I took a break from gift card churning over the past week, opting to stockpile orders from giftcards.com. Ever since the system changes were implemented a while back, I’m finding its taking a super long time (i.e. a week) for gift cards to arrive after placing an order. Not only are some of my orders taking a week to arrive, but they’re often separated and I have to sort through multiple envelopes to ensure that all of the cards have in fact arrived. I’ve tried to include GiftCardMall into my routine, but for some reason none of my credit cards are going through. I’ve largely cut Simon Mall out of the equation because I prefer to minimize my gift card fees.
It’s not just the slower process that had me sitting out my regular rounds over the past two weeks. My nephew was born yesterday and in anticipation of the long drive out of town to the hospital, I decided I might as well hold off on gift card churning until then. After seeing the little one and spending some time with my sister (and as her room became inundated by visitors), I headed out on a quick ms run. There were three Walmart stores within a 5 mile radius of the hospital, and all of them are fairly ms-friendly.
At one store, I was in the midst of paying for my money orders when the cashier asked, “So where are you going?” I asked her for clarification and she responded with, “Are you one of the people who does this for rewards?” I admitted that yes, I was in fact one of those people and would probably use my earnings for another trip back to Europe. She admitted that some of the “regulars” tell her she should get in on it but that she doesn’t have good credit. I took the opportunity to see if she’d let me buy more money orders in separate transactions (to comply with the 4-card swipe maximum) and she said they were not allowed to do that. I was welcome to buy up to $10,000 and I’d have to fill out the usual paperwork, but that it had to be in a single transaction. That’s pretty much the policy at one of my regular Walmart stores, which used to be an ms goldmine.
I made it to all three Walmart stores in the area and ended up with just under $10,000 in gift cards. I went back to the hospital for a couple of hours, then headed home. On the way there, I stopped by two Walmart stores, where I purchased a combined $12,000 worth of money orders and managed over $8,000 worth of bill pay. It was a successful outing, though I do wish one of those stores hadn’t implemented the one-transaction policy and allowed me to keep purchasing $10,000 worth of money orders in $2,000 increments.
In any case, it was good for me to go to stores where I’m not a familiar face for once. As I’ve explained before, a few of my regular stores have implemented no-gift card rules or restricted the use of multiple cards per transaction, making money order purchases more difficult. I’m hoping by the time I re-appear, the revolving door will work its magic and there will be a new group of clueless people working the money center.
How much manufactured spending have you done this week?
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