1. Chase Pay Yourself Back categories for Q2 for the Sapphire Reserve are:

    – Wholesale clubs
    – Pet supply
    – Gas stations
    – Annual fee

    We lost grocery stores, but gas stations and wholesale clubs both typically sell gift cards.
  2. The Alaska MileagePlan shopping portal has an offer for $500 bonus miles after $100 spend by April 8.

    Giftcards.com remains available through the shopping portal, and there are still ways to liquidate these both online and in person.
  3. Do this now: Check for targeted Q2 spending offers on Chase cards for 5x on up to $1,000 spend at grocery, gas, and home improvement stores, all of which sell gift cards. Cards with less valuable currencies like the IHG card have slightly higher multipliers like 8x.
  4. If you have a Chase United card, check for a targeted Rewards Your Way spend bonus. Reported offers include your choice of bonus PQP or 24,000-36,000 miles for $10,000-$20,000 in spend. (Thanks to BrianInMD)
  5. The Barclays Aviator Red AA card has an increased referral sign-up bonus of 70,000 miles for the referred after a single purchase, and another 10,000 miles for the referrer. The $99 annual fee is not waived for the first year.

Yes friends, there was no April Fool’s Day fake post yesterday because at MEAB, every day is fool’s day (?).

If you follow churning blogs or forums, you’ve no doubt seen that US Bank has double cash back rewards running through Saturday. But, I think based on the content out there, most of the major content creators haven’t actually used it, so let’s add some practical notes:

  1. There are multiple aspects of the double cash back promotion. Not only are card-linked offers doubled for the next three days (which is the only thing I’ve seen written), but the US Bank shopping portal’s earnings are also doubled for the next three days.
  2. It can be really hard to find US Bank rewards landing pages. So, I’ve linked to both variations, just make sure you login to your US Bank account first before trying these links:

    US Bank rewards hub (login to your US bank account first)
    US Bank card linked offers page (login to your US Bank account first)
    US Bank shopping portal (login to your US Bank account first)

    Did you even know US Bank had a shopping portal, and that it earns points on point earning cards? Did you know that Lubbock is considered the one of the world’s capitals for burrowing owls? Did you know that owls can even burrow in the ground? (Wow, we’re off track today, my bad)
  3. The card linked offers are their own kind of special:

    – You have to add card-linked versions of the offer during the promotion or they won’t double
    – They work for any personal card on your account, and maybe for any business card too
    – Grocery stores occasionally show up
    – Gaming works like Chase Offers or BankAmeriDeals
    – The card-linked portal often just shows a spinner, and when that happens, try later (I don’t have a better solution, but if you do, please let me know)

This promotion is actually much more lucrative than you’d probably think. Always be probing, and good luck!

Mr. burrowing owl is shocked that content creators aren’t always experts when they write on a topic.

  1. American Express has new, heightened bonuses available via the Random Number Generator™ (which can be played by trying different browsers, going incognito, using a mobile device, hitting the landing page through a search engine, or by tossing cheese up into the air between each keystroke). The offers:

    Blue Business Plus bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards after $8,000 spend in three months.
    Blue Business Cash bonus of $500 after $8,000 spend in three months

    There are variations of these offers available via referral with slightly higher spend requirements of $10,000 in three months too, and are those are much better for the referrer. (Thanks to robdajewels)
  2. American Express Membership Rewards has a targeted 20% transfer bonus to Etihad Guest miles through April 4. I wasn’t targeted, but this program is a sleeper program and one of the only ones I’d transfer a few miles into speculatively.
  3. Two airline shopping portal have new spend bonuses:

    Southwest: 1,000 Rapid Rewards after $300 or more in spend through March 18
    AA: 500 AAdvantage miles after $150 or more in spend through March 11

    In other non-news, giftcards.com remains available on major shopping portals.
  4. Turkish Miles and Smiles has a 20% rebate on award tickets booked on Turkish metal booked by August 31 for tickets booked by the mileage account holder. Tickets booked before yesterday won’t qualify though.

