1. Do this now: Register for Hyatt’s Journey Across Canada promotion for 2,000 bonus points per stay on up to 10 stays between June 1 and September 6. They really missed the mark on naming this one, I mean, “Maple Milestones”, “Poutine Points”, and “Loonie Lodgings” are all right there for the taking.
  2. Southwest has a 25% discount for paid and award holiday travel from July 3 through July 7, booked by the end of day today. Use promo code J4SAVE.

    The real question we should be asking is whether or not Southwest flys to Canada to combine the above promotion with this one? Alas, I guess we’ll never know because we’re not going to try after Hyatt’s stupid promotion name spoiled the whole thing.
  3. Citi ThankYou Points is running a 25% transfer bonus to AirFrance/KLM FlyingBlue through June 17. Use this program for:

    – Domestic economy on Delta
    – Business class to and from Europe
    – Short haul within Europe

    And, don’t forget about the program’s rotating promo awards.
  4. Check this link for a targeted upgrade to the business American Express Platinum card from the Gold or Green with 140,000 Membership Rewards after $10,000 in spend in three months. (Thanks to FM)

Hyatt’s Maple Milestones challenge coin (which doesn’t exist, but absolutely should).

  1. JetBlue has an award ticket sale of 20% off for bookings completed today for travel through June 21. It does exclude transatlantic and Mint redemptions though.
  2. Office Depot/OfficeMax stores have $15 off of $300 or more in Visa gift card purchases in store through Saturday. For best results:

    – Link your credit cards to Dosh
    – Try for multiple transactions back-to-back
    – Try for the lower fee Everywhere cards, assuming you can liquidate them
    – Experiment with bigger stacked bonuses

    These are Pathward gift cards and are throttled for PIN transactions at $480 in aggregate per store per six minutes generally.
  3. The Wyndham Business Earner card’s sign-up bonus has been increased to 75,000 bonus points total, 50,000 after $3,000 in spend in three months, and another 25,000 after $10,000 spend in the first year.

    This card is largely (in)famous for it’s (1) 10% rebate on award stays, and (2) 8x earning at gas stations, which are both reasons that this one’s probably an Unsung Hero candidate. (Thanks to Rob)
  4. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards Mastercard, already an Unsung Hero, has sent a new round of offers for online spend by June 14. Offers we’ve seen:

    – $30 statement credit after $500 in spend (MS Ninja)
    – $50 statement credit after $750 in spend (me)
    – $70 statement credit after $1,000 in spend (Jacob M)
    – 225,000 bonus Shop Your Way points after $570 in spend (Sollavec)
  5. Some Hy-Vee stores have $30 off of $500 Mastercard gift cards in store starting tomorrow and running through Tuesday (ok, technically it’s $10 off of $150 but it stacks). Check your local Hy-Vee ad to see if your store is participating, and if so go ham. (Thanks to jerseyguy195)
  6. American Express has an (apparently targeted) transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles running through the end of the month for between 10% and 20%. To see if you’re targeted, you’ll need to login and navigate to the transfer page.

    Asia miles have good access to alliance award tickets before other partners, but their cancellation policy isn’t as generous as US carriers. (Thanks to DoC)
  7. Citi added Accor Hotels as a ThankYou Point transfer partner at a 2:1 ratio, which matches Capital One’s transfer ratio.

A different kind of deluge.

My physicist brain wants to turn everything into a simple model that may or may not map well to reality. For manufactured spend it usually does though, and analogues with the physical world help too.

To illustrate, let’s set your way back machine to your high school physics class (assuming you were cursed with one) and recall the basic, simplest formula for calculating the velocity when you’ve moved some distance in some other amount of time:

speed = distance / time

Now, translate that into a formula that we should live by:

profitability = earnings / time

The profitability of a play isn’t a simple milage count or a sum of cash, unless we’ve got unlimited time. Because we don’t, doing something that earns 1% but takes 30 seconds should beat something that earns 5% but takes 20 minutes assuming infinite scalability. Of course not everything is infinitely scalable, so perhaps you can do both with the time you’ve got. But, if you’re making a trade-off, do consider that a 1% play can beat a 5% play.

Happy Monday!

No, I never had this shirt. Yes, I always wanted to make one.

  1. Remember yesterday’s heightened Hilton bonuses? Well, they’re now available by referral too so you can collect a referral bonus in addition to the sign-up bonus with another player in the mix.

    Additionally, another link surfaced in several places for the business card for 180,000 points after $2,000 in three months and another $8,000 within six months. This link is obviously a higher initial bonus but doesn’t include the initial free night certificate which makes it much less appealing than the other link for me. That said, if you don’t need the certificate maybe this one makes sense. We’re all adults here right?
  2. FM reports that Lyft now supports pre-ordering rides for flight arrivals at LAX, ORD, and MDW, with more airports coming online in the future.

    This is barely a travel hack, but useful because when you pre-order your ride, you lock in a (presumably) non-surge price and you get to jump the queue of riders waiting after you land.
  3. There’s a new American Express offer for 20,000 Membership Rewards after $1,000 spend on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Likely this offer will still work if you break the correlation which tends to be simple with cruise lines. (Thanks to Larry)

Ok, yes we’re all adults here but I guess that doesn’t always mean what I think it means.

