Simon Mall gift card limit now $25K (previously $10K)

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If you’re into manufacturing spend (techniques for increasing credit card spend and getting the money back) via buying and liquidating gift cards, Simon Mall wants to help.  I’m not kidding.  In Ann Arbor, Denise Murray, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Briarwood Mall (a Simon Mall), reached out to me to discuss changes that will make manufactured spending simpler, with fewer visits and less wait time.

Note: If you’re not into buying and liquidating gift cards in large volume, there’s not much reason for you to read the rest.  The key takeaway is that Simon Mall wants to court our community.  That’s strikingly different from most other organizations that seem to think that there is something wrong or illegal with manufactured spending.  In the long run, this may lead to new opportunities that you will be quite interested in.  When that happens, we’ll let you know.

The first change towards simpler and better manufactured spending is that they have recently increased the daily limit on consumer gift card purchases from $10,000 to $25,000. I think this will be particularly interesting to those who have to drive a long distance to reach a Simon Mall (FYI, you can find area Simon Malls here) because it can mean far fewer visits to reach the same result.

Denise introduced me to Matt Morarity, Vice President at Simon Property Group, to learn about this new corporate wide policy.  Through these conversations I learned the following:

  • The new corporate-wide limit for gift card purchases is $25,000 per person per day.  Note that this limit includes fees, so you would probably want to buy at most $24,500 worth of $500 gift cards if you want to keep things simple.
  • Gift cards may be loaded up to $500 each, with a $3.95 fee per card.
  • Visa, Mastercard, and Amex gift cards are available.  Keep in mind that Amex gift cards don’t have PINs and therefore can’t be used as debit cards.  So, don’t buy Amex cards if you plan to liquidate cards through a technique that requires debit payments.  There are also sometimes issues with Amex cards not having their full value available due to $1 holds when a purchase is authorized.  So, just stay away from Amex gift cards.
  • According to Matt, federal regulations require that they collect additional information for purchases over $10,000:
    • SSN
    • Date of Birth
    • ID Verification
  • Specific processes may vary from one mall to another.
    • At many malls you can buy the gift cards at the Guest Services counter.  At others you may need to go to the Mall Office to make the purchases.
    • Most of the malls welcome people calling ahead.  This way they can be sure to have the gift cards ready to go when you arrive.
    • As an example, the recommended process at the Ann Arbor Briarwood location is as follows:
      1. Initially, you must fill out a gift card order form (see form image below) which Briarwood will keep on file for you.
      2. You must make 10 purchases before they’ll allow purchases over $10,000
      3. You will not be required to provide your SSN or date of birth until you are cleared to make purchases over $10,000
      4. When you do fill out your SSN and date of birth, those forms will be kept secure in a locked cabinet.  An encrypted version of the form will be available at the guest services counter to make future purchases easier.
      5. Each time you go to the mall to purchase gift cards it is necessary to sign and date the encrypted form.
      6. Denise has asked that people call ahead to make large purchases.  This way the gift cards can be ready for you when you arrive.

I expect that we’ll see more ms-friendly changes at Simon Malls in the near future.  In Ann Arbor, I run a meetup group (found here).  For our next meetup, Denise Murray, Director of Marketing and Business Development, will host us in the mall’s office meeting room in order to discuss the Simon gift card program and how it could benefit manufactured spenders.  We’ve been told to expect Matt Morarity, Vice President at Simon Property Group, or one of his associates to join us.  I’m hoping that we’ll learn then what’s coming next.  And, of course, I’ll share that info with you as long as it’s “on the record” so to speak (so to type?).  Stay tuned.

Simon Mall Consumer Gift Card Purchase Form

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Steph

Is this now available to consumer accounts as well or corporate business accounts only? Also, did they start selling in person after covid?

[…] up in the coming weeks. Keep in mind that if you’re approved to make larger purchases (i.e. up to $25K in a single transaction) and you’re looking to purchase at a different mall than usual, you should likely reach out […]

[…] any customer can buy up to $10K in cards per day at a Simon Mall, those who have built up a history can purchase up to $25K per day. These $1K cards are exponentially easier for me to liquidate, so I’ve made a few trips to a […]

[…] are several retailers that will cash out visa gift cards (Simon Malls is one of the major […]

[…] are several retailers that will cash out visa gift cards (Simon Malls is one of the major […]

[…] are several retailers that will cash out visa gift cards (Simon Malls is one of the major […]

[…] are several retailers that will cash out visa gift cards (Simon Malls is one of the major […]

[…] 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). […]

QTJeans

Any update from the meetup with the corporate people?

Earl Lee

Also, FYI not all Simon Malls have increased the limit. For example, I went to a Simon Mall today in San Diego and they only allowed $10,000.

ken

I made my first $10k+ purchases at two simon malls in my area today. Calling ahead helped greatly and was appreciated by the staff too. In and out of both malls in less than 5 mins each. I was told the $25k spend limit is largely meant for “regular” gc buyers only.

