One of the best ways to put spend on a credit card is known as manufactured spending. Lets say you see an offer for a Chase card, that gives you 100,000 miles after you spend $5000 in 3 months, and you want to get it. However, you are wondering how the heck are you going to spend that much in 3 months. You can buy gas, groceries, clothes, gum, and even that morning Starbucks, but you may fall short. Well here is your answer–manufactured spending. The term sounds weird, but its quite simple. You make purchases that return the amount back to you. I wont go into surgical detail, but I will cover them briefly, and you can do your own homework if it appeals to you. I will say this ; it is one of the best ways to meet credit card spending, and is probably the best loop hole in the mileage and points community. Here are some examples:
1. Amazon Payments: A service brought to you by Amazon.com, to help you pay friends or whoever, for goods or services. It’s basically like PayPal, without the ridiculous fees. There is a limit of $1,000 you can receive AND $1,000 to send using a credit card. The money you receive goes into your Amazon Payments account, and then you simply withdraw it to your bank account.
2. Bluebird from American Express: This is a service from Amex that is basically an online bank. You fund your account via debit card, and then use your funds anywhere, like a mortgage, car payment, utilities, etc. Just use them anywhere they don’t take credit cards.
3. Chase Gift cards: Currently from Chase, there is an offer to purchase Chase gift cards FEE FREE, up to $500. You can use these as debit cards, and can fund your American Express BlueBird account. You can assign it a PIN, so they may be used anywhere debit cards are accepted, but best used in conjunction with adding funds to your Bluebird account. I have been using extensively, and is proven a game winner!
4. Free After Rebate: Buy items online that are offering a rebate after purchase. Look at slickdeals.net to find these or at fatwallet.com. Sometimes, you can buy downloadable software purchases at Staples.com, and submit electronic rebates, which are no hassle. I once racked up over $100 on a credit card by buying Walgreen’s Diabetes Monitoring kits, that were free after rebate, and just donated them to a homeless shelter.
5. Google Wallet: A fairly new player in the game. This is Google’s version of Amazon payments. During the trial period, Google Wallet is allowing you to use credit cards to send money to anyone. You can link a bank account, so the money you receive can be withdrawn to the bank account. I recommend taking full advantage of this before the fees are incurred. UPDATE: Fees now charged for transactions.
Okay, there you have it folks. These are the ones I am currently using to rack up thousands of miles and points on my credit cards. There are probably a few more, but I dont use them, and it is likely we will see more of these sort of services. Use them while they are young and unsettled, because like the U.S. mint coins scheme, they will probably go away, and the opportunity will be as ancient as the pyramids. However, if you take advantage of this now, you can see the pyramids for free—like I did. If you have questions, please email me or comment.