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Another Zany Mark Goal: My Crazy Gift Card Plan For January

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Another Zany Mark Goal: My Crazy Gift Card Plan For January

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Gift Cards Only In January

In case you haven't read much of my work before I should warn you, I like to make weird goals. Goals are the spice of life after all, aren't they? Did I just totally make that saying up? Do you think it will catch on, or die by the way of fetch? Anyway, my latest and greatest idea is to use gift cards only in January. I currently have a growing problem that I think this solves. With all of those Amex Offers, Chase Offers, 3rd party gift card sales and everything in between I am sitting on a pretty big stash of store branded gift cards. They are doing me no good sitting there so I wanted to come up with a plan that realized that savings all while burning down my stash. Welcome to my January gift card challenge.

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My Plans For The Next Month

My plan is to only use gift cards for the month of January. While it isn't possible to use them for everything, like utilities and unexpected car repairs etc., I can use them for all our discretionary spending. I have accumulated gift cards for grocery stores, department stores, gas stations and restaurants. For anything outside of this realm I have $200 in Visa gift cards that I got at a discount from last week's online Office Depot sale. I feel like we should be able to cover all of our needs over the next month, at least if we buckle down that is. I plan on updating you all at the end of the month to see how it goes.

My goal by doing this is to get the money that we have sunk into these cards back out. That will let me take advantage of the discounts, as well as, save the money we would have normally spent on our cards during that time frame. I do plan on doing other miles and points spend during the month, but this will be low or no cost spend solely for points earning. It won't be any normal discretionary spending.

Gift Cards Only In January

My List Of Gift Card Balances

It is only fair that I share with you what I am working with so that you can keep me honest. Here are the gift card brands we currently have and the amounts I have to spend. Some of these are credits on our accounts, while others are actual gift cards. These were all purchased at a 10% – 40% off discount.

  • Domino's – $40
  • Chipotle – $40
  • BP Gas – $200
  • Applebee's – $40
  • Little Caesars – $15
  • Panera Bread – $25
  • Meijer – $250.98
  • Chili's – $250
  • Burger King – $2.60
  • Speedway – $7
  • Amazon – $125
  • Target – $359.77
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – $50
  • DoorDash – $168.08
  • Uber Eats – $55
  • Visa Gift Card – $200
  • GAP – $50
  • Home Depot – $50
  • McDonald's – $25
  • Taco Bell – $25

I should note that we didn't load up on groceries or anything before this started to tip the scales. We actually were running towards the end of our grocery cycle, which puts us at a slight disadvantage. I will also notate that any points we have in restaurant apps etc. will be fair game as well. We have some points in the McDonald's and Buffalo Wild Wings apps that should help us out a bit.

Gift Cards Only In January

Gift Cards Only In January: ToP Thoughts

So what do you guys think about this? Am I crazy, or do you think this will be a fun experiment? Hopefully this inspires you to think outside of the box a bit and make some unique miles, points or savings goals. If you are sitting on a huge stack of gift cards after the fourth quarter maybe you want to join along in the madness with me. I'll be sure to update you all on how it went at the end of the month.

I think we can pull it off and the only thing standing in our way is probably my wife. She usually thinks my ideas are stupid (not wrong there) and is not as willing as me to do crazy things. My fear is that when we get to the end of the month she won't be willing to be as creative as I am to make this all work. I guess we will see though.

I can tell you that a lot of On The Border and Chili's seems to be in my future!

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