On Saturday there was a great opportunity at a major grocery store chain that gave 20% off of convertible gift cards, and as far as I know it was never made public so unfortunately there’s no place out in the open for reading more at this moment. But, we can learn a lesson for finding future unicorns: When a sale is advertised for a particular type of gift card, sometimes other gift cards in the same family will also be on sale. Trying with a small dollar amount could be extremely rewarding.

  1. Meijer $10 off $150 or more in Visa gift cards. Larger denomination gift cards aren’t excluded so I’d go for $500s. Meijer carries both Metabank and Sunrise gift cards, so you’ve got options on the liquidation front from home and in-store.
  2. The giftcards.com promo for 5% off of the total cost of Visa eGift cards for up to $1,500 in spend per transaction has one week remaining, expiring on September 11. Use promo code ENDOFSUMMER since the portals list that code in particular.

    I’m bringing this one up again because it’s a new month and that means a fresh $2,000 in monthly spend for major shopping portals, including 3x at AA. The Capital One shopping portal still lacks the $2,000 monthly restriction found on other portals, so go for that one after you hit the first $2,000 in spend.
  3. US Bank has increased its business checking account bonus from $300 to $400 without changing other requirements. To get the bonus:

    – Deposit $1,500 within 30 days
    – Enroll in online banking
    – Make 10 qualifying transactions on the account (which practically speaking means 10 ACHs or 10 $0.50 Amazon gift balance reloads from your debit card)

    If you don’t live in US Bank’s territory, open a brokerage account first in order to be eligible to open a checking account.

A hot gift card sale can have unintended consequences.

  1. US Airlines and the DOT have agreed to additional passenger rights for delays within an airline’s control (in lieu of additional regulation). Under the agreement, your rights are now:

    – A meal voucher for delays of three hours or longer
    – A hotel, or some other renumeration if a hotel is unavailable for an overnight delay

    Delays due to weather and air traffic control won’t qualify, but delays due to mechanical issues, crew availability, and gate congestion will. Because there’s no official law, the specifics vary slightly by airline. You can find the new airline policies here: Southwest, JetBlue, United, Delta, AA. Almost certainly you’re going to need to know to ask for what these rights grant you so keep the policies somewhere readily available.
  2. American Express has increased its Business Checking bonus to 30,000 Membership Rewards, after $5,000 in deposits within 30 days, maintaining that balance for 60 days, and making 10 ACH, mobile deposit, bill payments, or wires within 60 days.

    If you don’t have many shenanigans on your AmEx accounts and don’t expect to for the next couple of months, I’d do this sign up bonus and close the account immediately when it posts. If you do, I’d skip it.
  3. H-E-B grocery has a couple of travel gift cards at a nice discount through Tuesday, limit 1 per account:

    Southwest $100 gift card for $85
    Airbnb $100 gift card and a free bonus $15 H-E-B gift card for $100

    If I were in H-E-B territory I’d be scaling both of these quite a bit, but I’m not so instead I’m begrudgingly earning 1 SkyMile per dollar on my Airbnb bookings using deltaairbnb.com like a sucker.

Now you have something else to look forward to during your airport delay: A Michelin negative three star rated sandwich paid for by the airline.

  1. The Synchrony Rakuten card (a nearly defunct MEAB Unsung Hero) is being converted to a 2% cashback everywhere Mastercard. This is interesting for at least two reasons:

    – You can cycle Synchrony cards to an extent without being shutdown (unlike the Citi Double Cash for example)
    – Synchrony is offering a $100 statement credit after $1,000 in spend within three months
  2. Do this now: Register for Hyatt’s Q4 promotion for double points on all two night or longer stays between September 15 and December 20, and double elite qualifying nights at several Caribbean all-inclusive resorts. (Thanks to iheartpoints)
  3. HSBC has a $500 new checking account bonus. To get the bonus, you’ll need an aggregate of $10,000 in direct deposits for three months in a row, but with HSBC almost anything counts as a direct deposit so an ACH of $1,000 in and out 10 times is probably enough to trigger it. HSBC will charge fees without a big balance after 6 months, but you can have your bonus and convert or close the checking account long before that takes effect. (For getting “legitimate” looking direct deposits without actually using an employer direct deposit, check out Episode 28 of the Daily Churn Podcast)

    Miles was the first to note that this bonus now has a once per-lifetime language, but my somewhat educated guess is that HSBC doesn’t enforce that.
  4. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards Mastercard (another MEAB Unsung Hero) has been sending out another round of targeted spend offers through September 14, including:

    – $70 statement credit after $1,000 in spend
    – $70 statement credit after $2,000 in spend
    – 10,000 ThankYou points after $1,2000 in spend

    There seem to be other variations of these too, and on this round some registrations are coming via USPS mail rather than email, so keep an eye on both your mailbox and your inbox.