    The rebated miles expire at the end of 2025, regardless of the other mileage expiration dates or activity.

An child suffers the unfortunate side effect of the American Express Random Number Generator™ game.

  1. The Alaska MileagePlan Personal Visa card said “hey guys, I’m cool too” after yesterday brought an increased MileagePlan Business card sign up bonus. Yes, you can get both under a single hard pull if you apply on the same day:

    – Personal Visa: 70,000 miles after $3,000 spend in 90 days
    – Business Visa: 75,000 miles after $4,000 spend in 90 days

    Advanced churners don’t stop at just these two cards though. Don’t worry too much about bonus language with Bank of America cards either, if you’re approved and hit the spend, you’ll get the bonus.
  2. American Express has new bonuses for adding authorized users and meeting minimum spend on a few personal cards:

    – Personal Platinum: 10,000 Membership Rewards with $2,000 spend for a new authorized user card, limit one
    – Hilton Surpass: 5,000 Hilton points with $1,000 spend for a new authorized user card, limit four

    Remember that if American Express can correlate an authorized user card with a real person’s identity, it’ll show up on their credit report. (Thanks to SideShowBob233 and Agile.Travel)
  3. There’s an American Express Business Gold link that’s been lurking around private forums for about a week, and now it’s found its way into several public forums too, including reddit. The bonus is 130,000 Membership Rewards after $10,000 spend in three months, and it’s relatively immune to pop-up jail.
  4. Alaska’s MileagePlan shopping portal has a bonus of 1,200 miles for $300 or more in spend through the portal by January 26. Giftcards.com is an obvious way to knock this one out.

Happy Thursday!

Alaska lounges, famous for their pancake machines, introduce a special machine just for the “I’m cool too” Personal Alaska Visa card.

First, a general PSA: Today is typically a good day for flash sales at airlines and hotel chains, so consider setting some time aside to price or reprice upcoming travel.

  1. Office Depot/OfficeMax stores have $15 off of $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards through Saturday. Tips:

    – Link your cards to Dosh, then activate the Office Depot offer
    Chase has a 🤏 card linked offer for up to $11 back
    – Sometimes promotions like this scale differently than you’d expect

    These are Metabank Pathward gift cards, so have a liquidation plan in place.
  2. Dell is currently 10x or 15x at rakuten.com depending on category, which makes it a good time to convert each of your American Express Business Platinum $200 credits into 3,000 Membership Rewards and some junk that you don’t want.

    I expect Saks will jump up to at least 10x for today too, but as of this writing it’s only 2x.
  3. Chase Offers has 10% back on Southwest airfare purchases of $50 or more on up to $400 in spend. These aren’t hard to game, but there are varying levels of difficulty and sketchiness for each method.
  4. Do this now: Register for Accor Hotels’ Q1 promotion for double Accor points at hotels in Europe and North Africa for 2+ night stays through March 14.

Happy Monday!

A preview of Spirit Airline’s upcoming President’s Day sale.

  1. There are a few shopping portal bonuses for the new year, but only some airline portals have recovered from their drunken New Year’s stupor:

    AA: 1,000 bonus miles after $400 in cumulative spend through January 17
    United: 1,000 bonus miles after $300 in cumulative spend through January 17

    I’ll be knocking both of these out with giftcards.com. If you’re doing the same, double check in 15 days that the orders have tracked and open a case if not. The AA portal in particular has had widespread tracking issues since December with giftcards.com.
  2. American Express has a business checking account sign-up bonus for 50,000 Membership Rewards running through March 31. Bonus requirements:

    – $5,000 deposit in 30 days
    – $5,000 average balance after depositing for 60 days
    – 5 transactions within 60 days

    These are limit one per business and one per login, so to scale you may need more of each. The account earns a 1.30% interest rate, so you’re losing approximately 370 basis points, or $36, as compared to a high yield savings account over two months.
  3. Breeze Airways has a promotion for 35% off of roundtrip fares with promo code GETFRESH booked by Friday for travel from January 15 to May 22.

