Ultimate Strategy of Fuel Rewards Network 2/2

If you never sell stuffs online, the strategy described on the previous post might be a little overwhelming. If there is a way to turn an AmEx gift card into cash easily, you will earn the reward over and over. Of course, there is no such a perfect method. However, there is a way to do so with a little work and some conditions.

Sell AmEx Gift Card on eBay

selling amex gc on ebayThe fastest way to turn AmEx gift cards into cash is to sell them on eBay. Look at the picture. It shows how much fee eBay and PayPal charge you. To get $500 by selling $500 AmEx gift card, you have to sell a gift card at the price of $574.40 (plus shipping cost). Obviously, it is a bad deal for eBay buyers. I guess nobody buys it. But what if you sell five $100 gift cards? For $100 gift card, you need to sell it for $115.15. On eBay, some gift cards are very popular. For whatever reasons, some people pay more than face values for those gift cards. Please remember about $3.95 purchase fee on each card when you buy AmEx gift cards, and $115.15 doesn’t include it. American Express offer free-purchase-fee promotion very often. You can take advantage of the promotion when you sell AmEx gift cards on eBay.

eBay’s Policy of Selling Gift Cards

ebay gift card policyHowever, actually I have never tried to sell any AmEx gift cards on eBay because of eBay’s gift cards policy. According to the policy, you cannot sell Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express Prepaid cards regardless of the amount on the card. You cannot even sell used (no-value $0) prepaid cards as collectibles if an expiration date on the card is within 10 years. Despite the policy, so many cards are sold on eBay. You rarely see active listings of Visa, MarsterCard, Discover, and AmEx because they are sold quickly. If you click “complete listings” or “sold listings”, you will see a lot. It seems easy to sell $100 AmEx gift card for $115.15, but what if buyers report a charge-back? The items are prohibited by the policy, so I don’t think eBay’s seller protection covers these transactions. I sent a question about it to eBay by email, and I’m waiting for an answer. Until my question is clear, I don’t want to risk losing money by selling AmEx gift cards on eBay.

Buy Visa Gift Card

visa gift cardThe reason of converting AmEx GCs into Visa GCs is that Visa GCs are much closer to “Cash form” than AmEx GCs. Unlike AmEx GCs, Visa GCs have some features of Debit Card. Depending on stores, you can get cash back at registers. And more conveniently, you can load BlueBird or Serve with Visa GCs, and then pay bills, withdraw cash at ATM, or transfer to your bank account.

Now, the cycle is completed. You can buy another AmEx GC. There is one problem, though. That’s Visa GCs charge a purchase fee. Purchase fees vary depending on types and denomination of Visa GCs. You should choose a GC with low percentage fee.

Ways to avoid the purchase fee

There are ways to avoid the purchase fee of Visa GCs. Exactly speaking, you can never avoid a purchase fee, however, by using the following store’s gift cards, a purchase fee are offset. Here are what I have found so far.

  • Buy 6% or more discounted Target GCs, and then buy $100 Target Visa GCs with Target GCs
  • Buy 3.5% or more discounted Staples GCs, and then buy $200 Visa GCs with Staples GCs

target and staples gift card secretBoth Target.com and Staples.com allow to purchase gift cards with their own gift cards. If you can get these store’s GCs with equal to or more discount than a purchase fee of Visa GCs, you may as well avoid a purchase fee. It is kind of hard to find 6%-discounted Target GCs, but you can always find 3.5%-discounted Staples GCs at Gift Card Granny. This step may take extra time (a week or so for store’s GCs to be delivered). Instead, you don’t lose money in transactions of purchasing Visa GCs.


That’s all I can come up with so far. To earn a lot of rewards, you have to spend a lot of money. American Express Gift Card is the perfect choice. Use AmEx GC for everyday’s spending unless your credit card has a better reward, such as Blue Cash Preferred 6% Cash Back at grocery stores and Chase ink 5% Cash Back (5X) at office supply stores. And you can buy Visa GCs to boost up the speed of the cycle. The reward shows up and is available for you to use approximately 30 days later. By keep doing this strategy, you get a steady flow of gas reward.

You can join in Fuel Rewards Network online. FRN card will arrive 7 to 10 business days. You need FRN card to redeem the reward, but you don’t need it to earn reward. Start earning today! Click here to sign up (it’s free!)

Why do gift cards on ebay sell for more than face value

Sometimes, gift cards on eBay are sold at prices more than their face values. You may be wondering why it happens. I am, too. I went online to research and saw lots of discussion in many forums. From them, I learned cash back or promotion can explain some of them. And today, I experienced that myself. I bid at eBay auction and won. The price is more than face value of the gift card, 104.44%. Here is a detail.

