Dismiss Notice
Welcome to The Forum. Please register here, to join the conversation. It only takes a moment!

Funding 529 Funds with a Credit Card

Discussion in 'Investments and Savings' started by FullMoonMadness, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. FullMoonMadness

    FullMoonMadness Level 2 Member

    I'm not sure if this really belongs in the MS forum, but I thought I'd start here.

    I'm looking for a way to earn points while funding a 529 account.
    • I've had no luck finding Gift of College GCs at my local Toys R Us stores, and the fee is not quite as nice online
    • I've tried Plastiq, but they cancelled the check, and a chat with them says they don't pay "trust and retirement" accounts
    • The plan I have for my child is the New York direct, but the name (New York's 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan) is literally too long to type in the payee section of all my banks to attempt a billpay -- even shortening to NY is still too long; I think there is a limit of 32 characters at my banks
    • I've sold some GCs to Gift of College in the past, but I'm not seeing any good deals where I'm not losing more money on the resale than the points are worth
    Does anyone know of another way to fund and earn miles? Has anyone tried using Walmart (or similar) to pay bills? -- I would imagine the 529 fund is probably not on their list. Does anyone know a little bit more about finding Gift of College GCs in the wild?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Sean1234

    Sean1234 Level 2 Member

    If you're one of the lucky few who have an active Serve, you could convert to Bluebird, load it with VGC, and write a check with it to the 529. This article discusses IRA but I imagine it would be similar for a 529
  3. FullMoonMadness

    FullMoonMadness Level 2 Member

    I appreciate the suggestion, but my Serve was axed about a year ago. Thanks for the reply!
  4. BananaStash

    BananaStash Level 2 Member

    I read in the r/churning daily thread that edvest sells GoC GCs for the same price as TRUs. Haven't looked into it further.
  5. FullMoonMadness

    FullMoonMadness Level 2 Member

    Thanks for the tip. I didn't have any luck finding the thread, but I checked out the edvest site. I get the impression I can only redeem the gift card with edvest. I may do a test purchase at some point. Thanks again!
  6. MarkD

    MarkD Level 2 Member

    This method is very dependent upon if you have a grocery store that sells $500 MetaBank GCs...

    If you have an AMEX OBC and a GoBank card you can buy VGCs ($25 cash back per $500 assuming you meet the $6500 spend threshold), then load to GoBank at WalMart and pay the 529 plan from GoBank. Replace with a points earning grocery card is that is your preference over cash back.

    This is what I did before Safeway pulled the $500 cards. I've hear they are back now though - YMMV.
  7. PD634

    PD634 New Member

    Found this thread when googling Amex and Edvest. I've used Edvest's online gift cards to fund a 529. Doesn't matter what state you are in. The gift cards bought from Edvest are emailed to you and can be redeemed through GiftofCollege.com (where I had an account that was linked to my state-specific 529). Once "redeemed," at GiftofCollege.com, it took about 2 weeks for them to be processed and show up on my 529, but indeed they did!
  8. newaliases

    newaliases Just an alias

    As the reader above noted, the best way is Edvest (https://www.edvest.com/tools/gift/index2.shtml),.

    It costs $5.95 to buy a $500 gift card that will be e-mailed to you after a very short hold. That is an effective cost of 1.19%, so any credit card that earns over that results in a net gain to you. The gift card is electronic, which you can redeem instantly online on your gift of college account.

    The one warning is that it does take awhile for the account to hit the 529 plan.
  9. Cytraveler

    Cytraveler Level 2 Member

    Also, on Toys R Us, I thought I was out of luck too. Customer service up front said they'd never heard of it. Went back few weeks later, same thing, but she said I was welcome to search the aisles on the back too. Turns out, there was another gift card rack way in the back that had them at the bottom. So search them all carefully!

    First time I could buy $3k. Beautiful. But next time they said they were limited to $1k per day. Still, it's not far from my house, so easy way to meet $3k in spend for ~$36. It does take a couple weeks to post, but all of mine have.
  10. newaliases

    newaliases Just an alias

    Why do Toys R Us (unless you are in it for some category awards) if you can just order them online through Edvest? Edvest, as far as I know, is the same card (Gift of College) and I just bought $1,500 so don't think there are limits.
  11. Cytraveler

    Cytraveler Level 2 Member

    I didn't know about Edvest before; just tried it; looks good. Also, in the future, with the new US Bank Altitude allowing 3x points on mobile payments, and ToysRUs takes applepay I believe, so something to think about.
  12. newaliases

    newaliases Just an alias

    Not to make you feel bad but US Bank recently had charities as a 5x option and these purchases code as charitable purchases. US Bank not surprisingly within the last few months got rid of that category :(
  13. notalent

    notalent Michael Bolton

    How are you tracking the flow from $500GC->Serve->529 for tax purposes?
  14. BananaStash

    BananaStash Level 2 Member

    (IANAL or CPA or expert or etc.) My understanding is that your contributions are taxed as part of your income already. The fact that the contribution comes roundabout through VGC/Serve or other means doesn't affect your income or taxes.
  15. Matt

    Matt Administrator Staff Member

    You just need to remember that you did contribute. If you fund via Serve, and the Serve is closed it is harder to find out 'what you did with all that money' when it comes to filing.

    No reason you can't pull this up on just the custodian side, providing they don't make an error.

Share This Page