1. You can earn Star Alliance Gold Elite status, which will get you lounge access and free checked bags when flying on Star Alliance Partners like United by transferring miles to SingaporeKris Flyer from bank points (Chase, AmEx, Capital One, Brex, and Citi are all partners). Gold status requires a transfer of 250,000 miles, so this is only a good option if you’re already booking tickets with Singapore and plan on using the miles. Don’t forget that KrisFlyer miles expire after three years regardless of account activity. Louses!

2. If you have United Club passes that were expiring between April 1 and August 31, they’ve been extended to September 30. The new expiration is already showing in my United mobile app.

3. Southwest is offering a 10% rebate on Wanna Get Away fares booked today, or higher rebates for more expensive fare types. If you want to further goose this deal, perhaps book the cheapest fare between your city pairs for mid-May to early-June in anticipation of the next Southwest free change window?

4. The Cranky flyer outlines how you can essentially pay the difference between a refundable and non-refundable fare on United after you’ve already booked and get a refund for the initial fare way after the fact. You have to book through a travel agent though, and it’ll have to be a competent agent too.

No, not a fuel dump. Also, this isn’t what I mean when I say fuel dump.

There are some really strange bank offers floating around out there, and at least two of them are probably worth your time (I’ll let you guess which ones):

1. Update: Katie points out that S&T requires that you have an address in OH, PA, or an Armed Forces address to open the initial account if you don’t already have a relationship with S&T. S&T Bank is offering a $300 rebate on $500 spend, as long as you have $50 in your account for six months. The play: Open a Simple Checking Solution no-fee account, fund the account with $550, then make a single $500 purchase (like a $500 money order including fees with an actual bank account debit card), disable bill-pay to avoid any fees, and set a reminder in your phone to cancel the account in 6 months and one day.

Hint: The last step should be treated as optional and possibly even discouraged. I like having lots of bank accounts open, especially at banks I’ve never heard of and that I wouldn’t lose sleep over if I were shutdown. You might be surprised at all the different ways you can make “deposits” appear via MS into random bank accounts like this one.

2. Check here to see if you’re eligible for 10,000 Membership Rewards points for enrolling in Pay-Over-Time. (Afterword, unenroll to potentially get this in the future, but I’d suggest you wait until your next annual fee posts before you turn Pay-Over-Time off as a safety measure. That may also be overly cautious though.)

3. Did you know that Chase has a dining portal at dining.chase.com for Freedom, Sapphire, and Ink card members? Apparently Chase thinks the first thing we’ll think of when we’re hungry is: “Gee, I wonder how my bank’s website can help me get food!” The cities are limited and the restaurant selection is also limited, but you’ll earn 10x ultimate rewards you order through Chase dining, up to $500 total spend through June 30, 2021.

A picture of a kitten with big, droopy eyes and a sagging mouth that makes it look sad.
“Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is sad that you didn’t think of his bank when you were ordering takeout yesterday” as a cat.

1. Check for a personalized United MilePlay offer at this link. I got 3,700 miles for booking a ticket of $125 or more and flying by the end of March. Nice try United, but I don’t really want to tour the country on a GoJet CRJ-700, which seems to be approximately 82% of their domestic fleet, or on a Mesa CRJ-200 which is the remaining 29% of their domestic fleet according to my measurements.

2. You got a couple of Ting Mobile SIM cards for $0.99 a few weeks ago, right? Here’s how to turn that spent $0.99 into about a hundred bucks, with inspiration from this Reddit post:

  1. Sign up for Visible by shopping through the Rakuten portal for $20-$40 cash back or 2,000-4,000 membership rewards
  2. Choose the “$100 Prepaid Mastercard Virtual Account” Bring Your Own Device plan
  3. Use the promo code SAVE2021 at checkout
  4. Keep the service for two payments $20 and $40 + taxes
  5. If you have the offer, pay with a credit card that has $25 cash back, found on Chase and Bank of America cards

Out of pocket, you’ll pay approximately $60. You’ll earn between $120 and $165 depending on how you do it and what offers you have available. If you do this with two burner numbers, you can set up a “Visible Pay Party” and save $10 on the two monthly payments. Also, don’t forget to refer yourself to Uber, Fluz, DoorDash, CashApp, etc with the new burner phone number. That’s gotta be worth a few bucks more, right?

What’s the tale? A little bit of leg work usually means a much bigger win. Don’t be afraid to dig in a little!

My empirical measurements of 111% of United’s domestic fleet.

1. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s AmEx Master Value Injection for Personal Platinum cards, there’s an MVI for Business Platinums as well. The injection comes in the form of +4 points, up to 80,000 miles for certain categories as AmEx Offers. Check for them in gas, office supply, advertising, telecom/internet, and shipping. (Incidentally, there are good new offers on the Personal Platinum too, check for $50 off of $50 at BestBuy, $50 off of $100 at Home Depot, etc.)

2. Get Alaska Airlines gift cards for 10% off at Costco. These will be good for years, or for the lifetime of Alaska Airlines depending on your state’s gift card laws. This is a nice way to save on upcoming paid travel in 2021 or 2022. But, I wouldn’t hold them longer than that, a low cost index fund is a much better investment than a fledgling airline’s gift card. I’m not aware of card exchanges that will buy these quickly, so the easy gift card resale angle probably isn’t there on this one.

3. I’m sure you’ve already heard: Virgin Atlantic kersploded its award chart for Delta redemptions. You probably haven’t heard: ANA awards with Virgin Atlantic miles can’t be far behind; I’d book any fledgling miles on ANA flights for late 2021 or early 2022 as soon as practical, otherwise you may find yourself sitting on a pile of worthless miles; yes, worth less than even SkyMiles.

Kerbal Space Program demonstrates the Virgin Atlantic award chart kersplosion.

Only the first of these is new, but if you haven’t registered for the other two, you’re running out of time.

Yes, you can leverage these promos to get Globalist on the cheap* with Hyatt’s reduced elite thresholds for 2021. Incidentally, I’ve been a Diamond / Globalist because reasons for 7 years, and I would say that this is only worthwhile if you’d already be staying in Hyatts anyway for the next year or two, and definitely for more than 10-15 nights. Remember that Hyatt’s footprint is lackluster, and don’t let the bloggers talk you into status you don’t need. I certainly don’t need it and only get it because it’s ancillary to what I’m already doing. Always be your own elite.

Pictured: 1990s grade school student who grew up to be a Hyatt Globalist in 2020.

*punchline: Get the credit card and stay in a category 1 hotel for 10 nights on a stay starting in December and ending in January, then get the rebate for 25%, requiring a total 37,500 points for top tier status.

AirFrance / KLM Flying Blue is trying a little harder than normal right now, which is a welcome change from the status quo, also known as barely trying at all. Literally, barely at all.

First, there’s an AmEx transfer bonus of 30% bonus miles. This is useful when combined with Flying Blue’s rotating promo awards. It’s also useful for extending the expiration of pre-COVID transferred miles from AmEx by two years. (It doesn’t extend all miles, just partner earned miles. Again, they try barely at all.) By combining the two, you can find yourself going to Europe for under 50,000 Membership Rewards points in Business Class.

Second, they have a miles earning shopping portal that’s a lot better than it used to be, with some stores earning at competitive rates (always check cashbackmonitor.com though I don’t think they display Flying Blue earning rates). This will also extend some miles by two years, but not all miles. Did I mention that they barely try at all?

Air France airbus plane at a tenuous angle off of the runway.
Experience the luxury of Air France landings, soft like rest-stop toilet paper.