1. Delta and Hertz have strengthened their partnership, and you know it’s serious because they paid for a stock photo in the press release. The takeaway is that if you’re a Delta Medallion and you rent with Hertz, consider ensuring that your SkyMiles number is linked to your Hertz profile because the earnings rate on Hertz spend is somewhat compelling for higher tiers:

    – Diamond: 8 SkyMiles per dollar
    – Platinum: 7 SkyMiles per dollar
    – Gold: 6 SkyMiles per dollar
    – Silver: 5 SkyMiles per dollar
    – General: 4 SkyMiles per dollar

    If you have Delta elite status, the linkage will also grant you Hertz President’s Circle (Diamond or Platinum) or Five Star status.
  2. The American Express Business Platinum card now has a public 170,000 Membership Rewards offer displaying under the right circumstances. As usual, if you don’t see the offer on the first round try:

    – Using an incognito browser
    – Connecting to a VPN
    – Switching to another browser
    – Switching between desktop and mobile
    – Hitting the link from a search engine after searching for “amex business platinum”
    – Crying

    This link does have lifetime language, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get the pop-up. If you’re approved and have spend capacity, maybe lob in an app for another Business Platinum at a different link because reasons. (Thanks to DoC)
  3. There’s an IHG status challenge promotion open to everyone for paid stays between tomorrow and April 30. The status lasts through the end of 2024. You’ll earn status based on the number of nights:

    – Gold: 2 nights
    – Platinum: 5 nights

    IHG status isn’t super-compelling, but I’d register in case you end up at an IHG property anyway.
  4. I apologize in advance for the vagueness but here we go: If you’ve been using a product from four letter FinTech company to pay a four letter credit union through an intermediary, watch for a mass of charge reversals and refunds for payments sent last week, and double check that anything that should have been refunded actually was because the four letter FinTech doesn’t always handle refunds properly. If you don’t keep track, you’ll almost certainly lose some refund money in the ether. 🪦

Happy Tuesday!

IHG’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lubbock Central has an unpublished elite benefit: no broken car windows (by the hotel staff). Unfortunately this member didn’t have status.
  1. Citi has been emailing targeted offers for an additional 5% back up to $1,500 in spend on PayPal purchases, the subject for mine was “Matthew, activate this special offer to earn 5% back with PayPal”. In case you haven’t seen an email, you can check to see if you’re targeted at this link.
  2. Discover has 15% off of airbnb gift cards for cash-back redemptions to gift cards. It’s also a good time to remember that Discover’s 5% cash back can be more than 5% by selling gift cards.
  3. Bank of America has a weird, targeted $1,000 sign-up bonus for the no-annual fee Business Advantage Unlimited Cash Back card. This link circulated on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, but the applications seemingly didn’t work so I never wrote about it. After submitting basic information, applicants didn’t see a credit-pull and the application ends in a blank screen.

    Reports from the weekend say that even if you get a blank screen during application and you don’t have a credit pull, the new account may be approved and will just show up in your online Bank of America profile, so I see now downside in lobbing in an application. This is a business card so it won’t show up on your credit report after it’s been opened either.

Bank of America engineers working through questions regarding the credit card application workflow.

  1. Staples has a promotion for fee-free $200 Mastercard gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit eight cards per transaction.

    These are Metabank Pathward gift cards, so have a liquidation plan before you’ve got a stack of them taller than an ostrich sitting on your desk.
  2. The Chase IHG Rewards Premier credit card’s public sign-up bonus was just upped to 175,000 IHG points after $3,000 in spend in 90 days, but unfortunately the heightened bonus doesn’t show up with referral links; if you’re in the market for this card, I’d wait a few days to see referral links get the same increased offer (they probably will), then generate a link from P2’s account or from a friend’s account.

