Bank of America credit cards are really underrated in the travel hacking space, which is one of the myriad reasons the Cash Rewards family of cards was awarded the coveted Miles Earn and Burn Unsung Heroes award. Why you should look into them:

  • The business card portfolio is churnable
  • They have offers like American Express and Chase for statement credits at certain merchants
  • You can get great uplift on the Personal or Business Cash Rewards (5.25% back)
  • They combine hard pulls in the same calendar day, so you can apply for a card, get approved, then apply for another without a new hard pull
  • They’re great MS targets
  • They send targeted spend offers somewhat regularly

On that last note, check your email inbox for spend offers from Bank of America. (I’d search my email program for in:anywhere and look at the last couple of days worth of messages. Thanks to ukinny for the updated query which will also catch messages that wound up in spam.) People are seeing various offers including:

  • 2% cash back on Alaska Airlines family of cards, up to $150 total cash back
  • 1% additional cash back on the Cash Rewards family of cards, up to $150 total cash back
  • 3% additional cash back on home improvement spend on the Cash Rewards family of cards, up to $75 total cash back

Remember that the cash rewards cards can have multipliers up to 1.75 with the Preferred Rewards program, which could mean up to 10.5% back (3% additional + 3% base) * 1.75. That’s bananas.

A group of people at a party holding up drinks for a toast, except all of the drinks have been replaced with various Bank of America credit cards
Bank of America credit card party! (With inspiration from Danny of the Alchemy podcast on the Milenomics Podcast Network.)

1. USAA is offering a shopping portal bonus of $20 back on $100 in spend through May 4. Use Thursday’s trick to liquidate American Express Business Platinum credits if you still have them, or buy a $100 Visa or Mastercard gift card from after clicking through the portal if you don’t. Unfortunately though, not everyone is eligible to become a USAA member so this one isn’t for all. Don’t forget that if you’ve got USAA, your P2 and your kids are eligible to join for free too so you can scale this deal up to your family size easily.

2. CashApp’s cash back boosts have been snoozers for a few months, but as of this weekend they’ve gotten back in the business of transferring money from venture capitalists’ wallets into yours: A new boost for 5% back on Sam’s Club purchases up to $400 spend for a total of $20 cash back. Sam’s sells Visa and Mastercard gift cards, and they sometimes track on the Rakuten shopping portal (and probably others, but why would you care?)

In case you’re unaware — CashApp is basically a Venmo like program but you also get a real debit card. When you spend on that real debit card, you can get cash back by applying boosts, even with PIN transactions. CashApp has a referral program too, so find a friend or family member to refer you. You’ll both get $5, which is better than a swift kick in the pants or 500 Italian Lira.

An image of a bank note of 500 Italian Lira.
CashApp’s $5 beats 500 Italian Lira in value, but not in coolness. Stay classy, Roman deity.

It’s time to slide into some easy weekend manufactured spend:

1. Lowes is offering a $15 Lowe’s eGift Card free with the purchase of a $200 Visa Gift Card in store. Currently, you can sell Lowe’s gift cards instantly at 80%+ of face, so that leaves a net cost of $194.95 after the activation fee. This is a great way to liquidate the Q2 Chase Freedom 5x earning at Home Improvement stores, which will net you, per card:

  • A $200 Visa Gift Card
  • A $15 Lowes eGift Card
  • 1,000 Ultimate Rewards
  • 600 JetBlue TrueBlue Points (don’t forget to register your Freedom cards here for 3x purchases at Lowes)

The deal runs April 22 through April 28. If you’ve been on the fence with MS or gift card reselling, this is a good one to use to get your feet wet. Note that the promotion terms explicitly state “Limit 2 per email address.” They’re practically asking us to just create more email addresses to scale this one (email is only required upon redemption, not during purchase). Hint: Not all Visa Gift Cards are equal.

Dean let me know about an AmEx offer floating around for 10% back at Lowe’s too, so check for that as a backup to your Freedoms.

