[EXTENDED Indefinitely!] $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon Malls

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Update 12/26/19: We just received word from our contact at Simon corporate that these $1,000 Visa Gift Cards have been extended indefinitely. This is awesome news; it will continue to be very easy to quickly generate a large amount of spend at low cost via Simon Mall.

Update 10/22/19: Simon corporate has reached out again to advise that this deal has been extended until at least December 31, 2019.

Update 8/21/19: As per communication from Simon corporate, this deal has now been extended once again and Simon Malls will sell $1,000 Visa Gift Cards with a $3.95 activation fee per gift card 10/31/19. As a reminder, this deal is open to all folks interested who come to the office and request the cards. New customers are welcome to buy, but see my post about Mistakes to avoid on $1K Simon Visa Gift Cards if you’re new to the field. I encourage those new to go slow and test what works before getting in over your head. Still, this is awesome news overall.

Update: We’ve just received word from Simon corporate that this promotion is being extended until the end of August! That’s awesome for those looking for more volume. Keep in mind that the $1,000 Visa Gift Cards are available for anyone who asks, even those new to purchasing Visa Gift Cards at the mall — you just need to go to the office / customer service desk at your mall and request these cards as they are not out on the racks. Nice to see this continue!

Simon Malls has confirmed earlier reported rumors that they will be selling $1,000 Visa Gift Cards with a $3.95 activation fee per card from July 17 – August 4, 2019 August 31, 2019 (update: this has been extended indefinitely) . That’s awesome news for those looking to rack up spend at very low cost. With the activation fee representing just under 0.4% of the face value of the cards, it will not at all be hard to find a credit card on which such a purchase would be a net win after accounting for liquidation costs. This is great news.

The Deal

  • From July 17, 2019, Simon Malls now offers $1,000 Visa Gift Cards with an activation fee of just $3.95 per card

Key Details

  • Not available online (in-mall only)
  • Will not be available prior to July 17th, 2019 (no, your mall won’t sell them to you early)
  • Daily limits are presumably the same ($10K / day until you’ve established a big buying pattern, at which point regular buyers can buy as much as $25K in a day)
  • Call your mall in advance to let them know when you’re coming so they can be prepared and help you breeze through

Quick Thoughts

This is great news. While the numbers here might not beat a fee-free promotion at an office supply store, the convenience of $1K cards is worth the $3.95 fee for many people. That should simplify liquidation for those who live in an area where liquidation is possible. Even for those who don’t, a deal like this might make it worth stocking up and getting in the car for a road trip weekend to find a place to liquidate.

As noted at the top, the activation fee here represents such a small percentage of the face value of the cards that it certainly shouldn’t be difficult to earn rewards that outweigh your cost. Keep in mind that Amex has not been awarding any points on Simon Mall spend, so you will not want to use an Amex card for these purchases. Also be mindful of ramping up spend slowly on cards with other banks — going from zero spend on a card to a $10K purchase is one way to increase the odds of a shut-down.

I recently took a weekend road trip and unexpectedly passed by a Simon Mall I’d never been to before. The cashier in the mall office couldn’t have been friendlier or happier to sell me gift cards and even reminded me before I left that if I call ahead next time they will have the order set up so the process could be faster. I’ll definitely be back when it is convenient.

Keep in mind the money order limits that may exist at your preferred liquidation outlets if you’re ramping up spend and always have a backup plan in case one door closes.

Also see our list of best big spend bonuses and best rewards for everyday spend for ideas as to what cards may be worth using for various bonuses (again, keeping in mind that Amex cards are out).

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[…] the value proposition of this MS method, thus all of the excitement over Simon Malls offering a $1,000 gift card with only a $3.95 activation fee or when you see an offer of a no-activation-fee gift […]

Captain Greg

Bought and liquidated my first $1k simon mall card today. It was pretty easy, but two notes/questions:

1) When I bought the card, the simon mall rep. said the card was already activated and there wasn’t a pin. I didn’t think much of it until I was liquidating it at a WM 15 minutes later and it asked for a pin number. I put in “1111” and was declined. Then I wised up slightly and tried the last 4 digits of the card and was approved. Is this standard when you aren’t given a pin?

2) For smaller denomination gift cards (thinking like the $50 publix deal or $200 no fee staples offer), is it totally fine to just make a small purchase and then get the maximum cash back (often $100)? I’m just thinking of worst case scenarios in case I ever have problems getting a MO.

