The reaction to yesterday’s budgeting post was next-level. Thanks to everyone who wrote in! Today’s post is a biggie, so buckle up:

  1. Do this now: Register for Hyatt’s Bonus Journeys promotion for 3,000 bonus points for each three qualifying nights up to seven times, valid for nights between October 6 and November 30.

    If you have a Chase Hyatt credit card, there’s an additional 1,000 bonus points for every three nights at certain properties with the same promotion, but the properties are mostly outside of the US.
  2. Do this now: Register for Marriott’s Go Your Way promotion for 1,500 bonus Bonvoy points for every three paid nights between September 12 and December 6.
  3. Do this now: Register for Choice’s More Destinations, More Adventures promotion for 8,000 bonus points for every two paid stays completed by November 6.
  4. Southwest’s next schedule extension for travel between April 9 and June 3, 2024 happens tomorrow, and covers both some spring break travel and Memorial Day weekend. (Thanks to the legendary Brian M, who keeps a closer tab on Southwest than Herb Kelleher did)
  5. The Capital One VentureX Business 150,000 points sign-up bonus after $30,000 spend in three months is now available online. The $395 annual fee is not waived the first year but does include an easily redeemable $300 travel credit.

    For the math challenged, you’ll earn 7x on $30,000 in spend which is hard to beat for big spenders. (Thanks to DDG)
  6. Southwest’s Rapid Rewards shopping portal has 2,000 bonus points when spending $400 in cumulative purchases through September 18. Fortunately, as a collective society we once again we know how to easily earn these kinds of bonuses.

    With the fees you’ll pay for two $250 egift cards, you’ll be effectively buying 3,000 Rapid Rewards points at 0.396 cents per point, minus whatever value you’ll earn for spending $500 on your credit card. Of course there’s a Citi Merchant offer for 3% back that gives even more upside. (Thanks to FM)
  7. There’s a new fast-track to Hyatt Globalist status for higher level AA elites. Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elites will earn Globalist(-lite) with 20 nights within 90 days of registration, and you must register by November 12.

    With a little grit, or dare I say, true grit, you can earn Globalist(-lite) in exchange for 70,000 Ultimate Rewards utilizing this promotion.

Happy Wednesday!

An avid churner navigates today’s post from the comfort of home.

  1. Kroger is selling Marianos, QFC, and Carrs brandnames (and stores) to C&S, the parent company of Piggly Wiggly subject to regulatory approval, and they’re also selling rights to Albertsons branded stores in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming. This is a double edged sword, but all things being equal as a manufactured spender, I’d rather have:

    – A Kroger instead of Piggly Wiggly
    – A Piggly Wiggly instead of an Albertsons, at least in recent history

    Markets like California and Arizona with both Safeway stores and Albertsons stores will probably get the best of all worlds.
  2. Some airline shopping portals have a sweepstakes running for 25,000 – 100,000 bonus miles, and all that’s required is logging in and clicking a button to enter:

    Alaska MileagePlan shopping
    AA AAdvantage eShopping
    United MileagePlus shopping

    Last round there were two separate winners in the MEAB community, and if someone’s going to win it might as well be one of you who probably won’t redeem 73,500 miles for a one-way to Lubbock a United Express First seat in a CRJ-700.
  3. First class tickets on China Eastern are now bookable with AirFrance / KLM FlyingBlue in addition to the normally available business class award tickets. To find them, you’ll need to choose La Premier class on the award search tool.
  4. The Bank of America Alaska Airlines personal card has a heightened sign-up bonus for 70,000 MileagePlan miles after $3,000 spend in 90 days. The annual fee is $95 and isn’t waived the first year. As with any Bank of America card, if you’re going to go for this offer probably grab some other cards at the same time.

    If you’re an value maximizer absolutist, you may want to wait a few weeks to see if an in-flight offer surfaces for 72,000 miles. I’d give that offer a 50% chance of surfacing; just keep in mind that my crystal ball broke in “The Great Christmas tree debacle of 2018”.
  5. The no annual-fee Chase Ink Unlimited and Ink Cash cards’ 90,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus is back:

    Ink Unlimited
    Ink Cash

    Referrals still pay 40,000 Ultimate Rewards to the referrer and have a sign-up bonus of 75,000 Ultimate Rewards, so if you’re running in two-player mode you’ll probably do better to refer P1 to P2. I’d also wait a week or two before doing so because it’s possible, perhaps even likely, that the referral bonus will also jump to 90,000 Ultimate Rewards (however, see prior crystal ball reference).

