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New to Manufactured Spending? Start here(2017-2018)

New to Manufactured Spending? Start here(2017-2018)

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Old Dec 19, 18, 11:51 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.
 
Last edit by: Marathon Man
Wiki Link
NEW TO MS: Do some serious reading for a month of all the posts and wiki to get an understanding of MS before asking common questions.

Note: the 2016 version of this thread is here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manuf...l#post27694986, the 2015 version of the thread is here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manuf...re-2015-a.html

Welcome to Manufactured Spending. Marathon Man did not write this message, but he has edited it and anyone can. 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.

3) A glossary wiki for MS located in the thread Glossary, Manufactured Spending Forum

Important Rules

1) MSing is very YMMV. It varies by store, manager, and right down to the cashier working at the moment. Some might argue that MS is like card counting in a casino. It is not illegal but casinos don’t like it. Orhers have said it’s like having a fake ID in college to use just to get into bars where all the fun is. Just because it worked here yesterday doesn’t mean it will get you in today. MS is like being a wood worker constantly using a table saw. Always watch what you are doing—always! Or you will lose something. 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).

6) MSing can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from smallish amounts to meet minimum spend requirements to get a credit card signup bonus, to accumulating huge numbers of points for travel/cashback/etc. Remember too that you will often have expenses such as purchase fees, liquidation fees, and gas.

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

New MSers can also read all these threads:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manuf...-spending-719/
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Old Nov 20, 17, 4:46 pm
  #361  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by flytheworld198 View Post
So what's the best way I could MS to meet my situation?
Here are a few options:

1) Pay a bill with using Plastiq
2) Buy gift card and convert to Money orders (Walmart) and then deposit in the bank
3) Prepay a phone, utility, water, gas bill
alphakenny1 is offline  
Old Nov 21, 17, 10:13 am
  #362  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: All of them.
Posts: 8
Thank you, I spent the entire day yesterday converting all of our bills to credit card, but I realized since we're leaving in one month there's no use to MS now, billing cycles usually take 30 days. But I'll start when I get back.
flytheworld198 is offline  
Old Nov 22, 17, 12:25 am
  #363  
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Originally Posted by alphakenny1 View Post
Here are a few options:

1) Pay a bill with using Plastiq
2) Buy gift card and convert to Money orders (Walmart) and then deposit in the bank
3) Prepay a phone, utility, water, gas bill
I would love to know how much time people spend purchasing GC, converting to MO, and then paying the bills a month? Add in wear and tear of the car, the extra gas and your personal time in this whole thing. Since using Plastiq I have more time to do things with my family.
FlightNurse is offline  
Old Nov 23, 17, 12:22 pm
  #364  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 4
First, I just want to thank the community on all their help on giving me the proper knowledge find efficient and smart MS methods, as well as giving the proper precautions to make sure its done right, I have been able to meet minimum spending requirements on cards i would have never have been able to because of you guys!!

So I'm eyeing the Amex Biz Plat as my next card while im trying to knock off some Chase biz cards since Im 4/24 currently. Now the Amex biz plat offers require a fairly high minimum spend of 10k, 15k, or 20k which i cant complete organically, meaning i would need to MS a good amount. Also I put my revenue of my "business" (i do resell on ebay but stretched the truth on exactly how much i do) being 6k on my SPG biz application which was my first amex card a few weeks ago. I heard you want to be consistent with the amount of revenue you put down on biz card applications so im assuming i should put down 6k business revenue for my Amex biz plat application when i do it as well. Now, obviously 6k is a lot less than the 10k-20k minimum spend requirement so im curious if this would look suspicious or not. OR should i just increase my "business" revenue to whatever the minimum spending requirement is on the upcoming application to avoid this?
GoldenMonkey34 is offline  
Old Nov 24, 17, 7:39 am
  #365  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,637
Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
Since using Plastiq I have more time to do things with my family.
Before this, I've only heard this phrase when someone just got fired from a job.
MaxVO is offline  
Old Dec 8, 17, 2:48 pm
  #366  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 2
2 player mode

Hey all

First post here, go easy on me.

Me and my fiance just both signed up for some new cards, wanted to see what 2 player friendly mode options we have for us that aren't just both of us liquidating VGCs for our minimum spends and future MS needs

Maybe things like sending money via serve so we aren't doing direct deposit all the time to our accounts?

