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New to Manufactured Spending? Start Here (2015)

New to Manufactured Spending? Start Here (2015)

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Old Jan 2, 16, 1:42 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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Welcome to Manufactured Spending. If you are new here, please spend some time reading before posting. Most likely your questions have already been answered multiple times. Consider deals that you share. These threads are searchable by Google. A volatile deal may be worth holding close to the vest.

Hints

1) On FT, topics are heavily consolidated. Sometimes the title of the thread and first few posts may not properly reflect the broad range of discussion inside the thread. Be sure to visit any thread relating to the product or service you want to learn more about because you might be surprised by how in depth the discussion really is. High "View Count" and "Replies" are good indicators of active "master threads" on a specific topic.

2) Use Google to search FT. It works a lot better than the built-in search.

Important Rules

1) MSing is very YMMV. It varies by store, manager, and right down to the cashier working at the moment. That being said, always be nice and courteous in the face of rejection. The biggest secret for success is to lay low so you can try again.

2) DO NOT spend more than you can afford. START WITH SMALL AMOUNTS TO TEST THE WATER! As an example.. don't start with a $5000 purchase of VGCs if you can't afford to float that much! Instead, buy one and try it, and scale up once you are comfortable with a new method. It's easy to lose track, or get robbed, when you are handling so much money. Getting a refund is NOT always possible.

3) DO NOT ask employees, cashiers, customer service representatives, etc... about how to MS, or about things you read on this forum. The information you read here are very specific, unknown, legal uses of products or services. Most employees, cashiers, and even managers do not know about them. At best you'll get bad information. At worst you'll create a lot of unnecessary misunderstanding.

4) It bears repeating that there are no guarantees. you could easily buy $10,000 in gift cards or some other instrument, only to discover that your method for liquidating them vanishes the very next day. MS is not "normal" financial activity ("normal" being defined by the banks), and thus is often perceived as "suspicious" even if it is legal.

5) never underestimate the risk of criminal activity. gift cards can easily be stolen, loaded onto a compromised account, loaded in a debit card skimmer, or even fraudulent (e.g., an already used card put back on the rack).

If you have a question that does not seem to fit anywhere, or you have not found an appropriate place for it, post it here.

- A helpful note from seat17D about some of the inherent risks of MS
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Old Mar 28, 15, 9:58 pm
  #286  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by pdelgardo View Post
I have a question related to MS

I did a search on EBAY for Shell gas cards and found this.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...ft+card&_sop=3

All the sellers want way over the odds for each card.

Any idea why they are charging so much?

Are they actually getting these prices?
I got curious and looked myself. Every Shell gas card is listed for above face value. There are even BP and Sunoco gas cards listed above face value. Not sure if anyone actually buys them, but with as many listings as there are, I would assume someone is buying them. I'm curious if anyone has any insight to this.
MG49 is offline  
Old Mar 29, 15, 7:11 am
  #287  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 89
I've always been curious about this. When someone bids over value for a gift card, I just assumed it was some sort of a scam. Such as buying and claiming that you never received and getting refunded? Or, perhaps, using a stolen credit card?

That doesn't explain why they would be listed above face value in the first place though. You'd be inviting yourself into this.

I don't use Ebay too often but when I did, I remember seeing coupons/rebates for say, 20% of your next purchase. With something like that, I guess you could pay $225 for a $200 gift card and come out ahead but I'm not even sure Ebay does stuff like that anymore.

Weird.
V6Jeep4x4 is offline  
Old Mar 29, 15, 9:38 am
  #288  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 182
Originally Posted by MG49 View Post
I got curious and looked myself. Every Shell gas card is listed for above face value. There are even BP and Sunoco gas cards listed above face value. Not sure if anyone actually buys them, but with as many listings as there are, I would assume someone is buying them. I'm curious if anyone has any insight to this.
Most of them buyers try to scam the seller. And another use is probably here.

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/bu...sh-value-cards

http://www2.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=119519
spidy1 is offline  
Old Mar 29, 15, 6:45 pm
  #289  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 182
WM cashier refused to sell me GC's when i pulled out my CC to pay for it.

