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How Far Do You Go With Cashback?

Nowadays everyone has a cashback credit card of some kind (if you don’t, you need to get one, you’re leaving money on the table) and a recent article in the Washington Post [3] has been highlighting folks who have airline rewards credit cards and how they’ve found interesting places to use it and rack up insane points. One story is about how someone charged a funeral home bill, another paid for plastic surgery and got a free trip to St. Thomas as a bonus, but the one that takes the cake is Ann Scharpf of Maryland who got 40 friends to help her pump up her American Airlines Citibank [4] card so she could get free tickets to Australia!

After you read the excerpt (found after the jump), I want to know how far do you go with cashback?

Ann Scharpf of Huntingtown, Md., scouted around for about 40 friends, neighbors and co-workers who were willing to help her pump her American Airlines Citibank card. She would use her card to cover their groceries and other necessities if they would reimburse her.

Within two months, Scharpf was paying co-workers’ car insurance. And on Saturday mornings, she would buy grocery-store gift cards on her credit card totaling $100 to $800, then hand them over and collect the money from her friends and co-workers. Next, she would deposit the cash and pay off the balance on her card. Once, a Citibank representative called her to inquire why in one day she had bought $1,500 at a Food Lion and then $3,500 at the Giant Food across the street.

“My husband was rather shellshocked over the whole thing,” Scharpf said. “He’d shake his head as I rattle off the latest statistics and crunch the numbers in my Excel spreadsheet.”

Within a few months, Scharpf racked up $2,700 in free tickets, enough for a trip with her husband to Australia.

“It was definitely worth the effort,” Scharpf said. “All it cost me was some Saturday mornings and a couple hours to write 40 thank-you postcards while I watched the Australian wildlife.”

Tip of the hat to CK for the article link.