Venmo can get expensive, so more of an emergency if we needed to make MSR

Things like that

Thanks! (feel free to delete if this has been discussed elsewhere, i just didn't know what to call it, thus searching was difficult)
chipdouglas is offline  
Old Dec 9, 17, 8:21 am
  #367  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,665
Originally Posted by chipdouglas View Post
Hey all

First post here, go easy on me.

Me and my fiance just both signed up for some new cards, wanted to see what 2 player friendly mode options we have for us that aren't just both of us liquidating VGCs for our minimum spends and future MS needs

Maybe things like sending money via serve so we aren't doing direct deposit all the time to our accounts?

Venmo can get expensive, so more of an emergency if we needed to make MSR
If you have registered for an amex prepaid, sign up for 1VIP under serve.com. Applications will no longer be accepted starting 1/1/2018 based on the email I received recently. You and your fiance can sign up to get your own (limit is 5 cards per SSN) card. I've gotten 5 cards, activated them all but I'm just using one at a time due to shutdown sensitivity. If interested, go to the serve site and read all terms and conditions. These prepaids will be great tools for you to get free liquidation of your VGCs and you can do billpay of your CCs (just don't do amex CCs to be on the safe side). Instead of buying MOs, you can just load the VGCs straight to these prepaids not just at WM, but at Dollar General and Family Dollar as well. When starting, start with SMALL loads to find out how it works before you start loading 500s.

IF you have one of those WMs that require your name to be on the DC, check the G1ftcardM4ll and G1ftc4rdscom sites for GCs that print your name on the GCs.

If you have more questions, try google first and usually, you'll find your answers there.

Good luck!
Mamibear is offline  
Old Dec 9, 17, 1:12 pm
  #368  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by Mamibear View Post
If you have registered for an amex prepaid, sign up for 1VIP under serve.com. Applications will no longer be accepted starting 1/1/2018 based on the email I received recently. You and your fiance can sign up to get your own (limit is 5 cards per SSN) card. I've gotten 5 cards, activated them all but I'm just using one at a time due to shutdown sensitivity. If interested, go to the serve site and read all terms and conditions. These prepaids will be great tools for you to get free liquidation of your VGCs and you can do billpay of your CCs (just don't do amex CCs to be on the safe side). Instead of buying MOs, you can just load the VGCs straight to these prepaids not just at WM, but at Dollar General and Family Dollar as well. When starting, start with SMALL loads to find out how it works before you start loading 500s.

IF you have one of those WMs that require your name to be on the DC, check the G1ftcardM4ll and G1ftc4rdscom sites for GCs that print your name on the GCs.

If you have more questions, try google first and usually, you'll find your answers there.

Good luck!
thanks!

I wonder if we could use plastiq to 'pay bills' to one another, on the CIP it would code for 3x, might make the 2.5% worth it?

I'm trying to think of ways that we can send money to one another is more or less what i meant in the 2 player mode
chipdouglas is offline  
Old Dec 9, 17, 8:02 pm
  #369  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1
So is there anywhere left to unload VGC? I'm wanting to buy the 200 VGC from Walmart using Chase Pay.
canoodlekewder is offline  
Old Dec 10, 17, 10:44 pm
  #370  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SFO/SEA
Programs: Amex Biz Cent, JPMC Palladium, SPG/Hyatt Plat, Marriott Silver, Hertz PC, Avis Chairmans Circle
Posts: 3,263
Originally Posted by chipdouglas View Post
thanks!

I wonder if we could use plastiq to 'pay bills' to one another, on the CIP it would code for 3x, might make the 2.5% worth it?

