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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 Sep 4, 18, 12:47 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
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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 Jan 15, 17, 12:44 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,522
Originally Posted by showmethemonae View Post
Is this an easy way to get started on MS from home? Please let me know if my thinking is in the right direction:

Seems like I can buy a Simon Visa GC online. Pay $504.44. Take said card to Walmart for a $0.70 money order. Deposit MO in bank account. Pay CC. Given 1% back CC (CSR), this is essentially paying $0.14 for 504.44 miles right??
easy MS? maybe. you have to consider the number of days it takes to get shipped and delivered to you NOT counting the risks you take should they be stolen in the mail.

I have received VGCs from GCM in envelopes that have NOT been sealed and those cards were the 5Bs that came activated! Needless to say, I drained them immediately at CVS to prevent complications. This was during the days of discounted 5Bs last month; for regular daily MS I prefer my grocery store/WM or SM to have them ready to drain quickly.
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Old Jan 15, 17, 2:00 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 73
Anyone know of any portals (points or CB) working for purchasing VGCs at Staples? Looking at frequent miler laboratory, it seems the only successes for portals at staples were for a few random store specific gift cards
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Old Jan 16, 17, 7:54 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: IAD
Programs: All of them to one degree or another
Posts: 445
Originally Posted by showmethemonae View Post
Is this an easy way to get started on MS from home? Please let me know if my thinking is in the right direction:

Seems like I can buy a Simon Visa GC online. Pay $504.44. Take said card to Walmart for a $0.70 money order. Deposit MO in bank account. Pay CC. Given 1% back CC (CSR), this is essentially paying $0.14 for 504.44 miles right??
I think you need to relook at your math....You only get the 1% cash back from CSR (or whatever card) if you actually cash in those points instead of using them for travel or transferring to a partner.

In your scenario you are paying $5.14 for a total of 504.44 in URs. This means you have a total cost of $.0102 per UR. This is a horrible MS scheme in the long run. This is fine if you are only trying to meet the min on a new card spend, or there is some promotion above and beyond.

"Purchasing" URs through other means can easily get your cost down to $.005 or lower per point.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 8:22 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by Dysorder View Post
I have had lots of luck lately with buying OV cards and then turning them into MO's at the PO, I then take the MO to a local branch of the bank I have the CC through and paying my CC. I then pay the difference each month with my checking.

English, for non-glossary people;:

I have had lots of luck lately with buying ONe Vanilla cards and then turning them into Money Orders at the Post Office. I then take the Money Order to a local branch of the bank I have the Credit Card through and paying my Credit Card. I then pay the difference each month with my checking.

Are you able to purchase OV cards with a CC somewhere? I've read that most places stopped taking CCs for them.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 10:15 am
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 17
Originally Posted by ChrisTX View Post
Are you able to purchase OV cards with a CC somewhere? I've read that most places stopped taking CCs for them.
CVS is my go to for VVGC and OVs.
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Old Jan 16, 17, 4:28 pm
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
I just got my CSR card last week and have spent over 1100 on the card. Are there any risks with reaching my $4,000 in 2 weeks if I continue to buy a 500 GC a day? Will Chase see a pattern and do anything about it?
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Old Jan 16, 17, 6:30 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by DeaconY View Post
I think you need to relook at your math....You only get the 1% cash back from CSR (or whatever card) if you actually cash in those points instead of using them for travel or transferring to a partner.

In your scenario you are paying $5.14 for a total of 504.44 in URs. This means you have a total cost of $.0102 per UR. This is a horrible MS scheme in the long run. This is fine if you are only trying to meet the min on a new card spend, or there is some promotion above and beyond.

"Purchasing" URs through other means can easily get your cost down to $.005 or lower per point.
Can't a cash back site be used and I'll be net positive? I guess ideally I just. We'd to use a different card...but that'll still work for a 1% card no?
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Old Jan 16, 17, 7:56 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: IAD
Programs: All of them to one degree or another
Posts: 445
Originally Posted by showmethemonae View Post
Can't a cash back site be used and I'll be net positive? I guess ideally I just. We'd to use a different card...but that'll still work for a 1% card no?
And which cash back portal are you using that gives cash back on VGc purchases from Simon Malls?
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Old Jan 17, 17, 12:48 am
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: SF
Programs: SPG PLT, Hilton Diamond, AS MVP 75k,
Posts: 30
Hi Guys, new to MS. What is best credit card in terms of cashback for MS? I've safeway near by who recently started selling 500 Visa/MC GCs and wondering which is best card to maximize cashback? JCB Marukai? Thanks.
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Old Jan 17, 17, 6:26 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,522
Originally Posted by mgodara View Post
Hi Guys, new to MS. What is best credit card in terms of cashback for MS? I've safeway near by who recently started selling 500 Visa/MC GCs and wondering which is best card to maximize cashback? JCB Marukai?
check Citi double cash card. I don't have JCB CC.

IMO, what's more important than the CCs would be opportunities in YOUR area to MS. If you know where to buy your VGCs, drain them and deposit to your bank to pay your CCs, you're good to go. For all non category expenses, I use Citi DC.
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Old Jan 17, 17, 12:31 pm
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by DeaconY View Post
And which cash back portal are you using that gives cash back on VGc purchases from Simon Malls?
aren't simon mall VGCs you buy online from giftcardmall.com? So doesn't topcashback work?
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Old Jan 17, 17, 8:06 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: IAD
Programs: All of them to one degree or another
Posts: 445
Originally Posted by showmethemonae View Post
aren't simon mall VGCs you buy online from giftcardmall.com? So doesn't topcashback work?
Give it a try and report back
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Old Jan 19, 17, 12:29 pm
  #43  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 12
I tried purchasing $500 Visa Gift Card at Walmart Store using Chase Credit Card yesterday and today, but both times my transaction did not went thru. CSR stated only Debt card is accepted.

Is anyone aware if Walmart changed their policy or its just specific to that store? I remember I was able to do couple of months back at the same location.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:57 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,522
my go-to WM still accepts CCs for VGCs as of this afternoon. If there are those that changed their policy, it must be select/specific store management decision. Best thing to do is check other WMs and if it's the same policy, it must be district-wide policy.
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Old Jan 20, 17, 1:17 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 17
Will chase get suspicious when they see me spending 5k a week at CVS?
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