1. Do this now: Register for your personalized United MilePlay offer. I got 7,400 bonus redeemable miles with a $650+ premium fare flight booked and flown by June 7.
  2. The Citi AA Business card has an elevated 75,000 mile sign-up bonus after $5,000 spend a single purchase, and the $99 annual fee is waived the first year. Note: I tried to strip off any tracking parameters from the offer, but it wouldn’t load when they’re stripped off. As usual, I’m not here to sell you credit cards and I won’t earn anything if you use this link.

    If you thread the needle through the terms and conditions and the sign-up bonus sticks around long enough, you can get it twice in just over three months, keeping in mind that business card approvals at Citi require 91 days between applications.
  3. Office Depot / OfficeMax stores have $15 off of $300 or more in Visa gift cards through Saturday. For best bang:

    – Even multiples of $300 typically offer bigger per card discounts
    – Try for multiple transactions back to back
    – Link your cards to Dosh
    – Don’t forget the American Express Business Gold $20 monthly credit
    – Look for lower fee Visas (currently, new cards are rolling out with a $7.95 activation fee)

    These are Pathward gift cards, so have a liquidation plan in place.
  4. You can make six credit card payments with your tax return or extension due today, which is a low friction way for manufactured spend provided you can float the money in case of any potential IRS holds. You get two payments each with PayUSATax [1.82%], Pay1040 [1.87%], and ACI Payments [1.98%]. The same game works with quarterly estimated taxes to scale this throughout the year.

    Usual disclaimer: I’m not a tax professional or an accountant, and you shouldn’t listen to my advice about anything, ever.
  5. Southwest has a promotion for 25% off base fares with promo code SAVE25NOW booked by this evening. There are blackout dates, and not all flights on non-blackout dates are included, but isn’t that what Wanna Get Away+ fares are for?

MEAB vibes.

Let’s discuss recent changes in how major credit card churning banks operate today. I believe some of them are indicative of major banks’ views about current state of the economy their outlook for the near future, but I’ll leave it to you to decide which items apply.

  1. Bank of America has been reducing credit lines on existing consumer and business credit cards in a haphazard fashion, whether or not the cards have activity tied to them. They’ve also been notifying people inconsistently about these reductions, some receiving paper letters, some receiving emails, and some receiving no notification.

    I’d suggest checking your existing card portfolio and if you’ve been affected, a call to customer service asking them to reverse the reduction may work.
  2. American Express seems to have undergone a “credit profile reset” last week. The symptoms that lead to that conclusion:

    – Some that have never had call-in offers for employee cards now have them
    – Some that have been ineligible for referral bonuses are no longer ineligible
    – Some that haven’t had access to AmEx Offers now have access
    – There was a single report of being approved for AmEx cards after being locked out for years

    I have no idea if this is temporary or permanent, so I’d take advantage quickly if one of these scenarios maps to you. Always be probing.
  3. There’s been confusion about how banks combine credit pulls:

    – US Bank inquiries will be combined the next business day after pulls
    – Barclays will only combine business inquires with other business inquiries, and personal inquiries with other personal inquiries
    – Bank of America will often not re-pull credit for up to 30 days, but if it does pull multiple times on the same day, it’ll be combined the next business day
  4. US Bank, the most ghetto of all major churning banks, has a few changes:

    – They’ve reduced the overall value of their mid-tier Altitude Connect card
    – Opening a brokerage account used to be a backdoor into US Bank accounts when you weren’t in their footprint. In the last six months or so, there’s been only mixed success with that method, but apparently opening a CD is a workaround

    US Bank remains a great sleeper bank for churning, don’t sleep on that sleeper!

Have a nice weekend!

A churner enjoying a lie-flat trip hears about US Bank cards.

EDITOR’S NOTE: ⚠️Warning! Your subscription to MEAB is cancelled effective immediately due to rewards abuse⚠️ (Just kidding, that was Bilt, and they were apparently just kidding too)

  1. Kroger stores have a 4x fuel points promotion on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercards running through April 23.

    The fuel points market is currently slightly depressed, but if you can hold them for a few weeks you’ll probably get better rates. Kroger account shutdowns are largely a thing of the past with good account hygiene and keeping balances well below six figures.
  2. There’s a new free churning called CardRight that tracks sign-up bonuses, card eligibility rules, when you can close a card without clawback, current card offers, and similar features related to card churning.
  3. H-E-B Stores have a $10 H-E-B gift card with the purchase of $50 or more in Home Depot or Lowe’s gift cards. Scale with multiple H-E-B accounts. (Thanks to GCG)
  4. Yes, there have been scattered reports of big retention offers for Business cards at American Express, and we’ve been hearing them in quasi-private forums for several weeks; no, we don’t know a way to be targeted if you’re not already targeted. Either way though, you should always be checking for retention offers and comparing those to new sign-up bonuses before accepting.

