Make Money Using Credit Cards

Many people focus on getting frequent flyer/hotel points for their spending, and there’s definitely a ton of value there for travelers. With the introduction of manufactured spending, however, there are opportunities to not only create points for cheap, but also make money using credit cards. I’ll discuss some of the top options for that in this post.

Note that each of these methods relies on the Vanilla Reload/Bluebird method. If that’s not a possibility for you anymore, you can buy PIN-enabled $500 Visa/MC gift cards from a grocery store and load your Bluebird card at a Walmart (yes that’s an extra step, but wait until you see how much money you can make).

 

5% Cash Back Cards

If you can get 5% cash back from grocery stores or drug stores, you’re golden. Let’s say you can buy $5K worth of Vanilla Reloads from CVS. It will cost you $5,039.50 including fees to make that purchase. With a 5% cash back card, you’ll earn a whopping $252 back. When you subtract fees, you’re left with a PROFIT of $212. The Visa gift cards from grocery stores will also net you a profit of over $200, but require the extra step of going to Walmart.

If either of these options are available to you, it can be like making $200/hour if you have several Bluebird cards and easy access to VRs/Visa gift cards. If you’re doing better than that at your day job, you probably don’t need to be reading this blog!

Your 5% Cash Back Options:

See this post for more information.

It has 5x drugstores!

It has 5x drugstores!

 

Barclays Arrival Card for 2.2% Cash Back on Travel

The Barclays Arrival Card is one of my favorites. The 2.2% cash back for travel purchases (it’s 2% plus a 10% rebate on travel, so effectively 2.2%) is still good value for manufacturing spend.

Let’s take the same $5K example above. You’ll spend $5,039.50 including fees, and at 2.2% cash back you’ll earn back $111. Subtracting the fees, you’ll earn a profit of $71 using the Vanilla Reload method, and slightly less using Visa gift cards. If you don’t plan to use the cash back on travel, you’ll still be earning $61 after fees.

Note that this cash back is in the form of a statement credit, meaning you can use the points to essentially zero-out purchases on your online statement. It’s a very easy process.

Barclay’s Arrival Card Link

 

2.2% back is a solid return!

2.2% back is a solid return!

 

2% Cash Back Cards

As mentioned above, the Barclay’s Arrival Card also provides 2% cash back, which is why I recommend it. You get the flexibility of 2% cash back all the time plus the possibility of 2.2% if used for travel. There are, however, several other options that offer the same 2% cash back on all purchases. Again, using the $5,039.50 Vanilla Reload purchase example above, you’ll earn $61 in profit after all fees.

2% Cash Back Options:

 

Notes

First of all, yes I’m well aware that Vanilla Reloads may/have become cash only from CVS for many people. There are other options, and while none are as easy or as lucrative as VRs, they can still be very useful. The grocery store category makes this possible.

If you click on the links above, you’ll notice one thing in common – a lack of sign up bonuses for most of these cards. That’s how cash back cards tend to work, and it’s also why the Arrival Card is an amazing card: it comes with a $440 travel bonus right off the bat. I guess we shouldn’t complain too much if our objective is to make money.

Questions?

 

Some of the links in this post will earn me a commission if you’re approved for the credit card. I am extremely appreciative of any support you choose to give me.

 

Comments

  1. Thanks! Wish you wrote about this before!

  2. Which of the 5% cards do you recommend for a first time user?

  3. Travel Summary says:

    Wells Fargo and Amex because you get more time to spend than the other options.

  4. any barclays card is out of reach for non-US citizens even if you have been living in this country legally for years.

    • The Other Carl says:

      That’s not our experience. The first card required sharing green card info, moving forward it’s been completely smooth.

  5. You can also get 5% cash back on the Freedom, Discover it and citi dividend.

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