One 5% Category You Never See?

All about maximizing your rewards!
Members share tips and tricks for getting the most miles, & points.
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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:10 pm

onion wrote:Personally, I'd just be using those gift cards for stuff like Target grocery shopping and whatnot. Not really any stop payments or issues of that sort on groceries. For purchases like electronics, I'd definitely whip out the AmEx, though.

Think about it... How many times do you actually have to do billing disputes, especially on everyday items? Its still a risk, but its one I'd be willing to take if I were using gift cards. I don't bother since I get 3% at grocery stores, 3% on gas, 2% on dining, and 2% on department stores. Maybe if I get a Freedom someday I'll consider it.


It's not the risk of a dispute with a reputable merchant so much as it is the risk of the merchant's card processing system or records getting hacked or stolen by a rogue employee. Target has already had problems on that front. If the card or card number is lost or stolen, then you can recover only the funds that are still on the card. You can't recover any funds that were already stolen. From the terms (Amex's capitalization):

NO REFUNDS WILL BE PROVIDED FOR AMOUNTS DEBITED FROM YOUR LOST OR STOLEN CARD BEFORE YOU NOTIFY US.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when


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onion
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

Postby onion » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:31 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:It's not the risk of a dispute with a reputable merchant so much as it is the risk of the merchant's card processing system or records getting hacked or stolen by a rogue employee. Target has already had problems on that front. If the card or card number is lost or stolen, then you can recover only the funds that are still on the card. You can't recover any funds that were already stolen. From the terms (Amex's capitalization):

NO REFUNDS WILL BE PROVIDED FOR AMOUNTS DEBITED FROM YOUR LOST OR STOLEN CARD BEFORE YOU NOTIFY US.


In that case, one could get a Serve card and just reload it at Walmart with gift cards. Then transfer the funds to checking, rinse and repeat. Or, to prevent financial reviews and the IRS snooping, you could just use the Serve card until it runs low and be getting pretty much 5% on every transaction.
FICO TU - 728 - 8/14
FICO EX - 716 - 7/14
FICO EQ - 740 - 7/14

Bank of America Cash Rewards - $2,400
Best Buy - $3,000
American Express Blue Cash Everyday - $8,000
American Express Everyday - $10,000
Discover It Chrome - $500 (AU on fiancée's card, helping her build credit)
American Express Platinum - NPSL
Barclaycard Arrival+ - $3,000
Capital One Yamacard - $11,000

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CarefulBuilder14
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:17 pm

onion wrote:In that case, one could get a Serve card and just reload it at Walmart with gift cards. Then transfer the funds to checking, rinse and repeat. Or, to prevent financial reviews and the IRS snooping, you could just use the Serve card until it runs low and be getting pretty much 5% on every transaction.


So, if I have this right....
Use a Freedom or It at a gas station to buy a Walmart gift card (with a fee?) where it will be classified as gas, then take the Walmart gift card into a Walmart store and put it onto an Amex Serve card (with a fee?), and then spend the Amex Serve card as a prepaid card? I haven't been able to find the terms and conditions of the Serve card, so I don't know what the theft protections are. Maybe I will just pass - the probability of having money stolen or getting stuck with $1,000 in Walmart gift cards (I don't shop there often) seems too high.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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onion
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

Postby onion » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:29 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:So, if I have this right....
Use a Freedom or It at a gas station to buy a Walmart gift card (with a fee?) where it will be classified as gas, then take the Walmart gift card into a Walmart store and put it onto an Amex Serve card (with a fee?), and then spend the Amex Serve card as a prepaid card? I haven't been able to find the terms and conditions of the Serve card, so I don't know what the theft protections are. Maybe I will just pass - the probability of having money stolen or getting stuck with $1,000 in Walmart gift cards (I don't shop there often) seems too high.


Close, but that wasn't quite it. Sorry, I haven't been very clear.

Use a Freedom or IT at a gas station to buy a Visa gift card (no vanilla gift cards, they won't work). Take this gift card to Walmart and use it to load up an American Express Serve card (no fee). From there, you can either spend from the Serve card as a debit card or transfer those funds to your bank account and do it all over again. I've actually got a Serve card, I'll look through the T&C and report back.

Edit: Image

Image

I forgot to mention, there is a $1 per month fee. There are a couple ways around it, though. Residents of Texas and two other states that I can't remember are exempt. I simply set my billing address to my Texas address although I spend more time in Florida and don't have to pay the fee.
FICO TU - 728 - 8/14

FICO EX - 716 - 7/14

FICO EQ - 740 - 7/14



Bank of America Cash Rewards - $2,400

Best Buy - $3,000

American Express Blue Cash Everyday - $8,000

American Express Everyday - $10,000

Discover It Chrome - $500 (AU on fiancée's card, helping her build credit)

American Express Platinum - NPSL

Barclaycard Arrival+ - $3,000

Capital One Yamacard - $11,000

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CarefulBuilder14
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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:42 pm

NY, TX, and VT are the exempt states.

