Sunday, May 11, 2014

Liquidating Visa Gift Cards at Pathmark on the Cheap with Money Orders - Great for Teaneck

For quite some time, it has been a lot easier for me to buy Visa Gift Cards at a very high cashback rate than it has been to liquidate those gift cards.  I have often stopped myself from buying more because I already have too many.

My usual go to ways of buying Visa Gift Cards are in store from Pathmark and online from Staples. Couple that with the fact that I have been buying a lot of American Express gift cards lately and I have too much money in gift cards and not enough ways to unload them.  So, what is a manufactured spender to do?

Liquidating Gift Cards

Amazon Payments has been great for the American Express gift cards, but that still leaves me lacking for the Visa gift Cards since there is a max of $2,000 a month between myself and my wife.

Evolve Money is a wonderful and free tool, but it only gets me about $350 a month during the spring/fall and maybe about $450 a month during the summer/winter when my energy bills are higher.

For most people, Walmart is the way to go.  You can load up to $5,000 a month to Bluebird for free or buy lots of Money Orders for $0.70 each with a Debit Card (Visa Gift Cards are considered Debit Cards for this purpose).  The problem for me is that I live in Teaneck and the nearest Walmart is about 30 minutes away and I just can't justify the time.

Pathmark - My New Favorite Store, Again

I have been trying to find alternate stores that accept credit or debit cards for Money Orders, largely unsuccessfully, and I finally found one that works well for me.  Pathmark, which is less than a 5 minute drive from my apartment in Teaneck.

One can purchase a Western Union Money Order with a maximum of $1,000 on it with a debit card.  The fee for the MO is $0.99 or 0.1%.

Today I brought a $500 Visa Gift Card to Pathmark.  I asked for a Money Order of $498.  Success!  I chose that amount to account for the $0.99 fee and a possible $1 hold on the card that sometimes happens.  I came home and checked the balance and I had $1.01 on it, which means that there was never a $1 hold since that would take days to come off.

Next time I would ask for a Money Order with $499.01 so that I wouldn't have any money on the Visa Gift Card.

I don't know if you can pay for a $1,000 Money Order with split tender of 2 $500 cards for the same $1 fee, that will be my next experiment.  If someone has experience with that please comment.