

American Express Business Gift Cards can now be bought without any purchase fees.  Purchase fees are only $8.95 for $5,000 of gift cards if you buy one $3,000 gift card and one $2,000 gift card.  You need to use promo code HEARTCC1.

The fees equal .18% of the total.

For this reason, American Express Gift Cards are fast becoming one of my favorite ways of manufactured spend.  There is almost no alternative that is this easy and costs this little.

In addition, Top Cashback will give you 3% back for buying the gift cards if you start there first.  

Here is the math for what this deal can do for you:

Scenario 1: Fidelity American Express (2% back on every purchase).

Let's say you max it out at $5000 in gift cards.  Your total charges will come to $5008.95.

- $150 will come to you from Top Cashback
- $100 will come to you from Fidelity American Express
- $8.95 fee for buying the cards

Bottom Line - $241.05 net after fees or 4.82% on your purchases with the gift cards.  Not too shabby!

Scenario 2: American Express Starwoods (Let's say you're a miles man)

Same thing: Max out at $5000.  Total charge is $5008.95

- $150 will come to you from Top Cashback
- 5,009 starpoints from American Express Starwoods
- $8.95 fee for buying the cards

Bottom Line - $141.05 net after fees + 5009 starpoints  If you do this 4 times you will have $560 and 20,000 starpoints which can be redeemed for 25,000 miles on many airlines.

More advanced tools so that you don't have to actually spend the money (manufactured spending):
Amazon Payments - You can send up to $1,000 a month to a friend with a credit card, including American Express gift cards.
Buy Vanilla Reloads/Visa Gift Cards - You should be able to use these cards to buy Visa gift cards which can be loaded onto Bluebird at Walmart.  Add 1% in fees for this option.
Google Wallet - if you have a Google Wallet account, you can send money via email with a credit card to anyone and that person can withdraw to a checking account.  The problem is that the fee is a whopping 2.9%, which negates most of your cashback.
That being said, you will still net over $100 with the Fidelity American Express without having to spend any money.  With a points card, you end up getting 5,000 points for just about nothing.

Warning! Don't use a Citibank Credit card as they may code it as a Cash Advance so you will get a fee and no points.  American Express and Chase cards are safe.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sunoco A-Plus Locations - Free King Size Baby Ruth

Sunoco A-Plus locations will be giving out a free King Size Baby Ruth in honor of Babe Ruth Day with the coupon attached.  The promotion is good until April 27th.

You can also find the deal on their Facebook page.

Not every Sunoco is an A Plus location so find your closet location here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

World of Wings Groupon - Teaneck NJ

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site:  Groupon and Ebates

Looking for something to do in Teaneck, NJ during Chol Hamoed?  Why not try World of Wings.  My son has been there before and he loves it.  They have tons of Butterflies.

There is a Groupon available for World of Wings.  2 Admissions are $18.  Normal price is $18 for an adult and $11 for a child over 2.

Don't have a Groupon account?  Sign up here for free

If you have a Discover Card you can start your purchase from Shop Discover and get 10% cashback.

If you don't, you can start your shopping from Ebates and you'll get an additional 8% cashback into your account.

Always remember to check out Cash Back Monitor to see your best options for online shopping portals.  They are lots of good options for extra miles from shopping portal (like chase, american airlines and united) so if you don't want to do either of the ones I mentioned, make sure to check it out.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Joseph A. Bank Sale

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Ebates

Joseph A. Bank is having a sale with 60% off regularly priced items.  Well, that's not really news and I expect JK to call me out on it if he's reading.  The news is that some accessary items are actually a good deal, so here goes.

Lint Roller - $1.70
Cedar Shoe Tree - $8.50
Cedar Tie Rack - $8.50
Shoe Care Kit - $8.50

Start your shopping from Ebates and you'll get an additional 4% cashback into your account.

Amazon Gift Cards back in Stock at Plink

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Plink

Plink is a service that allows you to get extra savings on top of any other savings.

