1. Do this now: Book any Hyatt reservations at hotels changing categories by this evening because the category change happens tomorrow. Hyatt’s calendar is open for approximately the next two years, so there’s plenty of speculative calendar space to book at the old price.
  2. Meijer has a gift card promotion of 5,000 points for each $50 in gift cards, up to 25,000 points per MPerks account. To maximize, buy a single $250 or larger gift card per MPerks account (probably Apple for the sake of resale, other bulk brands are excluded). (Thanks to GCG)
  3. Do this now (if you have SoFi): Login to your SoFi dashboard and enable extra FDIC coverage on up to $2M cash in your account.
  4. Staples has a fee-free promotion for $200 Mastercard gift cards running through Saturday, limit eight per customer. To minimize the time spent in crusty old office supply stores, try for multiple transactions back to back.

    These are Pathward gift cards, so have a liquidation plan in place before you fill up your swimming pool with stock.
  5. Safeway has a great promotion for 10x points on Google Play gift card purchases of $50 or more with apparently no limit. A $500 Google Play gift card will resell for approximately 89%, and each 100 points is good for $0.10 off per gallon of fuel at participating gas stations.

    For the math challenged, a single $100 Google Play card will earn you $1 off per gallon, up to 25 gallons (the current maximum redemption limit per fill up), not to mention credit card rewards in the grocery category.

Happy Monday!

Don’t worry, it’s not always humans that have a hard time with math.

  1. American Express has a few new offers for travel:

    – $200 statement credit after $1,000 in spend at Hilton
    – $200 statement credit after $1,000 in spend at Marriott (properties vary)
    – $100 statement credit after $100 in spend at Hyatt
    – $150 statement credit after $600 in spend on Delta through AmEx Travel

    Double check the terms and conditions for your offer because there are certain geography restrictions, though they’re very broad and you’re covered in the US and Mexico at minimum.
  2. Staples has fee free $200 Visa gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction.

    Make sure you’ve got a good liquidation channel before you scale this deal. Currently it seems that Black Hawk Network is blocking more than $500 in transactions at the same store for some undetermined time period. (Previously I thought it was Metabank Pathward implementing these restrictions, but cards from other issuers running through Black Hawk are having the same issue.)
  3. Do this now: Register for Wyndham’s Q2 promotion for 7,500 bonus points for two night stays, 15,000 bonus points for three night stays, and another 5,000 bonus points if you hold a Wyndham credit card. Valid for stays between March 1 and May 14.

    The max earn over the promotion period is 30,000 bonus points plus the 5,000 cardholder bonus.
  4. There are two new airline transfer bonuses:

    Citi ThankYou Points 20% bonus to Avianca Lifemiles through March 31
    Capital One 30% bonus to Virgin Red (which transfers to Virgin Atlantic) through March 30

    Both programs have some great sweet spots in both coach and in premium cabins.
  5. Giant Food, Martins, and Stop & Shop stores have 10x back through Thursday on some gift cards, but most notably Home Depot which will resell for between 91% and 93%. Unfortunately there’s a limit of $2,000 per rewards account, but you can get around that right? (Thanks to GCG)

Have a nice weekend!

That $200 statement credit at Marriott will cover the damage from your Bonvoy resort fee rampage.

  1. Hyatt has made its annual adjustment to its award chart. Cliff notes:

    – Some aspirational properties are more expensive
    – Mexico and Caribbean all inclusives are more expensive
    – 214 properties increasing in cost, 157 decreasing in cost
    – Book before March 28 to lock in current pricing
  2. Check your American Express offers for new Dell bonuses, which are especially useful when used in conjunction with Business Platinum credits:

    – Spend $599 or more and get $120 back
    – Spend $200 and get $40 back
  3. FM notes that there’s an easy way to see Delta award space for partners by using Virgin Atlantic’s calendar view and modifying the origin and destination airport codes in the URL. I’d copy this URL into your notes and modify as needed for a quick search:

    https://travelplus.virginatlantic.com/reward-flight-finder/results/month?origin=SLC&destination=PHX&airline=DL&month=06&year=2023

    Just change the origin, destination, month, and year as needed, then paste into a browser, but note that it only works for non-stop routes.
  4. Capital One has a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic through March 30, which obviously works well in conjunction with the previous offer when searching for Delta award space.

