Every year the Merriam-Webster dictionary adds new words that have become part of the English lexicon. Examples include ‘selfie’ and ‘dab’. When Amex Served notice of my account being closed, I noticed that they used the term ‘manufacture activity’ in the reason for account closure. The old Terms & Conditions made no mention of ‘manufacture’ before. This addition is clearly a result of the blog community cleverly inventing the term for how one can spend without spending.
On the one hand we should be proud that our collective voices have been heard. On the other hand the credit card companies are listening to us more than ever which spells trouble for our points churning lifestyle. I wouldn’t liken the elimination of Serve & Bluebird to past deals that have been killed by overzealous bloggers. The practice of manufactured spending became so commonplace that I even stopped calling it by the sly code word ‘ms’. It had been going on from so long that many of us transitioned from Vanilla Reloads on Bluebird, to Target, to Serve. Those products have been around for more than two years making the sudden shut down of my account that much more surprising.
The one positive, if you can call it that, is knowing that ms is not fraud. That argument delivered by those outside the points community can finally be put to rest as the T & C’s clearly say that an account can be closed for fraud or manufactured activity, a clear distinction between one over the other. Having said that, by closing our accounts, Amex has essentially grouped those in manufacturing with those that try to launder money via gift cards, an unfair pairing to say the least.
We’ve suffered a lot to keep up our manufactured first class lifestyle from going under. Last year, I posed the question: Where Have All the MS Gone? somewhat in jest. Now I really want to know when those jobs are coming back, if they ever are.