1. American Express has another set of no-lifetime language (NLL) heightened offers available. To see if you’re targeted, login to AmEx and check the following links for two great no-annual fee cards:

    Blue Business Plus 75,000 Membership Rewards after $15,000 in spend in 12 months
    Blue Business Cash $750 after $15,000 in spend in 12 months (discussed yesterday)

    Both of these have phone in employee card offers available, 5,000 Membership Rewards after $2,000 in spend on the Blue Business Plus and a $50 statement credit after $2,000 in spend on the Blue Business Cash. Both work for up to 99 employees, or 450,000 bonus points on the Plus or $4,500 in statement credits on the Cash.
  2. Check for email from Citi for targeted 5x on PayPal spend, up to $600 by September 30. This has been seen on:

    – Double Cash
    – Premier
    – Rewards+
    – AAdvatage

    Related to the above: PayPal raised its credit card fees for person-to-person payments to 2.99%, and stopped allowing friends and family payments from personal accounts to business accounts.
  3. Check this link for Barclays credit card targeted 5x spend bonuses on grocery, gas, and restaurant purchases up to $700 in spend through September 15. (Thanks to San_K)
  4. Staples has fee-free $200 Visa gift cards, limit five per transaction running from Sunday through the following Saturday. These are Metabank gift cards, and based on lots of prodding from reader Jim, I won’t say anything bad about Metabanks (today). (Thanks to DDG)
  5. Simon’s volume purchasing program has for 50% off of bulk Visa and Mastercard gift card purchases using promo code JUL22WKND50.

Jimmy’s dog helps us jump toward the weekend with a Delirium Tremens. #JimmyStyle

On any given week in a WhatsApp group, Telegram forum, slack channel, or some other medium at least twice I see the question: “What are the buying limits for [bulk third party gift card brand] at Kroger?”. When there’s a 4x, 6x, or 8x fuel points sale the question also multiplies by the same amount.

For my own internet sanity I compiled everything we know about Kroger third party gift card limits:

General Limits

Kroger and Kroger affiliates can sell up to $1,999.99 in gift cards at regular registers or at self check-out. Most stores don’t need cashier intervention at self check-out for big purchases, but there are a couple of Kroger chains that need a cashier override for $500.01 or higher in purchases, whether or not gift cards are included.

If you move from regular registers to customer service counters, you can buy up to $10,000 – $18,000 worth of third party gift cards in a single transaction, depending on region. Some regions have a register enforced limit of $12,000 to $18,000 per-hour, per-store too.

Brand Specific Limits

Several brands have specific limits in addition to the above:

  • BestBuy: $1,000 per 10 minutes, store-wide
  • Apple: $500 per transaction

Unfortunately, taking these cards to a customer service desk doesn’t remove the limits. It is possible to bypass the BestBuy limit if your store sells the right type of Happy cards though, because Happy cards don’t have specific limits and some of them can be swapped to BestBuy at home after purchase.

Missing Fuel Points

There’s another type of limit that hits third party gift card resellers, and I think it’s an artifact of bad IT rather than an intentional limit: The same Kroger account won’t earn fuel points on back-to-back transactions in the same 60 seconds for the same dollar amount. So, if you’re wanting to run 20 Apple card purchases back-to-back, either wait a full 60 seconds between transactions or add a random, small value item in with each purchase.

Swipe Limits

Kroger stores are limited to six transactions with the same card per rolling 24 hours. Bypassing this with an American Express card is easy with authorized user or employee cards because each gets their own number, but bypassing on most other issuer’s networks is harder because those cards typically have the same number as the primary account.

Friction

The above limits are actually documented in the customer service operations manual at Kroger, but that doesn’t mean that employees don’t also try and make up their own rules (like peanut butter should be on sushi) or ignore the written limits. When that happens you’ve got plenty of options but typically building a rapport and trying again will make for a good long term option. Be in this for the long haul.

Happy Tuesday!

Didn’t believe peanut butter sushi was a thing did you?

I guess it’s patriotic to tie the number four into a post on the 4th? To be honest I wasn’t really listening during my Patriotic Blogging 101 course in college, so let’s just assume that I’m right and roll with it. I know I will.

