Posted by William Charles on December 29, 2014
Manufactured Spending

Published on December 29th, 2014 | by William Charles


Grocery Stores That Sell $500 Giftcards

We know that the Chase Freedom is going to earn 5x points/5% cash back on grocery store purchases for the first quarter in 2015 (on the first $1,500 in spend), there are also lots of cards that always earn at a high rate on these purchases. Grocery stores often sell Visa/Mastercard giftcards, unfortunately these giftcards come with fees. Obviously the higher denomination the giftcards are, the less in fees you’ll pay. These giftcards can then be used for your regular spending (thus earning you ~4% cash back on all purchases) or unloaded using one of your favorite manufactured spending techniques.

Below is a list of grocery stores that sell $500 giftcards. A lot of this information has been sourced from this Flyertalk thread. If you have additional data points, then please let me know in the comments so I can update this post. The fees are believed to be $5.95 per card unless otherwise specified. Not all of these retailers will accept credit cards, this varies wildly from store to store. Where possible we’ve listed the limits on the amount you can buy.

A few disclaimers and tips first.

  • Start slowly. Do not go into a store and try to purchase $5,000 in one purchase. This looks very suspicious and like a fraudlent transaction. If you start slowly you’re also more likely to learn the internal limits on what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of volume.
  • Be polite and smile. Being friendly isn’t just good manners, it can also help you get what you want. Somebody that likes you is more likely to trust you and thus let you buy larger amounts.
  • Don’t argue if they state there is a specific limitation. If the cashier states that you can only purchase one $500 gift card at a time, then smile say thank you and move on.
  • Only purchase in amounts you can spend or unload. It’s great getting 5% cash back, it’s not great having $10,000 in gift cards when you only spend $100 a month. If you’re planning to manufacture credit card spend, make sure you have multiple unload methods and a safety net in case (or should I say when) something goes wrong.

The List

  • Acme (kept behind counter)
  • Albertsons (anything over $1,000 requires manual manager override)
  • A&P (only carries $100 gift cards, some had success with $500 gift cards)
  • Basha’s
  • Bi-Lo (anything over $1,000 will result in them recording your information)
  • Big Y (there is a $1,000 limit at some stores, but not enforced at all stores)
  • CityMarket (requires you to provide your drivers license, the number is entered into their system)
  • Cub Foods
  • Family Fare
  • Food Lion (manager approval required if over $2k; $10k max)
  • Food4less
  • Fred Meyer
  • Giant
  • Glens
  • Hannafords. Mastercard’s
  • Harris Teeter (anything above $1,000 requires a manager over ride. Drivers license needs to be presented when purchasing a gift card of $500)
  • High V/Hy-Vee (limit of $500 per transaction)
  • Jewell
  • King Soopers (requires you to provide your drivers license, the number is entered into their system)
  • Kroger (requires you to provide your drivers license, the number is entered into their system)
  • Meijer
  • Pathmark
  • QFC
  • Ralph’s
  • Randall’s
  • RiteAid
  • Safeway (anything above $500 requires a manual manager over ride)
  • Schnucks (gift cards are held behind the customer service desk)
  • Shaws/Star Market (Sometimes a manager override is needed, this varies store to store)
  • ShopRite
  • Stater Bros
  • Stop & Shop
  • Vons. Seems to be a hard limit of two $500 gift cards per transaction, anything above this and you have to pay cash. Anything over $500 requires a manager override.
  • Weis. Sell both Visa & Mastercard
  • Winn Dixie (require you to fill out a form with your name, drivers license number and other information, they no longer log this information they just check your ID & credit card to ensure they match)
Make sure your specific store codes as a grocery store.

You can use the Visa MCC lookup tool to see what your local store codes as. Also remember that Target & Walmart do not count as grocery store locations for the Chase Freedom Q1 2015 cashback category.

