Month: October 2014

More Discount Now! 15% off Sears Gift Card on eBay

15 percent discount sears gift cardSince Oct 22nd, eBay is offering a good deal on Sears gift cards. Until yesterday, the discount was 10%, but it is more discount now.

$100 Sears gift card for $85, limit 2 cards

or (maybe “and”)

$200 Sears gift card for $170, limit 1 card

Both are 15% off!

In its listing page, it’s described “limit…. per eBay user ID.” But don’t use multiple IDs to purchase GCs more than the limit. It is against eBay policy, and they will cancel all orders. (see details here)

I did it myself and got cancel all my orders. After money had been refunded, I tried to purchase yesterday. But the error message popped up. It seemed eBay recorded I had already purchased although it got canceled. (see details here)

However, there is no error message today. I guess eBay consider today’s item (Sears GC) is different from the item being sold until yesterday.

Anyway, I was able to check out $200 GC. The time of writing this post, several hours have past. I haven’t gotten any warning message from eBay.

And, maybe I can buy more. When I add $100 GC to the card, there is no error message. The listing doesn’t say “the limit is $200″, but “limit 1 or 2 per eBay user ID” on each listing page. I guess eBay considers these two items as different items. So, maybe I can buy another $200 (2 x $100 GCs).

I didn’t check out, though. To be safe, I will wait till the $200 GC is shipped. The deal may be going to end by then, but I just don’t want another problem.

10% off Sears Gift Card still available on eBay

I received email on Oct 22nd, and it said “Today Only.” But the deal has existed since then. 10% Discount Sears Gift Card on eBay. Limit two $100 GCs or one $200 GC per person.

The description says “Purchase limit ….. per eBay user ID.” This made me think it would be OK to buy more than $200 GCs with multiple eBay IDs. So I purchased (8) $100 GCs in total with my four different IDs. Hours later, I received warning messages to all my eBay accounts. (see details here)

Today, I received email from PayPal that told me Giftcardmall had issued a refund. As you see, there are four emails. eBay canceled each transaction of each ID.

10 percent off sears gc cancelationpaypal refund on sears gc

As long as I can tell, you can’t buy more than $200 Sears GC during the promotion with multiple IDs and ONE PayPal account. I don’t know if you can buy more when you use different PayPal addresses as well as eBay user IDs.

My question is “now that all transactions are canceled, can I buy just one $200 Sears GCs?” I tried to purchase, but there is an error message, “Unfortunately, these items are not available. They may have been purchased already or the item listing has expired”

error on ebay

Now I know I had lost the deal, and it’s not retrievable. If you haven’t bought yet, don’t try to buy more than the limit or lost all deals.

Purchase of Merchant Gift Card was treated as Cash Advance by Citi

One day, I logged in my Citi account to check my available balance of my newest credit card, Citi Double Cash, and glanced at my recent transactions. Then I noticed that there was a pending transaction of $10 as a cash advance fee.

10 dollar cash advance fee

I was aware that Citi treats a purchase of AmEx gift cards as a cash advance. And they may also do so for an online load of AmEx Serve. So, I had completely avoided using Citi credit cards for these transactions.

To find out why I was charged a cash advance fee, I scroll down the list of transactions. And I found “MORTGAGE CO/NONFINANCIAL INST/TRAVEL CHK” category on one of them. Here are the details.

cash advance by citi

The transaction was a purchase of discounted Lowe’s gift card from I didn’t use the credit card directly but through PayPal. Earlier, I linked the credit card with my PayPal account so I can eliminate the process of entering card number and an expiration date during checkout (as long as merchants accept PayPal.)

In the same way, I bought discounted gift cards from The transaction was posted as “Purchases” and categorized as “DISCOUNT STORE

I made another transaction through PayPal at, but it was actually eBay transaction. I bought eBay gift cards. It was posted as “Purchases” and categorized as “COMPUTER NETWORK/INFO SRVS

And there are lots of transactions of  purchasing shipping labels for my eBay business. There are also posted as “Puchases” and categorized as “BUSINESS SERVICES,NOT ELSEWHERE CLASSED

I also use the credit card directly for the purchase of discounted gift cards because the following sites don’t accept PayPal.

A transaction at is posted as “Purchases” and categorized as “MISC GENERAL MERCHANDISE NOT CLASSIFIED

A transaction at is posted as “Purchases” and categorized as “ADVERTISING SERVICES

I sent an email to Cardflip. They told me that it’d never happened, and I should contact Citi. I called Citi, and a representative said, “I can’t change transaction types or categories. The system just decides them. Whatever you buy from them (Cardflip) are viewed as a cash equivalent by the system. So, it will be treated as a cash advance.”

