Manufactured Spending Just Became Much Easier

I will let Deals We Like explain Plink because she has explained it fully. You can start here: Spend $20 at Gap or Old Navy and Receive a $20 Gift Card! (the deal expired, but outlines the details about Plink) and all of her Plink posts

The one post that caught my eye was Staples to Join Plink.com!

My first thought was how easy making points at Staples through buying and selling gift cards.

Assume you link and use your Chase Ink card for 5x at office supply stores and do the following:

  • Click through the Shop Discover Portal for 5% back from Staples
  • Buy $100 Nordstrom gift card
  • Pay $1.99 fee
  • Earn $5.10 back from Discover
  • Earn 510 Ultimate Reward points
  • Earn 300 Plink points (worth $3)

Sell Nordstrom gift card at 89.5% and add in the $5.10 from Discover to receive $94.60 back. Right now the total loss + fees are $7.39. Assuming you redeemed your Plink points for Walmart gift card and resold it at 92% off the face value, you would be receiving $2.76 for every 300 Plink points redeemed. This now makes your fee total bottom line to be $4.63 generating your points at $.0091/Ultimate Reward point.

Let’s move that scenario with a different take.

  • Buy 2 $100 Nordstrom gift cards in 2 separate transactions and sold them
  • Total loss for selling gift card & shipping fee: $14.78
  • Total Plink points: 600
  • Total UR points: 1020

You still convert your Plink points for Walmart gift cards, but use it online for the Visa gift cards.

Total fees now become $15.66 ($6.88 fee for the Visa Gift card) and now generate UR points at $.0095/point. This is actually a more expensive move in the long run because of the Visa gift card fee and any fees associated with liquidating the card.

Here’s another scenario with the Nordstrom gift card and selling for Walmart gift card:

  • Buy 1 $200 Nordstrom gift card
  • Pay $1.99 fee
  • Total loss: $10.90
  • Total Plink points: 300
  • Total UR Points: 1010

And the breakdown $.0081/point

Finally, let’s take a look at purchasing $100 Visa cards directly from Staples

  • Buy $100 Visa card
  • Total fees after Discover cash back: $1.60
  • Total Plink Points 300
  • Total UR Points: 535

In this scenario, let’s assume you use Amazon Payments and still sell the Walmart gift card redemption. You will actually be making money with the Plink + Staples deal at $1.16 for every $100 Visa card that you purchase.

6 comments… add one
  • Great time waster. The marginal benefits over other types of manufactured spending don’t cover the time value of money for me, but for those that got nothing to do with their time, a great way to earn miles for cheap.

    • Right, it depends on the person who will be manufacturing the spend. The Visa GC -> AP method takes away from using other cards for Amazon Payments.

      Another factor that makes it not too desirable for many are the small denominations of Visa gift cards.

  • How certain are you that buying Visa gift cards from Staples.com will earn cash back from Shop Discover? Also, at which cash back portals would you earn cash back for this, and at which ones would they not award cash back?

    • I have done the ShopDiscover + Staples in early 2013 with success.

      For the list of portals that offer cashback you should check out the running list at Frequent Miler’s Laboratory.

      • Check discover website today and 5% staples only apply for transaction used discover credit card

        • Correct, it does say that, however, there have been times where credit has been applied even without using the Discover card.


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