At one of the malls the supervisor told me of 2 promos for March. A complimentary $100 vgc for “large” purchases during the month – can be done multiple times, and a similar vgc (with gift value varying) for bringing new friends to the mall to buy gc’s. for the latter she suggested a $50 card for $5k+ purchase and $100 gift for $10k+. May not seem like a lot, but these gifts will significantly offset 3.95 fees. I’m supposed to receive an email on these promos in the next days.

Coz Im such a regular and friendly customer she advance the $100 large purchase gift for my $25k purchase today!

As I get more details I’ll gladly pass them to you.

Trell

Hello Ken. Is there a way to contact you outside of here?

[…] Frequent Miler reports that they have recently increased the daily limit on consumer gift card purchases from $10,000 to $25,000. Here’s the details: […]

[…] Frequent Miler reports that they have recently increased the daily limit on consumer gift card purchases from $10,000 to $25,000. That’s good news for those who do large volumes. Here’s the details: […]

[…] vary by region, by county, by store, and even from one cashier to another. On the other hand, the recent Simon Malls announcement indicates that we may see a more consistent corporate policy enacted at their locations in the […]

Alli

What does a Simon purchase code as? I’m trying to figure out the best card to put this on.

Mike

Greg, I have the same question as others have already posted – how do you liquidate these cards and get your money back minus the purchase fee?

Ma Barker

I have noticed that a lot of the veteran MSers have gone to private group discussions to prolong their “gig”. We can only read of the ones that recently died or about to die. IOW, unless you can get in on these private groups, the chances of reading new MS methods would be close to nil.

qtjeans

Where does one find a private group? I have something I do I’d love to share in return for how others do stuff!

Ma Barker

IME, the admin of these private groups send you an invite if they find your posts in forums like FT interesting. From there, you can accept the invite and you have to agree to their TOS determined by the group’s admin. You can also make your own group via slack app or any of the free apps where you’re the admin and start inviting people whom you think will be a productive contributor to your group.

[…] to $500 for a $3.95 purchase fee. Interestingly enough this change was directly communicated with Frequent Miler so it seems like they are OK with high levels of manufactured […]

AlohaDaveKennedy

Knew that Simon was considering more MS-friendly stuff as retail traffic is down and we are known, good, reliable customers.

MSer

I always thought we were profitless customers

rob

We pad the revenue numbers for shareholder meetings. Especially important since retail is slowly dying

Chris

That’s the Michigan Difference. Go Blue!

Colabus

I notice the form now includes MS as the purpose on how you will be using the GC. Better(?) than phony “budgeting” that I’ve used in the past. But one has to wonder if Simon isn’t working with the banks to help track down the large MSers to shut them down? I’m not a conspiracy theory person, but could this be a “sting” operation?

MSer

Ask them to explain the economics of selling gcs. Where is the profit being made? $3.95 fee is hardly a profit maker, so do they get a kick-back from the gc issuer?

Mike Saint

Yes, this is what I was wondering as well. How does Simon make money doing this? Do they get some kind of commission from the GC issuer? That’s the only way I can see this worth it to them.

Millo Ovilde

What cc do you reccomend to buy vsg with ?
Amex gave me a hard time..

Joel

: ) Yes, agree. Though I don’t understand how we’re a profit gold mine for Simon. (Revenue gold mine yes, but a profit gold mine?) I’d love to understand the economics of this for them. Do they somehow get a huge break on interchange fees and that’s what makes it viable/profitable?

rob

Shouldn’t they be worried about attracting (even more) heat from the issuers? Also glad to randomly stumble on this article, just starting to get into MS at scale, and I’m in AA so I’ll probably turn up for the meetup at the mall.

QueenB31

Hi all, Giftcard expert here (I work for one of the major distributors of content). Yes, the distributor gets a cut of the commission on the card. Different for every partner, but this is lucrative for them in bulk. The more you spend, the more they make for very little footprint in their mall locations. Be aware that what these businesses are trying to do is confirm that manufactured spenders are not actually money laundering to hide the source of illicit funds. You don’t want to end up on that watchlist.

Earl Lee

But can you explain how this is profitable for them? For example, the lowest swipe fees for credit card payments is about 2%. So on a $500 GC for example assuming they pay 2% or $10. Yet they are charging $3.95. And they know MS’ers aren’t spending ANY of the funds at Simon Malls. So how can they afford to do this and why would they want to?

I haven’t yet seen an explanation on what their motivation is for this?

Lee

we can just assume Meta bank offer 5% or more kick back for them on gift card sale

[…] to $500 for a $3.95 purchase fee. Interestingly enough this change was directly communicated with Frequent Miler so it seems like they are OK with high levels of manufactured […]

[…] I haven’t seen the new purchase form in person.  FrequentMiler does have what looks like the new form on a recent post about these […]

[…] Simon Mall gift card limit now $25K (previously $10K) […]

NinjaX

im sure im not the only one saying this. getting millions worth of GC is NEVER the issue. period.

Mark

Any word on whether either the MC or Visa version work for paying Cap1 or Citi?

