$3750 in Free Manufactured Spend with Flint

[UPDATE 2/23: A few people have reported that after signing up, Flint has followed up with them via email after requesting a ton of personal information and wanting to pull their credit report. I personally wouldn’t want to give this information out for a relatively small amount of MS.]

[UPDATE: Some folks are reporting that Flint sends out 1099-K tax forms for the payments processed (and their Terms and Conditions state so as well). As usual, if you’re not comfortable, don’t do it!]

Several weeks ago I signed up for a new mobile payment app, Flint . My experience was positive overall and resulted in $3750 in manufactured spending for about 30 minutes of work.

First, I downloaded the Flint app for iPhone or Android .

After that I was guided through the sign-up process that had me enter basic information about myself and the bank account I wanted my money transferred to.

The following day my account was verified. Each week since signing up I have ran a single charge for $750 by taking a picture of the credit card I wanted to use. I used my to manufacture 18,750 points for free, and the $750 was deposited into my bank account within two days each time.

The first 5 transactions are free and you are limited to $750 per transaction, so the maximum MS value you can get with this method is $3,750. The free transactions expire after 30 days, so make sure you use them before that.

H/T chappu on Reddit

54 comments for “ $3750 in Free Manufactured Spend with Flint

  1. KoolFatKat
    February 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for the tip. One question though. “Each week since signing up I have ran a single charge for $750…” Why did you do it once a week and not, let’s say, once a day for 5 days in a row? Was it by choice or is it a requirement/limitation?

    • Admin
      February 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Great question. From the Flint T&C: “If you process more than $1,000 during any trailing seven day period, we may defer depositing the amount in excess of $1,000 for 30 days.”

      I didn’t want my money to be tied up for 30 days, so I opted to take it slow.

      You can find the terms and conditions here: https://www.flint.com/terms-of-service/

      • KoolFatKat
        February 21, 2015 at 6:44 pm


  2. Paul
    February 22, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Were you approved instantly? Mine said I needed to contact customer support. Trying to figure out what I should expect.

    • Admin
      February 22, 2015 at 9:14 am

      I didn’t have to contact CS. I’m not sure if they will ask anything tricky if you contact them, the offer appears open to everyone.

  3. Pam
    February 22, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Any cash advance concerns?

    • Admin
      February 22, 2015 at 9:10 am

      US Bank Club Carlson is the only card I used and it coded as a purchase. I don’t foresee it coding as a cash advance but I always recommend setting CA limits to zero just in case.

  4. dlin
    February 22, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I tried this last year and they sent me a 1099-k tax form

    • Admin
      February 22, 2015 at 10:53 am

      @dlin: I’ve received one before (but not from these guys). Since I had records that I paid myself, it wasn’t an issue. As with any MS method only do what you’re comfortable with.

    • Thomas
      February 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      I presume the 1099-k was sent to you as the ‘receiver’ of funds? Curious how you reconciled that when filing?

      • Admin
        February 22, 2015 at 7:23 pm

        There are other alternatives, but I decided to go with using a Schedule C and reporting a net profit of zero.

  5. Paul
    February 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I set up an account and sent $750 last night. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail I received this morning:

    Simple, Low Fees

    No set-up or monthly fees. Fees for debit cards are 1.95% per transaction and credit cards are 2.95%. Flint automatically detects debit card payments, which saves you money..

    No free lunch, eh?

    • Admin
      February 22, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Paul: That’s correct, after the first 5 transactions (or 30 days, whichever comes first) 2.95% is the rate for CC payments. First 5 transactions are free as denoted on the signup page. I wouldn’t use it after the 5 transaction/30 day limit because 2.95% is very high.

      • Paul
        February 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

        Thank you for the clarification. I should have read your post more carefully. Now, a more practical question: How did you accomplish five weekly transactions in 30 days?

        • Admin
          February 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm

          It’s doable, with very little room for error. Charge $750 on days 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29.

          • Paul
            February 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm

            Well, I feel a little less moronic about the request for clarification, as I was contemplating a seven day interval that did not include the first (and subsequent) “swipe” dates. I’ll give it a go.

  6. Vicki
    February 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks for all your great info, I too can use more Club Carlson’s points.

  7. Tim
    February 22, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Per your recommendation I just signed up and noticed this option. Will this allow me to process bigger transactions and more often during my first 30 days?

    Please note your initial processing limits. It takes just a few minutes to upgrade your account for free.

    Limit per Scanned Transaction $750
    Limit per Typed Transaction $250
    Total Weekly Limit $3,000
    Limit per Invoice $250
    Total Weekly Invoice Limit $1,000

    • Admin
      February 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      From what I understand based on that (I had the same limits) you can only swipe $750 at a time. The terms of the sign-up offer are that your first 5 are free, so unless you contact them and ask them to raise your limits (and draw attention to yourself) the max you’ll be able to run through this is $3750. My 30 days/5 transactions are up.

      • Tim
        February 22, 2015 at 6:18 pm

        Good advice. The “draw attention” part is what I’m looking to avoid. Thanks for the share and keep up the awesome posts!

