My 5x miles for everything in 10 steps or how to buy United miles for 0.67 cents per mile

Posted on February 8, 2013 by in United Mileage Plus

So I'm hoping I'm not breaking any secret news here but that's how I use the Chase Inks.

1) I have two Ink cards Plus and Bold. I make the trek to a local mall twice a month and buy $2,000 in gift cards at Office Depot. I split the charges evenly by card.

2) Since variable gift cards are not in stock anymore I now pay $4.95 for a Visa $200 card or $6.95 for an AMEX $200 card. Often no Visa cards were available for me before but variable AMEX cards.

3) AMEX waits one hour before activating the gift cards so I do have lunch in that case. Visa gift cards work immediately.

4) The Target store is in the same mall. I talk to the confused cashier in the service/returns area (always a different cashier, all are similarly confused by my undertaking).

'You can't load this card with a gift card. Oh wait it says no target gift cards allowed…'.

5) I instruct them to load my 2 AMEX for Target with $997 each. Immediately $9.97 will show on the register and I'll tell them what I want again and they eventually accomplish to set the amount to $997.00.

6) The gift cards are 100% empty now as Target imposes a $3 load fee. I keep them as souvenir and I also keep the receipt of course.

7) If my kids need something from Target in-between the two week period I get another $500-$1,000 at some random point.

8) This nicely uses the limits imposed ($1,000 per daily load per card, $5,000 max load per person in a 30 day period).

9) I give Chase a useful amount of 1x transactions as well to keep them happy (at least I hope it helps).

10) Once loaded I go to the Bank of America ATM (I haven't found a no-fee ATM yet) and withdraw $400 (the daily maximum) for each card. The first ATM withdrawal per month is free, the next one costs $3. BofA charges $2 per withdrawal. I usually withdraw 50% of what I've loaded and spend the rest in a normal way.

Let's sum it up:

Ultimate Rewards points earned:

– 25,000 if I use the full $5,000 load per month, but I subtract 2,500 UR, which I would have earned anyways (as I do not withdraw >50%)

Money paid:

– activation fees 25 x $4.95 (Visa) = $123.75 or 25 x 6.95 = $173.75

– load fees $7.50

– AMEX withdrawal fee $6 x 2 cards + $2 x 4 BofA fees = $20

– time invested – 2 hours a month

– I do try to avoid to purchase durable items with the Target for AMEX – I mostly use it for services. For electronics and travel I use my other cards that offer additional protection/ insurance.

Using Visa reloads it is $67.22 per 10,000 miles or 0.67 cents per mile.

Using AMEX reload cards it is $89.22 per 10,000 miles or 0.89 cents per mile.

In my opinion this is a great opportunity to buy 300,000 miles a year! United Mileage Plus easily give you 7 cents per mile used for business class or first class redemptions. I love 10x+ investments!

I'm very grateful to FrequentMiler who provided all the information and Chase for giving us such a generous mile buying opportunity!

I hope this one is gonna last!