33

Combating the Herd Mentality in This Hobby

Park Hyatt Maldives on points and miles

There is a tendency in this community to follow the herd. That’s normal in any group – people look towards each other for advice and in this case, that pertains to how we earn and redeem our miles. There’s nothing innately wrong with… Continue Reading

34

On Bloggers Killing Deals, Affiliate Links and Polluting the River

Few things in this hobby get people quite as riled up as bloggers monetizing their blogs, talking to the media, killing deals, or just existing. Despite being on the receiving end of a healthy amount of vitriol, I don’t understand it.… Continue Reading

53

My $38,000 Week in Manufactured Spending

It’s getting tough to keep these weekly manufactured spending posts somewhat entertaining/original. Unless something interesting happens, it’s pretty much business as usual: I buy a bunch of cards, unload them, then do it all over again. This week it was… Continue Reading

12

Is it Ok to Tell Cashiers About Manufactured Spending?

Cash register manufactured spending

Last year, I outlined some mistakes to avoid when manufactured spending, one of which was “not being discreet (i.e. don’t tell cashiers what you’re doing). I’m beginning to reevaluate this stance based on some recent experiences. For example, I’ve heard… Continue Reading

17

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

37

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

2

Points and Miles Checklist: Things to Do in February

Did January fly by or what? I barely got last months’ list done and now there’s a new list of things to do for February. It doesn’t seem like much, but you add your points and miles tasks on top… Continue Reading

6

Vanilla Reloads and MoneyPaks To Be Discontinued April 1, 2015

Many of us haven’t purchased a Vanilla Reload card since CVS stopped accepting credit cards for them last year. Others have found alternative sources and continued to load up the maximum $5,000 each month on their Serve or Bluebird cards.… Continue Reading

24

5 Things That Drive Me Nuts About Manufactured Spending

As much fun as I have with this hobby, it’s pretty time consuming and at times patience-testing. I’m currently in the midst of meeting $82,00 in spending requirements, so my frustration is at an all time high. From buying gift… Continue Reading

64

How to Continue Manufactured Spending Without Walmart

Update 9/21/14: It appears OneVanilla cards can again be used to purchase money orders and load Bluebird at Walmart. Recently, word got out that Walmart no longer accepted Vanilla Visa gift cards for Bluebird reloads or money order purchases. Several… Continue Reading