  1. Visible has $45 in cash back (or 4,500 Membership Rewards) at Rakuten for the fourth of July holiday and it stacks nicely with a few other offers. We’ve seen better around black Friday, but if you need a burner phone number for shenanigans, this is a great deal for this time of year. You’ll get:

    – $50 Mastercard from Visible for porting in a number (like a $0.99 Boost number)
    – $45 cash back or 4,500 Membership Rewards via Rakuten

    And your cost will be:

    – $5 with a referral (with a current Chase or Bank of America offer for $20 off of $25) for the first month
    – $20 with Party Pay for the second month

    Of course, you can use the same tricks to upgrade an old or very old phone to a new Moto G Pure android for negative cost.
  2. There are targeted Chase offers for:

    – 15% back at United for airfare
    – 15% back at IHG and several Marriott brands

    The total cash back varies by account and can be as low as $10, or as high as $40.
  3. Check for a targeted spend offer from Barclays personal cards via email for 5x rewards at grocery, drugstores, and restaurants up to $700 in spend. (Thanks to DoC)
  4. Meijer has two Visa gift card deals, and one works even if you’re outside of Meijer land. Just be sure to scale with multiple MPerks accounts and use them all back-to-back as quickly as possible, like La Jolla, San Diego in 2012:

    $5 off of $100 in Visa gift cards online, these are Metabank cards
    $10 off of $150 in Visa gift cards in-store, these are either Sunrise or Metabank depending on which you pick (I’d definitely pick the former)

    (Thanks to Stephan at GC Galore)

Have a nice holiday!

Blowing up a Meijer terminal La Jolla style with hundreds of MPerks accounts. Go big or go home, amirite?

  1. Meijer has $50 off of a future purchase on a $500 third party gift card, limit one per MPerks account (or you can ration this down as $5 for every $50 in gift cards purchased). Noteworthy brand exclusions include Apple and Amazon, but BestBuy, Home Depot, and Nike are all included in the promotion.
  2. Staples has $200 Mastercard gift cards available for no-fee, limit five per transaction through Saturday. These are Metabank gift cards, so have a liquidation plan in place. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  3. The Target $40 online + $40 in-store RedCard sign-up bonus is back. If you’re not sure why this is interesting, see Target RedCard Hacks.

    Current datapoints suggest between 7 and 14 days are required between churning these cards. (Thanks to sb18 via MEAB slack)
  4. Simon.com has 50% off of Visa and Mastercard gift card purchase fees with promo code JUN22HOT50. These are also Metabanks. Side note: if Metabanks were in a race with other gift cards, they’d come in third out of three in their age group.
  5. Reader/maestro Larry often says something like: “Never hold a deposit account at a bank that has credit cards that you care about.” Something innocuous on the deposit account side of the business involving know your customer regulations, loss prevention, or fraud concerns can often lead to eyes on your credit card portfolio, and eyes on your credit card portfolio are rarely a good thing.

    With the above in mind, I’d suggest giving a moment of thought to the following item that everyone seems to be talking about: The new American Express Business checking account that has a relatively measly 20,000 Membership Rewards sign-up bonus after a few hoops and allows Platinum card holders to cash-out Membership Rewards at one cent per point.

    You can probably guess that I don’t think you should go for it. American Express cards are too valuable to risk holding a deposit account with their banking division, and Platinum card holders (and others) can always cash-out at a penny per point even without this checking account.

Metabank gift cards are kind of a big deal, third place (out of three) in the 14-17 year old age division.

  1. Staples has fee free Visa gift cards for sale starting on Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit five per transaction. As usual, try for back-to-back transactions to minimize your time getting to Staples stores.

    These are Metabank gift cards, and yes, there are ways to liquidate them both online and in-person. (For example, the high fee BravoPay/Famigo.)
  2. Lowe’s has an offer for a free $15 Lowe’s gift card with the purchase of a $200 Visa gift card, delivered via email, running through Wednesday of next week. The “Everywhere” variety of cards are eligible too. To maximize the deal:

    – You can buy multiple cards in a single transaction and still be eligible for the rebate
    – There is a limit of two $15 cards per email address, but you have multiple email addresses, right?
    – Look for a gift card buyer offering at least 86% on small denomination Lowe’s gift cards
    – Be sure to link your cards to your JetBlue ShopTrue account to earn 3x JetBlue miles on the purchase

    These are also Metabanks.
  3. Delta’s AmEx card landing page has some great offers that are now widely targeted (and note that while not always the case, Delta cards are typically eligible for a bonus multiple times with or without no-lifetime language. AmEx will give you a popup letting you know you’re not eligible before your final submit regardless of the language of the offer):

    – Delta Gold Personal 70,000 SkyMiles + $200 statement credit after $2,000 in spend, annual fee waived the first year
    – Delta Platinum Personal 90,000 SkyMiles + $200 statement credit after $3,000 in spend
    – Delta Reserve Personal 80,000 SkyMiles + $200 statement credit after $5,000 in spend
    – Delta Gold Business 75,000 SkyMiles + $200 statement credit after $4,000 in spend, annual fee waived the first year
    – Delta Platinum Business 95,000 SkyMiles + $200 statement credit after $5,000 in spend
    – Delta Reserve Business 85,000 SkyMiles + $200 statement credit after $6,000 in spend

    Note that only spend on the on the Platinum and Reserve flavors counts toward Delta’s spend waiver for elite status. (Thanks to DoC)
  4. Simon Mall has 60% off purchase fees for Visa and Mastercard gift cards of up to $1,000 face value through tomorrow evening. Use promo code JUN22FLASH60.

