a close up of a credit card reader
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I was once brought to task for being a hypocrite — saying I don’t see anything really wrong with skiplagging, while slating people who engage in manufactured spending.

People seemed to see them as some sort of equal level of naughtiness. I think that’s totally inaccurate and I think at this point in the world of digital finance, engaging in manufactured spending is just straight up dumb.

My only caveat: go for it, if you’re a cash rich retiree who owns their house outright and has money under the mattress, has seen the world and has already burned all their rewards points. But then of course, why would you ever bother?

I love how democratizing credit card rewards makes travel, but that will never mean that everyone gets to travel first class, every day. Here’s why manufactured spending makes less sense now than ever before.

a close up of a credit card reader

Opinion: Manufactured Spending Is Dumb

I remember the conference rooms back in the mid twenty teens.

I’d be speaking at a travel conference about maximizing loyalty programs or effective tricks to finding cheap flights, but if my session was up against someone talking about manufactured spending, using a loosely secretive title, I’d be talking largely to myself.

In that other room, it would be standing room only. Points had always been around, but they’d primarily been enjoyed by people with high levels of income, or big organic travel.

Manufactured spending, which is effectively the dark art of earning rewards through spending, without “actually” spending money was changing that for millions. Looking like you were spending money was enough to trigger thousands worth of rewards and all the first class travel you could eat.

Like any seriously addicting thing, this was no gateway drug. This was hardcore. People went berserk. There was a time when I almost cared enough to dive in. The reasons I didn’t then, are the same I don’t now. Yet all around me, the thirst for knowledge was growing like a cult.

So why don’t I see skiplagging and manufactured spending as equal? Skiplagging can get you put in the naughty corner with one airline, but manufactured spending can bring complete and total financial ruin not just for one, but for a family. Each passing day sees it happen more often.

Back in the day, I’d speak to people who were making a living of $50k a year, yet spending around $50k a month on their credit card and earning up to 250,000 points per month. How? They weren’t “actually” spending money.

The “juice” of all those points just required an utterly bizarre squeeze.

They’d swipe their rewards card, earn the points, then find a way to convert the things they just purchased in the swipe, typically gift cards, back into a cash like instrument to pay their bill. This could take hours, or even days.

They’d turn credit into real money, then pay off their credit card bills with real money, having earned huge points in the “wash”.

an airplane window with a view of the sky

A voice in my head always said “this is not sustainable” and “this won’t end well”. Plus, the same way credible travel bloggers always say “if you’re paying interest, you’re not earning miles for free”, I’d say spending hours of my free time to earn miles certainly also cuts into the miles “for free”. I value my time very highly.

For these hooked individuals, the pursuit of the juice meant a squeeze that required countless hours scouring entire states for certain gift cards or other items from shady corner stores, or finding fintech products that coded credit card purchases as debit. A new “hack” would come up and people would abuse it to the max, until it stopped.

Souring The Juice

People like to blame blogs for ruining the “glory days”, or taking the “ease” out of their beloved manufactured spend hobby. That’s a conflation based on timing.

Blogs grew as the data driven internet grew, and that rich data brought banks greater transaction detail and the ability to parse information from more sources. Risk became artificial intelligence. Data analysis did far more to start the downfall of this hobby than people sharing “secrets” on the internet.

Too Risky For Banks

Aside from the fears of lending significant amounts of money to people who would have little means to pay it back, like someone who makes $50k a year, but spends $50k a month on their card, banks also didn’t like drawing increasing inquiry from the IRS and FBI about the possibility of people using credit cards to launder money.

Whether they were or not, money launderers were the only people engaging in similar behaviors, so it was pretty logical to raise the flag, whether offside or not.

In a post terrorism and drug enforcement environment, that sort of thing wasn’t all a big joke to any parties involved, and banks certainly don’t need any unnecessary heat or bad headlines.

