Rhetorical random thought: Why is a college quad called a quad? If you know don’t tell me, I’m currently living in ignorant bliss on the matter and wish to keep it that way.

  1. If you have an American Express EveryDay card, check your account dashboard for a targeted upgrade offer to the EveryDay Preferred card with a 40,000 Membership Rewards bonus. You’ll have an annual fee of $95 to pay in exchange for those 40,000 points.

    For a level two churner, I’d also ask for a retention offer from AmEx the day after upgrading the card since you’re going to have to keep it open for a year anyway to stay out of the penalty box.
  2. Check your inbox for targeted spend bonuses from Discover, offering an extra 2% on spend through July 31 for up to $2,000 in spend (of course I’d only knock this out stacked with Q2 and Q3 5x spend).
  3. Giant, Stop & Shop, and Martin’s stores have 10x points on Apple gift cards through tomorrow, up to $2,000 in spend per loyalty account. Resale rates are in the 92% range right now, so this is a nice way to gin up some bonused grocery spend at above break even. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  4. Kroger has a 4x fuel points sale running Friday through Monday on third party gift cards. Unfortunately for resellers there’s been effectively some form of 4x, 6x, or 12x running all month which has depressed rates, likely through the middle of June.
  5. Graduate Hotels (a boutique hotelier with unique properties scattered across the US and Europe) is running an award sale today starting at 12 PM Eastern for hotel rooms at $30 per night, plus taxes for stays through July 31. The sale runs for 30 hours, but my guess is that the truly great options will sell out long before that. (Thanks to FM)

For some reason Washington University didn’t contact me before naming this “the quad”. I guess it is more catchy than “the polygons” though.

First, a note: if you’re playing the Kroger gift card resale game, always make sure you clip any coupon that could be, even remotely, related to what you’re buying.

And with that out of the way, let’s dive into the week with a few above-average offers and a below-average offer to balance it out.

  1. Forums lit up over the weekend with news of the Capital On Tap business credit card increasing the sign-up bonus to $750 for $7,500 in spend.This is interesting because:

    – Capital On Tap isn’t performing a hard-pull on your credit
    – The card doesn’t report to credit bureaus
    – Credit lines are typically large
    – They support payments with debit cards from their payment portal

    There are a few downsides too: This is only available by a TPG affiliate link and reportedly it’s tough to get approved without a corporation, LLC, or other registered entity.
  2. Bank of America has been emailing targeted, uncapped bonus spend offers through December 31 for:

    – +2% bonus cash back on Customized Cash Visa
    – +2x miles on the Alaska Airlines Visa
    – +2x miles on the Travel Rewards Visa
    – +2x miles on the Amtrack Visa

    Check your email for any messages from Bank of America from the weekend, especially in your spam folders. I wasn’t targeted sadly, so I’m going to have to live vicariously through you on this one.
  3. Jim was the first to let me know that OfficeDepot / Office Max has a $15 instant discount on $300 or more in Metabank Visa gift cards through Saturday. To maximize:

    – Buy the “Everywhere” cards which have a lower fee and are typically easier to liquidate
    – Link your credit cards to Dosh
    – Try and run multiple transactions back to back
  4. Meijer MPerks has a $5 Meijer gift card with the purchase of $500 in Happy Gift cards through May 28, but you have to clip the coupon first. (Thanks to GC Galore)

    Normally I wouldn’t write about a $5 back deal but it gives an opening to talk about a Happy Gift Card that’s now available in both physical and digital form (EDIT: Thanks to yehuda for the corrected link): The St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Happy card, which can be swapped to BestBuy. This is great from a velocity, resale, and anti-fraud perspective.

The outline for this post.

We’re all over the place today:

  1. There’s a new option to cash out orphaned ANA miles. You can now convert them to Amazon gift cards at 0.83 cents per point. The value isn’t great, but if you’ve got miles sitting there from a COVID cancelled-trip with no prospects for burning them soon this could be a good way to temporarily exit the program. (Thanks to T C)
  2. There have been many reports over the last two days that more people are targeted for a 20,000 Membership Rewards bonus for turning on Pay-over-Time on AmEx charge cards. To check each of your cards, you’ll have to set the card to be the default, then check the landing page.
  3. Staples has fee free $200 Mastercard gift cards starting Sunday and running through the following Saturday, limit five per transaction. Coincidentally (or is it?), this deal starts the day after the Office Depot/OfficeMax variant ends.

    These cards are Metabank issued so have a liquidation plan in place other than buying a money order at Walmart, Kroger, or Safeway. How are other national retailers treating you though?
  4. The onJuno banking and rewards debit card, a favorite for some of you, is now paying a 3% annual bonus on Bitcoin and Ethereum crypto holdings. I guess that bonus helps offset some of BTC’s 36.6% loss over the last 365 days? (Too soon?)

Have a nice weekend!

In fairness, this car probably also depreciated 36.6% in the last 365 days.

  1. United’s sometimes awful, sometimes decent, usually better than a kick-in-the-head program MileagePlay has a new round of offers. You can check yours here. Current offers are valid through July 30. Offers seen this round:

    – Book and fly two one-way flights or one round-trip, earn 2,500 bonus miles
    – Book and fly five trips, earn 9,000 bonus miles
    – Book a single trip costing at least $175, earn 3,800 bonus miles

    If you have existing United flights (sorry), it’s worth checking to see if they can be rebooked at a reasonable cost in order to meet your offer.
  2. It’s a good time to liquidate your American Express Personal Platinum Saks credits, or your Business Platinum Dell credits because both are at 15x on Rakuten today:

    Saks 15x
    Dell Technologies 15x (Dell Technologies routes you to dell.com and tracks just like the regular shop)

    What should you buy at Saks? My goto is a gift card for resale whenever I’m near an actual Saks store. Failing that, uh, I guess you can buy a crappy metal detector that will probably only be able to detect tears of frustration. Failing that, here’s a search for everything under $50 at Saks.

