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If you didn’t know, the underwear factor refers to manufactured spending techniques that can be completed at home, in your underwear. I believe the phrase was originally quoted by Matt from Saverocity and I must say, I’ve really taken it to heart.
As you know, I am not a fan of Walmart, I don’t enjoy being denied the ability to buy gift cards, and I dislike wearing clothes. Well, that last point isn’t entirely true, but the idea of doing all my manufactured spending at home is a beautiful thing. Do all of my MS methods have the underwear factor? No. As of right now, underwear-methods are not near as profitable as clothes-methods are, but a man can dream can’t he!
Hit the break to explore manufactured spending in your skivvies,
First, it eliminates the need to leave the house. That not only saves gas, but it also saves time and it’s usually more relaxing than heading in-store. Second, it’s freeing and gives you the ability to multi-task. You can’t make ramen noodles, while singing Taylor Swift songs, and manufacture points all at the same time in Walmart. However, I can tell you first hand that that is *completely
acceptable possible in my house!
*As long as my wife isn’t home, she extremely dislikes T-Swift.
I’ve heard of people wearing much less to Walmart, so that’s up to you. Really though, that depends on your manufactured spending preferences. If you only want to MS at your house, have at it. Certain at-home methods can be pushed quite far, however, they require much more float than in-store methods.
I personally would love to solely MS at home, but certain in-store methods (money orders) work very well for me. I do try to maximize my at home manufacture spending though, to reduce the amount of time I have to spend at the store.
Buying Gift Cards
You can buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gift cards completely online with decent fees. These gift cards will not earn you extra points from reward categories, but they can earn you portal bonuses, which is usually quite profitable. For example, at the time of this writing TopCashBack is offering 3% cash back on American Express gift cards. In addition to that, TCB is also offering 2% cash back at giftcardmall.com, where you can purchase Visa gift cards.
The next step is to liquidate these gift cards…
Evolve Money is an online bill payment system that you can use to unload your gift/prepaid cards. This isn’t a very scalable manufactured spending method, since you cannot pay credit cards. However, it’s a great way to earn points while paying bills that needed to be paid anyway.
Amazon Payments is an online payment system, but instead of paying companies, you pay friends. It’s free to use (even with a credit/gift/prepaid card), but you can only send $1,000 and receive $1,000 per calendar month. You need a social security number or tax ID number to sign-up, so you will need multiple people to use AP. If you have never heard of Amazon Payments, I suggest checking out this post.
Every calendar month you can load the regular Serve online with $1,000 via credit card and $1,000 via debit card. That’s an easy 1000+ points, $10 – $30, or 1000+ miles. The best part about it, is you can set Serve to auto add money from your cards every month. It’s extremely easy.
I’ve never used Kiva Loans, but in a nutshell it’s a website where you can loan money to someone who will eventually pay you back. The money you loan with can be funded from a credit card, which is where the MS method comes in. The reason I don’t use Kiva, is the risk and the float required. It can take weeks, months, or even years to get your money back. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this post by Doctor of Credit.
Visa Buxx can be loaded online with a credit card from the comfort of your home. There are no reward categories for Visa Buxx, so your stuck earning 1 – 2X (%), but it’s better than nothing. I find it easier to liquidate Visa Buxx via an ATM than Evolve, however, liquidating via Evolve would guarantee you the underwear factor.
Chime is similar to Visa Buxx, in terms of loading online, with stricter rules. You can only load with debit cards, not gift cards. So, the best way to earn cash back is with a Paypal Debit which earns 1% on loads.