Real or hoax? Your Target Prepaid REDcard Account has Been Closed

On Flyertalk, RFDMinnesota set off a firestorm today by posting an email purportedly from American Express stating that they were closing RFDMinnesota’s REDcard account for using it in ways not intended (found here).  The email describes as “suspicious activity” the behavior of loading the card in $500 and $1000 increments and then immediately unloading it through withdrawals or bill pay. I find this surprising for a few reasons: People have been doing the exact same…

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Best hotel program for extended business stay

A reader recently asked me the following question: Hi, I am traveling to Miami for business and will be staying about a Month.  I am a member of most of the major hotel brand loyalty programs, and I was wondering if you had any suggestions for the best reward deals for an extended stay hotel (like Residence Inn Marriott).  I also plan on requesting some sort of status challenge if the hotel offers it.  Any…

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Hacking Walt Disney World

At a frequent flyer get together late last year, I had the pleasure of dining with a woman who is an expert in all things Disney (or, at least, much more expert than me in anything Disney, so that’s good enough for me).  She was telling me a number of tricks for getting the most out of Disney World when I suggested that it would make a great blog post.  It turns out that she…

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Manufacturing spend: What’s safe?


I write often about techniques for manufacture spend.  These are techniques designed to increase credit card spend in ways that result in getting most or all of your money back.  The purpose of these techniques is to help meet minimum spend requirements, earn big spend bonuses, or to simply increase credit card rewards.  While there’s nothing illegal about these techniques, sometimes they can be used for illegal purposes: fraud, theft, money laundering, etc.  As a…

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It’s not too late – Deals still alive as of 3/1/2015

Each week we publish a number of fantastic deals on the blog and in Quick Deals. Most deals don’t last long, but some hang around for awhile. In an effort to keep you up to date, we have gone back through each of the deals posted over the last couple of months to let you know which ones are still active. Here are the deals still alive as of March 1, 2015. Through March 1 Chase…

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Transferable Points Programs, Amex Reload Problems & Solutions, Frozen Credit Reports & More!

Welcome to the Frequent Miler Week In Review series. Every Saturday we recap what you might have missed from Frequent Miler during the week and bring you some of the best posts from around the web. Enjoy! This Week From Frequent Miler Cancelling my favorite cards – Why cancelling some very popular cards makes sense. How to convert 8900 Arrival Plus points to cash, and my latest retention call results – The value of paying the Arrival Plus annual fee…

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Bet You Didn’t Know: Using Hipmunk to book ITA Matrix flights

ita matrix hipmunk

By Julian, author of Devil’s Advocate…   I’ve already written a few times about how much I like using Google Flights when I’m booking a trip. But while Google Flights is incredibly fast, it still can’t compete with the power of its big brother: ITA Matrix. If you don’t already know how to use ITA Matrix, then I highly recommend checking out Scott Mackenzie’s extensive guides over at Travel Codex. You can find his original 3-part series…

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Bluebird, REDbird, Serve in-store loads working again

This morning I published a warning that in-store reloads of Bluebird, REDbird (the Target Prepaid REDcard), and Serve cards were not reliably working (view post here).  Most of the day the problems continued, but as of 6pm EST tonight, we started receiving numerous reports of success, and have not heard any more problems.  I believe it is now safe to resume reloading your prepaid cards!

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Bluebird, REDbird, Serve in-store loads down? Online issues too. Developing…

UPDATE 2/26/2015, 9:00 pm: Quite a few confirmations of successful loads have now rolled in.  Unless we hear otherwise, I believe the load issue is now fixed.  ALL CLEAR! UPDATE 2/26/2015, 8:30 pm: As of 6pm EST, we now have two reports are successful loads: one at Target and one at Walmart. I’m hoping for more data points, but it seems possible that the issue is now fixed.  Has anyone else had success or failure…

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A quick guide to transferable points programs

Since I’m a points hoarder (explanation found here), I’m a huge fan of transferable points programs.  These are programs that allow you to transfer points to multiple loyalty programs at a fair exchange rate (typically 1 to 1).  By collecting points in these programs, you have the ability to book travel opportunistically.  For example, suppose you’re finally ready to book that dream trip to Australia and you find (gasp) that Delta has the best award…

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