There’s a lot going on with new speculative products that we’ll discuss soon, but for now let’s talk about some active offers:

  1. The PayPal Mastercard is now generally available for new applications. The current sign-up bonus is $100 after spending $500, but this isn’t a card you get for the sign-up bonus. Instead you get it because:

    – It’s 3% cash-back everywhere you pay with PayPal or Venmo (some MS-friendly stores take both)
    – It’s a Synchrony card
    – It’s a Mastercard

    The card gets 2% cash-back everywhere else, which is fine I guess.
  2. You can currently earn 1,500 points transferrable to either AA or Hyatt by downloading the Bilt Rewards app for ios or android and linking your frequent flyer accounts. You’ll earn:

    – 100 points for linking each of your non-Hyatt loyalty partners, ten in total, though you may want to wait for increased earnings on other programs before linking immediately
    – 500 points for linking your Hyatt account before May 27

    Note that the minimum to transfer is 2,000 points. I’d love to get the Bilt card to moon my account🚀 , but I’m sure I’d be shutdown for manufactured spend before the card even arrived in my mailbox, setting a new world record. Also, blah blah blah getting below 5/24 blah blah blah. (Thanks to VFTW)
  3. OfficeMax/Office Depot has $15 back on $300 or more in Mastercard gift card purchases, bringing your net cost below face-value even without rewards or other shenanigans. To maximize the deal:

    – Link each of your Ink or other office supply bonused cards to a Dosh account
    – Try and get multiple transactions in a single trip

    These are Metabank gift cards, so make sure you’ve got a liquidation channel. They do exist nationwide but you’ve got to look.

Happy Wednesday friends!

The world record setting rewards balance plot.

Kroger’s current 4x promotion on third party gift cards combined with the following gives you quite a bit of opportunity over the weekend:

  1. Lowe’s has a free $15 store gift card offer with each $200 Mastercard purchased through May 11. A few notes on this deal:

    – The resale rate on $15 Lowe’s gift cards is approximately 87%
    – The capacity on this is effectively unlimited if you get a friendly store
    – The deal terms say “limit 2 per email address”, but in the past that’s never been an actual limit. If it turns out to be an issue, use the gmail plus or dot syntax

    These cards are Metabank issued gift cards so make sure you have a way to liquidate those. (Thanks to GC Galore).
  2. Staples has fee free $200 Visa gift cards starting Sunday and running through Saturday of next week, limit five per customer (per transaction in practice). As usual, they’re Metabank issued gift cards so make sure you have a way to liquidate those.
  3. Simon has 55% off of all purchase fees through tomorrow evening with code 22CINCO55, including the $1,000 Visa variety. Blah, blah, Metabank, blah blah though.
  4. The Point debit card has 5x on up to $1,000 spend between now and Sunday at Walmart and up to $1,000 spend Whole Foods, both of which sell gift cards and potentially other interesting manufactured spend things.

    If you want the Point debit card, use a referral for a bigger sign-up bonus than the public offer. Note that referral bonuses currently vary from person to person, so ask around for one in the $100-$200 range; I wouldn’t consider one below $100 as the card now carries a $99 fee.
  5. American Express is targeting more accounts this week for 20,000 Membership Rewards after turning on pay-over-time. Unlike past iterations of this offer with a specific link and embedded offer code, this one is showing up on the regular pay-over-time landing page for your default (starred) card. If your default card isn’t showing an offer, switch another charge to be default and check the landing page again. (Thanks to Justmeha for helping me clarify the language)

Have a nice weekend!

Visiting the Lowe’s clearance section to find Mother’s Day gifts after buying Mastercards.

It’s time for a companion article to Wednesday Wisdom: Shutdowns Aren’t Always Shutdowns. But this time we’re focusing on deal limits. Specifically, deals often have language like:

  • Limit $200 per month
  • Limit one per customer
  • Limit $50 per transaction
  • Only valid once per month

Never take those limits at face value. For over a month there’s been a profitable play with language similar to the above and the stated limits are actually stated suggestions. Keep in mind that experimenting could net you a few thousand dollars and just take a couple of minutes of your time. Remember ABP: Always Be Probing.

Am I being intentionally obtuse? Unfortunately yes and I apologize for not sharing more on this one right now, but we’ll give a recap at some point in the future to help find similar deals. Good luck!

A store as empty as the direct information in this post.

It’s time to register for Q2 rotating category bonuses, and you should probably register now so you don’t forget to do it later:

Manufactured spend strategies for each:

  • Target:
  • Gas stations:
    • Buy Visa or Mastercard gift cards at Speedway, 7-11, or another friendly chain
    • Watch for bonus rewards points at Speedway and buy BestBuy gift cards for resale
  • Drug stores:
  • Grocery stores:
    • Buy Visa or Mastercard gift cards
    • Buy third party gift cards for resale when they’re earning good grocery rewards
  • Utilities:
    • Overpay your electricity, power, or gas bill and ask for a refund check
  • Electronics stores:
  • Amazon
    • Buy Visa or MasterCard gift cards
    • Buy items to ship to buyer’s clubs for reimbursement, especially Apple products at Amazon

Of course there’s always the boring way out, spending on things you need at stores you’d normally go to anyway. But that’s not very (as my daughter would say) #girlboss now is it?

Digging for gift card deals at Walgreens, otherwise known as Tuesday.

