1. Check Office Depot or Office Max stores for $15 off of $300 in Visa Gift Cards between now and July 31, which will net you $1.10 or more on the purchase itself. Also, note that the “Everywhere” versions of these cards can be a bigger bang for your buck but will work at a smaller set of retailers. Finally, make sure you link your card with Dosh too. It’s not supposed to pay out on gift card purchases but almost always does anyway, netting you even more.
I’ve been waiting for this to appear for a while and I’m glad it finally showed up. I know where I’ll be visiting a few times a day each day this week. (Thanks to GC Galore)
For the second time this year, Flyertalk had a unique find that I haven’t seen anywhere else. What even is 2021? I used to read Flyertalk every single day, and now I’m lucky to visit once a week. Anyway:
1.There is a Hyatt Globalist status challenge available to anyone right now, and you’ve got through November 30th to register. This one is slightly harder than normal because you’ll have to call a full service Hyatt’s sales department and ask to register, so you can’t just clicky-clicky your way to status. When you register you’ll get Explorist status through 2021 no matter what. But you can earn status through February 2023 pretty easily:
Stay 10 nights to keep Explorist
Stay 20 nights to earn Globalist
My usual advice is that Globalist is absolutely worthwhile and valuable, and lower status with Hyatt is barely worth mentioning and you can replicate most of it with a nice “please” to the front desk at check-in. (Why yes, I have been called cynical before. Why do you ask? Actually, maybe they just called me apathetic, I can’t be bothered to remember which.)
2. Meijer has a $5 reward for every $50 spent on gift cards, up to 10 per account through August 14. I hope if you live in Meijer land that you’ve gotten a few MPerks accounts by now. Make sure to add the offer to your account UPDATE: MJ let me know that there’s no need to add the offer to your account on this round.
Do note that several gift cards are ineligible, but Home Depot and Best Buy are both eligible so there’s lots of juice to squeeze. (Thanks to Stephen at GC Galore)
I didn’t understand what Happy Cards were or how they worked for a few years and I missed out on plenty of deals as a result. Don’t miss out like me. They’re an obtuse product on the surface, but it’s all actually quite easy. There are two flavors:
Physical Happy Cards
These cards are made of genuine, bona fide electrified, six-car monorail plastic, just like non-premium credit cards, debit cards, or most other gift cards. These are the less desirable version for a gift card reseller because you have to go through a third party store (i.e. GameStop) with the Happy card to buy a gift card that you can actually sell. Often you can shop online at that third party store rather than making a trip to a brick and mortar location though. My favorite use case for the physical flavor is to use a “Happy Treats” card at gamestop.com to purchase an electronic Steam gift card, which has resale rates of 90-93%. Often you can buy Happy Treats cards at a 20-25% discount.
An interesting side note: these gift cards are really just Visa gift cards that are hard coded to work only at certain merchants. As a result, there were loopholes that let you cash them out in the past. Happy has since plugged all the holes that I’ve seen discussed in private groups, but there may still be more.
Electronic Happy Cards
These cards are really just an email with a digital code. You use the digital code at happycards.com to exchange it for a store gift card, which is also electronic and directly resellable. These are great because after a few clicks, your deal is complete and you can move on, no physical cards or trips to the store to worry about. I always prefer this flavor to the physical because it literally takes about two minutes and you’re done.
There are dozens of types of Happy cards, for example: “Happy Treats”, “Happy Mom”, “Happy Dad”, “Happy You”, etc. The only difference between all of the types is where they can be used. For example, Happy Treats can be used at Regal, GameStop, Cold Stone, Yankee Candle, Ulta, and Sally. You’ll also find that the same stores will appear on multiple types of Happy Cards: GameStop shows up on Happy Treats, Happy You, Happy Dad, Happy Grad, and probably others.
There are great deals to be had on Happy cards throughout the year, especially around major holidays (like I don’t know, maybe Labor Day for example?) Watch for them — they’ll almost always turn into credit card spend, profit, and sometimes portal cash back.
Two roundups in a row? What can I say, it’s that kind of weak I guess. Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger, or something.
1. AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue has a widely targeted 30% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards. This, combined with the Flying Blue promo rewards can really turn into some great business class redemptions to Europe. Look for an email with the subject “Convert your American Express Membership Rewards® points now to earn 30% more Miles!” The one in my inbox had a link, but the link just takes you to the American Express page to transfer Membership Rewards to Flying Blue so I won’t post it here.
2.This week’s fee free $200 Visa Gift Card sale expires at Staples tomorrow night, but don’t worry, another one starts on Sunday, but this time with fee free $200 Mastercard Gift Cards, limit 5 per customer or per transaction, depending on how your store rolls. I’m going to pass on this one because the stack of gift cards on my desk is growing uncomfortably large right now, especially considering that the closest Staples translates into 25 minutes in the car each way for me.
Side note that you didn’t ask about and don’t really care about either: I miss the OfficeDepot/Office Max sales quite a bit because there’s one of those about 5 minutes away on foot from my house.
3. American Express has another round of 20,000 Membership Rewards Authorized User bonuses going out for the Personal Platinum card. Use this link to see if you’re targeted. (thanks to Fryes)
4. Kroger has another 4x Fuel Points promotion running today through Sunday, and the BestBuy market is hot with the release of pre-orders for the Nintendo Switch OLED version. It’s going to be a productive weekend, especially if Kroger’s IT starts awarding 6x again.
Have a great weekend, and if you have ideas on cashing out some stupid Equinox credits, hit me up!
2. Google Pay has an offer for 20% back at Walgreens, up to $25 maximum cash back. If you happen to be at a Walgreens, buy a $125 gift card to max this one out; BestBuy, Steam, or Home Depot (in that order) are likely your best options. Of course, put a card that bonuses at drug stores like the Chase Freedom Flex behind Google Pay if you have one.
3. Check any Chase co-brand card for a new spend offer at chase.com/mybonus. Try all of your co-brand cards (Hyatt, BA, Southwest, United, AARP, etc), but realize that if you got an offer in the last round that’s still going, that same offer is what you’ll see this time.
4. This weekend you were able to get up to three $250 Visa Gift Cards at 10% off at GiftCards.com, and it worked across multiple orders even though it wasn’t supposed to. I didn’t write about it since the Terms & Conditions said it would expire before yesterday’s post, but amazingly it’s still working (although the code has changed slightly, now it’s INDEPENDENCE10). It may be actually dead by the time you read this, but maybe not. If it does work, be sure to go through a portal for extra miles or cash back.
Remember, FLASH2020 at VanillaGift.com lasted about five months past its expiry so don’t be afraid to lob a few tries at GiftCards.com. Also, remember “Trust but verify” when it comes to the T&Cs, this is another great case study.
5. Ling let me know that Cash.app has a boost for 5% back at Sam’s Club Online this week. When the portal bonus for Sam’s is elevated, this can be a great deal, especially if you have a Membership Rewards earning Rakuten account.
After a heavyweek of posts, it’s time for a return to normalcy. (Yes I mean the pre-COVID kind. No, I don’t actually have a way to get us there, but thanks for believing in me.) So, let’s jump in with a quadruple:
1.Check your inbox for a targeted free $100 from Delta to use by August 31. To search for it, I’d use the query: “in:anywhere from:delta subject:100“. I didn’t get it, but maybe they’ll like you more than they like me.
2.Kroger has a digital coupon for 4x fuel points on gift cards starting yesterday and running through July 13. Expect to see a lot of Marshall’s, Nike, Best Buy, and Home Depot demand from gift card resellers over the next two weeks. The two put together can easily make this a money maker deal before the credit card rewards, and a gonzo deal after them.
3. For your manufactured spending needs (except American Express), Simon has a code for 44% off of fees for purchasing Visa and Mastercard gift cards with the code: FS44JUN
4. Apparently this has been around for a while but it’s new to me: Create a dummy award booking with Delta and during the checkout process you may find an offer for a Delta Personal Gold card with 70k bonus miles, a 20k miles rebate, and no annual fee in the first year. I’d take that offer if I could. Just close it after when the annual fee hits after 12 months, or better yet get an upgrade or retention offer on the card for a juicier win.
