Gift cards are a hot topic for a few different reasons right now. We’ll start with the positive news and descend into the depths from there:
1. Simon has a new promotion code for 55% off of Mastercard and Visa fees at their volume site: SEP21EA55. This is one of the best offers they’ve had in recent years. These Metabank cards aren’t working for purchases of money orders at the big three purveyors (with limited exceptions): Walmart, Kroger, and Safeway. They still work at many mid-size and small-size regional grocery chains though, and for certain uses at Target. You can also use bill payment services and maybe a FinTech platform or two to cash them out.
Don’t forget that American Express doesn’t award points and doesn’t count Simon purchases toward minimum spend.
2. Dean let me know that the card linked program Dosh has a boosted offer for 4% back on purchases at Office Depot / OfficeMax, though the maximum daily award is still $10 per account. If you buy a single $200 Visa or Mastercard with a $6.95 purchase fee, you’ll be ahead $1.05 after Dosh cash back. You’ll do even better with one of the “Everywhere” Visas and their lower purchase fees of $4.95. (Watch out though, the Everywhere cards don’t work everywhere. The probably should be called “some of everywhere” cards.)
To scale this deal I have one Dosh account for each of my Ink cards, each linked to a different phone number. Do note that there is a report or two on reddit that a Dosh account was locked from transfers due to suspected fraud. So far I’m not affected but going forward I’d buy a pack of paper clips or something with your gift card so the numbers don’t come out as exactly $204.95.
3. There’s a lot going on in the gift card buyers market right now. It’s too early to tell if you should be concerned or not (I think currently you shouldn’t be, but I just turned my gift card buyer radar-gain up to an eleven). With that in mind I think it’s worth reiterating my general advice: Diversify your pool of gift card buyers so that you spread out any risk, and never sell more in gift cards to a single buyer than you’d be willing to lose if the worst case scenario ever occurred again. I’m happy to do $30,000 or more in volume per week when selling gift cards, but I’m most certainly not happy to have $30,000 floated to a single buyer. My favorite buyers pay-out in 3 or so business days which helps me do high volume with less float, and my least favorite take quite a bit longer.
To add to the above advice: There were signs that things were going pear shaped months before the last time the worst case scenario happened, and smart gift card resellers should take those signs as a lesson going forward.