Three things to keep your Thursday flying high:

1. SideshowBob233 let me know that Point.app has an offer for 10x at Whole Foods, up to $500 in spend through June 13. Some Whole Foods stores carry Visa and Mastercard gift cards, and all carry Amazon gift cards. Either way, that’s an easy win if you happen to be near a Whole Foods.

Note: If you don’t yet have Point, find a referral link to sign up because the sign-up bonus without a referral is $10, but you’ll earn either $100 or $250 for you and the referrer if you sign up with a referral. (It used to be $100, but it now shows as $250 in my app, and some apps don’t currently have an offer. Try and find a friend’s referral first, but if your friend doesn’t have the $250 offer you can reach out to me.)

2. Greg at the Frequent Miler shares a sign-up link for an American Express Business Gold card with a 90,000 Membership Rewards bonus after spending $10,000. This link is unique because it doesn’t contain lifetime language, so you can get the bonus even if you’ve already had or currently have the card. I would absolutely sign up for this other than I’m at eleven American Express charge cards (and there’s a ten charge card limit, or so people say). If it’s still around in a month though I’ll be able to close an existing charge card and go for it.

3. Southwest is having a fare sale with flights starting at $49 each way through today. They’ll also likely be extending their schedule today, so book your fall flights now. Even better, book the cheapest fare within two weeks of your desired flight day, then when for the Southwest free change window to open up and switch to the flights you really want at no extra charge.

Your high flying $49 Southwest flight’s takeoff roll.

1. Chase Ink Business cards (Cash, Preferred, Unlimited, and Plus) have a targeted offer for 5x on Home Improvement Stores and Shipping, up to $10,000 spend per card. Visit chase.com/mybonus to see if you were targeted. My go-to for knocking this one out will be $500 Visa or Mastercards gift cards at Lowe’s. In case the generic page doesn’t work, you can try one of these specific ones which were pretty easily guessed:

Thanks to Reddit user TheSultan1 for the initial tip.

2. You probably know how I feel about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (it’s a decent card, but way over-hyped and probably not the best option out there for most of you). So, you know that if I’m writing about it it’s probably worth taking a look, and now there’s a twist that indeed makes it worth a look: If you apply in branch, the annual fee is waived for the first year and you still get the 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus after $4,000 spend. Of course make sure you don’t hold a Sapphire card currently, you haven’t had a Sapphire bonus in the last four years, and that you’re under 5/24. Or just go for an Ink Preferred 100,000 offer and skip most of the nonsense, though you will pay the $95 fee.

3. Chase green star offers are back. As a reminder, these offers bypass the usual 5/24 and prior bonus restrictions. To see if you’re targeted, log in to your Chase online account, click the hamburger menu icon (☰) in the upper left, click on “Just for you”, and look for offers that have a green star or black star icon.

Personally, Chase punked me with my only green star offer. Oh how I miss the US Bank / TD Buxx cards.

The great Chase punkage of June, 2021.

Unless you’ve been stranded on a desert island all weekend, then you’ve almost certainly heard about the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s 100,000 point sign up bonus because it pays affiliate bloggers a hefty commission when you open a card with their link, and in fairness it is indeed a historically high sign up bonus (my link is not an affiliate link, it’s not my style). Should you go for it? Maybe, but it’s definitely not the best thing that happened in travel hacking since AA retired its torture-tube E-140 fleet. A few things to consider about the card’s 100,000 points:

  • You’ll have to be under Chase’s 5/24 limit to even get the card, with or without a bonus
  • You can’t have earned a Sapphire sign-up bonus in the last 48 months
  • You can’t currently have a Sapphire product open
  • This is only 10,000 points more than the current usual 90,000 points offer, hardly something to write home about UPDATE: Harv notes that 80,000 points is the usual offer, thanks for the correction
  • The Chase Ink Preferred has a normal 100,000 point sign up bonus, and you can churn it — repeatedly

That last bullet is of particular note. You can get multiple Ink Preferred cards (even in the same week), they earn the exact same Ultimate Rewards, they don’t count against 5/24 when opened, you don’t have to worry about them showing up on your credit report, you get essentially the same benefits as the Sapphire Preferred, and they’re honestly pretty easy to get as far as Chase cards go. You can product change them to a no annual fee Ink Cash for 5x at office supply stores when the annual fee hits the second year too. Even better, Chase regularly targets business owners for 125,000 Ink Preferred sign up bonuses by mail or just for asking a banker in branch.

