1. American Express offers has a new card linked offer for $75 back or 7,500 SkyMiles on $200+ in cumulative Delta airfare purchased by August 15. So far these have only been seen on Delta co-branded cards.

    Delta makes this offer easier to game than most airlines.
  2. Do this now: Register for 3x United miles at IHG properties through August 31 for stays booked by June 30 for up to 15,000 earned miles.

    IHG points convert to United miles at 2 miles per dollar normally, which means 6x under this promotion.
  3. Kroger.com has 5% off of most third party e-gift cards with promo code MAYMADNESS through Saturday, including travel favorites like Delta, Uber, and airbnb. You’ll also earn 4x fuel points on these purchases.

    1,000 fuel points is worth between $15 and $25 on average, though you can get up to $35 in value. The Daily Churn has a great episode on maximizing Kroger fuel points. So, you can think of those as an additional ~7% off on average.
  4. Kroger has a 4x fuel points promotion today only on third party gift cards excluding Amazon. Pepper Rewards continues to depress the market, but there’s a growing sentiment with several data-points suggesting that Pepper’s insanity will end before June does.
  5. Staples purportedly has fee free $200 Mastercard gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit five per transaction. I can’t actually find this offer in the weekly ad so double check before buying, but they did run the promotion last year for the same week so it’s likely real. (Thanks to GCG)
  6. The American Express Morgan Stanley Platinum card has a 125,000 Membership Rewards sign-up bonus after $8,000 spend in six months, which matches the previous high offer for this card. There are a few reasons to care about this card, principally:

    – It’s historically been more churnable than other Platinums
    – It offers an authorized user Platinum card with no additional fee, including lounge access

    You need a Morgan Stanley account to be eligible. Current accounts that should qualify include Platinum Cash+, AAA, Access Investing, or a company retirement account.

Have a nice weekend friends!

Good news on two fronts for Lubbock Holiday Inn guests: (1) It’s not the worst Holiday Inn, and (2) you’ll earn 3x United miles.

  1. Do this now: Link your Hilton account to Bilt Rewards to earn 1,000 Bilt Hilton points. Bilt points can can transfer 1:1 to Hyatt or AA (or to Hilton if you like terrible redemption values).
  2. We’ll see at least three dozen articles in the next couple of weeks about the Citi Strata Premier, and they’ll all boil down to a few salient points:

    – The old Premier goes away today for new applications
    – Strata Premier applications start on May 16 with a 75,000 ThankYou Point bonus
    – The bonus won’t be available if you had a Premier bonus in the last four years, and yes, you can still double dip
    – The new card is almost exactly the same as the old card, except for the addition of 3x at EV charging and 10x earning on hotels, cars, and entertainment booked through the slightly inflated price CitiTravel.com portal

    If anything else important comes up, you’ll see it here. Otherwise, skip all the upcoming articles and go probing instead.
  3. American Express has new spend offers for Platinum cards:

    – Delta: $40 back on $180+ booked through AmEx travel through July 5
    – JetBlue: $50 back on $200+ through August 6
    – Hilton: $40 back on $180+ through July 31
    – Hertz: $40 back on $150+ through June 30
    – Dell: $50 back on $250+ through September 30
    – Oceana Cruises: 10x on up to $4,000 spend through July 8

    The Delta one is gameable using the same methods for airline incidental credits and that’s only somewhat interesting, but JetBlue and Hilton are more easily played. I have no direct experience with Oceania Crusies, but there’s an angle with most.
  4. The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select personal Mastercard has a new 75,000 AAdvantage Miles sign-up bonus after $3,500 in spend within four months. This one is better than normal because the $99 annual fee is waived for the first year.

    Warning: This may be someone’s affiliate link. I’ve found it in multiple places that have affiliate relationships, I can’t get it to appear without leaving all of the URL parameters in place, and I can’t find it via Google search, Citi’s page, or AA’s page, so there may be a hidden commission paid to someone with this link. I can say for certain that I’ll earn exactly as much with this link as with every other link on the blog: $0.

Preparing for the upcoming deluge of Citi Strata blog posts.

