Card issuers like American Express and Chase famously have cards with:

  • Statement credits that reset every calendar year
  • An annual fee that posts on the 12th statement
  • The ability to cancel a card and refund the fee for 30 days after it posts

Taken as a whole, these three bullets mean that late November and December are the ideal times to get a credit card with annual credits. For example, the American Express Business Platinum card has:

  • $200 airline incidental credit every calendar year
  • $200 Dell credit every six months
  • $189 Clear credit every calendar year

If you get the card on December 1, 2023, then your 12th statement won’t generate until (at the earliest), December 15, 2024, and thus you can get an annual fee refund through January 14, 2025. That means as long as you hit spend early and cancel the card before January 14th, 2025 you’ll get:

  • $600 in airline incidental credits (2023, 2024, and 2025)
  • $800 in Dell credits (2H2023, 1H2024, 2H2024, 1H2025)
  • $450 in Adobe credits (2023, 2024, and 2025)
  • $567 in Clear credits (2023, 2024, and 2025)
    (though you should discount those Adobe and Clear credits significantly)

There are a few gotchas to watch for, such as how Bank of America’s annual fee refund after an annual fee posts isn’t guaranteed, or how the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s travel credit is tied to cardmember year, not calendar year. But, you’re enterprising people, right?

Good luck!

The triple dip visualized as jello. From top to bottom, red (2023), white (2024), and confused (2025).

Today’s items are all gamable to an extent. I’ve rated them on a Jim scale of 0 to 37 in terms of ease of gaming because reasons.

  1. The American Express Bonvoy Brilliant card has a targeted offer for +10 points per dollar on $750 in spend at grocery stores through the end of the year. Unfortunately the regular spend rate for grocery is only 2x, but even in Marriott Bonvoy land 2x+10x = 12x.

    Gamability: 30 (Thanks to Miles)
  2. American Express also has a card linked offer for 17,500 Membership Rewards on $1,000 or more in ITA Airways airfare through December 31.

    Gamability: 18 (Thanks to irieriley)
  3. SoFi has 17,500 Membership Rewards or $175 back through the Rakuten portal or $200 through Swagbucks for opening a new checking and savings account, depositing $500 and keeping it there for 45 days. The T&C suggest that this only works if you’ve never had a SoFi bank account. It also stacks with a $250 bonus from SoFi if you direct deposit, or “direct deposit”, $5,000 or more.

    If you don’t have a Membership Rewards earning Rakuten account, you can create a new one and earn a $40 referral bonus for doing it. As usual, refer from P2’s account or from a friend’s account, use a bloggers referral only as a last resort.

    Gamability: 33 (Thanks to TV)
  4. Chase Offers has a targeted 10% back up to $40 on airfare of $100 or more booked directly with Air Canada by today.

    Gamability: 34
  5. Chase Offers also has a targeted $50 statement credit with $500 or more booked through the Chase Travel Portal through December 31.

    Gamability: 30 (Thanks to Kyle W)

Happy Wednesday friends!

Deliciousness: 14
Gamability: 2.13

The deluge of promotions between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is waning like the Joyland Amusement Park in Lubbock, TX, but that doesn’t mean that your favorite promotions will die when they’re supposed to. Famously in November 2021 for example, had fee free Visa gift cards using code SHOPEARLY2021. That code was scheduled to last for a couple of weeks (which should also be obvious from the name), but it didn’t actually stop working until Summer of 2022.

This isn’t an isolated occurrence either, it’s happened to multiple promotions over the weekend and some of them will no-doubt continue throughout the end of the year, or if you’re lucky into next. What’s the lesson? Companies don’t always bother with expiration dates. Always be probing.

Clearly Lubbock’s amusement park outlived its expiration date.

There’s a lot going on today, remember to focus on the bigger stuff and ignore the smaller stuff:

  1. H-E-B grocery stores have a $20 H-E-B gift card with the purchase of a $100 gift card in several travel related and bulk resale brands through tomorrow night, limit one per account. Your best options for resale is Home Depot, and Airbnb for travel.

    It may be worth a quick trip if you’re not already in H-E-B land if you’re confident in your ability to scale. It is possible to mint thousands of dollars quickly. (Thanks to GCG)
  2. Alaska has a paid and award ticket sale through Wednesday night. I’m seeing transcontinental flights, Hawaiian flights, and some international flights pricing at 7,500 miles each way in economy, short haul flights are showing at 4,000 miles each way in economy.

    The sale is for travel booked 21 days in advance for travel through March 9, and there are a few blackout dates in late February.
  3. The IHG mobile app has 20% off of paid hotel stays booked by tomorrow night for nights through April 30, 2024, and 15% off of points and cash stays for nights in January and February 2024.
  4. Amazon has holiday weekend shopping promotions for using a single bank point:

    American Express 40% or 50% off
    Chase Ultimate Reward 50% off
    Discover 50% off
    US Bank 50% off

    Of course you should combine these with buyers groups or gift card reselling activity when possible. If you’re not targeted for one of them, remove those cards from your profile, add them back, then wait a day and check again.
  5. Citi ThankYou Points are redeemable toward Apple e-gift cards today only with a 25% bonus (or 20% discount per Citi because they’re bad at marketing). The resale rate for Apple gift cards is well above a 20% discount making this a nice way to cash out ThankYou Points at above regular rates.
  6. has 6% off of $100 Visa e-gift cards through tomorrow night with promo codes CYBER6, CYBERVISA, or VISACYBER, limit three per purchase. The limit makes it hard to get to $2,000 per rolling 48 hours but if you’re looking for cancels this is a low cost way to get there.

