1. Check Office Depot or Office Max stores for $15 off of $300 in Visa Gift Cards between now and July 31, which will net you $1.10 or more on the purchase itself. Also, note that the “Everywhere” versions of these cards can be a bigger bang for your buck but will work at a smaller set of retailers. Finally, make sure you link your card with Dosh too. It’s not supposed to pay out on gift card purchases but almost always does anyway, netting you even more.

I’ve been waiting for this to appear for a while and I’m glad it finally showed up. I know where I’ll be visiting a few times a day each day this week. (Thanks to GC Galore)

2. GoBank cards have been a good way to liquidate gift cards at a Walmart register, fee free. About a week and a half ago, Walmart started charging $3.74 per load which made the card much less useful. That appears to have been a mistake and we’re back to fee free loads of up to $1,000 again.

Is it a coincidence that the above two bullets showed up on the same day?

Is it a coincidence that these lines are coincident? Ugh, math jokes.

For the second time this year, Flyertalk had a unique find that I haven’t seen anywhere else. What even is 2021? I used to read Flyertalk every single day, and now I’m lucky to visit once a week. Anyway:

1. There is a Hyatt Globalist status challenge available to anyone right now, and you’ve got through November 30th to register. This one is slightly harder than normal because you’ll have to call a full service Hyatt’s sales department and ask to register, so you can’t just clicky-clicky your way to status. When you register you’ll get Explorist status through 2021 no matter what. But you can earn status through February 2023 pretty easily:

  • Stay 10 nights to keep Explorist
  • Stay 20 nights to earn Globalist

My usual advice is that Globalist is absolutely worthwhile and valuable, and lower status with Hyatt is barely worth mentioning and you can replicate most of it with a nice “please” to the front desk at check-in. (Why yes, I have been called cynical before. Why do you ask? Actually, maybe they just called me apathetic, I can’t be bothered to remember which.)

2. Meijer has a $5 reward for every $50 spent on gift cards, up to 10 per account through August 14. I hope if you live in Meijer land that you’ve gotten a few MPerks accounts by now. Make sure to add the offer to your account UPDATE: MJ let me know that there’s no need to add the offer to your account on this round.

Do note that several gift cards are ineligible, but Home Depot and Best Buy are both eligible so there’s lots of juice to squeeze. (Thanks to Stephen at GC Galore)

I’m also too apathetic to create funny caption.

I didn’t understand what Happy Cards were or how they worked for a few years and I missed out on plenty of deals as a result. Don’t miss out like me. They’re an obtuse product on the surface, but it’s all actually quite easy. There are two flavors:

Flavors

Physical Happy Cards

These cards are made of genuine, bona fide electrified, six-car monorail plastic, just like non-premium credit cards, debit cards, or most other gift cards. These are the less desirable version for a gift card reseller because you have to go through a third party store (i.e. GameStop) with the Happy card to buy a gift card that you can actually sell. Often you can shop online at that third party store rather than making a trip to a brick and mortar location though. My favorite use case for the physical flavor is to use a “Happy Treats” card at gamestop.com to purchase an electronic Steam gift card, which has resale rates of 90-93%. Often you can buy Happy Treats cards at a 20-25% discount.

An interesting side note: these gift cards are really just Visa gift cards that are hard coded to work only at certain merchants. As a result, there were loopholes that let you cash them out in the past. Happy has since plugged all the holes that I’ve seen discussed in private groups, but there may still be more.

Electronic Happy Cards

These cards are really just an email with a digital code. You use the digital code at happycards.com to exchange it for a store gift card, which is also electronic and directly resellable. These are great because after a few clicks, your deal is complete and you can move on, no physical cards or trips to the store to worry about. I always prefer this flavor to the physical because it literally takes about two minutes and you’re done.

Types

There are dozens of types of Happy cards, for example: “Happy Treats”, “Happy Mom”, “Happy Dad”, “Happy You”, etc. The only difference between all of the types is where they can be used. For example, Happy Treats can be used at Regal, GameStop, Cold Stone, Yankee Candle, Ulta, and Sally. You’ll also find that the same stores will appear on multiple types of Happy Cards: GameStop shows up on Happy Treats, Happy You, Happy Dad, Happy Grad, and probably others.

Fin

There are great deals to be had on Happy cards throughout the year, especially around major holidays (like I don’t know, maybe Labor Day for example?) Watch for them — they’ll almost always turn into credit card spend, profit, and sometimes portal cash back.

A genuine, bona fide, electrified six-car monorail.