Captain Greg

Ah. Thanks for answering my newbie questions!

[…] up on the offer, mainly due to the potential hassle this might introduce. Meeting the $2,000 spend shouldn’t be difficult, but my wife is currently under 5/24 (I know, shameful yet awesome). If authorized user cards push […]

Aaron

I’m very new to manufactured spending and somehow ended up here, so I apologize if this question is redundant, but would buying four of these (4 x $1,000) meet the minimum spend ($4,000) for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

bullfrog23414

What’s the over/under on when the other issuers decide to squash this AMEX-style?

MartyM

We don’t have a Simon Mall nearby. Can they be purchased online?

MartyM

Also, is Capital One Spark Biz a useable card for this MS…I’ve got a big Min Spend to meet!

Jeremy

No. In person only.

MartyM

But, I can buy the $500 card online that I could use for ms, just like the 1k one, correct? Just paying a little more?

James

False.
You can buy $1k cards. You just have to get a Simon volume account first & make 5 orders before being upgraded to the $1k cards

Fred

Not 1k but you can buy $500 cards online.

James

Yes, you can buy $1k cards. You just have to get a Simon volume account first & make 5 orders before being upgraded to the $1k cards

Doug S

How do you get a Simon Volume Account?

James

Have a business, apply online, provide any info they request about your business. I was approved in less than 24 hours.

Odell Beckham

How do you do as sole prop

Merchant

Any idea what the processing fees to the merchant is if processed as debit? Wondering if I can profitably self liquidate through my business.

Ryan

Why would anyone buy gift cards? This whole thread is ridiculous

Ryan

Why spend on gift cards when you can buy what you need wi5 your credit card and earn the same points plus bonus categories. Just sounds ridiculous.

MS for points

@Ryan

May be you should learn more before making the ignorant comments?

As Nick said, most people would spend $3K to $5K in 90 days to buy what you do not currently need, just to be able to meet the minimum spend requirement to earn a sign up bonus on a new card.

That is just the starter.

Anthony

I have a Simon Mall about 1 hour from me. What does it code as on various cards? Is it only good for meeting minimum spend or are there category bonuses? TIA.

Miz

Nick, I understand that the purchase does not code as one of the common bonus categories. Yet it still codes as something. Do you know how does the transaction code on Visa and MC?

Anthony

It codes as a General MISC Retail purchase. I have a BBVA Clearpoints which gets 3% Cashback on Retail Purchases and this qualifies.

Ken

Thanks. Most informative post on this thread. The minimum I get on any spend is 2.625 and using a variety of cards I get 5 percent on well over 50 percent of my spend so this would not work for anything for me. I
was a MSer from years ago when MS was real. (Think Old Blue and vanilla reloads, red bird, blue bird etc etc) Now it’s basically means running around from mall to mall to make yourself feel like your getting a deal.
MS is basically dead. Sign up bonuses are okay to get 200 to 500 once in a while but the real deal is gone.

toomanybooks

Excellent, thanks.

LarryInNYC

Great. Can you please ask them to introduce $10K cards? 🙂 This is a great method to pay my quarterly taxes but the two card limit limits the velocity.

toomanybooks

Any word on whether this is to be extended into 2020? Thanks.

Charlie

Same question here

john

so in the end what CC would you recommend using to by Simon CC

Mel

do you know if you can use the Capital One Sparks card to buy the Simon Mall gc

Phil

Yes, I’ve used the Cap 1 Spark Cash multiple times and have earned rewards

voyager

Did you use it at Simon to get the signup bonus at all?

Phil

I met the majority of my min spend through a combination of Simon and GCM

voyager

Appreciate the DP. I’m just nervous about doing minimum spend on Spark at Simon or GCM. I guess CapOne is not as strict about it as Amex. Thanks!

voyager

Thanks. Wish you further luck. I have been shut down, because of Venture. At least I got the initial $500 bonus on Spark before they shut down all of the accounts.

joe

How much were you putting on it?

Glen

YesssH!

[…] [EXTENDED to 10/31!] $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon next week (Expires 10/31/19) […]

[…] became the main “everywhere else” card in my wallet. Additionally, when Simon Malls began selling $1,000 Visa Gift Cards with an activation fee of $3.95 in July, this became one of the main cards we used to purchase gift […]

Brayden

Hey there!

