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  1. leedspaddy

    M$ speed bumps

    Can someone share their experience if any of using Giftcardmall.com or simongiftcardmall.com? So I am finding that my local grocery chain is taking longer and longer to fill their GC displays with new $500 VGC when they run out despite me reminding them. I have found myself certainly in the last week, travelling further distances just to meet my VGC purchase goals as this grocery chain is the only store that I know of in my state that allows you to buy VGCs with a credit card but even they have now changed things where they only allow the purchase of $1000 in VGCs in technically one visit which sucks considering I use to get 2 or 3K previously. So I just discovered that the nearest mall to me that I honestly rarely go to because I do 95% of my shopping online is a simon mall. Are Simon malls still a good option for purchasing the $500 VGCs from and if yes do they allow you to purchase with a credit card and what if any is the limit they will allow you to buy at one visit? This brings me to the online sites........the major drawback for me is that they are listing shipping times up to a couple of weeks which doesn't really work for me by itself but I could include it in addition to my other VGCs purchases at the grocery chain. Do they have a limit on how much you can buy in one transaction......I mean would a SAR likely be filed if I tried to buy say 5K in one transaction each a week?. I would much rather just fill out whatever information they require than leave it to fate as to whether a SAR is filed. Any first hand knowledge on Simon malls or the online sites would be greatly appreciated....thanks
  2. So I was thinking of applying for the Paypal rewards card with Sychrony or the amazon rewards card with Chase as I do regular shopping on Ebay and Amazon. When it comes to Paypal, I already have 2 accounts with Synchrony............one with Lowes at 17K and one with Amazon at 10K. If I was approved I would expect a low limit before having to recon. If after recon they still don't increase the limit is synchrony one of those banks that would move limits around....I mean I barely use my Lowes card once a year.????? When it comes to Chase's amazon rewards card, is this co-branded card part of the 5/24 rule or is it exempt for now?
  3. leedspaddy

    The Balance Transfer and loan

    Thanks everyone for the advice.
  4. leedspaddy

    The Balance Transfer and loan

    My scores currently are around 760 with an overall utilization of 1% with credit limits at 226K total......I am also very aware of the utilization of the card so I was never going to put more than 50% on the account. Anyway before even considering taking this move I will be looking to increase my limit on the card as soon as I am eligible with Citi which apparently only allows a soft pull increase every six months, which as it happens occurs tomorrow. I have two citi cards, one has a limit of $9K and the other has a limit of $25K but of course the BT offer is on the $9K card. So if they won't give me an increase then I'll see if they will move 15k of credit line from the other card and then after all this I will then make a decision to either use the BT or stick with the loan. If I am sticking with the loan it is my intention to have it paid off in 2 years by throwing everything at it to get it paid off and of course I can say the same thing if I do the BT but that maybe be a tiny bit more challenging having only about 17 months to pay off the balance. I guess that was in part why I asked if I should at least keep some of the debt on the loan instead of piling it on the BT. But aside all this, my biggest fear is how my other creditors will react......here I am having zero balances on all my cards except one for the last 2 years and then suddenly a 9 or 10K amount appears on another credit card account. I understand about taking a hit on the credit score but what I don't want to happen is for the other creditors to react by lowering my limits on my other cards thus snowballing my score down even further than it should be.
  5. leedspaddy

    The Balance Transfer and loan

    I took out a 5 year loan for 10K yesterday at an interest rate of 6.49% to pay some of my wife's debt and medical expenses. Today I get a new BT offer on one of my credit cards for 0% until May 2020 with the 3% fee). Had I gotten this offer a few days ago I would of taken it instead of getting the loan. I was seriously thinking of just paying the loan off immediately by transferring it to the credit card with the 0%. My question is how bad will it look to do this in the view of my other creditors? Should I just transfer most of the loan to the card, leaving myself enough of the loan to at least get some payment history for 6 months or so or is it just not worth the bother? This situation is so annoying to me because I was getting regular BT offers up and until recently and then I guess because I was throwing the offers in the trash, I stopped getting them for the last couple of months until today. My only other concern with doing the BT is getting it all paid off by May 2020.......I should get most of it paid off but if not do most people just look for another BT for the remainder of the balance???
  6. leedspaddy

    M$ speed bumps

    Konrad stupid question for you.......You recommended getting the 3% Alliant credit card. So when I get shut down after I have hammered it (well hammered as hard as I can with a lowish limit), it is extremely likely that there will be a balance on the card if not close by to the statement closing date. Will credit unions such as Alliant steal my money in the savings account to pay towards the credit card balance or just hold it hostage until the balance is paid even though there will be a history of PIF each month. Their savings account is paying 2% at the moment which seems to be a lot better than most for a basic savings account and so I have been putting money in that account..
  7. leedspaddy

