Manufactured Spending, abbreviated as MS, is a term used for many of the methods of increasing credit card spend in order to acquire a greater number of points. Some use MS simply to meet the minimum spend requirements on newly acquired credit cards, without having to actually spend additional money. Often times, when a churner opens multiple credit cards in a short amount of time their standard organic spend will not allow them to meet the necessary spend requirements on each and every card so they will MS their way to those sweet bonuses.
There are a number of different ways to MS, and YMMV (your mileage may vary), on each of those different methods depending on the type of credit card you are attempting to MS or your geographic region.
This is one of the basic methods of creating MS. Purchasing discount gift cards and reselling them through a reseller search as theplasticmerchant.com is one of the easiest methods, but not the most profitable.
The most common method is:
- Purchase Visa Gift Cards (VGC) from either a store that will allow you to purchase with a credit card or online through GiftCardMall.com. (If you purchase online, be sure to use a cashback portal such as TopCashBack.com in order to get a percentage fo your purchase price back)
- Use your VGC to purchase a money order (MO) at a local Walmart, Grocery Store, or Post office. The specific type of VGC you purchase will determine where/if you are able to purchase MO.
- Deposit the MO into your bank account and use the money to pay off your credit card bill.
The math will typically work out something like this. Purchase two $500 VGCs, with an activation fee of $5.95 each, online for $1011.90 total. Then use the two VGCs to purchase a single $999.30 MO which comes with a fee of $0.70 for a total of $1000. Your net loss on this purchase would be $12.60, but using a cashback portal you will typically receive 1-2% of your total purchase price back. In this case, typically about $10, bringing your cost down to only $2.60. Which should be easily offset by the spending you were able to create on your card. The Chase Saphire Reserve, which gives back $0.015 per point when used for travel through their Ultimate Rewards service, would net you 1011 points worth at least $15.17. This gives you a profit of $12.57 for every two VGCs you are able to purchase and change into money orders.
This method is extremely simple. All you have to do is load your credit card onto your Venmo account, transfer money to a friend or family remember, have them withdraw that money to their bank account, and then have them transfer the money into your own bank account. Simple right? What’s the Catch? Well first, Venmo charges a 3% fee to transfer money utilizing a credit card, which can add up quickly. Secondly, Venmo is not a very big fan of people using their service for the sole purpose of MS.
This method is fantastic for a very easy and quick method of meeting the minimum spend on a credit card if you are not able to do so organically. It is even better if you have a Chase Ink Preferred Business card (CIP), which currently codes Venmo under the 3x bonus category. This means you are able to get 3090 points for every $1000 you transfer, including the $30 fee. Those 3090 points are worth $38.63 for travel on your CIP, or $46.35 for travel if you are able to transfer them over to your Chase Saphire Reserve card.
Tip: Start slowly with transferring money if your account is new, and makes your transactions appear as genuine transfers. Attempt to build some natural history with your account, especially if you intend to use Venmo in the future. Never transfer money to someone, and then have them transfer the money back to you within Venmo. Most people will want to save this method for emergency scenarios where they can’t naturally meet the spend requirements.