FlyerTalk Forums

FlyerTalk Forums (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/index.php)
-   Manufactured Spending (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending-719/)
-   -   Does anyone Manufacture with zero loss or even profit? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1515516-does-anyone-manufacture-zero-loss-even-profit.html)

pier11 Oct 24, 13 8:39 pm


Originally Posted by kvs25 (Post 21664765)
Even with a 1% cash back card, you're making a net profit of $1.09 for every VR purchased. How can you NOT MS w/ out profit?

That is if you withdraw 3.95 out of 504 points earned. But nobody does that (I think).

Most if not all buy 504 points for 3.95. Such making the points not free :)

TKKY Oct 24, 13 8:50 pm


Originally Posted by Rick471 (Post 21664726)
Then you sir are doing it wrong and don't get it. Cash is king...and not having to use it...is also king.

I booked a room that costs $400+ a night for 22k in points a night. Doing my method, I use less than $100 cash back to ms those points. Why would I want the $100 cb instead of getting the points.

If you plan correctly, it's a no brainer. Stupid concept? I think not.

In microeconomics, there's a concept concerning indifference curves that is really relevant to this point. For this poster, getting a $400 room for a cost of $100 is a great deal because this poster values the $400 room at $400.

The same person may value the $400 room at only $100 and would rather have the cash because he or she doesn't want to have the points locked up.

It's an interesting discussion.

atxtravel Oct 24, 13 8:59 pm


Originally Posted by Ted King (Post 21664829)
In microeconomics, there's a concept concerning indifference curves that is really relevant to this point. For this poster, getting a $400 room for a cost of $100 is a great deal because this poster values the $400 room at $400.

The same person may value the $400 room at only $100 and would rather have the cash because he or she doesn't want to have the points locked up.

It's an interesting discussion.

In many (most?) markets a $400 hotel room is much better than $100 one, and in some expensive cities $100 gets you nothing, or a rundown junk property. So while I may not appreciate a $400 room, I'd still rather get it with my $100 of MS, then pay $100 cash. It's all about strategic point accumulation..earn and burn quickly.

In answer to the original question, most methods of offsetting MS costs are too tedious and low volume. Try offsetting the fees on $80k a month worth of GC purchases. I'd rather pay the fees for the streamlined method that gets me much higher value of rewards for less time spent.

andyandy Oct 24, 13 9:05 pm


Originally Posted by Ted King (Post 21664829)
The same person may value the $400 room at only $100 and would rather have the cash because he or she doesn't want to have the points locked up.

It's an interesting discussion.

This is precisely why I try not to think too hard about value propositions, opportunity costs, etc, when playing this game. For me, mile and points are simply a way to take trips "off the books." I try to break even on cash outlay/return, but the points are my "mad money." For example, I'll split my 10K Bluebird/Vanilla purchases 60/40 between points/2%cb cards. That way I break even on cash layout and generate a points profit. I'd go crazy if I thought too hard about how that equates to essentially paying for points.

Andyandy

KennyBSAT Oct 24, 13 9:07 pm

The picture is certainly much cloudier with hotels. (I don't MS for hotel points - I prefer to MS Barclay arrival for a big discount on the best available price at the hotel I actually want to stay at.)

For airfare, if you use miles for the same or equivalent trips to what you would buy (I do - cheapest coach option and/or cheapest miles option for 4 pax), and you churn so that much or most of your MS is meeting min spending requirements, you are getting at least 6-8 miles/points per dollar.

I have yet to have a trip average under 2 cents per mile value compared to the lowest cost coach flight. So I average $60-$80 in airfare per VR purchased. It's not terrible...

Edit: and then I buy VRs with cashback cards while I'm there, so my 3.95 has been covered even if all the programs ceased to exist tomorrow.

atxtravel Oct 24, 13 9:11 pm


Originally Posted by KennyBSAT (Post 21664895)
The picture is certainly much cloudier with hotels. (I don't MS for hotel points - I prefer to MS Barclay arrival for a big discount on the best available price at the hotel I actually want to stay at.)

....

Perhaps you should investigate the Club Carlson cards. At 5x everywhere and even nights free (effectively), $5k of MS gets you at least one night anywhere for a cost of $50 and one trip to CVS.

KennyBSAT Oct 24, 13 9:16 pm


Originally Posted by atxtravel (Post 21664908)
Perhaps you should investigate the Club Carlson cards. At 5x everywhere and even nights free (effectively), $5k of MS gets you at least one night anywhere for a cost of $50 and one trip to CVS.

Maybe so. But all of my domestic travel is off the beaten path, and getting rooms for 4 internationally is a challenge. And I generally don't like hotels, they're usually infested with tourists. Give me a two double beds and a cup of coffee and let me out the door when I wake up, and I'm happy. Give me a vacation rental home from which you can't see another building and I'm really happy. Give me a tent and everything is perfect.