  1. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards card, the no-annual fee relic from the Sears era, has sent new, beginning of the month targeted spend offers. We’ve seen:

    – $250 back on $1,200 or more in home improvement purchases once a month through July
    – 5% back on up to $2,000 spend per month on travel and entertainment through the December

    I used to consider this card an Unsung Hero, but it’s time to call it just a Sung Hero, I guess? (Thanks to Grayo and birt)
  2. Do this now (if you hold a Chase Sapphire card): Register for targeted bonus Ultimate Rewards points for booking through the Chase travel portal.
  3. There several new transfer bonuses:

    Chase Ultimate Rewards 30% bonus to Virgin Atlantic through June 15
    Chase Ultimate Rewards 40% bonus to Marriott Bonvoy through June 15 (still a poor deal most of the time)
    AmEx Membership Rewards 20% bonus to Aeromexico through May 31 (can be a good deal, mostly for economy)
    Qatar Avios 30% bonus when transferring from Citi ThankYou Points through May 31

  4. United has devalued partner business class awards in Europe and Asia, with award redemption costs increasing between 33% and 200% depending on carrier and route.

    As I said last week, at this point it basically never makes sense to earn a United mile directly because AmEx’s 35% points rebate and Chase’s 1.5 cents per point travel will often beat the award redemption cost on United, and you’ll earn miles for those flights too because they’re technically not award tickets. Most of the time you should probably focus your spend elsewhere and transfer in flexible currencies only if it makes immediate sense.
  5. There are two new shopping portal bonuses:

    – Delta SkyMiles: 500 bonus miles for $100 or more in spend through May 3
    – Alaska MileagePlan: 1,000 bonus miles for $400 or more in spend through May 8

    Giftcards.com is present on both, though as of April 12 tracking for that store has been the shopping portal equivalent of mail order furniture: Sometimes more intervention than you’d hope for is required.
  6. The personal version of the Barclays Hawaiian Airlines credit card has an increased sign-up bonus of 70,000 miles after $2,000 spend in 90 days. The bonus amount matches the now defunct business card offer, but that one only needed a single purchase. You can have both, but Hawaiian miles are of dubious value unless you’ve got a specific use case in mind. (Thanks to HMBC)

There’s a workaround for mail order furniture that you don’t want to assemble. Who wants to share the shopping portal equivalent?

  1. Two no-annual fee American Express credit cards have increased sign-up bonuses:

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

    You may have to play browser bingo, incognito blackjack, device keno, VPN baccarat, search engine roulette, or wear a two-toed sloth mask to see the increased offer. (Thanks to pizza42bob)
  2. Do this now: Register for an extra bonus for the upcoming Avianca Lifemiles American Express card issued by Cardless. . If you register before card-launch and get the card when it launches, you’ll get 5,000 or 10,000 additional bonus Lifemiles after meeting the sign-up bonus, depending on which card you apply for.

    This is an exact replica of the Qatar Airways Visa waitlist from a couple of weeks ago, but perhaps interesting in a different way because it’s a third party American Express.
  3. Do this now: Register for Best Western’s Summer promotion for 2,000 bonus points per night on up to 50 nights. This is valid for stays through September 2, and booked by Sunday. You’ve got to rebook existing reservations to be eligible too, because Best Western technically hates its customers.
  4. Kroger stores have 4x fuel points on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercard gift cards through May 14. I expect that Amazon gift cards are still excluded and will only earn 2x, but the terms aren’t available as of this writing.

    Pepper Rewards continues to keep most bulk gift card brand resale rates low, but fuel points rates have soared. I expect that to continue throughout this promotion too.
  5. In case you’re wondering what the travel outlook is like for Summer, the busiest sustained travel period of the year, the major low cost carriers (not to be confused with the ULCCs) are running Summer fare sales:

    Alaska, paid fares for for travel between May 21 and June 12 booked by tomorrow night
    Southwest, for travel between May 12 and November 20 booked by May 9
    JetBlue, for summer travel (dates unclear)

    The JetBlue sale in particular seems great on certain days; I’m seeing transcontinental Mint flights including flights in the new Mint cabin for about $600, and transcontinental economy fares at around $120.

A churner demonstrates the technique for pulling up heightened American Express offers.