Thanks for making this post- it’s been really helpful! I have a friend who works at the Simon Mall which is how I first heard about MSing. Basically though my parents (who also just started doing this in FL, I’m in MN) and I are running into an issue that I’m wondering if others have as well? One Walmart in particular that is right near the mall I go to to get the GF’s has told me that because the card states “giftcard” on it, that it is against policy to allow me to use it as payment and told me I needed to leave. That same day I tried 3 other Walmarts and hadn’t had any issue at all. My parents had an issue at 1 location and not the other. Now, we both called Walmart cooperate for some clarification, stating it was a prepaid debit card with a pin number and wanted to hear what they had to say. I’ve talked to two different people and was told 2 different things.. The first rep said per policy any gift card is not allowed, even prepaid one’s with a pin number. The second rep said it was okay since it was a debit card with a pin number. My parents rep said it was also okay, but they did not specify to the rep that it had “giftcard” on it.

I’d like to avoid going back to this Walmart but for time and gas $$ it’s the closest to the mall/ not out of my way and I’m just wondering if there’s a way to get around the fact that it SAYS gift card on it? It would seem that as long as they don’t know it says giftcard on it, you’re okay, but if they know then they automatically deny or don’t know this policy? I was also told that MoneyGram was the policy writer for this, but haven’t been able to call them. Just looking for some ideas on if you’ve gone back to a Walmart that’s originally denied you or if you’ve had a similar experience? Thanks!!

Macro Polo

You’re in an area that’s saturated by high volume MSers. MSers that are a lot more well versed in etiquette than you are. You need to keep a much lower profile. Otherwise, you should go back to Washington state where you came from. Can’t believe people like you are being paid to move here. You’ve been warned and welcome wagoned! Welcome to the South…where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.

FYI that Walmart has been bad for 4-5 years now. Locals know that.

Burton

I have only used them at WM three times, all in the last two months, and all happened to be with the same duo behind the desk. I split transactions and made no attempt to hide they were gift cards and they didn’t care. I could go back a 4th time and be shot down and I’d just feign ignorance and move on. There are plenty of other places in your area to liquidate. Calling corporate or attempting to argue with the local employee/manager accomplishes nothing positive.

As Nick said the only way to “get around this” is to try at a different time/day. You might find out this is something the store’s managers are passionate about and mandates that every card is inspected prior to allowing MO to be purchased with debit cards. In that case you probably should not keep trying there. If it is just one or two employees that care don’t try buying when they are working the desk.

veeRob

Haven’t seen much discussion on this… why isn’t Plastiq processing these $1k cards as a debit card?

Greg The Frequent Miler

It’s been a while since Plastiq has processed gift cards as debit cards. They’re usually treated as credit cards now. Every now and then someone finds a particular gift card type that still works as debit, but that’s rare.

veeRob

Really? I guess I just got super unlucky, cuz when I tried a Simon GC and saw it processed as credit, I tried the first other GC I had and it processed as debit, so just assumed it was a problem with Simon rather than a rarity on the other card.

Brant

I’m using SM $1K VCG’s to reach 15K points on my recently upgraded Hyatt CC to get the free night. When does that type of certificate expire? I need to time my spend completion accordingly.

[…] year spend: get 25x on IHG spend plus 4x “everywhere else” for the first year. With the current Simon Mall $1K Visa Gift Card promo now extended to October 31st, a couple of readers have asked whether they should consider this card to earn 4x […]

mark

That’s a lot of exclamation points.

Shalom Shalom

Hi. I spoke to the mall just now. They told me that if I buy a $1000 visa gift card then they’re going to require me to fill in a form for the government. They couldn’t explain what this form is for and all they said is that they’re required to ask me to fill it for that it’s a large amount and it’s per federal regulations. Does anyone know more on this? Is that required? What is this form about? Thank you!

Shalom Shalom

Thank you very much Nick! appreciated.

Preacher

1. Do Simon Malls take Discover?
2. Does Discover pay out cash back on GC?
3. How MS friendly is Discover?

Phil

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Very

[…] [EXTENDED to 8/31!] $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon next week (Expires 8/31/19) […]

[…] case you missed it: The ability to buy $1,000 Visa gift cards at Simon Malls has been extended to 8/31/19.  Usually gift cards are capped at $500 […]

[…] said, it might be a worthwhile gamble in the short-term if you’re able to meet the spend (and I have some ideas as to how you could) and take advantage of Mileage Bargains while you […]

[…] case you missed it: The ability to buy $1,000 Visa gift cards at Simon Malls has been extended to 8/31/19.  Usually gift cards are capped at $500 […]

Mike B

I realize that AMEX is no longer paying out regular points for Simon GC purchases. For my Delta Reserve, it sucks losing those extra SkyMiles. But I mostly use my Delta Reserve for meeting the spend thresholds (up to $60K) to obtain the extra MQMs (30K) for maintaining elite status. Will the Simon GC purchases still count on my Delta Reserve for meeting the $60K spend requirement for obtaining bonus MQMs?