500 target gc for $522.22

The item was $500 Target gift card. It was auction style listing and ending in a few hours when I saw it. Before logging in eBay, I received an email from eBay that notified me about eBay Bucks promotion. It was:

Earn 10% eBay Bucks on every qualifying single item of $250 or more on June 4th to June 5th

I received an email 3 hours before the promotion started. I have seen the same type of eBay Bucks promotions throughout the year (sometimes 4%, qualifying on $50 or more purchases, etc.), but they appear at random. So, you need to keep an eye on your emails.

earned $52.22 ebay bucks$250 is not cheap (at least, for me). You shouldn’t buy something expensive just to meet requirements for 10% eBay Bucks. But if you choose gift cards for stores that you regularly shop, it will be fine. So I chose Target gift card and bid at the auction. I won the auction for $522.22, which was my max bid. I will get $52.22 in eBay Bucks. Considering this, I got $500 Target gift card for $470. It is exactly 6% off. According to data at GiftCardGranny.com, 6% discount is more than the average for Target gift cards and 5% REDcard discount as well. It won’t take a month for me to spend $500 at Target, but I can even boost up spending by using this strategy (of course, without frittering away).

6% discount is not only the bargain I got from the transaction. That is because I earned 0.5% cash back ($2.61) from BigCrumbs.com. And I paid with American Express gift card linked to my PayPal account. When I purchased AmEx GC, I earned 4% equivalent reward ($20.88) from Fuel Rewards Network.

This is why I spent more money for a gift card which has less value. However, the money I paid is only 104.44% of actual value of the gift card. I still cannot understand why some gift cards or reload packs are sold at 150% to 200% price. In the forums, people are saying that it’s fraudulent, money laundering, or stupidity. But I feel that there must be a secret, and I hope I will figure it out someday.

Earn $30 through PayPal Credit Card Promotion

earn 30 dollar with paypal credit card

I received an email about Father’s Day Promotion by PayPal Extras MasterCard. According to the email, you will get $10 statement credit for every eBay purchases of $50 or more made with PayPal Extras MasterCard between June 2nd and 15th in 2014, a maximum of $30 in statement credit. It doesn’t say anything about eligible or non-eligible items, so it seems any purchase on eBay will be qualified. Currently, I bid at many auctions of gift cards, but I’m not sure if I will win and spend $50 or more on eBay by June 15th. So, I bought one $50 eBay gift card for now, and maybe two more later if I don’t win any actions.

ebay gift card

Make sure to activate offer prior to purchases.

activate offer

This is an easy $30 statement credit earning!!!

2X Points on eBay Shipping and Seller Fees with PayPal Extras MasterCard

earn 2x on ebay shippingTo maximize the reward of PayPal Extras MasterCard, let’s make all PayPal transactions charge on PayPal Extras MasterCard. Once you active the credit card, make sure that PayPal Extras MasterCard is your preferred way to pay with PayPal. When you buy something on eBay, it automatically charges on the card. It doesn’t matter you have enough money in your PayPal account, or you added other credit cards or bank accounts, it charges on the credit card as long as you choose this option.

However, PayPal Extras MasterCard can’t be used as an automatic or recurring payment, such as monthly membership fee of health club, subscribing a magazine, etc. Although you choose PayPal credit card is your preferred way to pay with PayPal, these payments withdraw from a regular PayPal account or bank account or charge on other credit card. If you want to earn 2x reward points on these payments, you need to cancel subscriptions and pay each month. (or year, every time, etc)

eBay shipping labels and selling fees are the type of payment that you can’t pay automatically. eBay shipping labels and selling fees are not cheap, I’m sure all sellers want to save money on these payments. Here is how to pay eBay shipping labels and fees with PayPal Extras MasterCard.

Step 1: Choose PayPal Extras MasterCard is your preferred way to pay with PayPal

Login > View card details > Update account preferences > Change (Check out preferences)

choose paypal mastercard as a preferred way 1

choose paypal mastercard as a preferred way 2

choose paypal mastercard as a preferred way 3

choose paypal mastercard as a preferred way

Probably, it’s been already done when you got approved or activated the card. Just make sure.

Step 2: Cancel Automatic Payment for eBay Shipping Labels and Selling Fees

Log in your PayPal account and click My Account > Profile > My Money

cancel ebay shipping 1

Click “Update” on the row of “My preapproved payments”

cancel ebay shipping 2

Find “eBay Inc” in a list and click

cancel recurring payment 1

Click “Cancel” and do the same for “eBay Inc Shipping” (Don’t worry about a discount on labels you are receiving from eBay. It will continue.)

cancel recurring payment 2

Step 3-1: Pay eBay selling fees

Go to your My eBay and click “Account” tab and Click “one-time payment” in a section of “Payment methods for Seller Fees” and complete the transaction.

pay selling fee by paypal mastercard

From now on, you have to do this every month. Don’t bother click “Change automatic payment method” and enter card# of PayPal Extras MasterCard. You can successfully set up an automatic payment in this way, but you will earn only 1x reward points because the transactions don’t go through PayPal.

Step 3-2: Print eBay Shipping labels

Go to the page of shipping labels, click “Purchase postage” With the box unchecked. Enter email address and password of your PayPal account and complete the transaction.

leave it unchecked

From now on, always leave the box unchecked. And you will need to enter the password every time you pay for shipping labels.

Paying all PayPal transactions by PayPal MasterCard will boost your earning of reward points. Remember that you can redeem the points for gift cards. The higher face value of gift cards you check out, the higher value of points. For example, $25 Sears gift card needs 3300 points (1pt=$0.00757), $200 needs 22500 (1pt=$0.00888). Enjoy your rewards!

