Manufactured Spending

Looking Back: Using The Post Office For Manufactured Spending + Your Favorite Methods

There have been a lot of methods of manufactured spending that have been burned. One that you may not have heard of was by using the Post Office. What are your favorite methods that are no longer available?

This has been a hard year (last several months, really) for the fun of generating miles and points with manufactured spending. We have seen the closure of the Redbird at Target (last year), we had many/most Bluebird/Serve accounts shut down this year for manufactured spending (their term for it), we had the Citi accounts no longer allowing funding with credit cards, and we have Chase tightening the noose for card churners. And this is just a couple/few months.

Looking Back: Using The Post Office For Manufactured Spending

But, when you look back, there have been a lot of great deals that have come and gone. The US Mint used to be a gem of a miles/points generator and some people made an absolute killing with it. Using Vanilla Reload was a great and effective way to do it while practically sitting at home and many other methods that have died.

One that I never got in on (was shut down before I even heard about it) was using the Post Office for manufactured spending. I used to do some bulk mailings and we always had to fill our accounts with check in the business mail unit. From that account, they would draw the postage required to do our mailings. We could do it online as well but it also had to be from a checking/savings account.

One of my visits there, I mentioned to a guy that knew me “it sure would be much easier if you just took a credit card!” He said they used to but they started having problems “with people that would do it for miles and points and stuff.” I asked him about it and he said people would load their business accounts (simple and easy to get) with credit cards and then request the money back and it would be issued by cash or check. People were doing this by the tens and thousands each month! Since the PO was picking up the credit card transaction fee, the customer was not paying a dime for any of this and miles and points were being generated for free (for the customer) and quickly and easily. It required a simple trip to the PO (some people even did it online) and then a request to have the money withdrawn.

A few years after that, I met someone who had been doing it. He said it was the easiest thing he ever did for miles and points. He earned tens of thousands of miles per month and well over a million miles using this before it was shut down. He said it barely took any time at all and he always had his money back before the credit card was due.

Did you ever take advantage of this form of manufactured spending? What were your favorite methods that are no longer available? 


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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • You could do the same thing if you were to buy and return at Nordstrom, but that seems unethical to me. What does this sentence mean, ” I used to do some bulk mailings and we always had to fill our accounts with check in the business mail unit.”?

    • When you do bulk mailings through the PO, you had a special section of the PO to go to (bigger POS anyway) and you had to pay with check for the mailings you wanted to do. You could put as much money in as you wanted, which is why I had wondered about doing it with a credit card.

  • There used to be something called ups method discussed on dansdeals where ppl were able to easily meet spending requirement for Amex platinum in a few swipes on a credit card machine on ups trucks. No one would discuss details. I wonder if this is it.