Announcing the Manufactured Spending Tournament – who will be crowned the champion?
With so many players, and so many games, the realm of manufactured spending has expanded massively over recent years. From simple, well known tactics like Amazon Payments, to complex purchase and resale deals the ways to generate points and profit are plentiful.
It is time to see how these different approaches compete on a level field. The Manufactured Spend Tournament seeks to bring together the best and brightest among us to showcase their skills and claim the title of Champion. It’s going to be educational, occasionally brutal and a whole lot of fun!
Outlining the Challenge
Purpose: To explore different approaches to earning points, miles or cash back, and to see who can do so with the most innovation and aplomb.
The Game: To set a level playing field everyone will start with a bankroll of $5,000 and credit or debit cards of their choice with which to spend that on. Players must use the tips and tricks that they know to turn that in to as much as possible within the month of March.
The Rules of Engagement
The Bankroll is limited to $5,000 in an attempt to level the playing field and press creativity and innovation, players are allowed to do whatever they want with that amount in order to generate ‘profit’ in the form of miles or points, the value of which is outlined below. Once the bank roll is in play, it has to cycle back into the system before any new purchases are allowed; we have accelerated the process slightly in order to keep the pace of the Tournament interesting.
Cash Back building the Bankroll
Any Cash Back that is earned via portals or rebates during a purchase will be added onto the bankroll, this can offset the impact of fees. Credit Card Cash Back will not be added to the bank roll, it will instead be counted at the end of the month. Third party points, such as Plink will be added to the final tally at fair market value, but cannot be used to increase the bankroll during the tournament.
We will be utilizing a Trading day +1 approach to when the money comes back into the bankroll. For example, if on Monday a player acquires $5,000 Vanilla Reloads, it is assumed that by Tuesday 1K of that will be back in circulation. For reselling items, it will be the same T+1 with the trigger being the day that the items are shipped to a fulfillment center, or a buy bid if sold via individual auction. Both are slightly accelerated from the reality of clearing times of the credit card, and the shipping time of a product respectively.
The Bankroll must cycle back into play in a realistic manner. If a person was to take $5,000 Vanilla Reloads and use Billpay to cover their mortgage, it would be considered a one way transaction, and their bankroll would be depleted to zero. Likewise with anything that would not see a similar return to the pool, such as a loan to Kiva, its repayment schedule would make it one way due to the one month timeframe.
Scoring The Championship
There will be three key criteria that will be judged to determine the champion, the amount of money raised, its efficacy and its artistry. Players who create a strategy that is elegant, efficient, novel and replicable will score more highly than people who simply repeat a very basic method, even if that method creates a higher ROI, the Tournament is supposed to be fun and challenging, so creativity is of more interest than brute force and volume.
Penalties will be applied to players that generate points in an unethical manner.
At the end of each week we will run a tally, leading towards the final score at the end of the month. Players are allowed to generate points, miles or Cash, at the end everything will be translated into a cash total as per the below:
- In order to compare amounts generated points and miles will be valued as per the fair trading value of points from The Frequent Miler
- Cash Back will be valued at face value providing it is available for statement credits.
- Buying of points with cash from the bankroll is allowed, trading of points is allowed only within officially recognized channels.
The leader board will be updated on each Friday, with the final week 4 announcing the winner, updates can be shared between the blogs of all participants at any time they chose; the official board will be posted on Frequent Miler.
Frequent Miler is widely accepted to be one of the most knowledgeable and well respected people in the Manufactured Spending area; it is our honor to announce him as judge of the tournament. I will be working in a supporting role to help collate the data.
We are starting out with some of the most innovative bloggers in points and miles community, this is our starting lineup:
If you would like to join the Tournament we are seeking players for the game now; please apply via email firstname.lastname@example.org the more the merrier, and I hope to see some non bloggers, I am willing to collate and post the work of 2 people who don’t have blogs, and if demand is higher we will do our very best to accommodate you also.
Tournament Signup ends on Thursday Feb 27th, the Tournament Begins on Saturday March 1st, and will run throughout March, we hope that you join us as players, or come along for the ride and support your favorites bloggers on their quest to be crowned The Manufactured Spending Champion!