Greg The Frequent Miler

Sadly, no

[…] [EXTENDED to 8/31!] $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon next week […]

Unclesam

I called both the Simon malls near me in DFW area and they said the promotion ends Aug 4. Is this really nationwide or local to your area?

Unclesam

I got a call back from one of the malls confirming that the deal has been extended.

[…] linked in the previous paragraph). If you’re driving, add a side trip to Woodbury Commons to recoup some points. Pro tip: ask for a table near the kitchen in The Bocuse if possible when you reserve. The entire […]

Steven Spivack

Can the card only be used in Simon Mall stores or can they be used anywhere?

carter smith

Can you use Venmo instead of MO

Dan

I can confirm Venmo works. It does recognize it as a debit card, so no fees. Might be handy for an odd card or two here and there, but you can’t really make use of this at scale due to Venmo time/quantity restrictions on how many new cards you can add to your acct. So, limited usefulness.

TJ Park

Does anyone know if SM takes Apple Pay to purchase the gift card?

TJ Park

Being able to earn 3x (4.5% cashback) on nearly all of my spending overseas where Apple Pay is accepted (which is just about everywhere on Europe and Canada) I certainly don’t want to kill the golden goose. Hope others would exercise the restraint too even if 3x earning is possible at SM.

[…] 8/1/19: Frequentmiler reports this has been extended through August 31. I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a […]

Jennifer

Unfortunately, the Simon Outlet Mall near us didn’t get the $1000 cards.

MSer

They are the exact same blanks as the 500s. If they sell gcs, they can sell $1Ks.

[…] $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon next week (Expires 8/4/19) […]

JBCH

Hey Nick, I went to the MIM, FL mall and I was told they only sell these to people with corporate accounts or businesses. The guy said he couldn’t sell to the general public. Is there a link to the simon mall offer somewhere I can show him? I would appreciate it. Thanks.

JBCH

Yes, that’s the one. You’re the man!

voyager

I’m kind of glad Amex is out of the game actually. As heavily invested as I am with them, there’s no need to worry about FR or even shutdown. Since there are many people MSing now, I suspect there will be a spike in CC spend next week across the board, more than just a “blip”, enough to draw attention with likely adjustments by some CC issuers. I’m not planning on using any CC that I deeply care about for this gig.

guest

As someone said, “It will be fun” until more issuers like Amex no longer pay out for Simon. Citi has already blocked some Simon Malls.

Joe

Is there any reason people drive a long distance to pick these up when the website will ship them for $.89 for 4 $500 gift cards? Obviously I don’t know if the 1k will be available online but if so it saves me over an hour drive each way. Am I missing something here?

Jacob

Guaranteed getting them, having them instantly, one swipe for MOs vs 2 for a 999.12, only available in store

Greg

I’ve read some stuff online about how to MS, but it all seems vague or incomplete. Is there some kind of bible to this that I can check out? I plan on only doing a few thousand every few months, at most, but I’m curious about how people accomplish 10k+/month. I really want to understand it all.

Joe

Thanks guys, I don’t know that I will be using them for volume, more to hit min spend– getting harder here in the NE to liquidate though I still have 2 Bluebirds alive and can do limited MO’s.

Doug S

And wouldn’t four $500 gift cards have higher purchase fees than two $1000 cards

Mike

Haven’t done any MS since a little bit of redbird. So essentially going with the GC/MO nets you roughly $20 for each 1k GC per stop at a Walmart and subsequent deposit? Still seems like a lot of work, compared to some of the older loop holes.

Rob

Paying taxes ought to work well with $1000 GCs, as long as OfficalPayments accepts Simon Gift Cards.

Ed L.

And yes, that is exactly my question. Does anyone know if Official Payments, Pay USA Tax, and Pay 1040 accept Simon VGCs?

