Office Depot Mastercard Gift Card Deal $15 Off + 5x

Office Depot currently has an in store offering of $15 off Mastercard gift cards when spending $300 or more.  I haven’t actually seen this offer myself but this is an excellent deal so I would check it out at your local Office Depot – this deal will end on 9/15/2018.  Using your Chase Ink Cash will yield you a nice 5x multiple on points.

I typically liquidate mastercard gift cards by buying and selling gift cards via paypal.  However I was able to use them without paypal on sites like Giftcardzen as well.  But if you have your own method to liquidate these cards thats great too!

Why the Capital One Venture card Hotels.com benefit is not worth it

The Capital One Venture card currently has a promotion through January 2020.  You will receive 10x points when booking travel on Hotels.com.  Keep in mind you have to use the Capital One specific portal so you cannot earn any additional cashback through shopping portals.  While this is not a bad deal its not a reason to get the card, here’s why:

There are many discount gift card websites offering between 5-10% off Hotels.com gift cards pretty much all the time.  Currently Gift Card Zen is offering them at 7.50% off.

Link to Deal

What’s great about Hotels.com gift cards is that you can combine them easily right on the Hotels.com website so no need to worry about finding one gift card that fits your purchase amount.

Next when using TopCashback.com you can get an additional 2% using their portal when booking using gift cards on Hotels.com.

Link to TopCashback

Lastly, whatever card you use to purchase the gift card initially will get you at least 2% cashback so lets do a final comparison on a $1000 purchase using my Alliant 3% cashback card.

 $            1,000.00  $                 1,000.00
Cap One Discount Gift Card
Price  $            1,000.00  Price 7.5% off  $                     925.00
Pts/Cashback                    10,000 Pts/Cashback  $                       27.75
Pt worth  $               100.00 Portal Cashback  $                       18.50
Final Cost  $               900.00 Final Cost  $                     878.75

As you can see by buying discount gift cards you are saving over $20 on this purchase or getting a 12.10% discount versus the Cap One 10% discount.

Why I am winding down my LendingClub Account

In 2012, I started to invest in Peer to Peer LendingClub loans.  I invest in $25 increments which is the minimum to avoid too much exposure to each loan.  Back when I started investing 3yr loans were yielding around 9-12% based on my criteria which I have listed below:

  • Loan purpose only refinances of credit card debt and debt consolidation
  • At least 60 months since last delinquence
  • 2yrs minimum length of employment
  • Zero outstanding collections
  • Max 40% revolving credit utilization
  • Zero delinquencies in the last 2 yrs
  • Home ownership status either Own or Mortgage (exclude renters and other)
  • Revolving credit balance less than 50%

Today I searched my criteria and one loan is available at 6.67% yield.  At this point I believe the credit quality of these personal loans has gotten worse and investors are not being compensated enough for the risks they are taking.  I have been selling off my portfolio via the LendingClub trading account and have managed to decrease it by over 50% over the last 12 months.  It certainly isn’t a liquid market and these investments take some time to sell (in order to breakeven on the commission you have to sell it at a 1% premium).

I also believe this product has not been recession tested and many economists believe the next economic downturn is about 12-18 months away at which point I think these borrowers might default in high numbers.  I think given the risk you are taking with these personal loans there are other outlets for better yield with different and new products like Kickfurther.com, Roofstock.com, and even personal stock investing.

Moneymaking Opportunity – Starbucks Gift Cars

Cardcookie is listing Starbucks cards at 15% off again which I think is a solid deal and deserves attention.  If you wanted to sell these on Raise they trade for around 3% off which after selling fees is a return of about 5% using a 3% cashback card.

Link to Offer

**At this point it looks like the 15% cards have sold out but I would keep an eye

Fee Free Staples Visa Gift Card $200 + 5x on Chase Ink

Staples is offering a $200 Visa gift card with no purchase fee (savings of $6.95) in store only between 9/2/18 – 9/8/18.  Maximum 1 per customer.

This is an easy way to earn 1,000 Ultimate Reward points with the Chase Ink Cash card which are worth $15 in travel when paired with the Sapphire Reserve.

The key here is being able to liquidate these cards.  I like to load them into paypal and buy gift cards to some of my favorite vendors, then I typically use or sell those gift cards.  Don’t forget Ebay takes paypal and is also a good site to buy discount gift cards via paypal digital gifts.

Ebay Gift Cards For Sale

Moneymaking Opportunity -Barnes and Noble Gift Cards

Cardcookie is currently offering Barnes and Noble cards at 17% off

Link to Offer

I have never tried buying or selling these cards but plan to list on Raise which are being offered at around 5% off.  This could be a profit opportunity of over 5% using my 3% cashback Alliant card.  I will update on how this goes or if I can sell them.

**Update – I have already sold these on Raise (2 hours later).  They list these immediately.