Let’s chat about bonus miles today with an eye toward gaming the airline mileage programs:

1. Public links are floating around for no lifetime language (NLL), high offer American Express Delta credit cards. You can probably get one to appear yourself by logging into your SkyMiles account and going through the process of booking a paid ticket; you’ll see on offer the last page before paying. In case that’s a lot of work for you, a public landing page has surfaced to check eligibility and skip the dummy booking: Click here and enter your SkyMiles number and last name to check for your account(s). These offers include a statement credit for spending on Delta too. (Thanks to DoC for the link)

Don’t forget that American Express currently has a five credit card limit (not to be confused with the ten charge card limit for cards like the Green, Gold, Platinum, or Centurion cards, they don’t count for this). People have played games to get around the credit card limit in the past, but I’m not one of them.

2. Another round of shopping portal bonuses has surfaced, and Alaska, United, and Southwest are all playing. In case you want to the play the game and win, Visa or Mastercards from Giftcards.com are usually the easiest way to knock these out without really buying stuff; of course the virtual variants work too but come with slightly higher fees.

To save you time, I’ve calculated how much it’ll cost in card fees and shipping to get each shopping portal bonus so you can decide if it’s worth it to you.

UPDATE: Miles (awesome name, right?) pointed out that these fees were calculated for physical gift cards, not virtual gift cards. So, shipping needs to be factored in, also some of math on physical gift cards requires taking a penny off in order to hit the lower fee amount, despite the posted schedule; but that doesn’t affect portal thresholds since the fee is included in the portal payout. Shipping fees are $1.99 per card, so updating is easy enough, the tables are now correct, and the article has been corrected. 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

United

Bonus ThresholdGift Cards PurchasedFeesMilesCost Per Mile
$1001 x $100$5.94100 + 5000.990 cents per mile
$3501 x $100 + 1 x $250$12.88350 + 1,5000.696 cents per mile
$6001 x $100 + 2 x $250$19.82600 + 2,5000.639 cents per mile
corrected

Southwest

Bonus ThresholdGift Cards PurchasedFeesMilesCost Per Mile
$1251 x $125$5.94125 + 2501.584 cents per mile
$3001 x $50 + 1 x $250$12.88300 + 9001.073 cents per mile
$5501 x $50 + 2 x $250$19.82550 + 2,0000.777 cents per mile
corrected

Alaska

Bonus ThresholdGift Cards PurchasedFeesMilesCost Per Mile
$1501 x $150$5.94150 + 3001.237 cents per mile
$3001 x $50 + 1 x $250$10.88300 + 6001.208 cents per mile
$5002 x $250$13.88500 + 1,2000.816 cents per mile
corrected

There are two big caveats to remember: 1) I didn’t include any miles or cash back you’ll get from your credit card spend, and 2) I didn’t include potential liquidation fees that you may pay; hopefully that one is zero but YMMV.

At the highest threshold of each of those portal bonuses I’m a mileage buyer, even for United. But honestly, just barely for United.

Not the type of airline games I meant, but sure, why not?

Historically the time around the fourth of July is a great time for manufactured spend, and this July has been no different. There are quite a few manufactured spend deals to keep you busy this week:

1. Meijer’s MPerks has $10 off of $150 or more in Mastercard gift cards. I’m nowhere near a Meijer so I don’t have direct experience with these, but Larry let me know that they carry gift cards issued by either Metabank or Sunrise; both are easy enough to unload, but do avoid Kroger and Walmart with the Metabanks.

Apropos of nothing, how many email addresses do you have?

2. Chase Ink cards have a targeted offer for 5x on up to $10,000 spend on shipping and home improvement stores. Check the following links which were easily reverse engineered based on the simple URL pattern:

Also apropos of nothing, did you know that Lowe’s sells Visa and Mastercard gift cards?

3. Kroger finally fixed their fuel points issue on Friday and they didn’t take back any of the extra fuel points that were awarded. How is this related to manufactured spend though? Easy. The 4x fuel points on gift cards is still running through tomorrow.

4. Staples has fee free Visa Gift Cards going again through Saturday. It’s limit of 5 per customer, but usually that really means 5 per transaction. If you’re going to go to Staples and take the time to run-in, you might as well try for two transactions to minimize your time out and about — the worst that happens is they tell you no.

Pictured: Kroger’s fuel points transaction server, which has been patched and is no longer awarding an extra 2x.

