Posted by Chuck on May 16, 2016
Manufactured Spending

Published on May 16th, 2016 | by Chuck

40

Wells Fargo Warns 5% Abusers – Era of 5x Comes to an End

Wells Fargo Cash Back credit card offers 5% cash back on grocery, gas, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months, a veritable gold mine for manufacturing spend. Milesperday and numerous Flyertalk posters report that Wells Fargo is sending out a warning letter to cardholders who have been abusing the card to cease the abuse or be shut down.

…We want to let you know that we recently reviewed your credit card account and found an unusual volume of purchases and/or payments made using this card. This type of activity may indicate misuse of the Wells Fargo credit card rewards program, and if it continues beyond receipt of this notice we will close your account and your rewards balance will be forfeited…

wells fargo 5% warning

Image from milesperday.com

At the very least, it makes sense to stop using the card until all previous rewards get paid out. More sensibly, it’s probably not worth abusing at all since there’ll always be a doubt whether or not you’ll get the rewards. Hard to know how much is considered ‘safe.’

There have been rumors for a while that Wells Fargo plans to soon remove the 5% card entirely, probably to replace it with the new Cash Wise 1.5% card which is coming in June.

The Wells Fargo 5% card was really the last hold-out among credit cards that allowed users to manufacture unlimited amounts of spend at 5x rewards. Some people took this quite seriously manufacturing millions of dollars worth within those 6 months.

We still have the Old Blue Cash card which offers 5% cashback at grocery stores,drugstores, and gas stations, but it’s been capped at $50,000. And the TD 5% card is no longer available. The era of unlimited 5x comes to an end.



40 Responses to Wells Fargo Warns 5% Abusers – Era of 5x Comes to an End

  1. Ted says:

    I had no issues with500k spend on a 20k limit. Good times ….

  2. Daniel says:

    Where can I read more about users ms millions of dollars using this card?

  3. HG says:

    2016: critical mass achieved

  4. hello says:

    Now that it got shutdown, Lets all talk about how much Ive done. about 2 million in the past 2 years

    • Tony says:

      $2.8 million in last 28 months for me

    • Parkerthon says:

      That sounds like a full time job with a blinking arrow over your head to be flagged by the FBI for money laundering/tax evasion.

      • Carlos says:

        Why would it be money laundering???
        I also dont recall anyone saying they werent paying taxes??

        • Dan says:

          actually the best part of this for me was that this is income you don’t have to pay taxes on. and that’s completely legal. thank god our government is incompetent

  5. SCJ says:

    WTH are banks thinking with 1.5% cashback cards? I can easily name six different 2% cards. Marketing isn’t going to make up for your subpar product.

    • Steve says:

      Yes it will, for people who are already customers of that bank, and don’t want the ‘hassle’ of switching to a different one (despite how easy it is). Or for customers who think ‘loyalty’ is a thing.

    • Chucks says:

      6 AF-free cards with limitless 2% rewards still available? I can name the Citi Double Cash and the Fidelity Visa. Otherwise…BOA travel rewards with a high balance. And?

      • Seabass says:

        Capital One Sparks for business cards. Um.. I’m not sure if we can count on JCB Marukai or the first year of the Discover It Miles. Yea… I got no clue where 6 comes from.

  6. Nick says:

    The hubris of big banks never ceases to amaze me. Luring customers in with uber generous offers of points, miles, and high % paybacks all in an effort to lock them into a usurious credit card account. Then, when some smart people figure out how to game the bank, they withdraw as if they have been maliciously damaged. Like WE are the bad guys. Irony?

    • Rick b says:

      They learned from Casinos. Same crap, invent a game that gives illusion of opportunity to get something for nothing, but then play the odds that most suckers will lose. And kick out the gamers.

      Incidentally, for this card there was a scare in Dec 2014/Jan 2015 when new terms mentioned that GCs would no longer earn points. When the dust settled it was discovered that enforcement was non-existent. They may have wisened up no but I bet it’s still spotty and gameable. Just have to play chicken with them.

  7. Tom C says:

    If they have a 1.5x card that gets a 75% redemption bonus like the current 5x card gets, it would be a 2.625% card, matching the BofA Travel Rewards with preferred status.

  8. ed says:

    Once the WF ‘millionaires’ bragged at the ms seminars, albeit privately to a certain blogger, and said blogger broadcast that, I knew the end was near. It drove too many into that method. Methods tolerate a certain number, but when it gets publicized by those who should have used more restraint (not reveal the potential) then the method goes beyond tolerance levels. It isn’t the few, it is masses that brings the wrong attention. Some bloggers never learn and tend to say “well everyone knows about it so why not talk about the extreme users.” The blogger who originally revealed the million + users and saw the person’s reward statement, which was foolishly shown, is not DOC.