2. Staples is back with $200 fee free Mastercard Gift Cards, limit 5 per transaction between Sunday April 25 and Saturday, May 1. Use a Chase Ink Cash, Chase Ink Plus, or American Express Business card with a +4x office supplies offer attached. Update: Thanks to reader Nutella for the correction on Mastercard instead of Visa.

Both of these gift card deals are issued by Metabank, so make sure you have a way to liquidate them. There are definitely ways to cash these out in person, just don’t try at a Walmart Money Center. There are ways from home too, especially if your cost is $194.45.

A man wearing a green shirt, black shorts, a blue bicycle helmet, and black hiking shoes with white ankle high socks sliding down a mostly dirt and weed hill, on his back, seemingly out of control.
Sliding into the weekend, smooth like butter.

In case Friday’s 150,000 Membership Rewards offer wasn’t enough for you, there’s another offer for the American Express Business Gold out there: 90,000 Membership Rewards for $10,000 spend in three months. Between Friday’s offer and today’s, that’s 240,000 points — with the Schwab Platinum Card you could cash that out today for $3,000, and then invest it in Dogecoin for a 5,000% return. (Don’t buy Dogecoin please, I was kidding. I definitely would not do this.) Here’s how to get it:

If you don’t see the 90,000 points offer, try a different browser or a different search engine (baidu, duckduckgo, bing).

Final hint: One bonus per lifetime language doesn’t always mean what it should with AmEx. I have three personal platinums and three business platinums that have earned sign up bonuses in the last year.

The AmEx double-take. (No, I don’t understand either.)

You’ve got a lot of in-person MS options this week:

  • Office Depot OfficeMax is offering $15 back on $300 or more in Visa Gift cards in store, limit one per transaction. Make sure you can liquidate these before you buy, there are plenty of ways but Walmart Money Centers mostly aren’t one of those ways. This is 5x with an Ink Cash or an American Express Business Platinum with the +4x office supplies offer.
  • Staples is offering $200 Visa Gift cards with a discounted fee of $1.95 per card, as we learned Friday. As with the above, use a 5x card if you’ve got one and have a liquidation plan.
  • Meijer is offering $5 off of each $50 in gift cards you buy up to $500 in gift cards with some exclusions after you add the offer to your rewards account. I’d personally buy Happy Treats gift cards and use them at GameStop to buy Steam gift cards for resell at a profit. Make sure you use one of the many cards that bonuses at a grocery store to purchase this one.
  • Meijer is also offering $10 off of $150 in Mastercard gift cards after you add the offer to your rewards account. Use a card that bonuses at grocery like American Express’s Personal Gold, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve (the Sapphire Reserve gives 3x at groceries up to $1,000 per month for now).
  • Stop and Shop, Martins, and Giant are offering 3x fuel points on Mastercard gift card purchases. Mastercard gift cards are usually easier to liquidate from home, so they’re my preference over Visa in general. Use a card that bonuses at grocery for this one too.

And finally, a friendly reminder and warning: Double check all gift cards that you pick up in store for any signs whatsoever of tampering. Sometimes scammers will steal, modify, reseal, and replace the cards to drain them after you activate them. I usually pull cards from the back of the rack on the assumption that they’re less likely to be stolen, and I give each card a good, hard look. I also try and buy gift cards that have barcode numbers in sequence when possible (say, the last 4 digits of the activation code are 3666, 3667, and 3668 when I’m buying three Home Depot cards). If the card supports it, I try and match the ID on the packaging with the ID on the card itself.

A picture of a woman dressed in a black turtle-neck with black jeans, a black beanie, and a black eye covering carrying black bags with white $ signs and money falling out of the bags.
Pictured: gift card scammer. How do the grocery stores not notice this person walking around?

