I just got done reading an article over on First2Board where the author was spending $5,000 on Vanilla Reloads with his American Express SPG credit card. “Why you should use your Starwood American Express for manufactured spending” was the name of the article. I completely disagree with this article and I think you should NEVER manufacture spend with Amex. If you’re new to manufactured spending like me, you may or may not have picked up by now that American Express will do a financial review on you if you’re spending outside your limits. For instance, if you only make $30k a year and you go and purchase thousands upon thousands of dollars in gift cards, you will get shut down so fast before you can even collect the points/miles. Even if you make $100k a year and start spending outside your normal habits, you can still get a financial review. American Express will require you to send in bank statements, taxes, etc. pretty much whatever they want. If you don’t comply or you don’t pass their review, then your account will stay closed.

Amex Financial Review

Picture of Points Summary $5k spent on his Amex card. This is just asking for a financial review.

Even if you start of slowly and build your way up to spending thousands per month with American Express, do you really want to take the chance? Don’t get me wrong, it’s tempting to apply for an Amex Delta card since I live in MSP which is a huge Delta hub, but I just know I’d probably get financial review by Amex, so I’m not even going to take the chance. I do have a Amex Blue Cash Preferred card and I only put by groceries and gas on this card.

If you’re new to manufactured spending or you’re thinking about doing it, I wouldn’t highly recommend to stay away from it. You can easily read up on Amex financial reviews by doing a Google search. You’ll find many posts on message boards such as MyFico forums, creditcardforum.com, etc.