1. Kroger and Harris Teeter are running another 4x fuel points bonus through Friday-Sunday on all third party gift cards, and through Tuesday with Happy gift cards. Unfortunately the fuel points resale market is rather weak right now after a series of tumultuous software updates at the fuel pumps and another two week long 4x sale that concluded a few days ago. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  2. Radisson Rewards has 30% off of “premium” hotel rooms in North America booked today in the Raddison mobile app for ios or android for stays through June 30. Premium hotel rooms are often just a few dollars more than a base room, so I think it’s still a deal even if you’re a base room person. UPDATE: Now live
  3. Do this now: Register for Wyndham’s current promotion, 7,500 bonus points after two stays through September 6.
  4. American Express is sending out physical mailers via USPS for two great sign-up bonuses:

    – 250,000 Membership Rewards for a new Business Platinum after $30,000 in spend in six months
    – 180,000 Membership Rewards for a new Business Gold after $20,000 in spend in six months

    If you get ahold of one of these, keep in mind that American Express doesn’t care who applies for the card as long as the applicant’s address matches the mailer’s address.

Now I just need AmEx to honor this, uhh, totally legit offer.

There’s a lot going on with new speculative products that we’ll discuss soon, but for now let’s talk about some active offers:

  1. The PayPal Mastercard is now generally available for new applications. The current sign-up bonus is $100 after spending $500, but this isn’t a card you get for the sign-up bonus. Instead you get it because:

    – It’s 3% cash-back everywhere you pay with PayPal or Venmo (some MS-friendly stores take both)
    – It’s a Synchrony card
    – It’s a Mastercard

    The card gets 2% cash-back everywhere else, which is fine I guess.
  2. You can currently earn 1,500 points transferrable to either AA or Hyatt by downloading the Bilt Rewards app for ios or android and linking your frequent flyer accounts. You’ll earn:

    – 100 points for linking each of your non-Hyatt loyalty partners, ten in total, though you may want to wait for increased earnings on other programs before linking immediately
    – 500 points for linking your Hyatt account before May 27

    Note that the minimum to transfer is 2,000 points. I’d love to get the Bilt card to moon my account🚀 , but I’m sure I’d be shutdown for manufactured spend before the card even arrived in my mailbox, setting a new world record. Also, blah blah blah getting below 5/24 blah blah blah. (Thanks to VFTW)
  3. OfficeMax/Office Depot has $15 back on $300 or more in Mastercard gift card purchases, bringing your net cost below face-value even without rewards or other shenanigans. To maximize the deal:

    – Link each of your Ink or other office supply bonused cards to a Dosh account
    – Try and get multiple transactions in a single trip

    These are Metabank gift cards, so make sure you’ve got a liquidation channel. They do exist nationwide but you’ve got to look.

Happy Wednesday friends!

The world record setting rewards balance plot.

May typically marks the start of great deals for gift-card reselling and this year the deals started early. A good gift card resale deal will be cashflow positive, scalable, and provide a nice credit card bonus category. Three of those have just hit:

  1. Many Vons, Safeway, Albertsons, and other Just4U stores have an offer for $10 back on a future purchase with a purchase of $50 or more gift cards through May 10, the most worthwhile of which for a manufactured spender is Apple with its 90-92% resale value. This is unique for two reasons:

    – The limit is one per transaction, not one per account which makes scaling easy
    – The deal isn’t chain-wide; check your region’s local weekly ad to see if it’s available near you

    Provided your Just4U store allows you to buy gift cards at self checkout, I’d buy as many of these back-to-back as you’re comfortable with using a card that bonuses at grocery or with several of your many AmEx employee cards. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  2. Save Mart and Lucky stores are running a similar deal with similar math: you’ll get 1,000 points worth $10 in groceries for purchasing $50 in more of gift cards through May 10. The best option here is also Apple.

    Unlike the previous deal though, this one requires clipping a digital coupon and is limit one per account. So, scale this one with multiple accounts, but remember that redeeming 1,000 points across multiple accounts will be annoying.
  3. Shoppers stores will print a $15 off coupon when buying $100 in gift cards for certain third party brands. The most interesting ones are Starbucks or Sephora which resell at approximately 89%.

    This will print off a coupon with each transaction, so I’d camp at self check-out and run as many back-to-back as you’re comfortable with, using the coupon for the last transaction to buy the next gift card over and over again. (Thanks to Roger)

While we’re at it, don’t forget about the slightly less profitable but still great deal for $50 back on $500 in gift cards from Meijer.