    Need I say it? Sigh, these are Metabanks. (Thanks to Stephen at FM)
  5. Last year the weekly hotness was an office supply store running a fee-free promotion effectively every week. This year the new hotness is Kroger running a 4x fuel sale on third party gift cards effectively every week, this time through June 21.

    Apparently Kroger is also running a 4x fuel sale for every weekend in June, and in the past magical things happened when a weekend and a weekly fuel points promotion overlapped. My suggestion is that you go experiment this weekend and see what voodoo you can conjure with Kroger fuel points.

Have a nice weekend!

Before Kroger’s IT team coded up their fuel points rewards system they rode this thing, which should explain a lot.

Gift cards come in two varieties, roughly speaking:

  • Closed loop, which can be used only at one or a small hand-full of stores, for example:
  • Open loop, which can be used at essentially any US store that takes a credit card:

One of the least talked about unicorn factories in manufactured spend is a store that will let you convert a closed loop gift card to an open loop gift card, and even better if the closed loop gift card can often be bought at a discount. Some now-defunct examples from the past:

Unfortunately, now there’s another we can add to the list: Bed, Bath, and Beyond. First reported a couple of months ago by Stephen at GC Galore and now confirmed by multiple reports nationwide, Bed, Bath, and Beyond has removed all third party gift cards from their stores. BB&B gift cards can often be found for a 20%+ discount, so this is a big hit for a technique that’s been working for over a decade.

Not all hope is lost though, unicorn stores still exist. Maybe next time you’ve got a Happy Card or a random third party gift card, try and buy another gift card with it and see what happens. Good luck!

Ok, so technically Sears may still be working, but first you have to find a Sears that doesn’t look like this.

  1. Kroger and Harris Teeter are running another 4x fuel points bonus through Friday-Sunday on all third party gift cards, and through Tuesday with Happy gift cards. Unfortunately the fuel points resale market is rather weak right now after a series of tumultuous software updates at the fuel pumps and another two week long 4x sale that concluded a few days ago. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  2. Radisson Rewards has 30% off of “premium” hotel rooms in North America booked today in the Raddison mobile app for ios or android for stays through June 30. Premium hotel rooms are often just a few dollars more than a base room, so I think it’s still a deal even if you’re a base room person. UPDATE: Now live
  3. Do this now: Register for Wyndham’s current promotion, 7,500 bonus points after two stays through September 6.
  4. American Express is sending out physical mailers via USPS for two great sign-up bonuses:

    – 250,000 Membership Rewards for a new Business Platinum after $30,000 in spend in six months
    – 180,000 Membership Rewards for a new Business Gold after $20,000 in spend in six months

    If you get ahold of one of these, keep in mind that American Express doesn’t care who applies for the card as long as the applicant’s address matches the mailer’s address.

Now I just need AmEx to honor this, uhh, totally legit offer.

There’s a lot going on with new speculative products that we’ll discuss soon, but for now let’s talk about some active offers:

  1. The PayPal Mastercard is now generally available for new applications. The current sign-up bonus is $100 after spending $500, but this isn’t a card you get for the sign-up bonus. Instead you get it because:

    – It’s 3% cash-back everywhere you pay with PayPal or Venmo (some MS-friendly stores take both)
    – It’s a Synchrony card
    – It’s a Mastercard

    The card gets 2% cash-back everywhere else, which is fine I guess.
  2. You can currently earn 1,500 points transferrable to either AA or Hyatt by downloading the Bilt Rewards app for ios or android and linking your frequent flyer accounts. You’ll earn:

    – 100 points for linking each of your non-Hyatt loyalty partners, ten in total, though you may want to wait for increased earnings on other programs before linking immediately
    – 500 points for linking your Hyatt account before May 27

    Note that the minimum to transfer is 2,000 points. I’d love to get the Bilt card to moon my account🚀 , but I’m sure I’d be shutdown for manufactured spend before the card even arrived in my mailbox, setting a new world record. Also, blah blah blah getting below 5/24 blah blah blah. (Thanks to VFTW)
  3. OfficeMax/Office Depot has $15 back on $300 or more in Mastercard gift card purchases, bringing your net cost below face-value even without rewards or other shenanigans. To maximize the deal:

    – Link each of your Ink or other office supply bonused cards to a Dosh account
    – Try and get multiple transactions in a single trip

    These are Metabank gift cards, so make sure you’ve got a liquidation channel. They do exist nationwide but you’ve got to look.

Happy Wednesday friends!

The world record setting rewards balance plot.