American Express continues to dominate the news this week, and it continues to be great for us too. Forget Delta, AmEx is the one that #keepsclimbing

  1. I received a physical mailer for 20,000 Membership Rewards points for adding an authorized user card to an American Express Platinum and spending $2,000 on the new card in six months. The link is generic and widely targeted, so log-in to your American Express account then check here to see if you’re eligible.

    This offer’s POID is GGQ1:0002, which is significant because different POIDs are separate, unique offers. You’re unable to take advantage of the same POID multiple times typically.
  2. I’ve gotten reports from several readers that American Express is sending offers for new, no-lifetime language (NLL) Business Platinum cards via email. This offer is 150,000 Membership Rewards after spending $15,000 in the first three months. Check your inbox for email from AmEx mentioning “150,000 Membership Rewards” in the subject line to see if you’re eligible, and remember that the limit on American Express charge cards is 10 or 11 for most people, so if you’ve “only” got four of them, why not go for a fifth?

    According to DoC, some of these offers also have a bonus 10,000 points for adding an employee card during sign-up too.
  3. Qatar airways has a 40% transfer bonus for incoming bank rewards points through June 30, and that’s even more interesting because Qatar now uses Avios and Avois can be freely transferred between participating carriers. For US issued cards, your best (only?) bet is to transfer Citi ThankYou Points. The bonus could take up to 45 days after transfer, so don’t count on them right away.

    The best use of these for my patterns are to transfer to BA Avios for AA/AS domestic flights or Iberia Avios for International flights with lower fuel surcharges. (Thanks to rockyqintou)
  4. I wouldn’t bother talking about the American Express’s minor changes to their $10 monthly Gold dining credit partners, except that is now an option. That’s interesting because sells gift cards so you can liquidate the credit from home, though the smallest they sell is $25. With resale rates for that brand hovering around 83%, you’ll net $5.75 for your $10 credit each month, for each gold card, from home.
  5. Chase has two transfer bonuses for Ultimate Rewards running through July 31:

    – 30% to British Airways (don’t do this, do #3 instead)
    – 50% to Marriott (don’t do this, do Hyatt instead. Or, just stick a fork in your eye to save Marriott the trouble of doing it for you)

Have a nice weekend!

My wish for the weekend.

We’re all over the place today:

  1. There’s a new option to cash out orphaned ANA miles. You can now convert them to Amazon gift cards at 0.83 cents per point. The value isn’t great, but if you’ve got miles sitting there from a COVID cancelled-trip with no prospects for burning them soon this could be a good way to temporarily exit the program. (Thanks to T C)
  2. There have been many reports over the last two days that more people are targeted for a 20,000 Membership Rewards bonus for turning on Pay-over-Time on AmEx charge cards. To check each of your cards, you’ll have to set the card to be the default, then check the landing page.
  3. Staples has fee free $200 Mastercard gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit five per transaction. Coincidentally (or is it?), this deal starts the day after the Office Depot/OfficeMax variant ends.

    These cards are Metabank issued so have a liquidation plan in place other than buying a money order at Walmart, Kroger, or Safeway. How are other national retailers treating you though?
  4. The onJuno banking and rewards debit card, a favorite for some of you, is now paying a 3% annual bonus on Bitcoin and Ethereum crypto holdings. I guess that bonus helps offset some of BTC’s 36.6% loss over the last 365 days? (Too soon?)

Have a nice weekend!

In fairness, this car probably also depreciated 36.6% in the last 365 days.

In addition to the Citi ThankYou Point 25% transfer bonus for AirFrance/KLM FlyingBlue running through May 20, there are a couple of new bonuses that popped up on the radar over the weekend. Let’s go over them with a few sweet-spot hints (Editors note: I literally wrote suite-spot on the first draft. I wish I was intentionally that witty, but I’m not so I fixed the wording):

  1. American Express Membership Rewards has a 15% transfer bonus to Avianca LifeMiles (note that you have to login to see the offer). Hacks and sweet-spots:

    – Award chart anomalies, like JFK-Lisbon in business class for 35,000 miles or JFK-Zurich in coach for 16,500 miles (you can find these in other major North American cities too)
    – Flying to or from Europe in business class and taking a coach leg onto the end to lower the price
    – Economy flights to or from the Caribbean for 12,500 miles each way
    – Short haul domestic US economy for 7,500 miles each way
  2. Chase Ultimate Rewards has a 30% transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Hacks and sweet-spots:

    – ANA First Class to or from Japan for 55,000 to 60,000 miles each way
    – ANA Business Class to or from Japan for 45,000 to 47,500 miles each way
    – Delta One (Business Class) to or from Europe for 47,500 – 50,000 miles each way

Before transferring preemptively you should probably make sure that the awards you’re after have availability; getting award space is tough right now unless you’re willing to book in September or beyond, or if you’re willing to make Lubbock, TX your final destination.

The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club transfer bonus appears on radar.

Mother’s Day deals have started, and as a result non-Mother’s Day things have to try harder to stand-out. To wit:

  1. Do this now: Register for Hilton’s new promotion. You’ll earn double points on one or two night stays and triple on three night or longer stays between today and September 5.
  2. There’s a 25% transfer bonus from Citi ThankYou Points to AirFrance/KLM FlyingBlue through May 20. The best use of FlyingBlue is either economy or business class between North America and Europe. A few FlyingBlue notes:

    – You can find business class flights at a price-point of about 52,000 miles each way regularly
    – They run monthly promo awards which make certain city pairs even cheaper
    – Check for onward connections to other cities to lower the cost of an award ticket (e.x., ORD-AMS-BRU)
    – Check for train connections to other cities to lower the cost of an award ticket (e.x., LAX-CDG-ZYR)
    – It used to be hard to reset the expiration of transferred miles, but that’s no longer the case
  3. US Bank has an interesting new checking account sign-up bonus for existing business credit card holders. You’ll earn $500 for opening a new business checking account, depositing $5,000, keeping the funds in-place for 90 days, and making 5 qualifying transactions in the same timeframe (so, five $0.50 Amazon balance reloads) with promo code CKEUM8Z. The effective APR here is 40% over 90 days.

    The offer doesn’t seem to have any language about only being available to new business checking account customers, but it does have language saying it’s only available to the addressee and is non-transferrable. Because it’s on a public web-page with a normal URL and a public promotion code on the same page, I’d guess it’ll work for anyone. (Thanks to Astheworldchurnd)

    UPDATE: The language was updated to mention that it’s only available for new business checking account customers, thanks to Jay for letting me know.
  4. Capital One 360 has a $450 sign-up bonus for opening a new “360 Performance Savings” account with promo code SAVE22, depositing $50,000 or more in funds during funding, and keeping the funds in-place for 90 days. I calculated the effective savings rate of the bonus and it came out to 3.60% APR or 360 basis points, I see what you did there Capital One and I guess I’m mildly amused?

    In today’s environment this deal is only mediocre, but having the account is likely to increase your approval odds for a Capital One credit card which is why it bubbled up. (Thanks to DDG)

Happy Monday!

The mixed eligibility requirements language in the US Bank Business Checking bonus, as cookies.

I hope you’re able to rest for the deluge of batches of 99 American Express employee cards headed your way. I know I’ll be ramping up the spend on my prior batch of 99 cards to try and finish them off before the next batch arrives in the mail in a week or so.

There are a few noteworthy items before you jump:

  1. Parts_Unknown put together a nice list of no-lifetime language (NLL) American Express cards including a new offer for the Blue Business Plus. They’re currently all at relative highs:

    Blue Business Plus: 30,000 Membership Rewards for $5,000 spend plus another 10,000 for $1,000 spend on an employee card
    Business Gold: 90,000 Membership Rewards for $10,000 spend plus another 10,000 for $1,000 spend on an employee card
    Business Platinum: 150,000 Membership Rewards for $15,000 spend plus another 10,000 for $1,000 spend on an employee card

