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.

  1. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards card has mid-month offers for online spend by December 14. Reported offers, and this stacks with other offers sent at the beginning of the month for spend at utilities:

    – $40 off of $600 in spend
    – $50 off of $750 in spend
    – $80 off of $800 in spend
    – 200,000 Shop Your Way Points for $600 in spend
    – 7,500 ThankYou Points for $750 in spend
    – 12,000 ThankYou Points ofr $800 in spend

    (Thanks to irieriley, David 99, Greyo, Dave 37, Fish, Bryan G, and Charlie)
  2. Chase Ultimate Rewards has a 25% transfer bonus to JetBlue through January 20, 2024, which for the right redemptions beats booking with a Sapphire Reserve through the Chase travel portal at a fixed 1.5 cents per point, but make sure to run the numbers first.

    Side note: if you’re paying close attention to the arbitrage opportunity for the JetBlue/Spirit anti-trust case and want to collaborate, please reach out to me.
  3. The American Express Business Platinum card has a targeted 190,000 Membership Rewards bonus link that’s been floating around for a few weeks and various ways to pull up that version of the offerhave come and gone and have had limited success. There seems to be a new repeatable way to pull it up: Open the application page from Dallas, TX. Geographic targeting has been more prominent over the last year, and it may be worth getting a VPN with multiple city endpoints as part of your churning toolkit.
  4. American Express offers has a targeted promotion for 17,500 Membership Rewards after $700 or more in spend at Princess Cruise Lines through February 15, 2024. Lately it seems like we might need to say ‘gamers gonna cruise’ instead of ‘gamers gonna game’? (Thanks to Rich)
  5. The Capital One Spark Cash Plus Select business card, which probably is missing at least three words in its title because clearly the marketing team is slacking, has a $750 sign-up bonus with $6,000 spend in three months. The card has no annual fee, but earns only 1.5% cash back on spend, which I guess means those three missing words should be “sock drawer bound”.

The NordVPN Dallas, TX datacenter.

  1. Clear has a $75 Uber credit for new accounts with promo code WBTGUBER23. Incidentally Clear only requires a new email address to be considered a new account. Assuming you have a few AmEx Platinum or Business Platinums under your belt, this is a backdoor cash out. You may need multiple Uber accounts to take advantage of the promotion multiple times though, the jury is still out.

    The expiration date isn’t specified, but I assume it won’t stick around past black Friday. (Thanks to caseyrobinson2)
  2. Target will have its annual promotion 10% off of up to $500 in Target gift cards on December 2-3, limit one per Target Circle account. Normally I’d wait until near that date to write about the offer, except having seasoned Target Circle accounts is the way to scale and if you want to scale it, you should start seasoning approximately [checks notes] now. (Thanks to DoC)
  3. Kroger has a new promotion for 4x fuel points on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercard gift cards starting today and running through December 5. Secondary market fuel points rates have recently been sky-high because:

    – Gas is expensive
    – There are fewer suppliers
    – There hasn’t been a long-running 4x promotion for a while

    I expect though that a week or two into this promotion we’ll see rates come back down to recent norms. As usual, make sure you’re working with a fuel points broker or end-user that assumes liability for frozen accounts within a day or so.
  4. Hy-Vee stores have $10 off of $150 or more in Visa gift cards through November 23, limit one per transaction. If you live in Hy-Vee territory this one is almost certainly worth your time. (Thanks to GCG)
  5. American Express offers has a targeted $50 back on $200 or more in JetBlue airfare through December 31 (or travel wallet funds if you book a non-Blue Basic fare and cancel it after 24 hours).
  6. For some reason the second tier airlines are colluding to run fare sales for travel booked by tomorrow night:

    Southwest for travel from December 5 through May 22 with surprisingly few blackouts
    Alaska for travel to and from Mexico
    JetBlue for travel from December 3 to January 31

    The Alaska sale in particular has some great rates, assuming of course that Alaska serves your airport.

Ok, which one of you is responsible for this ending up in my inbox yesterday? 😭

According to recent airline earnings calls, the demand indicator for domestic, low-cost travel has an indicator light and it’s blinking red. That means (1) there’s opportunity in the stock market, and (2) that we’re going to see airfare and award deals over the next couple of months. In fact, today’s news items are dominated by them:

  1. United has an award sale for flights to Maui booked by this evening for travel between November 12 and December 16. I’m seeing one way fares of approximately 16,000 miles and round-trip fares of 30,000 miles, even on Thanksgiving week.

    Unfortunately first class seats don’t appear to carry any discount, so you’ll fly in the back and you’ll like it (or else).
  2. Turkish Airlines has an award sale for half off of flights to and from Chicago for travel either in the next three days or between January 16, 2024 and March 31, 2024, but again, only in economy. Sorry bourgeoise. (Thanks to FM)
  3. Breeze Airways has 35% off of base fares booked by tomorrow night for travel all the way through September 3, 2024 with a few blackout dates around Thanksgiving and Christmas using promo code BENICE. This discount includes spring break and summer travel 👀.

