My Way Of Draining Out The Remaining Cash And Gift Card Churn Better

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:

Gift Card Churn

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?

Card Liquidation:

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.


15 comments… add one
  • You are such a smart cookie.

  • There is an even bigger flat rate envelope for $0.15 more in postage. It is for legal sized documents.

    Also consider the bubble mailer flat rate envelope, same price as the cardboard one to ship, it holds up much better in the mail. Order either free online (might be a small delivery fee, I’m not sure, my reseller days are long past, used to be 100% free) because you will almost never see either of them in the Post Office supply area.

    I don’t really do the gift card thing, so maybe there is a transaction limit? Otherwise I’m not sure why you wouldn’t just create one more order to get your postage entirely paid for. I guess it depends on how often you ship them out and how much of a pain it is to create orders.

    • Thanks Haley, I’ll have to check out the post office’s website to see what’s available. Last time I checked, you are right, it’s free shipping for the free supplies. For the smalls, I’ve only seen the ones that are pictured, so for an extra $.15 for larger envelope, this sounds like great value.

      There’s no transaction limit, but I want to pay money for the stamps because @ 9 stamps * .69 I’d be paying $6.21 in postage overpaying by $.46 I’d rather pay it to drain out my card and save that 9th stamp for the next bundle I mail out.

      Each time I mail a bundle, I create 10 transactions, so I actually have 2 stamps leftover that I use for the next round.

  • So if I understand you correctly, that massive box is stuffed to the gills with gift cards? How much would you estimate in value is in there? I assume you buy insurance?

    • It depends on what I’m transacting and I’m stupid and don’t get insurance (normally), but this next one I will since it will be over 5k.

      The last couple of times when I physically mailed cards, to GCZ $800 worth of BP cards this was from the Bank of America AmeriDeals. Then I mailed about 2k and 3k in different packages to Cardpool.

  • I have about $2,000 worth of GCs that I’m about to sell to Cardpool. I have a Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope ($5.75) that I want to send these GCs in. On the envelope it says “Insurance Included.” Is it really the case in your experience? Do you have to pay anything extra or are there any coverage limits on this included insurance? Thanks

    • That is correct, there is insurance, but only $50. Generally speaking, I don’t buy additional insurance

      • Can I use a few more of cardpool’s 69c stamps towards additional insurance? Or do they make you pay separately?

        • Also, If I have left over CP stamps, could I use them to ship to GCZ or someone else?

          Thanks alot.

          • Yes, you could use the $.69 stamps to buy insurance, I’d imagine could you also use it to ship to GCZ, I never did. Their shipping is by far leaps and bounds better than Cardpool

  • I have used the stamps to mail in to GCZ 🙂
    I tested first by mailing myself something.
    No problem.


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