Rumor Was True
Rumors have circulated for weeks now that Simon corporate was going to increase the daily debit/gift card purchase limits from $10,000 to $25,000. I’m still in India traveling, but browsed my email and noticed an email yesterday from one of my local Simon Mall managers that confirmed the information that had been circulating in private MS circles for weeks. Here’s the major bits of that email:
I’m just reaching out to you to let you know that we have exciting news for our customers! As you may know, we have had a $10,000 daily limit with our gift card purchases, however starting this upcoming Monday (2/18/19), we will be welcoming our established customers to purchase up to $25,000 in gift cards daily.
Along with this exciting change, we are updating our customer information, so the next time you stop in be prepared to fill out a new loyalty form with us. Should you chose to purchase more than $10,000, know that you will be asked to provide your date of birth and Social Security Number per federal regulations and security purposes. If you do not have a Social Security Number, we must collect a passport number with country of issuance or an alien identification (green) card number. If you do not wish to provide this information, you are still welcome to purchase up to $10,000 with a government issued ID. We always keep your information safe and secure at XXXX and all of our Simon properties. If you wish to purchase a large quantity of gift cards, feel free to give us a call in advance and we can arrange to start the purchasing process prior to your arrival, as you can now purchase up to 50 gift cards daily.
Costs & Requirements
The costs for each $500 Visa Gift Card (VGC) remains at $3.95.
$10,000 purchase limit costs => $3.95 x 20 VGCs = $79.00
$25,000 purchase limit costs => $3.95 x 50 VGCs = $197.50
Because I’ve been traveling for the past few weeks overseas (and for another couple of weeks too), I haven’t seen the new purchase form in person. FrequentMiler does have what looks like the new form on a recent post about these changes.
The biggest changes that people purchasing more than $10,000 worth of debit/gift cards from Simon will need to be aware of, is that those transactions will now require:
- Date of Birth
- ID Proof/Verification
Many people doing like tossing around their social security number in the manufactured spending process, so for some, this requirement isn’t good news. It’s also interesting that the new form lists Manufactured Spending (MS) as a reason for purchasing, where the old ($10,000 limit) form made no mention of MS as a reason for purchase. One nice aspect about the new higher VGC limit is that calling ahead for orders seems to be encouraged, where as before some Simon locations didn’t allow calling ahead for orders.
Besides the rumor that Simon was increasing the daily VGC purchase limit there were some other changes to the VGC program that also may be changing. Until those happen though, I won’t list them here, as it’s still speculation. Past that though, a few questions about this new purchase limit remain:
- Can any customer purchase $25,000 in gift cards from Simon, even without a purchase history? Greg at Frequent Miler says that his local Simon wants a purchase history of 10 transactions, but I’m not sure that’s a national policy.
- How many credit cards can be used as payment? Before there really weren’t limits for using multiple credit cards to pay for debit/gift card purchases. My local Simon Mall manager did confirm that there are no restrictions on the number of cards that can be used for gift card purchases, and I’m assuming that stands for all Simon locations nationwide.
For some this new purchase limit increase is an incredible positive in their points and miles earning strategy. For people already doing large manufactured spend (MS) volume though, I don’t think this new (higher) limit is going to be that substantial. In general, Simon could increase the daily purchase limit to $100,000 or more per day and it wouldn’t be that big of a deal for the vast majority of people. Liquidation (of those debit/gift cards) is the key to manufactured spending, not access to purchasing them in bulk. The truth is that liquidation for the vast majority of people engaged in manufactured spending to earn (travel) rewards is much more difficult than it ever has been, so much so that many people have stopped MSing or cut down substantially on their previous monthly amounts.
Looking forward to testing out the new limits and process when I return.