In the article Average Joe Arbitrage 101, we talked about the ad that a local merchant ran in December of 2016. They were running a special on gift/debit cards. Buy, a gift or debit card for $100.00 get a $10.00 store gift card to spend on your next visit. I began buying these gift cards as fast as I could.
I was buying these gift/debit cards because I was doing a Manufactured Spending Run; I was focused on spending a certain amount of dollars in order to reach a certain spending level which would trigger a credit card bonus that I was after.
I bought each gift card for $500.00 which triggered a 2% rebate, or a $10.00 credit per purchased card. The cards costs $5.95 to purchase and activate. But, with each purchase, I got a $10.00 store gift card at the cash register. So, my total take per transaction was a $10.00 credit card credit and a $10.00 store credit. I then subtract the $5.95 activation fee (paid with cash).
Net results, $14.05 in credits per $500.00 gift card purchased.
Did I make a profit?
Yes. I achieved my credit card bonus as I met my spending objectives, which was $3,000.00.
I then received a credit card credit of $200.00. Which I used to pay down my credit card bill and I then pocketed those extra $200.00 to spend on my family.
So, I got my credit card credit of $200.00 (which is the same as cash). I received $150.00 in credit card credits (earmarked for my Hawaii vacation); I received fifteen $10.00 gift cards for a value of $150.00 (used to buy Christmas dinner).
A total value of $500.00 before I subtracted the $89.25 activation fees.
Not a bad haul for Christmas 2016!
But, in Average Joe Arbitrage: The Score!, we take our arbitrage to an even higher level!