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Gift Card Arbitrage
Update: While a lot of this information is still useful and valid, purchases with most Chase Ink cards no longer earn 5X on eBay.
We write about a lot of gift card deals here on Miles to Memories. Most of the time we write in regards to Visa/MC gift cards, but other times I mention merchant gift cards.
Recently there have been some interesting opportunities to purchase merchant gift cards at a discount and then turn around and resell them for a guaranteed profit. This process is typically referred to as arbitrage.
5x on eBay is a Gamechanger
One of the main reason this type of method has been so lucrative lately is that it has been producing 5x Ultimate Rewards points in addition to any profits. (See: Get 5x at eBay All Day!)
A Recent Deal
A great example of this type of deal was recently when SVM Gift Cards on eBay was selling $100 ExxonMobil gift cards for $90. Why was this such a good deal? Well ExxonMobil gift cards are quite valuable and a number of sites will purchase them for 92-93% of their face value.
The only issue is that purchases from SVM Gift Cards do not seem to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Ink card. So what to do? Thankfully you can purchase eBay gift cards through Paypal Digital Gifts on eBay and earn 5x. You can then turn around and use those gift cards to pay. It is also a great idea to purchase eBay gift cards when they are discounted. (This deal is still going on for example.)
- Purchase $300 in eBay gift cards and earn 1,500 Ultimate Rewards points plus $4.50 (1.5%) in cashback.
- Use the $300 in eBay gift cards to purchase $300 in ExxonMobil gift cards for $270 and earn $4.05 (1.5%) in cashback.
- Sell ExxonMobil gift cards to Cardpool for $92 each and earn $12 (4%) cashback.
Note that cashback amounts in this example are all based on using Top Cashback.
What You Have in the End
- $30 left in eBay gift cards that can be used on a future gift card deal.
- $20.50 in cashback.
- $276 in cash.
- 1,500 Ultimate Rewards points.
So I spent $300 upfront and ended up with $296.50 in cash plus $30 in eBay gift cards. In other words, I made a $26.50 profit plus I earned 1,500 Ultimate Rewards points which I value at about $25.50 (1.7 cents each point).
Note: You also earn 2% in eBay Bucks for the purchase of merchant gift cards, but not eBay gift cards. In this scenario I also earned $5.40 in eBay Bucks for the $270 ExxonMobil gift card purchase.
Time Required & Other Tips
The best thing about this method is it takes only a few minutes to complete. This particular deal involved physical gift cards which need to be mailed in, but the overall time invested is minimal. Deals with eGift cards are even easier.
As a final tip, it is good to have a small stash of eBay gift cards lying around since they take awhile to activate after purchasing. Many people I know have missed out on deals while waiting for their eBay gift cards to fully activate.
Hopefully this post shows why I have been so excited by some of the recent eBay gift card deals. In the past couple of months I have been able to rack up a nice amount of points with very little work and/or risk. Now that you know what to look for, you can seek out these deals as well. Happy hunting.
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Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.