Would you like to get paid to nod to your store’s greeter? That’s kinda what Big Crumbs, Ebates and TopCashback do for you. They are websites that give you cash back, just for going through them on your way to your store’s website. Before you buy something online, see if that store is one of the 1,500 or so that they each have on their roster.
There’s no catch here. These cash back portal sites get paid a commission from stores that you connect to, through them. You get a taste of their commission jingle-jangle.
When you arrive at your destination online store, use your cash back or rewards credit card to make the purchase and you’ll earn those rewards as well. Cash back portal dough + credit card rewards… Stack ’em baby!
Time Shift Wrinkle
Cash back portals are also a handy way to meet minimum spending requirements on your new credit cards. Type “American Express Gift Cards” in their search box, and you will be connected to American Express where you can buy gift cards.
Let’s say you signed up for a new credit card. If you spend $X in 90 days, you will get a nice sign-up bonus. You realize that 90 day window is about to close. You want the sign-up bonus, but it does not make sense to waste hundreds or thousands of dollars on junk just to get the sign-up bonus.
Use your new credit card to buy an American Express Personal gift card. Make sure the amount of the gift card you purchase is enough to cross your new card’s spending requirement threshold for the sign-up bonus. Voila! You have met your new card’s spending requirement for the sign-up bonus.
When your newly purchased gift card(s) arrive, use them anywhere American Express is accepted, whenever you want. Plus you’ll get cash back for buying the gift card through one of the cash back portals. Pretty sweet.
If you are interested in getting a card that offers a huge sign-up bonus, click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.
Do not use Citicards to purchase American Express gift cards. Word on the street is that Citi treats that as a cash advance fee. No bueno.
Cash Back Portal Work-Around
If you use a cash back portal, you will be offered gift cards up to $500. There is a way to get higher denominations, up to $3,000. Once the portal connects you to American Express, scroll down to the bottom right side and click on “Gift Cards”.
You will be taken to a new page. Go to the top of that page and click “Personal Gift Cards” and ”Personalized”. Fill out the form for up to $3,000.
There is a shipping fee of $8.95 for gift card orders of $200 or more. The shipping fee can be avoided if you sign up for the 90 day free trial of Premium Shipping offered during check out.
American Express has a purchase charge of $3.95 per card. That is why it is best to have higher denominations. Fewer cards = lower purchase charge total. Thankfully, Amex offers promo codes which waive the per card Purchase Charge fee. These come and go. Try ADMINGIFT, ADMINGIFT1, or PHONEGIFT.
I did this recently for gift card denominations of $2,000 and $2,001. As you can see, my shipping and card fees were waived:
Can I get a Gift Card Directly From American Express?
Yes, but you’ll miss out on the cash back.
In my example above when I bought $4,001 in gift cards, I used the cash back portal Big Crumbs. I received $56.01 cash back from Big Crumbs PLUS the $4,001 in Amex Gift cards.
If you opt to go directly to American Express WITHOUT using a cash back portal, you would be offered gift cards up to $3,000 without having to go the “Personalized Gift Cards” route. You can also do the 90 day free trial of Premium Shipping to avoid that fee, as well as the promo codes to Purchase Charge fee. But like I said, you will not receive any cash back.
Speaking of tastes, I get a small commission as well if you click on one of these referral links to sign up for an account at Big Crumbs, Ebates and TopCashback. Not a big deal if you don’t – but I appreciate every crumb, big or small!
Here’s the email I received from Big Crumbs regarding the cash back from this purchase: