Manufactured Spending Overview

Manufactured spending (MS) is the process of purchasing cash equivalents with a rewards earning credit card, where the rewards earned are greater than the fees incurred. It can be used for meeting minimum spend requirements or just racking up frequent flyer miles with your favorite airline or hotel partner.

Below we’ve listed some of the more common manufactured spending techniques, we’ve also ranked them as easy, medium or hard. Before dipping your toes into MS we suggest starting off small, reading a lot about each individual method, testing things for yourself and also only doing what you feel comfortable with.

Funding Bank Accounts

Read our full post on this method

Difficultly level: Easy to Moderate

A lot of bank accounts allow you to fund the initial deposit with a credit card, this can be a maximum of anywhere from $100 to $1,000 depending on the bank. There are a few downsides to using this method:

  • You can only do this for the initial opening deposit
  • Most of these bank accounts have monthly fees, which can be waived but either require a direct deposit from your payroll to hit the account or a minimum balance

There is also one massive upside, some bank accounts also come with bonuses. Which means you can also earn up to $600 (a recent Chase checking bonus) by completing some simple requirements.

Other Methods

If you’re going to do manufactured spending, it’s important to always look for opportunities to double or even triple dip. This is where you earn rewards points with more than one loyalty program at once. Here are some of the most popular programs that allow you to earn points in addition to what you already earn with your rewards credit card.

We regularly post about new methods & tricks for existing methods. Make sure you keep an eye out on our manufactured spending category for new posts about this topic. We also suggest subscribing to this blogs RSS feed or joining the newsletter to be notified instantly.

If you know of any methods we should cover, why not contact us to let us know!

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Onsale
Onsale

Has anyone had success using more than one prepaid Visa card to buy a single money order? For example, if you have two $200 Visa Gift Cards, is it possible to get one $400 money order (I’m not considering money order fees in this example).

Jake
Jake

Yes, Walmart lets you do 4 swipes. So you could do a money order of $799.12 like $200 + $200 + $200 + $200 ($0.88 to cover the money order fee.)
or
$600 like $200 + $200 + $200 + $0.88 to cover the money order fee.
or
$1,000 like $500 + $500 + $0.88 to cover the money order fee.

Amiksh Patel
Amiksh Patel

I has bought 14k in gift cards from giftcards.com. I carried them on my trip to Florida recently. Used a few of my gift cards.. Used a few to transfer the funds via venmo. After transfer I destroyed the cards and threw them. Venmo has frozen my account and has transferred the money back to the card that I had used.. Is there a way to get that card details back I have lost $3000…. Please help… Don’t have more details.. Will giftcards. Com be of any help

Hello

What is everyone’s thoughts on buying groups? It seems like a great way to get legitimate spend. I know of a few that are our there but what has everyone’s experience been? My understanding is that they are companies that need help buying products from stores or online to circumvent promotional restrictions. You basically but it, ship it to them and they pay you. How can you tell which companies are safe to work with?

SamSimon
SamSimon

Amazon Payments – “send money to family/friends” is dead! Just created account, no option there, I called, they said no longer available this feature!

kirk
kirk

this is really OLD. with MS you need to be up to date of what’s working or not. im an ms virgin myself but have been reading around. DoC doesn’t really talk about ms here or at least openly from what i could gather.

SamSimon
SamSimon

do you know – is there any MS way still alive and function well? I never tried, just found out about this MS too…..

Mimi
Mimi

TBH, whatever remains alive to this day are kept secret by those who are still enjoying them. If these info are leaked to public forums, they die in a day or two. For those who find loopholes in CC terms and they can milk it, you bet they’ll keep it to themselves for the main reason that the companies may not notice it if only a few are in it, but if there are hundreds/thousands ‘abusing’ it, there’s no chance for deal to survive.

SamSimon
SamSimon

I see, make sense! So far I think Visa Gift Cards -> Money Orders are still in the game…. or maybe not…

SamSimon
SamSimon

“Most other card issuers classify Amazon payments as “business services” and are not eligible for any additional cash back or points bonuses.”

Rab
Rab

Need help… i want to MS $2000. Can you tell me if i am doing this right.
1. But 2 $500 GCs from CVS
2. Go to USPS and ask for a $998.4 money order.

Please let me know.

Ted
Ted

I think you want $998.30, believe the fee is $0.70

Mimi
Mimi

if I’m not mistaken, fee is $1.20 so you subtract that from your $1000; bear in mind not all POs allow split tender and there are branches that ask to see your debit cards since they do not accept giftcards as payment for MO.

Jeff
Jeff

Nationwide Bank Visa Buxx Card
funding for a relative … not yourself.
Great for funding college kid
YMMV

CA
CA

currently, which stores will sell Mo’s using vanilla gc’s? local Walmart treats them as credit cards.
local kroegers doesn’t sell Money orders.
who sells Money orders??

Mer
Mer

Great website!
Q: Potentially how much money could be made via Manufactured Spending with say a $50k credit availability and 5% rewards cards?

Matt Vorwald
Matt Vorwald

The answer to this question is only limited by your creativity and willingness to put hours into the hobby.