So, if you’re excited for the 100,000 point Sapphire Preferred bonus and it still fits given everything, by all means go for it but make sure you do the Chase Modified Double Dip which will earn you 160,000 points rather than getting the Sapphire Preferred 100,000 points by itself. Otherwise though, maybe consider opening an Ink Preferred or two instead.

Where you’d have to be to not have heard about the Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus.

It’s one of those weird holiday weeks where Monday seems like Sunday, Wednesday seems like Friday, and Citi seems like its servers consist of MS-DOS and Windows 95 machines running in a shed in rural Ohio. (One of those things is true.) Here are three to carry you toward Friday: (or is it Saturday?)

  • Point.app posted my Amazon 10x points bonus for buying a gift card as expected; what I didn’t expect was that they’d stack the normal 3x at Amazon on top of it.

    Now, they’ve got a $30.00 cash back / 3,000 point “streak” offer for using the card for 5 days in a row with an aggregate purchase size of $100. They’ve also got a 5x offer at BestBuy, both promotions run through June 13. So buy a $100 BestBuy gift card and then use Debbit for 4 days to make a $1.00 transaction automatically; you’ll earn $39 in points for spending $104. If you don’t have Point.app, find a referral link from a friend and you’ll both earn $100 back.
  • For Amazon Prime members only: Buy a $40 Amazon gift card and get a $10 bonus Amazon gift card. You can resell well above cost, but I’m guessing many of you will easily spend $50 at Amazon anyway, so consider sending yourself the card.
  • Register here for 25% back on Hyatt award stays between June 15 and August 20 at JdV, Destination, or Unbound Collection Hyatt hotels if you have the Chase World of Hyatt credit card. If any of those brands line up with your travel plans already, 25% is a great incentive. I’d suggest registering even if you don’t currently have plans in case you end up at one of those hotels before August 20.
Thursday is basically the weekend indeed.

I hope your Memorial Day was as nice and relaxing as mine was. Since I didn’t scour the churning space this weekend like I normally would, I’m going to offer your a generic tip instead:

American Express doesn’t do a hard credit-pull for almost all applications, successful for rejected, as long as you have at least one of their cards currently open. That means that sending in applications for American Express cards (especially business cards because they won’t show on your credit report) is pretty much consequence free. If you’re not lobbing in an application for an American Express sign-up bonus every few months, make sure you’ve got a good reason for it. With an average sign-up bonus sitting north of 90,000 these days and four successful business applications a year, you’re looking at 360,000 bonus membership rewards points with absolutely zero impact to your credit score. That’s a big deal.

My majestic Memorial Day wind-surfing experience. That’s one foot on the board people, I’m basically pro.

If you have an American Express personal card, or a bunch of them like me, today is a great day to give them a call or chat with them online and ask for a retention offer. In the last week I’ve been offered or seen widespread offers for:

  • 50,000 Membership Rewards on the Morgan Stanley Platinum, Schwab Platinum, and some regular Platinums
  • 30,000 Membership Rewards on the Gold and on some Platinum cards
  • 20,000 Membership Rewards on the Everyday Preferred
  • 50,000 Skymiles on the Delta Reserve

Conversely, the other co-brand cards seem to be offering nothing but a wasted couple of minutes on the phone. As always, YMMV though.

My usual language is “I’m thinking of closing this card due to its high annual fee, but before I make a decision, I wanted to see if there were any spend bonuses or retention offers available.” If there’s no offer and I want to keep the card anyway, I’ll usually say “Hmm, I think I’m going to think about it some more and call you back later.” Sometimes there are multiple offers too, so after being presented with one offer, it never hurts to say “Hmm, are there any other offers?”

Obligatory caution: If you take an American Express retention offer, keep the card open for a year to stay in their good graces. You can get retention offers with American Express at any point during your card member year, but I like to wait until the annual fee posts since cancelling the card mid-year usually won’t offer a pro-rated refund (except in Massachusetts, go Sox I guess). Big bonuses like this make me second guess that strategy though.

