1. The American Express Business Checking Sign-up bonus is 60,000 Membership Rewards starting today. The requirements for getting the sign-up bonus are presumably the same as in the past, but I can’t confirm as of this writing so definitely double check:

    – Deposit $5,000 within 20 days
    – Maintain a $5,000 average balance for 60 days
    – Make 10 transactions within 60 days (Can your internet provider eat $0.50 charges? Mine can, but also you can transfer $500 in 10 times)

    I’m sure you know what I think about holding deposit accounts at banks with valuable credit cards, but in this case I think you’re safe because American Express took over Kabbage just a little over a year ago and hasn’t really integrated its systems. Just close it after the bonus posts, ok? Also, if you want to play with fire it seems like you can get this sign-up bonus for each of your businesses.
  2. Office Depot/OfficeMax has been running a promotion for $15 back on $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards since Sunday, but seemingly no one noticed until late Tuesday night. Regardless, the sale runs through Saturday so there’s still time to hit it. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  3. Capital One reportedly has an offer for 3% back on all spend on the Quicksilver Mastercard for the first year via a targeted offer. If you don’t see this sign-up bonus, put your AmEx socks on and try:

    – Different browsers
    – Incognito mode
    – Arriving at the landing page via search engine
    – Mobile versus desktop

    (Thanks to cardhelp2)
  4. Do this now: Register for Choice Hotels Holiday Promotion for 2,000 bonus points after two nights or 5,000 bonus points after three nights through December 31.

Happy Thursday!

Yes, American Express socks are really a thing, and no, I don’t think C. F. Frost has a pair.

Note: If you’re an email subscriber, you may have missed yesterday’s post because the plugin I’m using and daylight savings time changes don’t go well together. I believe it’s working properly now though.

Today’s items include a strange gem or two:

  1. Two US carriers are running fare sales, and it’s worth checking existing travel to see if you can get a partial refund:

    Alaska to and from ski resort cities, book by Friday
    Southwest on Tuesday and Wednesday flights, book by tomorrow evening

    The Alaska sale gets you free skiing at a few ski resorts too by showing your boarding pass. Of course in a world of refundable fares, someone didn’t think too hard about how gamers gonna game.
  2. Qatar Avios has a transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou Points and several other programs. This one is oddly tiered:

    – 20% bonus for transfers of 29,999 ThankYou Points or less
    – 30% bonus for transfers of 30,000 ThankYou Points or more

    Qatar Avios are great for business class to and from Europe, but for other cases you can transfer them to Iberia, Aer Lingus, or British Airways Avios at avios.com for other sweet spots.
  3. There’s a $100 sign-up bonus for opening a Q.ai brokerage account and funding with $100. Reportedly bonuses will post within a day typically, but take screenshots of the offer during sign-up in case they don’t. (Thanks to DoC)
  4. Office Depot has $15 off of $300 or more in Mastercard gift card purchases through Saturday. Remember, these are Metabanks, and Visa and Mastercard aren’t the same. (Thanks to ChurningTatum)

Another strange gem.

  1. Discover bank has gameable savings account bonus promotion running through this evening. It’s interesting for three reasons:

    – The bonus posts within two or three business days
    – You can deposit and withdraw the same money multiple times but deposits are cumulative for the bonus
    – There’s no time requirement for holding the funds at the bank

    The downside? There’s once-per-lifetime language. The offers are $450 for $35,000 in deposits in 30 days, with code BONUS1022E, or $500 for $50,000 in deposits in 30 days with code BONUS1122D. (Thanks to DoC)
  2. There are multiple holiday shopping portal bonuses through November 21, though because today is election day let’s call them “politician upset over loss” shopping portal bonuses.

    5,000 United MileagePlus miles for spending $1,200 or more
    4,000 AA miles for spending $1,500 or more
    3,500 Southwest Rapid Rewards for spending $1,000 or more
    2,000 Delta SkyMiles for spending $800 or more
    1,500 Alaska MileagePlan miles for spending $650 or more

    These are somewhat gameable, one of several examples includes purchasing gift cards at GiftCards.com. On that note, Miles shared that the language in the terms and conditions at for GiftCards.com has changed on most portals from “Orders over $2,000 max per month per customer are not eligible” to “Orders over $2,000 are not eligible”. What does that mean? Great question, I’m so glad you asked. I have no idea what it means, but always be probing.
  3. Do this now (if you have an American Express Platinum card): Enroll for Hertz President’s Circle status.
  4. Chase finally increased the referral sign-up bonus on several cards to match the increased sign-up bonuses available on the public applications, so now’s a good time to refer P2 for a new card, or find a new friend and make their day by using their referral. You can generate referral links here. The cards:

    – Ink Cash: 90,000 Ultimate Rewards
    – Ink Unlimited: 90,000 Ultimate Rewards
    – Southwest Plus, Premier, Priority, and Business: 75,000 Rapid Rewards Points

    There’s also an increased sign-up bonus for the United Business card for 150,000 MileagePlus miles after spending $20,000 in three months. If this one is on your radar I’d wait a week or two to see if it also becomes available via referral before committing.

Have a quadruple decker slice of something in honor of politician upset over loss shopping portal bonus day.

Buckle up, there’s a lot going on today:

  1. Southwest has 20% off of award tickets booked through tomorrow for travel through December 15 using promo code SAVE20NOW. There are blackout dates for when you might want to travel most, November 18th through 23rd and November 26th through 29th.