  9. Jon says:

    Spending millions is crazy, though if I had the means I would be tempted. I paired the 5% back with the Redbird and made a nice chunk of change. Six months went by fast.

  10. Marathon man says:

    My thinking is this:

    They obviously know what ms is (because so many screwballs have widely publicized it) but they cant legally stop the practice of buying gcs and paying your bills, but they can shut down any client for any reason but kinda have to have one internally.

    So they are using this as a scare tactic to lessen the loss they also cannot prevent people from doing as according to their own tcs, and to make it so if they think you didnt listen to them, they can now more easily shut you down and suffer no more people claiming against them in sm claims court

    That said, I have written this MS song:

    Madonna – Material Girl Lyrics |

    Some cards dis me
    Some cards bug me
    I think they’re ok
    If they don’t give me proper credit
    I just walk away

    They can beg a sign up and they can plead
    But they can’t give free flights (that’s right)
    ‘Cause the 5x card with the cold hard cash back
    Was once always Mister Right

    ‘Cause we are living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl
    You know that we are living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl

    Some cards you take a chance
    Some cards do the shut down dance
    That’s all right with bloggerswithcreditcardlinks
    If they can’t raise my miles balance then I
    Have to let them be

    Some banks try and some banks lie but
    I don’t let them play (no way)
    Only banks who let me save my cash back pennies
    Make my rainy day

    ‘Cause we’re living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl
    You know that we are living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl
    Living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl
    You know that we are living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl

    Living in a 2x world (MS-erial)
    Living in a 2x world
    Living in a 2x world (MS-erial)
    Living in a 2x world

    Banks may come and Banks may go
    And that’s all right you see
    Experience has made me rich
    And now they’re after me

    ‘Cause everybody’s living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl
    You know that we are living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl
    Living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl
    You know that we are living in a 2x world
    And I am a MS-erial girl

    A 2x, a 2x, a 2x, a Capital One world

    Living in a 2x world (MS-erial)
    Living in a 2x world
    Living in a 2x world (MS-erial)
    Living in a 2x world

    Living in a 2x world (MS-erial)
    Living in a 2x world
    Living in a 2x world (MS-erial)
    Living in a 2x world

  11. matt says:

    I could just as easily use a competitor’s card. I mean, this is the fee for getting us to sign up with them!

  12. Big K says:

    I played chicken with them-got cancelled!!

  13. Lela says:

    For me:
    May 11th- letter sent
    May 16th- letter received, quit all MS, made 2 gas purchases; I made a bad guess and left my rewards points in my account, wanting to use them for flights in the future.
    May 26th- account closed AND ALL REWARDS “FORFEITED,” rewards balance says 0
    June 1- Phoned Executive Office (3 representatives), Rewards Dept (2 reps) and Credit Card Services (1 rep)- no appeal avenues, stonewalled, got squat.

    Per Flyertalk, I am not the only one. I am just less apt to let it go cuz I do not have any history of making money off this deal like most- I left all my money in the rewards and didn’t hit it hard, so I am looking at a fiscal loss, and massive loss of time.

    ANYONE WHO GOT THE LETTER, IF YOUR ACCOUNT IS NOT YET CLOSED, TAKE YER REWARDS MONEY FAST. Anyone else that has been MSing this card, I would still advise taking all of your rewards out now. The T&C say they can cancel you at any time and forfeit your rewards.

  14. Lela says:

    Does anyone else have orphaned points (credit card closed) that wants to try to open a new credit card and get your rewards account connected to it? Anyone want to go on this points rescue mission? 2 Rewards Dept representatives explained that people sometimes do this when switching account types- close one account, rewards go into a hold mode, open a second account, old rewards account somehow gets re-attached to new account.

    I’m debating as I’m under 5/24 at the end of June and it would mean one fewer Chase card for me.
    Also considering a CFPB complaint.

  15. Jason says:

    Is that seriously talk that using the card or any other cards to spend millions a month while the limit is only maybe less than 10K on the card? 5% of 1 million a month is 50K right? Isn’t that better than the wall-street guy?

  16. Jim says:

    Any new cards with something similar to 5% cash back? I heard bb&t is next best bet but only for 3 months.

  17. Steve says:

    WF sent me that letter and then the department they force you to speak told me they believed I was only using the card to get the 5% rewards. NO SH*T! Done with WF.

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