Where Do You Manufacture Spend? – Results & Analysis

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Manufactured Spending Poll Results
Photo by 401(K) 2012

Where Do You Manufacture Spend

Last week I talked a little about the concept of manufactured spending being local. As I mentioned, people are always telling me how it is dying off and how there simply aren’t many avenues left to manufacture spend.

Certainly we have lost a lot of methods of manufactured spend. Among the most popular are:

But we also gained a few really cool methods, most notably REDbird. While REDbird probably won’t last past this year, it has made the art of manufacturing spend easier than ever. But of course there are so many other ways to go as well.

Manufactured Spending Poll Results

In an effort to show you how diversified manufactured spending is, I put up a poll last week asking people where they manufacture the majority of their spend. Over 2,000 people read the article, however only 191 people voted in the poll. Here are the results:

Where do you manufacture the majority of your spend?

  • Grocery stores (37%, 70 Votes)
  • Big box stores (23%, 43 Votes)
  • Other (16%, 31 Votes)
  • Malls (13%, 25 Votes)
  • Drug stores (8%, 15 Votes)
  • Gas stations (4%, 7 Votes)

People love to manufacture spend at grocery stores! Photo by Chris Billman.
People love to manufacture spend at grocery stores! (Wonder if they have MS in China?) Photo by Chris Billman.


As you can see, grocery stores are still the most popular way to manufacture spend and I can tell you why. Every town/city has multiple chains vying for business and most sell gift cards with credit cards. If one store stops selling, there are two or three others ready to step in. There are also quite a few credit cards with category bonuses at grocery stores.

No matter what you take from the poll, it does show that people are utilizing many different avenues to manufacture spend. Aside from REDbird, these days it may take a little more effort to manufacture spend, but there really are a ton of opportunities out there.


Sometimes people get mad at me for posts like this. They accuse me of encouraging people to get into this hobby which they argue ruins everything. I actually think I am doing the opposite. I want people to get into the hobby, but I also want them to learn how to figure things out for themselves. Having new people with fresh minds in this hobby will no doubt lead to the discovery of more awesome ways to manufacture spend!

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  1. I have to MS $20K in three months for my Amex Platinum card.

    I have enough RB and Amex for Target to do this (three in total) but am worried that too many charges at Target would raise a red flag at Amex.

    Any thoughts on how I can diversify. A few people already suggested that I spread out my Target loads by charging other expenses in between and also don’t do loads of round numbers.

  2. I like Serve better than Redbird because I have more WMs and NMs than Targets. I have one RB though, since I like to get the 5% discount stacked with CW and TGT printables.

    Shawn, haters will always be there, many of them are those who don’t want others to know about MS once they’re in. They’re like those in ‘secret boards’ that throw a fit once their little secrets are leaked by bloggers; they make members take an oath that they will not leak nor steal their info before they are let in the next level. Its ironic though, because ‘new’ find that members posts there come from other boards, even FT. LOL

  3. I still like Bluebird. Yes it’s a pain to go to Staples get the card, pay the fee and I know it’s a real pain to load at Walmart.. but getting 5x UR for Staples purchase.. plus ability to write a check with Bluebird is a huge plus.

    Lot of small business I deal with do not accept credit card as a form of payment so Bluebird comes in handy. Now if Walmart would just get the Kates to work.. it’d be easier.

    • @Juno – I totally agree! I still like Bluebird the best because of the check-writing. Yes, loading @ Walmart is a pain, plus the problems with Kate, but nothing beats just writing a check to yourself for your BB balance.

  4. Just shut up about MS. Why do you think all those easy methods died? And why do new methods die ever-faster? Because guys like you can’t control yourselves because you’re so greedy/eager to get readers and “monetize”.

    The pimps pushing plastic are less of a problem – they may be ripping off their readers, but they aren’t out there blathering about how to do MS most of the time.

  5. Is the Target Redcard being called Redbird as a gag (for lack of a better word). I just sent my nephew to a target in Pittsburgh for me bc I can’t find them in NJ and he called me in a panic saying their are no “Redbird” cards.

  6. Stop on the Wally World Bashing! No other place in America better captures the spirit of Emma Lazarus:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

    • @AlohaDaveKennedy, your Emma Lazarus reference LITERALLY made me LOL. (I didn’t literally ROFL though). Thanks for the laugh.

  7. I’m not sure I agree that RedBird will simply stop this year. The ability to load with a CC might cease, but using VGC’s and AMEX GC’s will likely last.
    As long as I can avoid Wally World MS’ing is much less painful.

  8. Kudos to you.

    The key is introducing people to be responsible.

    The other a-hole bloggers just pimp credit cards day and night. Then the imbeciles with little discretion go to Walmart and scream at the cashiers for not letting them use their prepaid gift cards that are still in the package.


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