Simon says (again) MS is great and they’re willing to help

I hold an informal Ann Arbor Miles & Points meetup group (found here).  We meet once a month, usually just to socialize over dinner.  Last week, though, we were invited to our local Simon Mall to meet with Keela Wicker (Product Manager) and Matt Morarity (VP Product Development) from Simon corporate.

There had been rumors swirling that Simon would start selling money orders.  I had hoped to learn the details last week.  Unfortunately, the rumors were crushed.  It’s not going to happen.  We were told that Simon has no plans to sell money orders.  Bummer.

The good news is that Simon likes us and wants to court us rather than send us away.  They know that manufactured spending is legal and they believe that it is a great source of revenue for them.  In fact, their standard training includes an overview of manufactured spending along with explicit instructions stating that it is legal and fine to sell gift cards to us.  Their main frustration with this community is that many try to hide what they’re  doing.  Don’t.  When filling out the form to buy gift cards, they want you to write in “ms” for manufactured spending as your intended use of the cards.  Better yet, just circle it on the form.  Only if you give some other reason for buying gift cards in bulk will they be suspicious of your purchases.

What if you have trouble using Simon gift cards?

Let Simon know.  They want to help smooth out issues.  The best way to let Simon know is to report the issues in the comments of this post.

Can I buy $1,000 gift cards?

No. Simon doesn’t sell gift cards loadable to $1,000 to consumers due to government regulations.  $500 per card is the limit.  But you can buy up to $25,000 worth per day.  For full details see: Simon Mall gift card limit now $25K (previously $10K).

Can I register as a business?

No. Simon considers manufactured spending to be a consumer activity.  Don’t try to register yourself as a business with Simon if you plan to manufacture spend.  They’ll know what you’re doing and will shut you down.

Other Tips

  • Please call ahead when buying lots of gift cards.
  • If going to a different Simon Mall than usual, contact your local Simon Mall manager and ask them to contact the mall you are going to so that they know that you are a trusted customer.

Contact Simon Form

Let Simon know about gift card issues.  For example, if you have problems draining Simon gift cards at a store where other types of gift cards work, let Simon know.  To let them know, comment below.

Last updated on March 31st, 2019

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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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debiTnm
Guest
debiTnm

Great article! Thanks, Greg!

Chris
Guest
Chris

So we should send a complaint form to every Walmart that won’t let us split payment?

Losingtrader
Guest
Losingtrader

Isn’t anyone having trouble getting shut down by the

Losingtrader
Guest
Losingtrader

It’s a question. It’s not something you vote thumbs up or down on. I mean, good for you if it works for you . I’m not against anyone doing this.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Losingtrader
Don’t worry about Thumbs I get a Zillion as in Who Cares @ lest they don’t troll u .I look @ ur posts and see NUTTHING wrong maybe their a little more Left of my buddy Bernie who I Donate to $$$$..
Have Fun like I Do !!!

CHEERs

Losingtrader
Guest
Losingtrader

I’m not offended by thumbs down they just made no sense and I clicked post accidentally before finishing. But thanks

JWI
Guest
JWI

Are u getting thumbs down because you wrote a fragment sentence?

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

So, Ok , are people getting shut down by the banks for doing this spend in size or with regularity? Seems no discussion of that I’ve seen lately.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

I Quit a year ago Burned Out then in 3 months after I had 5 cards approved .Then in Nov .I got a HELOC every since then I got ONE out of three usually 99% . I transferred ALL out before I applied @ Chase or Citi to play it safe..FICO now 807

CHEERs

Losingtrader
Guest
Losingtrader

In 2013 Chase closed by bank account containing $60,000 at 0 percent interest ( I guess they didn’t like free money sitting there for years) . I knew this portended closure of credit cards so I transferred out all points and then they put a stop on the Ink Card. I went ahead and closed all my other chase cards. I didn’t lose any points , and after 2.5 years I was able to get some Chase cards but when I apply I sometimes get the ” previous unsatisfactory business relationship ” and other times not. They even gave me the Sapphire Reserve. I have hotel cards with then. The point of my comment is the amount of MS I did wasn’t that much. Certainly they weren’t losing money as they received interchange fees and closing a bank account after 25 years was just stupid. I just don’t see how anyone can get away with doing 25k in MS daily .

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

I Don’t do any MS it’s a waste of time what’s ur Fico?? I need my INK and Prestige the rest are Dung . If u have questions call them BUT ALWAYS BE NICE (Fr.).. All my statements post @ ZERO my Fico went UP 20 points.. Heil Bernie

CHEERs

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

I originally thought you were talking about MS as that was the subject of the post.
So, I shared my experience with MS.

ABC
Guest
ABC

Greg since you’re doing SM’s bidding here (this is more of a free marketing piece than anything else) what really going on here? You had an opportunity to ask about their business model and motivation. Simple question could be:

1. How much does SM make on a $1000 transaction?
2. Is revenue from MS related revenue dramatically down for SM?
3. Surely SM must know that the limitation in 2019 isn’t supply of GCs, it’s liquidation.
4. SM must know that some GC purchases aren’t coding favorably for MSer. Why not work to change how purchases are processed/coded by CC companies?
5. Price point isn’t that great compared to PJ prices.

