The Hot Way to MS in Canada is Dead… for the most part

Oh – this is tough. This might be the worst day in my miles/points life. 😉

As I see it, the CIBC AC Conversion Card is now effectively dead for manufactured spend. Both DCTA and Pointshogger have both covered this card before, but I was too busy MSing with it.

ACConversion Card

ACConversion Card

This card was a multi-currency reloadable debit card – but the great thing was that you could load Canadian Dollars with a Visa or MasterCard with no fee.

The maximum load used to be $500 apiece – and you could load up to four times yielding $2000 per card, per day. That meant earning up to 2000 airline miles. This was good. Really good.

In the past two months, I put a lot of money on these ACConversion cards. A LOT. It was also a large adrenaline rush withdrawing thousands of dollars in 20’s.



Now, the maximum load for CAD is $100 with a limit of one load per day. I guess I’ll pick up those 3,000 miles a month… good, but not as exciting as what I was doing before.

I’ve never done manufactured spend in the US much but I guess this is what it’s like when something like Vanilla Reloads die.

Onto the next deal…

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  1. So if I understand the process:

    – load the conversion card with a miles earnings card
    – with draw cash from conversion card
    – deposit cash in bank to pay off miles earnings card

    what are the fees? how much does it cost to “manufacture” these miles?

  2. Read about the new limits on RFD 🙁

    I milked this card, although not as much as it seems you did 🙂

  3. So this card essentially provides a no-fee way of earning points on a cash advance?

    Question I have: could a credit card you use to load onto this other card see this as a ‘cash advance’ and not a ‘spend’. This card is not a merchant and you are not making a purchase, after all…

    Regardless, if CIBC has reduced the daily amount, they obviously know it’s being used as a fee-free, points earning cash advance card. I’m surprised those that milked it didn’t get the heave-ho…

  4. So, let’s leave aside anyone who’s using this card for ‘spend’.

    How does CIBC explain to Joe Traveller that he can’t load more than $100 per day on his card? Wouldn’t nearly 100% of Joe Travellers expect to load several hundred dollars on their card? Is CIBC really telling customers they have to login over several days to load enough cash to take a modest trip anywhere?

    • I haven’t tried it, but it could be the $100 limit imposed is only when loading CAD. They could allow people to load more cash in other currencies, so that Joe Traveller can do his thing, but still make it difficult for MS. To load in another currency and then convert it to CAD will cost you a couple of percentage points, so it will no longer be a free transaction.

      • Yeah, but the card is aimed at Canadians, who are going to spend these funds in other currencies.

        CIBC teller: Can I sign you up for an AC Conversion Card?
        Joe Traveller: What’s it good for?
        CIBC teller: It’s basically a prepaid card you can use in multiple currencies when you travel.
        Joe Traveller: Great! Sign me up. I’ll need $500 on the card.
        CIBC teller: Okay. But when you want to load up your card, you can only load $100 a day.
        Joe Traveller: So I’ve got to sign on and load this card on 5 different occasions?
        CIBC teller: Well, yeah.

        (Mea culpa: I guess I’m going to try go get one of these things in the next few days so I’ll know what I’m talking about…)

        • But that’s my point. If the Canadian traveller needs the card for its intended purpose of foreign currency spending, it will still be useful if the new daily load limit only applies to loading CAD on the card. If I was travelling to England, I could load GBP on the card, load from my CAD Aeroplan Visa card, and be just fine. If I wanted to use it for MS (which I did), but was forced to load into a different currency first, it would cost me a bit to convert it back to CAD again.

          If I had a use for a different currency at the moment, I’d load one to see if I can load more than $100.

  5. Is it possible to load the card with Canadian dollars, or only foreign currency? Can you use an Amex card to load the conversion card, or only CIBC cards?

    • I started a card today. The initial load must be a foreign currency.
      Further loads can be in CDN. So my card currently stores $X in a foreign currency and $Y in CDN.

      Visa & MasterCard loads accepted, and it doesn’t have to be a CIBC card.
      American Express is not accepted.

  6. Currently, you can load a maximum of $100.00 Canadian Dollars (CAD) directly onto your CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card once per day.

    What is changing?

    As of April 13, 2018, you will no longer be able to load Canadian Dollars directly onto your CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card. You will still be able to load all of the other Supported Currencies onto your CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card (that is, Australian Dollars (AUD), Swiss Franc (Switzerland) (CHF), Euros (EUR), Great British Pounds (UK) (GBP), Hong Kong Dollars (HKD), Japanese Yen (JPY), Mexican Peso (MXN), Turkish Lira (TRY), and United States Dollars (USD)).

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