This is another one of my hustles. I like to call it a “hustle” because it makes me seem like a bad-boy. Sadly, there’s nothing shady about this. It is, dare I say, smart.
I alluded to this in my most recent video “Field Trip For Dough To Blow”.
I have a Discover card that pays me 5% cashback on up to $1,500 in purchases, in different categories every quarter. This quarter (April-June) is Grocery stores.
I rarely use my Discover card. Alas, the 5% cashback makes me dust this sucker off. If you have the card, you can still sign in to your account online and activate the 5% cash back feature. Then, do what I do and you’ll bank some extra tax-free dough!
Like I show in the video below, pick up three Visa gift cards that allow you to load up to $500 per card. Tell the cashier you want to put $500 on each card. There is a fee of $5.95 per card. The grand total will be $1,517.85. As you can see, I did this on Monday.
The statement closed on the 20th and with it my $75.18 Cashback bonus hit my account. I already had 4 cents in my account, that’s why it says $75.22.
I directed Discover to shoot all of the available cashback to my checking account. Other options were to pay down my Discover card bill, use it for purchases at Amazon, and donate to a charity.
That’s great, but what do I do with $1,500 in Visa gift cards? I can use them anywhere Visa is accepted. The cards don’t expire for nine years! Frankly, that’s a lot of time for me to lose them. I don’t feel comfortable having them sit around.
I came home from the grocery store, logged into my Los Angeles Department of Water & Power account and pre-paid and OVER-PAID my bill. I used different amounts because I know from experience with this particular site that it gets confused if I make payments of the same amount.
Yeeeeeeessssssssssss, I know. Some of you are too busy for this. Or it seems too complicated. But if you and I are of the same mind, it’s fun! Bottom line is that it took me about 30 minutes total to buy the gift cards, use them on the LADWP site, and pay my Discover bill.
Lest we forget, the purchase fees on the gift cards came to $17.85. Subtract that from the $75.18 cashback and I really only cleared $57.33 cash back.
Keep in mind that cashback money is tax-free. If I were to work at my regular job and get taxed an overall (effective) tax rate of 25%, I would have to make $76.44 to be left with $57.33.
I know that is getting into the weeds a bit, but that’s how I rationalize that I am still making $75-$76.
Of course, I could have used the Discover card since April 1st to buy groceries. What a novel idea! Then I would have avoided any Visa gift card purchase fees. I actually did that with another 5% cashback card. Chase Freedom had “Grocery stores” in their 5% cashback category this quarter as well.
If you don’t have a Discover card, new cardholders get their cashback doubled for their first year. That’s a really nice deal. FYI: You get 1% for all purchases that aren’t the 5% cashback categories.
You can find more information on these 5% cashback cards under “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offer$” at the top right side of this website. Click “Cash Back Credit Cards”. Email me if you have any questions. Thanks for using my links!