“Extreme Stacking” is a set of techniques for increasing rewards and savings when buying stuff. If you haven’t already, check out our Extreme Stacking Page for details about how it works, along with examples for Extreme Stacking Amazon.com, British Airways, Ebay, PetSmart, and more.
Many extreme stacks involve buying gift cards at a discount (or to earn rewards), and then taking advantage of shopping portals, store rewards, store coupons, etc. in order to earn and save even more.
The problem is that buying gift cards in this way can sometimes take time. If you buy by-mail gift cards, it can take weeks for the cards to arrive. Even e-mailed gift cards often aren’t instant. For example, it’s great to use a Chase Ink Cash card to buy e-gift cards from Staples.com (in order to earn 5X rewards and sometimes portal rewards too), but gift card delivery is usually next-day. If you want to buy something right now, that approach simply won’t work.
If you’re buying something online and want to place the order right away, a delay of a few minutes should be acceptable. If you are checking out at a store in-person, though, you’ll need an easy way to buy the gift card from your phone and receive the gift card instantly. The best options will even let you specify the exact gift card amount you want so that you won’t be left holding an extra gift card that you may forget to use.
To help with this, a researched a number of options and then created a new resource page: “Instant Gift Card Deals.” There, I’ve listed the best options for use at store register, best options for quick online purchases, and other options.
If you’re interested in this sort of thing, make sure to sign up in advance for the apps that can be used at the store register. At the time of this writing, this includes the United MileagePlus X App, the Seashells website, and the Swych app. I expect this list to change over time as I learn from personal experience and from reader suggestions, so it’s a good idea to bookmark the “Instant Gift Card Deals” page and check in on it before major purchases.
The “Instant Gift Card Deals” page is a bit of a work in-progress, but I think you’ll find enough there right now to get you going. In the future I plan to add more gift card sites and apps, along with recommended stacking opportunities. If you have suggestions for changes or additions to the page, please let me know!
Many thanks to members of the Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook Group who helped me research instant gift card options.