Do this now: Open the Uber app, and link your Marriott #Bonvoyed account to your Uber account by going into Settings, then scroll down to “Marriott Bonvoy”.

Look, I don’t love Uber or Marriott, but you can now earn Bonvoy points for spending American Express Uber credits or regular Uber / Uber Eats stuff, as long as the total cost is over $25. Bonvoy points are still useful for converting into many different types of airline miles, and I guess they have a few hotels that you can stay in.

Let’s goose this deal though, because if you have a qualifying purchase by May 31, 2021 you’ll earn an additional 2,000 Bonvoy points:

  • Open Uber, then #Bonvoy them by linking your account
  • Open Uber Eats, then add the promo code 50OFFPICKUP to your account, that’ll earn you 50% off of a pickup order up to $10, but you have to use it by tomorrow night
  • Order a dinner for you and your family or friends that totals at least $35, or $25 after pickup — ideally you use your burner account which you use to store your AmEx Uber Credits
  • Earn $10 off of your pickup and 2,050 #Bonvoyed points

Food recommendation: Go for the local authentic Ethiopian joint if you’ve got one; Ethiopian food is top-notch and I’m guessing a lot of you haven’t had it though I’d love to be wrong. Be adventurous!

Not what I meant by adventurous food, reddit.

1. American Airlines has reduced mileage awards for AA credit card holders back on the table. These are actually a great deal and worth a look, especially because in most cases you can cancel and redeposit the miles with no fees if your trip doesn’t work out. Steps:

2. Southwest is having a nice fare sale with quite a few $50 fares out there. Remember that if the cash fare is cheap with Southwest, so is the mileage cost, and with mileage awards you can cancel and redeposit at any time for no fee. If you book something cheap in early June, you’ll almost certainly be able to change it to any other flight ±30 days in a week or two when the next free schedule change window opens. What a time to be alive!

Final note: The AA 40th contest is still going — lots of people are winning 4,000 mile awards recently. For best results, spin the globe as early as possible after 12:00 AM Eastern time. Since it’s a new week, you can get a bunch of new buttons by logging in and clicking all the blue buttons.

A woman in a riding outfit (flannel shirt, pants, tall socks, boots, and a black riding cap) on top of a cow jumping over a post.
Flying Southwest compared to flying other legacy carriers is a bit like riding a cow instead of riding a horse.

1. Staples is offering another sale on its Visa Gift Cards starting on Sunday, but this time the deal isn’t nearly as great as it typically is. You can purchase $200 Visa Gift Cards for a $1.95 fee. It’s still a mostly good deal with an AmEx Business Platinum 5x or Chase Ink 5x, mostly. Honestly, it’s better than a pile of rocks.

2. The Southwest free change window is back between May 9 and June 5. Book the cheapest fare between your preferred cities somewhere within that date-range, then change it to ±30 days for the actual flights you want for no additional fees.

3. I’m sure you’ve heard it elsewhere already, but American Express Centurion Lounges are disallowing guest access to guests on February 1, 2023 unless you spend $75,000 on your American Express Platinum card. As Windbag Miles says, look into the Morgan Stanley Platinum which gives a free Authorized User Platinum card also with lounge access benefits. Little known fact, a decent balance at Morgan Stanley for Platinum card holders gives an annual credit to offset the annual fee on this card.

4. Today is the last day for the Citi Premier card’s 25% uplift in point values on travel redemptions (1.25 cents per point today vs 1.00 cents per point starting tomorrow), so lock any bookings in now before it’s too late. Hint: Disney park tickets are a decent way to lock in the 25% uplift for a long while.

Rocks from a rock-slide covering a canyon road.
A nice leisurely weekend drive to Staples.

1. You can earn Star Alliance Gold Elite status, which will get you lounge access and free checked bags when flying on Star Alliance Partners like United by transferring miles to SingaporeKris Flyer from bank points (Chase, AmEx, Capital One, Brex, and Citi are all partners). Gold status requires a transfer of 250,000 miles, so this is only a good option if you’re already booking tickets with Singapore and plan on using the miles. Don’t forget that KrisFlyer miles expire after three years regardless of account activity. Louses!

2. If you have United Club passes that were expiring between April 1 and August 31, they’ve been extended to September 30. The new expiration is already showing in my United mobile app.

3. Southwest is offering a 10% rebate on Wanna Get Away fares booked today, or higher rebates for more expensive fare types. If you want to further goose this deal, perhaps book the cheapest fare between your city pairs for mid-May to early-June in anticipation of the next Southwest free change window?

4. The Cranky flyer outlines how you can essentially pay the difference between a refundable and non-refundable fare on United after you’ve already booked and get a refund for the initial fare way after the fact. You have to book through a travel agent though, and it’ll have to be a competent agent too.

