Rhetorical random thought: Why is a college quad called a quad? If you know don’t tell me, I’m currently living in ignorant bliss on the matter and wish to keep it that way.

  1. If you have an American Express EveryDay card, check your account dashboard for a targeted upgrade offer to the EveryDay Preferred card with a 40,000 Membership Rewards bonus. You’ll have an annual fee of $95 to pay in exchange for those 40,000 points.

    For a level two churner, I’d also ask for a retention offer from AmEx the day after upgrading the card since you’re going to have to keep it open for a year anyway to stay out of the penalty box.
  2. Check your inbox for targeted spend bonuses from Discover, offering an extra 2% on spend through July 31 for up to $2,000 in spend (of course I’d only knock this out stacked with Q2 and Q3 5x spend).
  3. Giant, Stop & Shop, and Martin’s stores have 10x points on Apple gift cards through tomorrow, up to $2,000 in spend per loyalty account. Resale rates are in the 92% range right now, so this is a nice way to gin up some bonused grocery spend at above break even. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  4. Kroger has a 4x fuel points sale running Friday through Monday on third party gift cards. Unfortunately for resellers there’s been effectively some form of 4x, 6x, or 12x running all month which has depressed rates, likely through the middle of June.
  5. Graduate Hotels (a boutique hotelier with unique properties scattered across the US and Europe) is running an award sale today starting at 12 PM Eastern for hotel rooms at $30 per night, plus taxes for stays through July 31. The sale runs for 30 hours, but my guess is that the truly great options will sell out long before that. (Thanks to FM)

For some reason Washington University didn’t contact me before naming this “the quad”. I guess it is more catchy than “the polygons” though.

First, a note: if you’re playing the Kroger gift card resale game, always make sure you clip any coupon that could be, even remotely, related to what you’re buying.

And with that out of the way, let’s dive into the week with a few above-average offers and a below-average offer to balance it out.

  1. Forums lit up over the weekend with news of the Capital On Tap business credit card increasing the sign-up bonus to $750 for $7,500 in spend.This is interesting because:

    – Capital On Tap isn’t performing a hard-pull on your credit
    – The card doesn’t report to credit bureaus
    – Credit lines are typically large
    – They support payments with debit cards from their payment portal

    There are a few downsides too: This is only available by a TPG affiliate link and reportedly it’s tough to get approved without a corporation, LLC, or other registered entity.
  2. Bank of America has been emailing targeted, uncapped bonus spend offers through December 31 for:

    – +2% bonus cash back on Customized Cash Visa
    – +2x miles on the Alaska Airlines Visa
    – +2x miles on the Travel Rewards Visa
    – +2x miles on the Amtrack Visa

    Check your email for any messages from Bank of America from the weekend, especially in your spam folders. I wasn’t targeted sadly, so I’m going to have to live vicariously through you on this one.
  3. Jim was the first to let me know that OfficeDepot / Office Max has a $15 instant discount on $300 or more in Metabank Visa gift cards through Saturday. To maximize:

    – Buy the “Everywhere” cards which have a lower fee and are typically easier to liquidate
    – Link your credit cards to Dosh
    – Try and run multiple transactions back to back
  4. Meijer MPerks has a $5 Meijer gift card with the purchase of $500 in Happy Gift cards through May 28, but you have to clip the coupon first. (Thanks to GC Galore)

    Normally I wouldn’t write about a $5 back deal but it gives an opening to talk about a Happy Gift Card that’s now available in both physical and digital form (EDIT: Thanks to yehuda for the corrected link): The St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Happy card, which can be swapped to BestBuy. This is great from a velocity, resale, and anti-fraud perspective.

The outline for this post.

  1. Kroger and Harris Teeter are running another 4x fuel points bonus through Friday-Sunday on all third party gift cards, and through Tuesday with Happy gift cards. Unfortunately the fuel points resale market is rather weak right now after a series of tumultuous software updates at the fuel pumps and another two week long 4x sale that concluded a few days ago. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  2. Radisson Rewards has 30% off of “premium” hotel rooms in North America booked today in the Raddison mobile app for ios or android for stays through June 30. Premium hotel rooms are often just a few dollars more than a base room, so I think it’s still a deal even if you’re a base room person. UPDATE: Now live
  3. Do this now: Register for Wyndham’s current promotion, 7,500 bonus points after two stays through September 6.
  4. American Express is sending out physical mailers via USPS for two great sign-up bonuses:

    – 250,000 Membership Rewards for a new Business Platinum after $30,000 in spend in six months
    – 180,000 Membership Rewards for a new Business Gold after $20,000 in spend in six months

    If you get ahold of one of these, keep in mind that American Express doesn’t care who applies for the card as long as the applicant’s address matches the mailer’s address.