    These may be worth your time for American Express cards in particular, but only if you have a low cost liquidation channel, since portals are no longer tracking when a promo code is used. (Thanks to TeddyH)

The internet standard measurement of a banana for scale really isn’t big enough on cyber Monday. Instead, use comically oversized carrot for scale to filter through the madness.

There’s plenty to overwhelm you out there, this weekend more-so than normal. My quick advice is set a profit threshold for yourself and skip anything that doesn’t look like it’ll pass that amount as fast as you can. I promise there are other things around the corner that will. In the mean time:

  1. Rakuten has 5x or 5% cash back for in store purchases at Staples through December 24, but unlike past variants this one is limited to three redemptions per account and $15 cash back per transaction.

    Fortunately for us, we have the technology to combine Rakuten’s card linked program, American Express Business Gold or Chase Ink cards, and Staples fee-free gift card promotions to help make this a good use of time. (Thanks to Douglas)
  2. Avianca LifeMiles has a 15% transfer bonus for incoming transfers from American Express Membership Rewards accounts through December 10.
  3. The Bilt card has double points on 1x categories other than rent between today and Cyber Monday. They also have 16x through linked Visa and Mastercards on Bilt Restaurants, but uh, good luck finding one of those and wanting to eat there this weekend.

    Double points on general spend that can transfer to AA and Hyatt is worth a double take.
  4. Kroger online has $10 off of $150 or more in Visa or Mastercard gift cards using promo code THANKFUL23 through Wednesday of next week. These are US Bank issued cards.
  5. Breeze Airways has a tiered fare sale running with promo code CYBER for flights booked by Monday night. The discount is between 10% and 60% based on how far out the flights are, with the closest flights having the largest discount.

    As is custom at MEAB, a new promo code for Breeze means another drawing for “Breeze dartboard route map bingo”. Ladies and gentlemen, today’s dartboard route is: Cincinnati, OH to Providence, RI! If this completes your Bingo board, please collect your prize (spoiler alert, the prize involves the word CYBER).
  6. Virgin Atlantic has a 33% discount on flight award redemptions on Virgin Atlantic metal through Monday evening for flights through September 30, 2024. (Thanks to FM)
  7. It’s been dead for a minute,

Have a nice weekend!

A sage reader once told me that with hoarders, you really need to think in terms of three dimensions, not just floor space. Ditto for deals this weekend.

It’s been a short three weeks since I decided we wouldn’t see another Q4 American Express referral bonus this year, and I was wrong. Reader Tom let me know that two of his players are seeing +3x referral bonuses, and I’ve confirmed the same thing on P2’s account. The referral bonus text:

You can earn: 15,000 30,000 Membership Rewards® points for each eligible referral – up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points per calendar year. Plus earn +3 more Membership Rewards points dollar spent per on eligible purchases for three months, on up to $25,000. Terms Apply.

What’s an eligible purchase? Anything that would normally earn Membership Rewards qualifies. Note that so far we’ve only seen the +3x bonus on roughly 20% of accounts, and only on personal Gold cards, though it’s probably sporadically available on other personal cards too. If you have $25,000 in restaurant or grocery spend, err “restaurant” and “grocery” spend, then you’ll net 7x with the referral bonus on the Gold with this promotion.

Because this is only available on some cards for some account holders, I’m going to riff off the Milenomics naming of “3 for all” in 2020 and “4 for us” in 2021 and call this one “3 for thee (but none for me)”. Hopefully you’re one of the chosen some, and happy Thanksgiving!

American Express has a targeted Thanksgiving surprise for another 10% of accounts too: Remotely detonated yams. Check in later to see if you’ve been targeted for that promotion instead.

Warning: There’s a lot of math in today’s post, but don’t worry, it’s the easy kind that doesn’t cause my P2 to break out in hives.

  1. PenFed has a $750 new savings account bonus for depositing $50,000 by the end of the year and holding it through April 30, 2024. The account earns 3% APR, and the bonus is effectively another 6% 4.5 APR. Last I checked, 3%+6% 4.5 = a good savings rate for cash. (Thanks to DoC, and Anthony)
  2. The American Express Business Platinum card has heightened bonuses via referral, now up to 25,000 Membership Rewards for the referrer and 150,000 Membership Rewards for the referred.

    Obviously 150,000+25,000 is less than the current sporadic offer of 190,000 Membership Rewards, but the referral offer is much less likely to give a pop-up. (Thanks to Gasongasoff)
  3. Capital One Shopping has a targeted $50 or $75 referral bonus for both the referrer and referee available, for a total of $100 or $150 in bonuses. A couple of reminders:

    – You don’t have to have a Capital One account to use Capital One Shopping
    – After approximately $1,000 cash back you should switch to a new account

    So, I guess connect the dots on this one.
  4. Based on news headlines in the space, affiliate credit card bloggers evidently have new access to a new Alaska Airlines Visa 60,000 mile sign-up bonus. As a friendly reminder, VPN into Southern California and use a link that has an embedded Google referral for a 70,000 mile offer if you’re going for the card, and probably go for some business cards at the same time too.
  5. Citi has a new targeted offer by email for a $30 statement credit with $350 or more in hotel spend through December 20. Check your inbox for the subject: “[NAME], Activate your offer today and start earning now!”
  6. Qatar Avios has a 25% bonus for incoming bank point transfers through November 30. For most of us, bank points with Qatar as a transfer partner means Citi or American Express.

    Typically these bonuses post in a week, but the T&C gives them 45 days of wiggle room.

Happy Tuesday!

Ok, this one might actually be hive inducing, sorry.

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.