To get the most out of the Chase Freedom promotion, I’d recommend waiting to see if any of these grocery stores offer a promotion on purchasing gift cards (this happens quite regularly). We’ll be keeping our eyes out for these more than normal, but make sure you check the weekly ads for grocery stores in your area as well (also please contact us to let us know).

Stores That Sell $200 Giftcards

  • Meijer (these can also be bought in the self check out aisle)
  • Tops
  • Wegmans

Stores That Don’t Allow Credit Cards To Be Used

  • Copps
  • Mariano’s
  • Pick ‘N Save (limit of $2,000 per transaction used to be allowed, no longer accepting credit cards)

Stores That Don’t Sell Giftcards

  • Acme Fresh Market
  • Jubillee
  • Mieners
  • Pick ‘N Save (limit of $2,000 per transaction used to be allowed, no longer accepting credit c)
  • Publix (no $500, might have others)
  • Remke
  • Shoppers Food (possibly hard coded not to allow credit cards to be used)
  • Strack & Vantil
  • Town & Country
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Wegmans
  • Whole Foods

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You can add Meijer to the list of stores that sell $200 GCs. They can be bought in the self checkout, which is super convenient.

John hancock
John hancock

Can it be brought with credit card?


Also, add Remke to list that doesn’t sell gift cards.

Michael B
Michael B

I think it would be prudent to remove from the list any retailers that sell VGC but are useless for MS (ie. don’t accept CC for such purchases). Pick N Save/Marianos/all Roundys stores recently went cash only for all Visa/MC/Amex/Reloadits, even the fixed value $25 ones.


You can add Pathmark to the list for $500 visa gift card.


Bi-lo is listed on both the sell list & don’t sell. I can’t confirm which is accurate.


I am more interested in a master list of stores, not just grocery, that is grouped by category. For example, include categories such as drug stores, department stores, electronic stores, home improvement stores, gas stations, etc.


Winn Dixie no longer requires the log of driver’s license, etc.; clerk only must verify card/ID match.


Now you can only buy GCs with debit card or cash


Seconded. Money cardss at Winn Dixiee near me are cash only.


My winn dixie is the same. Debit only. but i then swap out my Amex Gold when they look away and it goes through fine.


Gift card fraud has gotten so rampant at grocery stores where I live (southern california) that I have quit buying them in grocery stores.


I’m curious how they are still so effective at defrauding gift cards. Isn’t it obvious with a little inspection which cards have been tampered with? Pins are covered with a scratch off and the only VGC/MGC’s I’ve ever purchased are encased and have a tear off flap for activation purposes.


It also varies from store to store. In the Washington, DC metro area Safeways and Giants are about 50/50. Some will always sell them and other never. In many cases the stores of only a couple miles apart and in the same city, but they have different rules.


I agree; however, the Giants in Fredericksburg, VA excepts credit cards for Visa/MC. This is a fantastic way of maximizing your credit card rewards. To be honest, I never considered this option until I realized that I was only getting 2% back using my Fidelity Amex to pay bills. I was hooked after the first attempt… now I review this website daily for not only credit card ideas, but other financial ideas as well. Great tool you have here Dr. of Credit


Weis – sells visa, and mastercard


Kroger owns several chains: besides QFC, it’s Fred Meyer (it’s big here in PNW and I bought cards here personally), Ralphs, Food4less, CityMarket (though I didn’t try buying cards there, I imagine the procedure will be the same).

Thank you!

Debbie @ Traveling Well For Less

Not all Albertson’s and Vons require the manager override. It may be area dependent. It’s never been required for my transactions and let’s just say that Staples isn’t the only store where I’m known as “the gift card lady.”


The fraud has gotten so bad with the US Bank issued Mastercards and Visas found at many stores including Kroger that I am avoiding them completely. It appears that thieves don’t even need to physically tamper with the card to steal the account information. It happened to me on 2 variable Visas bought at Kroger.


King Soopers and City Market are both owned by Kroger’s and have the same policy regarding entering your ID into the system. They have no limit that I’ve found, and the cashiers are always really nice.

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