I’ve read about manufactured spending from various blogs and sites, but never decided to attempt manufactured spending. I didn’t really need to include this method for credit card churning, since I naturally earn a large sum of points purchasing goods for my small business. My earning are further boosted when I shop through a shopping portal such as Rakuten (My signup link) which awards me American Express Membership Points instead of cash. Fast forward to today and I have decided to attempt manufacturing.
Planning/Buying Visa Gift Cards
Being stuck at home means purchasing visa gift cards online. Luckily, there was a deal with DOSH, a cashback rewards app for 5% cashback on purchases at Staples.com. There was a maximum earning limit of $20 per day. For a couple days, the cashback had no exclusions and I was able to earn $20 cashback for purchasing two $300 Visa gift cards for $308.95 a piece. I would only to this deal if you have a credit card that earns 5x or 5% back on office supply stores as liquidation could be a bit challenging during this time period. As a last resort, because you are earning 5 points per dollar for the purchase, liquidation through Paypal will still net you about 2% in profit.
For my purchase, I went linked my Chase Ink Business Cash card to Dosh and shopped at Staples.com through Rakuten. Rakuten’s cashback terms explicitly exclude gift cards at Staples, but it didn’t hurt to try. I love to deal stack and by stacking Dosh with Rakuten, there was the potential to earn addtional cashback. I don’t know if this will get clawed back, but so far it shoes that I have earned 2% cash back for my Staples.com transaction.
Here is the breakdown:
Dosh Cashback: $20
Rakuten Cashback (Could be clawed back): $12.36
Chase Points Earned 5x: $30.90 (3090)
Max Profit before Liquidation Including Rakuten: $45.36
Max Profit before Liquidation Without Rakuten: $33
As you can see, this deal was too good to pass up. I was able to do a daily order with Staples.com over the last couple days before this deal was nixed. As of yesterday, Dosh is no longer offering 5% cashback at Staples.com and gift card purchases are now excluded.
I have yet to liquidate these visa gift cards, but due the current situation, it seems unlikely that I will be purchasing money orders. Being in the San Francisco Area, there are no MS(Manufactured Spend) friendly stores. That being said, I am still on the lookout for MS friend supermarkets or local stores, but I plan on utilizing these cards for everyday spend for now. If things change, I will try to liquidate, but for now I will be using these cards to buy discounted gift cards on Raise.com or on United’s MPX app for everyday spend. If you haven’t checked out either of these platforms, I highly recommend giving them a look, as they are excellent ways to earn additional points, miles, and discounts.
I made a conservative approach to manufactured spending and only made 2 $617.90 orders of Visa gift cards with Staples. These cards should be arriving in the near future and I plan on using them to purchase discounted gift cards for my small business to triple or in this case quadruple stack my points earnings. I love to stack my earnings so that a simple purchase for my business can net me anywhere from 15-20% in points and cashback, especially since Rakuten is offering increased cashback for a variety of stores at the moment. Let’s take a look at the art of triple/quadruple stacking.
The math for using United MPX:
Gift Card value: $600
Net Earnings from Purchasing Visa Gift card (Earnings-Activation Fee): $45.36
Purchasing Gift Cards through United MPX(3 points per dollar on average):1800 ($18)
Purchasing items using Rakuten(increased cashback at least 5%): $30
Total Earned: $93.36
As you can see, the total amount of rewards earned before selling the product purchased or using the item is $93.36. For valuation’s sake, I gave United Miles, American Express Points, and Chase Points a fixed value of 1 cent per point. These points can often be redeem at a far better ratio thus increasing your return. I also made a more conservative estimate on the earnings from Rakuten and United MPX, but my purchases have yielded 8-12% cashback on Rakuten and 6.25 miles per dollar on United MPX. As a United Explorer card holder I earn an additional 25% bonus miles on all purchases with MPX giving me 6.25 miles per dollar.
An example of a recent purchase during 4/1 with 12% cashback:
Gift Card Value:$600
Net Earnings From Gift Card Purchase: $45.36
United MPX Gift Card Purchase: 600 x 6.25 = 3750 United Miles($37.50)
Store Purchase with Rakuten at 12% cashback: $72
Total Earnings: $154.86
As you can see, finding the perfect opportunities and utilizing shopping portals can vastly increase your points earning potential. I love to stack earnings and constantly look for gift card deals. One of my favorite blogs/ places to look for new deals in Doctor of Credit. I hope this helps you understand the importance of shopping portals and the value of triple stacking. I hope to continue with manufactured spending, but my adventures with money orders will have to wait until after the pandemic.
Do you have any neat tips and tricks for stacking rewards? I would love to hear how you are maximizing your earnings.