1. Do this now: Register for Southwest’s latest promotion for double tier points, and for award flights to count toward A-List and A-List Preferred status through November 20. As usual, you’ll still be flying Southwest so there’s that.
  2. Apparently not content to go more than two days without a fuel points promotion, Kroger has a new 4x fuel points bonus both in-store and online for Happy, Choice, and Giving Good cards through October 4:

    Online portal
    In-store coupon

    Most Krogers now carry physical St. Jude’s Giving Good cards which can be converted online to BestBuy, and there are also multiple options for converting to Home Depot. Fuel points resale rates have crept back up which can make these deals break-even or better before credit card rewards.
  3. Staples has fee free Visa $200 gift cards, limit 8 per transaction, starting Sunday and running through Saturday, October 1. Don’t forget to try for back-to-back transactions and to link your cards to obscure card-linked programs like Payce.

    These are Metabank cards, so have a liquidation plan in place before you buy a bunch of gift cards that turn into an unwieldy stack on your desk.
  4. Some American Express accounts have been producing Personal Platinum referral links with a sign-up bonus of 150,000 Membership Rewards after $6,000 spend in six months for several weeks. Reportedly more people are now targeted, so it’s worth checking again.

    The referrer will also get between 15,000 and 30,000 Membership Rewards on card approval, making this the best personal AmEx Platinum bonus that I’m aware of (unless you can take advantage of 10x points on $25,000 in restaurant spend and a 125,000 Membership Rewards bonus with the Resy Platinum card).

Reflecting on life after flying enough Southwest Award tickets to earn A-List Preferred.

  1. Do this now: Register for Q4’s 5x spend on rotating category cards at Chase and Discover.

    Chase’s Freedom and Freedom Flex, 5x at PayPal and Walmart
    Discover IT: 5% back at Amazon and on digital wallet purchases

    The US Bank Cash+ and Citi Dividend registration links haven’t yet updated for Q4.
  2. Do this now (too): Register for Cathay Pacific’s incoming mileage transfer bonus for mileage transfers from credit card flexible currencies through November 12. Registering gets you two things:

    – A 10% bonus on transfers of less than 30,000 miles, or 15% on larger transfers
    – Resets expiration on miles in your account earned prior to 2020

    In October 2021, there was an American Express Membership Rewards 20% transfer bonus to Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles. If that or something similar from Citi or Capital One appears I’ll be making a large transfer into the program. (Thanks to FM)
  3. Simon’s volume site has 65% off of purchase fees through tomorrow on both Visa and Mastercard gift cards using promo SUPER22SAVE65. These are Metabanks so have a liquidation plan, like, I don’t know, using one of the satellite registers at Walmart for something other than a money order.

A satellite cash register, I guess?

  1. There’s a new offer for turning your American Express Platinum and Business Platinum Clear credits into a $75 Uber voucher. In the past you’ve only needed a new email address to get these to work even if you already have Clear, and I assume this time is no different.
  2. Meijer has a promotion for $50 off of $500 in many third party gift card purchases. This is the less lucrative version of this offer versus a straight discount, but still generally very lucrative. Notable exclusions are Apple and Amazon, and worthwhile inclusions are BestBuy and Home Depot. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  3. There are multiple reports in the MEAB slack and elsewhere that Mastercards from MyPrepaidCenter have been fraudulently drained since late last week, likely from a site-hack based on the data-points and given that the site was offline for much of yesterday. If you have any of those cards, I’d suggest you drain them as soon as possible, or at minimum double check the balances. If you have cards that were compromised you should be able to dispute the charges and get your original balance back, but it’ll probably be a slog.
  4. Check your email for a targeted offer from Discover bank for $100 or $150 bonus for brining either $10,000 or $15,000 in deposits into the bank by the end of September, and maintaining an average balance of at least that much through the end of November. The terms and conditions are here. (Thanks to 5 via MEAB slack)

A scammer liquidating a gift card.

  1. Do this now:

    Register for Marriott Bonvoy’s super-lame promotion
    Register for AA eShopping’s sweepstakes
    Register for Alaska MileagePlan Shopping’s sweepstakes
    Register for Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping’s sweepstakes
    Register for United MileagePlus Shopping’s sweepstakes

    The Marriott one is awful (2,000 points points per stay after your second stay September 21 – December 15, or 4,000 if you’re a Marriott credit card holder). The other ones have low odds, but the prizes are great (250,000 AA miles + $2,500, 100,000 AS miles + $2,500, 100,000 WN miles, 100,000 UA miles + $2,500).
  2. Southwest is opening their booking window through April 10, 2023 sometime this morning. If you don’t already have a spring break travel locked in, this is a good opportunity to get something booked.
  3. Staples online has fee-free $200 gift cards for sale, limit three. Worth noting:

    – Sometimes card linked programs track on staples.com online gift card purchases
    – Sometimes lesser used portals track on staples.com online gift card purchases

    These are Metabank gift cards so have a liquidation plan in place.
  4. Nutella shares that tomorrow is the last day for Citi Dividend card holders to opt-out of automatic conversion to the Custom Cash card. To do so, you have to call Citi at (888) 872-2214 and let them know.

    The automatic conversion date is apparently September 19, although there are mixed reports on whether or not the automatic conversion will actually occur.

Another candid of Citi’s IT room, illustrating why Citi’s CS reps always have their wires crossed.

  1. Southwest has a companion pass offer for booking a single round-trip or two one-way flights by tomorrow evening for travel before November 17. After you qualify, you’ll receive a companion pass valid from January 4, 2023 – March 4, 2023.

