Today, MEAB features a special guest who will respond to each news item: Your annoying Uncle Kyle that always seems to have a take that’s tangential to reality but not grounded in reality. Why? Practice my friends, practice – because you probably only see Kyle at Thanksgiving and Christmas and it’s time to gear up.

  1. Southwest flights are now bookable through the Chase travel portal, but only Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus fares.

    Kyle’s response: WGA+ fares as a 1.5 cent per point booking with low friction means that brokering of Southwest flights is going to skyrocket. Watch out!
  2. Office Depot/OfficeMax stores have $15 off of $300 in Mastercard gift cards through Saturday, limit eight per transaction. As usual, link your cards to Dosh, liquidate your American Express Business Gold $20 monthly credits, try for multiple transactions back-to-back, and experiment with different purchase amounts.

    Kyle’s response: You’re waiting in line behind someone arguing about a $0.45 coupon at a store with staffing levels lower than the half-sized aisles of InkJet toner to buy a Mastercard with a Visa? Are you even listening to yourself talk?
  3. Chase Offers has 13% back on at least $50 and up to $307.69 in airfare booked by tomorrow. (No, I didn’t make that number up, why do you ask?) This is gamable in multiple ways.

    Kyle’s response: I haven’t known anything about gaming since Tetris, but you know that booking airfare means flying Southwest right? Their boarding process is a mass psychological experiment and you’re the subject!
  4. UPDATE: Dead! There have now been at least a half dozen reports of successfully transferring the pseudo Ultimate Rewards with a fixed 1.0 cent per point from the Ink Business Premier to real Ultimate Rewards accounts from other premium cards, but only by phone.

    It’s unclear if this is a bug or intentional, but either way the 150,000 pseudo Ultimate Reward sign up bonus for $10,000 spend in three months available in branch or perhaps via Green Star offers looks extremely attractive right about now, especially if you can earn it quickly.

    Kyle’s response: You know that those pseudo Ultimate Rewards points are how the government tracks your spend, right? Converting them to a variable value point throws them off because they can’t know exactly what you spent.

Have a nice Monday!

Kyle’s response: You do know Mondays suck, right? Everyone knows that because Garfield taught us. Stop being so chipper.

Even the Thanksgiving pie will be fed up with Kyle.

  1. Chase “green star” offers have returned with targeted increased sign-up bonuses for Ink cards:

    – Ink Business Premier: 150,000 Ultimate Rewards after $15,000 spend in three months
    – Ink Business Unlimited: $1,200 after $6,000 spend in three months

    To see the offers, click the hamburger menu (≡) in app or online, then click “Just for you”.
  2. Check your email for a targeted offer from Bilt for 1,000 bonus points on any charge at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Comcast, Xfinit®, Spectrum, Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu using your Bilt Mastercard.

    The bonus caps out at 5,000 points, or *checks notes and runs a massive program on a super-computer* five merchants. (Thanks to DDG)
  3. Do this now (if you hold an AA credit card): Register for +1 miles and +1 Loyalty Points for AA charges made in the month of November.

    Can you game this? I don’t know, but I like your odds on this one.
  4. Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, and other Just4U stores have a coupon for 10x points on various gift cards, and even though they’re not explictly named, all of the Choose Your Card variety are currently earning the bonus.

    The best option that I know of is to convert to Lowes which has a resale rate of approximately 90%.

The MEAB supercomputer.

1. Chase Ink Business cards (Cash, Preferred, Unlimited, and Plus) have a targeted offer for 5x on Home Improvement Stores and Shipping, up to $10,000 spend per card. Visit to see if you were targeted. My go-to for knocking this one out will be $500 Visa or Mastercards gift cards at Lowe’s. In case the generic page doesn’t work, you can try one of these specific ones which were pretty easily guessed:

Thanks to Reddit user TheSultan1 for the initial tip.

2. You probably know how I feel about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (it’s a decent card, but way over-hyped and probably not the best option out there for most of you). So, you know that if I’m writing about it it’s probably worth taking a look, and now there’s a twist that indeed makes it worth a look: If you apply in branch, the annual fee is waived for the first year and you still get the 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus after $4,000 spend. Of course make sure you don’t hold a Sapphire card currently, you haven’t had a Sapphire bonus in the last four years, and that you’re under 5/24. Or just go for an Ink Preferred 100,000 offer and skip most of the nonsense, though you will pay the $95 fee.