    If you have any existing award tickets for the same travel dates, this is a good opportunity to reprice and see if you can get a partial refund on points.
  2. The Chase Sapphire Reserve has an 80,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus and it seems like the miles and points hive mind can’t stop saying things like “ZOMG much point! Very reward!” about this bonus. I’d say it’s skippable because:

    – The Ink Preferred has a 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus, a much lower $95 annual fee, an easier approval, and is churnable
    – The Sapphire Reserve isn’t churnable, at least not more than once every 48 months
    – The Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus is currently small, so a Modified Double Dip with the Reserve and Preferred isn’t compelling
    – The Sapphire Reserve goes against 5/24

    The major use case for this card is 1.5 cents per point using Chase Pay Yourself Back, and unless you’re cashing out more than 500,000 Ultimate Rewards per year you’re likely better off with another card. Don’t feed into the hype.
  3. Capital One has a 30% mileage transfer bonus to Virgin Red through the end of the month (Virgin Red can be linked to Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club and the miles then work for either). Sweet spots:

    – Business class to and from Europe
    – ANA first or business class to and from Japan

    (Thanks to FM)
  4. American Express has an offer for $300 back after spending $1,500 at the Qantas US site by November 30. Don’t forget about tricking it by breaking the correlation if your travel plans don’t pan out.
  5. Chase has a tiered brokerage bonus for opening a new account and bringing new funds or securities (see The Daily Churn for details on transferring securities to get bonuses without selling stock and creating a taxable event):

    – $25,000: $125
    – $100,000: $300
    – $250,000: $625

    Normally you should stay as far away from non-credit card Chase products as you would from a rabid giraffe with monkeypox, but because this is a brokerage account and because of how US banks comply with the Volcker Rule, I don’t believe this bonus is a risky proposition in the absence of a margin account.
  6. There’s a heightened sign-up bonus of 85,000 miles for the Citi AA Executive card being advertised in some Admiral’s Club lounges, which beats the current public offer by 5,000 miles. (Thanks to Welcome Offer via MEAB Slack)

The travelsphere talking about the Chase Sapphire Reserve 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Bonus.

  1. Do this now: Link your Delta SkyMiles and Starbucks accounts for 500 SkyMiles and 150 stars after making a purchase with Starbucks before December 31, and then ignore all the fluff pieces you’ll see about the partnership in the next week; other than linking there’s nothing here worth your mental bandwidth.
  2. The American Express Business Gold 130,000 Membership Rewards sign-up bonus after $10,000 in spend in three months is now available via referral. As usual with American Express, to find the best offers:

    – Try multiple browsers
    – Connect to a VPN
    – Check mobile and desktop
    – Check with incognito
    – Check logged out and logged in

    And if it wasn’t a referral offer, you should also try arriving at the bonus landing page by searching for “American Express Business Gold” on several different search engines and clicking the first link.

    The current best referral offer I know of gives 30,000 Membership Rewards and an additional 4x on travel and transit for three months on up to $20,000 in spend for the referrer, which potentially makes this offer a total of 110,000 additional Membership Rewards for the referrer on top of 130,000 Membership Rewards for the referred (!).
  3. US Bank has a $500 bonus for a new personal checking account using promo code 2022OCT, provided you haven’t had a personal checking account at US Bank in the last two years or received a US Bank banking bonus in the same timeframe. The requirements:

    – Fund the account with $25
    – Direct deposit at least $6,000 twice (see The Daily Churn for ideas on fake direct deposits)
    – Enroll in online banking

    If you’re not in US Bank’s footprint, open a brokerage account with them and you’ll then be eligible for a checking account and bonus. (Thanks to DoC)
  4. Check your Chase offers for 10% back on Southwest purchases, up to a total of $50 back. This is reportedly available even on Chase co-branded Southwest cards.

Where the Starbucks Delta news belongs after you’ve linked your accounts.

  1. Meijer has $10 off of $150 or more in Mastercard gift cards with a clipped digital coupon through Saturday. This one is limit one per account, but you do have multiple MPerks accounts if you live in the footprint, right?

    If you have a cheap way to liquidate these cards and a good earning rate on credit card spend at grocery, this could easily be worth a trip to Meijer land. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  2. SoFi and Swagbucks offers combine for a $475 sign up bonus with a $5,000 direct deposit in 25 days when signing up for a SoFi “Better Bank Account”. You should be able to knock this one out in under a week making it a nice bonus.

    For ideas on manufacturing a direct deposit, check out Episode 28 of The Daily Churn, or use a business bank account that lets you enter a memo on outgoing ACHs and set the memo to “Payroll”.
  3. TastyWorks was probably the easiest bank or brokerage bonus that I did in 2021 because the bonus posted two days after transferring in funds and was completely painless. For 2022, they have a new bonus with the referral code TIERED_2022:

    – $100 bonus with $5,000 in new funds
    – $500 bonus with $25,000 in new funds
    – $2,000 bonus with $100,000 in new funds

    Unfortunately for me, this offer is only valid if you’ve never funded a TastyWorks account in the past.

Good news for those with the Super 8 in Beloit, WI on their aspirational travel list: It’s only 15 minutes from a Meijer so you can knock out two birds with one stone.

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.