Earlier during the day for trial purposed i bought 1 & had no problems with another cashier.

Maybe because i pulled out 4 GC's to purchase she told me that WM has a policy that the V/MC/Amex GC's can be purchased only with Debit/Cash.
spidy1 is offline  
Old Mar 30, 15, 4:56 am
  #290  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: VA
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by spidy1 View Post
WM cashier refused to sell me GC's when i pulled out my CC to pay for it.

Earlier during the day for trial purposed i bought 1 & had no problems with another cashier.

Maybe because i pulled out 4 GC's to purchase she told me that WM has a policy that the V/MC/Amex GC's can be purchased only with Debit/Cash.
It'll usually depend on each individual cashier and different WM's will have different results. Just try again with a different cashier or different WM, but try just one GC at a time. Multiple GCs look suspicious sometimes.
MG49 is offline  
Old Mar 30, 15, 8:47 am
  #291  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NYC
Posts: 158
Originally Posted by pdelgardo View Post
I have a question related to MS

I did a search on EBAY for Shell gas cards and found this.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...ft+card&_sop=3

All the sellers want way over the odds for each card.

Any idea why they are charging so much?

Are they actually getting these prices?
I would have assumed it's because eBay/Paypal fees take such a large percentage of the seller's revenue.
BeyondtheWrap is offline  
Old Mar 31, 15, 7:27 pm
  #292  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 177
New to MS: Want to use MS to pay mortgage and utilities

Hi All,
I'm located in Phoenix, AZ. Called up local Target and they do not carry the REDcard. My next option would be the Bluebird. However, it doesn't allow credit card loading. How do I go about trying to effectively charge the mortgage and utilities on my credit card to meet the min spending?
sungchiahao is offline  
Old Mar 31, 15, 7:35 pm
  #293  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,665
Originally Posted by sungchiahao View Post
Hi All,
I'm located in Phoenix, AZ. Called up local Target and they do not carry the REDcard. My next option would be the Bluebird. However, it doesn't allow credit card loading. How do I go about trying to effectively charge the mortgage and utilities on my credit card to meet the min spending?
IIRC, there is an ongoing promo where the BB starter kit has zero fee. Check your WM for one of those and buy one to load with amount of your choice. Then register online to get the permanent card later. You can load this card up to $5K per calendar month by buying the Sunrise Visa GCs. Once you've loaded funds, you can do BillPay to pay your mortgage and utilities.

Look for them in stand alone shelves that says FINANCIAL. Buy the ones with 4.94 fee, be careful NOT to buy any of the vanilla VGCs, they can only be loaded 49.99 or less at a time while the Sunrise VGCs can be loaded at $500 a time via Kate, MoneyCenter or regular registers. Good luck!
Mamibear is offline  
Old Apr 1, 15, 10:33 am
  #294  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 177
Thanks a lot. I will look at the visa cards

Edit: I can't find a Visa GC called Sunrise. Is that a bank or a credit union?

Last edited by sungchiahao; Apr 1, 15 at 3:40 pm Reason: followup:
sungchiahao is offline  
Old Apr 1, 15, 6:18 pm
  #295  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: California
Programs: AA UA
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by sungchiahao View Post
Thanks a lot. I will look at the visa cards

Edit: I can't find a Visa GC called Sunrise. Is that a bank or a credit union?
The VGC are not called Sunrise. They have paper casing showing pictures of happy birthday, etc. If you flip the gift card package and read the back, the bottom fine prints says Sunrise bank.

I also checked these out at our local Walmart this week. Like the previous poster experienced, our local Walmart said Debit and Cash only.
Bluebirdie is offline  
Old Apr 1, 15, 10:44 pm
  #296  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Programs: QF WP, QR GOLD, TK GOLD, EY GOLD, AF/KLM GOLD
Posts: 388
What is the best way to MS when not being stateside? I have US credit cards, SSN, postal address etc but live outside of the US. Is there an MS opportunity that is completely online? For e.g. buying electronic gift cards and then selling them electronically as well?
zainman is offline  
Old Apr 2, 15, 10:45 am
  #297  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 149
Complete newbie to this. I have several questions I am hoping someone can answer.

