Warning: Don’t get Burned using Flint to Manufacture Spend

Good afternoon everyone, there has been some rumblings about Flint as a tool for manufactured spending and I wanted to add my voice to the mix.  I discovered Flint in late January as a featured tweet on Twitter, proclaiming “Get Your First Five Flint Transactions For Free!”  Free is good, right?  I will show how Flint works and share some warnings.

A few other miles and points bloggers shared their experience using Flint, so I would definitely read these posts if you are contemplating signing up for Flint.

Flint Hoem Page Features

The easiest way to describe Flint is to call it Square minus the Square card reader.  Instead of swiping a credit or debit card through the reader, you just use the Flint app to scan the credit card number.  This is what the scan looks like:

Flint Credit Card Number Capture

With Flint, you can charge up to $750.00 per scan and you can only use Visa or MasterCard credit cards.  You then type in the expiration date, CVV code, and add a description.

The credit card owner then signs on the screen to approve the purchase.

Flint Mobile Signature

From a merchant’s point of view, the app works very fell and you can easily complete all the steps in under 20 seconds.  For a consumer, all you have to do is sign on the screen and request a text or email receipt to be sent to you.  The payment is then processed and deposited to the merchant’s bank account in 1-2 days.

Now for some warnings.  According to comments made on other blog posts (see the links above), some people have had their Flint accounts shut down after their first $750 payment, which seems very premature to me.  Other people have received 1099-K tax forms or requests to do a soft credit check.  After you process 1-2 payments, Flint will probably send you an email requesting information with the subject “Risk Information Request Result ####### Case Number ######.”  Once you receive that email, you have to submit documentation to Flint showing your business license or an invoice to a customer.  Failure to comply, Flint will cancel the transaction and may terminate your Flint account.

Do I recommend using Flint for MS?  No, it seems like Flint is cracking down heavily on MSers and closing accounts left and right.  If you have other options for MS, I would not use Flint.  I stopped using Flint a few days ago and will not discuss any of my transactions.  You have been warned, please proceed with caution.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

19 thoughts on “Warning: Don’t get Burned using Flint to Manufacture Spend

  1. coptermedic

    I jumped on the bandwagon and completed all the steps (enrollment,first charge, information submission) you outlined above. My first $750 was deposited into my bank account several days after the charge, but the risk / reward profile seems to be different than that which was first suggested, and I’ll not proceed further.

    Reply
  2. Brad

    I got a Fee Free 30 day trial for Flint in early 2014 and MS ~$2,000 for the Citi Exec card. And a year later I received a surprise 1099-k. I know your not a tax lawyer, but, can this be ignored when filing my taxes?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I don’t know what you should do. I think you have to report that somewhere, but it depends how you file your taxes. Ask a tax professional for a better answer. I’m curious to see if I will get a tax form next year.

      Reply
      1. Harlan

        You probably will. The easiest way is to do a Schedule C to cancel out the “profit” with the “expense” IMO. Like you, not a tax pro, but this will most likely be something you’ll have to plan for.

        Reply
    2. JohnnyAppleSale

      per IRS…

      “Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions, is an IRS information return used to report certain payment transactions to improve voluntary tax compliance. You should receive Form 1099-K by January 31st if, in the prior calendar year, you received payments:
      from payment card transactions (e.g., debit, credit or stored-value cards), and/or
      in settlement of third-party payment network transactions above the minimum reporting thresholds of –
      gross payments that exceed $20,000, AND
      more than 200 such transactions”

      By definition you shouldn’t have even received this. However, if they issued it to you they should have sent it to the IRS. Pending on the complexity of your tax return, I’d be apprehensive of listing it and taking my 7 year chance. Just make sure to overpay your taxes and leave the balance in the account. You may owe a small penalty for wrongful filing, but that’s chump change to the interest and fees charged if underpaid. Just cover yourself by your marginal tax rate * $2K with the IRS, which is what big corps do all the time as a cushion. Granted a $600 +/- loan for several years sucks, it’s much cheaper than the alternative.

      Reply
      1. Grant

        Thank you for the information regarding 1099-K. Since most people will not exceed $20,000 and 200 transactions, it seems strange that Flint is sending these out in the first place.

        Reply
        1. jcb

          It’s “and/or” for the criteria: if, in the prior calendar year, you received payments:
          from payment card transactions (e.g., debit, credit or stored-value cards), and/or

          so the first criteria is met right away

          Reply
  3. Pingback: Kurt Cobain Credit Card, DOT Ruling On United Fares, Manufactured Spending & More - Doctor Of Credit

  4. Pingback: The World's Worst Business Class, Free Lounge Access, and Kurt Cobain's Credit Card - View from the Wing - View from the Wing

  5. Pingback: What are the "pay yourself" (i.e. Square) merchants out there? - Page 3 - FlyerTalk Forums

  6. carl p.

    Signed up with flint mobile a couple of weeks ago and went thru all the application requirements ( banking info, business account setup etc) and the 1st time using a credit card thru flint, the transaction was declined. Called phone support and discussed the problem and was told that there was an error an my account and someone would explain the problem with an email. ( had customer in front of me so this was embarrassing) 2 days later, no email and phone support is no longer available. Tried using their “Live Chat” crap, and it displays a ” We will get back to you shortly) response. Cancelled my account. Obviously not ready for prime time.

    Reply
  7. EcoVive

    Flint is shutting down operations. I got an email stating they will no longer be in business, they recommend some company called stripe. They will cease operations on 02/16/2016

    Reply

Got something to say?