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Last updated on March 27th, 2019

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chuck
Guest
chuck
Marshall
Guest
Marshall

Bought a Vanilla reload card at OD in Jacksonville FL. Purchased with credit card. Plenty in stock.

jim
Guest
jim

my wife and i got the netspend card today in mail.
we have 2k worth of vanilla reload card. what’s the best way to get cash and send money after reloading it? that way even if they close our account, we get all the money back in check or cash.

i see the following in T&C.
Q: How do I close my NetSpend card account?

A: The easiest way to do this is to withdraw your money at an ATM. You can also request the funds be sent to you via check (mailed within 3 or 4 weeks). There is a $5.95 fee for receiving a check. To do this, call us at 1-866-930-9924, or log in to the online Account Center to close your account.

Christian A
Guest
Christian A

I thought I’d let you know that Cartera did give me the additional 9,000 United miles for buying a $500 gift certificate for Omaha Steaks through the online portal. In total, I spent $500 on my Chase United card for the gift certificate and used it to buy $500 worth of steaks. I ended up with 18,500 United miles and a freezer full of steaks for $500 (37 points per dollar).

FrequentMiler
Guest

Christian A: Thanks! I’ve updated the Laboratory data. Congrats on getting all of those points (and all of those Steaks)

MaskofZor: You can try the NetSpend card. Load it with Vanilla Reload cards bought at Office Depot.

MaskofZor
Guest
MaskofZor

Any ideas on getting prepaid MasterCard’s with denominations ranging from $200-500?
My community takes MC and Discover for rent for 3% and am trying to meet a spending threshold but have only found MCs for $100 in OM and with 2k rent, that’s a lot of work and am not sure if they would accept 20 payments a month.

Carl
Guest
Carl

UR Mall no longer lists Barnes and Noble in the gift card link and specifically exempts gift cards from earning a bonus in their 10x link.

chuck
Guest
chuck

Hi FM, Lowes & OD is 10X thru ink UR mall. I have done FAR stuffs and couldn’t think anything more. Please get back to your creative work after the vacation.

FrequentMiler
Guest

chuck: That’s great news about Lowes & OD! Thanks for the heads-up! I’ll publish a UR Mall update on Monday

FrequentMiler
Guest

Carl: Yes, I see that now too. That’s too bad that B&N no longer gives points for gift card purchases!

Carl
Guest
Carl

The Office Depot in Culver City, CA (near LAX) sells both the Amex prepaid and Vanilla reload cards. Was able to use my Ink Bold with store manager authorization, which was no problem. He simply asked for my ID.

However, Chase declined the purchase, so I phoned them from the store, and they released the purchase. They claimed it was because i was out of my home area of HNL. However, i have used the Ink Bold overseas for larger purchases at hotels. Between that and the manager asking for ID, i suspect there is some sort of fraud associated with these that they are trying to combat.

The Office Depot just outside LAX on Sepulveda had both the Amex and Visa prepaid cards, but were out of the Vanilla reloads.

Carl
Guest
Carl

i bought a $100 Starbucks gift card at Sheraton LAX onsite Starbucks, charged to my room, and earned 10x Starpoints as follows:

2x for Starwood base points
1x for Starwood elite bonus
1x for Starwood Amex
1x for Starwood Amex bonus at Starwood property
4x for Starwood Nice Choice promotion (triple base points)
1x for Starwood Platinum 75 night bonus.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Carl: Thanks for the Vanilla reload update. Also, great job getting 10X SPG points for a Starbucks gift card!

Carl
Guest
Carl

Safeway in HNL only accepts cash for visa gift cards. I hope this is not a trend. Now Hawaii tends to be an outlier anyway, no vanilla reloads at OD, can’t order Amex gift cards (but can the prepaid version), free shipping for online purchases often excludes Hawaii, just does not have the deals you have on the mainland.

chuck
Guest
chuck

Hi FM, I am planning to visit a few places in Europe (possiblly starting from Paris) in about two years. And I am interested in using miles and points for the trip. What would be the best airline miles to start accumulating? UA, AA or BA? I currently have Chase Sapphire/Ink/SW/Hyatt/Freedom & Amex Costco/Fidelity. Thanks in advance.