First off, what are the most important acronyms and what they mean including VR and WM load? The acronyms can make it kind of difficult to understand everything.

2. Are there any certain gift cards that work best for getting money orders (if I want to pay for my mortgage and sales tax/licensing on a new vehicle I just purchased)? Can Serve/Bluebird/Redcard with enough funds for the money order amount be used to directly purchase the money order (instead of using any said give cards above)?

3. Does loading Serve/Bluebird/Redbird from credit card result in a cash advance fee on the credit card? The card I might start trying this with in the beginning is a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that has a $4,000 3 month minimum spending requirement to be met.

4. Can Serve load via credit card only now happen by using an American Express credit card?

5. Can you use Bill Pay to pay other credit card bills with Serve/Bluebird/Redbird if there are funds in the account to cover it? How do you select the correct Chase/Amex, etc. bill to pay when using Serve/Bluebird/Redbird Bill Pay option?

6. Is there a way to get a Redbird card if you have no friends/family in areas where they are being sold (I'm in southwest Missouri)?

7. Is regular card needed to start loading, getting money orders, Bill Pay, etc. for Bluebird/Redbird/Serve? In other words can you use your temporary card for that until the permanent one arrives?

Whew! Sorry for so many questions but I have read this thread and taken notes a couple of times but still a bit confused.
mulliganman30 is offline  
Old Apr 2, 15, 10:53 am
  #298  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 149
Forgot one: Does loading from a gift card have to occur in a Target or Walmart for Bluebird and Redbird? In other words, no online loading using that method?
mulliganman30 is offline  
Old Apr 2, 15, 11:13 am
  #299  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by mulliganman30 View Post
Complete newbie to this. I have several questions I am hoping someone can answer.

First off, what are the most important acronyms and what they mean including VR and WM load? The acronyms can make it kind of difficult to understand everything.

2. Are there any certain gift cards that work best for getting money orders (if I want to pay for my mortgage and sales tax/licensing on a new vehicle I just purchased)? Can Serve/Bluebird/Redcard with enough funds for the money order amount be used to directly purchase the money order (instead of using any said give cards above)?

3. Does loading Serve/Bluebird/Redbird from credit card result in a cash advance fee on the credit card? The card I might start trying this with in the beginning is a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that has a $4,000 3 month minimum spending requirement to be met.

4. Can Serve load via credit card only now happen by using an American Express credit card?

5. Can you use Bill Pay to pay other credit card bills with Serve/Bluebird/Redbird if there are funds in the account to cover it? How do you select the correct Chase/Amex, etc. bill to pay when using Serve/Bluebird/Redbird Bill Pay option?

6. Is there a way to get a Redbird card if you have no friends/family in areas where they are being sold (I'm in southwest Missouri)?

7. Is regular card needed to start loading, getting money orders, Bill Pay, etc. for Bluebird/Redbird/Serve? In other words can you use your temporary card for that until the permanent one arrives?

Whew! Sorry for so many questions but I have read this thread and taken notes a couple of times but still a bit confused.
First off, Welcome!

1) I noticed many of the same things. After a while, you get used to the acronyms, and they become second nature. There's a general Flyertalk glossary, linked to at the footer in each page, but it's more FT (Flyertalk) generic, and not MS (Manufactured Spending) -specific, and so is generally unhelpful. I emailed the curators several times to have it updated to add things like WM and VR and such, but they never responded/acted (and probably rightly so; our little MS sub-forum is pretty niche, it seems, to the intent of the site at large). So anyway, just keep plugging along, and you'll notice someone using the non-acronym version, and then you'll know it. For now: VR = Vanilla Reload, WM = WalMart.

