MEAB is here with the real questions for you this year, like: “What if Manufactured Spend, Loyalty, and Travel hacking companies were Vice Presidents?” Hard hitting stuff I know! Also, it’s slow during the last week of the year so I guess let’s go:

Happy Thursday!

MEAB’s official 2022 tee-shirt.

American Express reported outstanding 2021 Q4 earnings on Tuesday driven by profits from record consumer spending on its cards. I guess their executive staff used some of the profit to buy a few happy pills, because they’ve really gone on a bender:

1. Multiple reports across multiple forums share that the Marriott and Hilton Business cards have an offer for a $200 statement credit when adding an employee card and spending $2,000 within 60 days, for up to 99 employees. That’s a total of $19,800 in statement credits if you choose to maximize this deal. That’s literally the price of a new Subaru Impreza with a few add-ons — so with some work, you can drive away with a brand new car on AmEx’s dime.

As with the other versions of the 99 employee card offer, you have to call in and ask the customer service representative if there are any offers for adding employees on to your account to see if you’re targeted, because reasons.

2. There’s a new targeted offer for adding an authorized user to a Platinum card for 20,000 Membership Rewards after spending $2,000 in six months. This offer is different than the prior ones so it should track even if you’ve already gotten another version in the past. (Thanks to LL)

3. Today is probably the last day you can play the AmEx airline selection trick, which is:

  • Select an airline for your incidental credits
  • Turn them into future airfare credit
  • Switch to another airline for the rest of the year (especially useful for the 35% Membership Rewards rebate on Business Platinum cards)

If you try after today, you likely won’t be reimbursed for your original airline’s incidental credits before the end of the year.

Now go out there, seize the day, and strive to act like an American Express Executive (prolly before the happy pills though).

American Express’s executive staff went on a bender at “Churning Geyser” for inspiration. (Special thanks reader Ryan for the image, and for bringing “avgas and confidence” into my vernacular.)

1. American Express was clearly up too late Sunday night and was loopy from drinking a bottle of Tabasco and eating a jar of pickles on an empty stomach: As first reported by Slickdeals AmEx cards have some amazing and suspicious spending offers on the Membership Rewards family of cards. Reportedly offers have been seen for:

  • $1,000 back after spending $1,000 up to 3 times
  • $3,500 back after spending $2,000 up to 3 times
  • $4,500 back after spending $2,500 up to 3 times

Almost certainly this was meant to be a Membership Rewards points offer and not a cash-back offer, but well into Monday night the offer was still showing as cash-back. Check your cards here, and if you’ve got the offer I do suggest spending on the card on the off-chance that it works, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up with just Membership Rewards points as your bonus in the end.

2. A strange SimplyMiles deal has been percolating since Friday night, and honestly I didn’t believe that it was correct and didn’t want to waste your time while you tried to chase a lame unicorn, but I was wrong. What’s the deal? SimplyMiles is giving 6x on all of their outstanding offers for the first three redemptions on your account now through December 27, 2021. (In case you’re not aware, SimplyMiles is a card linked program for Mastercard issued cards that earns AA miles.)

The kicker is that Gary confirmed that that 6x doesn’t mean +6x, it means *6x, so a 40 miles per dollar deal actually means 6*40 miles, or 240 miles per dollar. The best offers on my account:

  • 40 miles per dollar for donating to Conservation International, apparently an unlimited cap
    • 6*40 = 240 miles per dollar with the offer
  • 1,500 miles for a purchase of $45 or more at CVS
    • 6*1,500 = 9,000 miles with the offer
  • 1,500 miles for a purchase of $200 or more at BestBuy
    • 6*1,500 = 9,000 miles with the offer

Those are pretty amazing offers and I did each one the moment the deal was confirmed to be real. Who doesn’t want an AA Web Special economy flight for buying a $50 gift card at CVS anyway?

Good luck out there, and may your day be even wackier than these two deals!

Eat approximately two pounds of these to propel yourself to American Express levels of whackiness.