SpeedingLunatic Oct 24, 13 9:16 pm


Originally Posted by Ted King (Post 21664829)
In microeconomics, there's a concept concerning indifference curves that is really relevant to this point. For this poster, getting a $400 room for a cost of $100 is a great deal because this poster values the $400 room at $400.

The same person may value the $400 room at only $100 and would rather have the cash because he or she doesn't want to have the points locked up.

It's an interesting discussion.

Or maybe even less. I rarely stay in hotels or fly. I can't pay my taxes or heat my house with miles.

You completely missed my point though. I understand that points have different values to different people. What I was saying is don't pretend that those miles cost you nothing because you earned CB to 'offset' the fees. You could have just as easily earned the CB and foregone the points. In fact, an argument could be made that there is an additional opportunity cost to MS for points that costs you even more money.

IE. Loading BB with 5k of VRs earning points is 5k of VRs you didn't earn CB on. Your opportunity cost (assuming 2% CB) is $100.79.

makinbutter Oct 24, 13 9:34 pm

i think OP is asking a question that assumes a lot. assumption 1) people are doing MS to get miles. 2) people are paying for fee based cards. 3) people may or may not be going through a portal or other means to get cash back or otherwise offset fees or avoid them altogether (fee free cards, etc). OP is not asking whether the value of the miles makes up for the fee. OP is asking whether miles themselves can be had without any fee outlay. the answer is yes. everyone here is confused by OP's question because we all think that whatever fee we pay for miles or CB is far worth it when compared to the rewards gained.

do i understand it correctly?

KennyBSAT Oct 24, 13 9:36 pm


Originally Posted by makinbutter (Post 21665004)
i think OP is asking a question that assumes a lot. assumption 1) people are doing MS to get miles. 2) people are paying for fee based cards. 3) people may or may not be going through a portal or other means to get cash back or otherwise offset fees or avoid them altogether (fee free cards, etc). OP is not asking whether the value of the miles makes up for the fee. OP is asking whether miles themselves can be had without any fee outlay. the answer is yes. everyone here is confused by OP's question because we all think that whatever fee we pay for miles or CB is far worth it when compared to the rewards gained.

do i understand it correctly?

Pretty much, but arguing is fun. Please don't try to stop us!

goober153 Oct 24, 13 10:09 pm


Originally Posted by xoxx (Post 21663854)
Did you read the whole thing?



And I have had two people politely PM me and explain what they do to mitigate their costs. I don't think i'm infuriating anyone with this thread.

Could i get a PM on some ideas too? thanks!

cashback Oct 24, 13 10:36 pm

There isn't really a right answer to these arguments. Yes, there are ways to MS without paying any fees at all. You can argue what the "true value" of points are until you are blue in the face. The answer to that is different for every person.

IMO, doing half your MS with points and half with a 2% card to offset the fees is very flawed as well. If you value the points you earn greater than the 2%, you should just churn the points card. If you feel the points are worth less than what you get with a 2% card, you should just churn the 2% card.

jasonvr Oct 24, 13 10:43 pm


Originally Posted by groobie (Post 21664353)
I look for opportunities to buy gcs with a rebate or coupon that offset the fee and immediately put me in profit town :)

This. My fees this month are negative (not the first month this has happened). My overall fees for the year are positive, but very reasonable. The negative fee months help offset months where there are no promos available. ~20k miles this month

farwest101 Oct 24, 13 10:55 pm


Originally Posted by SpeedingLunatic (Post 21664678)
'Offsetting' is a stupid concept. Money is fungible. If you earn $51 you could just as well keep it. You are still spending $51 on those 12k points.

I'm not big on points myself. Cash is king.

Disagree. Points can/should be worth significantly more than the cash value of the points. Of course, if you aren't interested in travel, put the $ in your pocket.

For me, this game has been a revelation. My travel has increased dramatically, while my costs have dropped precipitously - a win-win. But I can't imagine going thru all the rigmarole if I were just getting a few thousand cash a year in CB. My time is better spent elsewhere if all I'm getting is cash value.

But a few card signups plus some MS, and ability to get tickets worth $10-$20K each? That's a no brainer.

fevercity Oct 25, 13 12:52 am


Originally Posted by farwest101 (Post 21665304)
Disagree. Points can/should be worth significantly more than the cash value of the points. Of course, if you aren't interested in travel, put the $ in your pocket.

For me, this game has been a revelation. My travel has increased dramatically, while my costs have dropped precipitously - a win-win. But I can't imagine going thru all the rigmarole if I were just getting a few thousand cash a year in CB. My time is better spent elsewhere if all I'm getting is cash value.

But a few card signups plus some MS, and ability to get tickets worth $10-$20K each? That's a no brainer.

Thanks, farwest101. You nailed it.
While microeconomics, indifference curves and notions of value are debated, there's no mention of that 1 thing you can't buy or get with points.... TIME.

Some obviously enjoy the MS game so it's not a time 'loss' since pleasure is derived from it.
I'm no lawyer but I do bill by the hour so I'm hyper-sensitive to time invested.
Overlooked in much MS discussion is time 'cost'.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 1:34 pm.


This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.