2) Yes, I think so? VR seems to be discouraged. Sunrise Bank (I think?) gift cards seem to be generally accepted? As for the meat of your question, using Serve/BB/RC to purchase a money order, I don't know, but most people would ask "Why would you want to do that in the first place? Once you've got the money on your Serve/BB/RC account, you can use it to pay off a credit card using bill pay, so there's no point in trying to do a money order." But maybe someone else could actually answer your question, because I don't know.

3) It generally depends on the card, and the disclaimer everyone likes to throw around when offering their advice/experience with a specific card is, YMMV. In general, I believe that for Redcard, there are not cash advance fees? For Serve, there can be; read the wiki at the top of that thread for good info about which cards incur them, and which do not.

4) That policy is supposed to take effect in the middle of this month (April 2015), and so you've got a couple more weeks before that's true. But yes, it is supposed to be the case soon. Thus, your hope to meet your minimum spend on your CSP may be limited through this particular avenue.

5) Yes. In general, the process is you direct the billpay to the bank of the card issuer (e.g. Chase, or American Express), and then input the card number whose bill you're trying to pay, because that is the same thing as the "Account Number" that is having the money sent to it.

6) Yes. There are online avenues you can use to purchase one. YMMV! A lot of people apparently do this; personally I'm not interested in buying a temporary card from an online source/vendor. It's up to each person's own personal risk tolerance.

7) Not sure.

In general, if you've only just read this thread, good job! But there's still a ton of reading you have to do. Read the wikis on other threads, read the threads themselves (ok, I know that's probably unrealistic, especially for something like the RedCard thread, which has 4400 posts already this year), or at least read the last 10-20 pages of posts in those most-active threads. The research has just begun, and a lot of your questions would be answered by doing more reading. But, scolding aside, seriously: welcome, and good luck!

(Replying to your follow-up question in your follow-up post: There may be one or two other places one can load a gift card aside from Target and WalMart [FD], but in general, yes -- online loading using that method will get your accounts shut down right quick, or so I've heard.)
Mirnada is offline  
Old Apr 2, 15, 11:53 am
  #300  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,665
Originally Posted by mulliganman30 View Post
Complete newbie to this. I have several questions I am hoping someone can answer.

First off, what are the most important acronyms and what they mean including VR and WM load? The acronyms can make it kind of difficult to understand everything. I know what you mean and it's only by continuously reading will you fully understand what the acronyms stand for. VR =Vanilla Rewards and WM stands for Walmart

2. Are there any certain gift cards that work best for getting money orders (if I want to pay for my mortgage and sales tax/licensing on a new vehicle I just purchased)? For me, the Vanilla Visa GCs work best for buying MOs at grocery stores. I just type in my regular PIN for a newly activated card I bought. Can Serve/Bluebird/Redcard with enough funds for the money order amount be used to directly purchase the money order (instead of using any said give cards above)? These 3 are all prepaid cards and the PIN works only for ATM withdrawal so you can't buy MOs with them since they will be processed like a credit card. Rarely do you find a store that will sell MOs on credit.

3. Does loading Serve/Bluebird/Redbird from credit card result in a cash advance fee on the credit card? Yes, it is important to check the wiki for the most recent reports on what posts as CA. The card I might start trying this with in the beginning is a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that has a $4,000 3 month minimum spending requirement to be met. Sometimes, you just have to try small amounts first just to test it.

4. Can Serve load via credit card only now happen by using an American Express credit card? The new rule takes effect on April 16, 2015 so for now, you can still load with any CC.

5. Can you use Bill Pay to pay other credit card bills with Serve/Bluebird/Redbird if there are funds in the account to cover it?YES How do you select the correct Chase/Amex, etc. bill to pay when using Serve/Bluebird/Redbird Bill Pay option? You enroll each card you want to pay and then when you click B/P, you'll see them all and you choose from there.

6. Is there a way to get a Redbird card if you have no friends/family in areas where they are being sold (I'm in southwest Missouri)? You can do a road trip to OK where some Targets sell them.

7. Is regular card needed to start loading, getting money orders, Bill Pay, etc. for Bluebird/Redbird/Serve? In other words can you use your temporary card for that until the permanent one arrives?
answer to #7 Yes, B/P functionality is only for registered cards.
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