1. Kroger has a 4x fuel points promotion on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercards in-store tomorrow only. Amazon gift cards remain excluded from the promotion.

    Fuel point rates and some bulk resale rates are increasing slightly as we enter crop harvest season, despite Pepper’s continued dominance depressing rates.
  2. Alaska has a back-to-school shopping portal bonus for 1,000 bonus miles after $550 or more in online spend through August 5. As my made up sources confirmed, Delta still hasn’t pushed bonus, though I still expect AA to release one joining United and Southwest’s versions.
  3. American Express Offers has a $250 statement credit with $1,250 or more in US originating airfare with Qantas through August 27.
  4. The Capital One Venture card has a 75,000 point and $250 Capital One Travel Statement credit sign-up bonus after $4,000 spend in three months. The card’s $99 annual fee is not waived in the first year.

Preparing for the fall harvest.

  1. The Citi Shop Your Way Mastercard has new mid-month targeted spending offers for online spend:

    – 200,000 Shop Your Way Rewards after $1,000
    – 250,000 Shop Your Way Rewards after $1,000
    – $30 statement credit after $500
    – $50 statement credit after $750
    – $70 statement credit after $1,000

    These offers stack with other ongoing offers leading to $350+ in statement credits monthly for many. Sure the sign-up bonus sucks, but that’s not what this card is about. If only giftcards.com, this offer, and the next news item could form some kind of holy trifecta. (Thanks to Justin O, Dave 37, and birt)
  2. Two airline portals have back-to-school shopping portal bonuses for cumulative spend through August 12, which is an extremely long time for a shopping portal.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards : 2,000 miles after $500 spend
    United MileagePlus Shopping: 2,500 miles after $600 spend

    Likely Alaska and American will have similar bonuses later this week, and Delta won’t because they don’t believe in holy trifectas (according to sources that I just made up).
  3. American Express Offers has several new airline offers:

    – 30,000 Membership Rewards with $2,000+ spend at ITA Airways through September 30
    – $300 statement credit with $2,000+ spend at Virgin Atlantic through September 16

    Normally these are semi-gameable, but ITA is particularly hard to deal with so caveat emptor. (Thanks to Connor and DoC)
  4. The Chase IHG Premier One Business card has a heightened sign-up bonus of 200,000 points after $9,000 spend in six months, and the $99 annual fee is not waived for the first year. The card also gives $50 in United Travel Bank credit annually, so I’d consider that part of the sign-up bonus too.

    We talked about an IHG devaluation last week and now that the dust has settled, the point value should probably be taken as somewhere between 0.45 cpp and 0.85 cpp, or even more if you have the IHG Select card for it’s 10% rebate and you book flexible rates.

Have a nice Tuesday!

The other holy trifecta.

  1. Southwest has a 20% rebate on a single award flight booked by today with registration for travel through November 20. (Thanks to imadogg)
  2. Giant Foods, Martins, and Stop & Shop stores have 10x points on Home Depot, Lululemon, and some gift cards that aren’t high enough rate on the resale market to bother with through Thursday, limit $2,000 per account.

    Pepper still offers competitive pricing on one of those two brands, so expect demand to be slightly lower than normal. (Thanks to GCG)
  3. The Wells Fargo Choice Privileges cards have heightened bonuses. Note that there seems to be an affiliate code in the link, and I get error codes when I strip it out. I don’t know if anyone will be paid a commission when you apply through this link, but I can tell you I definitely won’t (just like all MEAB links):

    – Mastercard Select: 100,000 points after $3,000 spend in three months, $95 annual fee
    – Mastercard: 70,000 points after $1,000 spend in three months, $0 annual fee

    The Mastercard Select earns 5x at gas, grocery, and home improvement stores, and has a 30,000 point annual bonus. Choice has some awful hotels, but they’ve also got some good to great properties in the Ascend Collection, some Radisson properties, and Preferred Hotels. (Thanks to DDG)

Happy Monday!