I didn’t take banks a very long time to start parsing out who actually had income and spent money, and who was just acting like it. Those who ripely abused the system are largely to thank for the “once per lifetime” bonuses we now see on cards.

This era also helped lead to some seriously irregular financial conversations, which got all parties to an increased level of alertness. Sometimes, for some, with the FBI.

Paying With Credit Card On Laptop

This Is Why Manufactured Spending Is Dumb

One of my secret, guilty pleasure hobbies is reading the comments of what they call “shutdown” posts. These are where banks have wised up to people engaging in any irregular activity with their cards, and people whine and bicker about their entirely logical account shutdowns.

The message boards of these issues are like an echo chamber, where everyone says their spending was “normal”, you know, just “a few thousand in grocery gift cards each month and some PayPal Key”, as if it’s all just “normal”. Or talking about how they only had 6 personal Amex Platinum Cards at max sign up bonus, not 10!

Who needs two?

I never hear anyone saying “well, I just lived my life and bought what I needed” — that never happens. To anyone not engaged in the hobby it’s just not normal. Getting the same credit card over and over again is not normal, either. You get it, you enjoy, you keep enjoying until it’s no longer useful, right?

Anyway, these increasingly frequent and regular account shutdowns are exactly why manufactured spending is dumb.

Unlike someone who might skip a flight segment, who could face losing their miles from the airline they annoyed (but almost never does), manufactured spenders face actual, real life financial ruin. It’s not just someone potentially taking one pot of airline miles.

Because many of the moves in this hobby also involve other people, such as a “P2” or a second player helping your earning, innocent people can get caught up and jammed.

Looking to get a mortgage? Good luck doing that after all your accounts are abruptly shutdown by the bank. Auto-finance? The same. Had plans to liquidate manufactured spending items, but credit card company shuts you down and wants the cash ASAP — good luck.

Or maybe even worse — find yourself in a tricky spot, where credit as its designed to work could provide the grace period needed for the rest of the finances to work out? That’s tough, when you no longer have access to credit products.

The juice isn’t worth the squeeze, if you ask me.

Sustainable Opportunities Exist

There has never-ever, in the history of credit card rewards, been larger welcome bonuses or higher multipliers on spending. People can travel like rockstars without making rockstar money. That, my friends, is incredible — and actually sustainable.

People hardly get out of bed for bonuses under 100,000 points these days and 5X is the new 2X for earning points. It may not add up to first class every day, as people in the manufactured spending game might think they deserve, but it can add up to many things which are wonderful.

The points might be might be helping to save enough cash to afford a trip at all, or securing an upgrade to make the trip more memorable. If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. And if points make your travel life better, they also can’t be that bad.

Credit card rewards were never meant to have someone who organically spends $1 million annually earning the same level of reward of someone who will take 20 years to earn that amount, let alone spend it.

Points have created such incredibly lucrative opportunities in travel for anyone who bothers to dive in with both feet. Like most things in life, people just get greedy.

If people spent as much time on the earning of actual money as they did on the amount of time it takes to tap into successful manufactured spending tactics, many probably wouldn’t need to bother. They’d be the employee of the month and up for a promotion.

All I can say is that my voyeuristic pleasure of watching “shutdown” posts is keeping me very busy these days. With each week, there are new reports of massive account shutdowns and sob stories of people who feel wronged.

If you’re impervious to the potential negatives of this bizarre habit, rock on rockstar. If not, I think manufactured spending is dumb and anyone doing it, should be prepared for what it brings. It’s not always first class!

There are just too many fair, equitable and sustainable opportunities out there in our heavily competitive banking and rewards environment for anyone who isn’t a narcissist to justify their insistence on how this hobby makes sense in a wholistic way.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. The idea of schlepping to WM or office stores to pick up gift cards for the MS hustle is so weird. Anytime someone boasts about it I secretly think “Ew”.
    Time for them to chime in “yeah but I got 14 1/2 zillion points” blah blah blah.
    But then my idea of fun runs more towards hanging with friends/family rather than driving and scheming and waiting in line and seeing who has what deal when. Not to mention the occasional freakout they have when they think they’ve made a mistake.
    Yup, I flipped Treasury bonds w/ my cc back when, but my ROI radar flashes red when MS pops up.
    Pigs get fast, hogs get slaughtered. And when they get slaughtered, I can’t look away.
    Someone who’s been at this game since Rick was shouting from the mountaintops that credit cards was the way to grab easy points.

