The other day, I wrote about how I leave two cents on my prepaid cards and talked about using a point of sale system to automatically drain the card out. The commenters out there left some great feedback and inspired me to write this post.
Let me begin that my method of manufactured spending is heavily involved in gift card churning. (Be sure to read Chuck’s post at Doctor of Credit for an excellent run down on Gift Card Churning as well) I posted a while back on a method to save on postage. Loyal reader Ed, who has been reading this blog before I joined Saverocity (Thanks for reading, Ed!) suggested using this envelope. As I was referencing to our email exchange way back in early 2014, he already figured this out long before I thought of writing this post which will be explained below. The envelope is larger than your regular letter sized manilla envelope:
See all that space? There is a lot of surface area that can be covered with the $.69 stamps. I already have 8 in that picture, and there’s still plenty of room to tack more stamps. In fact, if you wanted free postage and a huge amount of insurance, you can fit it all on the envelope.
Here’s my original idea:
My box barely had room for 7 pieces of postage and was an absolute chore for the postal clerk to attach the tracking number and I still owed money. This is why I love writing a blog, readers like Ed making the process better. Ed’s idea is genius! Remember USPS’ slogan for this is “if it fits it ships!” If you pack a few too many gift cards in the flat rate envelope, a little extra packaging tape solves the problem.
The first graphic doesn’t do enough justice to the flat rate envelope so you should check out this picture below for scale:
I had to edit the picture since you could see right through, but notice the 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper and how much more space there is compared to the flat rate box?
Cardpool provides a $.69 stamp for each invoice/transaction when you mail in gift cards. Ed already figured out that with 8 stamps, you will have $5.52 worth of postage. With the flat rate envelope, it now costs $5.75 instead of $5.60 when we first discussed. Therefore, if you buy the right denominated money orders and leave $.23 left on the prepaid card and drain at the post office in one quick and easy shot. You might be thinking of the opportunity cost of waiting on line to pay the extra postage, but you will still need to see the clerk to get your the tracking number anyway. With coming short on the postage, it’d be 1 or 2 easy swipes to liquidate those prepaid cards that have a few cents left. The extra work for creating the 8 invoices/transactions are worth it, you receive shipping and 2 day priority mail, which means you’ll see your money a lot faster.