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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 Jun 11, 18, 6:23 am   -   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: Klemhuzzah
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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. 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. 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 Apr 19, 18, 6:45 pm
  #466  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by Tam Tran View Post
Hi there, Im new to MS Spending. Right now i have around 3 spg business card that need 5k minimum spending on each card.

I'm trying to do via paypal spend. Is there like a daily limit should i send money via credit card so that my account wont get frozen?

after you received the payment, how long should i wait to withdraw to my bank account? I'm trying do paypal for long term, so try to find the best way to not get your account frozen
If you gonna do this, make sure you aren't paying yourself from one PP account to another, both in your own name. there is a DP on r/churning (I forget) that mentioned AMEX can tell you are moving money around between multiple PP accounts in your own name. Idk how you can get that from L3 data. Maybe someone else can chime in.
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Old Apr 27, 18, 2:54 pm
  #467  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Programs: Simon Insider
Posts: 1
I've tried reading through this thread, but it's tough to figure out with so many acronyms. My apologies if this is an obvious question! Once I buy the giftcard's from simon, how do you offload them so quickly without losing the benefit of the perks? All of the websites I've found have insanely-low buyback prices (losing like 14-30% gc value).

If there's a sticky post or a guide somewhere, please let me know and I'll check it out.
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Old Apr 28, 18, 7:41 am
  #468  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,512
Originally Posted by dealhunt3r View Post
I've tried reading through this thread, but it's tough to figure out with so many acronyms. My apologies if this is an obvious question! Once I buy the giftcard's from simon, how do you offload them so quickly without losing the benefit of the perks? All of the websites I've found have insanely-low buyback prices (losing like 14-30% gc value).

If there's a sticky post or a guide somewhere, please let me know and I'll check it out.
the quickest way to drain them is to buy MOs, pay bills via WMbillpay and/or load them to prepaid reloadable cards. IF, by chance, your WMs or grocery stores require a regular bank debit card to pay for MOs, you CANNOT use the Simon GCs there since they will likely ask to see the cards before you swipe them.

check the threads discussing WM billpay and buying MOs at Walmart; for reloadable prepaids, check Serve and Amex Bluebird threads. read the wiki of those threads and soon as you grasp the concept, try with SMALL amounts like $25 and see if you can liquidate your GCs with ease. You have to do YOUR own legwork to find the WMs and grocery stores that will accept GCs for MO in YOUR area. You will see the acronym YMMV (your mileage may vary) regularly in this site which means what works for others may/may not work for you so you have to find that on your own. Good luck!
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Old Apr 28, 18, 11:02 am
  #469  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 167
Originally Posted by dealhunt3r View Post
I've tried reading through this thread, but it's tough to figure out with so many acronyms. My apologies if this is an obvious question! Once I buy the giftcard's from simon, how do you offload them so quickly without losing the benefit of the perks? All of the websites I've found have insanely-low buyback prices (losing like 14-30% gc value).
.
That last part makes me think you're looking at the wrong gift cards. When people talk about Simon Mall gift cards, they're talking about a prepaid Visa sold by Simon Mall with the Simon Mall name on it. Visit https://www.simon.com/giftcard/ to see what they look like. These liquidate as Mamibear explained.

If you're talking about gift cards like Home Depot, Wendy's, Amazon, etc, I've only seen places where you can sell them for about 85% of face value. There are times when the deal's so good you can still make it work, but I've never bothered. I think there are websites where instead of selling it to the website for 85%, you put it up for sale at the website, set your own price, and then wait. I'm still a newbie working on the low hanging fruit, so I haven't looked at this in detail yet.

Good luck!

PS: looking at my link above, I realize Simon Mall sells both Visa and American Express. You want the card that says "debit" on the front so that you can use it as a debit card. IE, you want Visa not American Express.
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Old Apr 28, 18, 8:43 pm
  #470  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 6
I have been reading through this thread and its not clear if buying visa gift cards at let's say walmart or sams club using amex cards would still count towards minimum spend or no ?

