Buying $20k-$30k in gift cards... dangerous?

Old May 7, 18, 5:32 am
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Buying $20k-$30k in gift cards... dangerous?

Hey,

I am planning a big renovation and I would like to buy gift cards online through staples and/or Gyft for Home Depot.

I am hoping to accumulate 20-30k of gift cards....

I won't be using them for quite a while - at least 4-5 months.

Assuming my email account isn't hacked, how much risk am I taking here? is it plausible for thieves/hackers to figure out some or all of my gift card numbers?
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Old May 7, 18, 6:20 am
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Why bother unless you found a site that will discount them or can get some other benefits. Just use the same mileage/points/cashback earning CC instead at HD. When I recently renovated my FL rental, while I used Home Depot a great deal, I did find their prices, especially installation, to be higher. I saved over $700 on the laminate floor alone with another company and got a better product and quick install.
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Old May 7, 18, 8:33 am
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You're tying up 20-30k for $200-450 worth of points (depending on how you value them). That's pretty high risk and doesn't sound very smart to me.
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Old May 7, 18, 8:37 am
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It is actually over $2000 worth of points. 5x on gc. so if 30k = 150k points. Then with my CSR = $2250 value at minimum.

Still this isn't my question though...

How often if it all do hackers still GC info when it is an E-gift card from Staples? That is my question
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Old May 7, 18, 9:53 am
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If they are e-gift cards, chances are higher for hackers to get the value (but typically you can call the company to get a refunded gift card).
If they are physical gift cards, chances are higher that you'll just lose the card somehow due to carelessness etc (not much chance of hacking if you don't register the physical card online, but if you lose the card its gone like cash).

You can take the risk if you want, and I would for a lower value (up to say $3-5k) - basically the risk isn't very high, but its there, so only buy an amount that you can afford to lose without jeopardizing your renovation projeft.
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Old May 7, 18, 10:00 am
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Old May 7, 18, 11:42 am
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I'd be hesitant to do it. Staples does not do their own e-gift card fulfillment; they contract that to a third party. I've found this third party to not be 100% reliable at sending GCs. Sometimes you have to chase them for it, which can be a big hassle. Took me at least 4 separate phone calls last time to track down a missing $100 Staples e-GC.

Not a huge issue, but you'll need to be extremely well organized (and vigilant) to ensure you don't have any e-GCs fall through the cracks.
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Old May 9, 18, 3:55 pm
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As the OP is obtaining GC's for CC rewards, we'll move this to our Manufactured Spending forum.
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Old May 9, 18, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by bklgafly View Post
It is actually over $2000 worth of points. 5x on gc. so if 30k = 150k points. Then with my CSR = $2250 value at minimum.

Still this isn't my question though...

How often if it all do hackers still GC info when it is an E-gift card from Staples? That is my question
dont forget you can put the $30k in a CD some banks are paying over 1% nowadays.

If I had to do it, no way this far out would I buy them.. When Id start would depend on which CC/s I was going to use and what my CL is. If I was gonna get them at Staples, Id wait and then hit up enough Staples buy buying < $2k per store, doubt youd need all $30k on day 1 either. When I had 4 Birds to feed every month ($20k) it took me a couple of days to hget all the food I needed to feed them, so $30k shouldnt be a problem, of cause thats assuming you have a few Staples within close driving distance like I do
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Old May 9, 18, 6:37 pm
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It's too much of a risk for only 5 Chase UR points per $1. It would be safer to buy plastic Home Depot GCs in-store at Staples rather than buying plastic or digital cards online. It is best if you could get $500 Home Depot cards but they probably don't go up that high — it will be a hassle to manage so many cards. With Lowe's, you are actually limited to redeeming 5 gift cards per order online (don't know about HD).

I think this would only be worthwhile if they were offering 10% off which Staples and other retailers occasionally offer for Lowe's GCs. Staples usually does an in-store/online sale for $90 for $100 Lowe's GCs in-store and online around December... there is a limit online but you could go to multiple stores to buy $20K+ although it will say Limit 1 in-store. Some stores may let you buy more.

As for eBay, they commonly do $90 for $100 Lowe's GCs, but the limit is 3 or 5 cards and you will quickly get blacklisted if you try to use multiple accounts to buy extras.

You would probably be better off just using a 2% cashback credit card at HD instead of tying your money up, having to administer and manage record-keeping for the GCs, being exposed to potential fraud, and not having the buyer protections that you would enjoy if you paid for your home renovation merchandise directly with credit cards instead of Home Depot gift cards.
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Old May 9, 18, 8:44 pm
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I would not do it, too much risk for not so much benefit. Chase is closing a lot of account for less than that, check the chase thread.
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Old May 10, 18, 7:17 am
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The buyer protections would be my big concern. Paying by credit card at the time of purchase gives you a lot of rights and leverage Most decent cards have extended warranty protection on purchases, and you can dispute charges for substandard products/services. This could come in handy with shady contractors doing quick and dirty work.
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Old May 10, 18, 10:31 pm
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Originally Posted by bklgafly View Post
Assuming my email account isn't hacked, how much risk am I taking here? is it plausible for thieves/hackers to figure out some or all of my gift card numbers?
Yesterday a shady character came up to me inside a HD and tried to sell me "discounted" HD gift cards. He had a whole stack. I didn't think it prudent to ask if he was "making" them or stealing them.

A couple years ago I lost several hundred dollars when my e-gift Sears cards were drained a couple thousand miles away. I later found out PayPal Digital Gifts was reportedly hacked and my card numbers were some of many that suffered the same fate. PPDG, PayPal, eBay, and Sears all denied any responsibility and said I could not prove I didn't give the code to someone else to use. My point is that most any GC can be compromised and my opinion is that electronic ones are even harder to recoup. Don't expect any help from HD if something goes wrong.

All that said, I regularly buy a $500 HD gift card at OM/OD for personal projects. I use them within a week or two and have not had a problem. It's just that your amount and timeline makes the risk excessive to me.
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Old May 11, 18, 2:48 am
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I would personally not do it. Tying up $20-30K in GCs ever is just nuts. What would be the motivation behind this especially if its not going to be used for several months? I would much rather buy in-store physical GC's than hold onto E-gift cards.
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Old May 12, 18, 9:47 am
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Definitely No

Originally Posted by bklgafly View Post
Hey,

I am planning a big renovation and I would like to buy gift cards online through staples and/or Gyft for Home Depot.

I am hoping to accumulate 20-30k of gift cards....

I won't be using them for quite a while - at least 4-5 months.

Assuming my email account isn't hacked, how much risk am I taking here? is it plausible for thieves/hackers to figure out some or all of my gift card numbers?
The risk is not worth the reward. While the risk is relatively low, even physical gift cards get hacked and/or drained while they have been in my possession. GCs I buy online typically get converted within 2 weeks while GCs in person get converted within 3 or 4 days, even with this timing I've still had losses. I don't know how the hackers do it but they are obviously smart. If you sit on 30K worth of GC for 4 months you're definitely going to have some losses.

As other mentioned, you could just buy discounted Lowes or Home depot cards. Park the money in a 2% savings https://www.doctorofcredit.com/high-...avings-to-get/. Or simply forgo the 5x UR, and pay with a 2% cash back card. It's definitely not as fun but those options are alot less risky.
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