Manufactured Spending

Simon Mall Increases Visa Gift Card Fees

Simon Mall Visa Gift Card

One of the few good things we’ve had going for us in the midst of a devaluation cluster**** has been the ability to manufacture spend with Simon Mall gift cards. At just $2.95 per $500, they’ve been a cheap and reliable ms tool. Sure, Simon Mall began imposing purchase limits both in store and online, but for the most part all was well. Reader Tim, who might as well be writing this blog with the number of breaking news items he sends in, just alerted me that Simon Mall has increased gift card fees to $3.95 each. 

It’s certainly not on the level of CVS no longer accepting credit cards for Vanilla Reload purchases, but it’s worth noting that Simon Mall gift cards are no longer the cheapest gift cards in town. While a $1 increase doesn’t sound substantial, it ads up if you’re buying large quantities. For example, if you’ve been doing $60,000 in manufactured spending annually, your gift card fees are increasing from $354 to $474. 

The new $3.95 fee is on par with what a Giftcardmall Visa gift cards at Safeway will cost you. Factor in Safeway’s gas rewards, category bonuses, and the occasional coupon deal and you may just be better off buying Visa gift cards at Safeway. These gift cards can still be loaded onto Bluebird, though I imagine you won’t be able to buy enough of these to warrant a police escort out of the store. That’s something I highly discourage you from doing anyway.

Since I’ve wrapped up my $82,000 spending challenge along with the other $22,000 I took on shortly after, this doesn’t really affect me. Outside of meeting spending requirements, I like to earn my miles through the Amex gift card/Amex for Target route. It’s much more convenient and who doesn’t love a trip to Target? With the 1.5% cash back from shopping portals, I’m just about breaking even on this method. To me, shopping portals pulling Amex gift cards was much more devastating than a $1 increase in gift card fees. Free ms is better than cheap ms. 

What are your thoughts on Simon Mall increasing their gift card fees? Does this affect your manufactured spending strategy?

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25 Comments

  1. I don’t buy enough of these cards to be troubled by the fee uptick, but I do awake sweating in the night wondering why the Ann Arbor Simon Mall has in recent months started a paper copy master list of gift card purchasers and adds a new tick against your name every time you buy another card. I have no idea why. None of the clerks, and they’re different every time, ever knew why either. But somehow I don’t think a new frequent buyer awards program is the corporate goal.

  2. Even with the price increase, it’s still one of the cheapest places around here to get $500 gift cards that the kiosk at Walmart won’t reject. Hoping the Target Redbird cards show up in my area soon!

  3. I didn’t know it’s possible to earn gas rewards for buying Visa gift cards at Safeway. Are you sure?

  4. Ariana Arghandewal : The reason simon mall Visa gift card fees went up.. Congrats..

  5. How much do you value one hour of your free time when doing manufactured spending?

  6. you brought a lot of insights to the game and I want to thank you for that, Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  7. I hope Siam is more right than stupid(unlikely), could you please lower international F award prices too? Cheers!

  8. Disappointed that Simon mall GCs raised their rates but still a better price than others. Our Vons (Safeway) won’t allow credit card purchases of Visa gift cards. Really frustrating.

    Also, the Simon Mall in Montebello uses a different bank — they sell a Montebello Mall GC, not a Simon Mall GC that is issued by BB&T bank. Never heard of them before. Would these cards work at Walmart?

  9. Ariana and crew: It sounds like these Simon Mall VGC’s are not very easy to liquidate — no go at EvolveMoney, and my area Walmarts flat-out refuse to deal with any use of GC’s for loading Serve (which is what I have), CheckFreeBP, and MO purchases. Do you have a strategy for MS’ing with these cards? Thanks!
    AC

  10. The Macerich malls have increased their gift cards from $3 to $3.95 to match Simon Malls as of February 2, 2015.

  11. hello
    can this vgc using online? thank you

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