We all know that the quickest way to rake in miles and points is through credit card sign up bonuses. Recently some credit card issuers have raised the spending requirement to receive these bonuses which can make it a bit more challenging. Meeting the spend requirement for the credit card should be a deciding factor in whether or not you apply for a card. That being said, there are some great tricks and methods to help you meet the spend. Today I want to talk about one of them: buying Amex gift cards via Big Crumbs. Not only does this help you meet your spend, but Big Crumbs will give you 1.6% cash back! I like getting paid.
I know that with my Citi AAdvantage cards, Citi will treat purchasing Amex gift cards as a cash advance. That means an additional fee. No good for me. I’m not aware how Citi handles their other cards, but I would imagine it’s the same. However, Chase hasn’t treated my Amex gift cards as a cash advance. That’s huge because Chase cards happen to be my fav. That means I have some Chase spending requirements that I need to meet. Bring it. I always start small ($100) and make sure that my bank doesn’t treat my purchase as a cash advance. You can order up to $5,000 in gift cards, but that is a lot of cash tied up in gift cards (for me).
Also, don’t abuse this deal if you are using an American Express rewards credit card to buy the Amex gift cards. American Express will take notice and that’s the kind of attention you don’t need. IMHO it would take A LOT of buying Amex gift cards to get noticed, but there are some miles & points loving freaks out there. ME included.
There is no transaction fee on Amex gift cards. That’s huge. I have gotten gift cards in the past as gifts and there was a $3 fee every time I used the card. You can pretty much use these gift cards anywhere credit cards are accepted. The funds will never expire. No worries there. Here is the link to all the terms and conditions.
Here’s the skinny
You will need to shop through the Big Crumbs shopping portal so you can get the 1.6% cash back. You will have to create an account if you don’t have one.
Then search “American Express gift cards”.
Click on the personal Amex gift card link. You will then be directed to the American Express site.
Once on the American Express site, click “order now”. You will then be directed to where you can order the amounts that you would like. Easy.
As you can see, there is a $3.95 charge per card order. Pennies. There is also a shipping fee of $8.95. Try these free shipping Amex codes on for size:
- GEN374 – valid through 5/8/12
- GEN372 – valid through 2/14/12
It usually takes 4-6 weeks for to the credit from Big Crumbs, but don’t worry, it’ll come.
Edit: Shipping codes aren’t working through shopping portals.
Meeting the spend requirements on reward cards can be stressful, but this is a great tip to help ease some of the pressure. Only buy the amount of Amex gift cards that you feel comfortable with. Enjoy getting paid as you meet you spending equirements.
P.S. There is a way to pay yourself with Amex gift cards by setting up a personal Square account. I personally have chosen not to go down this road.
— Geoff Whitmore