Happy Thursday!

The one thing that could throw a wrench in your plans: self-checkout lines like this.

PayPal Key was supposed to die on Tuesday or Wednesday of last week, but Saturday marks the actual date of death according to the county coroner’s office. I hope you got an extra $25,000 in daily spend after the publicized last use date and if not, take a note for the future that deals don’t always die when they’re supposed to die.

With that out of the way:

  1. As a followup to last week’s American Express Employee Card Offers post, I’ve now received three separate reports of second batches of 5 employee cards posting a bonus after the bonuses posted for the first batch of 5.

    The obvious takeaway is to call and add 5 more employee cards every day until you’ve got the limit of 99 total employee cards, assuming you’ve got the spend capacity to support it. (Thanks to Jay, Rob, and GlockLT4)
  2. Office Depot/OfficeMax (can we please drop one of those two names yet?) has $25 back in rewards for spending $100 on Happy or Giving Good gift cards through May 7. Don’t forget to link your credit card to Dosh for an extra 2% back, don’t forget to create multiple rewards accounts and multiple Dosh accounts to scale as desired, and do note that rewards typically take a few days to show up in your account.

    Frankly this is a much better deal for me than the typical Visa / Mastercard fee free deals t because you can buy a Happy or Giving Good card that converts to Home Depot and sell for 90-92% of face value, putting you ahead by a nice percentage while still getting an office supply store spend bonus and without dealing with a pesky money order. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  3. Meijer has $50 back in Meijer rewards for buying $500 in gift cards through May 7 for most third party brands (or you can break this up into $5 off of $50 increments if you like pointless extra work). I’d focus on Home Depot and BestBuy gift cards as the best for resale value, scale with multiple MPerks accounts, and double check the excluded brand list if you want a different gift card.

    You can’t buy gift cards with MPerks rewards to create an infinite loop, but you can buy frozen pizza so there’s that.

Frozen pizza from Meijer can protect you from dealing with this abomination, or if this is your cup of tea, I guess you should buy Pizza Hut gift cards? Just don’t tell me about it.

PayPal Key continued to work through the day yesterday and hopefully it will let you run another $25,000 through this morning. Fortunately, it’s been a slower week outside of PayPal Key to help keep eyes on the prize, though there are still opportunities:

  1. Kroger has 2x fuel points and 5% off of Visa and Mastercard gift cards through May 3 using code SPRING2022. Unfortunately these are Metabank gift cards, rather than the US Bank versions sold in store.
  2. Simon Mall has 50% off of all Visa gift card purchase fees through April 23 using promo code APR22EARTH50. (Thanks to Sharky for the tip)
  3. Now is the time to book into a Southwest schedule change for fall break. Why would you want to do that? Because schedule changes allow you free changes ± two weeks on Southwest. The latest round of schedule changes ran through September 4.

Happy Thursday friends.

An idea for your fall break trip: Lubbock, Texas, the home of this, uhh, “scenic” drive from nowhere to another nowhere.

This blog has a strict focus on travel hacking, churning, and manufactured spend. I’m going to occasionally write about another topic too and today is the test run. Any feedback you have is always appreciated!

  1. Wells Fargo has a $1,500 bonus for opening a new Business Checking Account in-person and parking $5,000 in the account for 60 days. To open:

    – Generate an offer code at this link
    – Print out the emailed offer
    Make an appointment at this link to open your account
    – Show up to your appointment and make small talk for 30 minutes while the banker fumbles around with the computer

    This will also work with a sole proprietorship using your own social security number in case you don’t already have a business ready to go. (Thanks to Nathan via slack)
  2. Meijer is running a sale for $10 back on $150 or more in Mastercard gift cards through April 16 after clipping the digital offer. There’s a limit of one per account, but that shouldn’t stop you. You have another email address or two right?
  3. Many of you know that I’m a big time avgeek, a private pilot, and that I miss United’s Channel 9 sorely. So it’s easy to understand why my interest was piqued yesterday while flying home on a short final for landing at our destination with an altitude of about 100 feet off the ground when the engines spooled up with a takeoff roar. We started a climb and a banked into a turn rather abruptly.

