Manufactured Spending is the new hot topic with earning miles and points in Canada. Yesterday, the CBC released an article featuring my good friend Avery, who runs fellow BoardingArea blog Don’t Call the Airline.
Basically, it talked about buying coins from the Canadian Mint to earn free miles. I thought the article was quite misleading, so I wanted to clarify a few things.
Manufactured Spend isn’t Gimmicky or Sketchy.
Sure, buying mint coins is manufacturing spend. But so are buying refundable items and travel bookings to meet minimum spend. Purchasing prepaid cards to maximize your points on a certain credit card. I even consider prepaying your bills as manufactured spend.
Manufactured spend simply means generating purchases on a credit card to obtain points that would not normally happen. Buying coins is on one end of the MS spectrum. There are plenty of other thing that normal folks do regularly that’s also manufactured spend.
Manufactured Spend Isn’t Illegal.
While some manufactured spend activities might be unethical, that’s very rarely the case. In all cases, it’s not illegal. MS is something that happens when companies have gaps in something like their rewards system, so savvy consumers are able to obtain more value doing certain transactions or activities than the average person.
A Big Deal About Nothing
A lot of people bought coins, including me. I ran through tens of thousands of dollars in coins. But you know what? It isn’t actually that many points. There are much easier ways to get points quickly.
For example, you can earn over 80,000 bonus points from the American Express Business Platinum Card after meeting minimum spend. That’ll gets you more points than most people ever got in Canada buying coins.
Is It a Secret? Not Really.
Manufactured Spend in the US is quite hush-hush, but in Canada, a lot of the stuff is just out in the open. I actually wrote about buying face-value coins with the Mint back in December last year. It has also been dead for close to a year, so you’re not really missing anything.
I’ve written about using MSing for 4x points on all purchases, AC Conversion for MS, a Brief History of Manufactured Spend, and even how to not get caught MSing. You can pretty much get caught up just by reading my site.
What you might consider as a secret I might not, so getting mad is not my problem. You and I are free to write and say whatever we want. If you don’t like it, don’t read or listen. This isn’t privileged information.
What Should You Do Instead?
If this is all new to you, there many other subjects to learn that are much more rewarding. This includes selecting the right credit card, finding out how to manage your credit, reducing taxes and fees on your award bookings, and much more all on my site. The best way to learn the latest and greatest in miles and points are from your network. You can only cultivate one face-to-face, which is why I highly recommend subscribing to PointsU and joining the next event, a conference dedicated to Canadian rewards and maximizing your travel.
Anything else I missed?