Happy Wednesday!

Not to be outdone by HSBC, Vantage West brings a compelling checking account offer to the table, literally.

  1. Oxygen is offering $100 and an iPad to new business accounts for companies shutdown by Brex, but reports are that you should open a support case and forward your shutdown email immediately after approval to ensure you get the bonus. The requirements:

    – Deposit $10,000 within 30 days
    – Make 5 debit card transactions within 60 days
    – Have no prior Oxygen business account
    – Open a support case (MEAB’s requirement)

    You’ll likely have to apply by mobile app too, but do your best to follow the promo link to get to the mobile app. Also, watch out for some terrible grammar when applying before it hits you in the face. (Thanks to SideShowBob233, and thanks to Nuhertz for noting a typo in the bonus)
  2. Two new links for American Express Business Gold cards have surfaced, and in classic AmEx style the bonuses show differently based on: your browser, whether or not you’re incognito, the IP address you’re coming from, the quantity of protein in your lunch, and your operating system. So, vary those up if you’re not seeing the expected bonus:

    130,000 Membership Rewards after $20,000 spend in three months
    110,000 Membership Rewards after $10,000 spend in three months

    Note that both have lifetime language, but that doesn’t matter. Unlike the recent 250,000 Membership Rewards Business Platinum link that’s been floating around, these aren’t post-targeted links and thus should be completely safe. (Thanks to DoC)
  3. JetBlue has $25 off of one-way non-stop trips and $50 off of round-trips booked by this evening with promo code FALLSALE, but Mint and transatlantic fares are excluded.
  4. There are a few August transfer bonuses:

    – CapitalOne 20% transfer bonus to FlyingBlue
    – CapitalOne 20% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios
    – American Express 20% transfer bonus to Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

I’m not the grammar police, but this sign (also designed by Oxygen) doesn’t mean what they think it means.

Before we jump in today: If you’re traveling through Amsterdam or London in the next three weeks or so, I’d suggest you call your airline and get rebooked on another route. With that out of the way, there are a few things to keep on your radar for the weekend:

  1. If you want to play with fire, Chase is offering a $600 sign-up bonus for opening a checking and savings account, depositing $15,000 for 90 days, and setting up direct deposit that’s bigger than an unspecified “micro-deposit” size (I’d set up at least $500 per month to be safe). The offer runs through October 19.

    To qualify, you can’t have had an existing checking and savings account for the last 90 days. I wouldn’t do this with P1, but maybe for P3, or for P2 if you keep their manufactured spend profile low.
  2. Southwest opened its schedule through March 8, 2023 yesterday, and currently we haven’t seen any schedule change sweeps past October 20 so you can still game the holiday season and potentially early spring break travel. (Thanks to Brian M via MEAB slack)
  3. Do this now: Register for double Hyatt points at MGM properties through October 15. (Thanks to FM)
  4. The Paceline credit card seems to be good for up to around $10,000 in cash back before a shutdown. I guessed initially that I’d be shutdown almost instantly if I got the card, but I think I was wrong and I’ll be grabbing it soon.
  5. Giant Eagle stores have 3x or 5x perks points for multiples of $50 of One4All gift cards through August 3, which makes this effectively a 6-10% or so rebate on gas depending on your car’s tank size. The best way to liquidate these until tomorrow is buying fee-free Mastercard gift cards at Staples. (Thanks to GC Galore)

A Heathrow spy’s photo studying Amsterdam’s solution to baggage handling labor shortages.

Watch for a barrage of promotions over the holiday weekend, especially for the gift card resale markets. In the mean time, there are a few interesting promotions to kick off the weekend:

  1. Starting today and running through July 15, the OnJuno debit card has 10% cash back on spend of up to $1,000 provided that’ve set your spending source to USDC. Effectively any manufactured spend should work to meet this promotion.
  2. Many Hilton free night certificates are expiring today thanks to past COVID extension policies. Some customer service representatives will extend these for you, and I have multiple reports of successful reinstatement and extension of the certificates if you call the day of expiration and ask to use them.

    You may have to try a couple of different times to get a representative who knows how to extend though, and you shouldn’t sleep on this if you’re affected because it’s not likely to work after today.
  3. Yun was the first to let me know that the Upgrade rewards debit card has a new referral bonus program of $100 for the referrer and referred after three debit card transactions within 60 days. Upgrade’s debit card pays:

    – 2% at drug stores, gas, subscriptions, restaurants, and utilities
    – 1% everywhere else (including PIN transactions)

    Nearside’s 2.2% cash back debit card is currently more interesting, but at the end of 2022 their rewards rate will also be 1% so it may be worth grabbing a $100 sign-up bonus from Upgrade in anticipation of that if you’re in the rewards debit game.
  4. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards Mastercard, a MEAB Unsung Hero, has a new targeted offer for 15% back in statement credits on gas, grocery, and restaurant spend up to $90 for each month between July and September. (I got and maximized the same offer for April through June too.)

