Gift cards: buy low, sell high, get cash back


Updated 5/7/2013 with new cash back rates

In a previous post, I showed that it was possible to increase credit card spend (and thus earn points and miles) by buying and selling discounted merchant gift cards. See “Churning merchant gift cards” for more information. If you’re interested in doing this, it’s helpful to have a “cheat sheet” showing where to go for the best deals. When looking to do gift card arbitration (buy low, sell high), start with to find the best buy and sell prices. Then, use the table below to figure out your total costs:

Buying gift cards:

Gift card re-seller Cash back portal Cash back % Cash back type * Notes TopCashBack 2% % of face value Cardpool only offers cash back on the first $1000 in transactions
PlasticJungle TopCashBack 1% % of transaction
EBay merchant EBay 2% % of transaction Cash back is in the form of EBay bucks which can be used for future purchases
GiftCertificates .com uPromise 5% % of face value TopCashBack 2% % of face value 1% cash back for Visa gift cards.


Selling gift cards:

Gift card buyer Cash back portal Cash back % Cash back type * Notes TopCashBack 4% % of face value Cardpool only offers cash back on the first $1000 in transactions No current options   % of face value limits you to $500 in sales every 6 months.
PlasticJungle TopCashBack 1% % of transaction


* Cash back type: some portals offer cash back as a percentage of the gift card’s face value, others offer cash back as a % of the transaction amount.

NOTE: GiftCardGranny sell prices for PlasticJungle are not always up to date.  To get an accurate sell price from PlasticJungle you need to actually enter a gift card number into PlasticJungle’s web site to get an offer.

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David L

Do you know where one can find an uptodate list of portals paying on gc selling?

I jumped into the deep end of this hobby about 6 months ago, and you’ve taught me a lot–thanks!

David L

Great, thanks.


Johnnycomeslater: Thanks for the reminder. I updated this page.


plasticjungle rate drops to whopping 1%, time to switch

[…] Not realizing this, I fell into the category manufacturing spend in the last 2 months. I was hooked into it after reading The Frequent Miler’s “Gift cards: buy low, sell high, get cash back” […]


You can now earn Hilton points for purchases on Plastic Jungle…


Stephanie: Thanks. It looks like it only earns 1 point for every two dollars at PJ though. That’s a really poor return compared to 2.5% cash at TopCashBack.


ChasingThePoints: Thanks! I’ve updated the post and replaced TopCashBack with uPromise, which offers 5% for


FYI Topcashback is 3% for

[…] Frequent Miler takes our obsession to a different level, because the gift card churning game can literally create points for free (plus time and effort). That’s why everyone loves […]

[…] 4. Remember to use Topcashback for 2.5% to 4% when you sell your gift card. Information can be found here at Frequent Miler’s post […]


I posted that response before reading the previous related post. I see now a big appeal of this is to have a minimum spend on cards to unlock rewards- makes more sense, then. I also see that other post is a lot more informative. Thanks.


It seems to me the best way to make money with giftcards is to buy them cheap, probably in person with cash from people who receive them as gifts for places they don’t shop, and then USE them ( assuming you buy them for places you already shop).

I got here by searching for making money buying and selling gift cards. I guess the best I have ever done with giftcards is using them to get free gas. A couple grocery stores with fuel stations give away free gas near me. I can get around $100-120 in free gas ( 0.00 per gallon for 30 gallons) based on how much I spend in the store. Sometimes they double the gift card bonus ( which was actually halved recently, so not the greatest deal). Right now it’s basically $6 in free gas per $50 in gift cards. So it’s 12% in free gas- $1000 in GCs for $120 in free gas.

I’ve also seen people on Craigslist and places selling giftcards at 70-80%. I imagine there is high potential for fraud there though.

I guess maybe I glossed over these posts too much, but I don’t really see enough spread between what you can buy and sell for using these services. I mean, you are selling at a huge discount. I’d just as soon use the cards like cash and acquire them at a discount/with rewards.


it’s “arbitrage”, not “arbitration”


FrequentMiler: Did you try ABC Giftcards portal for selling GCs? Cardpool is nice (now they call every time to check your identity and reasons why do you sell GCs), but it is limited to $1K in sells for cashback portals.


Sergey: I haven’t tried ABC. I don’t know of any cashback portals that deal with ABC either.


Jules: I don’t think there are any reloadable cards that you can get without giving a SSN


FM, I have a question. I sold a few gift cards to cardpool and got a check in two weeks. Then I sold them again few cards, and after a week I received a call from them – they wanted to verify me, and asked some strange questions – where I got the cards, how long did I have them before selling, why decided to sell. Is it normal practice? I told them the truth, that I bought them and then decided to sell. Was it stupid answer? I don’t think it is illegal to sell gift cards.


Sergey: They’re just trying to make sure you’re not committing fraud of some sort. Telling the truth is the right thing to do.