I'm trying to think of ways that we can send money to one another is more or less what i meant in the 2 player mode
Be careful with Plastiq -- if you go this route then make sure to have the checks sent to a different address than your account address otherwise that's risking a cancellation from them. Also, on many of my recent payments to wedding vendors who didn't accept CC, I was asked for proof of required payment (contract, invoice, lease, etc). Luckily I had contracts for everything and the payments were approved within hours of replying to their emailed requests for documentation. You'd probably want to draw up some dummy invoices or lease agreements in case they ask for such proof of required payment
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Old Dec 11, 17, 12:05 am
  #371  
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Originally Posted by brosnan6 View Post
Be careful with Plastiq -- if you go this route then make sure to have the checks sent to a different address than your account address otherwise that's risking a cancellation from them. Also, on many of my recent payments to wedding vendors who didn't accept CC, I was asked for proof of required payment (contract, invoice, lease, etc). Luckily I had contracts for everything and the payments were approved within hours of replying to their emailed requests for documentation. You'd probably want to draw up some dummy invoices or lease agreements in case they ask for such proof of required payment
I have never had a problem using Plastiq to pay Bills, whether they are mortgage, student loans or car payments. Been using them now for a year.
FlightNurse is offline  
Old Dec 11, 17, 9:45 am
  #372  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SFO/SEA
Programs: Amex Biz Cent, JPMC Palladium, SPG/Hyatt Plat, Marriott Silver, Hertz PC, Avis Chairmans Circle
Posts: 3,263
Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
I have never had a problem using Plastiq to pay Bills, whether they are mortgage, student loans or car payments. Been using them now for a year.
I think the difference is that those are all "established payees" like banks. It gets a lot more YMMV once you start dealing with individuals or small businesses that may not have received any payments through Plastiq. In my example I was referring to small vendors for my wedding who are all unlikely to have had any payments through Plastiq, hence the documentation needed by Plastiq for verification. Since the poster was referring to payments between him and his wife, I figured they would run into the same added verifications I did.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 6:09 pm
  #373  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 326
Started to test the waters.

Yesterday, I applied for, and was approved for, Chase Ink Business & Chase Freedom. Decided to go with Chase first because I've read about their 5/24 rule.
Also went to PNC Bank and got a pin number for my debit card, so I would have a more normal debit card if needed. I've always used it as a credit card, so I had no idea what the PIN was. Turns out the PIN for using it as a debit card and the PIN for using it as an ATM card are one and the same. Silly me thought they were two different numbers.
Then went to Walgreens and bought a $20 variable vgc (along with a toy robot arm that was 50% off). Just wanted to learn what purchasing a variable card was like.

Today, I went to do my normal weekly grocery shopping at Kroger. Before I shopped, I bought a $10 money order using my PNC debit card. I was nervous because I had read how you make the MO out "from yourself, to yourself" and thought the cashier might question that. Learned you don't fill any of that out when ordering, so the CSR doesn't even know about it. Used my "real" debit card instead of the vgc I bought from CVS because I was unfamiliar with debit card transactions and if I needed help from the CSR, I didn't want to throw up a red flag. Things went off without a hitch.

Did my grocery shopping and along with the food bought a $500 vgc. A couple hours later, went to Walmart and used the gc to buy a $495 MO. Chatted with the CSR about Christmas. On the outside, I was calm and cool and made it seem like it just business as normal, on the inside I was nervous as all get-out, picturing everything that could go wrong. Almost got out of line I was so nervous. But things went fine, and my confidence is much boosted. Now I'll have to work on doing more than 1 card and splitting payments. I also found it hard not to peruse the gcs they had there, but they were in full view of the CSRs, so I resisted the temptation -- too afraid that they'd catch me paying with a gc, remember me eyeballing their gc, and jump to conclusions that would be bad for me.

Looks like I'll be doing it again
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Old Dec 12, 17, 6:16 pm
  #374  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 326
I should mention that I preferred getting the MO at Kroger over Walmart. At Kroger, the swipe machine was completely out of sight of the CSR. She would have to lean over the counter to see what I was swiping. At Walmart, what I was swiping was way more obvious if the CSR cared to look.
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Old Dec 12, 17, 6:53 pm
  #375  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 326
Another thing I noticed -- at Walgreens, the cashier scanned the package and asked for the amount I wanted to put on it. At Kroger, the cashier took the package and STARTED TEARING IT APART!! After I got over my surprise, I assumed he was checking for tampering and I didn't say anything. Now that I'm home and have had more time to look at the cards and packaging, I realize the true reason. The Walgreens/Vanilla card has the barcode on the package. The Kroger/US Bank card has the bar code on the card, and the bar code is covered by the package. The cashier was just tearing away the strip so he could scan it. Actually makes me feel safer purchasing from Kroger since at Walgreens everyone has access to the barcode. I don't know what a criminal could do with it, but I suspect it wouldn't be good.
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