Meeting A Spend Threshold In One Night.


Update #2, 01/17: Reports from commenters today are that the $100 transactions are now ringing up at $99.90 instead of $89.90.
It’s still a great deal though with an Ink card, even if not trying to hit a spend threshold. You get gift cards that can be used anywhere with no fees and you earn 5 points per dollar on all the spending!


Update, 01/15: Picked up a couple dozen more cards from another Office Max tonight :D
Earning a whopping 5 points per dollar spent on top of a $10.10 profit per transaction? Priceless!

Related posts:
-Want To Boost Your Credit Score? Spend On Business Cards Instead Of Consumer Cards.
-A Rundown Of The Chase Ultimate Rewards Program And Ultimate Rewards Cards
-Updated Chase Ink Offers

-Is Bluebird The Next Dollar Coin Churn?
-Another Flavor Of Vanilla: My Vanilla Debit Card
-Need To Meet A Spending Threshold Deadline? Send And Receive $1,000/Month With No Fees Using Amazon Payments!
-My Current Credit Card Lineup
-Today’s Escapades
-Top Credit Card Offers

The goal: Meet a $5,000 spend threshold on a Chase Ink Plus card in 1 night. Because 3 months is for sissies who don’t know how to churn and move onto the next card ;)
Total spend in 25 minutes of “work”: $5,020.50
Total amount that will be liquidated: $5,100
Total points and cash earned: 58,977 points (worth at least $1,120 at my personal “value” of at least 1.9 cents each) and a $79.50 cash profit.
The points are transferable and are roughly enough for:
-13 one-way short haul flights on American via BA or a round-trip flight to Israel on Air Berlin via BA,
-3 round trip coach flights to Alaska, or 2 round-trip coach flights to Hawaii, or 1 first class flight to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines booked via Korean
-4 nights at the fantastic Park Hyatt Melbourne, Andaz West Hollywood, Park Hyatt Aviara (CA), or Park Hyatt Toronto
-A one-way business class ticket to Israel or a round-trip coach ticket to Europe (with up to 12 stopovers and connections if you’re crazy enough) on any Star Alliance carrier via United.

Stop 1: Office Max.
What I bought: 22 prepaid Mastercards of $50 each in 11 transactions.
Why: This week only you can save $10 off each card instantly, up to 2 cards per transaction. Earn miles while turning a profit!
Total cost per transaction: 2 x $50 prepaid Mastercards = $100 – $20 instant rebate + $9.90 in prepaid debit card fees=$89.90
Total cost of all transactions: $988.90
Total points earned from spending: 4,945, due to 5 points per dollar earned on Ink cards at office supply stores.
Actual value of the prepaid cards: $1,100
How I’ll liquidate them: Amazon payments. When adding prepaid debit cards to Amazon Payments just put an incorrect expiration date so that they don’t put a hold on your funds. Then when you send money to a friend fix the expiration date.
Liquidation fees: None.

Stop 2: Walgreens
What I tried buying: 1 Vanilla Reload card of $500
Total cost: $0. Walgreens has gotten smart and now when you swipe your card it only lets you pay the $3.95 fee with your credit card. You may be able to get a manager to override that, but in a city with dozens of VR stocked CVS stores I didn’t bother.
The upshot: Nothing works forever. Churners used to have dollar coins, money orders, and travelers checks. Now we have Amazon Payments, Vanilla Reloads, Vanilla Debit cards, and Bluebird. Those won’t last forever but I’ll use them while I can and find something else once they’re gone.

Stop 3: CVS
What I bought: 8 Vanilla Reload card of $500 each in 4 transactions.
Why: Earn points on the cheap, even if you’re not gunning for signup bonuses. Limit of $1,000 of prepaid cards per transaction.
Total cost per transaction: 2 x $500 Vanilla Reloads = $1,000 + $7.90 in prepaid card fees=$1,007.90
Total cost of all transactions: $4,031.60
Total points earned from spending: 4,032
Actual value of the prepaid cards: $4,000
How I’ll liquidate them: Transfer to my Bluebird card and then write a check from there to pay any bill to any company or friend or just pay off the card directly from there.
Liquidation fees: None





















Good ole’ Office Max Store #1.  Ctown copycats…you may want to avoid Store #1 :D


The bounty.

HT: Stu M.

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189 Comments on "Meeting A Spend Threshold In One Night."

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“HT: Stu” ???


Ur the king Dan!!