    The highest offer we’ve seen in the past for this card was 140,000 bonus points and a free night certificate, but I’d take the all points version anytime.
  3. Kroger.com has $10 off of $150 or more in Visa and Mastercard gift cards purchased online with promo code JAN2023. These earn 2x fuel points too, and unlike several recent Kroger promotions this one worked flawless for me on the first try.
  4. Some Bilt news:

    – On February 1, there will be a 100% transfer bonus to Hawaiian miles
    – You can access a stripped-down, not-all-airlines version of Point.me through the Bilt mobile app on the “Travel” tab using the “Transfer Partners” search mode
    – It’s been kept relatively quiet in the churning-sphere for unknown reasons, but Bilt credit cards have had widespread fraudulent charges posting, so double check your account
  5. Alliant Credit Union has a $400 new account bonus for opening a checking, savings, and certificate account with at least $100 deposited in each and $10,000 in funds combined between the three through April 30. This credit union used to have a compelling credit card offering, though they’ve nerfed the program a bit and it’s moved from compelling to interesting.

Have a nice weekend!

The news-dump-mobile was spotted in the wild running on discounted fuel from Kroger purchased with a hacked Bilt card.

  1. Hilton has targeted status extensions for current elite members, most requiring a single night stay in the next two months for status extension through March of 2024. You can check to see if you’re eligible at one of the following links:

    Diamond
    Gold
    Silver

    Thanks to AirDreamer2 who initially posted the UK variant of this promotion.
  2. DoC notes that there’s now a public landing page for the targeted $200 sign-up bonus after $1,000 in spend for the Synchrony Venmo credit card.

    Normally I wouldn’t care about a $200 sign-up bonus from a second tier bank, but Synchrony is special because reasons which makes this card interesting, even more so with any sign-up bonus.
  3. United has a promotion running through tomorrow for $75 off of round-trip flights to Europe, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Dubai, or Amman in Economy or $250 off of round-trip flights in Business Class. When booking using promo code VACAYABROAD for the discount, which sounds to me like something Rory Culkin would say. The code covers travel between February 1 and May 17.
  4. MEAB Public Service Announcement: I’ve gotten a continuous stream of reports about 99 employee card offers on various American Express business cards since mid-last year; the party’s still on friends.

Happy Wednesday!

A passenger models the complimentary international economy United Amenity kit.

  1. The American Express Business Green card’s public sign-up bonus no longer includes a waived first year’s annual fee as of yesterday. Parts_Unknown_ notes that referral links still include a waived annual fee for the first year, and indeed that’s how it’s working for me. There are two ways to squirrel this away in case you might want a Business Green in the next several months:

    – Generate an email referral link from your AmEx Dashboard today, then save it for the future
    – Apply for the card now (especially if you’re not eligible) by referral link, then reconsider after a denial within 60 days

    The Business Green is the Kieran Culkin of credit cards (for those playing at home).
  2. Do this now: Register for IHG’s Q1 promotion, 2,000 bonus points for every two nights stayed between February 9 and April 14.
  3. Do this now: Register for targeted Marriott Q1 promotions. Links we’ve seen so far:

    2,000 bonus points per night and double elite night credits for stays February 7 though April 23
    2,000 bonus points after one stay that includes a Friday or Saturday, and 3,000 after a second

    You may have better luck if you login to your Marriott account first, and if neither link works check the “Promotions” tab in your Marriott account. (Thanks to VFTW)
  4. Simon online has a code for 35% off of purchase fees for Visa and Mastercard gift cards. These are Metabank Pathward gift cards, generally speaking.

The Courtyard Lubbock’s beautiful three hole golf course could earn you an extra 2,000 Bonvoy points, which should cover the cost of a golf tee.

  1. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards card has been sending out new targeted spending offers, and yes, they stack with other offers also sent this month. The spend bonuses apply to online purchases made through February 14. We’ve seen:

    – $30 statement credit after spending $500 or more
    – 7,500 ThankYou Points after spending $750 or more (Thanks to Santosh)
    – 150,000 Shop Your Way Points after spending $1,000 or more (Thanks to Zach)
  2. US Mobile, a Verizon MVNO, has a phone number port-in deal for 100 free days of cell service including 15GB of data per month. This is a great place to park a burner number or to bring a new one online, or more than one if you want to go MEAB style. To unlock the full 100 days, turn on auto-pay but make sure to shut it off before 100 days is up.
  3. Do this now (if you hold a Chase United credit card): Register for a targeted spending bonus for up to $1,500 in spend on:

    – 4x on United purchases
    – 4x on hotel stays
    – 2x on travel

    The bonus runs through February 28. (Thanks to hanibals20)
  4. OfficeDepot / Office Max has a deal for $15 back on $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards running through Saturday. Don’t forget to link your cards to Dosh, and try and get multiple transactions through at the same time. There’s also a Chase card linked offer for another $10 back.

