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.
- Five Back Visa Gift Card loses Lowe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more. Another loss to the 5 Back program that we haven’t previously reported is Macy’s.
- GiftCardMall now has a $250 limit on Visa and MasterCard gift cards, but it is easy to design a workaround.
- Official Payments no longer accepting Visa gift cards as debit cards for tax payments (I hope this is a temporary glitch).
- Another Buxx deal is dead.
Plastiq Bill Payment News
All bad news here unfortunately…
- Plastiq rent and mortgage payments are mostly not coding as travel anymore. People have confirmed this to be true for both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi ThankYou Premier. There have been mixed results with the Chase Ink Business Preferred. Details here.
- You can no longer make mortgage payments with Visa credit cards through Plastiq.
- Citi AT&T Access More card will no longer offer 3X for mortgage or rent payments as of July 22
- Paypal Business Debit Card no longer works as debit with Plastiq (e.g. now costs 2.5%)
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.
Last updated on March 31st, 2019