    1. Yeah that’s pretty much where I am. ROI is low and risk is wild now. Points are becoming worth less (particularly hotel and airline miles) so I just struggle to understand the sacrifices being made to personal development, joy or career enhancement, all to justify chasing them in these ways when such easy and lucrative ways (getting great cards) exist.

      1. Not me. I MS heavily and am proud of it. I have ways of doing it from my living room. Not dumb at all.

  2. Thanks for the mention. Credit card sign ups are still the way to go , IF you pay your bills on time and in full each month. Yes I’ve been shutdown for multiple card apps but never MS activities. You’ve gotta be smart enough to read the posts and know where the danger areas are. PS stay away from MS on Amex

  3. “ROI is low”

    True for some but certainly not all. Depends on how you’re doing it.

    “Risk is wild now”

    Again, it depends on how you’re doing things. You certainly have to be more careful now but “wild” is not how I’d characterize it.

    “Points are becoming worth less”

    Thanks to inflation, 2% cash back has retained its value.

  4. I was an addict. Went to CVS constantly for Vanilla reloads back when Hilton points had value. So many trips to Office Depot and Walmart. I was lucky when I got left holding the bag as my Bluebird was shut down i was at my last $1k in gift cards. It could have happened while I was holding $20k. That’s when I realized I wasn’t just doing some hardcore MS, I was gambling. After my Bluebirds were all shut down, I was able to spend $1k in gift cards without an issue. And I haven’t manufactured a point since. I don’t think my travel enjoyment has suffered one bit using credit cards normally for points.

  5. So people who call amex biz sign ups, unluckily get connected to a slimey rep, get offered a great offer, and then SHUTDOWN. This wasthe cause of the most recent shutdowns. Were there people abusing it? Hell yeah, but a lot of innocent people got caught in Amex’s scattershot crackdown approach. It’s not just earlier this year Amex settled with the DOJ for it’s misleading phone sales practices to biz customers? Oh yeah… https://www.wsj.com/articles/amex-staff-misled-small-business-owners-to-boost-card-sign-ups-11583074800

  6. Not only is MS dumb but I’ve stated many times to others that I think it’s illegal and scamming the credit card companies. Also like you stated this looks like money laundering which can get you into criminal liability.

    Yes I have bought an occassional gift card at the grocery store along with my regular food purchases but I have NEVER bought multiple gift cards to cash them out.

    As you stated there are plenty of SUB offers in fact I have 1 upgrade in progress and 2 additional ones on existing cards that I will be doing in the next few weeks. All of these happen to be Amex offers that they solicited via email. I also have one for an Amex Business Platinum but I have avoided any business cards as I currently don’t have a side gig so have not tried to fake it.

    I agree that many of the shutdowns are probably people that have been cheating the system.

  7. As much as I enjoy the game of earning miles from scaling odd opportunities as a hobby I agree you could make more money with that same time. To me that isn’t the point. I agree 99% on MS it is too risky. I think events can pop up that are worthwhile but it’s mostly not worth it. I dipped my toe into MS a few years ago but just couldn’t see the major upside. I may be one of the few mile junkies left on the planet with a working Bluebird account that I look at and wonder what to do with it long term. As the devaluation of premium awards and falling quality of product continues I think just paying cash may be the future.

    1. This is a very logical take, in my opinion. And happy to report I also have a Bluebird still haha! I think all the positive trends are on the earning side, and the ease of redeeming points to cover some or all of the cost of a transaction. What’s lost in arbitrage value on the redemption side is being gained on the earning side, if you ask me.

