Manufactured Spending

4 Great Mobile Apps for Manufactured Spending

Manufactured spending can be a lot of work. It certainly requires a great deal of organization and is not for everyone. I have a very simple spreadsheet for making sure I don’t lose any cards or forget to pay off credit cards, but what really helps me in the liquidation process are mobile apps. There are a very mobile apps that make it really easy to liquidate gift cards and keep track of everything during the process. Here are some of my favorite apps for manufactured spending:

mobile apps on a touchscreen phone in a cafe setting

1. Mobile App

The app isn’t quite as useful now that the company ships out gift cards with flat numbers on them. As a result, you can’t use the app to merely scan the card numbers and activate them that way. Now you’re forced to type in the card numbers, which makes this process a bit more tedious. The app is still really useful if you’re expecting large batches of gift card orders and want to activate them quickly. I sometimes sit at my laptop, with my phone on hand. As one gift card activation is processing on my laptop, I use the app to activate another. 

The app also comes in handy on those rare occasions when a card isn’t working at the register. I can quickly pull it up and determine that it has already been used or hasn’t even been activated. This happens occasionally and it really helps to have a tool on hand that allows me to fix things quickly without the cashier having to suspend the transaction.

2. Bank Mobile Apps

Bank mobile apps can be a great tool when you’re manufactured spending with money orders. I don’t use my Bank of America account for money order deposits anymore, but on the rare occasion when I’m too lazy to drive to Wells Fargo, I can deposit my money orders via the Bank of America mobile app. Sometimes the app doesn’t recognize money orders and I end up having to deposit them at the ATM, but other times it saves me a trip to the bank. I can’t say the Wells Fargo mobile app has been money order-friendly, but maybe I’m just using it wrong. Whatever bank you use for money order deposits – die the the mobile app a try. It can save you time by allowing you to deposit your money orders without a trip to the ATM.

3. Walmart Mobile App

I don’t usually look at my Walmart receipts too closely, but I recently noticed something that will make gift card churning much easier going forward. The Walmart app has a feature that allows you to scan and store your receipts! If you’re a heavy gift card churner, chances are you end up with a stash of receipts that you can’t get rid of until your money order deposit or bill payment clears. This is a convenient way to keep track of receipts without handling paper.

4. Google Map for Android

Lately, I find myself questioning why I’m so loyal to Apple when Android phones seem to have all the best features. Oh that’s right: I’m a late adapter and I hate change. But one thing that does make me wish I had an Android phone sometimes is the Google Map app. The Android version has a feature that makes mapping out a manufactured spending route much easier. All you have to do is enter a destination, then indicate the stores you’re looking for along that route (i.e. CVS, Walmart). This makes it much easier to figure out an efficient route if you’re stopping at multiple stores. 

These have been some of the most useful mobile apps I’ve used to keep track of my manufactured spending activities. if there are any apps you think are worth mentioning, please share in the comment section.

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  1. Hi Ariana – Is there a reason you don’t use BOFA for MO deposits anymore?

    • I still do occasionally, but I’m trying to keep my ms and banking activities separate in case of a shutdown.

      • My buddy who works as a PB at BOFA in the Bay Area said that he hasn’t seen many shut downs re: ML suspcion for MO deposits… he said the majority of red flags for deposits are related to cash. I don’t know if that fits in the context of what WE do, but just wanted to put that out there… not sure if it’s enough to change your opinion/behavior – I’m still on the fence as well but at least its positive feedback rather than negative.

        • Thanks Raymond, that’s good to know. I think I’ll continue to be careful with Bofa just in case things change. WF is also more convenient for me because the ATM is inside the Safeway I frequent so often.

  2. I have had luck with my MO deposits at WFB via the mobile app. The amount does not get picked up so I have to key it in, just as I do at the ATM. But, the mobile app deposits have always gone through.
    The Android Google map sounds great… but I, too, am an iPhone girl for now.

    • I have to do the same at ATM machines – the amount almost never gets picked up. When I’m on a route with my sister, who has an Android phone, Google Maps makes it infinitely easier to get around.

  3. Ariana not related to this post and maybe you already know this but just FYI Staples has a $20 weekly ad rebate on >300 visa gift card purchases this week, I did it today. Apparently Bed Bath Beyond has a rebate deal too (also through blackhawk) for >200

  4. Ariana – Google maps for iPhone now offers the search features you’re looking for.

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