Sheckels In The Citi

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ShekelBills2Yesterday’s post $252 Tax Free in Two Hours told you how you can get up to $300 tax free via drugstore purchases through March 31. 2014.  You can get that $300 by spending a grand total of $47.40.  That is exactly what I did last month.  It’s all legal and above board.  Here’s how it is done:

First you will need a Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card.  Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on this card and more.  If you don’t already have that card, right now, you will be able to pick up another $100 when you spend $500 on it in the first 90 days you have it.

Secondly, you will need a free Bluebird account which you can get by clicking here.

Once you have the Citi Dividend card, you must register for the 5% cash back categories.  Log in to your online account to do so.  Drugstores (including CVS) are in the 5% cash back category this quarter.

VanillaPrepaidReloadCard_smOnce the 5% cash back categories have been activated on your account, walk in to CVS or any drugstore that sells Vanilla Reload Prepaid Cards. Take a good look at the photo of the card.  There are other Vanilla card products.  You want to make sure you get this one.

I used my Citi Dividend card to buy $6,000 in Vanilla Prepaid Reload cards at a CVS stores.  One CVS store told me they had a limit of $1,000 per day per customer.  Another did not bat an eye when I took their last five Vanilla Prepaid Reload cards.  See screenshots below from my credit card statement.

You can load up to $500 on a Vanilla Prepaid Reload card.  You do that at the cashier when you are checking out.  There is a $3.95 fee per card.  I bought a total of 12 cards on which I loaded the maximum $500 each.  My Citi Dividend card was charged a total of $6,047.70.  That was $6,000 in Vanilla Prepaid Reload cards + $47.40 in fees.  See screenshot below.  There is no tax on the transaction.

BluebirdToMortgRentBillsThen you put the $6,000 that’s now in Vanilla Prepaid Reload cards into your Bluebird account via telephone or online.  I simply scratched the hidden code off the back of the Vanilla Prepaid Reload cards, and dumped $1,000 per day from them into my Bluebird account.  Bluebird limits you to loading $1,000/day (rolling 24 hours), $5,000/month.  The money shows up in your Bluebird account instantly.

Use Bluebird like any online checking account, including paying your rent.  I use it to pay for things that I cannot pay for with my credit card, like my mortgage, property tax and credit card bills.

When my statement dropped a few days ago, I had $300 in new Dividend Dollars waiting for me.  So, I signed in online and clicked “Redeem”.  You can only redeem in quantities of $50.  That is why I could not redeem the other $5.10 in my account (screenshot below).  When you use the Citi Dividend card to make purchases that are not in the 5% categories, you get 1% cash back.

This takes some time.  It took me a couple hours.  Since I don’t make $126/hour after taxes, and I had some free time, I did it.  Now, I have money with which to splurge.  Hello five new pairs of jeggings!

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