Yesterday, we reported a Chase spending offer on the British Airways visa Signature card that is being emailed out to some cardholders. Over the past day, spending offers have come out on many other cards — each with targeted email registration. Here are some of the offers to watch out for if you have any of these cards:
- British Airways Visa Signature card: Get 3x bonus Avios on purchase transactions of $1K+ (up to 9K bonus Avios)
- Hyatt Credit Card (old version, no longer available for new applicants): Earn 2K bonus points when you make purchases totaling $4K or more (Expires 9 /15)
- Marriott Rewards Premier (old version, no longer available for new applicants): Earn 2K bonus points when you make purchases totaling $4K or more (Expires 9 /15)
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards: Earn 2K bonus points when you make purchases totaling $4K or more (Expires 9 /15)
- United MileagePlus card:
- Southwest: Spend $4,000 on purchases and get an additional 2,000 points (works out to be an extra 0.5x points per $1 spent). H/T: Doctor of Credit
Do you need to register before making a purchase?
Of course, I was kicking myself when I saw the email about the bonus on my Ritz card. I am completing the $10K spend necessary for previous cardholders (I’ve had my Ritz card a couple of years) to earn “old Gold” that we expect to transition to “new Platinum” next month, and I spent almost enough to trigger the 2K bonus in the past 24 hours before seeing the email.
However, a read of the terms indicates to me that you do not need to register prior to making purchases. The terms state that you must register prior to September 15th. And indeed, since the bonus is valid on purchases beginning July 15th and the email only came through on July 19th, that makes sense. Here’s the pertinent part of the terms:
* To be eligible for this bonus offer, you must log on to the website referenced in this offer and enroll by 09/15/18 11:59 p.m. ET. You will qualify for and receive your bonus if you make Purchases with your credit card that total an amount at or above the specified target amount during the promotional period. Purchases posted to your account with a transaction date during the offer period are eligible for this offer.
It doesn’t state that you must register first, so I think I’m a stone’s throw away from a bonus 2K points. I’m a little short, but I’ll hold off on making those last few purchases until August 27th, since my Ritz card will then earn 2x everywhere (See: New details on Marriott & Ritz cards: no more elite credit per $3K spend, free night changes, more). Those who haven’t yet done any purchases during the promo period (and aren’t spending towards status on the card), would be better off waiting to make purchases until after the new benefits take effect. That’s because you’ll earn a total of 2.5x per $1 with the bonus offer (2x everywhere + an extra 0.5x). That’s still not a great return by any stretch, but if you know you’ll get enough value out of the points to make it worthwhile, it might not be bad.
Airline and Hyatt offers are the best
All that said, since Marriott points are only worth about 0.72 cents each, 2.5x only works out to a return of about 1.8%. You certainly can get a better value out of your points, but it’s not a given.
On the other hand, the airline and Hyatt offers can easily work out to beat a 2% cash back card, especially if you use them for particularly valuable redemptions. While there are ways to earn even more points on many purchases since these loyalty programs are Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, those with low-cost Manufactured Spending options can still make out well ahead.
If you’re a Chase co-branded credit card holder, be on the lookout for a targeted spending offer. Even if you don’t intend to spend on that card, it’s always a good idea to register for a promo like this just in case. You obviously should not dedicate this much spend on one of these cards if it detracts from more valuable return elsewhere, but there are some scenarios where each of these offers could make sense.