  8. It is dumb to call manufactured spending dumb. It’s not dumb. It’s risky. I would like to have done in years past, however, all the points you brought up about the risks are correct. I’m in the game for the long haul. I also utilize credit for day to day living/business and credit rewards aren’t the only reason to have credit cards. There are some people who have a long history of successfully doing it and have expertise in the area. They have higher incomes and “businesses” for which they can spend money on business cards that don’t draw the same scrutiny from banks as banks understand revenue/costs versus profit for a business. A lot of the ms seems to be done with business cards.

    Nothing is certain with miles and points. A debit card like cap could eliminate them.

    1. Hi Jackson, I’d argue that people who have real expenses to run through businesses but who are smart enough to do so through credit cards, rather than unrewarding checking accounts aren’t manufactured spending at all. They’re just spending intelligently. I’m not quite sure what you mean by rewards not being the only reason to have cards, either?

      1. Having access to credit is another benefit of cards. Balance transfers offer cheap credit with 2%-3% fees being decent for unsecured credit. Margin loans certainly are advantageous like with the low rates at IB, but cards give more flexibility as there is no margin call risk. BTs dried up in 2020 but some banks are back 100% with existing card offers (zero from chase).

        Businesses definitely do put legitimate spend on cards and earn a lot of points but many of the big MSers in this miles and point community are into using Business cards for buying prepaid cards from Staples and the like. It’s their main avenue. They have a long history of making it work for them. Good for them. I couldn’t benefit from it enough to outweigh the risk of shutdowns. Why banks let MSing go on, I can’t answer that.

  9. A couple of points to consider. First, speaking of shutdowns, the most recent round of American Express shutdowns this month were related to applications for Business Platinum cards through a rogue American Express agent, and had nothing to do with MS activities. Extolling credit card signs-ups as a more legitimate way to accrue miles is fine, but there is also some shutdown risk involved and there are ethical grey areas. What about the situation where a bank constantly solicits new credit card applications through mailers and emails and other personalized offers, and a customer successfully takes advantage of such multiple offers or gets shutdown?
    Second, opining that MS is dumb and ethically questionable and a bizarre habit, whose practitioners are at best sacrificing joy/career development/personal development and at worst narcissistic – these are subjective views that are fine as far as they go. But many of the same claims can be applied just as easily to other related endeavors such as mileage running (hanging out at airports doesn’t really spread joy), travelling to Tokyo for a few days (climate change, etc.), or even any side hassle to earn extra money for family reasons.

  10. A very interesting article. There is one thing I would add though. Inflating your ORGANIC spend to get that shiny new welcome bonus carries more risk than achieving it through MS. Ending up with credit card debt while chasing a welcome bonus is all to common for beginners of this hobby.

  11. 100% disagree with this post. I’ve been MS’ing since 2014 and I have not run to a WM or Staples in YEARS. I couch MS and all your points (no pun intended) you bring up are not valid. I don’t think you’ve stayed relevant in MS’ing info. To each their own though.

    Ohh, and to suggest I’m lazy because I MS, give me a break. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard. Meanwhile I just got a big promotion this past summer and jumped up 4 levels. But sure, I guess I’m not a hard worker because I MS.

    The recent shutdowns were due to calling a rouge Amex agent and signing up for card that were never meant for them. Not due to MS’ing.

      1. What? I guess no response for my valid points?

        You state the following:
        “If people spent as much time on the earning of actual money as they did on the amount of time it takes to tap into successful manufactured spending tactics, many probably wouldn’t need to bother. They’d be the employee of the month and up for a promotion.”

        Do you even know what the point of manufactured spending is for? Myself and P2 signed up for a round of new cards. Over $50k in spending required in 3 months. No normal person can do that. It literally took me all of 2 minutes to manufacture spend $9k from my couch today at a 1% fee.

