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.

Unfortunately Plastiq continues to be running many real debit cards and several “debit” cards at the higher 2.85% credit card fee. If you have a real debit card that’s running at the credit card fee, I’d consider asking Plastiq to fix it in the hopes that everything else is also fixed.

Here are a few things to keep on your radar today:

  1. Do this now: Hyatt credit card holders should register for 20% back in points for award nights at Hyatt’s Thompson Hotel collection for stays starting April 1 and running through June 5.
  2. If you want the new third generation iPhone SE for churning and resale, or just to have, there’s a good deal at Visible right now. (Additionally, cell phone churners should look for a targeted offer from Visible for a $25 Amazon gift card on top of the normal $20 off of a monthly payment for both the referrer and the referred in their email inbox.)


    + $5 first month payment (use a referral link, ideally one of your own)
    + $25 second month payment (join any Party Pay party)
    + $25 third month payment (thanks to Austin for nothing the third month is required for the Mastercard)
    + $429 for the iPhone SE 3
    – $200 for a Mastercard gift card
    – $30 using a shopping portal

    = $254 net cost (or $209 if you refer yourself and get the Amazon gift card)

    Visible will automatically unlock the phone in 60 days, and the resale value will likely be around $400. In the mean time, you can use the phone number for all sorts of St. Patrick’s day hijinks, or maybe non St. Patrick’s day hijinks in a pinch.
  3. Check your Chase credit card offers for 10% back at Hyatt for up to $250 in spend.

Happy Thursday!

Make sure you’re sporting these babies for your St. Patrick’s day related hijinks.

Before we dive in today, a cautionary note: Plastiq has started charging higher fees for some payment types. If Plastiq is part of your arsenal, make sure you’re double-checking what’s being charged before you submit.

Now, let’s talk about a few happier topics to jump into the middle of the week:

  1. Hyatt is having a “private sale” which is open to the “public”, yay marketing. They’re advertising it as 25% off of paid rates at “more than” 975 hotels, which to me means 976 hotels (again, yay marketing). To see the rates, use promo code PRIVATE, book by March 22, and stay in April or May.

    Despite the snark there are a few good options so it’s worth checking any paid bookings you’ve got to see if you can lock in a lower rate. (Thanks to iheartpoints via the MEAB Slack)
  2. Do this now: Register for Choice Hotels’ newest bonus offer for between 5,000 and 8,000 points after two stays by May 8. Despite my warranted misgivings about Econolodge there is value to be had in the Choice Hotels program, largely with stays in the Ascent Collection booked on points from Citi ThankYou Point transfers.
  3. Coin season 2022 is starting tomorrow at the US Mint with the 2022 American Eagle Gold Proof Four-Coin Set (22EF). Right now the cost of the coin will be somewhere around $5,000, and commissions are likely to be in the $300 to $400 range. The play is to order a coin-set to your house and resell it to a dealer for more than it cost; typically you lock the price and commitment in before you order.

    These are good manufactured spend opportunities, especially because you’re being paid approximately a small credit card bonus sized commission for your trouble. I’m not specifically endorsing any buyer, but the following are reputable and you may want to onboard with them today if you want to take part tomorrow:

    – Amit’s Coin Buying Group (email or WhatsApp)
    – Boxy’s Resale Group (Discord, paid group, but the trial lasts through the coin sale)
    – DCB’s Buying Group (email or WhatsApp)
    – Vinh’s Coin Buying Group (Web)

Good luck out there!

Plastiq.

Over the weekend there was a 4x fuel points promotion for Kroger stores which usually causes BestBuy volume to crank up to an 11, but that didn’t happen this time. Sure, there was some BestBuy buying capacity to go around in select circles, but only at roughly 15% capacity of what would normally be available. What happened? Two things:

First, January is always really slow for gift card reselling and this year it’s even slower than normal, likely due to supply chain issues that mean retailers aren’t holding major sales.

Second, BestBuy stopped giving refunds on lost and destroyed packages to accounts of suspected resellers starting sometime around Christmas. With approximately three percent of packages lost, this means that less-crafty BestBuy resellers need to factor another loss into their cost of goods sold.

With somewhere around a third to a half of those resellers not yet figuring out how to work around the reseller flag, BestBuy rates were reduced by about 1.5%. Yay efficient market, but boo for gift card resellers.

Of course I have no idea how the BestBuy gift card market will actually look in the future, but based on watching BestBuy’s growing disdain toward resellers, I think the outlook for 2022 BestBuy gift card resale rates isn’t as rosy as it looked in 2021. Go ahead BestBuy, prove me wrong. I dare you.

BestBuy’s Kitty Sanchez to resellers: “Say goodbye to these, Michael”

If you’re in the third party gift card resale game, online/retail arbitrage game (reselling stuff), and the buyers’ group game (buying stuff for someone else and getting paid for it), this week is likely to be one of the best for the entire year and today’s post will be a garbage-post for you — sorry.

If you’re not fully in one or more of these worlds though, this post is for you. I’d consider onboarding with the following platforms today to take advantage of the myriad Black Friday and Cyber Monday opportunities. (Note: I’m not endorsing any of these platforms, but they all are considered reputable within the community as a whole, YMMV.)

Gift Card Reselling

Buyer’s Clubs

Online/Retail Arbitrage

  • Pioneer ULTD (this costs $30 per month, though @boxy will give you a day or two to ask questions before paying)
  • Vinh’s Slack (this costs $60 per month)

Good luck this week, and don’t sleep on this. With a bit of scale and hard work you could be looking at tens-of-thousands of dollars in manufactured spend time over the next several days.

The impact of today’s post: Either you’re holding bags full of money, or you’re holding the post in a plastic bag. There’s no middle ground.