    These are Metabank cards which don’t work everywhere for liquidation, so make sure you have an outlet before you go ham. (Thanks to DoC)

Pictured: Buying a stack of Metabank gift cards without a liquidation plan.

There’s been recent discussion on both reddit and MEAB slack about American Express no-lifetime language (NLL) links, but information is scattered and not always consistent. So, let’s discuss:

Generic No-Lifetime Language Links

There are a few different flavors of no-lifetime language (NLL) business links out there. First, the generic versions which are always around and were last discussed here in April of last year:

The generic links are worth checking periodically, sometimes not a single one will work for a given account one day, and then all of them work the next day; American Express’s targeting changes quickly. It’s easy to pick out a generic link because the full URL is readable, something like:

https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/campaigns/small-business/bundles/business-gold-employee-card/

I consider generic NLL links as completely safe for any account because they’re targeted, and American Express will prevent the application from processing if you’re not targeted.

Offer Code Specific No-Lifetime Language Links

Other times we’ll see offer code specific no-lifetime language (NLL) business links out there, such as the 250,000 Membership Rewards link that was hidden in this post. Those links look like:

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/card-application/apply/business-platinum-charge-card/61303-9-0/#/

The main distinguishing factor is the number at the end of the URL, an offer or marketing code. These links fall on a range from safe to scary.

It can be tricky to tell where a given link lies on that spectrum, but the scariest ones are “post-targeted” links, meaning that the link bypasses the targeting check part of an application workflow. You can typically tell if a link is post-targeted because the application flow doesn’t have anywhere for the popup to appear, it’s a single page with a submit application link at the end that doesn’t even need you to login.

Clawbacks and Shutdowns

What does unsafe mean when you’re using a link? It means one of two things:

I’m unaware of any shutdowns from using generic NLL links, ever. I am aware of of shutdowns for using offer code specific post-targeted NLL links, but the last confirmed data point is a couple of years old, which seems to mean that American Express cares less about post-targeted links than they used to for some unknown reason.

Going Plaid

This wouldn’t be MEAB if we didn’t discuss the possibility of a bit of shenanigan-like behavior, so let’s dive in friends: If you stumble upon an offer code specific NLL and you’re targeted for a generic NLL at the same time, you can probably be approved for both on the same day. Additionally, if you stumble upon a few different offer code specific links, you can probably be approved for both of those on the same day too. Always be probing!

American Express going plaid.

  1. Kroger has a 4x fuel points sale on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercard gift cards running through January 24. What about Monday, you ask? Currently datapoints don’t look great, but always be probing. (Thanks to GCG)
  2. Chase’s Air Canada Aeroplan card will have Pay Yourself Back starting tomorrow at a rate of 1.25 cents per point, and the capacity is in theory unlimited through the end of this year (it drops to 50,000 points per year next year). I wouldn’t normally bother writing about this because meh, but this time is different because *checks notes* this card isn’t the only mechanism for getting Aeroplan miles.

    Next year the cash-out limit is small enough that this is a 2023 only special as far as I’m concerned.
  3. The main American Express Business Gold no-lifetime language (NLL) offer has targeted more accounts. The bonus is 90,000 Membership Rewards after $10,000 in spend in three months and another 10,000 Membership Rewards after adding an employee card and spending $1,000 in three months.
  4. Do this now: Register for Radisson Rewards America’s Q1 promotion, 5,000 bonus points on every stay through March 20.

A cheeseburger that’s as appetizing as changing a stay to a Raddison for an extra 5,000 points.