Counterintuitively, free breakfast at Choice Hotels diminishes the value of Choice points.

  1. Do this now: Register for your United MilePlay targeted promotion.

    I got “book and take a trip in a premium seat 1 time to get 5,000 bonus award miles” through September 13. Sounds great at first, but the fare must be $500 so it’s not that great.
  2. Do this now (if you didn’t yesterday because I bungled the link): Register for targeted AA promotions for miles or loyalty points. My offer was 5,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after two paid flights in any cabin in August or September.
  3. You’ve heard of Bilt, right? They are to credit cards what Marriott Bonvoy is to Loyalty Programs; sure there’s value to be had, but you have to wade through plenty of sludge and grime to find it. A few choice examples:

    They’re actively seeking to bonvoy manufactured spenders
    They’ve recently removed valuable transfer partners
    They shutdown a bunch of their users, but didn’t actually, it was just an accident

    Well, they’ve found another way to #bonvoy their early adopters and presumably biggest fans: At the end of the year, they’re closing cards opened in 2021 and early 2022 issued under Evolve Bank, which, side note, leaked customers’ private data for funzies. Don’t worry though, they say if you apply by the end of August they’ll give you 10,000 bonus points, so it’s all cool right? No, not right. At least you can lock all of your credit reports, apply and get denied, and still earn 10,000 points. (Thanks to pizza42bob)
  4. Staples stores have fee free $200 Mastercard gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction.

    These are Pathward gift cards.
  5. Chase’s no annual fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold card has a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points and a 50,000 point free night certificate after $2,000 spend in three months.

    I think there’s a niche for this card, specifically if you don’t spend many nights in Marriott Hotels but occasionally need them when nothing else is available. I fit this bill, but very much nothing else has to be available.
  6. Chime has a $301 or $318 portal sign-up bonus for new customers that apply through the end of the month and have two direct deposits (or “direct deposits”) of $200+ in 30 days. (Thanks to FM)

Have a nice weekend friends!

Better alternative to Marriott Courtyard: No $39 parking fee and no $59 resort fee on free night stays.

  1. Do this now: Register for Hyatt’s promotion for double points at Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels through October 15, up to 25,000 total bonus points.
  2. Do this now: Register for targeted American Airlines promotions for bonus miles or loyalty points (EDIT: Fixed link). My singular offer was 5,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after two paid flights in any cabin in August or September.
  3. IHG seems to have devalued its points at most properties, with awards now pricing between 0.45 cents per point and 0.55 cents per point as compared to cash rates, though the bright side (?) is that redemptions seem to top out at 500,000 points per night. I’m still able to find outsized value around major holidays in major cities, but the chicken is pretty far gone from the coop.

    This actually happened a few days ago and I’ve been waiting to hear more experimentation from the community, but coverage has been weak at best; probably due to the Big Point lobby’s tentacles in mainstream media, or something.
  4. Kroger has a 4x fuel points promotion on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercards, excluding Amazon. The promotion runs tomorrow only.

    Often single day or single weekend promotions at Kroger have weird coding, so always be probing.
  5. Alaska Airlines released its July Global Escapes promotional cities, which give discounts for travel to or from several cities between October 1 and January 31, 2025 in economy or premium economy only. This month’s promotional cities: Guadalajara, Athens, Muscat, Taipei, Rome, and Delhi.

How the Big Point lobby operates.

