What is Manufactured Spending?
As the term suggests, manufactured spending (MS) is a technique where spending is created artificially by circulating currency. It has been one of the most controversial but sure-fire way to amass credit card points. The Canadian Mint Manufactured Spending Opportunity was a great way to quick rack up thousands of points within a short period of time. Some of the individuals you see flying in business/first class have probably taken advantage of these spend opportunities. After all, most people would not be willing to blow upwards of $10,000 on a single flight.
Why is Manufactured Spending frowned upon?
Despite being invaluable for travel hackers, many of the techniques associated with amassing points includes losses for another party. In most cases, the vendor will take on the charges associated with the consumer cycling money. For example, the Canadian Mint suffered incredible losses on credit card fees from individuals mass-purchasing coins at par value via credit card back in 2015. There are Although these practices yield an abundance of points for the ones that can take advantage of it, there are some people that are opposed to manufactured spending for these reasons.
Are there currently any ways of MS that is quick and easy?
Currently, there aren’t many ways to manufacture spend after a few major loopholes were patched in the last few years. Whenever individuals find a new way to MS, it is only shared within a small group, as circulation of the idea would lead to the loophole being closed faster. Below I’ve outlined just a few simple techniques that are currently being used.
CIBC AC Conversion Card
The CIBC AC Conversion Card is still an easy way to do some MS, and may prove to be especially useful when you need to meet spend on a Visa/MasterCard. The card is a pre-paid Visa that is meant to hold 10 different currencies, but for purposes of MS, one can load up to $100 CAD onto it per day using Visa/MasterCard. The idea is to load the card every day and to withdraw the amount back through a CIBC ATM out a few days later. An important thing to note is that you need to wait at least 24 hours before withdrawing the money out; There are situations where accounts have been frozen when you withdraw immediately after depositing. For instance, you can deposit $300–$400 into the card over 3–4 days before making a withdrawal. You can manufacture around $30,000 in this manner. Although it’s not very fast, it does come in handy when there are minimum spends to be met (E.G $3,000 on BMO Air Miles WE, $5,000 on RBC British Airways Visa Infinite, etc).
Make sure you apply for the card through the Drop App; Currently, there is a $50 reward in drop points after loading $100 CAD into any foreign currency.
Paying Bills (PayTM/Plastiq)
PayTM and Plastiq are essentially bill paying applications; You pay by CC to them and for a small fee they will use the money to pay the bill of your choice. As most bills simply traditionally do not take credit card, using PayTM or Plastiq is a great way to meet your minimum spend amounts. On the other hand, a simple technique for MS is to overpay on your bills through these applications. PayTM currently has a promotion where the first $1,500 paid per day is free. If you have enough money in your bank account, you can overpay your bill through PayTM and request the over excess balance back as a cheque. Unfortunately this may mean that your money will be in transit for a few weeks as they sent the cheque over. This technique should only be used at your own risk and judgement.
Is manufactured spending worth it?
My answer: Yes!
At the end of the day, manufactured spending will bring lots of value for frequent travelers in need of an injection of points. There are risks with your money being in transit during the process, but aside from that, the points earned generally require little effort. So if there’s a minimum spend that you might need to meet in a short period of time, these methods are an easy way for you to collect those bonus points.