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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oldest most voted

JS (@guest_1519509)
December 26, 2022 20:07

Each year around Christmas, including right now, Panera Bread offers $10 free for every $50 in Panera gift cards you buy. I eat there a couple times a month so it’s a good way to add a couple hundred to my spend.

Onsale (@guest_807996)
September 9, 2019 16:16

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 (@guest_893608)
January 30, 2020 13:03

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.)
$600 like $200 + $200 + $200 + $0.88 to cover the money order fee.
$1,000 like $500 + $500 + $0.88 to cover the money order fee.

euromannn (@guest_1176778)
April 15, 2021 01:29

Did Wal_Mart change policy? On 4/14/21 I tried to get $1000 MO and after 1 swipe the cashier advised me no Gift cards allowed. I used GC VISA?debit. Also tried this at two Kroger grocery stores(QFC) in Seattle and denied an MO at these stores.

Trevor Barnes
Trevor Barnes (@guest_1361754)
April 11, 2022 11:21

dont tell them youre using a giftcard. Just use it. It acts as a debit card, just remember your pin

Amiksh Patel
Amiksh Patel (@guest_606252)
June 16, 2018 00:21

I has bought 14k in gift cards from 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

Shay (@guest_1071385)
October 11, 2020 10:27

Dear Amishk, I am sorry to hear about what happened, and by now I am not sure if you were able to recover your money but do get a learning from this situation is not to trust a stupod application like venmo when it comes to your money

Hello (@guest_553882)
January 24, 2018 14:52

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?

Bryan (@guest_1761221)
December 19, 2023 11:49

Hey there! I’ve heard some concerns about risks when dealing with buying groups, especially with high-value items. For added security and convenience, platforms like sellB might be worth exploring. sellB brings multiple buyers together on one platform and offers an additional layer of security for users. You might find it beneficial to check out!

Link to the official discord server;

SamSimon (@guest_482175)
September 24, 2017 16:03

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 (@guest_481234)
September 22, 2017 01:53

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 (@guest_482177)
September 24, 2017 16:08

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

Mimi (@guest_482182)
September 24, 2017 16:25

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 (@guest_482316)
September 24, 2017 22:21

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

SamSimon (@guest_481222)
September 22, 2017 01:04

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

Rab (@guest_460367)
August 17, 2017 12:35

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 (@guest_478938)
September 18, 2017 14:16

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

Mimi (@guest_482184)
September 24, 2017 16:31

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 (@guest_234764)
March 19, 2016 20:52

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

CA (@guest_120585)
May 15, 2015 16:27

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??