Posted by William Charles on October 3, 2018
Manufactured Spending

Published on October 3rd, 2018 | by William Charles

44

Gift Of College Cards Available At Barnes & Noble (46 Stores Currently, All Stores By Mid October)

Currently 46 Barnes & Noble stores are carrying gift of college gift cards in denominations of $25-$200. In mid October these cards will be available at all Barnes & Noble stores. Frequent Miler has a good post on why these cards are useful. These still have a purchase fee of $5.95, so they aren’t as useful as the cards that can be loaded up to $500 with the same fee. There used to be a number of cards that earned up to 5% cash back on bookstore purchases, but unfortunately that’s no longer the case. The Barnes & Noble card does earn 5% back on Barnes & Noble purchases though.

Hat tip to reader Flame



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Evan
Evan

So why is this interesting?

Kaung
Kaung

It’s a way to pay student loans via CC for a lot of lenders that don’t take CC directly (or some that don’t take Plastiq even). If you have high monthly loans, the fee is also a better rate than Plastiq.

AnameOfaguy
AnameOfaguy

By what math is the $200 GoC fee at 3.0% better than Plastiq at 2.5%?

Kaung
Kaung

Sorry, Toys R Us used to have $500’s. Def not worth it at $200 level.

Jabroni6969
Jabroni6969

Sounds like you can buy a Barnes and Noble gift card for no CC fee. And then buy gift of college with barnes and noble gift card (bypassing the fee).

AnameOfaguy
AnameOfaguy

Are you saying that buying a GoC gift card with a B&N gift card somehow avoids the $5.95 GoC gift card activation fee? Do you have a reference?

Electroman
Electroman

I’m not the person you asked, but here’s the answer: You get 5% cash back on B&N purchases with your credit card. 5% of $200 is $10, right? That’s more than $5.95; QED

AnameOfaguy
AnameOfaguy

The 5% cash back on a B&N purchase is a strong assumption he made no allusion to and really limits what value there may be on GoC cards. It’s more work than it’s worth as an MS avenue but makes sense for MSR where 5% cash back likely doesn’t come into play.

Ryan
Ryan

Fred’s Pharmacy is another store (located mainly in the Southeast) that sells GOC cards up to $500. There are 4 of these stores within about an hour drive, but only 1 will allow me to use a credit card.

Once a month, I open a new credit card that has a nice bonus after minimum spend, purchase GOC cards to meet minimum spend, rinse and repeat. I’m paying off student loans while earning credit card bonuses. The return on investment is staggering even with $5.95 fee per card.

Make sure you create an account with GOC and verify that they participate with your loan servicer before purchasing GOC gift cards!

CongestionCharge
CongestionCharge

Useful for MRS on AMEX I guess

Kc
Kc

I guess they know better than to sell the much more useful $500 denomination. I miss my HEB since I’ve moved from Texas

Brad C
Brad C

Barnes & Noble sends Level 3 data

Probably better off meeting min spend somewhere else.

Andrew
Andrew

i was about to say. is there confirmation that amex will give min spend bonus when buying GOC gc with an amex card? i woudlnt risk it unless someone confirmed getting the bonus.

Luis
Luis

Why not? GoC GCs are not cash equivalent. What’s the difference between them and buying other type of third party GCs ????

Brion
Brion

Is there a list of the 46 somewhere?

Heartlanta
Heartlanta

I mean, it’s nice to see higher availability, but at a $200 maximum, I’ll just purchase these online and save myself from having to put on pants…

AnameOfaguy
AnameOfaguy

No kidding. Plus, paying off loans one $200 GoC at a time is itself more opportunity cost than it’s worth. I mean, I guess if your time is worth that little…

Krish
Krish

200$ limit makes it useless.

Tim
Tim

Can you use Samsung Pay at Barnes and Noble? Will they allow you to buy these with Barnes and Noble gift cards?

Ray
Ray

Let us know when you find out

jeph36
jeph36

I am currently debiting money to my 4 kids’ 529s direct from my checking account, so if I can get 4.5% on the US Altitude Reserve I will give it a shot. For the labor part of using the GCs, I can just put my kids to work funding their own accounts :-).

Mark
Mark

You can use Samsung Pay. No idea on the gift cards though

Dylan
Dylan

The only situation in which these could work is if you bought something nuts like $4000 of these cards in a single trip and paid with a barnes and noble 5% back credit card. If you could buy and liquidate that much in one trip you would only be making $80 cash back anyway.

Let me know when the $500 are available.

COBOLCODERUSEALLCAPS

That fee and value is exactly 2.9%.

Closertothesun
Closertothesun

2.975 is exactly 2.9.

Close enough to make no difference, and I get that I’m being pedantic, but don’t like the word “exactly” there.

COBOLCODERUSEALLCAPS

You should divide by 205.95 instead of 200 because your credit card earns against the fee paid as well, which is 2.88%.

NinjaX
NinjaX

BN the new WM…

Dee
Dee

A lot of university bookstores are Barnes & Noble. I have two kids in grad school in different states. Both of their bookstores are B&N.

EvanScott
EvanScott

Wondering if the Marvel Mastercard would work as entertainment at 3%? Even if it does still would only break even unless they start selling $500 cards.

Klemhuzzah
Klemhuzzah

If it does, then you should know that the Sony Card (now part of Capital One) offers 5% on entertainment.

DH7
DH7

Will reach out to a friend at University of Maryland after mid-october to see if the school bookstore (Barnes and nobles) carries these, could be lucrative with the Terps card (surprisingly) since it earns 10x at University stores.

Rabbmd
Rabbmd

Does anyone know if being a barnes and noble member for $25 a year gets 10% off gift cards like say maybe these? Can someone with a barnes and noble membership test that?

Rabbmd
Rabbmd

Also does anyone know if the happy teen cards that grocery stores are selling in the happy line for 10-15% during promotions can be used for buying giftofcollege cards at barnes and noble as well???

Buying at a grocery store with a credit card getting catagory bonuses the happy teen cards at 15% off face could make this a winner.

Krish
Krish

Did you test this?

RM
RM

Rabbmd I am curious whether you ever tried using a Happy Teen card to buy any GCs at B&N.

Maximilian Petre
Maximilian Petre

lol

Mr. PTM

OH SNAP!

I’ve been struggling to hit MSR on Altitude and vanilla Plat since Plastiq student loan payments don’t work. Very welcome news.

Mr. PTM

Also reading through the comments about LIII data, so not as good news, but at the least they’ve got 🔥 tweets: https://twitter.com/GiftofCollege/status/1042775839744647168

PJ
PJ

Can you use a B&N GC to buy GoC GCs?

Krish
Krish

No

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