Earning miles on a credit card and being paid for it

The recent festival season in India presented an interesting opportunity to earn miles & points, and also be paid for it.

One of the banks in India was offering gift cards at a discount on the face value of the gift card, which essentially meant you would be getting more money to spend on the card than how much you paid for it. There was a 5% discount, so if you bought the gift cards worth INR 3,000, you only paid INR 2,850 for it.

I was able to purchase this gift card with a points earning credit card issued in India, who gave me their normal points structure on this spend. In essence, I was earning miles, and roughly getting a similar discount on the card value as well.

I’m not putting out the names here. The opportunity does not exist currently, but will come back soon I presume. If you want to have more details, you could write to me and I would share the details with you.

EDIT: Like I said above, the details won’t be shared here. Please send me an email if you have queries.

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  1. So basically its just about the 5% off – because on any “uses” of the gift card you would have used your CC (e.g. Premier Miles, Jet cobrand etc) to earn points anyway. Right?

  2. I was contemplating doing this with that same offer recently, but found that the miles earned on the Indian credit cards would not warrant any such purchases – as most of the redemption opportunities are so sparse with the airlines represented with credit cards here in India…

  3. I don’t have direct interest in the promotion because I don’t live in India but curious to know how you would liquidate the Gift Card. Without easy liquidation opportunities it would be hard to reap too much benefits. In the US you can now set PIN numbers on GCs which make it very easy to liquidate and hence has become very popular. Are there limits on the total amount of GCs you can buy?

  4. I understand what you mean AJ!

    If I am not wrong, they had this promotion during Fathers Day as well.. presented a unique arbitrage opportunity!

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