How much detail of a manufactured spend deal should we offer?


Value: noun \ˈval-(ˌ)yü\

  1. : the amount of money that something is worth : the price or cost of something
  2. : something that can be bought for a low or fair price
  3. : usefulness or importance

The Merriam Webster Dictionary

I offer this question; with the “we” as loosely defined as possible. In this case, I really mean, “we” as – the most public part of the community – also known as bloggers. Primarily because, as MileNerd states, there was A Big Death this week.

Many people complain about the “circles and arrows” bloggers, because they “kill deals.” But to that same point, if we are to spur innovation to find “the next big thing,” then the information needs to be shared. This discussion reminds me of Marathon Man’s discussion at the CharlotteDO back in May. He has a great post on this as well.


Sitting in the audience when I heard this woman ask a question as Marathon Man notes – asking a Walmart employee if she could use a gift card. How would she have known that this was a huge mistake? My first thought was: Research! You need to research before you dive into potentially significant financial transactions. Countless folks have pointed out that Manufactured Spenders buy $500 gift cards as if they are $0.25 packs of Doublemint Gum – double the fun (or if you have a 5x – quintuple the fun!). For many, a $500 transaction is a huge deal. It should be – it is a lot of money!  If you are new to Manufactured Spend (MS), you should research. Heck, you should research your research. Your credit score is the biggest asset you have in this economy. Would you put that at risk just for a hundred thousand miles? I hope not.


Marathon Man, and others (a few others), make the great point that this hobby requires stewardship. I like to think of if this way: I’m a mariner, and I love spending time on the water. So when I go out, I don’t throw trash in the water. In fact, if I see trash, I try to pick it up! It’s just a small piece of doing our part. With manufactured spending, it’s not a question of keeping your trash to yourself (but you should anyway – it’s the polite thing to do after all). Rather, you need to be careful with this great hobby. Sharing “secrets” in confidence, perhaps even explaining them in greater detail, is encouraged – but in a face to face experience, with individuals that you know. Putting such things on the “internet” makes them public, for stores to find and ultimately shut down.

TaggingMiles is a new blog. Joe and I have been around for a while though. We’re not going to share deals for clicks. It’s not our style. We would rather help you — the reader — to figure out what the next deal is. If we’ve done it right, hopefully you’ll share it with us.

What’s next?

I’ll be candid. I don’t have the answer. If anything, the answer I have, is to learn, and use the scientific method in everything you do. For your reference, I’ve adapted the Scientific Method for you in this easy to follow process diagram:


In closing: I’ll offer that we all have a lot to learn. We, that play the MS game, have an amazing talent — to see not just the big picture, but to also see the intricacies of the deal. So I would encourage you to test new things, especially in light of the death of Vanilla Reloads, and the most recent death of the Vanilla Network at Walmart.

I don’t know what the next big deal is. Even if I did, I can say for sure, that I wouldn’t share it on TaggingMiles, however, if you reach out to me so that we can develop a rapport, via twitter, e-mail, or the Saverocity Forums, I’d be happy to share it with you, when I do find it.

18 thoughts on “How much detail of a manufactured spend deal should we offer?

  1. Nobody deserves to be handheld or spoonfed by bloggers. It’s horribly counterproductive/shortsighted for everyone. What is best is to hint at potential methods and then leave it to readers to show some basic initiative to ask (offline) for details. Most people I know are willing to share details privately. A good strategy is to set up a small, trustworthy discussion group of like-minded people and share strategies/methods. Way too many are lazy and/or incompetent and only want to be takers. They tell us they are “so busy” but want keys to learning about getting millions of miles and lots of cashback for almost no effort? That’s a lot of gall to expect that (but how scumbags like BowTie and most BA bloggers rely upon for all those conversions). A pox on all of them!

  2. The issue is even if most people don’t blog about it, all it takes is an id*ot like MMS to put it out there!
    He’s done it so many times, but he doesn’t care about the hobby. He needs to expose secrets to keep his readership and his source of money.

  3. Thank you for the mentions and the link! This is a great read itself and rings so true in so many ways.

    So is the death piece from mile nerd.

    My solution to ms right now is in keeping with the cute snow man image…

    Let it snow let it snow let it snow.
    Enjoy that powder like a skier does who knows spring is coming soon. No more freshies. Enjoy the winter as much as you can cuz it could die any time.

    And yes, share ideas in small groups for best results

    • MM, You’re right — Spring comes soon enough. Snow is a great analogy – because you are never truly guaranteed that it will snow again, just like in the MS world, when one thing dies, there’s no guarantee that another thing will come to life.

  4. I was the entire “breakage” for Vanilla Reloads. I thought i lost one for months, then when I went on vacation the kid who cleaned my office found three $500 cards. That will get you wondering what else is in my office: I keep a little 20 lb safe for stupid thieves who actually would believe anybody would keep something valuable in a safe you could walk away with.

    Seriously , you should not get upset about Daraius unless you personally thought of the MS idea, and he broke into your house at gunpoint and made you confess. It’s just another example of an arbitrage being whittled away. Go find a new one.

    Here, take this to the bank, because i am not going to use it: Go get a HELOC from Wells Fargo then pay then off with the Suntrust Debit Card. Every day. It only costs $75 up front annually for the loan, and you should be able to pay off at least $5000 per day unless Wells Home Loans is no longer payable at Walmart.

  5. I agree that unless it was your idea then you shouldn’t get mad! And if it was your idea then why did you let it out of the bag in the first place? You’re just being selfish really. New blogs come in all the time. Just found this great site with lots a good ideas for MS. I love it! Don’t hate!

    • So, the problem isn’t sharing of ideas. Its sharing of deals mass media. When you do that, you can’t necessarily ensure those that use those deals/tactics know what they are doing, and you also raise the publicity to companies. Ultimately, if you aren’t willing to put the time in, the research, then you really shouldn’t be doing this. It would be unethical to say otherwise – you are putting your credit score and financial future at risk.

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