  1. Hyatt sent targeted spending bonuses via email and in-app pop-up yesterday. Offers reported:

    – 1,000 – 1,500 bonus points for night multiples, up to 15-30 nights total
    – 20% back on award stays, up to 150,000 points spent / 30,000 points back
    – double or triple elite nights on up to five or ten nights
    – a free night certificate after a two or three night stay
    – double or triple points on up to 30,000 points earned

    Note that many of these require registration by June 6 and have a 90 day window for the promotion runtime, so it probably only makes sense to register the day before your first stay, as long as that’s before June 6. There is a collection of links here, but if you’re not targeted they won’t work.
  2. Southwest’s schedule is now open through March 5, 2025. On an related news item, if you book and board a Southwest flight, you’ll be flying Southwest so know what you’re getting yourself into. (Are they perfectly fine? I mean, mostly – but that’s not high praise.)
  3. The American Express Business Platinum card has a new 300,000 Membership Rewards sign-up bonus after $20,000 spend in three months. To find it, you may need to try all the gyrations:

    – Go incognito
    – Try different browsers, like Brave, Qikfox, Firefox, or Edge
    – Try both desktop and mobile devices
    – Connect to a VPN in various cities
    – Burn an old green employee card in effigy

    (Thanks to Heather)
  4. American Express has a new version of the Delta Reserve and Delta Reserve Business card that’s partially made out of the airframe of an old 747. Existing cardholders can request that version of the card by using the app’s “replace card” functionality, and if you’re not an existing card holder but you really want one, you can get one with AmEx and still be on good terms by either:

    – Applying for a new card, never hitting the sign-up bonus, and closing it within 30 days for no annual fee
    – Upgrading an existing card to a Delta Reserve without an upgrade bonus, getting the 747 card, then downgrading back to your existing card

    Of course if you care enough to run through all of this just for a card made out of an alloy that partially once had metal from a 747’s airframe, you’re an avgeek. Sorry, not sorry.
  5. Kroger online has 5% off of Visa and Mastercards with promo code SPRING24. I was only able to get this to work with physical gift cards, but I could get 10 total cards in a single order with the promotion applied.

    These are US Bank cards, and you’ll earn fuel points for the purchase too. It won’t code as grocery though.
  6. Staples stores have fee free $200 Visa gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit eight per transaction.

    These are Pathward gift cards, so have a liquidation plan in place.
  7. Kroger stores have 4x fuel points promotion on fixed value Visa and Mastercards and third party gift cards, but this one is today only. (Thanks to GCG)
  8. Ramp Capital’s corporate charge card program has launched travel partner points transfers with a transfer ratio of 1 ramp point = 0.667 mile. Like the card’s flat 1.5x points per dollar earning structure, the travel partners are completely uninspired. I only bring it up today because reading a couple of sentences about it here will save you from reading a couple of pages about it on a dozen other blogs only to figure out that it’s probably not worth your time. (Thanks to sammyph200)

Have a nice weekend!

The room where it happened: Ramp Capital’s inspiration room for finding airline transfer partners.

  1. Citi ThankYou Points has a 50% transfer bonus to Accor ALL Rewards through May 11 for Premier, Prestige, and AT&T Access More card holders, making it a 1:0.75 transfer ratio. With points worth slightly more than 2 cents each for hotel redemptions, this transfer bonus means effectively a 1.5 cent per point ThankYou Point value. EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, the word “point” appeared way too many times in that sentence. Sorry not sorry though, it couldn’t be helped, or at least I didn’t want it to be helped. The writing was already on point.

    Accor Hotels are effectively the European equivalent of Hyatt, though top tier status isn’t as nice. (Thanks to Emily)
  2. The Citi Shop Your Way Rewards Mastercard has new mid-month offers that stack with other offers:

    – $70 statement credit after $750 or more in online purchases
    – $50 statement credit after $750 or more in online purchases
    – $30 statement credit after five online purchases of $100 or more
    – 10,000 ThankYou Points after $1,000 or more in online purchases
    – 200,000 Shop Your Way Points after $750 or more in online purchases
    – 250,000 Shop Your Way Points after $1,000 or more in online purchases