Any tips on this ?
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Old Apr 28, 18, 10:05 pm
  #471  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 1
So I've been reading about manufactured spending for a while. I've got a Sapphire Preferred I've been wanting to knock out the sign-up bonus on soon as I'd like to take advantage of those points for a flight coming up. From my understanding, there are a few banks you can use the CSP to load an account with (without it getting marked as a cash advance). Would I be able to open one with about $1500, and just pay the card with that bank I used it on at the billing due date?
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Old Apr 29, 18, 7:44 am
  #472  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,512
Originally Posted by zmon View Post
So I've been reading about manufactured spending for a while. I've got a Sapphire Preferred I've been wanting to knock out the sign-up bonus on soon as I'd like to take advantage of those points for a flight coming up. From my understanding, there are a few banks you can use the CSP to load an account with (without it getting marked as a cash advance). Would I be able to open one with about $1500, and just pay the card with that bank I used it on at the billing due date?
yes you can BUT make sure to call to decrease your cash advance to the lowest amount they'll allow you so that in case the bank you're depositing $ treats it as cash advance, the transaction will get declined.
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Old Apr 29, 18, 7:50 am
  #473  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,512
Originally Posted by patoot10 View Post
I have been reading through this thread and its not clear if buying visa gift cards at let's say walmart or sams club using amex cards would still count towards minimum spend or no ?

Any tips on this ?
With AXP CCs better NOT buy any GCs to meet MSR since they are now strictly enforcing their TOS. It may take a while before they post bonuses and it may be too late for you to find out you did not meet the required spend if you bought VGCs so it is best to meet MSR with ANY/ALL AXP CCs via regular spend i.e., pay rent, pre-pay utilities, do grocery/department store shopping, etc.
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Old May 1, 18, 7:53 pm
  #474  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 9
Are there any banks or CU's that let you buy visa/mastercard gift cards with your credit card?
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Old May 2, 18, 4:51 pm
  #475  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,512
Originally Posted by izzie View Post
Are there any banks or CU's that let you buy visa/mastercard gift cards with your credit card?
NONE; all of them will take cash from your existing account as payment so for MS purposes, this won't work.
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Old May 3, 18, 8:06 pm
  #476  
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Originally Posted by izzie View Post
Are there any banks or CU's that let you buy visa/mastercard gift cards with your credit card?
Originally Posted by Mamibear View Post
NONE; all of them will take cash from your existing account as payment so for MS purposes, this won't work.
Navy Federal Credit Union allows it, but only with their own credit cards and the transaction doesn't earn rewards.

https://www.navyfederal.org/products...gift-cards.php

Last edited by ChrisFlyer66; May 3, 18 at 8:06 pm Reason: add link
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Old May 6, 18, 3:44 pm
  #477  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Programs: Hertz #1 Gold, Priority Club PLT, Avis Pres'd club, HHonors Silver
Posts: 189
Back to the MS game a little, stopped cashing out after WM Bluebird game was over. Please help me out with the current situation. I have a whole bunch of Visa gc ($200 per, from bestbuy), I need to cash them out for my renovation project (contractor accepts check only). What is the best way to do this?

Is it still buying MO with VGC at WM? What are the limits now? I suppose I just split the payment (what are the optimal amount of purchase, since mine are mostly $200 a piece), 200 per payment and enter last 4 digit of the card number as the debit card pin?

Thanks a lot in advance.
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Old May 6, 18, 4:22 pm
  #478  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 30
Originally Posted by Procter View Post
Back to the MS game a little, stopped cashing out after WM Bluebird game was over. Please help me out with the current situation. I have a whole bunch of Visa gc ($200 per, from bestbuy), I need to cash them out for my renovation project (contractor accepts check only). What is the best way to do this?

Is it still buying MO with VGC at WM? What are the limits now? I suppose I just split the payment (what are the optimal amount of purchase, since mine are mostly $200 a piece), 200 per payment and enter last 4 digit of the card number as the debit card pin?

Thanks a lot in advance.
MO at WM is still viable. With $200 GCs the most you’ll be able to do per transaction is $800 since the limit is four swipes. You are correct, 200 per payment and last 4 for pin.

Another option is is getting an Amex Serve account. You can load the GCs into the Serve account and then transfer the money to your bank.
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Old May 7, 18, 9:03 pm
  #479  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: IND
Programs: DL, AA
Posts: 144
Has anyone been able to buy MOs at Meijer with Metabank VGCs?

Thanks!
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Old May 7, 18, 9:05 pm
  #480  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,679
Originally Posted by carofly View Post
Has anyone been able to buy MOs at Meijer with Metabank VGCs?

Thanks!
It defaults to credit.
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