Manufactured Spending

My Month in Manufactured Spending: March 2019

I had set a pretty feasible manufactured spending goal for March, yet I ended up falling significantly short. It didn’t help that my website was down for a full week. I got very little gift card churning done and fell behind. In total, I did manage to earn 75,520 points and miles from Visa gift card purchases and a few Kickfurther co-ops. My total cost? Thanks to eBates, plus cash back cards like the Fidelity Rewards and Discover It Miles cards, I off-set all of my expenses. In addition to earning $366.94 profit.

Total Points and Miles Earned

11,140 AAdvantage miles

2,670 Citi ThankYou points

12,153 Korean SkyPass

13,660 Marriott points

9,117  Amex Membership Rewards points

26,780 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

You can read a more detailed breakdown in my weekly manufactured spending reports. While I didn’t publish one for week 4, I decided to instead include a summary at the bottom of this post.

Week 4 Manufactured Spending Report: 3,825 points + 178,66 cash back

The final week was slow because of that IT issue I mentioned before. I was busy sorting it and didn’t really get a chance to churn any gift cards, side from a $1517.85 GiftCardMall order on my Citi AAdvantage Card. With the 1% cash back eBates will pay out, my out of pocket cost is just $2.85.

I did invest twice in the same Kickfurther co-op. Both transactions were for $923.50, using the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Sapphire Preferred. It didn’t cost me anything to invest, but there is a 1.5% withdrawal fee when I eventually cash the profits out. The payout of 11.49% will earn me a $212.40 return on my investment in six months.

Total earned

1517 AAdvantage miles

2,308 Ultimate Rewards

Total cash back

Kickfurther profit: $212.40

eBates cash back: $15

Visa gift card fees: $17.85

Kickfurther withdrawal fee: $30.89

Total cash back: $178.66

Final Thoughts

It actually doesn’t look that bad when I tallied up the numbers, but I was hoping to hit at least 100,000 points and miles. I’m still happy with the outcome, considering I didn’t try that hard. I can always increase my numbers in April (and definitely plan on it). That being said, I want to hear from you all. How many points and miles did earn in March and how much did it cost you?

Disclosure: I will earn a referral bonus if you use my eBates and Kickfurther link to sign up and make your first purchase. If you would like a referral for the Discover It Miles Card, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a link. I will earn a $50 bonus for every successful application. Thank you all for your support!

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12 Comments

  1. Do you have to pay taxes (1099) on your kick further gains?

    • Kickfurther doesn’t provide tax forms, but there are conflicting reports about whether to report it as income vs. capital gains. I’m going to see my tax guy soon, so I’ll find out more then.

  2. Are GCs from gift card mall embossed with your name?

  3. Traveller Tom

    When you cash out money orders, what is the best strategy? Any potential issues using them to pay for the credit card that was used to buy the gift cards in the first place? Does this raise any red flags?

    • I deposit and then pay the card. I’ve heard of shut downs with banks like Chase. They don’t like getting money orders as payment because the funding source isn’t traceable.

      • Traveller Tom

        I heard that too. I thought I read on another blog that banks sometime don’t like MO deposits or might question them. Any truth or concern with that?

  4. Can you do an article on Kickstarter and how to MS with them?

    • I was planning a “Kickfurther haul” post when all my payments come through in May. That way, I can offer a complete overview of what my wins and losses end up being. And readers can decide for themselves if it’s worthwhile.

  5. Parts Unknown

    Hitting a lot of decent AO’s lately pretty hard. Finally started putting my cash from arbitrage & things into a high yield savings account before paying statements. Made like $20 this past month. I’ll take it.

  6. What kind of velocity of orders are you doing at GCM per GCM account? I’ve got just mine and my husband’s account working again thanks to you, but I’m worried about getting banned again and don’t know how many $1500 vgc orders per week per account with them I should limit myself to.

    • I started with 2 $1500 orders on different cards a couple days apart. A week later I made 5 orders and have been sticking to about 4-5 or so a week depending on sales elsewhere. I load 20k/month between serve/bb at wm/dg and use any excess GC for MO. I’m sure slowly scaling up will work if you need to do more

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