Stuff almost, but not quite worth writing about

I keep a to-do list of blog posts that I intend to write.  Many ideas never make the list.  And, many that make the list, never become a post.  I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of these recent topics and thoughts that didn’t make the cut…

Southwest devaluation

You now need to spend 70 points per dollar instead of 60 for Wanna Getaway awards on Southwest.  Southwest’s communication to their members was pretty clear, so I didn’t see much I could add. I had thought about trying to figure out the actual value of a point, though.  It is not as obvious as it seems because points cover more than the base fare – they cover most taxes too.  See my now out of date post: More value from Southwest points.  Maybe I will get around to calculating it, but it just doesn’t seem all that important.  Southwest is still an excellent airline and their points are still valuable, but slightly less so now.

Southwest 50K offers are back

OK, so I could have posted that headline.  Then what?  Actually, some blogs have posted great advice about how to delay spend on these cards until 2014 so as to maximize the companion pass benefit that comes from getting 110,000 points in a calendar year.  I don’t think it helps for me to repeat it.  Except I just did.  Woops.

Maximize points when buying a new iPhone

Buy phone from carrier (AT&T, Verizon, etc.).  Pay with Chase Ink card. Get 5X.  Oh yeah, and start with an online portal.  Maybe I’ll try this and write it up.

United $0 mistake fares

I missed the party too.  Details here.

The extra value of gift card double dips

When you buy things through a shopping portal, you typically don’t get bonus points for the sales tax and sometimes the shipping portion of the purchase.  If you get points for buying a gift card through a portal, though, and then you go through the portal again to buy stuff, you can end up with more than twice as many points because the gift card will cover sales tax and shipping.  It’s a minor point that ultimately didn’t seem worth a whole post.

40% Virgin America transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards

I never got around to researching opportunities to get extra value from Virgin America points.  The bonus ends September 30.

Small Business Saturday is coming

If it is like previous years, you can get a $25 statement credit for every Amex you use at small businesses (and spend $25 or more).  Last year I planned ahead by ordering authorized user cards for my wife for all my Amex accounts, and she did the same for me.  It’s a great opportunity to support small businesses and to go on a guilt free shopping spree.

Kohls.com is broken… fixed… broken…

Kohl’s consistently offers 10 points per dollar through the Ultimate Rewards Mall and through many tests I’ve found that it is possible to double dip (buy physical gift cards for 10X, then use them for 10X).  Since mid-August, though, there have been many reports of people getting less points than expected and/or orders being cancelled.  I want to write up the final word on this, but I don’t know yet know what it is.  Stay tuned.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

    • Scott Grimmer: Yep, it works for each authorized user.
      JD: Thanks for the caution
      Nick O: As Corky said, No credit pull. About a week. Bluebird (and other prepaid Amex cards) don’t work for small business Saturday.

  1. Be careful ordering authorized user cards for all your AMEX cards at once. Two years ago I did just that in order to maximize the Small Business Saturday deal. Ended up with a Financial Review and all my, and my wife’s AMEX cards frozen. Missed out completely. Last year I was more careful, getting the authorized user cards one at a time and, between the two of us, we ended up with 18 AMEX cards. Bought 18 $25 gift cards at the local grocery store; we just finished using them last month.

  2. Sorry, I’m new to authorized users: does adding one result in a credit pull? How long until I get the card? (If I do it now, will it come in time for Small Business Saturday)

    Anyone know if Bluebird will count for Small Business Saturday?

  3. For “Buy phone from carrier (AT&T, Verizon, etc.). Pay with Chase Ink card. Get 5X.”, this doesn’t always work. T-Mobile specifically has a different code for hardware purchases that didn’t get 5X for me.

    I think this is also mentioned somewhere in the Chase Ink conditions.

  4. I would just like to compliment you on your Blog. Even when you have a post that you advertise as possibly irrelevant I find it more interesting than all the other boarding area posts. Well done

  5. 5x for new iPhones as well as miles through portals (AA Verizon 2,800 miles) are not applicable to iPhones. As mentioned below, phone is considered hardware.

    Pointsguy had a large write up and plenty of comments.

  6. From Chase’s Rewards FAQ http://chase.com/RewardsFAQs
    It clearly shows that iPhones from AT&T, Verizon, etc do not qualify 5X rewards:

    “Q. What types of merchants are in the internet, cable, and phone services category?
    A. Merchants in the internet, cable, and phone services category provide internet services, cable and satellite television and radio services, and cellular, wireless data, and landline services. Please note that purchases of cellular, wireless data, and landline equipment made with any merchant, including merchants that provide cellular, wireless data, and landline services, will not qualify.”

  7. Is there an easy way to find a list of retailers that qualify for the $25 rebate? I saw the criteria listed on the website (under 25 locations, $3M/year in Amex charge volume, must not process payments through a third-party processor like Square, etc.) but the information seemed more oriented towards merchants than consumers.

  8. FM / Jason / Dave P / Gagne: As far as purchasing hardware counting towards 5x Ink, it is YMMV. I had some equipment purchases (routers) to make for work items from AT&T, and it did indeed count towards 5x back in July. This was done in store

  9. just came back today from OD to buy 200 GC, new policy cash only from 50-500 on the rack, went to two stores with similar signs. could anyone verify this from other states, I m in southern california.

  10. I’m hearing rumors from strong sources that VRs are being fazed out at CVS and will no longer be stocked as they are today. Just a FYI

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