Happy Thursday friends!

Bilt company party invitation preview just dropped.

  1. British Airways has a status tier match for US and Canada residents that hold elite status with Delta, Air Canada, Lufthansa, United, FlyingBlue, Scandinavian, or Virgin Atlantic. You can match to either:

    – BA Silver, which includes oneworld Sapphire status
    – BA Gold, which includes oneworld Emerald status

    Your status lasts six months, and you have to apply by May 7. Both status levels get you access to AA lounges on domestic AA tickets, including Flagship lounges for you and a guest. Just watch out for the food in the non-flagship lounges, it’s unclear about whether or not it technically counts as food, even though it legally does. (Thanks to Connor)
  2. Do this now: Check for Chase targeted Q2 spend bonuses on up to $1,000 in spend:

    Hyatt: 5x earning
    Marriott Bonvoy or Bonvoy Bold, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Marriott Boundless, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Marriott Bountiful, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Marriott Premier, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Ritz-Carlton, or alternate link: 5x earning
    United MileagePlus Select: 5x earning
    United MileagePlus Gateway: 5x earning
    United Quest, Explorer, or Club: 5x earning
    AeroPlan, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Southwest (all variants), or alternate link: 5x earning
    IHG One: 7x earning

    There are other lesser carried card linkss like the old United Presidential Plus card, Disney card, or Amazon card, so check chase.com/mybonus if you didn’t see a link above for a particular card. (Thanks to FM)
  3. The American Express Personal Gold card has an offer via referral for 90,000 Membership Rewards after $6,000 spend in six months, and it includes a 20% statement credit on restaurants for up to $250 in spend. Don’t forget to check for a 10x bonus offer on dining for the referrer too. (Thanks to InenvitableOk7737)
  4. Do this now: Register for double points at Accor Hotels in Europe and North Africa booked by May 12 for stays between May 27 and July 5.

Sample non-flagship AA lounge food. Hopefully the red parts are classy hotdog bits.

  1. Do this now: Register for 1,000 bonus SkyMiles for each Hilton stay through July 7. Stays must be booked after registration to be eligible.
  2. Meijer MPerks has $10 off of $150 or more in Mastercard gift cards through Saturday, limit one per MPerks account. Obviously it’s impossible to have more than one MPerks account, right? The science just isn’t there yet.

    Meijers sell both Pathward and Sunrise gift cards.
  3. Office Depot/OfficeMax stores have $15 off of $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards through Saturday. A few reminders:

    – Don’t forget your monthly AmEx Business Gold office supply credits
    – Typically these scale nicely in a single transaction
    – Link your cards to Dosh

    These are Pathward gift cards.
  4. US Bank has all-time high sign-up bonuses for a few cards:

    Leverage: $900 after $7,500 spend in 120 days
    Triple Cash Rewards: $600 after $4,500 spend in 150 days
    Altitude Connect Business: 75,000 points after $6,000 spend in 120 days
    Attitude Power: 75,000 points after $10,000 spend in 120 days
    Korean Airlines SkyPass Visa: 70,000 miles after $5,000 spend in 90 days

    Every single one of these cards is churnable, but the points for the Altitude Power and Connect aren’t transferrable to the Altitude Reserve unfortunately. Remember to check US Bank tips and that US Bank combines hard-pulls for same day applications. (Thanks to DoC)
  5. A Chase Ink Unlimited $1,200 sign up bonus after $6,000 spend in 90 days has been floating around private forums for several weeks, and has now became public, though with extra tracking information (the link I used lacks the extra info). This is the same link you get from an in-brach business banker which means:

    – It should be safe
    – It will usually not be subject to 5/24, you may be approved up to 8/24

    Just like the US Bank points above, these points are stuck with this credit card and can’t be transferred to another card, making it effectively a cash-back only play.

Happy Monday!

At least science knows some things.

  1. Chase Pay Yourself Back categories for Q2 for the Sapphire Reserve are:

    – Wholesale clubs
    – Pet supply
    – Gas stations
    – Annual fee

    We lost grocery stores, but gas stations and wholesale clubs both typically sell gift cards.
  2. The Alaska MileagePlan shopping portal has an offer for $500 bonus miles after $100 spend by April 8.