    After about a minute the captain announced that there was a loss of separation and that air traffic control had told us to go-around. It’s not the first time this happened to me and I had exactly zero stress or anxiety about it, but I did want to channel the old Russian proverb: “trust but verify“. So, I tuned into one of my favorite websites using the inflight internet, Live ATC, and listened to the rest of the uneventful approach and landing. After landing I listened to the archive and indeed our aircraft was told to go-around (now it’s trusted and verified I guess).

    What’s the point of all this? Live ATC is a great resource to figure out what’s really going on with your flight, and it’s fun as an avgeek destination too.

Have a nice Tuesday.

The passenger next to me on yesterday’s flight, probably.

  1. Kroger has a 4x fuel points promotion on all third party gift-cards running through April 19. The consequences of another 4x sale on the ailing bulk (BestBuy, Nike, Home Depot, Apple, Amazon, etc) gift card markets are:

    – Resale rates, already low, are likely to fall by 0.5% or 1.0% over the next two weeks
    – Fuel points demand is likely to saturate for points expiring in May
    – Fuel points resale rates will likely fall by a dollar or two
    – Capacity from major bulk buyers will be completely filled for the month

    Let’s look on the bright-side: I could be wrong.
  2. American Express Personal Platinum cards are now refunding up to $20 per month for Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ streaming services. Just make sure you’ve registered for the Entertainment coupon (or whatever AmEx is calling it now) before switching your billing over or before subscribing.
  3. SimplyMiles has an offer for 465 AA miles at Uber and Uber Eats up to three times with a purchase of at least $20. I’d normally want to combine this with the monthly American Express Uber coupon (or whatever AmEx is calling it now), but SimplyMiles only works with Mastercards. I guess that means I’ll pair it with the Citi merchant offer, which coincidentally is also valid for three uses. Why would I care about 465 miles? First, because it’s 465*3, but really it’s because they’re elite qualifying and I’ve fallen into the AA loyalty points trap apparently (Thanks to reader Dave)
  4. It seems like Star-Alliance was jealous of last week’s $49 offer for unlimited domestic AA and Alaska lounge access and they bullied ANA into running a similar program: Status match to Star Alliance Gold for access to United Clubs when flying United or any other Star Alliance airlines, even domestically, even in coach. This status match costs $0 and lasts through March 2023, so it’s [DIVIDE_BY_ZERO]x better than the oneworld version. On the other hand, you’ll be probably be flying United after using the lounge so there’s that. (Thanks to Loyalty Lobby)

United Club’s famous “baked bean stuffed chocolate donut surprise”.

It was a busy weekend in the travel hacking space:

  1. We saw transfer bonuses all over the place:

    Membership Rewards 40% transfer bonus to AerLingus Avios
    Membership Rewards 40% transfer bonus to British Airways Avios
    Membership Rewards 25% transfer bonus to Marriott Bonvoy (don’t do it)
    Ultimate Rewards 25% transfer bonus to AirFrance/KLM FlyingBlue
    LifeMiles 25% transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou Points

    Remember that Avios can be transferred between different partners, including the newly added Qatar Airways which has sweet spots for premium cabin travel to the middle east and south pacific.
  2. There’s an American Express offer for $100 back on $300 (or $350) of spend at Delta Airlines. Don’t forget that you can turn this into a travel credit by booking a non-basic economy fare, waiting until after midnight the day after booking, and then canceling.
  3. The Target RedCard debit and credit card offer for $40 off of $40 online and another $40 off of $40 in store is back through April 16. These are churnable as long as you wait at least a week between closing an old account and opening a new one. Even though a $80 sign-up bonus for a credit card is relatively small, there’s a lot of value to be had with that card.
  4. Costco is selling $500 Alaska Airlines gift cards for $400 in store. With the partnership with AA, you can book certain American Airlines flights marketed by Alaska with this gift card too.
  5. Multiple reports of being approved for a sixth credit card with American Express have been trickling in since Christmas, and as recently as Friday public data-points have surfaced too. It seems that the old five credit card limit is being phased out, or at least the number of people stuck at five is shrinking.

    My own data-point: I opened a sixth credit card in December, then closed a different credit card a couple of weeks ago. Two days later, I applied for a new sixth credit card and was approved (Thanks to C F Frost for giving me guidance on timing with those card changes).

Happy Monday!

With a 25% transfer bonus, you too can cash-out your Membership Rewards at 0.45 cents per point for a hotel room and free breakfast (Platinum elites and higher only) at the Marriott Courtyard in Lubbock, TX. Yum?