The symbiosis w/ cards & Delta + be a pig, not a hog w/ MS spending!

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An example of symbiosis: the ant protects the aphids and harvests their sugary excretion from

Oh to live in interesting times. I am not a huge MS’er. What is MS? Very simple, manufactured spending, that is buying something, often a gift card, reaping the points and cashing out at either no fee or as low a fee as possible.

I am by nature a cautious fellow. I got burned, as I shared at the Chicago Seminars, adding a bunch of users to some certain cards to gain ½ million points and then got FR’ed (I did not comply and still am with that bank to this day – something I only share off-line).

You see, like my example of the ant above, if you treat the aphid in a good way you can get a treat. What treat?

pig nose

All of this has taught me to meet my goals and not go HOG wild since pigs are the ones that get fat and happy (yeah I know I need to lose some weight, but that is not the point today). The point is, we want to give back or at least look like we are giving back. We need to be valued and if possible fly under the radar.

This is a good time of the year to look at the upcoming MQD exempt spend number of $25,000. I have been yelling how I can knock it out in January of 2015. Last year I got it done in two-ish months. I may slow down and do the same and draw it out over 2-3 months as Delta has promised the MQD exempt spend will be around for at least all of next year = no need to rush. My normal spend on my Delta card each month is about 10k-20k so no need to ramp it up just to rush a goal that I have 12 months to meet.

And that is the point of this post. When I am spending I mix it up as I have often said before. I, during my spend period, give up higher percentage deals back to have all kinds of spend on my Delta cards so that I am “giving back” that is not just all one kind of spend one place or a pattern that could get me in trouble or banned from things as we have seen two warnings from HERE and HERE this past week from my fellow bloggers. Getting shut down is something we never want to see happen – ever! I even go to the point of not directly paying my CC from BB; I send those funds to another link of credit I have and then use that to pay off the CC. This may be extreme and over cautious but I do NOT want the most simple way to meet spend to go away.

If all of this is gibberish to you, don’t worry, the post does not really concern you anyway. If you do understand please think about your goals. My goal is being MQD exempt and then reaping MAX MQMs each year (as well as Skymiles next year when they are more scarce). Again, I am willing to forgo some higher yields to meet my goals as those rewards are worth MUCH more to me than most other yields. You should do that same when it comes to what your travel goals are each year. – René

PS – don’t forget to enter my SWAG Saturday ending today!




  1. How does someone charge $20,000 a month, unless you’re buying $20,000 of gift cards and using that for every day purchases.

  2. @Reader – Some of us have business and buy things and parts for the business etc. Also, I have some other personal ways to make spend other can not replicate so I don’t blog about that. Then, as in the linked post, there are many things like taxes and other things I have to pay for each month anyway so why not help meet spend on a card even if it cost me a little bit. There are many ways and as I said I am NOT spending 20k each month, some months 10 some month up to 20 range. – PS I approved this comment but posting a comment with a fake email is against my T&C and will get it dumped into spam.

  3. It is possible to spend 10-20K a month or more by using the card for personal and business travel as well as expenses. I have yet to do the manufactured spend because I was about to try last year and the product I was going to use was discontinued. I have thought of trying the amex blue via walmart and buying cards on my other amex to load but have not. But I hit the $60k spend by May/June each year.
    Please post without my name or change it so I dont get nailed by amex

  4. There are loads of ways to spend $20k in a week. Property tax and income tax bills, cruise payments, partial purchase of a car, buying large quantities of deeply discounted vendor gift cards for use at college, to prepay cellphone service or to resell and etc.

  5. I’m not that familiar with swine, so what’s the difference between a pig and a hog anyway??

  6. @Robert – To get MAX MQM bonus. You get 15k at 30k spend and again at 60k. After that, not much point in spend so move to card #2. I am all about the MQMs.

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