    Backdoor numbers

    Is there an updated list of the most current backdoor numbers hanging around out there and if yes, can it not be pinned to the top of the forum like other threads so it is easy to track down and maintain? Thanks Patrick
  8. So I was just curious if anyone has had experience with the Virgin Atlantic Black Card. I am looking for an airline specific rewards card and as I have found the experience of flying with Virgin better than the few other airlines I have been on, I thought why not see if I can get this card. It seems like the rewards are not bad and would give me eventually cheaper travel. My only drawback is the issuer, Bank of America with whom I already have two accounts with.....the travel and cash rewards cards and to be honest, I am not thrilled by either. My plan was to contact one of their credit analysts to see if I can move the credit line from one of these accounts to the other and then close the donor card and apply for the virgin card. I would likely close the cash rewards card as I don't have any use for it anymore......I really don't want to have 3 cards from the same issuer even if they allowed it. I forgot to mention that I was looking for a miles card that would help with travel to the UK and Ireland which wa why I zeroed in on the virgin atlantic black card
  9. leedspaddy

    M$ speed bumps

    Let me ask you, after reading yours and others definition of structuring it seems clear that WM cashiers are confusing the true definition of structuring as I always thought it was solely used to reference the bank deposit end of things and had nothing to do with the MO purchasing end. Personally, I don't really want to shake up the good relationship I have with the WM cashiers by challenging them on this but it does really annoy the hell out of me when they throw in the word structuring as the reason why I can't buy more than 2K. So I just want to clarify something, just from the way the WM cashiers describe structuring in terms of MOs, they are preventing me from buying more over multiple transactions because they think I am trying to break up the amounts to prevent a MIL......so is an MIL filed if I buy $3000 or more in one transaction or is it the total I buy in one visit? If it is the latter then there should be no reason why they won't let me do more than the 2K I am currently buying (I would really appreciate it if someone can confirm my thinking on this one point). I have nothing to hide and don't particularly care if they do an MIL (unless there is something I don't know). Just as a side note, when I opened a new bank account to be used for my MSing, I did get a call from the bank manager when I made my first 10K deposit. He wasn't questioning the 10K but the fact that the deposit was in MOs. It was at this time I explained to him what I was doing and he was fine with it but whether rightly or wrongly he also told me that the bank would only ever file a CTR for deposits 10K+ made in cash and not MOs. which I thought was strange because MOs are considered cash. So let me ask you, if a CTR was being filed once a week to FinCen for my 10K+ deposits wouldn't I eventually hear from them questioning why I am depositing so much????? I know it is always best to declare what you are doing by following the rules and Regs but I am personally surprised I haven't heard from anyone regarding my deposits unless it is true that this bank doesn't report them or FinCen just doesn't care as long as you are being truthful.
  10. leedspaddy

    Balance Transfer question

    I keep getting these balance transfer offers through the mail from my creditors and I had another one today which I for some reason decided to open instead of throwing straight in the trash. Now I haven't done a balance transfer in many years but I was wondering whether things have changed with how these BTs are structured. Please correct me if I am wrong but I always thought that when you do a BT with 0% for 12 or 15 or 18 months that you are not charged any interest whatsoever on the transferred amount and that you only start accruing interest on the day the 0% period runs out if there is still a balance remaining. With this particular offer, it stated that which ever offer I chose, I would start accruing interest the day the transfer posts to the account but would only be charged the accrued interest at the end of the 0% period if there is a balance remaining. Is this an industry standard or is this the way it has always been or is this just another crap offer from a small bank??????? Thanks
  11. leedspaddy

    M$ speed bumps

    So does anyone have any WORKING alternatives to WM for MOs? I believe USPS was definitely ruled out of being an alternative a long time time ago. I did ask in a prior post if anyone had purchased the VGCs from the grocery store they usually used and then gone back to another location of the same grocery store to try and drain the VGCs. I didn't get many responses except NO!!!....but I thought I would ask again anyway. I just reckon that this latest move by MG maybe a first step towards shutting down the whole MS game by eventually preventing the use of VGCs to pay for the MOs so alternatives will have to be found or we will just have to stop the MS game.
  12. A couple of years ago I applied for an Amex card and was shot down immediately without a credit pull. I was blacklisted because I had included them in my 2008 BK. I just wanted to check with fellow AMEX blacklisters if anything has changed in the last 2 years with how AMEX deals with us folks. Basically I just wanted to know if I put in an application for an account and I am still blacklisted that a credit pull still doesn't occur as what happened back in 2016.
  13. leedspaddy