How to Pay eBay Shipping labels with Credit Card

When I started selling on eBay, I didn’t have any reward credit cards. Back then, I was so eager to have one because I would get cash back on whatever I pay for. I was planning to pay everything including merchandises, grocery, gasoline, eBay fees and shipping labels. Finally, I got my first cash back credit card (Discover it) and start using it on merchandises and eBay fees. However, I had trouble to setting up for paying eBay shipping labels by credit card. Actually, the procedure is very simple and easy. If there were an instruction to follow, I could have avoided all hassles. So, here is how to pay eBay shipping labels by credit card. If you have eBay or PayPal Extra MasterCard, it is a different procedure (much easier, but I had a big hassle again because of ignorance. Click here to see how to earn 2x points on eBay shipping labels.)

Step 1:  Cancel an existing automatic payment for eBay shipping labels

Log in your PayPal account and click My Account > Profile > My Money

cancel ebay shipping 1

Click “Update” on the row of “My preapproved payments”

cancel ebay shipping 2

Find “eBay Inc Shipping” in a list and click

cancel ebay shipping 3

Click “Cancel”. Don’t worry about a discount on shipping labels you are receiving from eBay. It will continue.

cancel ebay shipping4

Step 2: Set up an automatic payment for shipping labels with another PayPal account

Go to eBay and try to print a shipping label. Check the box below “Purchase postage” then click “Purchase postage”. If you see the box checked, just click “Purchase postage” and it will show you an error message. Then, go back to the page and the box is now unchecked. Check the box again then click “Purchase postage”.

ebay shipping by credit card

Choose “Create a PayPal account”

create a paypal account

Enter the information of your credit card, name, address, phone#, email address (other than one used by an existing PayPal account.) and password. Check the box and click “Agree and Create Account”.

enter info in new paypal accountenter info in new paypal account 1

Now, the whole process is done. eBay Shipping Inc will automatically charge on your credit card. You should never receive money or add a bank account to a PayPal account you just created. If you add a bank account, eBay deducts shipping fees from the bank account. A balance of new PayPal account has to be always zero, otherwise it will deduct from a PayPal balance.

Please note that some credit cards have a limit on fee-free transaction. For example, Chase ink business credit card has a limit of 200 activities a month for free transaction fee. Over 200, it will charge 40 cents per transaction. You’d better avoid using these credit cards for paying shipping labels.

If you have eBay or PayPal Extras MasterCard, you can earn 2x points on shipping labels. But, because of a characteristic of the card, the procedure is different. Click to see “2X Points on eBay Shipping and Seller Fees with PayPal Extras MasterCard

Is PayPal Extras MasterCard Good or Bad?

If you ever read reviews of PayPal Extras MasterCard, you will see many negative ones. Most of them complain about its reward program. They are telling the truth. It has low value of reward point. But if you use it correctly, PayPal Extras MasterCard is not bad at all, or rather one of credit cards you must have.

You earn 3 points per dollar on restaurant and gas, 2 points per dollar on eBay and PayPal, 1 point on everything else. When you redeem points for $50 cash back, you will need 6000 points. This means 1 points = $0.0083 (0.83% cash back). This is cheap. However, PayPal Extras MasterCard is the only credit card you can earn extra bonus on eBay purchase. Today, you can’t find eBay gift cards in any department stores or supermarkets, so buying gift cards with a credit card offering bonus reward is no longer available. And, not only eBay, but also many merchants accept PayPal. Use this card on eBay and PayPal only, nowhere else and the cash back will be 1.66%. This beats 1.5% cash back of Quicksilver Cash Reward.

You can also redeem points for gift cards. The higher denomination of gift cards you choose, the higher the value of points will be. For example, $25 Sears gift card needs 3300 points (1pt=$0.00757), $200 needs 22500 (1pt=$0.00888). And there is always one featured $25 gift card that need only 2500 points to redeem (1pt=$0.01). So, using the card only for eBay and PayPal gives 1.66% to 2% back to you.

$25 ebay gift card for 2500pt

eBay has its own reward program, called eBay Bucks. It doesn’t matter that you pay by PayPal credit card. You can receive eBay Bucks in addition to the reward from credit card. If you are an eBay seller, this card is much more valuable. You will earn 2x reward point by paying your selling fee and shipping labels as well (read “2X Points on eBay Shipping and Seller Fees with PayPal Extras MasterCard“)

Please note that maximum points you can earn in a card year is 50,000. If you use the card for only Paypal purchases, $25,000 is eligible for the reward points each year.

In a nutshell, PayPal Extras MasterCard is the best credit card for those who use eBay and PayPal a lot. Use the card for all merchants who accept PayPal, NOWHERE ELSE. No gas, no restaurant, either because there is a limit on point you can earn in an year, and there are other credit cards offering equal or better reward program for them.

You don’t buy stuffs on eBay? After you read some posts about gift cards, you will. Gift cards are essential items for money saving, and eBay is one of the biggest markets of discounted gift cards!