The Great Christmas tree debacle of 2018 shatters the near perfect MEAB crystal ball, or something.

  1. Staples has a fee free $200 Mastercard sale starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, and we’ve ping-ponged (or maybe zig-zagged? yo-yoed? teeter-tottered? ebbed-and-flowed? Sorry, I’m getting off track) back to a limit of five per transaction.

    These are Metabank Pathward gift cards, so have a liquidation plan in place.
  2. One of my wishlist cards after dropping below 5/24 is the Hyatt Business card even with its hefty $199 annual fee, and there’s good news for me and anyone (un)fortunate enough to be like me:

    – This is my last month before dropping below 5/24
    The sign-up bonus has increased to 75,000 Hyatt points after $12,000 spend

    If you spend for status or if you have plenty of award stays at Hyatt, this card is a keeper. Otherwise, it’s probably a skip because you can get an Ink Preferred 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus with $8,000 in spend and a $95 annual fee, then transfer those points directly to Hyatt.
  3. Do this now: Register for 20,000 bonus Bonvoy points after a three night stay at Marriott Homes and Villas booked between now and September 24 for stays through January 26, 2024. (Thanks to FM)
  4. Southwest has a fare sale for fares booked by September 17 for travel at least 30 days out, with requisite blackouts around winter holidays. If you have existing travel booked, it’s a good time to re-fare.

Pictured: Staples team setting purchase limits on gift cards with safety fans, week 47.

  1. The Barclays Lufthansa Miles and More credit card sign-up bonus has increased for the second time in a month to 100,000 miles after $3,000 in spend in 90 days. The $89 annual fee is not waived for the first year.

    The main use for this card continues to be to earn Miles and More, err miles, for access to awards that you can’t normally get otherwise like Swiss First. (Thanks to DoC)
  2. British Airways is one of the merchants available on the TopCashBack shopping portal with different rates for short-haul and long-haul. Apparently this has been around sporadically in the past but I just learned of it and I’m intrigued at the gaming possibilities which may or may not exist. Special thanks to Mason for bringing it to my attention.
  3. Do this now (if you live in Washington or if your SkyMiles account lives in Washington): Register for Delta12 status which earns you miles based on the Seattle Seahawks NFL season performance and Main Cabin 1 boarding during the season too.

    It’s strange, but I’ve heard of SkyMiles accounts with addresses that don’t match the address of the owner, probably because they moved and forgot to update the account or something.

Have a nice float into the long weekend!

This guy floated to Washington for Delta12.

  1. Do this now: Register for Best Western’s fall promotion for 5,000 bonus points per stay through November 20. Unfortunately it seems like you’ve got to book by September 4th though, which is the second most Bonvoy thing Best Western has ever done.
  2. Do this now: Register for Marriott’s fall promotion for 1,500 bonus points per stay through November 22. You’ll also earn 3,000 extra points for each three Marriott brands you stay at over the same period, but that’s clearly just for masochists.
  3. Simon mall in store has $2 off of purchase fees on the Appreciation Series of cards through September 10. These are the best variety of the Simon lot. (Thanks to Derthsidious via MEAB slack)
  4. A little birdie with big hair told me about some churnable Hilton links:

    Hilton Personal 80,000 Honors points after $1,000 spend in three months (NLL)
    Hilton Surpass 130,000 Honors points after $2,000 spend in three months (NLL)
    Hilton Business 130,000 Honors points after $3,000 spend in three months (churnable)

    These typically still fall under the American Express five or six credit card per accountholder limit though.

Happy Wednesday!

Best Western hotels only average a fire about once a month, so that’s a low probability downside for a 5,000 point upside.

In no particular order:

  1. Office Depot/OfficeMax stores have $15 off of $300 or more in Mastercard gift card purchases. Sometimes these scale differently than you’d expect. Don’t forget to link your cards to Dosh while you’re at it and check for Chase Offers too.

