Update: Amex gift cards are currently not available through RewardsBoost. There is no word yet as to whether this is temporary or permanent change, but hopefully this is only short term and we will see them return.

The Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card may unlock the secret to some of the most powerful manufacture spend strategies and the potential rewards from the card are huge. However, this card is often overlooked for credit cards that offer more lucrative sign-up bonuses.

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The card is currently offering 5,000 bonus points after the first purchase and an additional 5,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. The sign-up bonus is clearly not what makes this card incredibly lucrative.

You can leverage the Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card using RewardsBoost to earn 10% back–or another way to look at it is that you can purchase flights and hotels through Travelocity for 1.32% of the actual face value or a 98.68% discount. Say what?! Yes, you can leverage the cards 5x earning by purchasing Amex gift cards through Barclays RewardsBoost and Travelocity’s generous reward chart to get 98.68% off the face value of travel purchased on Travelocity.com.

How to Get ~$1,200 Worth of Travel for Only $15.80

Using the Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card you can purchase American Express gift cards ($3.95 fee) through Barclays RewardsBoost to earn an extra 4X points per dollar. So, you will earn 1X point per dollar with the card and an extra 4X points through the shopping portal, placing the total earning on the card at 5X per dollar. When you make the purchase through the RewardsBoost linked from your Barclays account page you will earn the extra points and they will post to your Travelocity Rewards account balance.

 

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Travelocity points can only be redeemed for statement credits against Travelocity.com purchases posted on your account, so you will be limited to purchasing travel through Travelocity.com. But this also opens the door to use the points for smaller non-loyalty brand hotels and other travel activities such as airport transportation services.

 

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The Travelocity rewards chart has a unique redemption structure and when you redeem 20,000 points or more you get 2 cents per point. This means you will get $400 in free travel when you redeem 20,000 points. This means when you redeem above 20,000 points you are earning 10% back in free travel per dollar spent on Amex gift card through RewardsBoost. Anything below the 20k redemption level only offers 1 cent per point in value, so to the cash back rate drops to 5%.

To maximize Travelocity points it would be ideal to make Travelocity.com purchases in multiples of $400. For instance, say you purchase a $800 flight on Travelocity.com, you will be able to redeem points for each $400 portion of the total cost.

The last thing to cover is how to liquidate the Amex gift cards, in which you can either:

  • Use Amazon Payments (free) for $1,000 per month
  • Purchase One Vanilla cards at Rite Aid/7-Eleven/your store of choice and load to Bluebird via Walmart
  • Load a Serve card at CVS (or online)
  • American Express for Target
  • Kiva loans

Amazon Payments is the quick and easy way, but you’re also limited to $1,000 per month. Obviously adding other methods into the mix will add additional fees with the purchase of One Vanilla cards, but it also opens up the door to scale the manufacture spending greatly.

Breakdown of Earnings

To maximize the return let’s see what the possibility is for using Amazon Payments and liquidating $1,000 in Amex gift cards per month. Amex gift cards have a $3.95 fee, but you can purchase Amex gift cards for up to $3,000 in value to lower the cost. You are also limited to purchasing $5,000 in gift cards once every 14 days, so you will have to spread the purchases out over time. Be sure to use the free shipping promo codes which are usually easy to find since new codes are always available.

Steps:

  1. Purchase 4X $3,000 Amex gift cards through RewardsBoost using your Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card.
  2. Liquidate $1,000 per month for free using Amazon Payments.
  3. Purchase travel on Travelocity.com in multiples of $400 and redeem Travelocity points at a value or 2 cents each.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Purchase cost: $12015.8
  • Travelocity credit card earning (1X): $12015.8
  • RewardsBoost portal earning (4X): $48063.2
  • Liquidate Amex gift cards through Amazon Payments: Free
  • Total out of pocket cost: $15.80
  • Travelocity points earned (5X): 60079
  • Total travel value earned: $1201.58
  • Profit: $1185.78

This means you can leverage the Travelocity credit card along with RewardsBoost and Amazon Payments to purchase flights and hotels on Travelocity.com at 1.32% of face value. You do that for a year and you’ll pay $15.80 for ~$1,200 in travel.

For comparison and to show the substantial difference in the earning potential of the Travelocity card let’s see how it stacks up to several other cards for $12k in Amex gift card purchases. If you used the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® you would earn $720.95 in free travel. With the Club Carlson Visa you would earn 60,079 points worth two free nights a category 6 hotel (with credit card) plus $344.67 in cash back using a portal such as Top Cash Back (3% back). For Ultimate Rewards points you could earn 12,015 UR points plus $344.67 using Top Cash Back.

Amex Gift Card Free Shipping Promo Codes

DGPCM (valid through 7/31/14, confirmed working)

GRDPC  (valid through 7/31/14)

FPDAD (valid through 6/16/14)

The Bottom Line

The manufacture spend potential on the Travelocity® Rewards American Express® Card is staggering and leveraging RewardsBoost with Amazon Payments could unlock a way to purchase flights and hotels through Travelocity.com for a ~98% discount.

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13 Comments

  • Hey
    I have trouble locating the american express gift card on barclayRB website. Is this still available to buy from the website

    • easy4u1, the easiest way to locate them is by searching ‘gift cards’ and they will show up at the bottom of the search results list.

      • Since yesterday I’ve been trying to find AMEX gift cards on barclays rewards boos(I order them all the time) and it’s not coming up. Barclays(or AMEX) might have ended that relationship, that would be very unfortunate.

        • M, wow this is brutal. From what I can tell there is no word whether or not this is a permanent or temporary change, but lets hope for the latter.

  • How do you purchase money orders with the amex giftcards? I thought Amex gift cards didn’t come with a pin, preventing you from using them as debit to buy money orders

    • Whoops! Thanks for catching that, I must have had my visa GC thinking cap on. I added all viable options with the correction.

  • Am I missing something here? How do the Barclays RB points get converted to travelocity rewards points? Is this done automatically or do you have to transfer these over? Seems weird that two seperate banks (barclays, AMEX) would share points that way…

    • Sanka, points earned on the card will will post to your Travelocity account balance and is automatic, this is true through RewardsBoost as well. In this case Barclays is the bank, Amex is the credit card company.

  • This may be a noob question but i’m a little confused as to how a Barclays card and an AMEX card can combine points… Are all rewardsboost points automatically transferred to travelocity rewards points???

    • Sanka, you will only earn Travelocity points with this card and when you make purchases through RewardsBoost the points earned will automatically post to your Travelocity points account.

  • And how long would it be before the card’s issuer shuts down people who are spending too much on Amex giftcards at the rewards mall? Especially now that this is being posted to one of the blogs.

    • In my mind, if a card issuer shuts somebody down for spending too much money on gift cards, that is their own issue. It’s not like this post was geared at getting peoples accounts shut down! Each individual writes their own story when it comes to credit card spending. WTM simply explained a method to get travel on the uber-cheap! Whether you do it or not, or anyone does it or not is their own choice.

      The fact that the Travelocity award chart has a sweet spot and that Barclay’s offers 4x points for AMEX gift card purchases through their portal have been well covered by other travel bloggers, a LONG time ago.

      If you have concerns about getting a credit card shut down, then why would you do it?! Certainly, not because a travel blogger suggested that you could get more air miles!

    • jerkstores, this card has been around for quite a while and written about before. I just thought it was worth sharing the potential value anyone can get from it using it for manufacture spend through RewardsBoost. Of course with everything, it helps to do everything in moderation.