Almost two years ago I wrote a post on my personal blog about a unique manufactured spending method that could be added to your arsenal of MS techniques. It’s not for everyone and I made sure to clearly convey that the last time I wrote about it, but it remains one of my most-read posts ever because it’s an easy way to move money in and out of an account from the comfort of your couch at home.
I still occasionally get emails from people that found my blog through a Google search, asking for updated advice on this method. Given that there’s still some interest and that the method still works after over two years (I’ve personally used it for 4 years), I think it’s worth revisiting and provided updated advice.
Let me get some caveats/warnings out of the way first. To use this method successfully, you will need to:
- Float money for at least a couple of months
- Be OK with “gambling” or as the government describes it, playing a “game of skill” (I will explain more below)
- Acknowledge that you will not be able to manufacture large amounts of points/miles, but rather be able to easily meet minimum spend requirements and build a steady MS method that takes place completely online
- Not necessarily be a sports fan, but it sure helps
What Exactly Are Daily Fantasy Sports Leagues?
First a quick review for those that don’t know the idea yet. Let’s say there are 20 MLB teams playing 10 games tonight. I’m given a fictional spending cap of $50K, and each player on the 20 teams playing tonight “costs” a certain amount, depending on how good they are (at least as far as their statistics are concerned). For example, the best MLB player playing tonight might cost $10K. My goal is to assemble a team of 10 players that I believe will earn the best real-world statistics from games played tonight. And that’s the rub – a single player that costs $10K takes up 20% of my available fictional salary, which may not be a good choice. The team I select will then compete against others that have also selected their teams, and whichever team ends up with the most/best real-world stats from that night will win the contest.
There are multiple types of competitions. Head-to-head leagues are those where you compete against a single person. Let’s say the entry fee is $5. Each person will have $5 deducted from their account, and the winner will receive $9, with the extra $1 (10%) going to the website as the “rake” or management fee. The loser gets nothing, and winners are paid by the next day. Other leagues are more tournament-style, with 10 person leagues splitting the winnings between just the top 3 finishers. Larger leagues can include a field of thousands of entrants, and in many cases the first place finisher stands to win $10K or more, with lower prizes being awarded to the next several hundred finishers. In these large leagues, though, most entrants (in this case thousands) will simply lose their entry fee.
How Can This Be Good for Manufactured Spending?!
If you’re a sports fan that’s never heard of this, it might seem interesting enough as it is. But most of us are here to earn miles and points. After you create an account, you have to add funds to draw on when you want to enter a contest. This is where it becomes fun. The major websites accept credit card as a way to fund your account, and it’s still fee-free from my favorite websites. As I mentioned two years ago, new accounts are also eligible for special new-player bonuses as well. Most of these are smaller now than they were before, but it’s still something extra to help subsidize any costs.
My recommendation for a deposit amount is $2K-$5K. Remember…you should be willing to “float” or live without this money for a couple of months.
Great! How Do I Get My Money Back?
With patience. The first thing you need to know is that withdrawals are either by check or PayPal, with the latter being free. Checks will usually cost you about $20, which I consider a bad deal. PayPal is faster and, if you haven’t already been blacklisted by them through other manufactured spending methods, is by far the preferred method to withdraw. You can withdraw your money at any time, but that doesn’t mean you should.
If you deposit money and don’t play any games, you look suspicious and invite your account being shut down. Not good. Instead, my recommendation is to actually play some games. I’m a big NHL fan and I’ve actually made money playing, and things have become even easier since then in terms of drafting a good team. These websites now show things like if the player is even in the lineup tonight (a HUGE benefit compared to years ago when you essentially were guessing whether a player was in the starting lineup), the average amount of points the player has earned per game this season, and other notes. So theoretically, even with no knowledge of a particular sport, you can draft a competitive team for any given night. I tested this out with my knowledge of Baseball (knowledge that I’m severely lacking, to say the least), and I ended up winning in a beginner league.
Of course, your results will vary. If you’re considering this method of MS it might be best to assume the money is lost as soon as you enter the league. Consider it the fee you’d pay if buying gift cards or money orders instead. I’d say you should first play about $100 worth of games total by playing the $5 or cheaper ones over a period of a few days or weeks. Hopefully you lose less than half of the amount you play.
Then…do nothing. Wait. Leave your money in that account for 4-8 weeks. Then make a withdrawal request and get your money back. Then, again…wait. Another two months of waiting after withdrawal is my recommendation, then go ahead and add money again and repeat the cycle.
So basically just create a cycle: Deposit, play a bit, wait 4-8 weeks, withdraw, wait 8 weeks, repeat.
Where Can I Play Daily Fantasy Sports?
There has been significant consolidation in the Daily Fantasy Sports market over the last few years. The two websites below, at last check, account for 90% of that market. These are my referral links which earn me a few pennies if you happen to win, so I’d be appreciative if you use them. And yes…my username is nhlpepsiguy….please don’t ask why…
- Fanduel – my go-to website for years and in my opinion the best-run of the two.
- DraftKings – not bad, but not quite as good as Fanduel. Deposit limit of $2K unless you want to get special approval (which isn’t difficult).
Is That It?
But wait…there’s more! People like us get excited by loyalty programs, and both of these websites have one of their own. Each time you play a game, you earn points that can give you completely free entries into cash contests. With Fanduel, you’ll earn Fanduel Points (FDP), and with DraftKings you’ll earn FPP (Frequent Player Points). They’re not particularly valuable and earning rates are dependent on how expensive your cash-games are, but hey…it’s something. Each time you sign up for a new game, it shows you how many loyalty points you earn for that contest, and how many it would cost to enter that contest using just loyalty points.
Yes, this is a very unusual method to manufacture spend. Today there are opportunities to buy gift cards at gas stations, drug stores, grocery stores, and more…and unload them at places like Target, Walmart, and other stores using fee-free prepaid cards or cheap money orders. It’s not unreasonable to do $15K of gift cards a day in a matter of 30 minutes if you know what you’re doing. Daily Fantasy Sports leagues are not that.
I think this method is for three types of people: 1) people that don’t want to leave their computer to earn miles; 2) people that are fine earning the simple credit card bonuses and would just like to meet the minimum spend requirement without gift cards; 3) sports fans that could actually break even or make money using this method.
Be careful to not get addicted to this. It’s not considered gambling by the government as these games were excluded from the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, but if you ask me this can easily be considered gambling (I consider it gambling, personally). If you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-522-4700.
If you need more detail, I recommend reading the post I wrote two years ago. I put a lot more detail in that post since most people hadn’t even heard of daily fantasy sports leagues at the time. I also had a more step-by-step guide in case you need more hand-holding.
Have you done this before, or something similar? What has been your experience?