Maximizing the NBA Card 5x Rewards for Two Weeks

We’ve written about how it’s possible to get 5x everywhere twice a year with the BBVA NBA card. The card is now available with no annual fee and a $100 signup bonus. 

Final season runs from June 4 – June 19, 2015. Of course depending on how the games go they may not take that long, but we’ve clarified previously that the 5x rewards are earned from June 4 – June 18, no matter who wins or loses.

The key here is to maximize the 5x rewards during the 15 days we have to do so.

Here are some ideas…

  • Prepay bills. This is really the best option in my opinion. Cellular, utilities, insurances, etc. With many carriers and services, you can pay out a few months in advance. Consider paying off these bills for the rest of the year or however much you’re comfortable with.
  • Buy Visa gift cards at your local supermarket or drugstore. You can also get some free gas along the way if you have a Stop&Shop or Giant nearby.
  • Pay taxes. If anyone has some tax liability they can pay now, this is one real opportunity to do so. The fee can be less than 2% and you can profit 3% without getting out of your PJs.
  • Pay your rent. Fees can be as low as 2.5% and many will take Amex for the payment. See Complete List Of Options For Paying Your Rent With A Debit Or Credit Card.
  • Pay other bills with Plastiq. Loans, mortgages, etc. There is a 2.5% fee, but it could be a nice option. Remember, buying Visa gift cards also comes with an activation fee.
  • Load Serve. As we know, Serve still allows loading with Amex cards and the BBVA card has been earning points on the purchase with no cash advance issue.
  • Buy Amex gift cards. On 6/4/15, you can get 2% cashback through the portal. Hopefully we’ll see other portals increase to 2% as well. You can then use the gift cards to buy Visa gift cards, pay taxes, pay rent, etc.
  • Grocery store bonus. This one is targeted, but some folks got an extra bonus offer to get $50 when spending $250 at a supermarket.
  • Fund a bank account. Many banks allow credit card funding and there are a few who allow Amex cards as well. We have a page dedicated to clarifying which banks allow credit card funding and which don’t. Here are the ones mentioned there as being able to fund with Amex: US Bank $500 (varying data points on cash advance), BMO Harris $1,000, Consumers Credit Union $1,000, American Heritage Credit Union $1,000. There are many other banks which may allow Amex as well. Hopefully, there won’t be any cash advance issue with BBVA, though it’s worth trying to lower the cash advance limit to be safe. It wouldn’t be worth opening an account just for the small amount of credit card funding you can do, but if you were on the fence to open one of these bank accounts this can be an opportunity to do so.

Things to be aware of…

  • We don’t know how easy-going BBVA is. I’m hopeful that since it’s just a 2-week period they won’t have a chance or it won’t be worth their while to make problems with those who are hitting this hard.
  • We are limited by our credit lines. Luckily, many people have gotten high credit lines which makes it easier to really make use of the 5x bonus.
  • Try doing more innocuous purchases if you can. For example, prepaying your cellular or insurance and things like that. Diversifying and doing more ordinary transactions are probably better.

Big Caveat

Finally, we need to mention that there is a small chance that certain Financial transactions won’t be eligible to earn 5x. We’ve mentioned before that Citi has recently revamped their system to disqualify Financial-coded purchases from earning certain bonus rewards. I wouldn’t think that BBVA has such a thing coded in their system, but the possibility exists.

Potential problems:

  • Loading Serve
  • Buying Amex gift cards
  • Funding bank accounts
  • Paying taxes (We don’t know if this codes as Financial or not. Incidentally, this will make a difference with regards to some Citi cards as well, see this post.)

I honestly hadn’t entertained the possibility myself, but a reader pointed out that the Terms mention that certain prepaid cards, etc., aren’t eligible for any rewards. While most of the lingo there is standard in all credit card fine print, there is one place where it get a little more detailed than we usually see: “payments made for prepaid and reloadable cards such as certain gift cards, Visa Buxx,® and similar cards”. That Buxx reference sounds like something out of Flyertalk (though, incidentally, no Buxx that I know of can be loaded with an Amex card).

