With a lot of new readers, I want to go back to the basics for a little bit. Manufactured spending is a technique used purposely to create spend on your rewards earning card for little cost. Gift Card Churning is a manufactured spending technique whereby you buy and sell gift cards for the credit card rewards.
Why Gift Card Churn?
There’s many manufactured spending techniques like reselling as Trevor and Big Habitat do. By the way, did you see Big Habitat’s Jet’s post? Or new blog? Don’t forget to use his link if you haven’t already. It’d be interesting to see what kind if insider’s program there would be when he sees more referrals for a higher ranking.
Ok, to get us back on track, my preferred method is gift card churning and here is why:
- I can do almost everything at home, buying and selling
- Some gift cards are sold electronically
- No human interaction
- Cents per point can be comparable to prepaid cards
For points 1 and 3, I want to stress that I do not want that to be misinterpreted as being afraid of seeing people. That is further from the truth. The first point makes manufactured spending at your leisure. If you want to do this right before you sleep or after you wake up, it is certainly possible. Snowed in from a recent snowmageddon? You can still manufactured spend.
Selling cards electronically is the the same reason as point 1, it is at your convenience. This activity can be done whenever you want and where ever you are. I’ve seen far too many posts on folks who are US citizens located internationally churning credit cards and have little to no ability to meet the minimum spend requirements. Gift card churn electronic gift certificates will allow them to meet the spend requirements in a breeze. If you have to mail in your cards, almost all of your supplies can be had for free and your shipping can be made free.
When there is human interaction, sometimes adverse action can happen. This is why people in this hobby absolutely hate and will berate individuals for calling the vendor as it brings attention to the transactions. The adverse action I’m referring to the human interaction is the cashier saying “no.” Depending on the store, you may or may not be denied buying prepaid cards with a credit card. Gift cards, it is done online and the website will accept your credit card payment.
The cents per point when you gift card churn can be near 0. If you’re lucky, there are sales that will allow you to buy points for free, like my most recent Bank of America BankAmeriDeal. I actually churn the most gift cards during the holidays because the portals raise the rates, offer spend bonuses, and credit cards with the 5% quarterly bonus pays for the points.
Is Gift Card Churning For You?
As with every technique for manufactured spending, you need to look at your strategy and how it fits for you. For me, gift card churning works best because I spend so much time in New York City, a wasteland trying to buy prepaid cards with credit. You must also realize this, gift card churning is often a cash losing proposition whereby it will cost you real money. I keep my cost basis anywhere from money making to up to $.01 per point or mile as I know when I redeem the miles and points, on the redemption side will be worth more than a penny. The only points that I buy at $.01 are the Chase Ultimate Rewards and using my American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card for SPG points.
Again, giftcard churning is a technique I would recommend for people who have US issued credit cards who are now international based. They can still get their miles and points cheap.
I want to reiterate why I gift card churn. I can go at my own pace without affecting anyone’s mood. I don’t need to wait in line and hear the groans from both the cashier or the customers waiting. Last time I was in Walmart loading my Bluebird card, one person in front of me started to complain out loud. Hearing the complains, this older lady also in front of me heard all of a sudden became Negative Nancy and started groaning about the length of the line and why it wasn’t moving. Gift card churning allows me to not get involved with situations like that. My new buddy at GiftCard Zen said he loves people like us, it makes many people happy along the way. Makes me happy because I have an outlet to get my cash and points for cheap, they love people like us because we sell non fraudulent cards, and their customers love us for reliable gift cards.