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Starting Out with MS

Discussion in 'Bootcamp' started by Matt, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Jslectronic

    Jslectronic Level 2 Member

    I believe the rumor was that CVS would stop allowing prepaid/gift cards from buying gift cards, apparently a memo is "being prepared" scheduled to come out in February

    Edit: see the second news story now, it was a fun run, now need to go cash out the $4k I have left today and tomorrow and hope it triggers :)
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  2. Sephy

    Sephy Level 2 Member

    Most of the CVS's will not allow you to buy a VGC with a GC, but the rumor is coming from the CS reps at the malll
  3. redrps13

    redrps13 New Member

    Heard the same rumors on FT, nothing concrete yet though.
  4. Sephy

    Sephy Level 2 Member

    Hopefully it ends in a rumor and will continue but how long will Simon's mall continue to give away 5%?
  5. redrps13

    redrps13 New Member

    5Back cards aren't going away. Its just that CVS is possibly dropping them, but as of now still showing CVS on Simon website as a participant.

  6. Sephy

    Sephy Level 2 Member

    Correct that is what I was trying to say thanks for clarifying
  7. volker

    volker Level 2 Member

    People MS'ed before with VGC's from Simons' before there where 5backs and will MS even -- if ever -- the 5backs will get discontinued. You only loose one money maker. But there is a reason why you should always have at least one backup liquidation method.

    There where actually two rumors today on FT. One where a CVS manager said that they will stop in February, in the other one a Simon's mall manager (not CVS!) said that CVS will stop a bit earlier in January.
  8. GettingReady

    GettingReady Level 2 Member

    Things constantly change. Have to be flexible and have back up plans.
  9. Sephy

    Sephy Level 2 Member

    I am flexible and have other plans I was just sharing some information that I received when I went to Simon's Mall to pick up those cards.
  10. mlick41954

    mlick41954 Level 2 Member

    Seems like the opportunities for MS are becoming very challenging. Should I be discouraged that I am just now learning and getting into this?
  11. Sephy

    Sephy Level 2 Member

    New opportunities always become available, you just need to keep an eye out when they do and take advantage when you can.
  12. mlick41954

    mlick41954 Level 2 Member

    I've struck out on my first 2 attempts loading VGCs at local gas stations. I obviously have a lot to learn, but this is so much fun.
  13. bifslipson

    bifslipson Level 2 Member

    I wouldn't be discouraged, be encouraged. there are plenty of opportunities out there, not all are profitable. some simply break even. But if you can churn lots of volume at break even and keep the points.....isn't that the point? keep hunting
  14. Sahara

    Sahara New Member

    I've been a very conservative MSer for about 4 years, with a few hiccups that taught me the necessity of not chewing off more than you can float. But since my BB got shut down in the last round, I'm hoping to move to L2 and learn more.
  15. Mancolt

    Mancolt Level 2 Member

    I'm new as well, but I've found some mildly profitable avenues, and that's just from what's widely available on the internet via Google searches. Right now, these options are only worth doing when trying to meet minimum spend, given the time commitments and driving distances for me. But now that I'm aware of the concept, I'm certainly keeping an eye out for other promising opportunities. One of my big goals is figuring out how to max out my rotating category cards, when the categories aren't easy places to buy VGCs.
  16. seespotjump

    seespotjump Level 2 Member

    Don't worry about it, I'm relatively new to the game as well. One thing I've picked up from reading everything I could is that this hobby is extremely YMMV. Each city is different, each store is different, and your experience at the same store might change from day to day based on the employees you encounter, policy changes, etc.

    This whole thing is pretty much a big cycle. Someone figures out an MS method that gets popular, method gets shut down, and there's a big scramble until a new method is found. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

    As long as companies offer these bonuses, there will always be people churning and MSing.
  17. CreditDratini

    CreditDratini Level 2 Member

    We (or at least, I) really need a good way to MS the restaurant category...every summer, my Freedoms are begging to be maxed out and I can only say sorry to them :( Not to mention the bonus points on CSP/CSR/PRG!
  18. seespotjump

    seespotjump Level 2 Member

    Taken from FT.

