cash back

Introduction to Manufactured Spending

Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio

Manufactured spending can be defined as spending money without actually spending money. In other words, the credit card company thinks that you have spent the money, but you have not actually spent any cash, as the money was simply transferred to  another form of currency. Manufactured spending is most often used to obtain credit card reward points, either through regular rewards when spending, or bonuses after hitting a certain amount of spending within a time frame.

For example, one form of manufactured spending has been to send money to another party through Amazon payments. When this occurs, the amount will be charged to your credit card, and the money will be made available to the party of your choosing. This is applicable to manufactured spending, as you can simply send the money to a friend, have the friend write you a check for the amount of the spend, and then this money can be applied to the credit card that was used to send the money using Amazon payments. All in all, this results in $1,000 in spending on your credit card without much work at all.

Manufactured spending can be used to hit sign-up bonuses for credit cards that would be out of the range of your regular expenses. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred often has a bonus of 40,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Even if you don’t have enough expenses to reach this spending amount in the time period, manufactured spending can help you reach this goal and you can obtain this lucrative bonus, which is worth upwards of $500 in travel rewards. See this post for some common manufactured spending techniques.

Overall, with some creativity and planning of purchasing, along with manufactured spending, you can be on your way to rewards in the form of free all inclusive travel and cash back.

 

Sign Up – Raise

Raise is a service where you can buy and sell merchant gift cards. I recently had luck selling the gift card that I earned through the purchase of a TV through dell.com. It was an easy way to make $100 on a $125 gift card that I would not have used otherwise.

Sign-up through this link to get $5 of free credit through the website.

Sign Up – Raise.

How to Take Advantage of Cash Back and Discount Websites to Receive Goods for the Lowest Possible Price

By taking advantage of cash back and discount websites, you can receive good for tremendously low prices. As I am in the process of moving into a new apartment, I am in need for a moderately sized television for the living room of the new space. As the move is about a month away, I have recently started the process of searching the internet for deals that would be the most beneficial. The following is my step by step process to receive the best deal possible on an item.

1. Set Up Alert On Price Monitoring Site – Amount saved: $100
Process: This is a crucial part of the process, and is the reason why this process can’t be rushed. The purpose of using a price monitoring site is to find the best possible price of an item, not just at a given point in time, but for the life of the product. This would be very cumbersome if you had to do it manually, and I wouldn’t even know where to start. The site that I like to use for this process is slickdeals.net. This website allows you to set “deal alerts” for specific products or even categories of products and let you know of any deals that are occurring within that product or category. In addition, there is a ranking assigned to the deal, so that you can set up an alert so that only the best deals are noted. As deals are posted to the very extensive forum, you are alerted by email, text, or other forms of communication that the deal is going. Although this is an indirect form of price monitoring, the members of the forum do a great job of alerting the forum to deals as they occur, and I have come across some fantastic bargains through the site.

Example: In my case, as I was interested in flat screen televisions, I set up an alert on slickdeals that sent an email I’m any instance where a deal hit the front page related to HDTV’s. In this case, I set the alert to send deals with 4/5 thumbs up, which indicated a very good deal. For this particular tv, the usual selling price is in the 400+ range, but there is a special going on that brings the tv down to $299. This is where the real fun starts, as the cash back percentage is dependent upon this price.

2. Take advantage of any store specific rebates or discounts Amount saved $100
As mentioned in 10 Easy Ways You Can Save Money Today, one of the best ways you can save money is by taking advantage of coupon sites. Once you have figured out what site is going to give you the lowest price on the item, you need to take into account any discounts or rebates that are offered by the store. These can be percentage discounts off specific items or rebates that are given in the form of discounts in exchange for purchase, and will save you easy money for little effort. Some sites, like Amazon, will also offer free shipping. One of my favorite tools to discover these kinds of deal is retailmenot.com. Befrugal is also a great resource. This is an online website but is also an iPhone and android app. You simply type in a store and it outputs the current deals that are ongoing. There have been numerous instances where I have been standing in line to purchase and item and have pulled up a 10% discount to be used at the register.
Example: For this purchase, dell, the site where I purchased the tv, was offering a rebate in the form of a gift card on purchases of televisions in the amount of $120. This was a great deal because even if I wasn’t in need of the gift card, I could sell it on various online gift card exchange sites that are abundant these days. My favorite gift card exchange site is giftcardgranny.com, which is a gift card exchange site aggregator, which means that it rounds up deals from the various gift card sites. This allows you to get the most out of your mooney. Even if I am able to get 75% value for the gift car by selling on the site, this will result in $90 in my pocket.
3. Use payment specific discounts to receive additional cash back Amounts saved $30
Once you have taken advantage of the store specific discount to get the purchase price as low as possible, it is time to focus on how you are going to pay for the item. You may think that the choice is pretty simple, credit or debit card, right? That is not the case. There is an additional layer of savings that you can build onto your purchase, and that is lowering the actual cash outlay of your payment method. This can be accomplished many ways, including cash back portals, credit card reward sites, and even cash back from a credit card. The purchase can also go towards earning sign-up bonuses, for cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Example: In my example, due to having multiple credit cards at any given time, there is usually an offer on the website that will yield a percentage back just by going through the cards’s website link to the store. In my case, you don’t even have to use the specific card that the website is for. It just so happens that Discover, of which I have the fabulous IT card, was offering 10% off any purchase at the Dell website. By going to the discover portal and clicking on the Dell store, I would recieve 10% cash back, just like that. This was is a tremendously easy way to get cash back with just a few seconds of work.

Summary: Overall, using the three ways noted above, setting up alerts on price monitoring sites, taking advantage of store specific discounts, and using payment specific discounts to receive additional cash back, I was able to lower the price of the HDTV that I purchased from a $400 to about $170 when all is said and done. Using these techniques can result in hundreds of dollars of savings on almost any item that you can imagine, and help you stay within your budgeting goals.

Cash Back Rewards at Befrugal.com

Morning! If you are a frequent online shopper, you have most likely heard of shopping portals, but if you have not, here is a refresher. Cash back portals are websites that offer discounts on stores simply by going to the portal and then clicking a link to the site where you are making the purchase. After making a purchase, the portal will then give you back a percentage of the sale. This is a no brainer for any type of online purchase as it takes seconds and can often lead to 5-10% off for little effort.

BeFrugal.com
One of my favorite portals at the moment is befrugal.com. Make sure to sign up to take advantage of these discounts. This site offers not only cash back through the portal, but also provides various coupon codes for instant cash back. For example, at the moment the site is offering cash back at Wal-Mart of 4% along with free shipping on orders over $50. This is a great opportunity to get cash back on regular purchases that are made on a daily basis. In addition, this website offers American Express Gift Cards, which can be purchased at a 3% discount rate. These can essentially be treated like cash, so this is a great way to achieve discounts on almost any purchase.

Overall, portals provide a great way to receive additional cash back on items that you are purchasing online. There is very little time commitment and redemption is very simple. Happy shopping!

Amazon Payments Removing Free $1,000 Monthly Transfers | The Points Guy

This is a very disappointing development, as Amazon Payments could be used to send up to $1,000 per month to a friend on a credit card for free. There is no doubt, however, that there will be other methods of sending money that will pop up.

Amazon Payments Removing Free $1,000 Monthly Transfers | The Points Guy.