  1. Multiple reports including this one confirm that Chase is matching last week’s increased Ink Preferred sign-up bonus of 120,000 Ultimate Rewards on referred cards, which means in two player mode the effective bonus is 160,000 Ultimate Rewards:

    – 40,000 points for the referrer
    – 100,000 points for the sign-up bonus after $8,000 spend in three months
    – 20,000 points for a matched sign-up bonus via Chase Secure Message

    Of course if you’re in two player mode, each player can refer the other and based on a weird academic discipline called “math”, 2 * 160,000 = 320,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
  2. British Airways devalued short-haul flight redemptions on AA and Alaska metal. A couple of notes:

    – Alaska’s MileagePlan award prices were already cheaper for short haul
    – Etihad awards are cheaper for short haul on AA
    – Other Avios currencies like Qatar and Finnair have lower prices
    – You can freely transfer Avois between programs

    So yes, this kinda sucks, but there are plenty of workarounds. Never blindly accept award pricing in oneWorld. Can’t we just get back to fake travel blogger rage until the next British Airways Visa card heightened bonus comes out and move on?
  3. There are two brokerage bonuses that may be worth your time:

    TastyTrade: up to $5,000 but only for new customers
    Schwab: up to $6,000 for new and existing customers

    Brokerage bonuses are typically easy if you have retirement (or non-retirement) assets in the stock market, because you can ACATS transfer your existing portfolio to meet the requirements without a taxable event (but of course, I’m not a tax advisor and no one should ever take my advice about anything, literally ever, instead consult with an accountant from a weird academic discipline called “finance”).
  4. Meijer has a couple of promotions running through Saturday:

    – A clippable digital coupon $10 off of $150+ in Mastercard gift cards
    – An automatic 10,000 MPerks points with $100 or more in Choice gift cards

    Often the clippable coupons can be reloaded after each purchase on the same MPerks account, but I don’t know if that’ll work this time. In case it doesn’t, based on a weird academic discipline called “Information Technology”, it’s possible to have multiple email addresses and thus multiple MPerks accounts. (Thanks to GCG)

A credit card offer from a weird, non-academic discipline called churning.

  1. Do this now: Check for targeted Q3 spending offers at chase.com/mybonus. Most offers are a variation of:

    – 5x or 7x at gas, grocery stores, or restaurants up to $1,000 spend
    – A bonus 1x or 2x on up to $6,000 or $9,000 in spend
    – Stupid HBO Max offer

    Checking each card in a new incognito tab avoids errors and false negatives. Or, you could develop a bot to check all of your chase cards for you #itsbeendone.
  2. Today is Bilt’s 25-100% transfer bonus to Alaska Airlines MileagePlan, on up to 50,000 transferred miles.
  3. Chase’s Q2 Pay Yourself Back categories have been extended through the end of Q3. Wholesale clubs continues to work well in bulk with golden items, and with Visa and Mastercard gift cards.
  4. Office Depot/OfficeMax has $15 off of $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards through Saturday. For best results, buy even multiples of $300, try for multiple transactions back-to-back, and look for the cashier with dead eyes. (Thanks to GCG)

Sample dead-eyes Office Depot worker.

  1. AirFrance and KLM’s FlyingBlue program has a paid status match for Silver status at $99 or for Gold status at $299 available to US and Mexico residents. Both will get you free checked bags on SkyTeam flights including Delta and the ability to choose Comfort+ seats close to departure. Gold will also get you into SkyTeam lounges, but only when flying on international itineraries.

    Two notes: (1) You may already get Silver or Gold status through Bilt for free, and (2) the main SkyTeam lounge that most of us use is the Delta SkyClub, which is easily accessible with American Express Platinum or Delta Reserve cards even on domestic itineraries.
  2. Meijer stores have 50,000 bonus points with the purchase of $500 in most third party gift cards, limit one per mPerks account.

    Like its big brother Kroger, Meijer excluded Amazon from its points promotion. Also like its big brother Kroger, you can have more than one loyalty account assuming you can invent a way to have multiple email addresses.
  3. More cards have been targeted for offers like Friday’s American Express Business Gold spend bonuses of 15,000 Membership Rewards per employee after $4,000 spend on no-fee expense cards, up to 99 times. We’ve now seen the offer on:

    – Business Gold cards
    – Blue Business Plus cards

    It’s probably out there on Blue Business Cash and Green cards too, always be probing.

Happy Monday!

Kroger and Meijer hang at a family reunion.