I heard about Gyft today, for some reason this award winning app has been frequently flying under my radar, and whilst I am going through a heavy Cash Back phase for Credit Cards, and thoroughly enjoying the Fidelity American Express, there are times when Category Bonuses from banks like Chase with the Ink Bold at Office Supply Stores are just so attractive I can’t help myself.
The Ink Bold nets you 5x Ultimate Rewards, which you can use for awesome travel perks like Hyatt Hotels (some of the signature properties include the Park Hyatt Tokyo) for 22,000 points per night. When earning at 5x that means every $4,400 of spend gets you a room in one of these places, or a rather attractive $220 Statement Credit.
Many people in the Travel Hacking Community earned copious amounts of Ultimate Rewards from Chase by purchasing $500 Giftcards and quickly liquidating them, in fact so many people did this that they stopped stocking them in stores before Office Depot brought down the USA in the same way that the dodgy Greek government brought down their Country, Socrates would turn in his grave..
So, always onto the next big thing people are looking for new ways to get that 5x out of Chase, but with the highest denomination card currently $200 and coming with a fee of $6.95 the value is getting hammered. Though it can be argued that it is worth it to pay $6.95 for 1,000 Ultimate Rewards – an example of how you could use them would be New York to Tokyo in Economy Class for 65.000 which would net out to a cost of $451.75 which is indeed at least 1/3 of the retail price.
An interesting option for me is investing in a range of gift cards, purchased from an Office Supply store like Staples and using the Gyft App to manage them for me; this does mean that you are tying up some money, but at the same time the value here comes from the fact that Store Specific Gift Cards (rather than the Visa/Mastercard/Amex Cash Gift cards) don’t come with a fee. So if you are that person who simply cannot start their day without Starbucks – why not pick up a $50 Giftcard for 5x Points from Staples on your Ink Bold instead of getting just 2x on your Chase Sapphire Preferred?
The biggest hindrance to this has always been keeping track of your cards and remembering to carry them around with you. Gyft is an App for your phone, it works with either Apple or Android products and stores your cards electronically. This is also very useful if you want to stop for a coffee after a morning run and you don’t have your wallet with you. The App brings up a barcode that the store can scan and it deducts from the balance on the card.
This isn’t an earth shattering, Points Harvesting, Manufactured Spend, extravaganza by any means, but if you store up several of these cards you can with Gyft and reap the benefits of 5x at places that you frequent, without the hassle of carrying the cards or remembering the balances on them. Pretty cool.
Some Cards that might be of interest from Staples that can earn you 5x with the Ink Bold are:’
- Dunkin Donuts
Here is a full list of Dining Gift Cards, they are listed online, but I would buy them instore to save the shipping fee. DINING GIFT CARDS
- AMC Theatres
- Regal Cinemas
Here is a full list of Entertainment Gift Cards, they are listed online, but I would buy them instore to save the shipping fee: ENTERTAINMENT GIFT CARDS
Also, I like that they have Sears, Bed Bath and Beyond, and K-Mart cards, these can be bought, then you can go through a shopping portal to get a bonus on your order, and if there is an balance left on the card you simply carry it around with you in the App. I went for months with a $21 balance on a Macy’s card that I kept on forgetting to bring with me to the city.
Gyft is cool, free and helps you organize your cards, it is also an opportunity to earn a more miles on the purchases you make daily, which is a great thing for people who enjoy travelling for free! Get it from the App Store or Google Play.