    Check your inbox for email with the subject: “[NAME], activate your limited-time statement credits offer now”

Finally, I’m going to be like a normal blogger for a second and vent about something that none of you care about and isn’t related to the site’s mission — sorry in advance: The Crown City Classic is a 7.4 mile race for July 4 (7/4), and it’s something that P2 and I have participated in for years. This year though, they moved it to July 2 because reasons, and we didn’t figure that out until a week ago after our travel was already booked. Why do I bring it up? Always double check dates for events that you’re traveling to. I wish I had.

Have a nice holiday weekend!

The Crown City Classic race organizers trying to figure out exactly when 7/4 is.

Today we’re going off the beaten path:

  1. I haven’t written about the Albert debit card prior to today because I genuinely didn’t think that it was going to work out for anyone involved, but it turns out that my spidey-sense was wrong on this one. There are now multiple reports of $500 referral bonuses being paid to both the referrer and referred, and Miles notes via MEAB slack that Albert has CashApp-like boosts for 10-20% back at major retailers that are paying out too.

    The sign-up bonus is only available by referrals — so if you know someone with a $500 referral than it’s probably worth your time to go for it. The terms for the $500 bonus are three consecutive months with $200 in direct deposits (I scheduled these) and three months of $100 in spend on the debit card too (I scheduled these too with a bill pay service). The best public bonus I know of is currently $150.
  2. Virgin Atlantic has announced that Gold Elite members can book any flight for double the saver level at least 60 days in advance, up to eight segments per year. There’s a very specific traveler that this will work well for: If you’ve got a fixed vacation schedule, for example because you’re a teacher or have kids in school, you can still book relatively low cost awards even during peak travel times when normal award space might be non-existent.

    Fortunately Virgin Atlantic status is easy to get (eventually) with the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic credit card because spending $5,000 per month for 12 months on the card will earn you enough tier points for Gold Elite status. But, spending more than $5,000 per month on a single card doesn’t get you tier points any faster so you’re looking at a year to turn this into reality without flying. If you apply for this card I’d suggest getting a few Alaska Airlines cards and some Business Cash Rewards cards at the same time.

    Bank of America IT is rooted in the 1970s, so my hunch is that if you hold multiple Virgin Atlantic cards you’d be able to get the monthly tier point spend limit on each card, but I have no data points to support or reject that hypothesis. UPDATE: Reader Miles has experience with multiple Virgin Atlantic cards and confirms that two cards will allow earning tier points at twice the rate, and you can stack the companion and upgrade certificate from each card too.

Our journey to find today’s obscure news.

  1. Meijer has $50 off of a future purchase on a $500 third party gift card, limit one per MPerks account (or you can ration this down as $5 for every $50 in gift cards purchased). Noteworthy brand exclusions include Apple and Amazon, but BestBuy, Home Depot, and Nike are all included in the promotion.
  2. Staples has $200 Mastercard gift cards available for no-fee, limit five per transaction through Saturday. These are Metabank gift cards, so have a liquidation plan in place. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  3. The Target $40 online + $40 in-store RedCard sign-up bonus is back. If you’re not sure why this is interesting, see Target RedCard Hacks.

    Current datapoints suggest between 7 and 14 days are required between churning these cards. (Thanks to sb18 via MEAB slack)
  4. Simon.com has 50% off of Visa and Mastercard gift card purchase fees with promo code JUN22HOT50. These are also Metabanks. Side note: if Metabanks were in a race with other gift cards, they’d come in third out of three in their age group.
  5. Reader/maestro Larry often says something like: “Never hold a deposit account at a bank that has credit cards that you care about.” Something innocuous on the deposit account side of the business involving know your customer regulations, loss prevention, or fraud concerns can often lead to eyes on your credit card portfolio, and eyes on your credit card portfolio are rarely a good thing.

    With the above in mind, I’d suggest giving a moment of thought to the following item that everyone seems to be talking about: The new American Express Business checking account that has a relatively measly 20,000 Membership Rewards sign-up bonus after a few hoops and allows Platinum card holders to cash-out Membership Rewards at one cent per point.

    You can probably guess that I don’t think you should go for it. American Express cards are too valuable to risk holding a deposit account with their banking division, and Platinum card holders (and others) can always cash-out at a penny per point even without this checking account.

Metabank gift cards are kind of a big deal, third place (out of three) in the 14-17 year old age division.