Increase credit card spend (and get most of it back). What still works June 2017

I had been planning to publish the next installment of this series in July, but there have been so many recent changes that I decided to publish now…

Whether you need to increase credit card spend to earn a new credit card signup bonus, or to earn elite status, or simply to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to keep up with the latest news of what works and what does not.

Complete descriptions of techniques can be found on a separate page: Manufactured Spending Complete Guide.  Many of the listed techniques aren’t technically “manufactured spending”, but it’s a convenient title.  The complete guide is the resource to check when you have questions (and please let us know if more details are needed to answer your questions!).  This post, meanwhile, is focused on just the changes.  What significant changes have occurred since we last reported in?  Read on…

Good and Bad Gift Card News


  • Office Depot / OfficeMax is rolling out their new rewards program nationwide on July 1st.  You’ll get 2% back in rewards for all purchases, including gift cards.  When you combine 5X rewards by paying with your Ink Cash or Amex SimplyCash Plus card with the new 2% rewards, you’ll more than offset fees on $200 Visa or MasterCard gift cards.  This will also be an excellent option for buying Amazon and other third party gift cards.  The downside is that the 2% rewards can only be used to buy merchandise (not gift cards) from Office Depot / OfficeMax.
  • Gift of College gift cards are now showing up at H-E-B and Fred’s stores.  We should soon see them at Best Buy as well.  More here.
  • Food Lion now accepts credit cards for prepaid gift card purchases.


Plastiq Bill Payment News

All bad news here unfortunately…

Miscellaneous Other News

  • The iBotta app was the last known way to earn portal rewards when buying third party gift cards on eBay.  Unfortunately, that loophole has been closed.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. You seem to have missed the biggest MS news of the month: AMEX Gift Cards are not currently loading on Venmo. Might be an AMEX issue, might be Venmo. Either way, for people buying $3k AGCs, this is a big deal.

    • This could definitely be a major blow for some people, but at 6x$3000 ($18,000) every 6 months, I don’t think this qualifies as the biggest MS news of the month. The loss of 3x on the AT&T Access More on giftcardmall definitely qualifies as the biggest MS news of the month 6x$15,000 = $90,000 potential over 6 months, or more if you utilize multiple accounts. Major, major loss.

  2. The OM news is actually bad news. By making 2% rewards available to everyone, they lowered the instant discount on their once popular sale of vgc. This happened in preparation of the introduction of the rewards program for the masses. Some of us were already enjoying rewards and the $20 instant discount. The once better instant discount is better than rewards for buying store items later.

  3. Hi Greg — you wrote: “GiftCardMall now has a $250 limit on Visa and MasterCard gift cards, but it is easy to design a workaround.”

    Knew about the limit, yet do tell re. the “workaround.” (or link us to a previous post/guide on this) Thanks.

    • Look at the exact wording he used, it was a play on words. You’ll figure it out. Don’t advertise it too much… it’s only a matter of time.

      • sigh, a “play on words”…..

        Now I’ve got one of Greg’s legendary headaches….. distracting me from my real work, wondering what “secret” ya’all are so happily smug in keeping to yourselves…. Sour grapes.

        Ah well, good for you. Any clues, riddles, Shakespeare even? 😉

  4. Note:BBP offer has NOT expired. Just because you’re not getting an affiliate kickback doesn’t mean you can’t post a current link, guys…

    • I changed the text to more accurately say that the affiliate offer has expired. Unfortunately the affiliate rules prevent us from posting a non-affiliate link in this specific situation (where an offer in the affiliate network is about to change). This should be a very short-term issue until the new offer is live.

  5. Any new DPs for loading VGCs onto Bluebird at Walmart? I tried two weeks ago, and the register recognized the VGC as “tender” which the cashier informed me was a gift card. The register rejected the load.

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