How To Cash Out $40,000 Worth of Money Orders

One of the questions I get asked the most about manufactured spending is how I manage to cash out so many money orders. While I’ve been churning pretty low numbers for the past few months, things have picked up recently and I’ve purchased around… Continue Reading


My Week in Manufactured Spending: Branching Out Beyond Visa Gift Cards

It’s been a bad week for many folks out there who had their Serve and Bluebird accounts shut down. As I previously explained, I don’t think this news is quite as terrible as everyone is making it out to be.… Continue Reading


How to Liquidate Excess Gift Cards Without Bluebird or Serve

Yesterday’s news of the mass shutdowns of Amex Bluebird and Serve prepaid cards came as a shock to many people. There were no quiet rumblings, in-store memos, or signs of trouble, like we had when Vanilla Reloads and Redbird went… Continue Reading


Amex is Shutting Down Bluebird and Serve Accounts: What’s Next?

I woke up today, well past noon, from a Nyquil induced sleep to some terrible news: Both the American Express Bluebird and Serve prepaid cards are dead as far as manufactured spending goes. Several readers got email notices that their… Continue Reading


Manufactured Spending: What Options Are Still Available?

A lot has changed on the manufactured spending front in the past year. Target stopped accepting gift cards and credit cards for Redbird loads, shopping portals stopped offering cash back on American Express gift card denominations over $200 and Serve… Continue Reading


My Week (end) in Manufactured Spending

I may need to rename this series because these days it seems like the only time I’m actually doing any manufactured spending is on weekends. The week before last it was jury duty and last week I spent three days… Continue Reading


Bluebird vs. Serve: Which Prepaid Card Should You Switch To?

It’s been three weeks since the demise of Redbird and already some people are switching back to the American Express Bluebird or Serve card. Up until recently, I had decided not to bother switching to either card, since I was… Continue Reading


Is Redbird Really Dead? What to Do with Excess Gift Cards

Update: Redbird is officially dead. Both NoonRadar and reader Gregory (who is a part time Target employee) have confirmed the existence of a memo stating that going forward, Redbird loads would be restricted to cash only. About two weeks ago… Continue Reading


Points and Miles Checklist: Things To Do in June

It’s almost summer, which means some of you will be scrambling to tie up lose ends before heading off on vacation. There are graduation ceremonies to attend, projects to complete way in advance before you can unchain yourself from your… Continue Reading


My Experience Loading My Target Prepaid REDcard (AKA Redbird)

As of May 6, 2015 Redbird can no longer be loaded with credit cards or Amex gift cards. I’ve been getting lots of emails lately about whether I’ve had success loading my not-so-recently acquired Redbird card. I picked up the… Continue Reading