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


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…

The PayPal My Cash gravy train ends

PayPal Freeze

It used to be easy to buy and liquidate up to $4,000 per month in PayPal My Cash cards:  Buy My Cash cards at CVS, pay with a credit card, load funds to your PayPal account, then liquidate those funds in a variety of ways.  For those who somehow avoided getting shut down by PayPal, this was an easy way to manufacture spend.  Now, however, CVS has stopped selling these cards altogether.

There is a glimmer of hope, but I don’t know if it’s real.  A FlyerTalk commenter suggests that it is still possible to reload your PayPal account via old My Cash cards.  That is, bring a My Cash card that you’ve previously used to CVS, and ask to reload it.  Supposedly the funds will go directly to your PayPal account.

Rent Payment 3X: We lose 1 option, but gain 2 others

RadPad is no longer coding as travel when you pay via Apple Pay or Android Pay.  So, you’ll no longer earn 3X paying this way with a card that earns 3X for travel (e.g. Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Business Preferred, Citi Premier).  However, the new Altitude Reserve card offers 3X for all mobile wallet payments, so that card should work to earn 3X with RadPad.

UPDATE 6/6/2017: Please see: Is Plastiq 3X Dead?

A better option for earning 3X rent and mortgage payments is via the Plastiq bill pay service.  Many have reported that rent and mortgage payments code as lodging and therefore earn 3X with several credit cards, including the Citi AT&T card which offers 3X for online travel bookings.  Important: this only works if the recipient is setup in Plastiq with the Business Type of “Rent, Mortgage, and Real Estate”.

Plastiq Rent Mortgage Real Estate

Please see: Complete guide to Plastiq credit card payments.

Good and Bad Gift Card News



Not good:

Kiva to lose 3X option


Beginning January 1, 2018, the US Bank FlexPerks Visa will no longer offer 3X for charity.  Instead, the card will offer 2X.  Since Kiva loans code as charity, this has been a great way to get rewarded while doing some good (See: Manufacture Spend (and do good) with Kiva and Kivalens). At 2X, the FlexPerks Visa will still be the best standard option for charitable donations, but no longer by a wide margin.

Other Techniques

There are many other techniques for increasing credit card spend (and getting most of it back).  For details, please see: Manufactured Spending Complete Guide.

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Is there any change in the giftcards,com cards or do they still have to be manually activated individually and assigned a pin? Thanks

[…] This post, meanwhile, is focused on just the changes.  What significant changes have occurred since we last reported in?  Read […]

[…] In our last bi-monthly manufacturing spend report, we reported that Plastiq bill payments were coding as lodging when Plastiq was used to pay rent or mortgage.  The great thing about that was that credit cards that offer bonus points for travel were earning extra rewards.  Therefore, it was possible to earn 3X rewards when paying rent or mortgage with a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, Chase Ink Business Preferred card, or Citi AT&T Access More card.  See: Increase credit card spend (and get most of it back). What still works May 2017? […]

Information Booth

The BJ’s visa gift card deal is in store only, correct? After signing up for the membership online, I was unable to find the aforementioned cards. Real Bummer!


Has anyone try paying your credit card bill at walmart using a $500 vgc as a form of debit payment?

Mark O

That has gotten a lot of people shut down by the CC issuer….I wouldn’t do it


Does buying these $500 gift cards at BJ’s code at the 5% cash back Discover offers at warehouse stores?

[…] Increase credit card spend (and get most of it back). What still works May 2017? I enjoy reading Frequenmiler’s roundup each month with updates on what’s changed in the MS world. The two things that interested me in the May roundup are that variable-loads aren’t earning Plenti points anymore at Winn Dixie and affiliated stores (hadn’t known they were, but now I know they aren’t), and that BJ’s started carrying $500 smackers. The part about Paypal MyCash is interesting too. […]

Tony Manzi

>>Since Kiva loans code as charity, this has been a great way to get rewarded while doing some good<<

Articles about Kiva question whether it is doing good – it has been reported that they funnel the money to 3rd party lenders who often charge very high interest to borrowers.


not trying to be annoying, but it’s Winn-Dixie.

“Win Dixie and Bi-Lo are no longer paying out Plenti points for variable load gift card purchases.”

[…] From the earning side, you’ll now earn .5% back on all grocery purchases. A half of a percent isn’t huge, but pretty nice savings for a staple store like groceries. Bear in mind that all other grocery programs earn fuel points which are inherently limited in many ways. This new program is literally .5% cash back on all groceries which I consider excellent. Of course the larger angle here is whether points will be earned on gift cards. Seems like it doesn’t work on variable-load cards. […]


Uh… what? I just loaded my PayPal MyCash card yesterday at a CVS. You don’t have to buy a new MyCash card each time. You reuse the one you have.


PayPal My cash are completely dead at CVS, whether you buy new or reload. You have to login and show the barcode. That is cash only.


I find this hard to believe unless you can show a proof (for “yesterday”, May 10th.)

This is supposed to be hard-coded and nationwide. It’s dead now.



How does Paypal Mycash work? Did you buy it from a CVS in SoCAL?


You don’t need to Know because it doesn’t work anymore!

Stefan Krasowski (@rapidtravelchai)

I suffered in BJ’s lines in Jersey City for 5 years, every time wishing Costco would come in and level the dump, move out last month, and now they start selling those? Cruel irony!


Don’t feel too bad,as of last night they still didn’t have the variables.

D Tucker

This didn’t work for the plastiq article got only 1x points not worth the fee.

Nick Reyes

I think this depends on who you’re paying. I received 3X as recently as last month with Plastiq and my AT&T Access More card when paying rent for a storage unit. There is definitely mixed success on Plastiq and 3X.


^ Same here. It depends on how the payee codes their business.