Manufactured Spending to Earn Miles Using AirFrov

There are very few opportunities for manufactured spending in Singapore, but recently I had a go with AirFrov a unique way to potentially earn some free Miles.

AirFrov Image

What is Manufactured Spending?

Manufactured spending is done by spending, earning rewards on that spending and then getting your capital/cash back.

Manufactured spending is quite common in the US and if you read any of the US blogs then you’ll probably hear cards like Bluebird, Redbird, Amex gift cards mentioned a lot.

The most common method available elsewhere is to purchase a gift card or pre-paid card and then liquidate it either by cashing it in or use it to pay off a bill.

In Singapore there are fewer opportunities, most gift cards or pre-paid cards are either excluded from Credit Card earnings or there’s no way to withdraw the cash loaded onto them.

I generally don’t view additional earnings where you don’t get your capital or cash back as manufactured spending.  I also don’t view bringing spend forward as manufactured spending.

How to Use AirFrov for Manufactured Spending

AirFrov is a new Singapore company that offers people the ability to get goods from outside of Singapore by using travellers going to that particular place.

Travellers purchase the item for the requestor and are then reimbursed once the item is delivered.  The price offered is usually a few dollars above the actual purchase price (although not always).

The beauty of this is that you are spending and getting reimbursed for that spend, usually at a small profit too.  You can find out more about the site here:

AirFrov

If you do sign-up for the service then you’ll get $5 SGD credit using this code: WX2KK

My Experience Using AirFrov in Hong Kong – And the Issues!

I tried to use the service in Hong Kong on a recent trip that I made there a couple of weeks ago and there are some problems.

The majority of items people wanted were Disney Tsum Tsum, and specific ones too, which I didn’t know where to start.  So I opted for Jenny’s Bakery, a defined location and an easy pick.  When I arrived I hadn’t considered the size or weight of the item and I eventually decided not to purchase!

Tsum Tsum

Hong Kong is not where I’m from and I’ve only been there once before. This makes finding the correct items a challenge – pick something that’s easy, get some local knowledge or ask the requestor.

I also found that a lot of the items are bulky, and so this service isn’t going to suit those that either don’t have space or are unwilling to carry the extra luggage.

Items that are being requested are predominantly under the $S100 mark, making it tough to earn a decent amount of miles from the method.  You can of course purchase multiple items.

There are some risks involved as you are brining in items into the country, and the AirFrov site has quite a few warnings about Singapore Customs.  Technically you have to declare everything as it’s not a purchase for yourself.

Conclusions

In all it was a waste of time, especially considering even if I’d spent $S100 worth I’d only likely be getting back around 300 Miles or so.

On the positive side as you’re earning through your credit card you can manage the spend that you are making, picking high earning foreign spend cards as well as cards that have flexible mileage programs.  You can also use the service to hit spending requirements too.

I’m going to have another go on my next trip which is Japan, as I think there are good opportunities for high value small items.

Here’s the AirFrov website for more information:

AirFrov

If you do sign-up for the service then you’ll get $5 SGD credit using this code: WX2KK

If you’ve been using AirFrov I’d love to hear what your experience has been