  8. Joe S
    February 22, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    So how does this 1099-K work with your taxes if you’re essentially sending money to yourself?

    • Admin
      February 22, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      I keep records of all my manufactured spending (i.e. credit card statements and matching bank deposits). There are different opinions and views around the internet about how best to handle this on your taxes, but the best advice is to consult a tax professional.

  9. wes
    February 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    The offer for 5 free credit card payments seems to have ended.

    • Admin
      February 22, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      It’s still showing on their site homepage as active. Where did you see that it’s ended?

  10. Anne
    February 22, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    I received an email from them next day “From time to time Flint may put a new account on temporary hold and request additional information. To provide the information needed, from a web browser, please go to https://www.flint.com/rir (note: this will not work from your phone). If we do not hear from you in the next 48 hours, additional action may be taken on this account

    Thank you for your cooperation,

    Flint Customer Success
    From the link, they want you to upload your DL, current business license, invoice from supplier, bank statement linked to account,…The last statement is “By clicking on Submit, you are authorizing Flint to request a personal credit report.”

    Did anyone get this email? wondering if that’s a hard pull? Thoughts?

    • Admin
      February 23, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Interesting. I didn’t but I’ll post a warning. It sounds like it will be a hard pull from the wording, but since you’re not applying for credit it may be a soft pull.

      • Anne
        February 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm

        It’s confirmed that it’ll be a soft pull. It seems like my first transaction is pending to my linked account now (charged it first day opening) while they’re requesting me the additional information. Once the transaction is posted, I’m going to stop. Question is, did you cancel your account with them and how? or you just leave it in limbo as long as you’re not using it then it’s ok?

        • Admin
          February 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm

          Good to know it’s a soft pull. I didn’t cancel the account yet, although I haven’t fully decided if I’ll leave it open.

  11. KoolFatKat
    February 23, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Rats, when I click to scan I keep getting “Camera is used by another application. Please close the camera in other application”. Can’t figure out what’s interfering with it. I checked all my currently running apps and none of them seem to be using camera. Any ideas?

    • Admin
      February 23, 2015 at 8:09 am

      I haven’t heard of that before, sorry!

  12. Lisa
    February 23, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Did anyone get an email requesting additional info as part “risk information request”? And consent them to request the credit report?

    • Admin
      February 23, 2015 at 8:03 am

      It didn’t happen to me. Not sure if it’s random or they are getting tougher.

      I personally wouldn’t let them pull my credit as a condition for processing a small amount of payments such as this.

  13. Andrew C
    February 23, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Neither this particular processor, nor this concept of processing your own payments, is new in any way around MS – both have been shown to be extremely troublesome in the past, and will almost certainly continue to be in the future (as the comments here show), and those who don’t know the implications of this should stay far, far away.

    • Admin
      February 23, 2015 at 9:15 am

      After hearing a few reports in the comments I agree that it may be more trouble than it’s worth. I did have good luck so it’s a YMMV on this one. Thanks for the heads up!

  14. Quinn
    February 23, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I signed up yesterday and charged $750 using flint. This morning I received an email stating the following. Guess I made a large purchase too quick after signing up.

    “During a recent review of accounts, our risk team identified activity or information related to this account that may pose a risk to our merchants or their customers. Due to this information and for the safety of our merchants and their customers, we have closed this account and refunded all transactions back to their original cards. Please contact your customers to make alternate payment arrangements.

    Flint Risk Operations”

    • Admin
      February 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      That’s the first I’ve heard of this happening. Perhaps they have started cracking down lately.

      • Tim
        February 24, 2015 at 5:13 pm

        My girlfriend and I got the same email that my account was going to be closed and my first payment was refunded. Guess they figured out what we were doing and put a kabash to it.

        Keep up the great blog and I’ll be anxiously awaiting your next manufactured spend hack.

  15. mike
    February 23, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Tried linking my bank account and its asking for my SS#. Anyone else get the same? When I initially signed up it asked for the last four, and then went through a verification process. Not sure if I feel comfortable giving my whole number

    • Admin
      February 23, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      I did give my full social upon signup.

  16. Kevin
    February 23, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Darn! Just got a new cc and was hoping to use this to meet min. spend :(

    • Ann
      February 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Not worth the 1099 you would absolutely expect to receive IMHO.

  17. Graydon
    February 25, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Signed up early morning 2/23 (just after midnight). Used Club Carlson card. Seemed to go thru well but no deposit yet. No emails besides the welcome ones so I might be in clear. The charge has posted on US Bank site. I guess one more day waiting to see if the deposit happens. If it does I will use DW Club Carlson card or other cards to do the other 4 charges at slightly random amounts and call it good enough. 1099 don’t bother me as I am a legit business and get a ton of them end of year.

    • February 26, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Hearing mixed reports of success and shutdowns. Glad to see it looks good so far!

    • Graydon
      February 27, 2015 at 12:02 am

      Well so much for that idea. No email from Flint asking for more info or advising of a decline but I never received the deposit. Apparently they simply reversed the charges and credit it back to my CC. Verified on US Bank web site, I have a charge from Monday and a credit on Tuesday. Bummer.

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