        Your statement above is completely irrelevant, because you’re saying that if I put as much time into MS’ing (2 minutes,) that I could be up for a promotion to earn the $50k I needed to charge in 3 months. Seriously? So if I spent 2 minutes today working harder at my real job, I will get this magical big promotion that makes me capable to earn a promotion that allows me to spend $50k on material items over the course of 3 months to earn the points organically.

        Honestly, you just sound like another jealous blogger that hasn’t ever been able to grasp manufactured spending. So instead you’re going to write a post and call us lazy and dumb and tell us to “worker harder for that next big promotion at work!” What a jerk thing to say.

        1. LOL. Do I, who witnessed the early days, the strange days and the current days of manufactured spend, and know virtually every method down to a scientific mechanism “know what manufactured spend is for?”

          Yes, I do. As long as it works for you, enjoy. Perhaps offers which require $50k in spend were intended for people who spend that. If, for some reason your mechanisms for converting credit into cash were to fail, would you be comfortable settling the balance? What if all your accounts were suddenly closed and payment in full was requested? Same story. Awful lot of risk.

          1. If you truly knew “ virtually every method down to a scientific mechanism”, you’d know there are methods with nothing to settle. Money straight from card to account, so you’re not stuck with anything if you get shutdown.

            I made six figures from MS last year. Cold hard cash, not just first class points. More than I made at my real job, in much less time, from my couch.

            Mortgages aren’t gonna be affected from a shutdown. No one is getting a mortgage from Amex, and probably shouldn’t be getting one from Chase. There’s far too many other banks out there with better rates.

            You can think MS in the traditional VGC to MO, or whatever other methods you think you know are dumb, but there’s a whole other world out there that’s insanely profitable, and worth whatever risk you think there is with the banks.

          2. You do not understand risk. Risk is the likelihood times the severity. Neither is high. I’ve had bank accounts closed. Just open a new one. I’ve had Chase shut me down, I convinced them to reverse it. Never had any other credit account closures and I’m doing a ton of MS.
            If the cc account does close and demand payment, so what? I liquidate often and easily. I have many outlets for this.
            You sound like someone who pretends to know the game but doesn’t. At least by these foolish reasonings. Perhaps you’re simply not informed or creative enough in your liquidation methods?
            I dunno but risk is not a reason to not MS.
            The only valid reason I’ve heard for not doing it is it is out of someone’s comfort level. I understand that one. But risk and not lucrative? Tells me people don’t know the game.

          3. This, which you think is a justification, is a glowing endorsement of all my points. I think the echo chamber for comments like this, which they feel are normal!

          4. The more you talk Dilbert, it becomes apparent the less you know. Now I know why I don’t read this blog. I came here from a link, probably the only traffic you get.

  12. I wouldn’t go as far as calling MS dumb, but I agree the ROI is low, and it’s not the wisest way for most people to use their time. They can usually find something else with higher ROI.
    I did MS with the $1 coins, when the legendary Rick was one of the few bloggers around, and even attended the very first Chicago DO. During the Bluebird era, I followed the flow and bought GCs. Then one day after a disappointing day when many WM kiosks that still sold money orders broke down, I sat down and calculated the ROI. That’s when I realized it’s not worth it. I should have spent the time doing side jobs. The legit business expenses would have earned me more miles and points than MS, on top of the revenue I would have generated. That would also avoid the ever increasing crackdown and shutdowns. So I started my own business. 1.5 years later, I quitted my full time job and worked on my now full time business. I make more now, earn more miles and points by paying business expenses using credit cards, have a much more flexible schedule being self-employed, have business travel expenses are tax deductible, have legit business expenses (and tax returns) to open business credit cards for SUB, and when I am done with all these, I can even sell the business.

  13. I fit the profile of those who can MS (retired, own my house, have traveled the world extensively) so guess I’m okay to dabble? TBH, the occasional run to a shady corner store reminds me how very fortunate I am-and gives me the chance to chat with a fellow football fan. So making $21 and getting a perspective adjustment in 20 minutes isn’t a bad utilization of my time.

