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Another Gift Card Deal
Happy Fourth of July! This is just a reminder as you shop for your holiday feasts, that Kroger (and their many other brands) are running a gift card promotion through July 15.
I was the first to break the news about the promotion a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t posted about it since it began, so I thought it would be a good time to give an update.
Kroger stores are offering a $5 coupon off of a future purchase when you buy two Visa or Mastercard gift cards. This is pretty simple in both practice and execution.
What Is The Best Approach?
You really have two good options here. Lets explore both of them.
You could buy 2 x $100 gift cards which cost $5.95 each. Your total would be $211.90. With that purchase you would earn a $5 coupon off of your next purchase plus $.40 off per gallon of gas on a future purchase.
Why $.40 per gallon? Fixed value gift cards currently earn 2x points on purchase. Your purchase of $200 in gift cards would yield 424 points. 400 points = $.40 off per gallon of gas up to 35 gallons total.
Accounting for the $5 coupon, your cost is $206.90 before your gas savings. Assuming you get at least 17 gallons of gas, you are basically breaking even. A good option, but it isn’t always fun getting rid of lower denomination gift cards. If you maximize the 35 gallon discount, then you would make about $13.
Buy 2 x $500 variable load Visa or Mastercards. This option is best if your are looking to meet minimum spending requirements on a credit card. Unfortunately variable load cards don’t earn fuel rewards, so there is no possibility of making money.
Each $500 card comes with a $5.95 fee. The total for two cards is $1011.90. Subtracting out the $5 coupon, your cost for two $500 card is $6.90 or $3.45 each. This is a really good value compared to what you can purchase these cards for elsewhere. (Especially if you are looking for a quick & cheap way to meet a minimum spend requirement.)
Worth It For Buying Points
Each credit card earns a different type of reward and thus a different value. The best way to see if this deal is worth it is to calculate how much your are paying per point. Obviously if you are using a cash back card, then it is an easy calculation.
The cost per point on Option 2 is .007 or 7/10 of a cent. If you are earning currencies like SPG points, Ultimate Rewards points or Membership Rewards points then this is a good value. If you are earning something like IHG or Hilton points, then not so much.
A Possibility Of A Better Deal
Travel With Grant reports that Ralph’s stores in Southern California are giving the coupon after the purchase of only one gift card. I can confirm that this doesn’t work here in Las Vegas, but it may be worth a try. UPDATE: I tried a different store and can confirm that the coupon prints when only purchasing one gift card.
Liquidating The Cards
The cards sold by Kroger are issued by U.S. Bank. Both the Visa & Mastercard gift cards can be liqiudated at Walmart and loaded to a Bluebird, Serve or GoBank card. You can also use them to purchase money orders or pay bills as well.
Some of the cards will have a preset pin in their packaging. If that isn’t included, simply call 1-866-952-5653 and follow the prompts to set up a pin.
I think this is one of the better deals out there for meeting minimum spend. If you have a card like the old Amex Blue that gives a generous category bonus at grocery stores then you are coming out ahead either way as well.
In the end you have to determine whether or not this is worth it for you. Remember you can take advantage of this deal through July 15!
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