Well, if anyone has actually gotten this to work already, I might try it. I don't want to be the guinea pig. As a regular pay-at-the-pump customer, I'd have to check the situation as far as gift card availability at local stations.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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onion
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Postby onion » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:45 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:NY, TX, and VT are the exempt states.

Well, if anyone has actually gotten this to work already, I might try it. I don't want to be the guinea pig. As a regular pay-at-the-pump customer, I'd have to check the situation as far as gift card availability at local stations.


I've yet to do it since I can't get approved for a Freedom for some reason. I've tried twice and got denied twice. Called up twice each time and got denied all four times.

Here you go. http://travelwithgrant.com/2014/04/22/omg-you-can-now-load-amex-serve-at-walmart-with-visamastercard-gift-cards/
There's a bunch of this kind of post all over google when searching "serve gift card reload".
FICO TU - 728 - 8/14

FICO EX - 716 - 7/14

FICO EQ - 740 - 7/14



Bank of America Cash Rewards - $2,400

Best Buy - $3,000

American Express Blue Cash Everyday - $8,000

American Express Everyday - $10,000

Discover It Chrome - $500 (AU on fiancée's card, helping her build credit)

American Express Platinum - NPSL

Barclaycard Arrival+ - $3,000

Capital One Yamacard - $11,000

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
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Posts: 3757
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:07 pm

onion wrote:I've yet to do it since I can't get approved for a Freedom for some reason. I've tried twice and got denied twice. Called up twice each time and got denied all four times.


Oddly, I got my Freedom with no credit history other than a declined GECRB application a year before. I don't really know the subtleties of Chase's credit standards so can't advise you if or when another application would make sense.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

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onion
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Posts: 262
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Postby onion » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:46 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:Oddly, I got my Freedom with no credit history other than a declined GECRB application a year before. I don't really know the subtleties of Chase's credit standards so can't advise you if or when another application would make sense.


At this point, I've got no need for the CSP or Freedom anymore, so that kind of rules out Chase cards for me. I was really surprised when I was declined the second time for the Freedom card. I applied for the two AmEx cards the same weekend. One was instantly approved, which really confused me even more. Oh well, I'm happy where I am with my cards now and don't need anything else.
FICO TU - 728 - 8/14

FICO EX - 716 - 7/14

FICO EQ - 740 - 7/14



Bank of America Cash Rewards - $2,400

Best Buy - $3,000

American Express Blue Cash Everyday - $8,000

American Express Everyday - $10,000

Discover It Chrome - $500 (AU on fiancée's card, helping her build credit)

American Express Platinum - NPSL

Barclaycard Arrival+ - $3,000

Capital One Yamacard - $11,000

User avatar
CarefulBuilder14
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 3757
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
Location: United States

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:26 pm

onion wrote:At this point, I've got no need for the CSP or Freedom anymore, so that kind of rules out Chase cards for me. I was really surprised when I was declined the second time for the Freedom card. I applied for the two AmEx cards the same weekend. One was instantly approved, which really confused me even more. Oh well, I'm happy where I am with my cards now and don't need anything else.


In which order did you apply for them? If Freedom was the third card that weekend, then a decline is understandable! It might look as if you were just getting as much credit as quickly as possible.
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

User avatar
onion
Centurion Member
Centurion Member
 
Posts: 262
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Postby onion » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:30 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:In which order did you apply for them? If Freedom was the third card that weekend, then a decline is understandable! It might look as if you were just getting as much credit as quickly as possible.


Freedom was the first card, I got a pending, called up recon, and got denied. I then went for the AmEx Blue Cash and got instantly approved and then the Everyday and got a pending. The two AmEx ones only counted as one pull, which made me pretty happy. Prior to that small app spree, I hadn't applied for anything in about 4-5 months, and the only thing I applied for was the Chase Freedom.
FICO TU - 728 - 8/14

FICO EX - 716 - 7/14

FICO EQ - 740 - 7/14



Bank of America Cash Rewards - $2,400

Best Buy - $3,000

American Express Blue Cash Everyday - $8,000

American Express Everyday - $10,000

Discover It Chrome - $500 (AU on fiancée's card, helping her build credit)

American Express Platinum - NPSL

Barclaycard Arrival+ - $3,000

Capital One Yamacard - $11,000



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