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Old Jun 25, 10, 2:17 pm   #1
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Using Credit Card to Buy Money Order - Would This Work

Let's avoid the usual 'ethical' questions - I'm just curious if this would work.

Is it possible to buy a card similar to the American Express Gift Card (which can be purchased with a credit card) which doubles as a debit-card (not a credit card) which can be used at a US Post Office?

The goal is to use the credit card to buy the debit card, then use the debit card to buy money orders, then deposit the money orders for the cash to pay the credit card.

The gist of the question is finding a gift-type card to buy that can be used as a pin-based debit card and pass muster with the Post Office.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 2:22 pm   #2
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If you have a debit card, why do you need to buy money orders, why not just widthdraw the cash?
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Old Jun 25, 10, 2:33 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
If you have a debit card, why do you need to buy money orders, why not just widthdraw the cash?
I noticed many, if not most of these cards will not work at ATMs or charge large fees for using an ATM.

But I cannot seem to locate a gift card that can be used as a debit card...none of them (so far) are 'pinnable'.

The benefit of using the post office is being able to buy just under 3K in money orders each day - while Amex will only sell 2k in deposit-able gift checks per month.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 5:05 pm   #4
 
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USPS does not require pin when purachasing money order? I don't think AmEX GC has pin, or I am wrong?
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Old Jun 25, 10, 5:08 pm   #5
 
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I think you're confusing issues - isn't a PIN irrelevant? I think all USPS cares about is that it is a debit card and not a credit card. Or do they also ask for PIN-only debit transactions because of the lower commission? If so, you'll probably have a tough time finding a PIN based debit/gift card because the card companies want higher commissions so they make these signature only.

BTW, thanks for the heads-up about the Amex gift cheques. I might have to start doing 2k SPG a month. For $20, it's a no-brainer. I take it these are depositable without any fees at most banks?

EDIT: Apparently, Amex cards have T&Cs such that you don't earn points on Gift Cheque purchases. Plus the $5.95 shipping kills the deal.

Last edited by abcx; Jun 25, 10 at 5:17 pm..
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Old Jun 25, 10, 5:17 pm   #6
 
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My experience is you have to enter pin to purchase USPS money order. I tried once to use my Chase Bank Continental debit card in my local postal office, and I was told I have to enter pin.

if no pin is required, then this opens many opportunties: you can use mileage earning debit cards to purchase money order and earn miles. Many debit cards consider non-pin transcations only for mileage earning purpose.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 5:19 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by radar_pdx View Post
My experience is you have to enter pin to purchase USPS money order. I tried once to use my Chase Bank Continental debit card in my local postal office, and I was told I have to enter pin.

if no pin is required, then this opens many opportunties: you can use mileage earning debit cards to purchase money order and earn miles. Many debit cards consider non-pin transcations only for mileage earning purpose.
The reason the card companies don't reward pin purchases is because they want you to choose the higher paying option. And the reason the USPS wants you to enter a PIN is so that they save money.

I wonder if you can purchase Amex gift cards or some other prepaid/gift cards and use these as debit cards.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 6:25 pm   #8
 
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That is the original question. Every gift card I have seen has the word "debit" written on the front of the card, but none of them come with a pin number. No pin number no money order. game over.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 6:40 pm   #9
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Ethics aside, I have purchased thousands of dollars of money orders with my mileage earning credit cards.

In the old Thank You Points day I would walk into a local or regional grocery store (remember 6 pts per $) and buy a can of coke from the service counter and say "BTW, I need a $1000 in money orders". They usually came in $300 or $500 maximums per MO.

Not every clerk would do it. The major grocery store chains seem to have strict rules against it.

Most, and I repeat, most do not allow the purchase of money orders with credit cards. I had two in Michigan and two in SC that worked for the longest time. I quit trying when the TYP 6 points bonanza ended.

But if you happen to find one that works for you, keep it to yourself, and don't be greedy. They are still out there if you will do the work to find them.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 6:58 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by popot53 View Post
That is the original question. Every gift card I have seen has the word "debit" written on the front of the card, but none of them come with a pin number. No pin number no money order. game over.
And if anyone actually mentioned such a card here the result would be its quick demise by a horde of people abusing it. I'd strongly encourage people to NOT share such information, I've seen too many nice little deals that had been around for years get trampled out of existence within days of being mentioned here.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 11:47 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by dweick View Post
And if anyone actually mentioned such a card here the result would be its quick demise by a horde of people abusing it. I'd strongly encourage people to NOT share such information, I've seen too many nice little deals that had been around for years get trampled out of existence within days of being mentioned here.
I concur, it gets my blood boiling when people flaunt the loop holes in a deal and kill off a great thing.

As to the topic at hand... there are two options that I know of that make this type of transaction still possible via a prepaid card, one these cards is accessable in a nationwide store.

Last edited by jredknapp11; Jun 25, 10 at 11:52 pm..
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Old Jun 26, 10, 12:45 am   #12
 
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One of the holy grails of all frequent flyers has always been finding a way to use a mileage-earning credit card to essentially "buy cash" with no, or truly minimal fees. (A la...Presidential Dollar Coins)

The United States Postal Service though does not allow purchases of money orders with CREDIT cards, only debit ("pin-based") cards.

However I believe there ARE still a few debit cards that do earn frequent flyer miles.

You should easily be able to find more information about those cards by searching the Flyertalk boards.
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Old Jun 26, 10, 8:21 am   #13
 
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I do hope there is one out there. Now he hunt is on.
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Old Jun 26, 10, 8:59 am   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mileage junkie View Post
One of the holy grails of all frequent flyers has always been finding a way to use a mileage-earning credit card to essentially "buy cash" with no, or truly minimal fees. (A la...Presidential Dollar Coins)

The United States Postal Service though does not allow purchases of money orders with CREDIT cards, only debit ("pin-based") cards.

However I believe there ARE still a few debit cards that do earn frequent flyer miles.

You should easily be able to find more information about those cards by searching the Flyertalk boards.
There are lots of debit cards that earn miles - but I'm looking for something with a little 'amplitude', meaning more than 1pt or 1m per dollar.

I can use the SPG Amex to get 1.25pts/$ if I transfer out to the correct program. Ideally, I'm waiting for news on how existing Travelocity Mastercards will be treated - even if our account is forcibly changed to an Amex, I can use that Travelocity Amex to buy the prepaid debit card. If this works, then I only need to buy $10,000 in money orders to earn a $400 travel voucher.

That's the piece your post was missing - using a prepaid debit card in the middle to buy the money orders as a tool to leverage better earning potential from a mileage credit card.
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Old Jun 26, 10, 9:16 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
There are lots of debit cards that earn miles - but I'm looking for something with a little 'amplitude', meaning more than 1pt or 1m per dollar.

I can use the SPG Amex to get 1.25pts/$ if I transfer out to the correct program. Ideally, I'm waiting for news on how existing Travelocity Mastercards will be treated - even if our account is forcibly changed to an Amex, I can use that Travelocity Amex to buy the prepaid debit card. If this works, then I only need to buy $10,000 in money orders to earn a $400 travel voucher.

That's the piece your post was missing - using a prepaid debit card in the middle to buy the money orders as a tool to leverage better earning potential from a mileage credit card.
Yeah, but what prepaid debit cards that you can buy with a credit card allow you to make purchases using a PIN?? I don't know if any, but if you find one, I'd be very interested to know!
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