A picture of a barefoot Tip O'Neill on the beach in khaki pants rolled up above the thighs, a sweater with a yellow polo underneath, sunbathing under an american flag styled umbrella.
Tip O’Neill, another example of Massachusetts being just a bit different.

It continues to be a great week for manufactured spend and miles earning and with Memorial Day weekend coming up, I think it’s just going to stay great through Monday, keep your eyes peeled. For now:

  • Amazon is giving between 40% and 60% back on purchases of up to $100 when using one or more Membership Rewards points at checkout (of course, you should only use one point). This round seems to be widely targeted, everyone that I’ve talked to has had an offer. Buy a BestBuy e-gift card and resell at 96%, and stack with an American Express offer for +2 Membership Rewards per dollar at Amazon if you have it. I knocked this one out more quickly than I typed this paragraph.
  • The American Express random number generator is at it again — there’s a Hilton Surpass 200,000 American Express offer floating around after spending $10,000 in three months. The annual fee on the Surpass card is $95, which makes this a great deal in-spite of the underlying currency. To find it, search for “Hilton Surpass Credit Card” on Google, Bing, or Yahoo, and try different browsers in incognito or standard mode. You’ll get it eventually; for me I pulled it up in Safari’s private mode using Google.
  • Check your inbox for targeted offers for Delta SkyMiles American Express cards that lack once per lifetime bonus language. Delta miles are worth a little more than 1.1 cents a piece, so do the math if you get one.

For both of the American Express offers, don’t forget that there’s a five credit card limit at American Express (and a 10-12 charge card limit). Both the Hilton and Delta cards are credit cards. Both programs are also severely devalued compared to their competitors, which may mean future devaluations are still a while out.

A computer program with the title "American Express Hilton Bonus Generator" with a minimum bonus of 85,000 and a maximum bonus of 200,000.
Exclusive screenshot of the American Express backend bonus offer generator fabricated obtained by MilesEarnAndBurn.

Three month long spending bonuses on co-branded credit cards seems to have become a regular event at Chase. The current iteration started on Saturday and runs through August 15. Going to chase.com/mybonus used to be the easiest way to get registered; however in the current iteration that link won’t always show your bonus. Instead, you’ve got a much better chance of getting an offer by going to one of the following links, painstakingly compiled by JC, with a few minor edits and updates:

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa: 5% back on travel and gas purchases, up to $1,500 combined
  • Amazon Prime Visa: 5% back on travel and gas purchases, up to $1,500 combined
  • British Airways, Iberia, Air Lingus: 9x on Air Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, and Level purchases, and 5x on all other travel up to $1,500 combined
  • Disney Visa: 6% back on Disney purchases, 5% back on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • Disney Premier Visa: 5% back on Disney purchases, 5% back on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • Hyatt Visa: 8x on Hyatt purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • IHG Classic Visa: 6x on IHG purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • IHG Premier Visa: 14x on IHG purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • Marriott Bonvoy Visa: 7x on Marriott purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold Visa: 7x points on Marriott purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa: 10x points on Marriott purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • Marriott Bonvoy Premier Visa: 9x points on Marriott purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • Ritz Carlton Visa: 10x points on Marriott purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • United Club Visa link 1 or link 2: 8x or 6x points on United purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards (RR), RR Plus, RR Premier, RR Employee, RR priority Visa link 1, link 2, or link 3: 6x or 5x points on Southwest purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • United Explorer Visa: 6x on United purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • United Gateway Visa: 6x on United purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • United MileagePlus Explorer Visa link 1 or link 2: 6x or 5x points on United purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • United MileagePlus Select Visa: 7x points on United purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined
  • United Presidential Plus Visa: 6x points on United purchases, 5x on travel and gas purchases up to $1,500 combined

For the “travel and gas” category, personally I’d pick up $500 Vanilla Visa Gift Cards at 7-11, $500 SecureSpend Visas at Speedway, or $500 BestBuy gift cards at Speedway. For the United cards in particular, consider funding the United Travel Bank. Of course, there are other options — a hint for experts that I’d use with extreme caution only: refunds usually only refund at 1x.

Finally, why are there so many damn versions of Marriott cards between Chase and AmEx? I actually don’t really care to know, so don’t tell me.

A picture showing a fire bellowing out of the top of a tower on a Marriott hotel
Oh my god, we’re having a fire …. sale.