Big bonus points via Barclay’s shopping portal

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First off, congrats to all who last month took a look at my post about earning your own Delta mistake fare with the Barclay’s Arrival card. You are about to be rewarded for that choice. First the steps with this and at the bottom there are some WARNINGS to keep those in mind please.

bonus points for shopping amex gift cards from barclays (1)

Step one is to go to your Barclay’s account as you normally would to see the balance etc. Once there go to your Arrival card page. You should see on the right side the box for the “Earn miles with Reward Boost Shop Now” box. Just click it.

bonus points for shopping amex gift cards from barclays (2)

Step two is just about as simple all you do is click on the “gift cards” link you see above.

bonus points for shopping amex gift cards from barclays (3)

Then look around as you may not see the box in the same place as I have it on the screen but you should see the AMEX Gift card and you should see “Earn 4/$” under it.

bonus points for shopping amex gift cards from barclays (4)

When you click that it will take you to the AMEX shopping page and you should be set to go to get 4 Arrival points for each dollar you spend on AMEX gift cards. Keep in mind you are getting not just the 4 points but when you redeem them 10% back so NET you are get 4.4 points. That is sweet. Plus, if you shop with your Arrival card you are ALSO getting 2 points per dollar spent thus full boat all in your are talking a 6.6% reward for this transaction. WOW!

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Next you land at the AMEX gift card shopping page. You can buy their stock ones but a better choice is the larger cards but again be sure to read my WARNINGS below also. Clear?

bonus points for shopping amex gift cards from barclays (6)

Lastly you can order a custom card with your name on it and at a value up to $3000! Those are the simple steps. What are all the WARNINGS to consider. First, don’t go crazy. Yes, this is an amazing deal but there is also the TopCashBack that is normally going on (i.e. you earn cash rather than extra Arrival points, now 3% but often 1-2%). (EDIT: BeFrugal is paying 3% many times too). I have ordered the larger gift cards from TopCashBack and have been paid even though there are warnings that only up to a $500 card will count. I would not see why the Arrival site will not work the same way and with a HT to Frequent Milers Quick deal site he expects the same.

What to do with the AMEX gift cards? Well you can just spend them rather than use your Arrival card. Pay for normal stuff. Another thing you can test (this works for me local but may not work for you), is buy Vanilla Reload cards at C.V.S. If you buy 2 of them at $496 each i.e. with fee you end up at $999.90 you are under the $1000 level when they ask for your ID and you can just pick “credit” on the machine and then just read the last 4 numbers to the clerk on the card when they need that. If you got a custom card with your name on it even better and do sign the back of the card. All helps if you go this route. Again TEST SMALL first or you may be stuck just using your gift cards for normal spending.

Other bits. Again, if you go nuts or hog wild with this things could go bad. You could get order canceled with AMEX or worse. Also there is an unlimited 1 year free shipping for $99 that I use. You can test it free for 90 days (they will bill you if you don’t cancel in time). Can you use your Delta AMEX to help meet MQD exempt spend and earn Arrival (4x) and then Delta (1x)? I would not see why not (and I will be testing) but I know the TopCashBack does work confirmed! Lastly there is a code to remove the card fee: FPVALAF   Will using this code result in no bonus points? Most are saying it has no effect but I personally pay the fee as the perks I am getting offset this tiny fee and I feel like I am giving a bit back – all just a personal choice on my part. – René

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  1. Great tip! I have an Amex offer on my account for fee waived gift card purchase. Assuming this will work? ( would be giving up the 2xs on Barclays but saving fee)

  2. Rene,

    What do you see is the issue for trying to stay under $1000 so you do not need to use your driver’s license?

  3. @Craig – I would think that $999.90 makes it easier to zero out an even number (per $1000) put on the card. This amount also includes being charged for the “other” card’s fee.

  4. Huh! I hadn’t thought of this $496 trick. I was just tending to buy a single $500 card per trip after they started doing ID scans at my CVS. It’s not a big thing I know why they are doing it, is paper trail to track possible money launderers. But it is annoying.