Buying Visa gift cards from drugstores or supermarkets shouldn’t be an issue in any case unless there ends up being human intervention.

Again, while this is a possibility, I doubt this will end up being an issue. Let us know if you know anything more on this front.

[Further readingDon’t Hit that 5x NBA Card Too Hard…]

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Xiao Liu
Xiao Liu

anyone know where I can get the reward balance on this card?

ImSoFly
ImSoFly
Michael
Michael

Hey, check out their social media pages Twitter/Facebook. I posted a few less than flattering posts and within minutes had my account “unlocked”. Funny,if it weren’t a serious customer service fiasco.

Siyuan
Siyuan

You guys are lucky enough to at least spend some. Mine was on hold after an attempt to fuel my car in nearby town. That gas station usually pre-authorize $150.
SCREW IT..!
Now they ask for tons of IDs to verify…Ridiculous is the only word

David
David

Just some positive data here, I’ve made 4 positive transactions all in stores totaling about 14,000 and no issues yet. I’m limiting myself to one purchase a day with the card and plan to put all transactions at one chain of supermarket and one pharmacy. Smaller purchases go on the 3% card.

Also of note, I got the card about 6 weeks ago maybe, and put a little spend on the card back then to establish the account a bit.

David
David

Oops. Got denied today. There goes the good news.

Nate8
Nate8

Exempting gift cards is one thing, but all online purchases? That is about as deceptive a business practice as you can get.

J T
J T

My acct is under review as well. Note that the ’48 hour’ hold is actually business days; apparently the decision makers can’t be bothered at night or over the weekend, and since mine started Saturday morning, the fraud dept said not to expect a decision until Tues or Wed. Unless you enjoy the punishing hold times on the phone, their direct line is 855-634-1450, but don’t expect satisfaction as their review is a closed process. I was told that all aspects of my acct are being scrutinized, including opening it, but my input wasn’t necessary when I offered. I’ve had this card for less than a week, been declined for 6 of 16 total transactions (both online and off), and I’ve called these clowns each and every time to confirm that yes it was me making that purchase.

I haven’t heard directly about the no swipe/no points issue, but I do think this smells like a card cancellation in progress. If it turns out that they are violating the terms of their own rewards program, I also see many complaints to CFPB in the near future.

Phill the Points All Around
Phill the Points All Around

I smell a class action cooking.

DAFFY
DAFFY

WAY TO RUIN THIS CARD WITH ALL YOUR MS SPENDING

Phill the Points All Around
Phill the Points All Around

Ha…I just wanted to meet Keven Durant and James Harden. ; )

stvr
stvr

Made ONE purchase of $1,000 and now my card is on a 48 hour security hold. Can’t be used until Wednesday at the earliest, they said. Talk about running out the clock, speaking of NBA terminology. From reading MyFICO forums, I get the sense this is a prelude to having my card canceled. I see a repeat of Diners Club all over again. At least we didn’t pay annual fees. Hope I at least get my $50 rewards and $100 signup from the $1,000 spend… all I got to do!

ImSoFly
ImSoFly

i called customer service, the number on the back of the card, to inquire about the way points work. They then transferred me to someone that specializes in this to answer my questions. During our conversation he mentioned that the points only accrue for each SWIPE of the card. He asked me if my purchases were made in person or online, i said in person and asked why it mattered. He then said that only actual swipes of the card accrue points. He seemed pretty knowledgeable but who knows, maybe he’s wrong on this since it seems like a weird loophole, but that’s what the guy said.

Ben
Ben

Crazy unbelievable. This could be very impactful- Chuck, if you’re reading this, you might want to warn your readers? Especially after the posts about buying AGCs… though I think further investigation needs to be done as well, I will report back what I find. Imsofly, thanks for the tip!

Kenny

I earned points (and the 10K bonus) for an AMEX gift card purchase. Of course it was just 1X. Base 1X points seem to post 2-4 days after purchases post to the account. Bonus points (gas, grocery) take longer, around a week.