    Side note: the airline code for ANA, another sweet spot redemption on Virgin Atlantic, is NH. I couldn’t make the above calendar view URL work with that airline though. If you have better luck please let me know.
  5. Check for a targeted email from Discover for an extra 6% cash back on PayPal through May 31 on up to $1,000 in spend.

    All I got was yet another offer $25 back for adding an AU card and making a purchase which continues to not be worth my time. Actually, maybe it is worth my time so that they stop sending the offer every few weeks. (Thanks to Over_Associate_1233)
  6. Southwest has new targeted promotions, check here. Reported promos:

    – 2x tier qualifying flights booked and flown from March 1 to May 31
    – 10% TQPs and 1 TQS for award flights booked and flown from March 1 to May 31
    – 3,000 bonus TQP for every $5,000 in spend between March 1 and May 31

    I wasn’t targeted for any of these either. (Thanks to DoC)
  7. Wells Fargo has a $325 sign-up bonus after receiving $1,000 in direct deposits within 90 days of account opening with a new Everyday Checking account for new personal checking customers, for accounts opened by April 10.

    If you have an existing personal checking account already, consider closing it for the next time this offer rolls around.
  8. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards Mastercard, the Michael Jordan of the Unsung Heroes, has a new spending offer for a $60 statement credit each month after making four $75 or larger purchases in that month, valid March, April and May. (Thanks to birt via MEAB slack)

Pictured: MEAB flexing URL hacking skills.

  1. There are a few shopping portal bonuses for cumulative spend through February 13:

    1,000 miles at United for $25 in spend for Chase United cardholders (EDIT: New customers only)
    500 miles at United for $25 in spend for non-cardholders (EDIT: New customers only)
    500 miles at American for $200 in spend
    500 miles at Alaska for $150 in spend

    Sadly giftcards.com is still absent from these portals.
  2. US Bank has a $500 business checking account bonus running through March 31 with promo code Q1BUS23. Requirements:

    – Deposit $3,000 within 30 days and maintain it for at least 60 days
    – Enroll in online banking

    US Bank is an exception to the rule about holding deposit accounts at bank accounts with interesting credit cards. Typically you can churn these as long as your account has been closed for at least six months.
  3. Office Depot/OfficeMax has 20% back in rewards for Happy and Choice gift cards through Saturday, limit $100 in rewards per account. Some of these convert to high value bulk gift cards, and rates are high for Q1.
  4. Do this now: Register for Best Western’s new promotion, 8,000 bonus points for stays two nights or longer through May 7, with a limit of 16,000 bonus points during the promotion.

    If you end up at a Best Western and there’s another option near where you’re going, I’m sorry. If there’s not, I’m sure it’ll be a great stay 😅.

Just another Friday night at the Best Western Plus in Muskogee, Lubbock’s sister city.

  1. Simon has a few new Simon discounted purchase-fee codes available:

    DEC22FLASH35 for 35% off of Visas and Mastercards through December 14
    DEC22FESTIVE50 for 50% off of Abstract Red or Abstract Emerald Visa gift cards through December 25
    WRAP22UP for 50% off of Holiday Design Visa gift cards through December 31

    Different Simon codes (obviously) work on different types of gift cards, and for an added level of complexity, some work only on business volume accounts, and some work only on consumer volume accounts.
  2. Best Western has a promotion for a $50 bonus gift card with each $200 gift card purchased, limit five. The $50 bonus card expires on May 31, so it’s only useful for travel in the near future, at least to the extent that Best Western is useful for travel in general. (Thanks to DoC)
  3. Kroger.com has 5% off of the total cost of Visa and Mastercard gift cards through Friday with promo code HOLIDAYS22. These are fulfilled by Metabank, but are actually issued by US Bank. You’ll earn fuel points on the purchase too. (Thanks to Alex Z for making sure I got this right)
  4. Southwest open their booking window tomorrow for travel through August 14, 2023, which makes this one of your best opportunities to book placeholder summer air travel that may involve Southwest, especially if you check for price drops during future fare sales or in the weeks leading up to travel.
  5. A follow-ups from yesterday’s post: The Office Depot/Office Max $15 back on $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards deal still works as advertised, but the extra trick that worked on recent promotions for Visa gift cards isn’t working on this one.
  6. Meijer has a digital coupon for a $15 Meijer gift card with $100 or more in Happy, Choice, or One4All gift card purchases. Some of these can be converted to Home Depot and Best Buy gift cards for a nice profit. Be sure to scale with multiple Meijer accounts.