Here’s how I see this working:
1. I have a bonus spend promo on my Fidelity Elan 2% cashback card. Buying a bunch of Simon VGCs gets me most of the way to the promo level.
2. For each Simon VGC, cost is about $4. Add about $3 for paying estimated taxes with a debit card. So that is a cost of $7. On a 2% cashback card, you’re getting $20 cash, so you net a profit of $13 per $1000 VGC.
3. Max is 6 $1000 debit payments per quarter = $78 profit. I’m not getting rich, but this helps cover most of my other MS costs, leaves me a small profit, and helps me with the Elan spending promo.

One more question, if anyone knows. Are third quarter estimated tax payments allowed after Aug 1 or is it Aug 15?

freqflyercoll

I was able to use Simon Gas for the 3 federal tax payment processors last year, but I just tried a Simon GC for 2020, and Official Payments doesn’t seem to be taking it. I just registered the card today, so maybe that hasn’t been fully processed so I’ll try again tomorrow, but hopefully they work!

Greg

I’ve never really done any MS and have just recently gotten into the points game. I think I’m about to start doing it though because I’d like to apply for another credit card and I won’t be able spend enough for the bonus without buying gift cards. Let’s say I buy $3000 in gift cards at Simon malls and then want to liquidate it. Is it better to do 3 MO’s at Walmart (barely under $1000) or just do one $3000 one? If I do the former, should I go to three different Walmart’s?
Likewise, with my bank, does it generally look better to show up once with one $3000 money order, or 3 times with $1000 money orders?
Sorry for all the questions, but it’s tough figuring this out and I want to be really thorough and make sure I’m not doing something stupid.

Greg

Thank you for the advice! A final 2 questions…
-Sounds good on the $999.12 in one visit. I live in an urban area with a number of WMs. Any problem with visiting 3 different ones in the same day and doing three $999.12 MOs? It could give me some insight as to which ones are friendlier than others too.
-I anonymously called my small local bank where I have checking and savings accounts and asked about MOs and they didn’t seem to have a problem with it at all. I don’t think I’ll end up doing anything more than purchasing a few $1000 gift cards a few times a year to meet bonuses. I can potentially wait a little bit between MO deposits if it helps (few weeks or a month or two). Let’s say I do four $3000 gift card purchases a year ($12000 total). Do you think it’s better to try to do 4 $3000 deposits every 3 months, or just do $1000 each month? Or something else? Sorry to be so specific. Like I said, I just want to be thorough and do what would be considered the furthest from anything illegal (structuring) as possible. Thank you!

Fred

I have bought MOs from 2 WMs in a day, no problem (although the money center at one is much more competent than the other). Another tip since you are new at this is after you buy, step to the side and put your name on the MO, and endorse it “For Deposit Only” with your signature. Tear off the receipt and keep separate from the MO. Opening accounts in small banks or CU are easy and some may have new account bonuses. I have 3 small bank accounts that I deposit 1k to 2k a month in each.

miafll

The amount to require DL includes FEE. Some stores even a $999 triggers ID needed before the cashier can proceed further.
The poster needs to read up A LOT more and test his own area stores if he wants to get in the game.

One thing does not hurt to keep reminding the new people is, MS is HIGHLY YMMV – depending on your locale and how individual stores in your locale behaves.

What works for others posted online may not work for your locale at all. What works at Store A in your locale may not work at Store B only a few miles away…

Nothing can substitute your own personal experiences in your own area.

The only advantage I see this is, it makes liquidation a little bit easier. Saving is not big a deal unless you are a heavy hitter.

Greg

Thanks for the feedback. Since we seem to both be miafll, do you have any advice on local places that are better than others?

Jacob

One thing to note is that the $8k a day limit is only if they write down your license, or doing more than $1k at a time. If you get an incredibly friendly CSR you could do multiple $1k a day.

[…] $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon next week […]

[…] $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon next week […]

Lukas

Bank of America cards are not easy to MS, right? 2.625% is tempting…

Lukas

I read elsewhere that BoA shuts down obvious frequent purchases at Simon Mall.

glen

This is gonna be fun!

Christian

How does Simon code on your credit card? I’m trying to figure if it works out better to use my AX gold or Diners at a supermarket for a higher fee than whatever Simon is categorized.

ABC

What about third party Amex cards (WF Propel etc)?

Niraj

as you said they are third party, it should be OK.

Gina

Nick,
You say that a m e x doesn’t award points for gift card purchase, but will it still count towards spend requirement for initial bonus?

TheBigEasyTraveler

Nick any intelligence on Barclays Arrival for MS?

[…] post $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon next week appeared first on Frequent […]