Now I just need AmEx to honor this, uhh, totally legit offer.

There’s a lot going on with new speculative products that we’ll discuss soon, but for now let’s talk about some active offers:

  1. The PayPal Mastercard is now generally available for new applications. The current sign-up bonus is $100 after spending $500, but this isn’t a card you get for the sign-up bonus. Instead you get it because:

    – It’s 3% cash-back everywhere you pay with PayPal or Venmo (some MS-friendly stores take both)
    – It’s a Synchrony card
    – It’s a Mastercard

    The card gets 2% cash-back everywhere else, which is fine I guess.
  2. You can currently earn 1,500 points transferrable to either AA or Hyatt by downloading the Bilt Rewards app for ios or android and linking your frequent flyer accounts. You’ll earn:

    – 100 points for linking each of your non-Hyatt loyalty partners, ten in total, though you may want to wait for increased earnings on other programs before linking immediately
    – 500 points for linking your Hyatt account before May 27

    Note that the minimum to transfer is 2,000 points. I’d love to get the Bilt card to moon my account🚀 , but I’m sure I’d be shutdown for manufactured spend before the card even arrived in my mailbox, setting a new world record. Also, blah blah blah getting below 5/24 blah blah blah. (Thanks to VFTW)
  3. OfficeMax/Office Depot has $15 back on $300 or more in Mastercard gift card purchases, bringing your net cost below face-value even without rewards or other shenanigans. To maximize the deal:

    – Link each of your Ink or other office supply bonused cards to a Dosh account
    – Try and get multiple transactions in a single trip

    These are Metabank gift cards, so make sure you’ve got a liquidation channel. They do exist nationwide but you’ve got to look.

Happy Wednesday friends!

The world record setting rewards balance plot.

Some of our favorite banks like Chase and AmEx allow you convert one credit card to another within the same card family (like converting a Delta Reserve to a Delta Gold) at any time. Other banks are a little more zany and will let you do just about anything as long as you talk to the right person, like Bank of America which will let you convert a Virgin Atlantic Mastercard to a Customized Cash Rewards Visa.

Let’s discuss some of the reasons a churner may want to do this:

Annual Fees

All of the banks mentioned above will prorate your annual fee when you convert a card to another card. You may want to do this if:

  • You forget to close a card within the annual fee refund grace period, and you don’t want the card anymore. So, you downgrade to a no-annual fee version for a prorated refund (and maybe then close the card after that posts)
  • You used all the yearly credits for a card, like the Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit, so you downgrade as soon as your credits post for a pro-rated refund
  • You don’t want to reset the average age of the accounts on your credit report, but you don’t want to pay a particular annual fee any more either

Of course for next level gaming, you can downgrade an annual fee card with travel credits and simultaneously upgrade another no-annual fee to the card with travel credits and double-dip for the same net annual fee, but that may ultimately be a risky move.

Getting Upgrade Offers

American Express in particular has card upgrade bonuses all the time, sometimes as quickly as an hour after downgrading a card. For example, last year I downgraded a Business Platinum to a Business Gold, and then upgraded it to a Business Platinum for 90,000 Membership Rewards the next day.

Bypassing Card Limits

Some banks have card limits preventing you from holding more than one of a particular card, and maybe you’d really like to have two of them. Card conversion is often a workaround. For example, what if the Chase Freedom Flex’s application terms & conditions limit you to one card? Easy, convert another Ultimate Rewards earning card to a Freedom Flex and you’ll bypass the limit.

Caveats

American Express rules for downgrading cards are perhaps better understood than any other major banks’ internal rules, however the advice there is likely good for keeping your accounts in good standing at any bank:

  • Keep a card open for a minimum of 12 months after opening
  • Never downgrade a card to a lower annual fee within 12 months of opening or upgrading

Good luck!

Converting the Amazon Prime credit card to trash.

Bank of America helps us wrap up the week with a twosome:

  1. BoA has a $500 sign-up bonus for a new business checking account funded with $20,000 and kept in the account for 90 days, though you can hack it by putting $20,000 there on day 30 and keeping it in place for days 31-90. To be eligible, you can’t have had a Bank of America business checking account within the last year.

