Is the Simon Mall gift card kiosk Nirvana? Maybe!

Now that I can buy money orders with gift cards at Walmart, I wanted to find the cheapest spots to buy Visa gift cards.  What I have found with help from Flyertalk is Simon Malls!

Simon Mall Gift Card Kiosk
Simon Mall Gift Card Kiosk
Simon Mall Gift Card Rack
Simon Mall Gift Card Rack
Simon Mall Visa Gift Card
Simon Mall Visa Gift Card

Your local Simon Mall has a kiosk that sells Visa gift cards with an up to $500 balance with a $2.95 fee. Go to www.simon.com to find the closest mall to you but call to confirm they sell the Visa gift cards before you make the trip.  The kiosk looks like this:They will also probably have another rack of gift cards that looks like this:The cards that you want are the blue and white visa gift cards that they sell behind the counter. You can get them in denominations up to $500 and there is a $2.95 fee. You should always get the $500 ones so you decrease the % cost of the fee you pay.

Once you have the card, if you want to use it to buy money orders at Walmart or load your Bluebird account using the kiosk, you will need to set the PIN code.

To set the PIN code, you call the number on the back of the card which is currently 1-866-300-9401.  Once you get the process down it can be quite quick and you don’t have to wait for the whole prompt to play before entering the next option.

  1. Hit 1 for English
  2. Enter the 16 digit account number
  3. Enter the 3 digit CVV security code from the back of the card followed by the # key
  4. Enter 7 to hear the PIN code
  5. Hit 2 to choose your own PIN code
  6. Enter a 4 digit PIN code you want to use
  7. Listen to the PIN then press 1 if it is correct

At this point you have a gift card with a PIN set that can be used for any debit transactions (but not for cash back or ATM usage).  This works perfectly for Bluebird loads or getting money orders.

I have found that if I buy more than $1000 worth in a day, they have to fill out a form and have to have a higher up verify that the credit card matches your ID.  Since I typically buy $3000 at a time (since $3000 is the most you can buy in money orders at a single Walmart per day), they fill this form out often.  If they ask what you are doing with the gift cards you can just say you are using them for gifts or you could just say you are doing it to get frequent flyer miles.

Advanced Variation:

For those who really want to maximize your miles, what I like to do is combine one of these $500 gift cards I buy with my US Airways card with three $200 gift cards I buy from OfficeMax or Staples using my Chase Ink Bold card.  I then get money orders at Walmart by paying the $0.70 money order fee in cash, then using a $500 gift card in full, two $200 gift cards in full, and use $100 of the last $200 gift card.  Then I do the same thing again, but this time use the remaining $100 for the last $100.  Doing it this way, I earn 500 US Airways miles plus 2500 Ultimate Reward points for each $1000 money order.  Since I typically do $3000 per day, that means I can earn 1500 US Airways Miles and 7500 UR points every day if I didn’t mind running around a little.  I probably wouldn’t recommend doing the same cards every day, but if you buy using different cards and different Simon malls then it will be less likely to attract unwanted attention.  We aren’t doing anything illegal but a small number of people buying gift cards do so with stolen credit cards so when you buy a lot, everyone involved is very careful.

I know this is a lot of information but feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on Google+FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

Author: John Butler

I live in Miami Beach but love travelling all over the world.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the information. I want to start maximizing my US Airways Mastercard to earn miles. Just to make sure I am clear, you purchase gifts with the credit card, then go to Walmart for money orders in the amount of the gift cards, then you take the money order and pay off the credit card? Just want to make sure I have the science down! Thanks for your help and for your posts!

    • TravelWithMiles

      Yes, you’ve got it! What I actually do it take the money orders, make them payable to myself, deposit them into my bank account via the ATM and then do an online bill pay to the credit card (via the credit card’s web site). This way there isn’t any mailing delay in the process and no risk of getting money orders lost in the mail. I can do the charge for the GC, buy the money orders, make the deposit and process the bill pay all in the same day so in essence I start with 0 balance on the CC and end with 0 balance but have thousands of miles more than what I started the day with.

  • Krysti

    Does the Simon Mall AMEX gift cards have pin capability to be loaded onto Bluebird as well? In CT they don’t sell the VISA ones!

    • TravelWithMiles

      Nope, only the Visa ones will work. If one mall doesn’t have them, then call another one. Not all of them sell them. There are other options for gift cards, but the Simon Mall Visas are the one with the lowest fees.

  • simplyfantabulous

    What merchant code shows up at your bank when using a Visa credit card to buy these gift cards? They are not considered cash advance transactions?

    • TravelWithMiles

      Business Services. No cash advance fees on my Citibank, Amex, Chase, Capital One or Discover cards.

      • Renzo

        John, how about the miles and more mastercard ? Im trying to reach the limit for the 50k bonus

        • TravelWithMiles

          This would work perfectly to meet the spending for the for the Miles & More card (or any of them really since it is coded as a retail purchase).