MS’ing At Barnes And Noble

I frequent the local Barnes and Nobel College Bookstore to manufacture spending using my Citi Forward card for the 5x bookstore bonus when I reload my American Express Campus Edition card. Many of the staff recognize me as the person always buying and reloading the Campus Edition card, but they don’t know what I do with it – at least as far as I am aware of.

One of the ladies that work there, at the conclusion of our transaction, always says “Good luck!”

I’m not sure how to take it, but I find it hysterical. It’s like she knows what I am doing and just MS’ing around. It was through this method and her help that paid for a portion of my stay at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo in November 2013 when I redeemed all the Thank You points to Hyatt gift checks.

The stay in Tokyo consisted of a stay booked through hotels.com where I also applied a 10% off coupon which came out to be $179. The most expensive nights, Friday and Saturday, I redeemed in total 24,000 points. The Sunday and Monday nights I used the Hyatt gift checks which reduced the bill to $161.90 from a 40706 JPY folio.

10 comments… add one
  • so…. how do you MS with this card? 🙂

    • Typically, I just make a small purchase, withdraw $400 from the ATM at my job for a $1 and then repeat. When the balance is all random, I empty either Amazon Payments or CVS

  • I do the same, but I swear the Campus Edition cards are a crap shoot as to whether or not they’ll actually load. Fully 50% of the time, it won’t and (as you probably know) AMEX’s prepaid customer service is an embarrassment to their otherwise good name.

    • Agreed! the CS/R’s are atrocious

      Earlier in 2013 I had issues loading the Campus Edition cards, but so far I haven’t had any of those problems

  • What’s your strategy for unloading? Is it the same as other amex gc unloading?

  • I buy a small item in a non category earning bonus, then go to the ATM for $400 transactions. Towards the end when I have an uneven balance I will go to CVS or use Amazon Payments to empty the card

  • Coming back to the CE card (it’s been a while)…

    It turns out that my earlier problems loading the card were the result of running up against the $6000 annual load limit. I guess I missed that in the Ts&Cs and I had to “cool it” for a while. Recently, I’ve been able to load again, but now I’m running into pretty frequent, “The ATM is unable to process your request at this time” … or similar.

    Anyone else?

    • I wonder if it’s because of an unwritten ATM limit per month?

      I haven’t used the CE card in a while too and a little rusty on it

      • Yeah, … it’s hard to justify.

        Loading $500 to your AMEX CE nets you $21.25 in profit after fees, not counting time spent driving to and from the bookstore … which is significant for me since I have to choose between paying to park on campus (increasing fees) or walking 10 minutes each way (increasing time spent).

        By contrast, you get the same $21.25 profit by “donating” $708.33 to Kiva from my sofa (assuming a 2% loss which is still way above my average).


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