Friday, June 20, 2014

Manufactured Spending- Another Disturbance in the Force

     There's been a great deal of distress over at Flyertalk lately due to the demise of one avenue for manufacturing spend.  Wally World (W**-Mart) has recently changed their POS software in such a way that prepaid Vanilla Visa Debit cards can no longer be used to purchase money orders or to load Bluebird cards.  This is a serious blow to folks whose source of prepaid debit cards is limited to CVS, since the only cards available on credit there are Vanilla cards.  There are (inflated, I hope) reports of people being stuck with many thousands of dollars in cards that they can no longer easily convert into cash equivalents.  There's a lesson here, of course.  Risk is an unavoidable part of life, but if you're smart, you'll limit your exposure.  If you decide to use any of the manufactured spending techniques, best practices call for you to liquidate the cards as fast as you accumulate them.  Don't get greedy and think that there'll always be a way to liquidate the cards later.

     As they said in Battlestar Galactica, "all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again."  Not long ago, there was a brief opportunity to use Home Improvement Gift Cards to purchase money orders.  It was clearly a glitch and not long for this world, but, nevertheless, some overenthusiastic folks loaded up on thousands of dollars worth of the cards and were caught short when the glitch was fixed.  If they were smart they only lost 5% on the deal, but then, if they were smart, they wouldn't have been holding $10K+ in HIGCs.  Remember: "If something can't go on forever, it won't."


  1. Thanks for the update, this is news to me as I didn't see the thread at flyertalk. Do you happen to have a link to the thread? Thanks

  2. Post is updated with a link to the FT thread.