Sunday, May 10, 2015

RedBird Devaluation - Credit Cards Gone, Visa Gift Cards Still Good - Where to go from Here?

Last week, I reported from DansDeals that credit cards would no longer be allowed to load RedBird in store.

Since then, many reports have come back and the main points are the following:

  • Credit cards can no longer be used to load RedBird cards or American Express for Target cards.
  • Debit Cards, including all types of Visa and Mastercard gift cards, can still be used to load RedBird.

Until now, I have advocated buying American Express Gift Cards through Shopping portals to load to RedBird.  It was extremely lucrative and it avoided any fraud rejections while you were waiting on line.  This won't work anymore.  

What is the best approach to RedBird now?

  • Keep RedBird for the Debit Card loading option
    •  Target vs. Walmart
      • Since you can load debit cards (non vanilla types) at Walmart onto Serve, this is really a question of what is more convenient, Walmart or Target.  Target is closer to me and I detest the entire Walmart experience so RedBird is personally a better option.
    • Visa/Mastercard Gift Cards with Category Bonuses 
      • If you have the AMEX OBC (Old Blue Cash), you can still get ~4% cashback after fees when buying Visa Gift Cardsat gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies after your first $6,500 of spending there.  Limit of $50,000 of eligible spending per year.
        • Link in Incognito Browsing:
      • American Express Blue Preferred at Grocery Stores - 6% cashback with an $75 annual fee, but with a $200 sign up bonus.  
      • Chase Ink 5x Ultimate Rewards points with $200 Visa Gift Cards at Office Supply stores
        • Hefty $6.95 fee

Feel free to comment if you have a different strategy.