I guess I should expect this because rare things happen closely together more often than not, but everything today is targeted. I blame Poisson.

1. Check your account dashboard for your American Express Green and Gold cards for a pop up offering either a new Business Platinum card with a 150,000 Membership Rewards sign-up bonus, or for a new Business Gold card with a 90,000 point sign up bonus. These are no-lifetime language (NLL) cards so you should be eligible for the sign-up bonus regardless of your current or past card portfolio. (Although they won’t bypass the 2 Platinum cards in 90 days rule, or the 3 credit cards in 30 days rule either. Thanks to Jim for the note.)

2. Check your Chase offers for 10% back at BestBuy online or in-store up to $250 in spend. Of course I’d buy a BestBuy gift card online through an obscure portal and sell the card, but I wasn’t targeted so here we are.

3. Reader @nutella shared a targeted upgrade link for 5,000 Rapid Rewards for upgrading a personal Southwest Plus Visa card to the Southwest Priority Visa card and making a single purchase by April 30. This is the first I’ve ever seen of a Chase upgrade offer like this. Now, we just need them to push the upgrade offers into the six figure points range like AmEx.

4. Reader Matthias shared that there’s a highly targeted discount at Simon for 50% off of Visa and Mastercard purchase fees with promotional code 22HAPPY50. There’s also a targeted code for 100% off of American Express gift card purchase fees with code FEB22AMEX100. Now, we just need a 22LOL150 to surface I guess.

5. Reader SideshowBob233 shared a landing page for targeted no-lifetime language American Express Delta cards. You can check eligibility here with your SkyMiles number and last name.

Targeted.

I’m sure you’ve seen it elsewhere but in case you haven’t, Frontier is buying Spirit. What color do you get when you mix Frontier green with Spirit yellow? I can’t imagine it’ll be pretty. Anyway, here are a few items for your Tuesday radar:

1. PSA: US Bank Visa and MasterCard gift cards have all had their PINs reset by US Bank, presumably due to rampant fraud. Plan on calling or registering the cards online to set a PIN before using them. These cards are versatile but holding them has always been like holding a live grenade; fraudsters are good at draining them after you buy. Hopefully this move helps. (Thanks to Put-Grouchy)

2. Simon Mall has 75% off of gift card fees (including the $1,000 denominations) using code 22HAPPY75. These are Metabanks so make sure you have a liquidation plan.

3. There’s a 20% transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Hawaiian airlines. Sweet-spots:

  • Coach awards between Hawaiian Islands (7,500 points one-way)
  • Virgin Atlantic Business Class/Upper Class to Europe 125,000 (points round-trip)
  • East coast to Hawaii in Business Class (40,000 points one-way)

Now, by show of hands how many of you still have Hawaiian miles left over from when their portal worked for all purchases at Amazon? Keep that in mind before deciding to transfer miles; they’re not worth anything if you never redeem them.

4. Check for an American Express offer for $100 off of $300 at Delta. For tips on turning this into a longer term airfare credit, see this post, the same techniques will apply.

Spirit yellow mixed with Frontier green, which coincidentally also demonstrates how I feel when I “get to” fly one of those airlines.

Kroger has been running a 4x fuel points promotion on Happy branded gift cards since about a week and a half ago, and mid-last week a promotion for 2x fuel points on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays showed up too. To everyone’s surprise:

  • The 4x and 2x coupons stacked to earn a total of 5x on Happy gift cards
  • Variable Visa and Mastercard gift cards earned 1x
  • Money order purchases earned 1x

The 2x coupons aren’t new, they show up every couple of months and have standard language that excludes earning on gift cards and money orders (amongst other things). Typically that language is enforced, but obviously not always. There’s another piece of good news too: the current 2x coupon is running through January 30. That means you’ve probably got another Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for shenanigans assuming no one fixes it.

Lessons learned:

  • Always clip all coupons related to grocery points
  • Always enter your rewards ID at checkout even if you wouldn’t normally earn points
  • Pay close attention to the rewards earned on your receipt to spot anomalies

Finally, remember that this sort of thing isn’t just a Kroger phenomenon; it happens at other chains too (and there are gems to be found out there right now).

Clearly some of you have more fuel points than you know how to use.

After a legion of deals earlier in the week we’re off to a slow Thursday, but there are a couple of items worth looking at:

1. A new no-lifetime language (NLL) offer for the American Express Blue Business Cash has surfaced. This offer has a $500 sign-up bonus after spending $15,000 in the first 12 months which is quite a long time to knock out spend. The card is a 2% cash-back card for up to $50,000 in spend per year, which is a big shrug for me. Personally I prefer the Blue Business Plus card which earns Membership Rewards instead. (Thanks to SagittaandiEstVita on reddit)

2. I missed this in December but there’s a Best Western 50% back on hotel stays through February 6. Normally I consider Best Western hotels to be a slight step up from Econolodge hotels, in that I don’t expect a fire to break out during the course of a normal stay. That said, there’s value to be had in Best Western Premier and Signature hotels in high cost markets. The Lazy Traveller has a great writeup on more sweet-spots in the program too. If you have dangling Best Western points that you never think about (this very much describes me), now is a great time to burn them.

PS: Notice how I didn’t write about the Citi DoubleCash changes? That’s because there’s effectively no real difference so don’t waste your time reading long articles about it.

Happy Thursday!

A typical weekday at a Best Western. As advertised, it’s not on fire.