I don’t think this is right. Lowe’s gift cards are redeemable at Lowe’s only. I bought Lowe’s gift card to save money on the purchase of merchandise at Lowe’s. If purchases of discounted gift card incur a cash advance fee and interest, which is usually higher than the regular interest rate, the existence of gift card exchange sites has no meanings.

So, I sent the second email to Cardflip, suggesting to work on changing category from “MORTGAGE CO/NONFINANCIAL INST/TRAVEL CHK” to something else that is appropriate. Because they sell ONLY merchant gift cards, not even single Visa/MasterCard/AmEx gift card or traveler’s check.

Although the response to the first email was prompt, there was no response to the second email. I’m very disappointed. I could stop buying from them, but not this time. If the same thing happens to other bank’s credit card, it will be the end of my business with them.

As for Citi, although I hate their “the system”, sending balance transfer offer over and over, the benefit of Double Cash (2% cash back) is valuable. I lost $10 for cash advance fee and a few more dollar for an interest charge, but I will get them back soon. If you buy $500 Visa GC with $5.95 fee, cash back will be $10.12. It’s a money maker. I will need to keep an eye on the statement and learn Dos and Donts. And let the card work for me.

Earn 3X Rewards from Moosejaw thru Nov 2

3x rewards moosejawThrough November 2nd, Moosejaw offers 30% back in point on the purchases of regular priced items, 15% back on sales priced items. A maximum of 50,000 bonus points ($500 moosejaw credit) can be earned on the the code “3XREWARD“.  The points cannot be earned on Gift Cards, Patagonia, Western Mountaineering, GoPro, Garmin, Suunto, Kuhl, and Marmot. You can use the code only once.

In addition to bonus points, it is great time to upgrade VIP status of Moosejaw Rewards. Highest VIP status, EVEREST, offer 100% bonus on base points you earn anytime in the next year. I have already earned EVEREST. When I buy regular priced items during 3X rewards promotion, I will earn 40% back in point. Read this post for more details.

Don’t forget to visit shopping portal site. They offer relatively high cash back rate on the purchases at Moosejaw. The highest rate is 10% from ShopDiscover, or Active Junky.

Just for Today! 10% off Sears Gift Card on eBay

10 percent off sears gift cardToday (10/22) only, Gift Card Mall on eBay sells $100 Sears gift card for $90. Limit 2 per eBay user ID, which means you can buy more than two if you have or create another eBay user ID. I have four IDs in total. Three for selling and one for buying. I checked out two gift cards each through all IDs I have. So, I purchased (8) $100 Sears gift cards in total.

In addition to 10% off deal, you can also earn 2% eBay bucks!

gift card mall on ebayI noticed after check-out, but they sell $200 GC, too. If you choose $200 GC, the limit is 1. So, whichever you take, you can buy up to $200 per eBay user ID.

If you want to create another eBay user ID, it is very easy. All you need is different email address from one you use for your main user ID. You don’t have to create another PayPal account. You can use the same PayPal account when you purchase through any user ID. And I used the same PayPal account for the purchase of Sears GCs without problem.

The gift cards are physical cards. And they offer free shipping as usual. I don’t know if they will combine all eight GCs. If they do, a total value exceeds $250, and someone will need to sign to receive. And most likely, they ship with UPS. If they send separately, they probably use USPS, and you don’t need to sign to receive.

You can redeem GCs at Sears and Kmart, in-store and online. Hurry, it ends today!

Please note that I thought it was OK to buy more than 2 GCs through different IDs, but I received warning message from eBay hours later.


We’re pleased to have you as part of the eBay Community. However, we are contacting you regarding a violation of eBay?s Site Interference policy.

Listings promoted on the eBay Deals have a limit on the amount of items you can purchase, primarily to maintain an equal marketplace for all members and allow other eBay members the opportunity to take part in the eBay Deals. Using multiple accounts to circumvent this limit is a violation of eBay policy.

We have become aware of purchases using multiple accounts associated to you that exceed the quantity allowed per buyer. We understand that you may not have been aware of this policy, and we invite you to learn more about this policy at the link below in order to keep your experiences on eBay pleasant and successful.

You are still welcome to purchase from the eBay Deals section, but you are advised to limit your buying activity to use of a single account when doing so. The items you purchased by violationg the policy will be cancelled at this time. Please be aware that additional violations of this policy may result in your further purchases being cancelled and a restriction of your buying privileges. We appreciate your understanding.