    Some suggestions:
    -buy gift cards to restaurants you like for later use
    -buy gift cards to restaurants and actually give them as gifts to people you know (friends or offer to be the buyer for a work "everyone chips in" birthday gift)
    -buy gift cards for movies and give them as gifts (especially good for kids or "secret Santa" at work)
    -organize the work "birthday lunches"/teambuilding exercises for a few months and get reimbursed
    -got kids having a birthday soon? Any chance they want to have a party at Chuck E. Cheese, McDonald's, Dave and Buster's, etc.?
    -working late or through lunch? Pick up the tab, get reimbursed. (Oops, didn't realize I'd need it--corporate card at home.)
    -arrange to celebrate friends' birthdays/etc. at restaurants, pick up the tab, and have people pay you back with Amazon Payments, etc.
    -go to lots of 3D movies/simulcast performances of the Met/National Theater (these tickets are all more expensive), preferably with a group, offer to be the ticket buying guy to ensure everyone has seats
    -buy some really pricy restaurant package, donate it as an item to a charitable auction (and take the writeoff)

    You could also go to a bar on a busy night (one that serves food, and that you've already determined "counts"), and buy a round for everyone there. You won't get your money back, but you'll certainly earn goodwill and/or karma.
  19. CreditDratini

    CreditDratini Level 2 Member

    I don't consider any of those methods MS. Getting reimbursed is r/shittychurning in my book, I don't trust people to pay me back on time properly. Don't have the money to randomly blow on stuff either just to get the cash back. I want a way to cycle money through a CC and then get it back in cash. Something like swiping at a Square terminal of a friend (coding as dining) and getting the money back. Ah I can dream... :/
  20. Mancolt

    Mancolt Level 2 Member

    I'm with you @CreditDratini. I'm not looking for any ways to get reimbursed for precisely the same reasons. If there were a way to unload the gift cards for close to face value, then you're talking about some possible MS.
  21. twiga

    twiga New Member

    Agree that the restaurant bonus category of 5x cards is the hardest to max out if you dont live in expensive metro areas like NYC/SF or dine out a lot.

    The best and easiest way, in my opinion, would be to have business trips during that quarter. Eat out and get reimbursed by employer :)

    Another idea which I havent really tested out - pay for groceries at the deli section of supermarket. I wonder if the register there would code the transaction differently.

    The last method which I wouldnt recommend (unless desperate) would be to purchase restaurant GCs, and then exchange them (at a loss) using cardpool
  22. BananaStash

    BananaStash Level 2 Member

    YMMV of course, but I purchased some platters of sandwiches, fruit, etc. for a party and paid at the deli counter. Visa coded it as groceries.
  23. billygoat

    billygoat Level 2 Member

    I've tried that in my area at a local supermarket called Central Market - Obtained a VGC from the front desk, and went to cafe portion, ordered food and paid for the card. It coded as groceries. Whomp Whomp.
  24. notalent

    notalent Michael Bolton

    Are there stores where certain registers might code differently?
  25. Fred

    Fred New Member

    It is really good advice for newbie who found this new world. I did bluebird a while for small amount. Not really get into MS but now I have time and interest for it. Hope everyone enjoy the end result.
  26. chutzpanit411

    chutzpanit411 New Member

    Even if you do live in the NYC area and do dine out a lot, maxing out the category is hard, incredibly hard.
  27. NinjaFace

    NinjaFace New Member

    Great advice. I started this year and set my upper limit. Then when Black Friday came I totally blew past it. Now looking at it im stuck floating more than I said i would. I definitely need to stick to limits that i set for myself.
  28. unimpwang

    unimpwang New Member

    I think most people who MS a lot will tell you that you need to liquidate basically the same day as you start. Forgetting about one VGC could wipe out a months work of MSing.
  29. Josh F

    Josh F Level 2 Member Charity Forum Mod

    Or have a good tracking system so that doesn't happen. I have a spreadsheet where I track all this. In simplistic terms, I add an entry every time I purchase a GC. When I load/cash-out/whatever I add that value to the appropriate column for where that $ goes. At the end of each month I reconcile what I logged with the actual totals on my credit card statement to ensure everything was logged properly and nothing was missed. I also ensure that wherever I loaded to has the expected balance. If anything doesn't add up then I look at the details and see what doesn't add up (e.g. a failed load) or something like that.

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