When I first started writing this blog, I wrote about exchanging gift cards for United miles with Plastic Jungle. Then I followed up a couple of times about Plastic Jungle, once if they were going out of business and lastly they had a silent death where CardCash/ABC Gift Cards bought out Plastic Jungle.
The good news is CardCash/ABC Gift Cards has brought back the trade the gift cards to United miles program:
In the top graphic, you will notice the third option, exchanging your gift cards for United miles. I was eager to see what it was available. The landing page is exactly like it once was:
Here’s the list of retailers they “accept”:
|Barnes & Noble|
|Bass Pro Shops|
|JoS. A. Bank|
|Saks 5th Ave|
|Sur La Table|
|Toys R us|
I use “accept” loosely because when you start to type in some of those names they won’t pop up for you to sell in the following pages. Here’s your returns on the gift cards:
If you type in “walmart” to sell, they will not accept it.
Instead, they’ll take Walgreens which is not listed.
To get back on topic, the site has always claimed at “minimum” you will receive X number of miles, but I have always seen a fixed number from the graphic they post. Because of this, the gift card arbitrage opportunity here is to buy the least valued gift card and sell it through the Gift Card Exchange. My favorite kind of arbitrage, a floor price.
I hope they(Cardcash/ABC Gift Cards) bring this back for the US Bank Flexperks, it was the one reason why I signed up for the Flexperks credit card.
I also find it absolutely comical that they’re accepting American Airline gift cards to convert into United miles. In the previous iteration of this, all other competing air carriers were off limits
I made the mistake of cashing in some Discover cashback for $40 in Brookstone cards when the gift card exchange was offering decent bonuses… By the time the cards arrived, Brookstone was still LISTED as a card they accepted, but as you pointed out above the listed cards don’t appear to mach the cards you can actually trade for miles.
That has happened to me in the past, I bought ~$2k worth of Starbucks gift cards and had to hold it for 2 months before the rates increased
Yep and since then I try to keep too much gift cards on hand at one time.
This is good news. Do you know any other programs (airlines or hotels) that exchange gift cards for points/miles?
I’m not aware of any other program but United
Here’s the list:
Bass Pro Shops
Barnes & Noble
Bed Bath & Beyond
Buffalo Wild Wings
JoS A. Bank
Peets Coffee & Tea
Pottery Barn Teen
Saks 5th Ave
Sur La Table
White House Black Market
BTW, I’m not really seeing the point of this. Lets take a look at an example. You can get 4,000 UA miles for a $100 gift card. Or 2.5 cents a mile. So you look for a gift card you can buy at a discount. You get an amazing discount of 50%. You take a risk buying it from an eBay seller. Wait a while. And sell it. So you pick up the points for 1.25 cents a mile? Is that really worth spending a lot of cash for?
Yep, that’s the premise, buy gift cards for cheap and then convert into miles.
How is paying 1.25c “cheap”? Plenty of MS opportunities you can do for half that cost (or less). And with bigger volume/higher velocity. I hate to pay 0.7c per point, let alone more than 1c.
The best deal that I found was buying PETCO cards (for a while they were selling at 23% discount), but even that didn’t make any sense.
You’d need to be on the look out for better deals to drop the average cost. You may need to also finagle with paying the credit card with a rewards earning/earned debit card
It’s not going to be easy and not quite the usual velocity method one would do while manufactured spending