Transitioning to a new method of miles earning

Unfortunately over the past few months various companies have started to deny my credit card applications, my main source of quickly-earned miles. And the main reason: I have had too many applications. I suppose it had to happen sometime but it is aggravating that I need to do something different.

To that end I am now exploring the world of Manufactured Spending. There are a variety of ways to do it but the one that I am interested in will likely involved purchasing gift cards with credit cards (the moment that you earn the points) and then liquidating them somehow. The best way of doing so is to use the gift cards to buy money orders at a check-cashing place or major big-box store like Walmart. Then you can deposit those money orders in your bank account to pay off the credit card you used to buy the gift card in the first place.

It gets a bit complicated and takes some time (also there are fees involved) but it can be easily worth it. The only thing I need to find out is where I can easily get rid of gift cards in my neighborhood (or nearby). Here are the two main pathways I am considering:

  1. There is a Simon’s Mall in Newport, NJ that will sell gift cards in maximum of $500 increments, with a fee of $3.95 for each. That would earn me 500 points each time when using any of my credit cards. Let’s tag the metric at $7.90 for 1000 points.
  2. I can do something similar at Staples where I have a 5x multiplier on one of my credit cards. I could buy $200 gift cards for $6.95 each and get 1000 points that way. Still, I have to get a way to liquidate the cards.

If anyone out there knows of good check-cashing places or big-box stores in Brooklyn or Manhattan that sell money orders for cheap to debit card users, let me know.