  14. We are in the top 1% income earners and I still MS.

    There is still incredible value, with some risk. I’m willing to bet that most people reading this article, if someone came up to them and said, here’s $50,000 cash, but you can never have an Amex card again, they’d jump at it.

  15. If you have an easy and reliable liquidation option available (I don’t) and don’t value your time too much, MS can make sense from an hourly rate perspective. However, it’s still nothing more than arbitrage. Arbitrage opportunities are transient, they go away in most markets because everyone wants risk free profit. I’m somewhat surprised that MS hasn’t completely been killed yet, but it’s getting harder from what I understand.

    However, one thing I’ll disagree with: I think most MSers aren’t doing it to travel in first class, they are mostly just cashing out. This is the problem I have with MS. If you’re doing it for cash, then it’s basically your job, or second job. In my opinion it is a really poor use of your time long term.
    You’re not learning any job skills, not moving up, and from a deeper perspective, you’re not doing anything good for mankind. You’re not producing anything, creating anything, providing a service, or helping anyone, you’re just basically stealing money from a bank in exchange for menial labor, and wasting energy in the process.

  16. Once I got a good explanation of what MS was (and it took a while to get someone to explain the “secret” to me), I said nuh-uh, not for me, for two reasons. The first is it’s just a short-term loan and I wasn’t, and still am not, in a position to absorb the hit if I got stuck with funds tied up in instruments that cannot be easily & quickly accessed.

    The second was that people DID (and many still do) think of it as a secret, a loophole, and were afraid of the loophole being closed if it got noised about too much. “I’ll let you in on the secret but you can’t share it with others because if the secret gets out we can’t use it any more” is too close to a scam for my sensibilities.

    If someone has the wherewithal to tie up their funds and weather the consequences if their liquidating mechanism goes awry, bully for them. Have at, and I won’t try to dissuade them. But it’s not for me, and shouldn’t be for anyone who doesn’t have that wherewithal. It’s worth noting that the threshold of wherewithal will vary from person to person, and it’s up to that person to decide where their threshold is.

    I won’t feel bad for someone who set their threshold too low and got caught, though.

  17. I wonder if we are about to see an uptick in MS with the changes at AA. A couple of airlines already have an opportunity for you to gain qualifying miles through spend but never enough to gain status but AA will change some thinking and some behavior…….

  18. My take away from reading this article:

    1) you dont understand MS
    2) you dont understand ROI
    3)please continue spewing the narrative that MS is not worth the time.

  19. Gilbert, you sound like a person who is angry that the guy who works at Walmart has found a way to sit next to you in the first class cabin.

    You’d like for MS to go away so that those folks beneath you can take their rightful place in the back of the plane.

    You hate that folks are taking up your space in the Centurion Lounge by way of an Amex Platinum card that you think they shouldn’t have because all they do is spend time MSing when they should be in the kitchen of the local steak house putting your meal together.

    You hate that the Group 1 boarding strut that you used to take with your Diamond Medallion and Executive Platinum buddies are now shared with folks who spent less than 5 hours MSing and are now boarding with you.

    I can read between all of your whining and the takeaway is, you think folks should earn points and miles they way you do. SORRY, you don’t get to make the rules.

    You admit to sitting back and enjoying some good “shutdown” reading. That makes me giggle. You sound like the guy who is angry inside because the hot girl picked the jock and you think she should have chose you because after all, you’re smart and you work hard.

    Not everyone wants to spend 12 hours a day at a job just to be able to afford a nice trip every now and again. Some would rather work 8 which is enough to pay their bills and put a little away for retirement AND STILL take the same vacations you do with only a couple of hours extra (and at their leisure) of MSing.

    So you keep enjoying that Orville Redenbacher as you sit back and read of these shutdowns and we’ll continue to do what we do and if we get caught up in a shutdown we’ll just keep adding additional players and carry on.