    This card continues to be the best earning no-annual fee card that exists. (Thanks to Jacob M, DC Domer, Roberto, and Mike C)
  3. American Express Offers has an offer for a $200 statement credit with $750 or more in spend at Hyatt’s Secrets resorts by July 14. Gift cards at the front desk continue to be an option to bank this discount for the future.
  4. The Daily Churn discussed a nice RobinHood Brokerage 3% bonus on transferred assets in January. I’ve never posted the deal given the way that RobinHood treated many of us last year, including:

    – threats to liquidate our positions forcibly
    – accounts shutdown and frozen assets
    – blocking ACATS and ACH transfers out of our accounts after demanding that we transfer assets out

    What was our sin? We used the promoted feature of loading funds to our accounts with a debit card, but they retroactively decided they didn’t like that, even if you only loaded once. Why post now then? I’ve heard some excitement over the E*Trade existing user transfer bonus worth up to $6,000, and I want you to know that if you’re considering that, RobinHood may be a better option; but also they’re a terrible company. A wise man once told me “if you’re going to take advantage of a deal, it might as well a terrible person paying the bonus”, so I guess here we are.

Pictured: RobinHood executive breaks into house and takes candy from sleeping child.

EDITOR’S NOTE: ⚠️Warning! Your subscription to MEAB is cancelled effective immediately due to rewards abuse⚠️ (Just kidding, that was Bilt, and they were apparently just kidding too)

  1. Kroger stores have a 4x fuel points promotion on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercards running through April 23.

    The fuel points market is currently slightly depressed, but if you can hold them for a few weeks you’ll probably get better rates. Kroger account shutdowns are largely a thing of the past with good account hygiene and keeping balances well below six figures.
  2. There’s a new free churning called CardRight that tracks sign-up bonuses, card eligibility rules, when you can close a card without clawback, current card offers, and similar features related to card churning.
  3. H-E-B Stores have a $10 H-E-B gift card with the purchase of $50 or more in Home Depot or Lowe’s gift cards. Scale with multiple H-E-B accounts. (Thanks to GCG)
  4. Yes, there have been scattered reports of big retention offers for Business cards at American Express, and we’ve been hearing them in quasi-private forums for several weeks; no, we don’t know a way to be targeted if you’re not already targeted. Either way though, you should always be checking for retention offers and comparing those to new sign-up bonuses before accepting.

Happy Thursday friends!

Bilt company party invitation preview just dropped.

  1. British Airways has a status tier match for US and Canada residents that hold elite status with Delta, Air Canada, Lufthansa, United, FlyingBlue, Scandinavian, or Virgin Atlantic. You can match to either:

    – BA Silver, which includes oneworld Sapphire status
    – BA Gold, which includes oneworld Emerald status

    Your status lasts six months, and you have to apply by May 7. Both status levels get you access to AA lounges on domestic AA tickets, including Flagship lounges for you and a guest. Just watch out for the food in the non-flagship lounges, it’s unclear about whether or not it technically counts as food, even though it legally does. (Thanks to Connor)
  2. Do this now: Check for Chase targeted Q2 spend bonuses on up to $1,000 in spend:

    Hyatt: 5x earning
    Marriott Bonvoy or Bonvoy Bold, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Marriott Boundless, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Marriott Bountiful, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Marriott Premier, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Ritz-Carlton, or alternate link: 5x earning
    United MileagePlus Select: 5x earning
    United MileagePlus Gateway: 5x earning
    United Quest, Explorer, or Club: 5x earning
    AeroPlan, or alternate link: 5x earning
    Southwest (all variants), or alternate link: 5x earning
    IHG One: 7x earning

    There are other lesser carried card linkss like the old United Presidential Plus card, Disney card, or Amazon card, so check chase.com/mybonus if you didn’t see a link above for a particular card. (Thanks to FM)
  3. The American Express Personal Gold card has an offer via referral for 90,000 Membership Rewards after $6,000 spend in six months, and it includes a 20% statement credit on restaurants for up to $250 in spend. Don’t forget to check for a 10x bonus offer on dining for the referrer too. (Thanks to InenvitableOk7737)
  4. Do this now: Register for double points at Accor Hotels in Europe and North Africa booked by May 12 for stays between May 27 and July 5.

Sample non-flagship AA lounge food. Hopefully the red parts are classy hotdog bits.