In my earlier post I explained a bit what manufactured spending was and mentioned that I don’t participate in it. Some people do and that is totally fine. But here are my reasons:
1) First and foremost, some banks don’t like it. I really don’t want to risk my relationship with Chase or any other bank for a few miles.
2) I have enough points from sign-up bonuses for next 2 years’ worth of vacations without having to resort to this activity.
3) The only cards available in my area are prepaid Visa cards. Since I would use a 2 percent cash back card like Barclay’s Arrival and would buy just one card at a time, my profit on a 500 dollar Visa would only be around 5 bucks after 4.95 fee. Not worth it. See reason number 1.
Now, onto the name of my post. This really isn’t meant to be mean or to offend anyone. This blog is primarily about family travel. But, back in the day I used to write humorous essays, so sometimes I can’t help myself! So, there are 3 types of people who engage in manufactured spending:
1) The “opportunist.” I probably fall in that category. If the right opportunity presents itself, I may consider getting a 200 dollar prepaid card. Like if I was in CVS picking up prescription, AND using Chase Freedom, AND pharmacy was a bonus category, I may get a Visa gift card. But I probably would pick up an Amazon card instead, with no fees attached.
2) The “hoarder.” These are people who spend a good chunk of the day hunting for these cards. Some actually have full time jobs and even families. So the commitment is very real. They keep their eyes on the prize, so to speak. Flying in first class to Australia on award tickets, here we come!
3) The “survivalist.” “Hoarder” taken to an extreme. Think bunker decorating, ammo and tuna cans collecting, but in a points world. It’s almost like they are training for a grueling marathon ( get it, Flyertalkers?) or rather getting ready for a “mile apocalypse.” If an airline raises award requirement for a business class ticket from USA to Europe from 100k to 500k miles overnight without notice, these guys will not blink an eye.
Unlike regular survivalists who distrust the government, they are paranoid about the banks, big time. Which is why they use code words and sentences. You will see phrases like “cardinals are watching,” which I can only assume refers to the bank representatives scanning the threads? Or perhaps, I got it all wrong and they are just talking about some sort of birding in reverse.
So, which type are you?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.