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-   -   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)

xoxx Oct 24, 13 3:53 pm

Does anyone Manufacture with zero loss or even profit?
 
Seems like all of the MS opportunities have slowly gotten more and more expensive to do. The Bigcrumbs card purchase looks like it will no longer be. While there are still an insane amount of savings to be had, I am curious to know if anyone is still MS without a loss (or even making a profit)?

And i'm not asking you to spill the beans here. Just curious to know if anyone is still capable of doing it.

Edit:
I am looking to find if anyone is still getting value and coming out green after all expenses.

zs58 Oct 24, 13 4:05 pm

I'm guessing you have a different definition of "profit" than most here, but I would imagine that everyone here is manufacturing spend for a profit. Cash back minus card fees and time or individually determined cash value of points/miles minus card fees and time - I think for everyone here, these equations come out positive.

xoxx Oct 24, 13 4:07 pm


Originally Posted by zs58 (Post 21663650)
I'm guessing you have a different definition of "profit" than most here, but I would imagine that everyone here is manufacturing spend for a profit. Cash back minus card fees and time or individually determined cash value of points/miles minus card fees and time - I think for everyone here, these equations come out positive.

No, I know everyone here is gaining increased value.
Im curious to know if anyone is breaking even after expense of card fees, or any other fees etc.

I am not currently aware of any standing CC offers that would provide enough cash back to alleviate the VR fee.

LoveMountains Oct 24, 13 4:09 pm

Yeah, not sure what we are defining here as "profit" or "loss", but if you don't like just accumulating miles while spending $$, you can always sell some of your miles to cover the expenses. Just google "selling miles" or lookup on FW.

zs58 Oct 24, 13 4:14 pm


Originally Posted by xoxx (Post 21663659)
No, I know everyone here is gaining increased value.
Im curious to know if anyone is breaking even after expense of card fees, or any other fees etc.

I am not currently aware of any standing CC offers that would provide enough cash back to alleviate the VR fee.

Miles and points have value. This value is greater than the cash value of various card fees and transactional expenses, hence, we do this.

What is the point of this question? The (obvious) answer is in the pudding - MS occurs.

nrdk Oct 24, 13 4:15 pm

As others have said, all depends on definition. Can I take out the 1cpp for UR in order to balance out the fee? Sure. Will I? Hell no. I still consider it a 'profitable' game, but thats only because I figure I'll want to take vacations regardless, and prefer to do it on the cheap and in style.

pier11 Oct 24, 13 4:15 pm

OP is asking, as I understand, if anyone sees a way to offset MS fees (like 3.95 on VR purchase)...

AlohaDaveKennedy Oct 24, 13 4:18 pm

Si. Several of the tricks in my bag have no costs involved. And old tricks, like getting Chase gift cards on no fee or fee waived cards did as well.


Originally Posted by xoxx (Post 21663579)
Seems like all of the MS opportunities have slowly gotten more and more expensive to do. The Bigcrumbs card purchase looks like it will no longer be. While there are still an insane amount of savings to be had, I am curious to know if anyone is still MS without a loss (or even making a profit)?

And i'm not asking you to spill the beans here. Just curious to know if anyone is still capable of doing it.


Dad to GO Oct 24, 13 4:21 pm


Originally Posted by pier11 (Post 21663705)
OP is asking, as I understand, if anyone sees a way to offset MS fees (like 3.95 on VR purchase)...

While I don't necessarily have a method to do this... other than in some small $50 increments that take a long time and are more of a hassle than it's worth. If I DID know of a way to do this for the bigger amounts ($200-500) I would definitely NOT be saying anything on here. That would get shut down so fast... it's one of those things better left unsaid.

combiblock Oct 24, 13 4:27 pm

even VR at 1x should let u come on top, no? 5 bucks to cover 3.95? if u only do cash back and not miles/points

Wonko Oct 24, 13 4:31 pm

Yes.

(added to meet five-character minimum message length)

xoxx Oct 24, 13 4:39 pm

I am looking to find if anyone is still getting value and coming out green after all costs.

zs58 Oct 24, 13 4:46 pm


Originally Posted by xoxx (Post 21663810)
Ok I guess my undergraduate finance major in college has forced me to use words in an uncommon way.

Profit=Realized benefits which exceed costs.
Value= Quality/Price

I know everyone gains Value because a few bucks is nothing compared to the true market cost. Thats a no brainer for everyone here.

I am looking to find if anyone is still getting value and coming out green after all costs.

Lol, ok buddy, whatever you say...

Yes, there are ways to generate enough cash to more than offset fees, or to zero out the fees themselves. Trying to get folks to divulge anything beyond the obvious stuff is trying to get blood from the proverbial stone.

xoxx Oct 24, 13 4:51 pm


Originally Posted by zs58 (Post 21663833)
Lol, ok buddy, whatever you say...

Yes, there are ways to generate enough cash to more than offset fees, or to zero out the fees themselves. Trying to get folks to divulge anything beyond the obvious stuff is trying to get blood from the proverbial stone.