Friends, we’ve finally reached the goalpost: American Express’s monthly PayPal credits are going away after June, so you can take that one off your laundry list. With that in mind, let’s talk about the things to wrap up as June and Q2 draw to an end:
1. Spend any American Express credits in Uber Eats or Uber by Wednesday night.
2. Check for any annual fees that posted this and call the bank for a retention offer. I suggest saying: “I’m thinking of closing this card given its high annual fee, but before I decide what to do I was wondering if there are any retention offers or spend bonuses.” Hopefully you can’t add this much longer, but it’s still kosher to say: “COVID has made it really hard to use the benefits, I wish it would end soon”.
American Express specific note: If you accept a retention offer, plan on keeping that card for 12-13 months to avoid getting popups that deny credit card bonuses going forward.
3. If you have an American Express co-branded personal card (Marriott, Delta, Hilton), make sure you’ve attached the dining offer to your card and that you’ve spent it by Wednesday night. The easiest way to do this from home is to buy an exact value DoorDash gift card on Fluz. Amazon Meals is another decent option. As always, find a Fluz referral from a friend to make their day if you don’t have an account already, they’ll earn something and so will you.
5. Make sure you’ve spent any $10 American Express Personal Gold dining credits. My go to is the local coffee shop; a couple of lattes and a pastry jump just north of $10 on GrubHub. I know ShakeShack works for a lot of you, but honestly I’m just not a big burger guy.
6. Cancel any cell phone burner accounts that you’re done with (and for which you didn’t use a virtual credit card number that already expired).
7. Spend your AmEx Personal Platinum $30 PayPal credits. The easiest way to get these out under the wire is with PayPal Digital Gifts which has been paying the credit even though the T&C says that it shouldn’t. If you’re set up as a gift card reseller, you can alternatively buy gift cards for resale on Fluz or eBay gift cards on Slide. This is the last month you have to worry about this one 🎉🎉.
10. Cash out any remaining American Express Business Platinum Dell $100 credits. I like to buy and resell Xbox gift cards. The XBOX10 promo card is still working on this one too. Make sure you go through a portal.
So, I started out with a Weekend Wisdom post but then got excited by item #1 when I found it on FlyerTalk, then I got excited that I found a useful piece of info on FlyerTalk for the first time in years, and then finally I felt like I had to throw a few other things along with it to fill out your weekend. Here’s my disconnected result:
1. Did you pound the Discover Q2 5% bonus at Warehouse Clubs? Yeah, neither did I. But, there’s a reason to step foot in a Sam’s Club again: $500 Vanilla Visa and Mastercard gift cards are coming back to Sam’s brick and mortar stores. The fee on these is $4.95, so an all around good deal. In case you’re not a Sam’s Club member, you can join for $45 and get a $45 Sam’s Club gift card either online or in store. If you do it online, go through a shopping portal — it may work.
2. Now let’s talk about easy minimum spend from home for a moment, especially given all this week’s American Express offers. Good options are: Plastiq, Bravo, and Fluz. With Bravo, you can do some archeology on older APK files and find a way to get the fee down to 2%, but it’s not for the feint of heart. With the right options on Fluz, you can approach 0%. On Plastiq, you’ll pay 2.85%, but you can be really creative with your targets to get your money right back in your pockets. There are other payment processors too; if/when you find one, try small charges on Visa, Mastercard, and American Express because often you’ll get different results with each.
Of course these aren’t the only at-home options. There are others that you’re no doubt passingly familiar with like gift card reselling, buyer’s clubs, Kiva, and online arbitrage (that last one is a ton of work though, but you can do really well if you’ve got the stomach for it).
3.Starter Bros locations in California are offering $10 off when you buy a $50 gift card and $10 in groceries. This might seem like a sleeper but you can scale it. Side note: Until very recently I just assumed Starter Bros was like AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto, or Pep Boys. Spoiler alert: it’s not.