I’m not sure they will cancel all of them or leave first one and cancel the other ones. It seems they will cancel all of them because exactly the same message were sent to all email addresses. So, DO NOT buy more than 2 by using multiple IDs. At the time of receipt of the email, purchase history of all my eBay accounts doesn’t show about a cancellation.

Updated on 10/29/2014. I received eight Sears GCs in four envelopes (2 GCs each). I checked the balance of gift cards, and they all have $0.

sears gift cards from gift card mall

What a waste…

3X Gas Rewards on Visa Gift Card Purchase at Stop and Shop

3 times gas points on visa gift card purchasesThis week, 10/17 – 10/23, Stop and Shop supermarket has a promotion of Gas Rewards program. When you purchase Visa Gift Card, you will earn 3X points. You need to look for $20-500 variable gift cards. Unlike small denomination of GCs, the variable GCs are a little hard to be found. Even if they are not on a rack with all other gift cards, you should check on racks at cash registers, especially the racks between registers. People tend to overlook GCs there, and those GCs may be left for a long time.

variable visa gift card at stop and shopI was lucky to find the variable GC on the gift card rack. There were several more GCs on the same rack. I tried to pay with my newest credit card, Citi Double Cash. Double Cash offers 2% cash back. Variable GCs charge $5.95 purchase fee, but cash back from credit card will be $10.12. The cash back will pay a purchase fee and leave a profit! However, transaction was declined. So I purchased with another credit card that offer 1% cash back.

It is still great deal. Cash back will be $5.05. So, I paid only 90¢ for $1.50/gal discount deal. Since you can redeem for up to 35 gallons of single fill-up, $1.50/gal discount is worth $52.50! Unfortunately, my car’s gas tank is small. It takes only 15 gallons. $1.50 x 15 = $22.50, it is still a good deal.

Citi Double cash was declined. It turned out to be a fraud alert. I received this email from Citi about ten minutes after swiping the card. I confirmed this transaction and clicked VALID. It won’t be declined in the future.

citi fraud alert

I don’t know how much I can earn through this offer because the ad doesn’t say about the limit. But I’m going to buy at least two more.

Get Elite Plus Status | My Best Buy Reviews

my best buyBest Buy has its own rewards program called My Best Buy. It’s free to join. You can earn 1 point on every dollar you spend both online and in-store. The value of point is $0.02. You can redeem them in 250 pt (=$5) increments. So, it’s 2% back.

Earn reward on gift card purchases, but not on redemption

It is very easy to collect the points because you can earn the points on purchases of not only regular merchandises but also Gift Cards, Phone Cards, Prepaid Cards, etc. You can even earn the points on the purchase of Best Buy Gift Cards. However, you won’t get the points when you redeem Best Buy gift cards. If you buy $299 digital camera and pay with $100 gift card and credit card, you will earn 199 pt.

VIP Status

There are two levels of VIP status, Elite and Elite Plus. You will reach Elite status by spending $1500 in a calendar year, Elite Plus by spending $3500. Same here, the purchase of gift cards is a qualified spending for VIP Status, but the redemption of gift cards is not. Here is a comparison of VIPs and Basic status.


  • Get 1 point for every $1 spent
  • Free Standard Shipping on purchases $35 or more at
  • 15-Day Return & Exchange Promise


  • Get a 10% point bonus (1.1 point for every dollar spent)
  • Free Shipping and Free Scheduled Delivery on all online purchases
  • 30-Day Extended Return & Exchange Promise

Elite Plus

  • Get a 25% point bonus (1.25 point for every dollar spent)
  • Free Expedited Shipping and Free Scheduled Delivery all online purchases
  • 45-Day Extended Return & Exchange Promise

All gift cards and prepaid cards are excluded from all bonus point promotions unless otherwise noted. Bonus points will not be multiplied

How to Earn VIP Status Quickly and Easily

visa gift card at best buyThe benefits of VIP Status is valuable. Base reward and 25% bonus account for 2.5% back in Best Buy reward certificate. Free shipping on all order is helpful because most of the popular items are not always available for a pickup in your area. 45 days is enough time to test and evaluate products. Whether you are a frequent buyer or shopping several times a year, you should get highest Elite Plus status because you can get very quickly and easily by purchasing Visa gift card at Best Buy Stores.

Again, you can earn reward points on the purchase of gift cards. Currently, Best Buy sells three different designs of Visa GCs in stores. They all charge $5.95 purchase fee. And you can choose an amount to load between $20 and $200. If you buy one $200 Visa GC, you will earn 205 pt, which is worth $4.10. If you use a reward credit card, you will earn at least 1% cash back = $2.00. The points and cash back totally cover a purchase fee.