Keep the following on your radar for the holiday weekend, but make sure you take some time to relax too (don’t forget that we’re starting busy season for reselling, gift cards or otherwise so save some energy for the points treadmill):

1. On Wednesday I wrote about how the Point.app debit card was a nice vector from Venture Capitalist investment funds to your wallet. Well, it looks like that’s going to be going on for a long time: They just raised $46.5 Million dollars from two major venture capital funds.

On a likely related note, Point has a new streak going for $30 back after making a purchase a day for five days in a row, provided those purchases add up to $200 or more. This is easily combined with the Target 10x or Nike 15x offer running at Point right now, so if you procrastinated on those you’re in luck! Max them out with a gift card for resale to bump you well over $200 in spend, then set up Debbit to make four more transactions of $1.00 at Amazon for the following four days.

If you don’t have Point.app, use a referral link because the normal sign-up bonus is $10, but with a referral it’s $100. There’s no credit check since it’s a debit card. If you need a referral ask a friend and make their day, but if you don’t know anyone with Point reach out to me and I’ll share mine.

2. TravelBloggerBuzz’s post for yesterday had two more hotel promotions in addition to Wednesday’s Marriott promotion. So, do the following now in case you end up staying at one of these hotels:

If you do end up at a Best Western, my condolences. At least you’re not at a Marriott Courtyard.

3. When will the madness end? Starting Sunday, Staples will have fee-free $200 Visa Gift Cards, limit 5 per transaction. I may sit this one out, I’m very much running out of bonused office supply spend capacity and there isn’t a Staples near me. (thanks to kawnipi)

4. Kroger’s 4x fuel points when purchasing gift cards promotion starts today and runs through Monday evening. Rates on everything related to this promotion have crept up from the last round, so it’s a great time to knock out some grocery store spend and potentially earn money doing it.

An old, green, monochrome air traffic control radar screen centered on an airport
Radar screen showing my local Kroger parking lot and gift card rack.

1. If you sign up for a free Target RedCard debit card (no credit pull) by July 17, you’ll earn a $40 coupon off of a $40 purchase at Target. Is this deal churnable? I’m not sure yet. This pairs well with the NBA basketball cards that some of you are slinging. I haven’t touched the card resale market yet, but I know some are making five-figures before being banned by Target and spinning up a new account to start all over.

2. News has been trickling in about the Citi Custom Cash card for about a week. The latest developments are that you’ll soon be able to product change to this card from another card (for me, the AT&T Access card that I can’t convert to an AT&T Access More card no matter how hard I try), and now that Citi will give a $300 bonus after $1,000 spend through Thursday for opening the card in branch. The card is probably going to turn into a Miles Earn and Burn “Unsung Heroes” card in the future but we’ll need some real-life experience with it first. In theory it’s an easy-ish $300 cash back every year card with no-annual fee. Stay tuned.

3. Try this link or this link for a no-lifetime language American Express Business Platinum card with a 150,000 Membership Rewards sign up bonus after spending $15,000. Keep in mind that there are credible rumors that the annual fee on this card will jump to to $695 in July, so plan accordingly if the card is interesting to you. I would go for this card other than I’m already over the supposed American Express ten charge card limit with my eleven charge cards and I don’t want to push it any further because frankly American Express is just too valuable. I’ll be able to close some of them starting next month. Thanks to yt-nthr-rddtr for the links.

4. Cash.app is back with a 5% off offer for each online purchase at Sam’s Club from now until Thursday, limit $400 spend per day. I like these for getting Visa and Mastercard gift cards, just make sure you shop through a portal. Portals don’t always track gift card orders at Sam’s, but often they do. When the portals track, it makes this nice two-pointer layup deal more like a three-pointer deal. See how I can sportsball metaphor with the best of them?

My new shirt in Cash.app green, because reasons.

I put together a short post on Gift Card reselling in April, so I thought I’d give it another round for May because reasons:

  • Bad news for Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, and other Just4U stores: Gene pointed me at a memo advising that BlackHawk Network cards (like those from Staples or Office Depot) don’t work any more for PIN purchases over $100 at the customer service desk. I’ve also heard that in several regions these cards aren’t working for PIN card transactions any more at Kroger either. Make sure your liquidation avenues can still support unloading these gift cards before you buy more.
  • To counteract the above, the Just4U stores rewards program has two worthwhile coupons this week. Just make sure you add them to your accounts: Buy two $100 Mastercard Gift Cards and get $15 off, and buy two $50 Mastercard Gift Cards and get $10 off. Both of these deals are below cost deals, so no brainers. They’re also Mastercard Gift Cards, which I famously prefer over the Visa variants.
  • BestBuy gift card reselling rates went as high as 97.5% this weekend. When you include some of the current grocery store rewards promotions in the mix, you could do better than break even, and that’s not considering credit card rewards. Historically, the these rates get as high as 99%-101% during Q4.
  • Target gift card rates have sprung back to life, they’re in the 90-92% range right now. If you bought gift cards during Target’s Manufactured Spend Gift Card Weekend and haven’t unloaded them yet, perhaps jump on that.
  • Mothers day gift card promotions have been pushing resale activity into its first major bull market of the year. There were dozens of great deals this weekend, and I expect that a bunch more will crop up over the coming week. A few examples: Happy cards at Target, Happy cards at Kroger, and Adidas gift cards.

My suggestion for you: get set up on a few gift card reselling markets and start experimenting until you get your feet wet and get the hang of it. We’re starting to enter one of the busy seasons of the year so it’s an easy time to cherry-pick your deals. Also, please remember that everything can go wrong (c.f., The Plastic Merchant), so never spend more than you’re willing to float or eat as a loss, and diversify your holdings and resale markets.

A broken swing set, which has largely fallen down, rusted, and is in major disrepair.
Behold, the majestic swinging gift card resale market!