Gift Card Churning – Plastic Jungle Arbitrage

I signed up for the US Bank Flexperks for the sole purpose of gift card churning before I realized that it’s not quite worth the hassle and then retiring. However, I took the liberty to compare the two programs of Flexperks and United Airlines because I still have a couple of cards lying around that I can compare.


If we assume the Flexpoint can be redeemed for 2 cents maximum every time we can calculate the worth per gift card.


DSW would be worth $20.50


Best Buy would be worth $22.26

Gift Card Churning

According to Giftcardgranny.com, Best Buy and DSW are comparable to the other vendors. At 90% of $25 it is $22.50 and 80% of $25 is $20. If you know you will be purchasing a flight and can utilize the Flexpoints, it may be worth while to purchase a gift cards for less than 2 cents a point to maximize the arbitrage here.

United Airlines




With Flexperks, you receive very close to the prevailing rate of the gift card. However, with United you receive the minimum miles in the chart, regardless of the rate. The best arbitrage opportunity here would be to buy the cheapest gift card available and exchange for United Airline miles.

Bottom Line

If you plan on purchasing miles or points on United or US Bank’s Flex points, you could potentially extract more if you buy gift cards for the sole purpose to resell on Plastic Jungle. For instance, if I am looking to top off my Flexperks account with 5,000 points, it would cost $150 purchased directly from US Bank. However, I could buy DSW gift cards at 20% off for the 5,000 points, I would need at least $125 worth of DSW. At 20% off, I would be spending $100. This equates to $.019/point ($100/[(1025*5)+100]). If you play around with this more, you should be able to buy the Flexpoints for less than that then redeem Flexpoints closer to the $.02/point for this arbitrage opportunity.

Similarly, this scenario would work for United. The best arbitrage opportunity would be to buy the cheapest gift card you can possibly find that Plastic Jungle accepts for United because it does not matter the worth of the card. New York & Company is one vendor that comes to mind to maximize the arbitrage.

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