Since a stream of news pieces have gone out, you may have found this blog in your research. Yes, I’m the guy in the manufactured spend articles on CBC, CTV, BBC, and others. Yes, I fly for free in First Class around the world regularly. This blog will help you do the same. Let this be my formal introduction to new readers.
Who Are You?
I’m a graduate student in Air and Space Law. While I have a law degree, I have no intent on being a lawyer. I love writing and travelling too much!
I’ve been to nearly 70 countries. I’ve flown amazing airlines like Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and Qatar, all in First Class. I don’t have much money, so I don’t spend much money. I do this all with points, miles, and deals, that I regularly share on this blog.
What’s Manufactured Spend?
You probably came to this blog after a series of news articles on the concept of manufactured spending. What is manufactured spending you ask? It’s the process of buying something using a rewards credit card, somehow getting your money back, and then paying off your credit card and keeping the points.
For example, the Royal Canadian Mint used to sell collector coins for face value. So if you spent $2000 on these coins with a credit that earns one Aeroplan point per dollar, deposit the coins in the bank and pay off your credit card, you just earned 2000 Aeroplan points for free.
Unfortunately, in Canada, opportunities for manufactured spend are more limited than in the United States. In the States, it’s not uncommon to hear stories of people earning millions of points through manufactured spend. I have never done it nearly to that level. However, there are opportunities in Canada, and they come and go all the time.
In general, Canadians should consider using manufactured spend not to do tens of thousands of dollars of it, but as a way to quickly meet minimum spend requirements for churning.
Credit Card Churning
You’ve probably seen credit cards that offer a promotion like “50,000 points after spending $5,000 in three months.” Churning is the process of repeatedly getting new credit cards for their sign-up bonus, earning the points, and then cancelling the card. I do this with dozens of credit cards a year and I have a great credit score.
As long as you’re careful to only do what you understand, and pay off your bills in full, credit card churning can be an incredibly lucrative game. It’s easy to quickly and cheaply earn enough points to fly First Class anywhere in the world for nearly free!
But one of the biggest challenges with churning is meeting the minimum spending requirements for credit card bonuses. If I’m signing-up for five credit cards in one day, each requiring $3,000 of minimum spend in three months, I could be in trouble! I don’t spend nearly that much money on a regular basis. That’s where manufactured spending comes into play. It helps meet those minimum spending requirements, giving you more bonus points quickly.
This blog explores all topics related to points, miles, credit cards, and travel. Feel free to explore my previous articles and to follow me as I explain how you can travel in luxury on the cheap. Thanks for reading!