    Giftcards.com remains available through the shopping portal, and there are still ways to liquidate these both online and in person.
  3. Do this now: Check for targeted Q2 spending offers on Chase cards for 5x on up to $1,000 spend at grocery, gas, and home improvement stores, all of which sell gift cards. Cards with less valuable currencies like the IHG card have slightly higher multipliers like 8x.
  4. If you have a Chase United card, check for a targeted Rewards Your Way spend bonus. Reported offers include your choice of bonus PQP or 24,000-36,000 miles for $10,000-$20,000 in spend. (Thanks to BrianInMD)
  5. The Barclays Aviator Red AA card has an increased referral sign-up bonus of 70,000 miles for the referred after a single purchase, and another 10,000 miles for the referrer. The $99 annual fee is not waived for the first year.

Yes friends, there was no April Fool’s Day fake post yesterday because at MEAB, every day is fool’s day (?).

  1. An update to the PSA about Google Pay and US Bank Altitude Reserve 3x mobile wallet earning: I heard from a few readers that Google Pay works for them at 3x, and Nick at FM said the same. At this point I think the criteria for whether or not it works is a combination of whether you’re on mobile or desktop, and when your Google Pay wallet was created, which probably dictates which technology stack it uses.

    I’ve also heard from several readers that Apple Pay doesn’t earn 3x for them either, but removing the card from your wallet and then re-adding it fixes the issue. What a mess!
  2. Starlux Airlines opened its schedule for travel between Seattle and Taipei, and business class is currently bookable for 75,000 Alaska miles. Award availability is currently better than average. Flights start on August 16.
  3. The American Express Hilton Business card was enhanced to a lower overall value proposition. The highlights:

    – Increased annual fee to $195 after July 1
    – No more free night certificates at $15,000 spend or $60,000 spend after July 1
    – Quarterly $60 Hilton credit
    – Base earning goes from 3x to 5x immediately
    – Bonus 6x categories are gone after July 1

    I usually have 2-3 of these in my rotation at any time, specifically for the free night certificate spending. Post this change, I’ll have between zero and 0 of these. #bonvoyed
  4. Priority Pass cards issued by Chase are losing access to restaurants on July 1. If you value this benefit, chat with Cookie Monster about your business card needs or become a Bank of America Elite.
  5. RobinHood is the new cool kid on the block with a co-branded card issued by Coastal Community Bank. It has no sign-up bonus and an effective annual fee of $60 because you’ll need a RobinHood Gold membership and that’s the current 12 month cost. The card earns 3% cash back everywhere and obviously will be huge in the right hands, which hopefully includes a lot of you.

    When a new product comes out there’s always a trade-off between hitting it as hard as possible in a short time on the assumption that it’ll be cut quickly, and being moderate to take advantage of the product over years because the long-term value will be huge. This one almost certainly falls into the former category.
  6. Staples has fee free $200 Visa gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction.

    These are Pathward gift cards. (Thanks to GCG)

Have a nice weekend!

A black cat walking under a ladder near your wallet is another potential fix for US Bank 3x earning.

If you follow churning blogs or forums, you’ve no doubt seen that US Bank has double cash back rewards running through Saturday. But, I think based on the content out there, most of the major content creators haven’t actually used it, so let’s add some practical notes:

  1. There are multiple aspects of the double cash back promotion. Not only are card-linked offers doubled for the next three days (which is the only thing I’ve seen written), but the US Bank shopping portal’s earnings are also doubled for the next three days.
  2. It can be really hard to find US Bank rewards landing pages. So, I’ve linked to both variations, just make sure you login to your US Bank account first before trying these links:

    US Bank rewards hub (login to your US bank account first)
    US Bank card linked offers page (login to your US Bank account first)
    US Bank shopping portal (login to your US Bank account first)

    Did you even know US Bank had a shopping portal, and that it earns points on point earning cards? Did you know that Lubbock is considered the one of the world’s capitals for burrowing owls? Did you know that owls can even burrow in the ground? (Wow, we’re off track today, my bad)
  3. The card linked offers are their own kind of special:

    – You have to add card-linked versions of the offer during the promotion or they won’t double
    – They work for any personal card on your account, and maybe for any business card too
    – Grocery stores occasionally show up
    – Gaming works like Chase Offers or BankAmeriDeals
    – The card-linked portal often just shows a spinner, and when that happens, try later (I don’t have a better solution, but if you do, please let me know)

This promotion is actually much more lucrative than you’d probably think. Always be probing, and good luck!

Mr. burrowing owl is shocked that content creators aren’t always experts when they write on a topic.