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American Express Gift Cards Returning To Portals?
Update: The gift cards have indeed returned to at least one portal. Details here.
American Express gift cards have long been a popular way to manufacture spend. Up until about a month ago, you could purchase them through cash back portals and earn anywhere from 1-4% cashback depending on the current offer.
By combining the cash back from the portal with the rewards from a credit card (Many use the Arrival+) people were able to make a profit in the end.
Unfortunately American Express gift cards cannot be loaded onto Bluebird or Serve, however it has been possible to use them to purchase Visa gift cards in some stores like CVS (YMMV) or online with sites like Gift Card Mall. The Visa gift cards can then be loaded to Bluebird/Serve.
Unfortunately Gift Card Mall began blocking the use of Amex gift cards last month, so this method of manufactured spend is more difficult now. I personally have not found a store that will let me use them to purchase Visa gift cards, although Las Vegas is a bit tough when it comes to manufactured spend.
The Possible Return To Portals
Howie at the Frugal Travel Guy just made a cryptic post hinting that American Express gift cards will be returning to the Top Cashback portal starting tomorrow.
If this is true I urge you to exercise caution and make sure that you understand the complicated process of converting Amex gift cards to Visa gift cards and then offloading them to Bluebird or Serve or even money orders. There are a few other options as well, so do your research.
In the end the return of these gift cards to portals would open back up another avenue of manufactured spend that temporarily closed. This avenue is not low hanging fruit however and is not something for the casual hobbyist.
Either way we should know in the morning if Howie is right. My guess is that he is.
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