First, a bit of unsolicited advice if you’re having problems with Citi and chargebacks: Send a them a certified letter. With that out of the way:

  1. The American Express Hilton Business card has a new sign-up bonus for 150,000 Hilton points and a free night certificate after spending $4,000 in three months. This is one of my favorite AmEx cards to churn, especially because you get a second and third free-night certificate at $15,000 spend and $60,000 spend respectively.

    So far this offer isn’t showing up via referral, but that may change in the next couple of days so if you can wait to apply I’d definitely give it a week to make sure you get the referral bonus too.
  2. The American Express Hilton Surpass personal card has a new sign-up bonus too, for 130,000 Hilton points and a free night certificate after spending $2,000 in three months. You can get an extra free night certificate on $15,000 spend with this one too, but I like this card a lot less – the bonus isn’t as good, there’s no $60,000 spend certificate and it takes up a 5/24 slot.

    This also doesn’t show up via referral, so sit on it for a few days too.
  3. Discover has a 15% bonus on airbnb redemptions with earned cash-back through the end of May.

    Since apparently I’m oversharing about what I like today, I like this one too for occasional airbnb stays and it beats the usual 5.687% cash back play.
  4. I know it’s obtuse, but we’ll have a post-mortem one day. In the mean time though, one of our favorite crypto plays has effectively stopped working for our favorite discount payment method, it’s not just you.

Happy Thursday!

When crypto goes bad.

Recently we’ve seen interesting developments in debit cards and mobile wallets, and also in retailer acceptance of mobile wallets. Always be probing, and remember mobile wallets open new opportunity because:

  • P2’s cards can be in P1’s wallet
  • Some rewards debit cards work with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Some gift cards work with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Some credit cards bonus mobile wallets
  • Mobile wallets obscure credit card numbers
  • Mobile wallets overcome certain types of blocks

Happy Wednesday!

Mobile wallets make it easy to choose P1 or P2, as can be seen from this high tech Google Pay app.
(Thanks to Chad for a screenshot from his HTC Dream)

  1. A few of the airline Cartera shopping portals have cumulative spend bonuses for purchases through May 15:

    – United: 2,000 bonus miles after $400 in spend
    – Alaska: 2,000 bonus miles after $400 in spend
    – AA: 2,000 bonus miles after $600 in spend

    Bonus AA miles don’t count as loyalty points, but the unbonused portal earnings do. United and Alaska have card linked in-store earning too, but the stores are largely trash for manufactured spend. Unfortunately, giftcards.com is still absent from airline portals.
  2. Office Depot/OfficeMax stores have $15 off of the purchase of $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards through Saturday. Always experiment a bit here, but usually the games work better on the Visa side and the Mastercards are exactly as they seem. (Thanks to FM)
  3. FM notes that Air New Zealand is dumping business class award space for summer travel. This qualifies as an “ultra-rare” event but only because it just doesn’t happen that often, not because the product or service are stellar (both are perfectly cromulent though).

    Do remember that summer up here isn’t the same as summer down there and make sure you know what you’re getting into if you book something.

Happy Tuesday!

Stay alert! In New Zealand, winter penguins regularly cross the street to get to Office Depot Mastercard sales.

  1. American Express is sending targeted upgrades from the Delta Business Platinum to the Delta Business Reserve with 50,000 bonus SkyMiles after $5,000 in spend. If you’re a Delta status junkie, the best play is to quickly spend through your two status boosts on the Business Platinum, upgrade, then spend through your four status boosts on the Business Reserve. Alternatively to offset the cost of the upgrade, you can sell the Reserve status boosts since they’re giftable. (Thanks to SideShowBob233)
  2. There’s a great sign-up bonus for $1,000 statement credit after $5,000 in spend on one of the more stupidly named credit cards on the market, the AmaZing Business Credit Card. It’s available to residents of Arizona, California, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, or Texas.

    I’ve applied for this card in the past and it’s nothing like what you’d normally expect. You’ll get a PDF application mailed to you after filling out the online one. You’ll request a specific credit limit, a banker will call you and talk about your business, and then you’ll need to email or fax in paperwork. It’s still worth the hassle for 20x though. (Thanks to DoC)
  3. Meijer stores have a promotion for $10 off of $150 or more in Visa gift card purchases through Saturday, limit one per account. Meijer sells both Metabank Pathward and Sunrise Visa gift cards, so choose wisely like this was a class final and your grade depended on it. (Thanks to GCG)
  4. Safeway, Albertsons, and Vons stores have a coupon for $10 off of groceries with the purchase of a $50 Lowe’s gift card (and some other lower resale value, stupider cards too). The $10 off expires in seven days but as long as you can use the coupon it’s a profitable play with Lowe’s cards selling at approximately 86% of face. You’ll also earn Just4U rewards which can be turned into Alaska miles, and of course grocery bonused credit card spend too.
  5. As of this writing, Dell is 15% or 15x on the Rakuten portal. Time to liquidate!

A Zion’s bank banker discusses the AmaZing Business Credit Card.