    M$ speed bumps

    Thank you Jeff for the explanation on the structuring issue. Your opinion on why MG is requiring the ID actually makes sense but is very underhanded on MG's part if true. I honestly don't know why MG would have a problem with MSing as they are making money after all especially off me not depositing for 3 or 4 days after purchase on most of my MOs. Prior to your possible theory behind the change, I wasn't bothered about showing my ID but I did go overboard complaining about how long now each transaction was taking because of the change and so a couple of the cashiers who now know me very well have allowed me to break up my usual $2000 into 2 separate transactions of $999.11 so I can avoid the ID delay. Now just to clarify what you said, everything I have been told over and over again by the WM cashiers as it pertains to their definition of structuring is complete crap right? Ever since I started this game, I have always been restricted to a maximum of $2K per visit each time (even if I had 6 or 7K in gift cards in my wallet). As you know they restrict a single transaction to a maximum of using 4 different cards to pay.....yet I was coming up against the structuring argument each and every time when I told them that I wanted more than 2K but would have to spread it over separate transactions (because of the $500 gift cards). So since the change, I have still bought my usual $2k from one WM giving over my ID and then have gone to my next WM and just bought a MO for $999.11. Even though it is going to be a real hassle, I believe you are advocating never buying over $1000 again and I should stop immediately with my $2K buys except for when those cashiers who allow me to split the transactions are working so that MG never gets my ID again....RIGHT???? Finally sorry for repeating myself but I want to be exact on this..............there is nothing wrong with me buying two MOs for $999.11 over back to back transactions at one visit if allowed by the cashiers....Right? The only thing I can think of where WM gets its definition of structuring is doing multiple transactions to avoid the $3000 reporting threshold for the CTR. It just blows my mind why they won't let me do more transactions over and above the 3K.......I keep wondering what I am doing wrong when I hear of MS professionals are able to buy a lot more than $3K. Anyway at the end of the day, I just want to be left alone to continue my MSing and follow the rules.
  14. leedspaddy

    M$ speed bumps

    So I was wondering if someone can reiterate the rules on buying MOs as it pertains to structuring because I simply don't understand it in the context of Walmart. Ever since I started M$, I have always bought a maximum of $2000 in MOs per visit. I have asked on numerous occasions with different cashiers if I can buy more at one visit knowing that hitting or going over the $3000 limit would trigger a request for my details which doesn't bother me but I have always been told no and the reason why is because WM has a maximum number of 4 cards (using the $500 gift cards) it will accept for payment in one transaction, yet if I ask to do another MO in a separate transaction straight after they are telling me that is deemed to be structuring. From my perspective, it is a catch-22 situation because I want to do more MOs in one visit, yet the only way to do more than $2000 is to do multiple transactions because of their systems.....but by even asking to do that, it is structuring. Now I don't know if this issue is just a local one with the WMs in my area having poorly trained cashiers or if in fact they are telling me the correct info as it relates to structuring and buying MOs. So any clarification from the experts would be very much appreciated. Just to add further to all this, this morning at my local WM, I was told I had to show my drivers license in order to purchase my $2000 in MOs. I was informed that WM had updated their systems that now required an ID to purchase the MOs. Now I wasn't asked for the more personal info such as a SSN so I doubt it had anything to do with that financial reporting but if they are going to require an ID each time, it going to slow things down as well as make it frustrating for me because I will be handing over ID knowing I can't buy more than the $2000. I haven't checked out any other WMs yet to see if this was just a single store policy or if there has indeed been a system wide update at all WMs
  15. leedspaddy

    M$ speed bumps

    So to be honest, I really enjoy the benefits I get from M$ so I have no intention of stopping, probably continuing until the whole operation is shut down by someone in the M$ chain whether that be the credit card companies or WM but I was wondering if you guys who still do M$ if you have any particular strategy when it comes to how much you do on any one particular credit card or if you just don't care and do as much as you can until they shut you down? I ask this in the context of receiving an email today from one of my credit cards that I only M$ on around birthdays and Christmas as I used the reward points I get to claim mainly gift cards which works out to around 2.5%. In the email it states that they are changing the rules on their rewards programs to include a "misuse of account or Fraud" policy and that from November onwards this new policy will go into effect to include monitoring of all accounts for misuse / fraud. It doesn't take a million dollar computer to work out that M$ would easily be construed as misuse. Now I have seen this change in policy before which I am sure it is old hat to all the professional M$ers out there but what really caught my notice was the threat of legal action to reclaim monies. It didn't make clear whether such action would be taken just for actual fraud or whether they would take legal action for misuse over and above just shutting down the account or whether this was just bluster to frighten. Anyway, I don't want the account shut down so I will cease M$ on it when November rolls around. My question to you is, It clearly states that this policy doesn't go into effect until November, do you think it is going to make any difference (especially considering the recent M$ I have done on this account) if I try and squeeze some more out of it before next month and then stop or just quit now?

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