    If you want a Breeze Airways line in your travel log, what better reason could there be to fly from Provo, Utah to San Bernardino, CA? That’s right, none.
  4. Chase Offers and BankAmeriDeals have 10% back on Hyatt Place properties on between $100 and $400 in spend through March 3. The catch? Hyatt Place. Notably for reader Dean who is overnighting in Lubbock later this week, Hyatt Place Lubbock isn’t excluded.

    Gaming one of these offers won’t exclude the other. The most above board way to game is to pick up a gift card at the Hyatt Place front desk for resale or future use, but make sure to call and check that they’re sold at the property before you make a trip. (Thanks to DoC)
  5. American Express Offers has offers for both Marriott and Hyatt:

    – $250 statement credit with $1,000 in spend at Marriott Homes & Villas through April 15
    – $100 statement credit with $500 in spend at Hyatt Canadian properties through April 30

    Gaming with gift cards? Ibid. Gaming in other ways? Possible. (Thanks to Jen T and GetFreeCash)

November’s Hyatt Place Lubbock fires may have scorched their gift card supply, so call ahead!

Editor’s note: I have a few straggler guest posts ready to go and a few more on the way, so for January and perhaps beyond we’ll be doing guest post Saturdays, making this a six day a week blog, or a 20% increase in content. Hooray for progress science math Stanley cups guest authors!.

  1. Hilton Honors has a promotion for free Silver status through April 29, and you’ll earn Gold status if you stay eight times through the same date. Gold status lasts through March 2026. Silver status gets you fifth night free on award stays, and not much else really.

    Don’t forget that most of you probably have Gold or Diamond from a Hilton card, or are eligible for instant Gold status by holding an AmEx Platinum.
  2. Staples has a promotion for fee free $200 Visa gift cards starting on Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction.
  3. Dell.com is 9x for accessories on the AA eShopping portal as of this writing, which is a nice way to top off any Loyalty Point gaps between now and the end of the current elite year in conjunction with American Express Business Platinum credits. For those keeping score at home, the end of the loyalty year is obviously February 29, duh.

Have a nice weekend friends!

The AA elite calendar.

  1. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards card has mid-month offers for online spend by December 14. Reported offers, and this stacks with other offers sent at the beginning of the month for spend at utilities:

    – $40 off of $600 in spend
    – $50 off of $750 in spend
    – $80 off of $800 in spend
    – 200,000 Shop Your Way Points for $600 in spend
    – 7,500 ThankYou Points for $750 in spend
    – 12,000 ThankYou Points ofr $800 in spend

    (Thanks to irieriley, David 99, Greyo, Dave 37, Fish, Bryan G, and Charlie)
  2. Chase Ultimate Rewards has a 25% transfer bonus to JetBlue through January 20, 2024, which for the right redemptions beats booking with a Sapphire Reserve through the Chase travel portal at a fixed 1.5 cents per point, but make sure to run the numbers first.

    Side note: if you’re paying close attention to the arbitrage opportunity for the JetBlue/Spirit anti-trust case and want to collaborate, please reach out to me.
  3. The American Express Business Platinum card has a targeted 190,000 Membership Rewards bonus link that’s been floating around for a few weeks and various ways to pull up that version of the offerhave come and gone and have had limited success. There seems to be a new repeatable way to pull it up: Open the application page from Dallas, TX. Geographic targeting has been more prominent over the last year, and it may be worth getting a VPN with multiple city endpoints as part of your churning toolkit.
  4. American Express offers has a targeted promotion for 17,500 Membership Rewards after $700 or more in spend at Princess Cruise Lines through February 15, 2024. Lately it seems like we might need to say ‘gamers gonna cruise’ instead of ‘gamers gonna game’? (Thanks to Rich)
  5. The Capital One Spark Cash Plus Select business card, which probably is missing at least three words in its title because clearly the marketing team is slacking, has a $750 sign-up bonus with $6,000 spend in three months. The card has no annual fee, but earns only 1.5% cash back on spend, which I guess means those three missing words should be “sock drawer bound”.

The NordVPN Dallas, TX datacenter.