Can you buy the MC cards on


Careful Dan. Amex put me under finacial review for buying gidt cards a CVS. This caused closing of several cards and the warning that if I bought one more “cash advance” I would ble closed for good. Thousands of dollars in a drug store riases a big red flag!

chase cards

Dan I applied on last day of Decemebr for 2 more business cards 2bm I called to see whats the process so they asked me questions and she came back saying that I was only approoved for 1 card the plus but not for the Cash card since I got too many cards in the last few months, I tried asking if I can shift credit around to get approoved she said no, should I let it go or call reconsideration dept? I have good credit with chase


Did they give you any issue at office max with the 11 transactions? did you have to go around and wait in line again type of thing?


Why didn’t you just get 100 cards @ OfficeMax? is there a limit of 22?!!


Did VR tonight. Tried on my new Amex and it didn’t go through. Bought 5 cards with $500 each using 2 different Chase cards (Freedom for $1500 at a drugstore to maximize the 5x rewards) and it went through. When I got home, Amex called to confirm and apologized for blocking the purchase, Chase called to confirm the purchases that went through. Back to CVS tomorrow with the now approved Amex!


How do you get the ten dollar discount off prepaid mastercards?


@ Reader, how much did you put on your amex and did it come close to your credit limit?



So sorry but I am new at this and trying to figure out what this is all about, Why are you purchasing Gift Cards? Whats the point of it? Just to earn points? but isnt it costing you lots of money?



I don’t get it if u get 10 off 50 @ office max why not spend $5000 there? You will end up paying about 4850 for $5000 plus u get 25k points?!


Yeah why not spend all on the visas it’s free money


That’s who shared the deal with me.


I didn’t use an AMEX.

@chase cards:
Call back and try again. And again.
Be willing to shift credit lines or close older cards and move over those lines.

No, the agent was awesome.
He even memorized my maxperks phone number (will I earn anything from that as well?) and I joked that he had better not prank call me at 3am :D

That’s all there was on the shelf ;)

They’re on sale.

Read the post again.


In the post Dan wrote that he used his chase card.

Read the post!!

Dan, any deals on reading glasses?!




i was just in an office max today and dont recall seeing prepaid mastercards. also i didnt see anything about ten dollars off. how do we know if they have it


It’s a nationwide sale in this week’s flyer.
Did you expect a billboard for it?

No Do

I don’t understand why we don’t just buy $1500 shoes or luggage from Zappos and return 6 weeks later after point applied and moved?? What can be the downside if not doing it too aften

chase cards

Dan can’t really close other cards just got some two months ago, is it bad if they don’t approove one card will it show on credit report? both are business cards.


When you say: worth at least $1,120 at my personal “value” of at least 1.9 cents each it is not real cash value you cannot get that amount in cash only miles to fly or hotels etc right?


@Dan: so you think chase is more laid back about it than Amex?


Dan –
did you call Chase beforehand to notify them of the forthcoming unusual purchase activity? I always get a fraud freeze when I do something like this with a new card.


I hope you don’t rock the chase boat, 5k in one night is asking for trouble.


Can I use Citi credit cards to buy those prepaid mastercards at Office Max? Would they be counted as cash advance? Would the purchase trigger Citi’s fraud dept?


how do you transfer money from Vanilla Reloads to Blue Bird?


just go into a office max a buy a mastercard gift card and it will ring up $10 off ? or do i need a coupon ?


these day there making u use cash,in alot of cvses and walgreens they caught up to this hanky panky!


Dan. Your so cooool!!!! I wish I can marry you. ..


amazon payments is the best simplest way!

greg z

Has anyone with more than one Amazon account in their name given them the same SS# yet? I have a er… few accounts and have only been using one that has my SS#. Don’t want to get shut down.


I don’t get it…in the ad it says save $10 when you purchase 2 $50 cards; limit 1 rebate per household.


Dan, VR wont work with AMEX? Got to dump $5k SPG..


@Abe: Also why only 1 VR @ wallgreens, specific reason?

Why ok?

I’m not sure why this is not considered something the companies wouldn’t be ok with. It just does not seem “yashar” to me.


@No Do:
Seems more unethical to me.
And the points for the actual purchase will be taken away.
Stores also ban serial returners.

@chase cards:
Why can’t you close cards from 2 months ago?

Unless you find a good broker and someone needing to travel.



@greg z:

I just tell it like it is.

It will, though they may ask you to knock it off or to prove that you’re employed.

Just wanted to confirm the rumors.

@Why ok?:
Which part?

Big boy

Hey Dan,
I think I pushed my luck,I just got hit with a FR the infamous two letter word from amex.There is no chance that I will pass so I was wondering if I have to cancel all my cards from amex or I can just cancel the one that created the problem?
Thank you
P.S.I guess I will just have to start doing more businesses with chase I’m sure you get my drift.


