Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes. We do not support, advocate or encourage the activities involved in manufactured spending.
What do I mean when I say manufactured?
As the term implies, any action that is voluntarily taken and not organic (natural) can be termed as manufactured. Spending is of course the act of exchanging money for goods and services.
So what counts as manufactured spending?
Say you have the Discover cash-back card. It offers 5% back upto a $1500 spend per quarter. If the card is in it’s year 1, and you’re in Q4 (Amazon and wholesale purchases), you buy gift cards/top up your Amazon balance. Thus you spent $1500 but get back $150 effectively spending $1350.
Another more value adding example is when you use the Chase Freedom card. They reward points which when transferred to the Sapphire cards via Ultimate Rewards are worth a lot more – free flights/hotels /travel.
Thus the act of spending just to meet the minimum requirements to get bonuses inorganically is manufactured spending. While it isn’t illegal, it does show up as negative activity on your account – which trust me the banks look at.
If you made three purchases in a quarter of $500 each to meet the maximum spend bonus category, they might send you a notice or even worse cancel your account(s) – blacklist you.
But what if I can use the gift cards in the future?
Well instead of buying gift cards in the start, it’s better to spend organically as you would and then cover up the remaining difference by getting a gift card or topping up your balance. That way you still get the benefit as well as make your regular purchases in the future.
I would not recommend this hack as it is a waste of time running around to get gift cards or other means just to save money short term. Think big and invest that time into something more long term and valuable – that way your hard work can make you more money than maybe a free flight.
This article is intended for educational purposes and does not advocate manufactured spending. Doing so is at your own risk and can have negative. repercussions or consequences.