    To answer a question you didn’t ask: As long as you can meet the spend, the best time to apply for a no-lifetime language American Express Business card is when you still have fewer than 10 AmEx charge cards or fewer than 5 AmEx credit cards. There almost certainly won’t be a pull on your credit report as long as you’ve already got an AmEx, and it won’t show up on your report when you’re approved either. (Note that those limits are 11 and 6, respectively for some people. What makes them special? 🤷‍♀️)
  2. Do this now: Register for a bonus 5,000 points per stay at Raddison Hotels Americas.
  3. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most overrated credit cards in the churning space in my opinion. That said, it is a good beginner card and it may be worth churning in other certain, limited scenarios. In case you find yourself looking for one, note that the public sign-up bonus has increased to 80,000 Ultimate Rewards. The 80,000 bonus is also showing via referral links and the referrer gets 15,000 Ultimate Rewards on successful application. Hello P2!
  4. If you work for a big company you may be eligible for a Hyatt Globalist status challenge with a reduced 20 nights in 90 day requirement, just enter your email address and see if you’re eligible. Status lasts through February 2024. (Thanks to Kyle)

Have a nice weekend!

One of the limited scenarios in which the Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth your time.

  1. The I-Bond APR for the six month period starting on May 1 has been effectively locked in at 9.62%. There’s a lot of truthy noise around the I-Bonds right now, but there one point in particular that’s easy to miss: If you buy I-Bonds before May, you’ll get the current 7.12% interest rate for six months and the future 9.62% interest rate for another six months, so buy before May to buy if you haven’t already to lock in two high-interest rate periods. (If you think inflation at the end of the year will continue to soar though, wait until May to have your first six months at 9.62% and the second six months at whatever rate comes this fall.)

    For a nice primer on I-Bonds and why you should care, see this writeup at the Free-quent Flyer.
  2. You’ve got exactly one week left to abuse PayPal Key which sunsets on April 20. For PayPal Key options that let you schedule future shenanigans, perhaps spend a few minutes today to fill out the next seven days worth of activity.
  3. The Wyndham shopping portal is 12x at Dell as of this writing, which makes it a great time to spend AmEx Business Platinum $200 Dell credits. If you buy Xbox gift cards for resale to cash-out your credits, use the promo code GAME10 for 10% off.
  4. The AA shopping portal is awarding 750 miles for a new ESPN+/Disney/Hulu subscription as of this writing, and that pairs nicely with the expanded American Express streaming credits. It may also pair well with the eShopping portal bonus depending on the offer your account has.

    You may even be able to do this multiple times with multiple email addresses and multiple American Express Platinum cards, which makes the offer rather compelling for those of us with nine Platinum cards. (Thanks to Alex for letting me know)

ESPN-72’s compelling prime-time content. Worth it even without 750 miles, right?

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?

Let’s start with a quick reminder: You have only today and tomorrow to knock out any Q1 5x bonus spend and any end-of-month credits, especially omnipresent with American Express “premium” cards (you know, the premium cards that offer Walmart+ credits).

With that housekeeping out of the way, we’ve got an airline centric-ish day:

  1. Use promo code SAVE20NOW at through tomorrow evening for 20% off of point redemptions for award travel through May 25. Unfortunately you won’t be able to take advantage of this discount with the Southwest changes trick because mass schedule changes have already happened through June.
  2. Alaska has partnered with Air Tahiti Nui. The major change for travel hackers is the ability to redeem the good Air Tahiti Nui availability on the fifth freedom LAX to Paris route, and Alaska mileage earning on Air Tahiti Nui paid flights.

    I guess this makes it easier to French Polynesia with Alaska miles too.
  3. American Airlines will start expiring miles on Friday. It’s a good time to check your AAdvantage accounts to make sure you’re not going to let Toby win lose miles in your account.

    Note that although I’m sure AA didn’t really intend for this trick to work, you can currently book an award ticket and then cancel it the next day with AA’s free award cancel policy to extend your miles. There are other tricks for extending your miles in this Flyertalk thread too.
  4. There’s a new bonus iteration on the American Express Personal Platinum “add an authorized user, spend $2,000 in six months, earn 20,000 Membership Rewards” bonus offer. Because the offer code is different than past variants, it will almost certainly post even if you’ve done (many) of these in the past. (Thanks to SideShowBob233)

Happy Wednesday!

Exclusive: Screenshots extracted from the AA Head of Loyalty’s phone may explain AA’s punitive mileage expiration policy.