Paul

The problem with Simon mall cards is Amex. The cards don’t count for Delta Amex 25,000/250,000 spend, the Hilton Amex 15,000 spend, or new card Amex bonus.
Plus liquidation is getting harder.

Billy

They do for me. Have you tried?

Paul

Yes. I never got Delta Amex spend credit for GC from SM.

Josh

I’ve bought gift cards at L3 stores like staples to meet 15l free Hilton night np.

CaveDweller

Flip a card how much u going to lose if they shut u down ? I don’t do MS before I applied for the last 2 cc I transferred the points as in Be Safe.

CHEERs

John

Can they get an engraving machine and put our names on the cards? And change the design so it doesn’t say “gift card”? If they want to boost sales, those two things would help immensely.

Susanne

Not having the words “Gift Card” an even better idea!

BRUCE

Greg, if you get the chance, could you ask why the $1000 gc’s aren’t available to consumers, only approved businesses? That would really facilitate the MS and simplify everyone’s life 🙂

Rob

See if you can get them to sell money orders.

Larry

If Simon would sell Money Orders (even with the form at any amount) for $10 per $1000, that would save a lot of time for us and possibly give Simon the same benefits they are getting by selling VGCs!

DavidD

I was able to use the 1k cards until I got a call from corporate at Simon and they politely said they know what I’m doing with the cards and their fine with that but they are not making any money and that I have to switch back to buying the $500 cards.

MSer

Double the fees then. MSers need everyone in the chain to make money or it will die. It’s more the hassle-factor that MSers dont like. Fewer cash-out trips offsets larger fees.

Susanne

I couldn’t agree more! That is the time consuming part. If the Simon mall could somehow help us with that then I would be thrilled!! Anything to lessen the time commitment of liquidation.

brian

and now they introduce the $1000 cards for everyone.

Ozymandias222

I have a feeling that might be what the news to come is. Either that or personalized gift cards.

Jamal

Is there going to be any talk anout methods of liquidation in the March meetup at briarwood mall? Ever since WM and especially PO stopped, I haven’t had a liquidation method and would appreciate any local insights/advice

Nick

Post office doesn’t sell MO with visa gift cards anymore?

PatMike

I got shut down at Macerich for MSing the $1000s. They seemed to be tracking them.

mark

These HQ big wigs need to spread the word to individual malls. At many locations, the mall staff still assume I am a criminal when I ask to buy even $4K of cards.

Losingtrader

I don’t think anyone is going to answer how to liquidate these cards in a public forum. I also think– at least from personal experience it’s sort of amazing a lot of people are not shut down by the banks . I’m actually a little envious of those who can pull this off for long periods

escot

Concur, Mark. Buying even one $500 vgc at many the Simon properties I’ve stopped at in Virginia and esp. Florida often takes far too long….. and at a few spots over the years, I’ve been grilled (anything but pleasant) about what I’ll be using them for and then sales pitches for the mall’s stores…. (which is fine to a point) Making the process simpler, less interrogative, and quicker would help…

(ps, and major kudos to Greg for being the trusted conduit for this news…. fascinating!)

Russ

Florida? You’re in a heavy drug enforcement corridor. No one there is going to make it easy. The employees are all scared of getting in trouble for helping the bad guys.

escot

ah, fair point/concern…. Places where I ran into the really slow, paper procedures were in Jacksonville & Melbourne…. Still, maybe there’s a way to speed up the process — across all simon malls.

Susanne

Then that mall is not used to MSers. Briarwood is DEFINITELY used to seeing MSers!

Bob

While I certainly would believe the information you received given your sources, both reps I spoke with at Birch Run last week told me the increased limit was only going to be made available to those customers who already were at $10,000. In other words, no new applicants would be allowed to go from 0 to 25,000.

Btw – I have used 5 cards to pay for 10,000 on several occasions.

Earl Lee

Yes, how are people liquidating this kind of high dollar amounts?

tobyk

I’m sure they have seen their volume seriously drop with the crackdown on MS at WM, grocery stores, etc…but increasing the purchase limit will not help. They need to decrease the cost of each card. You can purchase a $500 VGC at GCM through several cashback portals with your net cost being $1 per card versus $3.95 at Simon…

voayger

This ! I’m not sure myself why this is such big news, not to speak of “living dream”

eaker

I’ve been using GC.com because GMC shut me down. I;m going to give it a try and wondering whether i should use any particular portal (I generally use yazing or one of the portals shown on cashbackmonitor). Thanks.

Billy Jack

Avoid TopCashBack whatever you do, for anything and not just for GCs

Mai

I agree. TCB even re-instated my wife’s account that has been dormant for more than 6 months with cash we never transferred to our checking account.

JustSaying

Ah then how to liquidate said cards!

Russ

Greg! Convince them to start selling money orders and to accept debit cards for said MOs. They could be a one-stop shop and really clean up.

Tariq

By purchasing money orders.

Piotr

Can you liquidate the Simon VGCs at WM with a MO?

Stephen

Did they say how many cards you’d be allowed to split the 24.5k purchase over? I think the previous limit was 4.