A New Way to Triple Dip & Manufacture Spend

I’m currently in the middle of Saverocity’s Milemadness tournament. So far, the results have me in 2nd place or 1st place if you look at all the factors. As awesome as it looks, I don’t know whether I can keep it up due to my impeding cold that is probably going to last for the good part of the week. I will be writing another post soon showcasing how I was able to manufacture over 100,000+ points in one week but today, I want to talk about a way to Triple Dip when doing some manufactured spending.

Update: Looks like you have to add the Chase Ink Bold to Shopkick first to see the Office Depot deals.

Dip 1: Chase Ink Bold or Plus

Currently, the Chase Ink Bold or Plus cards offer 5X the points at office supply stores. This used to be beneficial for many as Office Depot once sold Vanilla Reloads on credit cards. However, nowadays most office supply stores only let you buy cards that are valued at up to $200. In addition to that, the cards usually come with a $6.95 fee. It doesn’t seem like the most lucrative amount but there are ways to make the cost of that fee drop. What you’ll need first is one of the Chase Ink Cards.

Dip 2: Plink

Plink is a shopping program that rewards you for shopping at different merchants. The overall concept is to spend a certain amount of money somewhere and in return, be awarded a set of points. Frequent Miler has talked about Plink extensively so I wont go into it that much. For the past few months, one of Plinks partners was Staples. They would offer 300 points for every $60 you spent up to 10 times/month. This meant that you could earn close to $30/month back in gift cards to offset the cost of purchasing from Staples.

You can use my Plink Referral Link if you’d like! You’ll earn 300 points for signing up!

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Whenever I shopped at Staples, I would go into the store and separate my transactions with the cashier. This meant that if I had (5) $200 Visa gift cards, I would run each gift card separately to earn 300 points each time. The cost of each gift card was $6.95 and Plink would help by offsetting around $3 from that bringing the cost down to $3.95. As great as this sounded, I could only do it 10 times a month and the gift cards I could redeem Plink points for were mainly stores like Amazon, Walmart and other retail outlets. As unethical as it sounds, you can technically take the $10 gift cards you get and cash them out for money at Walmart’s in California. I personally haven’t done that and don’t plan to but I just realized it while writing this post.

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Plink Rewards. Out of Stock but will come back eventually

As of March 11th, Plink dropped Staples and added Office Depot. In their clause, Staples was limited to 10 times/month but I see no mention of that with Office Depot.

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Dip 3: Shopkick

Shopkick has been around for a while now and they are more of a mobile app based company. They are almost the same as Plink but also offer extra “kicks” for walking into stores and scanning different items in those stores. Shopkick also offers points at Office Depot and is the third ingredient for this triple dip.

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When purchasing something at Office Depot, you’ll want to make sure to download Shopkick and add the credit card you will be using. Once added, purchase your gift cards one transaction at a time to maximize the value. Points usually take up to 2 weeks to post but they show as pending around 2 days after purchase. The below screenshot shows a test I did for one transactions for $1000. I did not split it up but plan to on my next run.

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Here is a link to the Shopkick rewards list. It is a little less valuable than Plink but these points add up.

Example

If I were to go into Office Depot tomorrow and buy $1000 worth of Visa Gift Cards, this is what the final costs would be:

$34.75 in fees ($6.95 * 5 cards)
$15 in Plink credit (300 points * 5 transactions)
$10 in Shopkick Credit (575 points * 5 transactions)

Total Cash Back: $25 to make costs go down to $9.75 (34.75-25)
Total Ultimate Rewards Points earned: 5170 ($1034 * 5X) = $71.34 according to Frequent Miler

As you can see, by using Plink and Shopkick, you can lower the costs of earning points from Office Supply stores.

 

New Amex EveryDay Cards Make It Easier to Earn Membership Rewards
Rocketmiles Offering 1,000 Bonus Miles in Washington, DC

Tahsir Ahsan (Bengali Miles Guru) flies over 200,000 miles per year. He helps people redeem miles all over the world as co-founder and senior award expert at Award Magic. Be sure to #FlyWithBMG on Twitter

  • Jeff

    “Bummer, you can’t get kicks when you buy at this store.” Triple dip is not an option in Portland, OR at this time.

    • Amol

      Try linking your card to Shopkick first (in the settings/when I buy section). it worked after I did that.

  • frank

    you can’t get shopkick from buying at office depot here in West Covina, CA

    • Amol

      Try linking your card to Shopkick first (in the settings/when I buy section)

  • Cogswell

    What do you then do with $1,000 in Visa gift cards?

    Also, your statement “Total Cash Back: $25 to make costs go down to $9.75 (34.75-25)” is incorrect. You are not getting $25 cash back, but essentially getting a $25 credit to a future purchase (for example on Amazon). It’s a critical difference – you’ve still paid $34.75. Anyone who studies consumer behavior knows that you will now spend your $25 in credit much more freely than you would have spent $25 in cash (and undoubtedly end up spending *more* than the $25)

    • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

      Use bluebird and walmart money center I’m assuming.

      • Kent C

        Use to be you could walk into a Walmart and move the gift money to BB easy but I’m skittish because I keep reading how this process may no longer work with some gift cards or at some Walmarts. Any truth to this? Don’t want to be stuck with $1,000s of gift cards.

        • tahsir21

          I usually do 1 of two things:
          My local grocery store lets me do split transactions on money orders so I go there and pay with 5 of these gift cards (use as debit, the last 4 digits of the card is the pin code)

          Or
          I go to walmart and use the money center machine to load my bluebird.

          It still works!

        • http://www.doctorofcredit.com/ doctorofcredit

          Haven’t had an issue, as always start slowly.

          Plus it’s not like visa gift cards are useless, at the end of the day you can always use them for regular expenses.

    • tahsir21

      I apologize for stating cash back and credit as the same thing. Plink does offer a card that can be used anywhere like cash as well. Reports of that are a bit odd but it is do-able.

  • shonuffharlem

    I love your blog and going out of the way for good tips. However, I think people are NUTS to give your credit card info out like this to those companies. Doesn’t Plink want to login your credit card account? Let me know if I’m wrong.

    • tahsir21

      I had that issue as well but it just matters on your level of trust. Unfortunately, to get these rewards, you do have to give them that kind of info.
      Thanks for the kind words!

  • disqust101

    What’s “unethical” about cashing out $10 gcs? It’s the law.

    What is unethical is charging $6.95 for a $200 gc. Or for years selling Visa/MC “debit” cards but never issuing pins so as to rip off consumers/merchants who had to absorb nearly 3% fees when debit swipe fees were a minuscule fraction of that.

  • David

    Also note that even w/a 1X card a person can come out “even” if wanting to get the CC sign-up spend (gas/time/etc not included). Every bit counts. Good article.

  • TS

    Office Depot did not let me to cahrge my Visa git cards to Ink Bold card. Cash only. So Plink and Shopkick are useless for gift card buying. Is there a way around it? Does it vary by store?

    • Scottrick

      It varies by store. I bought one not long ago. But they do get suspicious easily and are not always clear on the rules (there are three separate policies posted on different parts of the gift card rack).