After a heavy week of posts, it’s time for a return to normalcy. (Yes I mean the pre-COVID kind. No, I don’t actually have a way to get us there, but thanks for believing in me.) So, let’s jump in with a quadruple:

1. Check your inbox for a targeted free $100 from Delta to use by August 31. To search for it, I’d use the query: “in:anywhere from:delta subject:100“. I didn’t get it, but maybe they’ll like you more than they like me.

2. Kroger has a digital coupon for 4x fuel points on gift cards starting yesterday and running through July 13. Expect to see a lot of Marshall’s, Nike, Best Buy, and Home Depot demand from gift card resellers over the next two weeks. The two put together can easily make this a money maker deal before the credit card rewards, and a gonzo deal after them.

3. For your manufactured spending needs (except American Express), Simon has a code for 44% off of fees for purchasing Visa and Mastercard gift cards with the code: FS44JUN

4. Apparently this has been around for a while but it’s new to me: Create a dummy award booking with Delta and during the checkout process you may find an offer for a Delta Personal Gold card with 70k bonus miles, a 20k miles rebate, and no annual fee in the first year. I’d take that offer if I could. Just close it after when the annual fee hits after 12 months, or better yet get an upgrade or retention offer on the card for a juicier win.

A picture of a human leg muscle group, with arrows pointing at the quadriceps muscles. The muscles are labeled as: Delta $100, Kroger 4x, Simon 44%, and Delta Gold 90k.
Presented without additional commentary.

I bet you thought you wouldn’t have to read about another Prime Day post here for a long time. Guess what? You’re right. Instead, these three items made the cut:

1. You know how I feel about the Sapphire Preferred credit card, but it just redeemed itself in my eyes with a new offer: You can get the 100,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus with the annual fee waived for the first year and a $50 statement credit at grocery stores if you go into a Chase branch. According to Doctor of Credit’s rumors, this should last through the end of June. I would absolutely go for this right now were I not lol/24.

2. Plastiq is a shenanigan rich target, though they’ve closed most of the really lucrative holes. That said, opportunities do exist and I’d suggest you experiment and see what happens. Now Visa Savings Edge is offering an incentive for you to play: 1% off of Plastiq fees for your first $2,500 in spend. You don’t need to use a Visa Savings Edge card with Plastiq, just sign up through their link.

How many email addresses do you have by the way? No reason, just curious.

3. Here’s a nifty hack that may save you some real money on insurance, or maybe it just earns you 500 Membership Rewards points while wasting your time. Apparently at Rakuten you can get 500 Membership Rewards (or $5 cash back) for getting an insurance quote, and it’s repeatable once per quarter. This doesn’t pass my threshold for something worthy of spending my time on, but I like it in principle and some of you might want to do it it practice. Thanks to stillwaters23 for the tip.

An image of a physicist operating a blue laser with safety goggles in a lab
Probing for opportunities at Plastiq.

1. The Point debit card has a new offer for 10x at Amazon, up to $500 in spend. Last time they ran this deal my +9x posted three days after the purchase, then another +2x posted to my account the day after that, probably because they always give 3x at Amazon and their system wasn’t coded to not do that with the 10x offer. Hopefully it happens again. Thanks to SideshowBob233 for the heads up.

If you don’t have Point already, find a referral for $250 or $100 because the non-referral sign-up bonus is a measly $10. I’d rather you get a referral from a friend because I’m not here to monetize you, but you can reach out to me if you can’t find someone that has it because I am here to help you. (My link is the $250 variety).

2. Prime Day, which really should be called “operation kersplode the entire internet with posts about trinkets for 2% off at Amazon Day”, has made a bunch of other retailers go into full-blown sale mode, which has pushed up BestBuy gift card demand like it was Q4. Yesterday I saw rates get as high as 96% with essentially an unlimited capacity, and I expect that today will be the same. If your gift card buyer isn’t within 1% of that number or so, I’d say it’s time to find a new gift card buyer.

I’ve had a few of you ask me how a 96% resale rate is worth your time, and the answer is: 1) grocery store rewards, 2), grocery store reward shenanigans, and 3) grocery store credit card bonuses. When you put the first two items together, that 96% can turn into 100-103%, and the third item should be at least 4x Membership Rewards or 5x Ultimate Rewards, but of course there are better spend bonuses beyond that like 10x with the American Express Platinum card. Also, another answer is sometimes the rate is 97-99%.

A tee shirt on a purple background that says:

PRIME DAY
SHIRT
NOW
ONLY $29.79!!
was: $29.99
Amazon Prime day official company swag.