3. Chase green star offers are back. As a reminder, these offers bypass the usual 5/24 and prior bonus restrictions. To see if you’re targeted, log in to your Chase online account, click the hamburger menu icon (☰) in the upper left, click on “Just for you”, and look for offers that have a green star or black star icon.

Personally, Chase punked me with my only green star offer. Oh how I miss the US Bank / TD Buxx cards.

The great Chase punkage of June, 2021.

Are you way above the Chase 5/24 rule *? There is a new round of widely targeted offers that bypass 5/24. To see if you’re targeted, log in to your Chase online account, click the hamburger menu icon (☰) in the upper left, click on “Just for you”, and look for offers that have a green star or black star icon. Those offers should bypass the usual 5/24 restrictions.

*In case you’re not familiar with it, the 5/24 rule says that you won’t be approved for a Chase credit card if you have five or more new personal credit card accounts from any issuing bank in the last 24 months.

A clear shot glass with the words "5/24 Cup" printed on the front.
The Chase credit card drinking game’s official mascot.

It’s time to jump into the pre-Halloween weekend, but before you turn into a pumpkin:

  1. Southwest has extended its schedule through August 4th, which includes most of summer’s travel season. As a general rule, booking summer travel in autumn often means there will be schedule changes, and with Southwest schedule changes often mean a free change to any other flight between the same city pairs ±2 weeks.
  2. Chase Southwest cards have increased sign-up bonuses of 75,000 Rapid Rewards points on the personal cards, or 80,000 points on the Rapid Rewards Business card. These offers aren’t all-time highs, but they are interesting getting two of them and hitting the spend threshold for the bonuses after January 1, 2024 will earn you a Companion Pass through 2025.

    No one out there seems to remember the downside of the Companion Pass though: you’re still on Southwest.
  3. Office Depot/OfficeMax stores have $15 off of $300 in Visa gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday. To maximize:

    – Consider that maybe multiples of $300 might behave strangly
    – Link your credit cards to Dosh
    – Try for multiple transactions back-to-back
    – Don’t forget about the American Express Business Gold $20 credit, which you can use twice during the promotional period

    These are Pathward gift cards, and often only work with PIN transactions for a total of $480 every six minutes per store. (Thanks to DoC)
  4. Do this now: Register for double Avios on up to 10 flights booked by November 21 for travel by January 14, 2024. Surprisingly this works with AA, Iberia, and Finnair paid flights credited to BA too.
  5. Sebastian notes that Bank of America’s Business Unlimited Cash Rewards Mastercard still has a $500 sign-up bonus available with $5,000 spend in 90 days. This card is useful because:

    – In conjunction with Bank of America Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors status, this is a 2.625% everywhere card
    – You probably still have time to get it before More Rewards Day on November 9

    Don’t forget that with Bank of America, one card is nice, but more is better. (Vague much, MEAB?)

Have a nice weekend!

Pictured: Your 23 year old companion after the fourth leg on Southwest between Eugene, OR and Greenville, SC.

  1. Office Depot/OfficeMax stores have $15 off of $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards through Saturday. To maximize:

    – Link your cards to Dosh
    – Cash-out your American Express Business Gold credits for October
    – See what happens when you try and scale a transaction
    – Try for multiple transactions back-to-back

    These are Pathward gift cards so have a liquidation plan in place.
  2. Giant PA stores, (maybe) Stop & Shop, and (maybe) Martins stores have 10x rewards points on Lowes gift cards and 5x on GreenDot debit cards starting Friday. There’s definitely a Lowes gift card resale liquidation channel that supports high volume. For GreenDots, the landscape is tougher.
  3. The American Express Hilton Surpass and Aspire cards were retooled last week, on the whole they’re slightly worse but still a good value. To make up for it I guess, American Express increased the sign-up bonuses for both cards to the highest we’ve seen:

    Hilton Aspire: 180,000 Hilton Honors points after $6,000 spend in six months
    Hilton Surpass: 170,000 Hilton Honors points after $3,000 spend in three monts

    The bonus is also available via referrals with most referrers getting 20,000 Hilton points, so go that route if you’re in two-player mode or if you’ve got a friend who can generate a link for you.

Happy Monday!

Taco Bell statistically has the fastest, uh, food to go with your Monday Quickies.. The bad news is this is the food.