    Don’t forget that Rakuten accounts can earn Membership Rewards points instead of cash back, just make sure your account is created correctly before shopping.

The aftermath of trying to use a crappy metal detector from Saks. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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.

First, a few newsworthy items:

  1. Am let me know about a Chase Ink Cash offer for 5,000 bonus UR for $5,000 spend, up to three times. It’s available on other business cards too, check yours at chase.com/mybonus. Offers seen:

    – 5,000 Ultimate Rewards after $5,000 spend, 3x on Ink cards
    – 5,000 Rapid Rewards after $5,000 spend, 3x on Southwest business cards
    – 5,000 MileagePlus miles after $5,000 spend, 3x on United business cards
  2. The Target Redcard $40 in-store +$40 online sign-up bonus is back through May 28. Currently data-points suggest you can churn this card as long as you wait ten business days between closing and opening, and there are other RedCard hacks too that make the credit card version worth while.
  3. Do this now: Register for IHG’s 2-4x points promotion for stays through August 31. You’ll earn:

    – 2x points on nights 2 through 5
    – 3x points on nights 6 through 14
    – 4x points on nights 15 and beyond
  4. Kroger has a 4x fuel points promotion for third party gift cards through May 19. Just make sure you clip the digital coupon first. Note that Harris Teeter (the CRJ-200 of Kroger’s fleet), has now moved to the same software system used by other affiliates.

And second, Delta SkyClub access rules are changing on June 1:

  • Access at your origin airport is allowed only within three hours of departure
  • Access at a connecting airport is allowed anytime
  • Access on arrival is no longer allowed

I don’t think this changes much about the value proposition of credit cards that give you SkyClub access, but there’s a chance that this may turn into a statement credit as compensation in the future just like when the American Express Platinum card lost AA lounge access.

If Kroger was United Airlines, Harris Teeter would the United Express CRJ-200.

First, let’s look forward to the weekend with a few deals:

  1. Lowe’s has a free $15 gift card with each $200 Visa gift card purchased deal running now through Wednesday, April 27. If you get a friendly store there’s effectively no limit on these purchases, and the “Everywhere” variety of gift cards with a lower purchase fee work too.

    With the current spot rate for Lowe’s $15 gift cards hovering around 87%, you’ll effectively get a $200 Visa gift card for $191. (Thanks to GC Galore)
  2. Staples has fee free $200 Mastercard gift cards starting on Sunday and running through Saturday, April 30, limit five per transaction. I wouldn’t bother though, because waves hands at the previous deal.
  3. Vinh reports that Safeway rewards coupons no longer apply to Visa gift cards. Points earning on Visa gift card purchases isn’t what it used to be either.
  4. If you’re a high level elite at AA and have a bunch of (mostly worthless and soon to be eliminated) 500 mile upgrade certificates in your account, consider trying to get them converted into miles with a little bit of back-and-forth: There’s a report on Flyertalk of an Executive Platinum member being able to exchange each certificate for 5,000 AA miles but the road wasn’t exactly painless.
  5. Bank of America has an offer for targeted double cash back on its credit and debit cards for purchases made today and tomorrow. Check the obviously-named-by-a-committee “BankAmeriDeals” here, save the offer if you see it, and then pair it with any other BankAmeriDeal to double it. Yay coupon books!

And second, have you gone zombie hunting this week? Not all dead deals are still dead. Happy weekend friends!

Deals don’t die when this is what companies use to kill them.

We’re already off to a great start for the week:

  1. The original MEAB Unsung Hero, the Rakuten Visa card, sent out targeted spend offers to cardholders over the weekend. The offers require activation so be sure to double check your email inbox. Some of these offers are approaching “deal of the quarter” territory, especially if you have the Membership Rewards earning version of the Rakuten Visa — we’ve seen:

    – An extra 5% or 5x on all spend through May 15, provided you have at least 5 transactions over $10 (effectively a 6x everywhere card, or 8x+ through the shopping portal)
    – An extra 2% or 2x on all spend, provided you spend at least $500 through May 15 (effectively a 3x everywhere card, or 5x+ through the shopping portal)
    – $50 off of $2,000 in spend
    – $20 off of $500 in spend

    I got the +2x offer, giving me a 3x everywhere Membership Rewards earning Visa. You can bet that I’ll be scaling that one.
  2. Meijer MPerks has $10 back as a Meijer gift card when you buy $100 in Happy cards running through April 23, limit one per account. While this isn’t an amazing deal by itself, multiple accounts can help turn it into a nice windfall. I’d buy a few thousand in Happy cards that can be converted to Home Depot for resale if you can find them, and if I were anywhere near a Meijer this week. (Thanks to Larry for helping clarify this deal)
  3. The Chase Sapphire Preferred reportedly has a targeted 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus through their Chase Credit Journey site. On the other-hand, the Ink Preferred card always has a 100,000 Ultimate Rewards sign-up bonus and is churnable, so no need to try and game the Journey site.

Happy Monday!

A screenshot from the Chase Credit Journey (before it gets weird).