Easy 5x points on all spend: The ultimate guide to Visa and Mastercard gift card deals

If you’re looking for an easy way to earn more miles & points, consider buying gift cards. Using the right credit card to purchase gift cards at certain types of retailers can net serious bonus rewards.

I always consider this route when I’m giving a gift for a special occasion, like a birthday or graduation. Sure, everyone loves cash. But a gift card is more or less the same — and you can earn miles & points for your purchase! Plus, retailers often offer deals on gift cards, like waived purchase fees or automatic rebates. With zero purchase fees, you’re essentially earning free money on these gift cards when you maximize your spend.

Just note that banks can claw back rewards if they suspect you’re abusing the system. So we don’t recommend exploiting this process.

Here’s what you need to know about buying Visa and Mastercard gift cards. Including the current deals, where to buy them and which credit cards you should be using.

Current Visa and Mastercard gift card deals

Staples is offering waived purchase fees on its $200 Visa gift cards. Here are the details:

  • Offer valid Aug. 2 – Aug. 8, 2020
  • Limited to five per customer per day
  • Waived $6.95 purchase fee
  • Available in-store only

These cards are pin-enabled, which means you can use them for just about anything you’d typically use a debit card for, including paying bills.

You’re buying a $200 gift card for $200 since the purchase fee is waived — what this effectively does is give you up to 5x points on all spend if you’re using the right card to pay for the gift card. More on that below.

(Photo by lentamart/Shutterstock)

Where to buy Mastercard and Visa gift cards

You’ve got lots of options when it comes to buying Visa and MasterCard gift cards, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Office supply stores (Staples, OfficeMax, etc.)
  • Gas stations
  • Wholesale clubs (Costco, etc.)
  • and more

Having these options is nice because it means you can maximize the bonus points you earn for your gift card purchases by using the appropriate credit card.

Which cards to use at which locations

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, for example, earns 5% (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on phone, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year. So if you buy a single $200 Visa Gift Card at Staples with this deal using your Ink Business Cash card, you’ll earn $10 back (or 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points). If you have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, your points could be worth even more. We value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, meaning 1000 points would be worth $17.

Right now, the Ink Business Cash card is offering a fantastic $500 bonus (or 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you’re a Sapphire cardholder) after spending $3,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Office Depot has been known to run similar promotions in the past. And using a card that earns bonus rewards at office supply stores would work here, too.

Remember also that grocery stores usually sell gift cards for a variety of different retailers. So you could use a credit card that earns bonus rewards at grocery stores to maximize your gift card purchases.

Right now, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is an excellent choice for grocery store purchases. New cardmembers will not only earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. But they’ll also earn 5% cash back (5x Chase points) on grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) for the first year you have the card, on up to $12,000 in qualifying purchases. Here’s our review of the Freedom Unlimited.

Or you could use a card like the American Express® Gold Card that earns 4x Amex points at U.S. supermarkets on the first $25,000 spent per calendar year, then 1x. Buying a $500 gift card at a supermarket would net you 4,000 Amex Membership Rewards points, which are worth $72 according to our valuations. You can read our full review of the card here.

Finally, select gas stations also sell Visa gift cards. You can use a card that earns bonus points on gas purchases, like the Citi Premier℠ Card which earns 3x ThankYou points at gas stations. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® currently has a great promotion when making purchases at gas stations: between July 1 and September 30, 2020 you’ll earn 5 Chase points per dollar spent on gas, although bonused spending is capped at $1,500 total. The information for the Citi Premier card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

One of the easiest ways to earn travel rewards is by buying gift cards. And when a store is offering a no-fee purchase deal, you really can’t go wrong. Just be sure to use a card that maximizes rewards to earn free points on your purchase.

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