    Until then, I’ll see you and your gate lice buddies who stand and block the boarding lane 20 minutes prior to boarding call to ensure you get to take that strut down first, at the airport.

    I’ll be the guy across from you, who spent a couple hours in the evening earning points and miles and will be flying for a total of $5.60 each way while you hold your head up high in judgement of us for not grinding until the wee hours of the night at a job we hate with a boss I can’t stand.

    Also, I’ll try to be polite and not crunch too loud as I’m eating whatever snack I brought on board from the Centurion Lounge…you know, that place that you couldn’t get into because it’s crowded with to many Platinum card holders like myself.

    1. Omg, it’s like you see into my soul and know so much about me, and my love of Orville Redenbacher (wtf?). I hope this was as entertaining for you to write as it was for me to read. Your points couldn’t be further off base, I absolutely love the democratization of travel via points (I wrote it in the article). You clearly have a wild imagination.

  20. “Sustainable Opportunities Exist

    Credit card rewards were never meant to have someone who organically spends $1 million annually earning the same level of reward of someone who will take 20 years to earn that amount, let alone spend it.”

    This is a true statement Sir, CC rewards were NEVER designed to make money for customers, (they were designed to make money for banks)!!

    I’m fascinated by the concept that churning sign-up bonuses vs. MS* is more “Sustainable” long term, (since the card churners probably probably cost the banks more money than manufactured spenders),, LOL…

  21. You’re seemingly not against capitalism, but then you say:
    “Credit card rewards were never meant to have someone who organically spends $1 million annually earning the same level of reward of someone who will take 20 years to earn that amount, let alone spend it.”

    So only those with organic wealth should merit these substantial benefits? You don’t consider the behavior of when Bezos and Gates move a billion here or there exploiting derivative loopholes that only really payout at high volume, is basically the same as small fries MSing? Banks are in the business of making mass wealth from their wealth — they mostly don’t make or do anything valuable to society.

    MSing is a job or at least a jobby, people put in real time, take real financial risks, are strategic and you need to have control and agility to manage it all. Isn’t that what the capitalist business world does every day?

    You giggle at people getting shut down by Amex. Do you also giggle when people get evicted, their homes foreclosed because they were sold an immoral variable rate mortgage and your world goes south?

    We’re all trying to make a life in this world. I may not want to be you and live out your hustle, but we each have our own.

    I say all this as someone who has never MSed at any large scale (I’ll buy a few $200 visas when on sale if it’s convenient for me to easily flip).

    1. Dilbert is getting killed in the comment section and his only response is “echo chamber”. It took me a while to realize we are trying to educate a 10 year old!

      1. 34, but good guess. Do you think I care what anonymous chodes on the internet have to say in a comments section? It’s all business, anonymous username person!

  22. I agree, I think MS is dumb, I think it’s a waste of time. For the people who say they’re the top 1% or the top 1% of the top 1% and still MS, I say why would you do that, go get another hobby, travel somewhere, do something else with your life. I’ve done it before. Hated schlepping around here and there , buying this, selling that, settling and tracking accounts. But to each their own, I still think it’s dumb. But you guys do whatever, attack and name call whoever doesn’t agree with you. Keep on keeping on being lame.

  23. MS helps me gain access to premium flight seats and hotels without having high income or needing to travel work, so I’m just gonna continue doing what I’m doing despite the aggravation of rich/OPM flyers who are angry that schlep like me can access the same premium cabins/hotels and compete for award space

    1. No one is angry that miles democratize travel. Certainly not someone who makes a living from the dream of miles. This was just a warning that people put their financial livelihoods at risk in pursuit, and that can be dumb.

  24. Gilbert, I am from Malaysia and will continue to MS + Business Organic Spend so that my dream of flying premium cabins can be within my reach. But I do agree that MS will bring a lot of financial risks, therefore for MS-ers, we should be smart about it so that it wouldn’t tangle us up. Isn’t buying BitCoin or Stocks as risky as MS? but people still do it 🙂

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