Best Buy is a very MS-friendly store. I’ve purchased at five different stores, and none of them refused me to use a credit card. Probably, there is a limit you can buy at a time. I have once bought three Visa GCs in a single transaction without any problem.

Visa GCs from Best Buy is issued by MetaBank, which is the same issuer of ones from Staples. So, you can load BlueBird and Serve with them at Walmart.

Best Credit Card for Best Buy Purchase

As long as I know, there are two credit cards that have bonus on the purchases at Best Buy. One is US Bank Cash+ Visa. If you choose Electronics Store for 5% cash back bonus, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $2000 spent every quarter. The other is Citi Dividend. Its 4th quarter of cash back bonus usually has Best Buy in category. You can earn 5% cash back on up to $6000 spent.

How Long Does the Status Last?

Once you get VIP status, it lasts a full of the same year and the next year. It will expire on the end of February of the following year. For example, if you become Elite Plus in July, 2014, the status will expire on February 28th, 2016. If you spend $3500 in 2015, the status continues until February, 2017.


While most loyalty reward programs exclude gift card purchases from earning their reward, My Best Buy allows to earn a reward by purchasing gift cards. This makes it easy to get VIP status by purchasing Visa GCs in store. If you have credit cards that have bonus on Best Buy purchases, you will get several-hundreds-dollar worth of product for free every year!

Best Buy Co, Inc.

$5 Target GC with Target Visa Gift Card Promotion

target visa entertainment gift cardI ordered $100 Visa Entertainment Gift Card at because I wanted to know if it includes $5 Target gift card as described in the website. (see details here)

I could have asked without buying, but I don’t really mind if there is no $5 Target GC because ShopDiscover would pay 5% cash back. Cash back from ShopDiscover and credit card’s reward would cover a purchase fee of $6 entirely.

I purchased three $100 Visa GCs. The cards arrived. There was no Target GC in an envelope. I opened individual packages of Visa GC. There was no Target GC, either.

I contacted with customer service by email. Response was quick. They sent three $5 Target GCs by email.

Now I know, there is $5 Target GC bonus come with $100 Visa GC. It’s a great bonus. So, I purchased five more Visa GCs. However, this transaction was not great at all.

First of all, I didn’t receive a confirmation email of cash back from ShopDiscover. I have purchased Visa GCs so many times. Every single time, ShopDiscover sent an email next day and posted cash back properly, but not this time. I wondered why and logged in ShopDiscover. Then I noticed that had disappeared from a list of retailers of ShopDiscover.

It’s been two weeks since I noticed this change. didn’t get back to the list. It seems that is no longer a partner of ShopDiscover.

Second, I didn’t receive $5 Target GCs either. I contacted with customer service as I did for the first order. This time, however, I received the following response,

We’re sorry to hear that the GiftCards were not as expected.

I’d be happy to help with this issue, but it would be best discussed over the phone. Please give us a call at (800) XXX-XXXX and provide the team member you speak with this reference number: XXXXXXX

We’re always working to make an even better place to shop, and your feedback is a big help. Thanks for getting in touch.

So, I called the number. After 30 minutes on hold, Rep told me that the promotion has ended, and my second order was not qualified for the promotion. I checked the website and saw a short description “include $5 Target Giftcard” removed. I told her that the website said, “include $5 Target GC” when I ordered, and it said so even when I received Visa GCs. But she kept saying the same thing. I asked when exactly the promotion ends. She didn’t (probably couldn’t) answer and just kept saying the same thing, “The promotion ended, your order isn’t qualified, thus we can’t issue Target GCs.”

Rep couldn’t answer my question because there were no terms and conditions for this promotion. No one could find any details of this promotion. All you could find was a short description “include $5 Target Gift card.” It was very vague. And I guess it exactly what they wanted. They kept it unclear so they could end the promotion anytime they wanted. It is very bad practice towards customers.

One question is still remaining.

Can I buy Visa Entertainment Gift Card with Target gift card?

Unlike the other Visa GC, there is no warning description, “Card cannot be purchased with a Target GiftCard” on the page. I purchased the other Visa GC with Target GC. But only one time. Later I tried, but they cancel the orders. (see details here) What about Visa Entertainment GC?

I shop a lot at local Target store and like their products, prices and atmosphere, but customer service of both online and in-store sucks. I had only bad experiences in customer service. I have had enough problem. Nothing would hold me back from performing an experiment.

Experiment: Place an order of Visa GC with Target GC.