Did you read the whole thing?


And i'm not asking you to spill the beans here. Just curious to know if anyone is still capable of doing it.

drdrew450 Oct 24, 13 5:05 pm

well if you use a cash back card like the wells fargo 5% back at drug stores and buy VR you come out ahead right away without any travel needed.

Happy Oct 24, 13 5:21 pm


Originally Posted by xoxx (Post 21663810)
I am looking to find if anyone is still getting value and coming out green after all costs.

Sure you do. Google cash back cards you would find the options. That should help to offset the cost to get value if this is what you are after. Whether it is worth the trouble though (doing both and balance the act) is of course YMMV.

You have to understand that there are indeed some folks are more than happy to pay a cost for a coach ticket and then get to travel in first class. To them, they dont need to see green, that flat bed in the sky for 15 hours is green enough to do it. Ditto for staying at nice hotels but paying for budget hotels price. Enough green there, too.

xoxx Oct 24, 13 5:22 pm


Originally Posted by Happy (Post 21663976)
Sure you do. Google cash back cards you would find the options. That should help to offset the cost to get value if this is what you are after. Whether it is worth the trouble though (doing both and balance the act) is of course YMMV.

Happy, thank you very much!

pier11 Oct 24, 13 5:31 pm


Originally Posted by xoxx (Post 21663854)
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.

Those two please FW your replies to me too :) Need to evaluate my perception of universe :)

xoxx Oct 24, 13 5:45 pm


Originally Posted by pier11 (Post 21664014)
Those two please FW your replies to me too :) Need to evaluate my perception of universe :)

both essentially said same thing "happy" said.

miniaturekat Oct 24, 13 6:09 pm

Yes. Will PM :)

TheChallenge Oct 24, 13 6:14 pm

There are ways to both get a value and profit from MS, you just have to get creative in the purchasing/liquidation process. I'm currently down to getting an average overall profit of 1/3 cent on top of every mile/point I acquire.

And no I don't plan on telling anyone how. Use your imagination and think of a way yourself if you plan on PM. You'll fly more in FC in the long run that way.

gofarhaveacigar Oct 24, 13 6:17 pm

Use a 5% CB card, and you earn (profit) $21.05 for every 500 VR you buy. Buy 20 VR per month, and you end up earning $420 per month. Sometimes I throw in sign up bonuses, but usually just the 5% card as I value the money way more than the points. I'm happy to fly coach and have to okay for it, but the sign up bonuses usually take care of the coach flight.

groobie Oct 24, 13 6:48 pm

I look for opportunities to buy gcs with a rebate or coupon that offset the fee and immediately put me in profit town :)

KennyBSAT Oct 24, 13 6:57 pm


Originally Posted by xoxx (Post 21663810)
I am looking to find if anyone is still getting value and coming out green after all costs.

Yes. Get AMEX BCP around the middle of the year, max out 6% of $6000 with grocery MS during 2 calendar years, do more MS with it at 3% at gas stations, add $250 bonus, subtaract $75 AF. Easy thousand dollars. Open Citi gold checking account, easy $400. Navy Federal CU card if you qualify, easy $600. And on and on.

I have no idea why anyone thinks they have to choose between miles and points or cashback. I prefer 'and'.

Much more helpful info on cashback programs at fatwallet and similar sites.

xoxx Oct 24, 13 7:38 pm


Originally Posted by KennyBSAT (Post 21664386)
Yes. Get AMEX BCP around the middle of the year, max out 6% of $6000 with grocery MS during 2 calendar years, do more MS with it at 3% at gas stations, add $250 bonus, subtaract $75 AF. Easy thousand dollars. Open Citi gold checking account, easy $400. Navy Federal CU card if you qualify, easy $600. And on and on.

I have no idea why anyone thinks they have to choose between miles and points or cashback. I prefer 'and'.

Much more helpful info on cashback programs at fatwallet and similar sites.

Thank You kenny!

BakerStreet Oct 24, 13 7:50 pm


Originally Posted by drdrew450 (Post 21663903)
well if you use a cash back card like the wells fargo 5% back at drug stores and buy VR you come out ahead right away without any travel needed.

True - but not exactly the intended goal of our efforts

Rick471 Oct 24, 13 8:01 pm

There have been threads on how to offset ms costs. Involves cb cards...can easily manufacture spend for zero costs.

Example: 1K in gc's with 6% cb = $60 - $9.90 (cost of gc's) = $51.10 profit

Take that $51 and use it to offset costs of VR's at gas stations for 2x points. You can buy 12 VR's at zero cost. 12 cards @ 500 each = 6000 x 2x points = 12K points for free.

BCP lets you do 6k per year at 6%...with wife's card 12k per year. Pretty sweet offset.

SpeedingLunatic Oct 24, 13 8:10 pm

'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.

Rick471 Oct 24, 13 8:21 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.

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.

kvs25 Oct 24, 13 8:34 pm

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?

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!


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