Manufactured spending is an art and the process of artificially spending with credit cards to generate miles and points. This creates tremendous value and this post will cover what still works in 2022 and beyond.
Why I Manufactured Spend?
Before we get into the weeds of what methods still work, let’s recap on why I manufactured spend. Manufactured spending is used for both meeting minimum spend requirements and to consistently generate miles and points. I used this method to generate enough miles and points to travel with Jen in business class, or to stay at some jaw dropping properties around the world. Using this technique, I am also able to requalify for the #1 top tier hotel elite status in Hyatt Globalist. All in all, manufactured spend helps me travel better and provide experiences that I would never pay cash for.
When did I get started?
Unlike most articles out there, I didn’t start manufactured spending in 2010 or 2014. Heck I didn’t even get my first points credit card until 2017 as a junior in college. I started learning about manufactured spending in 2019 and really dived head in to the process during the last two years.
What Still works in 2022 and Beyond!
Here are some manufactured spending techniques that still work in 2022. Remember your miles may vary and each area has its own quirks.
Visa and Mastercard Prepaid Gift Cards
You can buy prepaid Visa and Mastercard gift cards and convert them back to cash via money order purchase. You can use a card with high earning multiplier to earn 4-5x back. Keep in mind that converting these prepaid gift cards back to cash is a lot hard than 5 years ago. Office Supply stores such as Office Depot or Staples frequently run deals that balance out the fee on these gift cards.
The Best Deals for Prepaid Visa/Mastercard
While in-store offers at office supply stores and grocery stores can be rewarding, my favorite spot to pick up prepaid Visa or Mastercard virtual gift cards is through giftcards.com. Giftcards.com periodically runs 5% discounts and you are typically able to stack with shopping portal rewards netting you about 4-5x in earnings. The 5% discount is also more than enough to wipe off activation fees. Virtual gift cards are delivered right on the spot, while physical gift cards have a shipping fee that could wipe off some earnings. I always opt for the virtual gift card since I have ways to utilize or liquidate them online for minimal if any cost.
Plastiq allows you to pay certain bills via credit card. The company charges a 2.85% fee to process credit card payments and should only be a last resort option if you’re struggling to meet a minimum spend requirement.
In you’re interested in checking out Plastiq, check it out here(not an affiliate or referral link)
Drop Shipping Middleman
Drop Shipping deals as a middle man can be a great way to manufacture spend. Your miles may vary and definitely do thorough research before getting into this line or work.
Pay your Taxes
This might cost you a small fee around 1% depending on the institution, but paying property taxes with your credit card can be a great option. Property taxes can exceed $10,000 per year which will add a huge chunk to your minimum spend requirement.
What May Not Work?
Money Orders – Visa/Mastercard Liquidation
Some areas make it increasingly difficult to liquidate prepaid gift cards. Everyone has their own methods but these tactics vary from area to area to it is hard to know what still works. In San Francisco, liquidating prepaid gift cards through money orders is almost nonexistent. As a result, make sure to have a plan before going all in on manufactured spending. You never want to be caught with a credit card debt and no way to liquidate pre-paid gift cards.
When trying to drop ship items, start with one order at a time. Certain sites might have quantity limit, so definitely take that into account. I would start small and slowly work my way up. This method varies greatly and some stores will cancel drop ship orders.
Reselling Gift Cards
This is one of the more 50-50 methods as you need to be able to liquidate gift cards at breakeven. While there are many sites that allow you resell gift cards, they typically take a 10% or more fee. Only use this method if you can get to breakeven when selling gift cards. After all, we are not trying to operate at a net loss.
Manufactured Spending is extremely lucrative for both travelers and non-travelers alike. I was inspired to start this journey 4 years ago and in the last 3 years I have earned more than 3 million miles most of which were earned via manufactured spending. I’ve earned over 1.5 million Amex Points, 600,000 plus Chase Points, 540,000 plus United Miles, 200,000+ American Airlines Miles, 400,000 plus World of Hyatt Points, and 450,000 Hilton Points. This has allowed me to take my parents and Jen on wonderful trips around the world. From flying to Hong Kong on United Polaris (Polaris Lounges are top notch), to staying at properties such as Alila Napa Valley or Waldorf Astoria Los Cabo Pedregal, manufactured spending has helped me a ton. Everyone’s process or methods will vary depending on your area.
Do you manufacture spend? Are you planning to Manufacture Spend? Let me know in the comments section.