    (Thanks to the ineffable Brian M’s report via MEAB slack)
  2. Barclays has increased its personal JetBlue card’s sign-up bonus to 80,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 in spend in 90 days. The card has a $99 annual fee and isn’t waived the first year. (Thanks to DoC)
  3. The Citi Shop Your Way Mastercard (a MEAB Unsung Hero) has been sending out targeted offers since last week. We’ve seen:

    – $40 back after six purchases of $50 each month for three months
    – 4,000 ThankYou points after six purchases of $50 each month for three months
    – 15% in statement credits up to $60 in travel purchases each month for three months
  4. Meijer online has $5 off of $100 Visa gift cards, limit 10. They’re Metabank gift cards, but Kroger, Walmart, and Safeway still universally allow $99 swipes with these and the cards will auto-drain a small balance at most grocery stores, so liquidation is possibly more straightforward than is typical.

    Unfortunately I have to counteract the good Metabank news with some bad: These are fulfilled by BlackHawk Network and won’t code as grocery for any credit card category bonuses.

Good news: Meijer sells sushi for less than a dollar and will auto-drain your Metabank gift card. Bad news: This is the sushi.

On Saturday there was a great opportunity at a major grocery store chain that gave 20% off of convertible gift cards, and as far as I know it was never made public so unfortunately there’s no place out in the open for reading more at this moment. But, we can learn a lesson for finding future unicorns: When a sale is advertised for a particular type of gift card, sometimes other gift cards in the same family will also be on sale. Trying with a small dollar amount could be extremely rewarding.

  1. Meijer $10 off $150 or more in Visa gift cards. Larger denomination gift cards aren’t excluded so I’d go for $500s. Meijer carries both Metabank and Sunrise gift cards, so you’ve got options on the liquidation front from home and in-store.
  2. The giftcards.com promo for 5% off of the total cost of Visa eGift cards for up to $1,500 in spend per transaction has one week remaining, expiring on September 11. Use promo code ENDOFSUMMER since the portals list that code in particular.

    I’m bringing this one up again because it’s a new month and that means a fresh $2,000 in monthly spend for major shopping portals, including 3x at AA. The Capital One shopping portal still lacks the $2,000 monthly restriction found on other portals, so go for that one after you hit the first $2,000 in spend.
  3. US Bank has increased its business checking account bonus from $300 to $400 without changing other requirements. To get the bonus:

    – Deposit $1,500 within 30 days
    – Enroll in online banking
    – Make 10 qualifying transactions on the account (which practically speaking means 10 ACHs or 10 $0.50 Amazon gift balance reloads from your debit card)

    If you don’t live in US Bank’s territory, open a brokerage account first in order to be eligible to open a checking account.

A hot gift card sale can have unintended consequences.

  1. US Airlines and the DOT have agreed to additional passenger rights for delays within an airline’s control (in lieu of additional regulation). Under the agreement, your rights are now:

    – A meal voucher for delays of three hours or longer
    – A hotel, or some other renumeration if a hotel is unavailable for an overnight delay

    Delays due to weather and air traffic control won’t qualify, but delays due to mechanical issues, crew availability, and gate congestion will. Because there’s no official law, the specifics vary slightly by airline. You can find the new airline policies here: Southwest, JetBlue, United, Delta, AA. Almost certainly you’re going to need to know to ask for what these rights grant you so keep the policies somewhere readily available.
  2. American Express has increased its Business Checking bonus to 30,000 Membership Rewards, after $5,000 in deposits within 30 days, maintaining that balance for 60 days, and making 10 ACH, mobile deposit, bill payments, or wires within 60 days.

    If you don’t have many shenanigans on your AmEx accounts and don’t expect to for the next couple of months, I’d do this sign up bonus and close the account immediately when it posts. If you do, I’d skip it.
  3. H-E-B grocery has a couple of travel gift cards at a nice discount through Tuesday, limit 1 per account:

    Southwest $100 gift card for $85
    Airbnb $100 gift card and a free bonus $15 H-E-B gift card for $100

    If I were in H-E-B territory I’d be scaling both of these quite a bit, but I’m not so instead I’m begrudgingly earning 1 SkyMile per dollar on my Airbnb bookings using deltaairbnb.com like a sucker.

Now you have something else to look forward to during your airport delay: A Michelin negative three star rated sandwich paid for by the airline.

  1. Office Depot OfficeMax, in addition to having the most cromulent retail store name in the United States, has another $15 back on $300 or more in Visa gift cards sale running through Saturday. As usual:

    – Try for multiple transactions in the same trip
    – Use multiple Dosh accounts, one per credit card for an additional 2% back
    – Buy the Everywhere variety of cards for a lower overall cost

    Note that these are Metabank gift cards, and that the Everywhere variety doesn’t actually work everywhere because truth in advertising. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  2. American Express has a few interesting targeted offers:

    – $60 back or 6,000 Membership Rewards on $300 in Delta gift cards
    – $100 back on $500 or more at Hyatt hotels in Mexico
    – 20% back up to $250 in spend at Marriott properties in North America
  3. Giant, Martin’s, and Stop & Shop stores have 8x points on Happy and Giving Good gift cards purchased through Thursday, limit $2,000 per account. Some of these cards can be converted to BestBuy and Home Depot gift cards, which means those of you living in New England outside of Kroger’s footprint can have some fun with third party gift cards too.
  4. Get 2,400 Wyndham Rewards points and $0.35 by downloading the Bakkt mobile app, linking your Wyndham account for 1,000 points, and redeeming 100 points for $0.35 in cash for another 1,500 point bonus. Afterword, delete the Bakkt app because feng shui on your phone demands it.

Pictured: A feng shui phone captured immediately after deleting the Bakkt app.