@Big boy:
You make no income on the books at all?

Jonathan H

@Randall Yes, I was confused by this too as at my Office Max it said the same thing. So the wording makes it sound like you only save $10 when you buy 2x$50 GC. However, I went to my Office Max in Orange County, CA and asked the cashier to just scan it in and it automatically deducted $10 from EACH gift card, no coupon required. Even the cashier and manager were a bit perplexed but “hey, if it rings up like that I guess it is that…”

Jonathan H

@Dan Do you need to register the GC before using Amazon Payments?


how do you transfer money from Vanilla to blue bird?

chase cards

cuz one is a united which I have on it lots of miles and wanna travel soon other one is freedom which I got in nick of time for the 10 10 with exclusives, is the cash such a good card it only has 200 cash back or 20,000 points signup or is it momre being denied which I should avoid? Thanks


Looked through the weekly ad on for my location and even changed the location to the store shown in your receipt but don’t see the $10 off Mastercard deal. Any advice?


Good broker umm I keep hearing that they crack down on UR transferred to other accounts other then a spouse so not a good idea


@Jonathan H:

Read the related posts.

@chase cards:
Offer to cancel the United and churn it with a new mileage number to earn another 55K miles+$50 after secure message.

It won’t hurt you, but why throw away 20K points when you already took the pull without trying?

I didn’t see it online either, but saw it in the in-store ad.

Don’t transfer UR-UR, transfer directly to a mileage program.

Big boy



@Big boy:
If you make nothing at all on the books you can still try to get them to count your parents if they pay your bills.
Sometimes people have luck getting them to take bank statements, see DDF:

Otherwise, shut them all down yourself, every last one of them, before AMEX shuts them down.



Why would Amazon Payment put a hold on your funds for entering the correct expiration date when transferring funds from prepaid debit card? Please explain what you did in English.


Dan, why buy the vanilla visa at cvs when you can buy it at office depot for 5 X points?


and other blog entries. put in vanilla card or bluebird


So are you saying to use caution when using amex to purchase vr cards? How much do you think you can buy and still be safe?


I explained exactly what to do in the post.

OD doesn’t sell Vanilla Reloads anymore.
While they do sell Vanilla gift cards, those have to be cashed out via Amazon or used on everyday purchases.
Vanilla Reloads can be cashed out via Bluebird.

Don’t forget to earn 5x at CVS with Freedom though!

It’s all based on your spend patterns.
If you make income on the books you’ll pass the F/R and perhaps get a warning. If you don’t make anything on the books then don’t use your AMEX for anything that can trigger an F/R.

chase cards

So ur saying give up united now for the cash card ? Then in a while get a new united with new mileage number? If I do this I still can use the miles I have now even if account gets closed? Thanks


@chase cards:
Your United miles are not affected by closing the credit card.
You can also merge the account later on.

Some more info:


Dan, well you can certainly buy the amex prepaid and then turn that into a permanent prepaid and take $400 via atm for free each month, and I believe you can have three such cards per ss. Of course you can get cards for wife, plus, plus…. from chase as extra card holders.


So UR to a friends mileage account is ok ?


True, true.
No OD in CLE though so enjoy :D

So far there have not been any reported issues.


can i buy VR online?



chase cards

Btw where does the 50 dollar credit come from on united card? rep had no idea what I was talking about.


Any other ideas? i have just a walgreens near me


@chase cards:
Just ask in the SM to be matched to the offer your colleague got, 55K miles plus $50 statement credit.

Check the retailers listed on


whats the best card to open at first


will amazon payments trigger a f/r sometimes if ya is it still worth it


So I’m assuming that the united match is still alive and kicking anybody tried it recently?


So, how’d you get cvs to sell you $4000 in vr’s in one shot ? your exceeding their limit by $3000?! Unless you know the manager personally….



Walgreens sells Vanilla Reload cards


do you need a maxperks membership to get the promotion?


Dan you could but amex gift cards with no fee’s ( promo phonegift2) and you could make the 3 month trial for next day shipping and you will meat your spending with no cost to you.


Dan, are you able to buy the gift cards online? I live in Baltimore – we don’t have any Officemax stores :(


Went to office Max across from Barclay center and they said only two cards per person work for discount code but when they scanned the cards they automatically scanned at 40 each plus 4.95 fees. Will go back at lunch and see how many i can it buy



Can you unload those Mastercard gift cards on Serve like you can visa gift card mall ones? That would be much easier than AP.


Just to clarify, the visa gift cards count as debit cards on Serve…..


