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Starting Out with MS

#71
So recently I have been MS'ing through Simon's Mall 5% cash back cards and just heard a rumor that they are dropping CVS as a participant.
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 :)
 

Sephy

Level 2 Member
#72
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 :)
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
 

volker

Level 2 Member
#77
So recently I have been MS'ing through Simon's Mall 5% cash back cards and just heard a rumor that they are dropping CVS as a participant.
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.
 

Sephy

Level 2 Member
#81
New opportunities always become available, you just need to keep an eye out when they do and take advantage when you can.
 

bifslipson

Level 2 Member
#83
Seems like the opportunities for MS are becoming very challenging. Should I be discouraged that I am just now learning and getting into this?
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
 
#84
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.
 

Mancolt

Level 2 Member
#85
Seems like the opportunities for MS are becoming very challenging. Should I be discouraged that I am just now learning and getting into this?
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.
 
#86
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.
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.
 
#87
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.
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!
 
#88
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.
 
#89
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... :/
 

Mancolt

Level 2 Member
#90
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.
 
#91
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
 

BananaStash

Level 2 Member
#92
...
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.
...
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.
 

billygoat

Level 2 Member
#93
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.
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.
 

notalent

Michael Bolton
#94
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.
Are there stores where certain registers might code differently?
 

Fred

New Member
#95
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.
 
#97
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.
 

Josh F

Level 2 Member
Charity Forum Mod
#99
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.
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.
 
I just signed up for a green serve and will probably end up using it in July for my first foray in MS. I just got two cards and met minimum spend organically and need to wait a few months as I understand ramping up too soon in any aspect will be problematic. And its actually quite a good notion as it give me two months to continue learning/reading years of history/experience
 
I just signed up for a green serve and will probably end up using it in July for my first foray in MS. I just got two cards and met minimum spend organically and need to wait a few months as I understand ramping up too soon in any aspect will be problematic. And its actually quite a good notion as it give me two months to continue learning/reading years of history/experience
Welcome. It’s always nice when new people go slow and learn what works in their area. There’s also GoBank at WM if you like prepaids.