You have to link your credit card to their site, which requires a level of trust that some aren't comfortable with, but if you do you end up with some free gift cards.

For example, spend as little as $3 on your linked card at Dunkin' Donuts and you will get 25 plink points which are worth $0.25 towards their reward gift cards.  If you spend more, you can get even more money back.

Amazon has always been my gift card of choice.  I will always spend money there so I know I will use it.  In addition, I can just add the money right to my Amazon account and not have to find and remember the gift card when I'm ready to make a purchase.

The problem was that all the good gift card redemption options were all out of stock, making Plink points useless until they came back.  Well, I checked this morning and all redemption options are back in stock, including Amazon and Walmart gift cards. 

Grab them while they are still in stock!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts - $30 + Shipping

If you click this link (You won't find the deal from the regular site), you can get Charles Tyrwhitt shirts for $30. Shipping adds another $14.95 no matter how many shirts you buy so if you buy a bunch of shirts this will end up being a very good deal.

The normal price for a shirt is 4 for $200 on sale and ties are also $40 each on sale so this is a great deal.

I am a big fan of Tyrwhitt shirts and I have been slowly replacing my shabbos Brooks Brothers shirts with Tyrwhitt shirts because they look much nicer, last longer and Brooks Brothers seems to have gotten rid of their unlimited return policy. Too many people like me.

Tyrwhitt shirts are also backed up by JK.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

$5 Free From Evolve Money

Evolve Money is a company that can process bill-payments for thousands of companies electronically.  If you don't need the bill paid same day, it is almost always a completely free service.  In addition, they allow you to pay with Debit cards for free (not credit cards).

Visa gift cards are considered Debit cards so you can use Evolve to empty your Visa gift cards to pay bills that don't normally take credit cards.  Read more about Evolve here.

Now you can use promo code Save5April to save $5 off any bill.  Pay any bills with evolve and they will charge you $5 less than the bill with this promo code.  Promo code works one time per account.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pesach Kitchen on the Cheap

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site:  Amazon

A Pesach kitchen can be a great way to take a lot of stress out of Pesach preparations.  You no longer have to get the house ready and only then begin cooking, all in a very short time.  It also doesn't have to cost very much money.

Here are the key ingredients:

As you can see, there isn't much you need and it can cost you less than $250.  We have been doing it for a few years and it has been very helpful.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bank of America Museums on Us - Tomorrow

Bank of America Museums on Us program gives Bank of America card holders free access to select museums on the first Saturday and Sunday of the month.  April 5th and 6th are the dates for this month so that means this Saturday and Sunday are the free days this month.

You need to have a credit or debit card in the name of each person so you still have to pay for kids, unless you get a credit card for you child, like I did.

Sign up for email or text alerts to remind yourself of the dates here.

Here is a list of the museums in the New York/New Jersey area:
  • NJ
    • Liberty Science Center (Jersey City)
    • Montclair Art Museum (Montclair)
    • Morris Museum (Morristown)
    • Newark Museum (Newark)
  • NY
    • Suffolk county Vanderbilt Museum (Centerport)
    • Long Island Children's Museum (Garden City)
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art (Manhattan)
    • Staten Island Children's Museum (Staten Island)
    • New York Historical Society (NYC)
    • Whitney Museum of American Art (Manhattan)
    • Brooklyn's Children Museum (Brooklyn)
    • Queen's Museum of Art (Queens)
    • Guggenheim Museum (Manhattan)
    • Old Westbury Gardens (Old Westbury)
    • Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carraiges

Friday, April 4, 2014

Reload Your Starbucks Card and Get up to $10 Free

Update: Dead!

Starbucks has an offer for reloading your Starbucks card.

Reload $20 from your Visa and get an extra $5 on your card free
Reload $40 from your Visa and get an extra $10 on your card free.

You have until April 8th to add the money to your account and the bonus will be added to your account by April 16th.

Thank you AH for the tip.