Normally I buy gift cards at the store I want it from for birthdays and holidays but I use "cash" to pay for them. I've never used any credit card to do that. I've always thought it would take it out as a debit and I never ever take cash out of my credit cards. So my question is....
Should I continue to pay cash for them at the store or can I use the online travel portal and buy them online to earn 2 points and have it earn 2 points on my Barclay card too for a total of 4 points? Next question... will it show as a debit (as in taking cash out of my credit card) or credit?
Looking for replies from someone who has done this already and what the outcome was...
In general I believe credit card companies frown on the purchase of gift cards as a mechanism for earning miles or points, and some have begun to employ methods of detecting the purchase of gift cards with a rewards card and don't allow the user to receive points. Many stores in my area do not allow customers to purchase gift cards with credit cards at all, but I can't speak for all areas. It will not, however, count as a cash advance, if I understand where you are going with that question.
Thanks for your reply teebeetoo. Hmmm ok so it won't count it as a cash advance. That's the answer I was looking for. Debit/cash advance... I still don't understand the difference. I was just confused because I use Barclays Travel portal a lot and when I was browsing the stores, I seen you could buy gift cards at a gift card store and you'd earn 2 points through that company. Because of that you'd have to use your credit card to make the purchase. I was just wondering if I used my Barclay card if it would count it as a debit or credit (cash advance) on my statement and allow me to earn another 2 points because if I wouldn't be able to earn the 2 points on my card, I'd be better off just buying them like I currently do. Thanks for clarifying this for me!
A debit, credit, and cash advance are all very different things. You can only debit from a bank account. A cash advance is a very costly type of purchase in which you use your credit card to access cash, and usually entails a fee of 5% or $5 or something similar, besides kicking in an extremely high interest rate, like sometimes 30%. I'm sure no purchase through the Barclay portal would ever automatically kick in a cash advance, so if it's through the portal you are probably using the credit card normally and getting rewards points, but honestly if you are unsure of what's happening I wouldn't do it. As far as seeing if you can buy gift cards, be sure you are buying them with credit rather than your rewards points, especially if you are trying to save up points for travel.
Thanks teebeetoo. That was my thoughts - I knew cash advance would charge me for taking cash and that's what confused me cuz I normally pay cash when I buy gift cards at stores. I didn't want it taking the purchase as a cash advance. Now that I did see my 1st statement I hope you can clarify this.... I'm seeing that I got 2 points on my card statement for using my card, but will I get the extra 2 points for using the portal also to equal 4 points or does using the portal only give me what it says - ex: say I used a store and it said 15 points per $ spent. Would it give me only the 15 points and not the extra 2 for using my card?
Buying merchant gift cards at a store is treated like any other purchase made at that store. It codes as whatever category the store is in. You are simply prepaying for items to be acquired later, whether by yourself or by someone else you give the gift card to. For example, if you are needing to meet a spending requirement within a set time frame to trigger a bonus on your Barclay Arrival Plus card (or to reach a points threshhold to offset a travel purchase that will be expiring), you could go to your supermarket with your credit card and purchase a store gift card, then use the gift card over time for groceries.
Holy cow srdshelly2. Great explanation. Now I get it. And great advice, but honestly I never have a problem meeting my spend requirements on credit cards. I have a big tribe of kids that loves to blow my money on sports equipment, sporting events, food and life! But that is good to know that I can purchase gift cards with my credit card cuz I've never went through that experience before. The big question I had was using Barclays portal. I'm still not sure how that works. Do you only get the standard 2 points by using your card or do you also get whatever the points from the store says too ie: 15 points. Would I get only the 15 points or a total of 17 points? I got my credit card bill but I can't figure it out cuz it doesn't break down the points...???