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.