  5. In the past on other cards, I know some online gift card purchases have been coded as cash advances. Do you worry that this one may somehow be counted as a cash advance?

  6. Rene,
    I assume you only get those 4x points if you click through AND use the Arrival card for the charge…yes?

  7. Rene,
    I assume the 4x points on Arrival only come when you finish the purchases using the Arrival card? I would love to use the Arrival click-through and then charge it on my Delta AMEX

  8. Thanks for your prompt reply to my last question! Do you know how long this offer has been around how long it will be here? I’m waiting on a card to arrive in the mail before purchasing a couple gift cards.


  9. The T & C of that promo code make it pretty clear it won’t work for this:
    “Offer is only valid on the purchase fee. Shipping fees will apply. Offer valid through 2/15/14 and only for web orders on Offer does not apply to Gift Cheques, Logo Gift Cards, eGift Cards and Photo Gift Cards. Terms and conditions apply to Gift Cards and Business Gift Cards. Promotion intended for user presented with the offer and is not valid on purchases made through partner sites. Purchase must be made via the link provided with offer. Offers are subject to change without notice.”

    Still a great deal though!

  10. @Delta Points: I buy at over 5 CVS’s and their machines only prompt for an ID if the total of the reload/gift cards are $1000 or higher. So I get 2 VR’s for example at $496.05 each and my total is an even $1,000 with no prompt from the register for an ID scan.

    Even when I buy VR’s by themselves, I can get one card for $500 and one for $499.99 and it doesn’t prompt for ID even though the total is over $1,000.

  11. Looking to jump on this but would love some feedback/actual experiences and updates:
    1) CVS taking Amex gift cards for Vanilla Reloads (never done one before to Bluebird, so thinking this would be a great first try, but nervous for some reason)
    2) Using link from Barclays, but then paying for gift card with Delta Amex (for MQD spend purposes) – still getting the Bonus points on Barclays?
    3) Fee waiver on Amex Gift Cards via Amex offers – or using the code on this post – does that void bonus points from Barclays?

  12. My problem is that all the CVS’s in my area (San Francisco) do not allow credit/debit/gift-cards for purchases of gift cards (vanilla reloads, etc.).

    I understand you can move only $5K/month of amex gift cards into Blue Bird.

    Know of any other way to launder amex gift cards into cash?

  13. I had three problems.

    1. I could not figure out how to make a card with your name on it. How?

    2. It would not let me use the promo code to waive the gift card fee. Instead, it automatically put its own promo code in for free shipping, which could not be changed. Free shipping is worthless, as you can buy and refund the $99 annual free shipping deal. How do you put your own promo code in?

    3. How much can you buy without Amex banning you? I don’t want to get banned, but want to buy as much as possible.

    Incidentally, Barclays only gives 2.2% now, so you are better off with TopCashBack’s 3%.

  14. What stores sell Visa debit cards, and allow you to use an Amex gift card to buy it?

  15. @Dan – there are many. Check your local area. My local grocery store sells them and no problem with my AMEX gift card (I don’t wave it around I just swipe it and then hand the card, with my custom name on it, signing the back too, and done).

  16. Thanks. Didn’t realize I could use the Amex gift card directly at Walmart to load onto Bluebird. Thought I had to buy debit cards with a pin first.

  17. So how do the points all work out again…?
    If I use, say, a Chase Sapphire (1x points) but go thru the Barclay portal…do I get 4x points (UR) on my Sapphire card?
    But if I used my Barclay then obviously it would be 2x plus 4x.
    Or does it all go to Arrival points no matter what?

  18. @Ryan – if you have an Arrival card, and go via the Arrival portal, you would get 4x Arrival points and 1x UR points if you paid with Chase Sapphire. If you start at TCB you would get 3% cash plus 1x UR points.

  19. Acceptance of gift cards by PayPal further simplifies manufactured spend. It’s been a long time coming.

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