I guess I could see where this would be advantageous if you had rewards categories that would allow you to reap 5% or more somewhere where you could buy a prepaid giftcard. But it seems like a lot of hassle for minimal return.
Right, usually its best to hit the minimum spend requirements for a card. As in, you need to spend $5,000 in 3 months to get your signup bonus. In that case, you are just trying to earn say $500 in rewards by spending only $15 dollars you usually wouldn't, so its worth it.
However, right now, through Chase, they are shipping their gift cards without any fee whatsoever. This is because they had to pull their GCs out of their bank branches so its temporary.
Therefore, I only paid $1,500 to get $1,500 in gift cards. I then took the gift cards to Walmart (any cashier will do, you can also use the Moneycenter ATM if isn't broken).
You tell the cashier, "I want to load my Bluebird with a swipe load/with my debit card" They will take your bluebird card and swipe it on their side, ask you how much, you say, "$500."
Slide your card and boom, loaded. You can only do $1,000 a day. I go to walmart about twice a month so I'm not going out of my way to do this.
And yes, when a fee is included at $4.95, you want to buy that card at a store that gets a category bonus to make it really worth it. Again, I don't go out of my way to do any of this like some people do.