Unleash your manufactured spend: updates

In my week-long series last month on using Walmart's bill pay service to manufacture miles and points (Unleash your manufactured spend with Walmart Billpay), I discussed my own plan to use that technique to double my manufactured spend. In Part 4, I discussed buying gift cards at grocery stores with credit cards that bonus that spend, and using those gift cards to load my Bluebird and Gobank accounts at Walmart registers. Meanwhile, I planned to use my unlimited access to Vanilla Reload Network reload cards to load my 3 MyVanilla Debit cards, which I would use for billpay at Walmart.

Unfortunately, that plan was short-circuited on two fronts. First of all, as I reported here, Gobank finally got around to closing my account, which eliminated that option for liquidating grocery store gift cards and Visa Buxx cards for free.

Then just last week, on my regular walk through my local chain grocery store, I was told that they had started accepting only cash for Visa gift card purchases. I think it probably hasn't been hard-coded into the registers they use, but if the new policy is consistently enforced it will radically decrease the convenience of buying those gift cards.

On the positive side, I've had ongoing success paying off my credit cards using MyVanilla Debit cards at Walmart. While there have been reports of MyVanilla Debit cards being closed for suspicious or excessive loading and unloading patterns, I've been able to load and unload $1,000 per week on all three of my cards without any trouble at all. I keep each individual payment below the $2,000 level which has caused problems at some stores. Hopefully that volume keeps me below the radar and I'll be able to continue to take advantage of this technique.