To triples in a row? What even is this week?

  • Office Depot/OfficeMax has an instant discount of $15 when purchasing at least $300 worth of Mastercard gift cards between now and Saturday. Two $200 gift cards worth (checks notes) $400, will cost you $398.30. Use a card that bonuses at office supply stores (duh).
  • Check your American Express offers for $150 back on $1,000 spend at Dell.com. Don’t forget about the Xbox gift card XBOX10 promo code, and ideally add this offer to a Business Platinum with unspent Dell credit if available. With XBOX10 and the resale rate hovering around 82%, this deal is profitable and you’ll earn a nice shopping portal bonus at Dell to boot.
  • PointApp has 10x earning at BestBuy between now and Sunday with a cap at $500 in spend. It’s definitely worth it for a few clicks to buy a BestBuy GC for resale if you’ve already got a Point card. They’re also offering a targeted 1,500 point bonus for using the card once per day for five days in a row, at least $5 per purchase. For this one, just use Debbit.
Remember, we do this so we can buy tickets and hang out at the airport for 14 hours due to a mechanical delay.

I’ve already mentioned Debbit a time or two, but there’s a neat hack that it helps enable: Some credit card issuers will give you a monthly small balance waiver for balances under a buck or two, and often those issuers correspond with credit cards that you keep in your sock drawer anyway (Barclays, Discover, USAA, and US Bank are examples).

For those sock drawer cards, I suggest set up a recurring small charge in Debbit once a month as an Amazon balance reload, Xfinity bill payment, AT&T bill payment, or similar and you’ll earn a free $10-$20 / year for each card. You’ll also prevent them from being closed for non-use, which does happen.

Will you get rich like this? No, but at the end of the year you can buy a $10 Chipotle card with your Amazon balance. Is it worth your time? Maybe not just by itself, but multiplied by a few cards and convolved with having debbit set up for bonuses, it will pay off in due time. Also, at the end of the year through some advanced tom-foolery known as “paying with a gift card”, you can turn it into a burrito* to reap your rewards.

Woman eating a burrito.
Reaping the small balance waiver rewards

*For more on the origin of travel hacking and the burrito, I highly recommend visiting Milenomics and listening to their excellent, high quality podcast. I’m not a paid shill, just a big fan.

1. There’s an offer floating around for 150,000 Membership Rewards with the American Express Business Platinum card after $15,000 in spend in three months. This card also has the 5x Office Supplies, Advertising, Gas, Shipping, and Wireless credits already attached, so it works even if you’ve already saved those offers to other cards. I was able to get it by:

If that doesn’t work for you, try another browser, a different search engine (baidu, duckduckgo, bing), and definitely try a desktop browser and not a mobile browser. Each will give seemingly random offers between 100,000 and 150,000 Membership Rewards.

I applied and was approved instantly.

2. Check this link for a targeted offer of 1,000 AA miles for each Hyatt night through July 31, register by June 30. This deal is amazing and unfortunately I wasn’t targeted. You might be though! Update: Thanks to Vince for pointing out the correct promotion date.

3. Southwest devalued their points from 78 points per dollar to 83 points per dollar. Just for that, I’m going to drop a few links in true Robert Dwyer tit-for-tat spirit: You should have this auto-checkin script for Southwest flights in your tool belt, and also this Southwest price drop bot. Both will require a small bit of technical prowess, but if you can write an Excel formula you’ve probably got enough.

Three is the magic number.

A few follow up items:

1. The SoFi matched round-ups deal is back in March. A quick recap: You turn on round-ups in the mobile app, create a “vault”, then when you spend with the SoFi debit card the charge is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference is placed in your vault. SoFi will match those round-ups up to a total of $25 matched. Can you guess what I’m going to say next? Set up debbit to make 28 payments to XFinity of $0.10 in March. Of course, you can make payments with debbit to other stores and providers too if you don’t have XFinity.

Side note: It took me longer to type the above paragraph than to update my debbit config for $25. I wish I could always make $25 for 30 seconds of work; that’d be $3,000 per hour.

2. Reader Katie discovered that when you’re activating Ting burner SIMs, you won’t see port-out information on the account unless you set a password. Ting’s IT must be based on Citi’s IT; fortunately for them they probably don’t have $500 million to lose accidentally like Citi.

3. Another round of Amazon discounts is available for targeted Ultimate Rewards cards. Check for the offer here after ensuring that your Amazon account has at least one Ultimate Rewards earning credit card saved in your profile. As per usual, buy a non-Amazon gift card for resale and use a single point.

4. The promo code FLASH2020 is still going strong for buying fee free Vanilla Visa Gift Cards. These gift cards aren’t as widely discussed online as BlackHawk, MetaBank, or US Bank gift cards, so don’t treat them as behaving the same. Try some things with those Vanillas even if they don’t work with other gift cards!

The Citi wire transfer system user interface, soon to be adopted by Ting Mobile.

T-Mobile has been offering a high interest checking account for a while, but to most people it became a lot less valuable last week after they announced that you’ll have to make 10 debit card transactions a month to earn 4.00% APR starting in April 2021. (Before, there was a $200 / month direct deposit requirements to earn the high rate but that’s going away.)

In my opinion this is a great change because people like you and me can automate 10 monthly debit card transactions in about 45 seconds with debbit, but most people won’t know how or won’t care to do so. When there are fewer people taking advantage of a deal like this, it tends to stick around for much longer and also tends to increase in benefits and payout over time, which means our 45 second investment will probably pay-off for at least a few years. (If you haven’t set debbit up yet, it might be more like 20 minutes on this round.)

Vitals:

  • Be a T-Mobile customer (this can be a hard pill for some of you, but I travel-hacked my way into 3 unlimited everything lines at Sprint for $10 per month each about a year ago via a now defunct deal, and then T-Mobile bought Sprint and kept my rate).
  • Enroll your T-Mobile bank account in T-Mobile rewards
  • Earn 4.00% on balances of up to $3,000 per month
  • Earn 1.00% after that

I’m going to deposit $3,100 and configure debbit to pay XFinity between $0.01 and $0.10 randomly per month, 10 times. That will earn $90.00+ per year and I’ll never have to think about it.

My philosophy: When a deal becomes more onerous, it’s much more likely to be rewarding and to stick around long-term. You can often automate away the onerous requirements too, so don’t be afraid to spend a little time getting your automation in order. For further reading on high interest bank accounts and other methods of automating, see one of my favorite travel hacking posts by the Free-quent Flyer.

An image of the T-Mobile CEO with a pink "T" tee shirt and a sport jacket wearing a clown nose.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is literally asking us to treat his company like a clown. This picture is not doctored and is very real.

Two quickies for today:

1. Do this now: Register for 5,000 bonus points with your World of Hyatt Credit card. To get the 5,000 points, you have to make 50 transactions of $1.00 or more this month. For me, this took exactly 4 minutes to knock out. In those four minutes, I added my Hyatt card to Amazon and Xfinity, and updated my Debbit configuration. With 50 $1 transactions, this is 100x earning, too bad it maxes out quickly. Have you configured Debbit yet?

2. Check for an AmEx offer for 10% off at Lowes (the store, not the hotel), up to either $50 or $100. Buy an Amazon gift card and sell at a +3% spread, or maybe you’re lucky and your Lowes sells Best Buy gift cards which will command a larger spread.

H/T: Garth Grawburg

An image of a Loews hotel backdrop with a palm tree peeking in to the corner.
I said Lowes, not Loews.