1. Do this now: Register for Marriott’s stupid targeted promotion. You’ll earn 1,000 extra points and an extra elite qualifying night for each night’s stay between February 8 and April 20. The points are worth about an extra $5, and you have to stay in a Marriott to get them so there’s that.

2. Do this now: Register for Raddison Americas less stupid promotion. You’ll earn 30,000 bonus points for each three nights; stay through April 30. The promotion works up to three times for a total of 90,000 points.

3. Kroger.com now sells Gift of College gift cards for $200 each with a $5.95 fee. They won’t code as a grocery because they’re processed by Black Hawk Network. You will earn fuel rewards points though. The street value of Kroger fuel points is somewhere north of $19.00 per thousand and you earn 2x with gift cards. If you have a seasoned Kroger account to avoid insta-cancellations, this is a good manufactured spend opportunity:

  • Buy $1,000 in Gift of College cards for $1,029.75 with fees
  • Load to a 529 savings account in your own name
  • Use or sell the fuel points for around $38 (or more)
  • Withdraw the funds from your 529, which you can probably do without tax consequence (I’m not an accountant, and I’m definitely not your accountant, so take this as a starting point for your own research and not at as advice)
  • You’ll get $1,038.00 back on your $1,029.75 in spend, so $8.25 in profit plus credit card rewards

4. Capital One has a monster credit card offer for $3,000 after spending $50,000 in the first six months. There is an annual fee of $150 that isn’t waived for the first year. I’d care more about this except that it’s highly unlikely that anyone with recent credit card churning history will be approved for this card. I think yesterday’s $4,000+ in US Bank shenanigans is more attainable, it has a lower spend threshold even with five cards, and the annual fees are waived for the first year.

(Thanks to DoC)

I meant “monster credit card offer”, not “scary monster credit card”. At least you can distract it with a Gift of College card.