  1. Kroger has an in-store 4x fuel points promotion on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercard gift cards running today only. There are scalable plays in these sales, and sometimes happy accidents too. Always be probing.

    Kroger used to sell US Bank gift cards, then switched to Pathward, and now seems to be switching back to US Bank, double check what you’re getting when you buy.
  2. Kroger online has 5% off of Visa and Mastercard fixed value gift cards through Tuesday with promo code FIVE2023. The real win here is that these purchases earn fuel points, if you’re not going to use those in some way this isn’t a deal because you’re not getting special coding.

    These are US Bank gift cards.
  3. The American Express personal Green card has a historically high sign-up bonus available directly and through referral link for 60,000 Membership Rewards after $3,000 in spend in six months, but you’ll also get 20% back on travel and transit purchases for the same time period with a maximum statement credit of $200.

    Pre Dodd-Frank this was a great card to sign-up for, get the sign-up bonus, and then upgrade to a Gold or a Platinum immediately thereafter for another bonus. Now though, consumer cards can’t have an increased annual fee in the first year, so no upgrade is available until year two. It remains a way to slowly build a stable of Gold cards though after the first year. (Thanks to DoC)
  4. Staples has fee free $200 Mastercard gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction. As always, try and run multiple transactions back to back to minimize your time at Staples stores.

    These are Pathward gift cards so have a liquidation plan in place.

A stable of American Express Gold cards located somewhere in a Kroger parking lot.

  1. IHG has 15% off of award bookings for card holders and for Platinum and Diamond elites through tomorrow for stays through December 16. Yes, this has been around for a few days, but today is the first day that elites are also eligible for the discount.

    Be sure to reprice any existing IHG reservations in addition to looking at new bookings.

  2. Southwest has a fare sale through tomorrow evening for travel from:

    – November 29 through December 15 of this year
    – January 10 through March 8 of next year

    Reprice existing reservations too, and note that if your spring break dates fall within two weeks of March 8, you might consider a refundable points booking on near the end of the promotion and hope for a schedule change that lets you switch to your desired dates for no additional fee.

  3. American Express employee card offers have now been reported for the Plum card, Delta Reserve Business card, Delta Business Gold card, and the Business Platinum card, which gives us the updated list of offers for up to 99 employee cards per primary card:

    – Plum card: $50 statement credit for $2,000 in spend per card [new]
    – Delta Business Gold: $50 statement credit for $1,000 in spend per card [new]
    – Delta Business Reserve: $50 statement credit for $1,000 in spend per card [new]
    – Blue Business Plus: 5,000 Membership Rewards for $1,000 in spend per card [new] UPDATE: There are multiple reports of $1,000 in spend required and $2,000 in spend required, it seems variable on this card
    – Blue Business Cash: $50 statement credit for $1,000 in spend per card [new] UPDATE: There are multiple reports of $1,000 in spend required and $2,000 in spend required, it seems variable on this card
    – Business Platinum: 5,000 Membership Rewards for $2,000 in spend per card [new]
    – Hilton Business: $50 statement credit for $1,000 in spend per card
    – Marriott Business: $50 statement credit for $1,000 in spend per card
    – Lowe’s Business: $50 statement credit for $1,000 in spend per card
    – Green Business: $50 statement credit for $2,000 in spend per card

    Don’t sleep on these, each one is an additional 495,000 points or $4,950. (Thanks to Sebastian, Marrisa94, and Jim for new data points, and thanks to everyone who reached out to me yesterday noting that 99 * 5,000 ≠ 49,500 🤦‍♀️)

  4. Check for a targeted email from Discover for an extra 4% cash back on up to $2,000 in purchases by December 31. The subject: “Congrats [name], enjoy up to $80 extra cash back” (Thanks to an anonymous contributor)
  5. Kroger has a 4x fuel points promotion on third party gift cards starting today and running through Tuesday after clipping the digital coupon. If you’re using fuel points to subsidize gift card reselling, you should be able to do so profitably with a little care. My current guidance on avoiding fuel account locks:

    – Create a new fuel points account with a new incognito session on the browser on your mobile device when not connected to wifi
    – Buy everything in one or two transactions total, ideally in off-hours (customer service counters let you scale this a bit)
    – Do your best to work with a fuel points end-user that can use the points within an hour or two of loading

    Good luck!

Showing my work from the math in yesterday’s post.