UPDATE 2 – 2 Days later, Microsoft sent me a letter saying they are removing the points because I bought a prepaid gift card. Looks like they ARE looking at L3 data or flagging unusual spend. RIP program.
UPDATE – Per comments in Gary’s post, it looks like you’ll get a personal warning after 2 purchases. Don’t know the details (whether person bought 2x$500 or 2x$1K, but I’ll keep doing it until I get the warning. Worst case, you should have enough for a free XBOX game or something.
Gary wrote about the new ‘Earn by Microsoft’ program last week. I was finally able to find a 7-11 store this weekend that let me buy a $500 VGC with my Chase Ink card (after about 3 stores). As soon as I walked out of the store, I got a text message saying I qualified.
Earn by Microsoft is still in beta, and “During the beta, that means [redemptions may be made at] only the local Microsoft Stores in Washington, Massachusetts and Arizona.” Which means rack up all your spend now, then fly to one of those states and redeem all your points. Max credit is $2000 per year and it expires in a year. That means $40,000 of spend per year, which is a little over $3,300 of spend per month at 7-11. I prefer this over Staples since liquidating of $500 is much easier than $200. Also, I believe you can now buy 2x$500 VGC in one transaction at 7-11. I wouldn’t try buying a 2nd set back to back because you may have activation issues. I also wouldn’t try buying 2 cards with a new cashier. Social engineering is at play here people. The best card to use is probably the Chase Freedom 5X this quarter at gas stations, and after that, switch to the Ink to get 2X (1K UR for $4.95.)
Use my my referral link to get $10 on your first purchase and $5 for me, else you only get $5, so it’s a win-win for both of us.