A TikTok video claiming to reveal a hack to turn credit into cash by buying and selling gift cards has gone viral, but some viewers are skeptical about its legitimacy.
The video, uploaded by @rand0mdu3ts on Sept. 7, is a reupload of a duet originally posted by the Credit Brothers (@thecreditbrothers), who claim to be experts in personal and business credit and often post tips and hacks on their TikTok page.
In the original video, Josh Steil, one of the brothers, replies to the viral soundbite: “What’s a piece of information that you learned that feels illegal to know?”
Steil explains the hack, which involves using a credit card to buy gift cards at a mall, then using those gift cards to buy money orders at a Walmart, and then depositing those money orders into a bank account to pay off the credit card. He claims that this way, one can earn rewards and points from the credit card without spending any actual money.
Additionally, Steil shows a screenshot of his Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card account, which allegedly has over 557,000 points. He says, “You can see right here you can do this method and earn a lot of credit card points.”
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In the comment section of the video, many viewers have expressed doubts and criticisms about the hack, claiming it is either impractical or that it no longer works.
“I work in the money center at Walmart it doesn’t work anymore they stopped it,” one commenter alleged.
“Those visa gift cards have fees to activate so it’s not like a regular gift cards,” another chimed in.
“I did this years ago with a Best Buy card!” a third commenter claimed.
According to a fool.com article, “Konstantin and Nadezhda Anikeev used their American Express cards for around $6.4 million in spending during 2013 and 2014. This was mostly what’s called ‘manufactured spending’: They bought things like Visa gift cards and reloadable debit cards, which they turned into cash and deposited back into their bank accounts. Since the majority of their purchases were in bonus categories, they collected over $300,000 in cash back.”
However, the article explains that while the scheme was possible in 2014, credit card companies are now much better at spotting “manufactured spending” and have implemented spending caps to prevent it.
The Daily Dot has reached out to @thecreditbrothers for comment via TikTok direct messages.
*First Published: Sep 15, 2023, 11:34 pm CDT
Vladimir Supica is a Serbia-based freelance writer for the Daily Dot. He enjoys traveling through Europe, reading non-fiction books, and playing with his dog Max.