There are a couple of deals out there that’ll net you $1,022, or $1,031.80 with some shenanigans:

1. Brex will give you $1,000, or 100,000 miles transferred to various airlines, for setting up PayPal merchant processing. It took me about 3 minutes which makes it one of the biggest hauls I’ve ever gotten for the time required for a US airline to show you how to use your seatbelt before you depart. Here’s what you do:

For the fastest phone call possible, tell the PayPay merchant services agent them you want to set up a merchant account with “online invoicing” as the only payment method that your business needs to accept and that you’re setting it up as part of the Brex integration. They’ll walk you through sending a test payment to yourself of $1.00, and put you on the list for 100,000 points. Just make sure your PayPal and Brex accounts have the same email address — create a new PayPal business account if they don’t already match.

If you don’t already have a Brex account, find a friend who has one and get a referral, you’ll both earn a $250 Amazon gift card, which as far as I can tell is the current best sign up bonus available. If you absolutely can’t find anyone, my link is here, but that’s not why I’m in this.

2. Swagbucks will pay you $110 for signing up for a Walmart+ annual membership, which costs $98+tax. But, you can make it better with a Chase or Bank of America credit card offer for $5 or $10 back. You can also get a Dosh 10% back if you’re willing to play some shenanigans (there are more specific instructions here if you like, just ignore the Google Pay instructions as they’re out of date). My Chase Sapphire Reserve had an offer for $10 back, so I’ll net $110 from Swagbucks, $10 from Chase, and $9.80 from Dosh for spending $98, which gives a total of $31.80 when all is said and done. And oh, I guess I get a year of Walmart+, which I predict I’ll use approximately zero times — SCORE!

Another hint/technique: You know there are states out there that don’t charge sales tax, right?

A picture of a Walmart store with fallen shelves, products scattered on the ground, and spilled liquids all over the floor.
My local Walmart as it looks on any given Tuesday. Why wouldn’t I want to shop here?

If you have an American Express Personal Gold or Green card that’s been around since at least last year, you’re likely to see an upgrade offer to the Personal Platinum worth either 25,000 Membership Rewards or 75,000 Membership Rewards after spending $2,000 after logging in to your account and scrolling down to the offers section. On the face of it, “meh 25,000 points for a high annual fee card, so what?” Here’s what: This upgraded card inherits the Unicorn AmEx Platinum Card’s 10x up to $15,000 spend in the first 6 months at Gas and Grocery after upgrade. I was able to see it on one of my AmEx Golds, even though I already have a few Personal Platinum cards.

If you don’t see it, detach your Gold or Green card from your login at this link and create a new login with just that card. It’ll almost certainly appear under your new login.

While the American Express Personal Gold card is my favorite AmEx card, I couldn’t turn down this upgrade from one of my Gold cards. I’ll spend through the 10x to earn 150,000 MR, earn the $200 airline credit and the $30 / month PayPal credit through June, earn the upgrade bonus, then I’ll downgrade it back to a Gold card. No harm, no foul.

A picture of a soccer player in a red jersey shrugging.
With this AmEx upgrade/downgrade, I’m calling “no harm, no foul”.

Ok, so about that Unicorn Amex that needed to use a Resy affiliate link? No need apparently. As of November 12 all new AmEx Platinum approvals get 10x on grocery and gas up to $15,000 spend. Visit American Express at this link and you could see the same offer. You may need to try private mode or a different browser if you don’t see the 100,000 MR points plus 10x grocery spend and gas stations offer, or copy and paste the link yourself, or jump up and down and yell “Ice, Ice, Baby!” when you click.

The Brave browser has been reported to work. If you don’t get a popup at the last step of the application, you should be eligible for a sign-up bonus even if you’ve already had the card.

Vanilla Ice, rapper
Vanilla Ice (maybe) has a Unicorn Platinum

If you’re like me, you need another Amex Platinum card like you need a hole in the head. But, here’s a better sign up bonus for an American Express Platinum card that’s the best I’ve ever seen:

  • 75,000 Membership Rewards sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in 6 months
  • 20% statement credit on restaurant spend up to $300 back within the first 12 months
  • 10x Membership Rewards points at Grocery Stores and/or Gas Stations

I think this is an affiliate link of, so they’ll likely get something if you use their link. I’d give you a non-affiliate link if I knew of one, but I don’t, sorry. 🤷‍♀️

Drunk Kermit
10x Membership Rewards on Rosé from Ralphs