Posted by Chuck on June 4, 2015
Manufactured Spending

Published on June 4th, 2015 | by Chuck

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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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Bryan
Bryan

A colleague tries to by $5038 in giftcards today with NBA card and was declined. Called in and we told it was limited to $5k a day. (They approve it this one time anyway). Is anyone else running into this 5k a day limit? It had us all changing our game plan.

Ben
Ben

Yes, I had the exact same issue, and was told the exact same thing. There is a $5K daily total limit, it definitely changes around the plans a little bit but I still think there is massive opportunity here. The rep offered to waive it if it was a bit over, but it would have required a pre-authorization code over the phone with the cashier, like we sometimes see OfficeMax do.

Vic
Vic

I did a $5039.5 for Simon VGC in one swipe and went through with no problem…
Weird.

star
star

I did $3k in GCs…didn’t get up to $5k today. I also didn’t realize I had to register my card into the rewards program. I wonder if the GCs I bought today counted then…

Nate8
Nate8

Who did your colleague call and learn about the limit from?

mike
mike

I can confirm. Try it for yourself.

mike
mike

BBVA is dumb. They have a $5000 daily limit no matter what your credit line is.

Russ
Russ

Is that limit per transaction or total for the day?

mike
mike

daily total

P
P

Hi, Can someone please clarify the below
1) Is it possible to earn and redeem rewards without creating an online account?
2) On other forums people are having trouble with the bill payment. is it possible to pay the bill using bank account online bill payment ? Is the safest way to pay is with mailing checks?
3) In your opinion, do you think the waive of annual fee promotion will comeback after 6/30 again?

Mitchell
Mitchell

I can tell you that whoever told you there is a 5k limit doesn’t really know. Because I purchased 2k at CVS and then I paid off the remainder of my NBA season tickets which were 3800. So I have already spent 5820 and its not even noon. And yesterday I did another 2k and paid off my insurance for the year. But my CL is 12k so I’m going to stop once I reach that. Not worth trying to pay off and restarting and then getting closed down. I’ll take the extra 600 dollars for 45 minutes of work.

star`
star`

I called today to add an authorized user. While on the phone, I also asked if I was eligible for the gas/grocery promotion because I never received an email. He said ALL cardmembers are eligible for all promotions, and in fact, there is one coming up after the gas/grocery one, from June 25-July 9, in which you spend $1000 on travel and get 5000 bonus points ($50 statement credit or gift card). He then confirmed my email address because I was worried I’d miss the next promotional email.

I asked if I had to register on some website for the promotions and he said that all cardmembers are automatically enrolled into all promos, and then proceeded to also tell me about the 5x during NBA finals, and that I’m automatically enrolled in that too.

I enrolled online just in case.

Miz
Miz

Did anybody succeed to spend more than $5000 in a single transaction with the card?

J T
J T

Tried $6k on AGC, declined. $4k went through; already had several smaller non-MS charges today. When I called, both the front line CSR and fraud dept confirmed $5k daily transaction hard limit. Daily limit is same regardless of credit line (unless CL is below $5k, obvs) and does not change with acct age or use. CSR did say that small amounts over $5k may be temporarily approved by a BBVA supervisor on a case by case basis, which confirms the first commenter.

Vic
Vic

I was able to do $5039.5 in one swipe (Simon VGC)

Yenner
Yenner

Got my card, did one 1000 purchase at Walgreens and now stuck in fraud resolution for 48 business hours to get released. What a PITA!

Dave Lu
Dave Lu

Word of warning: don’t hit this card too hard. My card got put on a 48 hour hold after I spent $3K yesterday and then $4K on Amex GCs today.

Ted
Ted

Are you “under review” as they call it? Did they ask you to wait for a phone call? How do you know it is only a 48-hour *hold*?

Dave Lu
Dave Lu

Yes they told me it’s a 48 hour hold and to wait for their phone call. I’m going to try to use my card for a small purchase tmr to see if it’s a real hold.

Dave L.
Dave L.

Yep, it’s a real hold. Just got a small charge denied at McDonald’s this morning.

star
star

OMG. I spent $3k on 6/4 in one transaction and now my account is “under review” too – I found out when I tried to purchase $1k today and it got denied, so I called in and they said “your transaction on 6/4 triggered a review of your account that will take about 24-48 hours. Unfortunately, you cannot use your card during this time. Someone will contact you at this phone number when it is finished.”

What are they reviewing? How come they’re not asking us for any input…how can you do a review without any input?

Secondly, about the online purchases…my friend went into a BBVA branch yesterday and they told her it was not for online purchases either. WTF?

nistah
nistah

What is the most efficient payoff method being used by folks to refresh the revolving credit line after spend?

ImSoFly
ImSoFly

So i had a lengthy discussion with a rep over the phone and he said that online purchses will NOT earn ANY rewards points. Not just 5x but not even 1x.

Just thought I’d let you guys know.

Ben
Ben

What?? Lol that’s quite the bomb to drop, especially with all of us buying AGCs… I have never heard of any card with such a crazy rule, a purchase is a purchase. Which department were you talking to? Anyone else out there hear anything remotely similar? If there is something like this we all gotta know ASAP…

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.

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!

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. ; )

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