    As always when a Breeze fare sale comes up, it’s time to highlight another route on the “Breeze Dartboard of city pairs”. Today’s winner is CAK-ORF, or Akron Ohio to Norfolk Virginia.
  4. Southwest has 30% off of base fares to and from Hawaii booked by tomorrow with promo code SAVE30. There are blackout dates around Christmas, President’s Day, MLK Day, and lots of March. (Thanks to David 99)
  5. has 5% off of $100 Visa gift cards through November 19 using promo code HOLIDAY5 or GIFTVISA5. As usual, go through a portal and don’t forget the current round of portal spending bonuses. A few caveats though:

    – emailed affiliates that commissions wouldn’t apply when codes were used on the last round, but apparently that email wasn’t sent this round
    – The back-to-school portal bonuses seem to have been delayed and haven’t paid out, whether or not was involved
    – The maximum per-order discount is $15, so stick to three per order

    You’re all adults though, do what’s best for your situation.
  6. There are a few interesting American Express offers:

    – 50% off of Uber or Uber Eats, up to $25 spend
    – $90 statement credit with $350 spend at Hertz

    As usual, gamers can game. (Thanks to TeddyH)

The official airline demand annunciator panel is currently indicating softening demand for economy travel.

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.

Sometimes regular posts
start to feel repetitive
so we “go haiku”

  1. Capital One Shopping has targeted increased cash-back for of up to 12%. MEAB’s haiku review:

    Twelve percent beats fees
    you won’t earn Loyalty Points
    cashing out is key

    Note that you’ll probably have a different cash back offer for the mobile app, the desktop, and a targeted email, so check all three.
  2. American Express Offers has $150 back on $1,000 or more in airfare at Air Canada for flights originating in the US and ticketed with US Dollars booked by December 31. Now, let’s haiku:

    AmEx offers abound
    breaking correlation helps
    never play it straight

    You can game it, but just don’t game it in Canadian currency. (Thanks to TeddyH)
  3. A quick recap of Delta’s “devaluation rebiggening”:

    – You need slightly fewer MQDs to attain status, but still more than before
    – If you have a Delta Platinum or Reserve card, you get an annual $2,500 MQD credit
    – Million Milers bump up in lifetime status levels
    – You can spend rolled-over MQMs on status extensions, 100,000 MQD per year
    – Better exchange rates on existing MQMs in 2024

    But MEAB, can you let us know how you feel in the form of a haiku?

    Changes beat stick in eye
    SkyMiles are still the worst miles
    too little, too late
  4. American Express has retooled the Hilton Aspire and Surpass cards with:

    – Bigger annual fees (+$100 on Aspire and +$65 on Surpass)
    – Bigger Hilton credits ($200 x 2 at resorts on Aspire, $50 x 4 on Surpass)
    – Loss of Priority Pass
    – $200 annual airline incidental credits switch to $50 quarterly airfare credits

    “Haiku me”, I hear you say:

    Aspire was O.P.,
    was future Unsung Hero,
    now I’m not so sure
  5. Kroger online has $10 off of $150 or more in Visa and Mastercards with promo code OCT2023 through October 25. Let’s jump to the chase:

    U.S. Bank issued,
    won’t code as grocery so
    useful for fuel points

Have a nice weekend friends!

Can someone please rewrite this banger as a haiku, or do I have to do everything myself?

American Airlines AAdvantage reward email confirmations have a super-annoying quirk: AA never sends you an email showing both the number of miles redeemed and the record locator in the same message. Instead you’ll get two separate emails:

  • One with the subject “Your recent AAdvantage Award Redemption” (shows miles used)
  • One with the subject “Your trip confirmation (XXX – XXX)” (shows record locator)

If you’re only booking one or two awards per day, it’s easy enough to suss out which redemption email corresponds which which trip confirmation, but it’s still annoying. If you book multiple awards a day it can be really hard to figure out which goes with which, especially months after booking when your email is buried behind thousands of other messages. I can only assume AA does this because their UX team decided that Windows 3.11 was the epitome of user friendliness.

Dave via MEAB slack shared that you can get an email with both the record locator and milage in the same email though, just put the award on hold, then pay for it immediately:

The award hold email lists both the record locator and award cost in a single place.

Have a nice Thursday, and check back tomorrow for all the hot takes on Delta’s devaluation rollback. (Would that properly be called a devaluation de-biggening? I’m gonna say yes, duh.)

A dialog box that says "Are you sure that you don't want to invert the unselected widgets?" with possible responses "Yes, No, Cancel"

AA’s ideal user experience model.