UPDATE 10/2 6pm – well…. that was quick 🙂 Dosh has changed the terms to limit it to $20 cash back per day. So the deal still stands, except you’ll want to only buy 1 card (up to $500) per day.
UPDATE 10/3 4am – It was also pointed out to me that the terms now specifically exclude gift cards. So YMMV on that one – knowing what I know about retail POS systems it would shock me if there was a way to catch this and I have seen reports of people successfully getting Dosh cash on gift cards after the terms were changed
UPDATE 10/3 9pm – It’s now limited to $5 / day cashback so probably no longer worth doing. A giant LOL to Dosh and CVS
In early 2017, we had what is probably the best spending / points earning deal I have ever seen this side of the US Mint. At participating Simon Malls, you could buy special Visa gift cards called “5 backs”, which gave 5% back if you spent them at participating merchants. CVS was one of those merchants, so you could buy a 5 back at Simon Mall, use that to buy a $500 Visa gift card at CVS, and get $25 back. Your fees and credit card rewards essentially canceled out, leaving you with (about) a $25 profit for every card you purchased.
I personally profited somewhere around $3000 from this and I know of several people who did much more than that. One guy here in Cincinnati was paying his friends and family to liquidate cards at CVS for him in order to increase volume. As you might imagine, someone was taking a bath on this deal, and it turned out that it was CVS, who left the program after a couple of months.
(SEE ALSO: CVS leaving 5 back program?)
The exact deal itself is not back, but a similar deal is going on now with the rewards app Dosh. For one week only, Dosh is offering 5% cash back at CVS.
The way Dosh works is you link your credit card to the app, and then when you use your card at participating merchants, you get cash back. This is in ADDITION to any credit card rewards that you get from the transaction.
So I linked my American Express Business Blue card (2x Membership Rewards on all purchases) to Dosh, went to CVS, and bought 4 $500 gift cards
I spent $24 in activation fees, and I’ll have a few bucks in liquidation costs, but I also got 4000 Membership Rewards in addition to the $100 cash back from Dosh
Pumping the brakes a bit
Now that sounds super exciting but here are a few words of caution
- Although the 5% back through Dosh at CVS is scheduled to last a week, I see no way it lasts that long
- You run the risk of Dosh freezing or not paying out the cashback. No cap is listed but again, I wouldn’t be surprised if the terms change.
- Make sure that the CVS that you’re buying at is listed as a “participating” CVS
- You can only buy $2000 / day in gift cards at CVS, and it’s tracked by your driver’s license / state ID. When I was doing this last year I made all my kids get their state IDs so we could do multiples of $2000 / day 🙂
- You do have to still be able to liquidate these cards – I plan on using money orders at a local grocery store.
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