A reader left a scathing comment in one of my posts. Instead of replying back to it in a comment, I want to break down the post and add additional thoughts.
Well, I hope you idiots are happy. No more Vanillas with credit card at CVS. People tried to warn you bloggers that a public competition would bring unwanted attention to this hobby, and it did. Thanks for killing the golden goose.
“People tried to warn you bloggers that a public competition would bring unwanted attention to this hobby, and it did…” is completely unwarranted because a cash only policy must have been planned in advanced. #Milemadness would have had zero impact to CVS changing the policy at the end of the month. It is unrealistic to think that a large, corporation could turn around and flip an implementation within 4 weeks to a cash only policy. As with every large company, there is bureaucracy and makes slow deployments of any kind.
If we step back, take a moment and read Matthew Goldman’s post about Manufactured Spend being a problem, many people forgot about this:
So while the travel hackers are bending the rules, there are real fraudsters and criminals who are using this exact same setup to steal and launder money. For example, you can steal a credit card number (e.g. from the Target breach), then buy a bunch of reloads, then get cash from the credit card. This fraud problem is going to end up with InComm or CVS in the end. That’s not good.
The real problem is the loss of real dollars from credit card fraud.
In the tree of Manufactured Spending, Vanilla Reloads were the absolute lowest hanging possible fruit. We knew it was going to end, it was just timing.
The blue box in the tree is where you want to be in Manufactured Spending. How you get there, will all depend on you. Do you want someone to feed you every bit of details? Guess what, if someone feeds you that deal will die just as quickly. I will be exploring the middle and upper sections of the tree. Am I going to help you? Absolutely, but you need to put in the work and then you’ll have to work to get to that level.