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. 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. Office Depot/OfficeMax has $15 back in $300 or more in Visa gift cards through Saturday. Recently, the Visa version has been better than the Mastercard version at scale. For best results:

    – Try multiple transactions back to back
    – Link your cards to Dosh (UPDATE: Fixed link, thanks to Gary)
    – Look for the Everywhere variety, some of them are easier to liquidate than the generic version
    – Look for a Chase Offer for 10% back in spend

    Have a liquidation plan in place too because these are Metabank Pathward cards, the Macaulay Culkin of gift cards. (Thanks to DoC)
  2. OfficeDepot.com has an offer for $10 off of a $100 shipped Visa gift card through Saturday, limit three per account. They won’t code as office supplies though, so it’s better to run these on a normal spend card than an Ink.

    These are also Metabank Pathward cards.
  3. Shop-Rite stores have a promotion for $10 off of a future grocery purchase when you buy $50 or more in third party gift cards through Saturday, including Happy, Uber, and Metabank Pathward One4All gift cards. Scale this one with multiple accounts. (Thanks to DDG)
  4. United has a new MilePlay promotion with targeted offers for discounts, miles or upgrades. My offer was was “book and take a trip two times for 2,500 bonus miles” by March 10. That’s a big fat Metabank meh.

The aftermath of a trip to Shop Rite for a gift card explosion.

  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.

  1. Kroger has a 4x fuel points points promotion running on third party gift cards from today through Sunday which makes it a good weekend to knock out minimum spend or to maximize your American Express Personal Gold grocery annual capacity provided you have relationships in place with gift card and fuel points brokers.
  2. In addition to Tuesday’s US Bank $400 business checking bonus, there’s now a personal checking and savings bonus of $600 with promo code 2023JAN. Requirements for the bonus:

    – Direct deposit $6,000 or more across at least two deposits in 90 days
    – Deposit $25,000 in the savings account by February 28 and keep it there until May 31

    In general it’s a bad idea to keep a deposit account at a bank with credit cards that you care about, but US Bank and Bank of America both make approvals and churning more accessible to account holders, so churners should keep the account but not use it.
  3. Staples has fee free $200 Visa gift cards on sale running Sunday through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction. They’re Metabank gift cards so have a liquidation plan in place.
  4. Most domestic narrow body Delta flights will have free WiFi starting on February 1. Regional jets and wide body flights will be hit or miss until the end of next year.
  5. H-E-B has a digital coupons for a free $25 H-E-B gift card with the purchase of a $150 Delta, Uber, Lyft, or Southwest gift card through Tuesday. There’s a less exciting $25 H-E-B gift card with a $200 airbnb gift card too. You can scale this one with multiple loyalty accounts. (Thanks to GCG)
  6. Avelo Airlines, the Houston Texas based airline that doesn’t actually serve any cities in Texas, has apparently partnered with Capital One, and the partnership includes a better sign-up bonus for the Venture card than is otherwise available:

    – 75,000 Capital One non-transferrable miles
    – $200 statement credit on Avelo purchases
    – Priority boarding on Avelo for the first year

    Avelo’s pedigree includes aircraft and operating certificates from Casino Express, an airline that answered the question: “Can you profitably provide service form the most anti-vice, ultra-conservative city in the nation (Provo, UT) to sin city (Las Vegas, NV) and still make money?” The answer turned out to be yes, duh. (Thanks to I_COMMENT_2_TIMES)

The airport taproom and tavern at Provo Municipal airport in Provo, Utah features a selection of the city’s strongest ales.

  1. The original MEAB Unsung Hero, the Citi/Sears Shop Your Way Rewards Mastercard has a higher, choose-your-own adventure style sign-up bonus: the current heightened $225 after $1,500 in spend and 10% off of your first purchase with the card at Raise. (Thanks to Miles)
  2. Meijer MPerks has a digital coupon for a $10 Meijer gift card with $100 or more in Happy Cards, Choice Cards, or One4All Cards. Many of these can be converted to gift cards with resale rates well above 90%; just remember that the post-Christmas gift card cash out by buying electronics to ship to buyer’s groups is going to be hard for a couple of months.

    On the flip side, $10 will buy a whole lot of unsold discount Christmas candy at Meijer so hooray for your dentist.
  3. China reopens for tourist travel on January 8th. My spot checks showed very little in the way of paid or award routes between the US and China, but I expect that’ll change rapidly over the next couple of weeks, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for a trip to China.
  4. Giftcards.com has vanished from most shopping portals, though it’s notably still present on Capital One Shopping, which is open to anyone whether or not you hold a Capital One card. This has happened in the past, so I don’t expect it to be a long-term outage but 🤷‍♀️. (Thanks to irieriley)

Brach’s discount Christmas taffy, also known as “dentist’s yacht maker”.

  1. I’ve been seeing scattered reports of Metabank Visas and Mastercards being spotted at the gift card rack at Kroger stores for a few weeks, but hadn’t seen any in the wild at my stores until yesterday. At 3 out of 4 stores I visited, all of the US Bank Visas and Mastercards had been replaced with Metabanks. At the 4th store, there was a Kroger clerk actively removing the US Bank cards from the rack based on directions from corporate, though the clerk didn’t have any more information to offer. At this point though it looks like the change is in-process and nationwide.

    Unfortunately the Metabank cards are harder to liquidate and have a $6.95 activation fee instead of US bank’s $5.95 fee too, so #bonvoyed.
  2. DansDeals reports that Chase Ink cards are no longer subject to 5/24 as of yesterday morning and running through December 31. Multiple reports in MEAB slack suggest that while it’s probably true for certain unknown circumstances, it’s definitely not globally true. If you try and you’re denied, remember that some physical mailers continue to bypass 5/24.
  3. A few tips if you’re caught up in the Southwest meltdown:

    – Your travel insurance almost certainly won’t cover the cost of a ticket on another carrier, but probably will cover a hotel, food, and perhaps even a rental car
    – If your rebooked itinerary sucks, proactively check for a better one every few minutes, inventory is constantly shifting
    – Consider nearby airports, one-way car rentals, a bus, a train, or dropping a leg from your trip to get there quicker

Good luck!

I would brag that my holiday Southwest flight arrived early and in its original factory uncanceled state, but 1) I flew Southwest, and 2) the mechanics didn’t even get the exit sign on correctly, so here we are.