Someone tells he trash’s -as Dan calls it..- his spending by overpaying his bill.
Lets say his electric bill is $98 he makes a paymant of $998 and after reciving points he calls in that he -by mistake..- overpaid $900 so they credit him


Dan, My wife has 2 inks in her name … you think Office max will let me buy them with her CC, I never got a card with my name on it :(


Its nice to live in Cleveland


As an existing chase customer, who wants to do a 2bm for chase bold/ink business cards. when i am signing up do i sign up as the existing customer or as a brand new customer?


@Moshe: But Dan says they don’t let you swipe your card for it you need to pay cash
Btw Dan do you if its thier official policy or just that branch?


Could you use buy 2 prepaid cards using a credit card, and then use those 2 prepaid cards to keep buying additional pairs?


Dan you are by far the best points blogger in the universe. Thank you for all your hard work.


@BK: What’s the point? if not to swipe your card?

Steveo (one word)

@DAN HOLY SHNITZEL! You’re amazing. God Bless.

Tim T

Is $700 cash for 40,000 sapphire preferred points a good deal ?

Tim T

Also, is it safe to sell points to these places that advertise to pay cash ? Are chase & Amex ok with that ?

Jack L

I paid $975 for my Internet bill online instead of $97.50. I must have fat fingered it. ;)

This was with a card giving 5X UR points. It took a month and many calls to get refunded the excess, and they did it by putting the refund back on the card. :(

So the success of this method will vary depending on the procedures of the company you use.


@Jack L: Works the best if u get like millage which straight into youe travel account so they’ll never notic the refund


@Dan: Dan Can you pls explain post 55?



Which credit card did you use at CVS to buy the 8 Vanilla Reloads?

How does AmEx know what you’re buying at CVS or is it the amount that triggers suspicion? If you pay off the AmEx charge immediately, will that avoid a FR from AmEx?



Sorry, I didn’t see that you used a Chase card.

Wouldn’t I be better off buying the prepaid MasterCards for $500 each and then use them to buy VRs at CVS?


@Jonathan H:

If it rings up $10 off for each card then I wonder if Dan could have just purchased all 22 cards in one transaction and get the $220 off, instead of having to do 11 transactions. If so, Dan could have met his threshold in 5 minutes instead of 25 minutes!!! lol

Does anyone know if this will work?


Dan why is the myVanilla card the only one you mention for cash advance. What about Greendot and netspend and literally tens of others (Amex etcc)prepaid cards cant you do a cash advance on those also???


Best is relative to your needs.
But Sapphire, Freedom, and Starwood are excellent.

For some yes, for other no.
If you make $0 on the books play it safe. Otherwise have fun.

4 transactions. Salesperson couldn’t care less.


But then I wouldn’t earn 5 points per dollar.


Enjoy :D

I don’t see why not

Works only occasionally. Usually goes back to credit card.

YMMV but I wasn’t ID’d.


I always do the new customer.

Appears to be the new chainwide policy.

Yes, but it’s far more valuable to use Ink as that earns 5 points per dollar. And then you wouldn’t be meeting your spend threshold!

@Steveo (one word):

@Tim T:
Not terrible I guess.

@Tim T:
Chase UR-UR transfers can be risky. Transfer direct to a mileage account.


Read the post.

OM doesn’t sell $500 prepaid cards.

Receipt clearly says limit 2.
If someone wants though to try let us know.

The other ones tend to ban you for doing that. And sometimes even tie up your funds for extended periods of time.
No such reports with Vanilla.


i love the dan effect seeing lots of ppl running around to get some 50 mc :)


they said when i called that its only $10 of every $100 not 20 & limit one per household. did anybody have success doing 5k ?


Rule #1: Never call.


I bought 20 earlier today. Got a missed call from chase fraud on my phone with no message (I google’d the #). I logged into my account and it didnt say anything about being frozen. Should I call chase back or just let it go?


In the business card app, does it matter that my “business” makes little or no money? Does that only go to the amount of credit they will extend?


is there anyway to send all the 50 dollar in one amazon payment or do you have to do several payments of 50?


Dan, I wanted to get you feeling on the matter. I have multiple chase credit cards, churning quite well… Do you think its a wise idea to bank with chase if you have so many credit cards? The pros, I have a lot of money in savings so it puts at abetter position if they ever find my churning behaviour risky. The cons, if for whatever reason I decided that I’m not paying my credit cards, they have access to my cash. What are your thoughts?


I’d call ’em.

For a sole-proprietorship your business income goes directly to your personal income. But if you report that the business makes nothing you won’t get approved.


I wouldn’t worry about that at all. They’re highly regulated, they’re not just going to help themselves to your cash :D