By now you’ve heard the news: BlueBird is no longer charging $2 fees on online debit reloads. These loads are limited to $100 per day/$1,000 per month, so you’re looking at 500-1,000 miles depending on the card you’re using. If you were to cover this $1k with Vanilla Reload cards instead, you’d earn 1,000 miles at a cost of $7.90.In any case, this is good news for those of us who have been getting lazy with the manufactured spending.
I while ago I wrote about generating $40,000 in manufactured spending each month. I’ve gotta say, it’s becoming more and more difficult to hit that number. Not because there’s a shortage of resources, but because of the following:
1. Convenience. Back when I hated my job (which was conveniently located a block away from CVS), I’d make twice daily trips (sometimes more) to the drugstore and stock up on Vanilla Reloads. It was ridiculously easy and gave me a nice escape from the toxic environment and work load. Now it’s a bit of a hassle to drive to CVS every day, which brings me to my second point:
2. Store limits. CVS stores are changing the limits on the number of cards constantly and it’s getting tiring, keeping up with the latest. Walking up to the register with the wrong number of cards can cause the cashier to ask questions, which leads to a long wait, which leads to either rejection (i.e. “You have to pay cash for those”) or a new policy on limits – the manager will notify the entire staff and every time I go in afterwards, I’m subject to this new limit.
3. Security issues. I’ve written about a few instances recently when my cards were declined, how I got around the ID requirement, and how 7-11 corporate called the store and demanded they stop running my credit card. In the past, I’ve had no issues buying $1k at a time with my Chase cards, buying over $5k per day. Now I sometimes get shut down after the first $500 runs. I certainly don’t want to attract the attention of the fraud department and end up with my accounts suspended.
If all of these things are getting to you, do what I do: Get your kids/siblings/parents to do the heavy lifting for you. There are several Vanilla Reload goldmines where my brother goes to school, so I finally got through to him and he’s been loading up on cards for me. Get one person addicted and it will lighten the load, trust me.
Aside from that, I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from the Vanilla Reload game. I’m spreading my manufactured spending among more cards than before, and generally don’t go out of my way to earn them. This is where the new Bluebird comes in. It takes care of the time factor, allowing me to hit at least $4k of the limit without having to drive anywhere (4 bluebird cards $1k/month). It’s a small amount, but that’s at least four fewer trips to CVS for me.
What are your thoughts on the state of manufactured spending? Is it getting easier or more difficult for you?
Subscribe via email for more points, miles and free travel