No, not a fuel dump. Also, this isn’t what I mean when I say fuel dump.

It’s follow-up time:

1. Pavel wrote to let me know that if you’ve gotten attached to one of your burner phone numbers and want to keep it for a while, there’s a great deal at eBay for RedTalk mobile. You’ll be able to port in your number and have service for a year for a total of $30. Porting to Google Voice would cost less, but for most cell phone burner purposes Google Voice is a non-starter because they detect and prevent direct VOIP phone number use.

2. BlueCat previously let us know about the Chase Private Client Arts and Culture Program as a strong benefit that comes with Chase Private Client, but it sounds like that program is ending. That means the principle value of Private Client is once again a debit card that says “Private Client”.

3. Delta extended flexible travel bookings through April 30, so yesterday’s Housekeeping item about locking in bookings while the flexible window is open is still an option on Delta. You’ve got time to plan — things that you may want to book while you’ve got flexible cancellation: Summer vacation, Fall Break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas travel.

4. AmEx sent another round of Membership Rewards for adding authorized users to your card. Look for an email with the subject “NAME, you’re about to miss out on 20,000 Membership Rewards® points. Add Card Members now.” Mine came on a Personal Platinum card and requires $2,000 spend within six months for the bonus. You can try this link, it doesn’t seem to be specific to me.

Remember how “and burn” is part of this blog’s title? Let’s talk about burning at least once today:

  • Southwest is offering 20% off of Rapid Rewards mileage redemption for flights booked by Mar 25 with promo code SAVENOW. You must travel by April 30.
  • If you want to travel in May or June instead (or, in April if the fares are still too high), hurry and book the cheapest fare between roughly May 10 and May 31, then move it ± 30 days while the current free change window is open, just keep the city pairs the same. When this window is open all changes can be made online, no need to call. It will probably be gone tomorrow.

It is of course a shame that the dates for the above two offers don’t overlap.

An image of a dark haired teenage girl in a black Nirvana cap and a red shirt with mascara lines from recent crying running down her cheeks.
How the lack of overlap in the above two date windows makes me feel.

Via Reddit, there’s currently a 40% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy points. My initial reaction was basically “Bonvoy’s gonna #Bonvoy, this stinks”, but Robert at Milenomics pointed out a hidden point of value in Marriott program: 2,400 Bonvoy points converts to 1,000 JAL Mileage Bank points. Why is this interesting?

  • JAL Business Class awards from North America to Japan are 50,000 miles each way on non-peak days
  • You can book seats further out with JAL Mileage Bank then you can with partners
  • JAL often gives better award availability to its own mileage program than it gives to partners
  • The JAL #Bonvoy backdoor costs approximately 85,000 Membership Rewards and has very low surcharges and increased availability
  • The most inexpensive way to get to JAL award tickets are with AA and Alaska, neither of which are AmEx transfer partners; BA is an option but will usually end up costing more in terms of miles and surcharges. Cathay’s Asia Miles are decent for AmEx partners too, but availability is less and booking windows are shorter

But the best reason to do this? You’ll actually extract value out of the Marriott program. Remember, it’s probably not the best choice for your loyalty.

Side note: It’s really silly and hard to type “Bonvoy points”, so, can we just collectively agree to rename them to Bonvoints?

A Google search bar with the word 'bonvoyed' entered, and suggestions for:

bonvoyed meaning
bonvoyed twitter
marriott bonvoy
getting bonvoyed
It genuinely makes me happy that bonvoyed is becoming a term with interesting search predictions, and the actual program phrase is fourth on the list.

I’ve had quite a few conversations about Cell Phone Burners and Travel Hacking, and I wanted to share a few points and some feedback:

  • Reader BlueCat ran into an error while registering Ting SIM cards with a strange error message about service availability in his area. If you hit this, try using an address in NYC, LA, or somewhere else. You’re not actually planning on using the service, right? So who cares where you register it.
  • BlueCat also notes that rather than an address issue, perhaps strange error messages about compatibility means “try a different burner cell phone”.
  • Another reader, Yun, has 10 separate Visible Mastercards maturing. Don’t be afraid to scale up this deal.
  • Ting SIM card packs come with a bundle of two SIM cards, one for GSM and one for CDMA networks. I bought a scratch & dent Google Pixel 3 that works on every US network, and that works with both SIM cards in the pack too. You can double your throughput with the right phone.
  • Worth mentioning again, because it’s silly and obscure. Reader Katie discovered that without a password set, you won’t get Port Out info on the Ting website.

Happy burning!

An aeroflot plane engulfed in flames.
No, no, no! I meant happy cell phone burning, don’t burn your aircraft.