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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.
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
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!
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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