Get 5x at eBay All Day!

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ebay 5x

5x at eBay is Alive & Well

A couple of months ago Frequent Miler wrote about the possibility of earning 5x Ultimate Rewards points by buying gift cards on eBay. At the time he had noticed that the purchase of both eBay gift cards through Paypal Digital Gifts and Sears gift cards through GiftCardMall were earning 5x Ultimate Rewards points.

I hadn’t really heard any updates lately as to whether or not this was still the case, so I was eager to try it out for myself. Recently Paypal Digital Gifts was selling $100 Staples gift cards on eBay for $85, so I bought five.

The Staples gift card deal happened to coincide with a 4x eBay Bucks promotion, so I was confident that the purchase would be a profitable one with or without 5x Ultimate Rewards points.

ebay 5x

Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long to find out if my experiment was a success. This morning I logged into my Chase account to see that the transaction had posted. As you can see, the $425 purchase generated 2,125 points. Success!

How the Math Worked Out

Before I go any further, it is important to mention that I spent a total of 5-10 minutes between buying these cards and reselling them. Immediately after receiving the cards via email I resold them for $405, thus taking a $20 loss. Most gift card resellers won’t buy e-gift cards from Staples or else I would have been able to make more.

My final math works out exactly how I calculated the other day. If I value Ultimate Rewards at 1.7 cents each, the total profit comes to $56.51 including portal cashback, eBay Bucks and points. Not bad for a few minutes worth of work.

Future Triple Dip (Or More) Opportunities

ebay 5x

Paypal Digital Gifts sells eBay gift cards from time to time at a discount. While eBay gift card purchases don’t earn eBay Bucks or portal cashback, they do earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points with Ink.

I think a good strategy going forward would be to buy eBay gift cards at a discount when available and then use them to purchase discounted gift cards when those deals arise. It would involve holding on to some gift cards for awhile, but the profit would be nice.

Of course you could always just buy eBay gift cards for the 5x earning and then use them to buy other items on eBay. This way you earn 5x on all of your eBay purchases!

Conclusion

eBay seems to be sending out more and more targeted earning promotions for eBay Bucks. Between those promotions, 5x Ultimate Rewards and occasional gift card deals, eBay is quickly becoming an interesting place to manufacture spend.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. “Immediately after receiving the cards via email I resold them for $405, thus taking a $20 loss. Most gift card resellers won’t buy e-gift cards from Staples or else I would have been able to make more.”

    So where/how did you sell them so quickly?

  2. I got a 10X ebay promotion (i.e. 10%) but somehow anytime I buy ebay gift cards from paypal digital gifts it won’t let me use my ink plus card linked to my paypal account. It gives me an error saying we need more information and it directs me to paypal login. After I login and select the ink CC for purchase it then gives me a new error saying you charges were not made and it redirects me back to ebay.

    I have called ebay several times and they can’t figure out what’s wrong at their end and why the transactions are not going through.

    I’m not buying in large quantities. I’m buying $300 to $400 worth of ebay cards which in my opinion is not a lot.

    I would like to know if anyone else is having issues with paypal.

    It is irony that paypal digital gifts is paypal owned store and you would think their own system will be little more cooperative. Oh well….

    • Moiz. Just to give you a data point, I have had the exact same issue after making several purchases in similar amounts. When I called ebay, they said it was some kind of a potential fraud issue that was flagged by a computer algorithm and that there was nothing they could do about it.

      • Thanks Newbie for the reply. Were you able to get it resolved and make future purchase? or you are stuck just like me from making future purchases.

    • Have you tried contacting Chase? I had a similar problem last month when trying to purchase Amex Gift Cards, where one particular credit card was being rejected for the purchase. I called the card issuer, and it turned out that they had flagged the transaction as potential fraud. Once they confirmed the validity of the purchase, future transactions worked fine.

      • Hi Teri, Yes. However, it was not problem at Chase as they never saw the transaction came through. Remember I get the error on the ebay checkout page where it tries to synch up with your papal account in the little window on the right hand side. If it gives error, then there’s nothing you can do. I called both paypal and ebay multiple times and neither of them told me there’s nothing wrong with my account and that they cannot help much further.

        I was able to make few purchases since then. So, not sure what happened.

        Also, I have found an alternative to this problem. GYFT as in gyft.com also sells ebay card via email and if you pay GYFT via paypal, then you get 5X chase ink points as well. So, this has become my preferred alternative to ebay purchases. If you go through ebates, then you also get 1% cashback on ebay GC purchases.

  3. Shawn, how do you check so fast (on the Chase web site) that your points posted at 5X?…I dont seem to able to do it on mu INK cards.
    Thankis

    • It varies depending on specials. Right now both Upromise and Top Cashback are offering 1.5%. I always check Cashback Monitor to see which portal has the best payout before making a purchase.

      • can you earn 5x on non-GC ebay purchases please?
        or non-GC paypal purchases?
        or does 5x only apply when buying GCs?
        thanks!

  4. Had same problem using eBay entered through safari. Pay pal would not allow use of ink card. When entered ebay through chrome, it did allow it and I got the 5x points with Ink card linked to paypal.

  5. Is/was this a limited time offer? Is it still live? Is it universal or invite only? Either there weren’t a lot of details in the post or I totally missed it.

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