MileValue is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more.

Note: Some of the offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer be available. You can view current offers here.

Over the weekend, I manufactured $506.23 in spending at a cost of $6.93 (1.37%) and 3 minutes of time.

The first step was to buy a reloadable Visa gift card with my credit card. I live in Hawaii where the options for this are bleak. I found a Safeway with a sign saying that variable value gift cards had to be purchased with cash, but I decided to see if the sign was mistaken and took this Visa gift card issued by MetaBank to the register.


Note that the green sticker is actually not on the back of the gift card packaging. It is on the card itself.
  • What were the rest of the steps?
  • Why did I unload the gift card on a money order?

At the register, I swiped my credit card and the register gave an error message to the cashier. I presume the message told him I needed to pay with cash, but I can’t be sure. His response was to call a manager over to get her card to override the register.

The manager seemed none too interested in why he needed the card. He overrode his register and my purchase went through.

The MetaBank gift card had a $5.95 fee, and I was charged sales tax on that amount, which has never happened before. My total charge was $506.23.


I headed to a Walmart and went to the Money Center in the back. There are a lot of forms set out in the Money Center, but if you just want a money order, you go straight to the cashier without filling out a form.

I waited in line for three minutes, during which time I used my smart phone to set a PIN for the gift card at (This is where my card’s PIN is set, not all cards’ PINs.)

When I got to the front of the line, I said I asked for a $499.30 money order, since I could see behind the counter that the money order fee was $0.70 and my gift card had $500 on it.


The $499.30 money order printed out without the name of the recipient.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 2.51.22 AM

I headed to my bank and deposited the money order in my account after filling in my own name as the recipient.


I paid $506.23 for the gift card and deposited $499.30 in my bank account for a cost of $6.93 (1.37%).

I don’t consider the trip to Safeway to be a time cost since I had to get groceries. Same with the trip to Walmart because I needed to pick something up there. Even the trip to the bank wasn’t an extra trip because I needed to make another deposit.

I see the total time cost at about 3 minutes between the time at the Safeway register for the register override and the time in the Walmart Money Center line.

Worth It?

I’m not particularly eager to earn points at a 1x rate for 1.37 cents each, so I’d need a category bonus or minimum spending requirement to make this worthwhile.

I could have lowered the cost 0.14% by putting the gift card balance on Bluebird instead of a money order. Some will prefer that option.

I won’t be repeating this again because Hawaii has very poor options for buying gift cards. I think I got lucky at Safeway, and the other grocery stores and pharmacies I visited didn’t have gift cards for purchase with a credit card.


  • CKANbanner_300x250_v6b

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

The comments section below is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all questions are answered.