Make Money and Earn Points on Your $1,000 PIN-Enabled Visa Gift Cards! [EXPIRED]

A couple of days ago, Daraius at Million Mile Secrets wrote about how you can get $1,000 PIN-enabled Visa gift cards from Gift Card Mall. As he notes, this has many advantages, particularly for people that are having difficulty purchasing Vanilla Reload cards to meet their minimum spend requirements.

Personally, my favorite use for this would be to go straight to Walmart to load the funds directly to Bluebird, then pay off my credit card amount using your Bluebird account (plus the $8 in fees). Frequent Miler wrote how you can do this through Walmart’s ATM machines so you won’t even have to talk to anyone if you’re feeling antisocial, except this is a little better since the entire $1K is on just one gift card.

Gift Card Mall 2

You should add the full $1,000 to get the best value!

But there’s also a way to get a little extra money back. People in the points world are very familiar with cash back websites, but usually shun them in favor of shopping portals that earn extra points instead of cash back (like the Ultimate Rewards Mall). In this case, Top Cash Back (my referral link if you don’t have an account – thanks for your support) is offering 1.5% off the purchase of Visa Gift Cards, and 2% off all other gift cards from Gift Card Mall. Yes, Visa gift cards are specifically broken out into a separate cash back category, meaning Visa gift cards will definitely earn cash back.

Let’s say you buy a $1,000 Visa gift card and pay the $8 for shipping and insurance as Daraius notes (I also recommend getting insurance). Your total cost will be $1,008. If, however, you go through Top Cash Back, you’ll get 1.5%, or $15, off the gift card price, bringing your total effective cost to $993 after cash back.

Now THAT'S a deal!

Now THAT’S a deal!


In terms of earning points, this is a total no-brainer! Using any basic credit card like the SPG Amex will earn you 1,008 points, plus you’ll make $7! Forget earning points at .8 cents per point…they’re now essentially paying you to earn points! I just signed up for 7 new credit cards in my recent App-O-Rama and will definitely be making use of this technique to meet my minimum spend requirements.


The cash back shows as pending immediately in your Top Cash Back account!

The cash back shows as pending soon after your purchase in your Top Cash Back account!

Note that the cash back from Top Cash Back is not instant – it actually has taken 2 months for some of my purchases. I used to use them heavily for buying and selling gift cards from Plastic Jungle (Plastic Jungle doesn’t work anymore) and Cardpool back in the pre-Vanilla Reload days. I’ve also used Top Cash Back to make several other purchases (I got 70-75% off from Banana Republic a while by buying discounted gift cards from Plastic Jungle, using a coupon, and getting cash back from Top Cash Back). Cash back makes sense in some cases, and particularly this one.

I've never had a problem collecting from Top Cash Back.

I’ve never had a problem collecting from Top Cash Back.

The best part is there’s literally nothing to lose. If you click through Top Cash Back and don’t get the cash back for some reason, you still get the Visa gift card for relatively cheap (the same exact price as buying Vanilla Reloads actually). As far as manufactured spending goes, this seems like a great way to increase spend while not breaking the bank.

Let me know if you’ve found other ways to sweeten the deal!

Update: Looks like there is a way to sweeten the deal! Commenter “Wedding Spend” below points out that you can get cash back from buying Amex Gift Cards via Big Crumbs (my referral link – thanks again for your support!).  You’ll earn another 1.4% cash back. If you buy a $3,000 Amex gift card, you’ll get at least another $30 back! Rake in the cash and the points!

Frequent Miler wrote a comprehensive post on how to take advantage of this extra cash back!


  1. Thanks!

  2. Awesome, thanks! Trying this immediately!

  3. Great find! I’m pretty sure it used to say that no money back was given for Visa gift cards. It’s great to see that change! I already placed an order.

  4. You know you’ve found a good deal when Frequent Miler himself says “great find”!

  5. The activation for these cards comes in a separate mailing. What is the purpose of the tracking?

    • Travel Summary says:

      Activation is done online at Tracking is so you don’t have to worry about your $1k being stolen.

  6. Jerry Mandel says:

    But Citi, Chase, and Amex charge fees and interest for any “purchases” that smell like cash advances (such as VISA cards). How do you get around that?

    • Travel Summary says:

      To my knowledge, Citi is the only one that codes these types of purchases as cash advances. I’ve had no problems with Chase or Amex before. Have you had a different experience?

      • Jerry Mandel says:

        The Chase and AMEX cards I have clearly say that they will charge fees and interest on such as VISA cards.
        Your fairy godmother must have put a good spell on you.

        • The banks say that they charge fees, but in practice they do not (except for Citi). Hopefully that won’t change!

        • Kevin Thompson says:

          I love it when armchair quarterbacks sit back and claim that this could never, ever work. All the while, those willing to put in some effort laugh and make out like bandits.

  7. Great news: after reading this I bought 2 $2K cards and I’ve already received a tracking notification from TopCashBack! When I view my account I see that $30 is pending from GiftCardMall. That means that, as expected, they give 1.5% cash back on the value of the Visa gift cards, but not on the shipping & fees. My total cost from GiftCardMall was $2013.38, so I’ll earn $16.62 profit, not to mention credit card points!

    • Travel Summary says:

      Thanks for reporting back – I just saw the same in my account and updated my post! Very exciting news.

  8. Loading bluebird with gcs is a bad idea. I posted why on flyertalk in the serve thread and in the pin enabled gc thread. Do so at your own risk.

  9. good post, thank you for sharing the info.

  10. Are these physical gift cards that get mailed to you (meaning you have to be physically present in the USA)? Or can you order online and get a virtual gift card? I’m an expat American in Australia who has been wanting to get in on these deals but not able to walk into any US based stores to do so.

    • Travel Summary says:

      These are physical gift cards that are mailed. I imagine shipping to Australia would be expensive if allowed!

      • Too risky, they can be used by anyone if they are lost in transit. I’m still waiting for a scheme that can be done entirely online. Can’t do AP as my husband doesn’t have a SSN.

  11. There’s one more step you should add to the beginning. Buy an Amex gift card via Top Cash Back or Big Crumbs first then use the Amex gift card to buy the $1k Visa gift card at giftcardmall to load it onto Bluebird at Walmart.

  12. Hi, As of today, May 21, it seems the TpoCashback link to Gift c ard Mall only offers $500 maximum denomination VISA gift cards, with 1% cash back – is that correct? If so, the cash back of $10 per 1000 spend equals the fees of $3.95 x 2 (500/ea denom) + 2 shipping.

    Any work-arounds to get $1K denominations?


  13. Curious if anyone has received their cashback from TCB yet? Mine still shows as Pending

    • Travel Summary says:

      Mine also shows as pending, but I’m not particularly worried. I’m confident the money will be there as long as it’s been tracked, which it clearly has.

  14. How do you cash out the amex gc’s that don’t have a pin?

  15. It’s actually very complicated in this busy life to listen news on TV, so I just use the web for that purpose, and take the most recent


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