    The effective APR on this deal is 10% if your money is held for 90 days, or 15% if you hack the bonus, so still probably worth your time.
  2. BoA also has a nice offer on the AirFrance/KLM FlyingBlue credit card. The current offer is 70,000 FlyingBlue points, a $100 statement credit, and 100 FlyingBlue XP (elite credits) after spending $2,000 in 90 days. There’s a $89 annual fee on the card.

    To see the offer do a dummy points or cash booking, though apparently not everyone can make the offer appear with a cash booking. Besides the miles, this sign-up bonus is useful for getting you half way to FlyingBlue Gold status which lets you book Air France La Premiere award tickets. Even better, open one now and second one in a few months to get the whole way to FlyingBlue Gold. (UPDATE: Vicky via MEAB slack let me know that you technically need 280 XP for Gold because your XP resets upon attaining Silver, and unfortunately the sign-up bonus XP points don’t stack. The anniversary XP bonuses do stack however.)

Have a nice weekend!

Pictured: Three AirFrance/KLM FlyingBlue elites
  1. The undisputed and strangest goat of the Miles Earn and Burn Unsung Heroes, the Citi Shop Your Way Rewards card, has a higher sign-up bonus than I’ve ever seen at $225 back after $1,500 in spend. A few notes:

    – You can hold multiple Citi SYWR Mastercards
    – The approval rules for this Citi card are different than other Citi cards
    – The normal Citi limits don’t apply (8/65, 24 month rule, etc)

    I’m likely going to delay dropping below 5/24 by a few more months to get another one of these cards. (Maybe I shouldn’t even be trying to get below 5/24, but here we are.)
  2. CashApp has a 10% back boost for online purchases at Sam’s Club on up to $200 per day for today and tomorrow, and currently Sam’s club is 2x or 3x via the Rakuten portal. This is a good way to get discount Visas, Mastercards, or Disney gift cards. (Thanks to SideShowBob233 for the pointer)
  3. Chase has a $750 sign-up bonus for new business checking account customers after depositing $20,000 for 60 days and making 5 transactions (like 5 Amazon loads of $0.50 each with my business debit card). EDIT: Thanks to RabbMD for correcting the number of transactions required. More notes:

    – You can’t have received a new business checking account bonus from Chase in the last 24 months
    – The business can’t have had a Chase checking account in the last 90 days
    – The account needs to be open for six months (but the $20,000 need only be there for 60 days)

    The effective APR for this offer is 22.5%, so probably worth your time. (Thanks to DoC)

The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards Mastercard if it were a playground.

Yesterday’s post spurred plenty of questions, discussion, and further digging. Sam at HelpMeBuildCredit.com started by letting me know about other heightened offers from Barclays, and I heard from many of you about their rules. Let’s go over both:

  1. The JetBlue Business Card has an offer for:

    – 80,000 TrueBlue points and a $99 statement credit after spending $2,000 in 90 days

    The card has a $99 annual fee which is effectively erased by the statement credit. As with yesterday’s Barclay AA card offer, this one is probably a “get the sign-up bonus, sock-drawer, then cancel or get a retention offer after your one year anniversary” card. That said, I know a few of you like to keep it and spend $50,000 a year for Mosaic status.
  2. The Hawaiian Business Mastercard has an offer for:

    – 80,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles and a $99 statement credit after spending $2,000 in 90 days

    This card also has a $99 annual fee effectively erased by the statement credit. This is also a sock-drawer and cancel after a year card.

And, a few things that came up in the last day:

  • Q: Can I have multiple versions of the same Barclays card?
    A: No
  • Q: Do I have to close a card to apply for it again?
    A: Yes
  • Q: Will Barlcays offer to match a retention bonus if you recently opened a card?
    A: Sometimes, YMMV
  • Q: Do I really have to wait six months between closing a particular card and opening the same card again?
    A: Probably, YMMV
  • Q: Does Barclays care about credit line cycling?
    A: They don’t seem to care on business cards as long as it’s 2-3x per month, they’re stricter on personal cards
  • Q: Barclays doesn’t care about anonymous bill payments.
    A: That’s not a question

And finally, I’ve been told that Barclays may not enforce 6/24 at all on personal cards — if you have a datapoint related to that I’d appreciate it if you let me know.

Happy Wednesday friends!

Against all odds, Barclays comes back for another post.