Manufactured Spending

My Week in Manufactured Spending: 12,141 Points and $16.11 Cash Back

This is going to be a short one. After a pretty great start two weeks ago, my manufactured spending progress took a nosedive. Last week was insanely busy and I just didn’t get around to placing many gift card orders. I plan on doing better going forward. These reports are definitely motivation for me to keep churning gift cards because if I don’t, there’s nothing to write about. Anyway, here’s my pathetic attempt at churning gift cards last week:

2% Cash Back

I placed a single GiftCardMall order for $1,517.85 last week. Not my best effort. It generated a ~$27 in profit, which isn’t substantial, I know. However, it does offset some of the fees I incurred from all those gift cards I bought.

Cash back earned: $30.36

Fees: $17.85

Ebates cash back: $15

Total profit: $27.51

Ultimate Rewards

People asked me last week why I hadn’t earn any Ultimate Rewards points and I said I was working on it. Well, I came up short this time too. I lost my Chase Freedom Unlimited card (physically lost – no shut downs yet!), so I settled for a $1,517.85 Visa gift card order using the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Points earned: 1,517

Fees: $17.85

Ebates cash back: $15

Total cost: $2.85

Marriott Bonvoy Points

I placed two $1,517.85 Visa gift card orders through GiftCardMall using my dad’s Marriott Bonvoy card. I registered the card for the 3x bonus point promotion, so I’m going to try to max that out. Before you give me grief about Marriott, keep in mind that all rewards currencies come in handy at some point. I’ve had plenty of instances this year when I could have put them to good use if I’d had a sufficient amount saved up. 

Points earned: 9,107

Fees: $35.70

Ebates cash back: $30

Total cost: $5.70

SkyPass Miles

Korean SkyPass miles offer some of the lowest redemption rates for flights to Europe. All you need are 80,000 miles roundtrip for business class. That’s a steal! I haven’t put enough spend on this card, mainly because my limit is only $2,000. I placed a single GiftCardMall order and now I have to wait for the card to be paid off before I can churn more gift cards. Sigh.

Miles earned: 1,517

Fees: $17.85

Ebates cash back: $15

Total cost: $2.85

Final Manufactured Spending tally

In total, I earned 12,141 points and $30.36 worth of cash back. My fees totaled $89.25, of which $75 was off-set by Ebates cash back. Factor in the $30.36 worth of cash back from the Fidelity Rewards card and I came away with a $16.11 profit. A measly amount, but at least I didn’t have to pay any fees to earn those points.

If you’re keeping track of your own manufactured spending activities, I’d love to read about it in the comment section.

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  1. You didn’t have any costs to liquidate the cards?

  2. I closed my citi Aadvantage card just over two years ago and then got the barclay version. 100000 points for the two, I just was reapproved for the citi version for another 50k bonus so I will have roughly 135000 American airlines points after redeeming points for 2 one way tickets which I booked through Alaskan since they are partners.

  3. If it’s too little time to place the orders, where do you find time to liquidate? 🙂
    still, little by little…
    I was surprised to see that you MS on Korean SkyPass…I myself did not do anything with it beyond the sign-up bonus…have enough miles there (some still from the time when Chase allowed transfer) for 2 round trip F to Japan via Seoul…but you mentioned Europe…maybe one day you could go into details of what can be done with this card…it’s not one of those cards many bloggers even mention…
    and btw, I find your posts like this quite helpful! thank you!

  4. Really like what your doing. Keep up the good work

  5. The math doesn’t work out for me, when I place order of 500 VGC on, it’s 508.94 each, 6.95+1.99. Someone care to explain where 1517.85 come from? in 3 vgc?

  6. Any concerns about shutdown on any of the cards? I’d think you’re probably fine on the airline/hotel cards and possibly the fidelity 2%, but if any person from chase manually reviews your account and sees repeated GCM purchases, I’d think theres a high risk of shutdown.

  7. wouldn’t it be better to place larger orders? it seems shipping cost maxes out at $10.95. I usually order 12 x $500 2-3 times per month and that’s how much I pay for shipping per order. however the shipping cost doesn’t increase if I place 24 GCs in my cart instead of 12. Or are you just trying to gradually scale up due to the 5 year ban?

    • I figured I would point this out before someone else does… technically you can’t place an order for 24 $500 GCs. it maxes out at quantity of 19 but the shipping is still only $10.95. also I know it’s free if you only order 3 at a time but if I’m ordering 24-36 per month that would be 8 to12 shipments to keep track of per month instead of 2 to 3. is paying $22-$33 a month in shipping worth not having to track that many shipments? may be something for me to reconsider!

    • The cost per card for 12 = $1.86. Ordering in increments of 3 brings the cost down to $0.95 per card. It’s about half the cost and really ads up for me, since I buy so many of them.

  8. Diana Smith

    How do you liquidate $8,000 a trip at Walmart? I can do $2,000, because it only allows 4 swipes per transaction, plus it takes time to type in your ID. Do you have to keep going through the line?

  9. Have you ever had any of your cards shut down for ms? If not is there a trick to not getting shutdown for ms?

  10. How do you track your orders from GCM? There is a tracking number when you place the order, but I cannot find a tracking number in the envelope with the delivered cards. If you place several similar size orders per week, how do you know which ones are delivered?

    • Good question Tricia. I actually choose a different design every time I order gift cards. That way, I can easily figure out which order a particular set of gift cards is from.

      • I also discovered that there is a date in the upper right hand corner of the envelope (by the postage) that coincides with the mailing date. I like your idea of changing designs.

  11. When I look at your fees it appears you are getting a higher cash back with Ebates. I am only seeing it for 1% back. Did something change?

  12. Enrique R.

    Do gift cards from GiftCardMall can be redeem with BlueBird? I have 4 members in my family with these cards and can use them.

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