My Latest Manufacturing Spend Strategy

There have been so many ways in the past few years to manufacture spend in order to meet the minimum spend requirement for new credit cards or just as a way to get points to your point/loyalty program that you need more points in.  It can be overwhelming trying to keep track of it all.

We have done the Vanilla Reloads first from Office Depot/Staples then they stopped selling them.  Later CVS began selling them and that was very convenient for most of us.  That lasted for about 8 months. We had BlueBird that we could load our gift cards to that was sponsored by WalMart and American Express. Then we had the Target Prepaid Debit Card, affectionately known as Redbird, that we could load money directly on it from our credit cards – no fees and too easy.  There are other “ways” out there – Serve, GoBank and a few more.

I have not done Serve, Go Bank or some of the others.  Once Redbird flew away I began doing money orders.  I would purchase $500 VISA gift cards either at some of the grocery stores that I frequent, 7/11’s or at two of the Simon malls that are about 30 miles away.  In the stores, generally the fee is $5.95 however at the mall offices, it is $3.75 or $4.25.  I have found that in the recent few weeks that two of the grocery stores that I was able to purchase them no longer sell them when you are purchasing with a credit card.

What to do, what to do!  I had read in Frequent Miler’s blog about purchasing gift cards through iConsumer and then going through the store called   I decided to try it out.

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This is what it looks like when you log in
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When you search for a shop, write in (not
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Your next screen will have a dropdown of stores that sell gift cards.  You want GiftCards.  Reading across the screen, it says 1.5% back

After I logged in and was redirected to, I was notified that I would receive a total of 1.5% back by purchasing through them.  I planed on purchasing $2000 in VISA gift cards and my cash back would be about $30.  That would take care of the fee that comes with each card as well as the shipping.  By not having to pay for the fee, I feel like I am coming out ahead of the game by being even!  It took almost a week to get my cards.

Once you receive them, call the number on the front of the cards and they will give you the pin number, which I write on each card with a Sharpie.  What I like about these cards is that they are embossed with my name on it so it looks like a debit card from the bank.  I’ve heard stories, but have not experienced it myself, that when purchasing money orders at WalMart, that they cashier wants to look If you are interested in going through iConsumer, please consider using my link – I thank you.

I then take the cards, pin activated, and purchase money orders at WalMart (.79 for $1000 money order), Kroger grocery store (.79 per $750), Food Lion (.46 for $500).   I felt “funny” when I went into my bank to deposit these money orders.  To avoid suspicion cast on me (call that my active imagination) I spoke with a branch manager and told her what I was doing.  Her response was “can you come to my house for dinner and explain it to my husband – he would love it”.  She brought into the office another branch manager who inquired how much I was going to do each month.  I told them about 5k- 8k.  I was told that they would be recorded like checks and that there would be no problems.  I felt so much better talking to them.  I know with our hobby we are suppose to fly under the radar and not bring attention to ourselves, but for me, being honest so that no suspicion would arise, order

Another site to consider is Yazing.  Remember to purchase from and not as not all the cards from is PIN enabled.

Remember, to do this you do not want your credit utilization on this card to go above 50% of your credit limit AND you want to mix up your spending so that you have normal everyday purchases as well as manufactured spending.  Ramp it up slowly as well/.  Don’t go from having a $500 monthly spend to $5000 in one month.  Also, once you have liquidated the money orders, wait a couple of weeks before you make a payment to your credit card.  Be smart about this so you don’t get shut down by your credit card – I never have because I don’t go overboard.

Do you purchase VISA gift cards?  How do you liquidate your money orders?  Would you consider ordering them online like I did?




4 thoughts on “My Latest Manufacturing Spend Strategy

  1. Hi, great article on MS. So have you tried any other way to MS apart from the ones mentioned in the article? have you tried Kiva or reselling among other ways to MS?

  2. Just to make sure I understand, you are doing this to get point a dollar, right? You’re not getting the 5 points per dollar like at office supply places with the Ink?

    1. That is correct – the office supply stores, at least the ones near my home, only offer the $200 VISA GC’s. Currently, if I purchased online through Staples a $300 VISA GC, the activation fee would be $8.95 I will use the Freedom card the second quarter of the year and get 5X points at grocery stores. That will help.

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