Getting Points and Miles for Wedding, Graduation and Other Gifts

May 22, 2011

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Wedding and graduation season has officially begun, which means many of us will take substantial hits to our wallets as we shell out for gifts, travel and other assorted costs. In fact, my sister got married yesterday in sunny St. Augustine, so I am well aware of the costs, especially for a destination wedding. I’m by no means complaining about it – I’d do anything for my baby sister, but I did organize my spend to maximize points and miles.

For a gift, instead of cash I opted for an American Express Gift Card because I needed it to count towards my $2,500 spend requirement on the British Airways Visa. If you click my banner below (or this link) and use Promotion Code DSGRAD, 2nd Day Air shipping will be waived, so you only get charged the $3.95 service fee. If you want to get cash back, you can set up a Big Crumbs account like Mr. Pickles taught us a couple weeks ago, which will actually make you come out ahead on the purchase.

Some people have cautioned that Citi classifies these charges as Cash Advances, but I can confirm my Chase British Airways Visa listed it as a purchase (I blocked out the transaction ID and purchase price for security reasons):

Overall, most people view Amex Gift cards and cash as the same thing, so you might as well earn points and spend requirement for the purchase. Every point counts!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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