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%)
– 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!
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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