Pictured: Where the Office Depot/OfficeMax extra trick seems to have gone.

  1. MyGiftCardsPlus has 10% back on Delta Gift cards for up to $1,000 in spend. (Thanks to GCG)
  2. American Express has heightened referral bonuses of 30,000 Membership Rewards or $300 for the referrer when the referred is approved for a new card. I’m seeing increased offers on about 1/4 of my cards. (Thanks to DoC)
  3. Southwest has a holiday sale for 25% off of travel on December 24, 25, and 31, and January 1 using promo code HOLIDAY25 booked by this evening. The code worked for one of my bookings but fares had gone up, so 25% off of a much bigger number was still a bigger number than my original cost.
  4. Do this now: Register for Best Western’s stupid promotion for ni * 2,000 bonus points for each stay for ni {1, 2, 3, 4}. The promotions is good for stays through February 25.

    If you have the unfortunate pleasure of four Best Western stays in the next couple of months:

    – I’m sorry, at least you don’t have bedbugs right?
    – You’ll get an invitation for promotion for double points for the rest of 2023
    – For real, you don’t have bedbugs, right?

Happy Wednesday!

Alec Baldwin helps us with Best Western math, but still doesn’t have a solution for bed bugs.

  1. Reader Matthew (no relation) was the first to let me know about American Express’s third annual Q4 referral bonus offer, which gives the referrer 4 additional Membership Rewards per dollar on up to $25,000 in spend in travel or transportation for three months after a successful referral. The offer is available on Membership Rewards earning cards on your account dashboard.

    If you don’t have $25,000 in organic spend in travel and transportation, I’d book some refundable travel, straddle the new year, break the correlation (which is even easier with hotels), and then refund. Alternatively, there’s a chicken hotel I’ve heard about that will also work.
  2. Do this now: Register for Wyndham’s Q4 promotion for 3x points up to 30,000 bonus points on hotel stays two nights or longer through January 16, 2023.
  3. Chase Pay Yourself Back has been extended through the end of the year. Eligible categories are still restaurant spend and airbnb. While the chicken hotel won’t work, refunding your airbnb experience booking after paying yourself back works just fine.

What a chicken hotel might look like.

  1. The CapitalOnTap business credit card has a $1,200 sign-up bonus with $50,000 in spend. The card normally earns 1.5%, and combining the two you’re looking at a $1,950 in cash back or a 3.9% everywhere card for exactly $50,000 spent.
  2. After a long drought, reports are coming in that the American Express no-annual fee Hilton card once again has juicy upgrade offers. This round is 100,000 points after $3,000 in spend in 90 days when upgrading to the Surpass card. Check your inbox for email with the subject: “Don’t miss out on this 100,000 Hilton Bonus Points offer…” (Thanks to great_bunbino)
  3. In case you don’t have a no-annual fee American Express card yet for an upgrade offer, AmEx has you covered with 100,000 Hilton points after $1,000 in spend in 90 days and a $100 statement credit for Hilton properties in the first year. Unfortunately the Federal Reserve’s Regulation Z prevents you from being charged a higher annual fee in the first year, so you can’t get an upgrade offer like the one above until a year after approval.

    This sign-up bonus offer has lifetime language, but personal Hilton cards usually don’t have the pop-up so you’ve got a good shot at getting this bonus if you’ve had the card despite its lifetime language.
  4. Do this now: Register for 5,000 bonus points for every stay at Best Western booked by Saturday for travel through November 21. Also, sorry in advance if you end up at a Best Western, especially because of me. (Thanks to FM)

Fun fact: The Best Western Plus Lubbock proves that it is indeed technically possible to mix brown, red checkerboard, burnt orange, green, and polkadot curtains in a single room without causing a singularity.