The Gift Card reselling market usually sucks during the first couple of months of a year, prolly because consumers are detoxing with a hangover from holiday shopping and aren’t sick of their new toys (yet). The hangover is ending now though and the gift card secondary markets are really starting to pick up. A few of my observations for April:

  • Consignment sale holding time has shortened considerably, with the turn-around time dropping to one to three weeks for big retail brands (exceptions: Home Depot, Target)
  • Appetite in private markets for volume gift card sales is soaring, kinda like PLBY stock
  • BestBuy gift card resale rates are creeping back up (I’ve seen 1-2% higher in the last couple of weeks, and break even deals when grocery rewards are included)
  • Capacity for immediate/non-consignment sales in gift card clubs is growing

Retailers are also starting to offer big discounts for Easter, and usually this trend just continues to pick up steam until mid-Summer.

If you don’t have any gift card reseller relationships, there are a few good exchanges out there. Stick with something reputable, good volume, and a good reputation in the community. There are a couple of gift card sellers that I have gotten to know personally and that I trust with bigger volume. That said, always keep your outstanding float in gift cards no higher than the dollar amount you’d be willing to lose if everything went wrong, and spread out your reselling amongst as many reputable sources as you can so if one fails, your whole portfolio isn’t gone. (c.f., The Plastic Merchant, which went bankrupt in 2019 and left resellers holding the bag)

MS note: In the right circles, you can easily do $30-60k of gift card reselling per week after you’ve developed relationships and moved into inner circles, so don’t ignore this technique. Do start out with something really small and slowly ramp over time though, so if you make newbie mistakes they don’t cost you much. As always — don’t push this beyond the amount you’d be willing to lose if something goes wrong. It can happen and has happened.

The worst part of gift card reselling: having a bunch of plastic cards floating around that you can’t get rid of (“just in case”), but serve no useful purpose.

Are these posts trashposts? When I’m writing them, it sure feels like recycled content which usually isn’t my style. On the other hand, you should be doing all of these things and so should I. Writing this post made me do a couple of them and capture credits that would have otherwise expired. Fortune favors the meticulous I guess.

1. Make sure you’ve spent any American Express credits in Uber Eats or Uber by tonight. Watch out for combining accounts that have stored Uber Cash and American Express Uber credits.

2. Check for any credit cards that have had annual fees post and call the issuer for a retention offer. I suggest saying something like: “I’m thinking of closing this card given its high annual fee, but before I decide what to do I was wondering if there are any retention offers or spend bonuses.” Caveat: If you take a retention offer from American Express, plan on keeping that card for 12-13 months. Good retention offers are well worth it.

3. If you have an American Express co-branded personal card (Marriott, Delta, Hilton), make sure you’ve attached the dining offer to your card and spend it. The easiest way to do this from home seems to be to buy an exact value DoorDash gift card on Fluz, which will should code correctly as grocery. Amazon Meals is another decent option. As always, find a Fluz referral from a friend to make their day if you don’t have an account already.

4. Spend any American Express co-branded business card wireless credits. I prepay my cell phone bill with this one and all of the credits over last year and this year mean that my bill will be $0 after the credits are applied for a long, long time.

5. Make sure you’ve spent any $10 American Express Personal Gold dining credits. The easiest way IMO is to buy something for pickup for $10ish at a local coffee shop on GrubHub, but a combo meal at a ShakeShack is a good option for many of you.

6. Cancel any cell phone burner accounts that you’re done with (and that you didn’t use a virtual account number that expires on).

7. Spend those AmEx Personal Platinum $30 PayPal credits. They’re taking a while to post, but they do post. The easiest way to get these out under the wire is with PayPal Digital Gifts which has been paying the credit even though the T&C says that it shouldn’t.

A picture of someone pouring a bottle of beer into a sock puppet.
Feeding trashposts into WordPress.

Grocery store promotions are on fire this month. In addition to last week’s deals (some of which are still going):

Don’t forget the Staples fee free $200 Mastercard gift cards, limit 5 running through April 3. If you’re out and about, you can easily knock out minimum spend or bonus spend with any/all of these deals, or with last week’s Kroger deal.

A fire truck in front of a Meijer store.
Not exactly what I meant when I was talking about grocery stores and fire.