As pointed out by Chris, the complaint form is a bit of a joke. Will SM work with companies to change how GC derived purchases are handled?

Rye
Guest
Rye

I was at meetup and Simon wouldn’t tell us the revenue other than they are still making money in volume!

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I don’t see how SM’s profits are relevant to one’s MS activities. Is knowing how much they make going to change your behavior?

losingtrader
Guest
losingtrader

My thought exactly.

Russ
Guest
Russ

Profit is their incentive to keep it going and be nice to us. If they aren’t making money, or the amount they make is too small, it all goes away. That said, the people we see in a mall are not privy to the big picture.

Based on what little I know, I believe it’s likely Blackhawk “lets” Simon keep the entire fee on open loop cards and may kick in a small ($) bonus per card when volume targets are reached or at certain times of year for marketing.

JohnAvb
Guest
JohnAvb

PJ?

Ray
Guest
Ray

Simon has seasonal promotions –

Buy a GC, get a Free $10 bonus (or a $10 VGC)

If they want to help us, allow us to combine the promotional cards into one card.

It’s annoying to try and take advantage of these deals and have to walk out with 20 or 30 individual $10 cards when they could be combined into one card instead.

ReconScott
Guest
ReconScott

From what I can tell, Simon codes as a “department store”, so unless Chase Freedom has a 5x department store bonus quarter, I can’t find other cards that provide more than 2x (Barclay A+ or Venture) on general purchases. Any help on generating 3x or 5x Chase, Citi, or Amex points at Simon? Yes, I’m seriously bummed that the 3X GC.Com went away 🙁

John
Guest
John

If Simon isn’t willing to sell money orders, perhaps they can look into establishing a relationship with some entity that will recognize the Simon visa gcs and allow them to be used for money orders? There must be some way to make this work but right now any worthwhile amount of liquidation has become nearly impossible in most major metro areas. I have no desire to stand in line at Walmart to liquidate a single $500 card. I don’t need to do six figures or even five figures per day but the current situation has become really bad.

JWI
Guest
JWI

Wally sucks in so many ways, your life shortens more each time you walk in there doing MS business LOL

Steven
Guest
Steven

Sounds like great news, but for us in the NYC area, there is no opportunity to liquidate these GCs through MOs. Unless one lives near a WM that allows bulk MO purchases, it would seem that purchasing a Simon GC for MSing is completely useless.

MSer
Guest
MSer

My local WM have been recently inundated by DBs who’ve bought Simon cards and found out that local WM refuse to accept them for MO purchases. Several have been caught attempting to show ‘legit’ cards and then swiping Simon gcs and have become belligerent when caught. I congratulate the CSMs when they ban these entitled jerks.

THEsocalledfan
Guest
THEsocalledfan

I’ll NEVER understand why some feel the need to be sneaky on a legal activity. I do absolutely everything Walmart asks of me, treat their employees with respect, and honestly tell them what I’m doing when asked. And they never give me issues due to it…….

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Good for you I do the same thing .Most people don’t understand it’s not the cards it’s HOW TO FLIP THE CARDS . That’s gets u the Zillion points to use on Air and hotels .I love Walmart Fresh produce and Great prices and good deals on CP’s too .
CHEERs

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[…] Simon says (again) MS is great and they’re willing to help by Frequent Miler. No plans to sell money orders, probably for the best because I can’t see that lasting long if they did. […]

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[…] know shopping malls are hurting for business when…your local mall wants to help you manufacture spend smh again. I was going to say something but it appears blog reader ABC already […]

Qtjeans
Guest
Qtjeans

It really makes me wonder what some of these guys are doing. Unloading $5k a day is a royal pain. $25k!? I know there are things these people are doing that isn’t talked about that isn’t money orders. Hopefully I’ll figure it out before it’s dead.

rxgeek
Guest
rxgeek

Am I missing something?. A $500 vgc at SM has a $3.95 fee and from GCM a $5,95 fee. But I get 1% cb from the portal accessing GCM so my net cost is $.95.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

larger shipping cost for GCM makes your net cost larger.

Carl
Guest
Carl

GCM offers free shipping under $2k. Drawback is needing to place multiple orders and sometimes waiting over a week for First Class Mail vs. instant gratification of sorts at Simon. But then no need to trek to a mall (especially helpful for those who don’t have a local one).

Embee
Guest
Embee

Your meetup link doesn’t work. Would love to join you guys

FindingMyPossible
Guest
FindingMyPossible

What I am wondering is how we are profitable to Simons. I always thought the Gift Card companies are the entities in all this that lose money due to the 2.4%+ in credit card fees with only ~1% coming from purchasing fees. How does Simons come out in the green with MSers?

rj123456
Guest
rj123456

Which bank issues the Simon Mall VGCs? Are these PIN enabled Debit Cards?