Result: The order is canceled.

I could place an order and receive order confirmation email. but just one minute later, I received another email of cancellation. Now, I stay away from Target Visa GCs. There may be other portals that pay cash back on gift cards purchase, but not better than ShopDiscover 5%. Without any deals, $6 fee is too expensive.

What happens when retailer cancels your order with Amex Offer?

When I redeemed a recent Amex Offer “Get $5 statement credit when you spend $15 or more at“, I had a little trouble. My initial plan goes like this:

  • Buy $15 Walmart E-Gift cards with my two American Express cards
  • Buy $30 Starbucks physical gift card with two $15 Walmart E-gift cards

walmart egift card cancelIn this way, I can get 33.3% discounted Starbucks gift card. (see detail here.) I placed the first order, but Walmart canceled my order about 10 minutes after I placed the order. When I submitted an order, I received an email of “Thank You for using your Synced Card!”from American Express in no time. Then, a few minutes later, I received the order confirmation email from Walmart. But, ten minutes later, I received another email for telling me that the order was canceled. The reason of cancellation is not clear. The email said,

Thank you for shopping with Unfortunately, due to an error processing payment information, we have had to cancel the following order

For sure, I entered credit card number correctly because I received an email from American Express.

The email also said,

Since this order hasn’t shipped, your account was never charged. Any authorization hold placed on your account will automatically expire in accordance with the card issuer’s policy. Please contact your financial institution for more information

However, there is a pending transaction in the history of my credit card. So, I just waited until this pending transaction would disappear.

Although I received “Thank You for using your Synced Card!” email from AmEx, the offer of Walmart had been in MY OFFERS (a list of offers that is synced, but not yet redeemed), not in MY SAVINGS (a list of offers you redeemed).

When a pending transaction disappeared from the history, the offer of Walmart stayed in MY OFFERS. I placed another order of E-gift card, but the order was also canceled.

I waited another a few more days and then placed an order of physical gift card. This time, it went through. I didn’t receive an email from AmEx, but $5 statement credit was posted a few days later.

If the order is canceled after a statement credit is posted, it is probably a different story. As long as the transaction is still pending when retailers or you cancel an order, you won’t lose Amex Offer.

Changes took effect on Chime Card on Oct 8th

As all cardholders of both of Chime and PayPal Business Debit (PPBD) card expected, Chime started charging 3% fee for loading Chime card with PPBD card. An email that Chime sent last month says:

“Some” debit card transfers may also incur a fee of up to 3% that will be assessed to yourChime Card account. This will not affect a majority of bank issued debit cards and we will exclude fees on debit cards from “major banks” including; Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, U.S. Bank, Comerica Bank, and USAA.

It turns out that PPBD is one of “Some” debit cards incurred a fee, but I wonder what are “Some” other cards they charge a fee.

chime no fee with debit card transterPPBD is issued by The Bancorp Bank, which is also the issuer of Chime. And I have another card issued by the same bank, PayPal Prepaid MasterCard. I added this card to Chime account and found out that they don’t charge a fee.

Next, I added Mango Money card. And there is no fee. Mango is issued by First Bank & Trust. I believe this isn’t a major bank. I actually added money with two cards and made sure that they didn’t charge a fee.

Is there other card they charge a fee? I guess not (at least not so many.) It seems that purpose of this change is Chime needed to stop manufacture spending with PPBD and its own card. PPBD offers 1% cash back. Every load (add money to Chime with PPBD) is eligible for 1% cash back. If you set PayPal Extras MasterCard (credit card) as back up funding source of PPBD, you can also earn 1X reward points from credit card, which is equivalent to 0.83% cash back. That is why a fee is 3%. (I guess.)

chime reload with debit cardYou can link up to three debit cards. I removed PPBD and linked Walmart Money Card issued by Green Dot Bank. And there is no fee, either.

You won’t be able to use Chime for manufacture spending, but adding money with debit card online is still useful. Mango Money and PayPal Prepaid card have a savings account. I want to withdraw the interest earned every month because they offer lower APY to deposit exceeded $5000. (Read “Mango Money Card Reviews” and “PayPal Prepaid Reviews” for more details.) I don’t have to take the cards out of a drawer to unload the cards. It will be all done in a minute without leaving home.

The rule of a maintenance fee of $5.00 hasn’t changed. It’s charged ONLY AFTER 180 consecutive days of no purchases, withdrawals, or deposits on your account. Chime offers are less frequently updated than before, but I found it still beneficial. So, I will keep the card, check and redeem Chime offers from time to time.