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…a group of black and white text

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.
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[…] of what’s new in the world of manufactured spending.  We last posted an update in June (here).  As always, you can find an up-to-date complete roundup of techniques for increasing spend here: […]

[…] is certainly nice, it requires a huge $7,500 in spend that might be challenging for some people (though probably not for our readers). That said, I think online booking of the 4th night free might be the biggest loss yet to the […]

[…] a 3% grocery category on the first $6K. And truth be told, we publish a monthly guide on how to increase credit card spend and get most of it back. I’m not too concerned about losing out on any rewards to meet this final […]

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


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.


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…


OD/OM offers 3% for vip for a year after spending $500…too bad I don’t use office supplies.


Interested in the GCM $250 limit workaround as well. Thanks for the info!


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..


still did not get i?


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? 😉


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.


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.


Hey Greg, check this out, especially the last line:

Unfortunately I think this may be it for AGC. Reddit giveth, and Reddit taketh away.

Nick Reyes

Like Greg said, we saw this yesterday. But it’s unclear as to what the issue is — if you read the Reddit thread, you’ll see that people are having their AGCs declined at Amazon, AT&T, one user tried to pay $20 towards the balance he/she owes on a cruise and it got declined — it’s not just Venmo. Hard to say whether it’s dead or Amex is just having a glitch.


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.