I visited my favorite grocery store today to do some manufactured spending and I never paid attention to the selection of gift cards they have available for other stores. There’s a lot! I picked up a $15 Starbucks gift card to throw off my purchase amount (I recommend doing this so your credit card company doesn’t get too suspicious) and I ended up earning 6x points for this purchase on my Amex Hilton Surpass card. Then it popped in my head, “I need to start buying gift cards here for any stores I shop at to earn more points!”
There are many credit cards out there that offer additional points and miles when swiping in the grocery or the drug store category. Walgreens and CVS offer a wide selection of gift cards as well. If you’re not looking for points, there are cards that offer cash back too.
You don’t just have to purchase groceries in order to earn points. To put things into perspective, here’s an example: I drink Starbucks almost every night before I go into work. I typically just top-off my Starbucks account at the store when I’m running low. If I get out of that habit and start purchasing Starbucks gift cards at my grocery store, I can earn 6x points on my Hilton card or 3x points on the Diners Club Elite card. I typically just put the purchase on my American Express Platinum card, but that only earns 1x points per purchase.
Off the top of my head, here are a few credit cards that would be awesome for miles, points, or cash back at grocery and drug stores:
- American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass – Earns 6x points at restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations.
- Diners Club Elite – Earns 3x points at gas stations, groceries and drugstores.
- Chase Ink Plus – Earn 5x points on the first $50,000 spent at office supply stores. This card isn’t gas or grocery, but most office supply stores sell gift cards too.
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred – Earn 6% cash back at grocery stores on the first $6,000, then 1% after that.
Example for cash back
Let’s take the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card and use it in an example. I saw Apple store gift cards for sale at my grocery store. If you were in the market to buy a new Macbook Pro, iPad, iPhone, etc. you could purchase your Apple gift cards at the grocery store, head over to your local Apple store, purchase your new “i” device and present your gift cards at checkout. In the end, you just scored 6% cash back on your new Apple product! 6% may not sound like a lot, but a new Macbook Pro costs roughly $1,200. If you buy the gift cards in advance at your grocery store, you’ll end up taking $72 off the purchase price. Not bad for a product you were going to buy anyway!
In April I’m going to Italy for two weeks, so I’m working on building up my Hilton points to earn free nights. Let’s just say any gift cards I buy this Christmas are going to be coming from my grocery store and not the actual store itself. The next time your grocery shopping or in your local Walgreens and CVS, check out the gift card rack to see what kind of gift cars they sell. You might find yourself surprised to see the variety of gift cards.
This trick will actually work for any gift card you can find at your drugstore or grocery store. Looking at the pic above. You could earn additional points in the grocery category for your next purchase at Best Buy, Home Depot, Subway, etc.