    These are Metabank Pathward gift cards.
  2. Capital One has increased sign-up bonuses on two of its no-annual fee business cards:

    $750: Spark Cash Select after $6,000 in spend in three months
    50,000 miles: Spark Miles Select after $4,500 in spend in three months

    Both are weak earners for ongoing spend with 1.5% cash back or 1.5 miles per dollar respectively, and both will be reported to your personal credit report even though they’re business cards. (Thanks to HelpMeBuildCredit)
  3. American Express has been showing offers on your Account Dashboard to upgrade Business Gold and Business Green cards to a Business Platinum. So far we’ve seen:

    – 180,000 Membership Rewards after $10,000 spend in six months
    – 140,000 Membership Rewards after $10,000 spend in six months

    DDG dug up a generic link for the 140,000 variant that’s worth a shot, but we haven’t seen a 180,000 generic link yet. If the link doesn’t work and you’ve got multiple cards under the same login, you may want to move that card to its own login and try again.
  4. Do this now: Register for 3x Hyatt points at Hyatt Vacation Club stays through November 21.

Happy Monday!

Sorry guys, I checked and there isn’t a Hyatt Vacation Club in Lubbock, even post “clap back”. Also, commas, am I right?

  1. has a sale for 10% off of $100 Visa egift cards using one of the promo codes EOSSUMMER, EOS10OFF, EOSSAVE, or VISA10OFF. The limit per order was six based on my experiments, but you can place multiple orders provided you stay under’s $2,000 in electronic gift cards per rolling 48 hours.

    Reader irieriley shared related good news: has returned to airline shopping portals. While it’s not currently showing on, you can find it directly at AA (3x), United (2x), Alaska (2x), Southwest (2x), and Delta’s (2x) portals.
  2. Barclays is sending targeted spending bonuses on the personal AAdvantage Aviator cards, with 1,000 bonus miles per month for $2,000 spend per month, for both August and September. The promo was actually weirder than that, but the rest of it requires time travel back to July to complete, so we’ll just ignore that. (Thanks to Justmeha)
  3. Breeze Airways has 30% off of fares booked by tomorrow evening with promo code YOUDOYOU for travel from September 5 through December 19, excluding two weeks around Thanksgiving.

    Breeze is Dave Neeleman’s latest airline which attempts to answer the question: “What if you started an airline with service from Vero Beach, FL to Providence, RI and tried to make money doing it?”
  4. Southwest is having a fare sale through tomorrow evening for flights that are at least 30 days away, with two black-out dates around Thanksgiving and two black-out weeks around Christmas.

    I repriced all of my already booked award travel and without exception, all of the fares were cheaper with the current sale and averaged about 25% off of my previous points cost, so double check existing bookings.

Happy Wednesday!

Pictured: The festivities surrounding the return of to airline shopping portals.

  1. American Express changed quite a few things yesterday for Platinum cards:

    Personal Platinum Family:
    – Some partner cards that were churnable are now giving pop-ups
    – The monthly Audible credit is going away in October (Wall Street Journal replaces it)
    – The minimum spend for sign-up bonuses is now $8,000
    – Platinum authorized user cards now have a higher fee of $195 each, and you no longer get three for a single fee
    – Gold authorized user cards are now called Companion Platinum Cards and have no fee
    – New language about churning restrictions in most applications (but language doesn’t matter in this case)

    Business Platinum Family:
    – Platinum employee card’s annual fee remains at $350 each
    – Gold employee cards are no longer available
    – Green employee cards are now called Employee Business Expense cards

    Fortunately employee card bonuses are still around under the new regime. There’s also wide speculation that these moves will reduce lounge crowding, and to that I say “hah, fat chance”.
  2. has $10 off of $150 or more in Visa and Mastercard gift cards using promo code DEALDAYS2023 for purchases through August 30.

    These are US Bank gift cards, and you will earn 4x fuel points too. Incidentally, The Daily Churn Podcast released a Kroger Fuel Points 101 explainer episode on Tuesday and it’s a great listen if you’re not familiar with the Kroger Fuel Points program.
  3. Staples has fee-free $200 Visa gift cards Sunday through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction (or maybe five like last week? It’s unclear.) Don’t forget that they also sell $500 cards now with a fee, and depending on your liquidation channels and your value for your own time, that may be a better deal.

    These are Metabank Pathward gift cards.

Pictured: Tuesday afternoon line for the SFO Centurion Lounge bar.
The heightened AU fees will remove two of these people, at most.