FrequentMiler
Guest

chuck: Since you already have Ultimate Rewards points from your Sapphire, Ink, and Freedom cards, your best bet is probably to go with United Airlines. If you have either a Sapphire Preferred or an Ink Bold you can combine all of your UR points for free and transfer them for free to UA. UA happens to also have a great online booking engine that makes it easy to book awards with UA and its partners. Of course, if you live near a AA or DL hub, you might want to go with a different strategy…

chuck
Guest
chuck

Thanks! Now I need to open up Chase UA cards.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I have a problem with UR. I procured the Ink Bold in June. I started loading my AMEX debt card from OD. All was going well, so I thought. I checked my UR balance and noticed it is mush lower than I thought it should be. So I checked my Chase statement against my UR statement and I noticed that the OD spends were showing up as either Misc or work related. So, needless to say I have only been getting 1point/$. Is there anyway that I can turn this around and have it reclassified as office expenses? I did do some of the buys off the UR store site but the Vanilla cards were at the box store. I was really counting on the points for those spends!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Dave, the points don’t get added until your statement close. Even then Office Depot, Staples, etc won’t show up as ‘office supplies’ on the transactions. Instead, you will see a part of your statement that shows the total earned due to 5x bonus categories. Confusingly, this will be just 4x because the base 1x is already accounted for separately.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hey FM,
Thanks for the quick reply. I do see what you mean about not posting until the statement. But I still think the math is off. For the June statement I spent $4740 with $1008 of that @ OD, $300 @ Verizon and $53 at Quest/Centurylink. That should total 1361X4=5444. My UR account states that I received 4740 for spend and 4243 for utilities and office sup? I think they did not credit me the $300 for the Verizon.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Dave: Yep, it definitely could be Verizon. I’d be interested to hear what happens if you call Chase about it.

sandra
Guest
sandra

@ FM

I , not just me but my wife & sister were charged $3 fee at an ALLPOINTNETWORK.COM ATM for our monthly withdrawal using amex prepaid card.

I submitted refund claim on allpointnetwork.com but I got denied the $3 refund saying my card(amex prepaid) hasn’t signed up for this and therefore I am still charged surcharge fee & he can do nothing about it.
Were you or anyone charged 3$ fee by ALLPOINT atm machine when you used your amex prepaid card?

below is response i got from allpointnetwork agent,
Good Afternoon,

Our website states that our network is surcharge-free to members of participating financial institutions:

“Q: How can I sign up for Allpoint?
A: Access to Allpoint’s surcharge-free ATM is available to the cardholders of financial institutions that have signed up with Allpoint. At this point in time, individual consumers cannot sign up for Allpoint — your institution must do this.

If your financial institution is not currently a member of Allpoint, please let them know that you would like access to our network of 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs. If you are not sure if your financial institution is a member of Allpoint, please contact us at 800-809-0308 or MoreInfo@AllpointNetwork.com and we’ll be happy to tell you.”

This can be found on our website at http://www.allpointnetwork.com/faq.html#Gen3.

Thank you,

Tarik

FrequentMiler
Guest

sandra: is there a reason you expected the ATM network to be free? My understanding is that is is only free when you use cards that are part of that network. The Amex card is not.

sandra
Guest
sandra

@FM, I have been thinking for sometime that everyone here was talking about IB track of vanilla reload to amex prepaid and withdraw free cash up to $400 at ALLPOINT atm machine

FrequentMiler
Guest

sandra: even with an ATM fee, the process is a winner as long as you take out the max allowed by the card each time ($400). I think there may be other prepaid cards (not Amex) that have free withdrawals at allpoint machines. I’m not sure.

robin
Guest
robin

i have the netspend card for myself, wife, sister, loaded over $1000 and sent money order to each other’s account and so far one check has yet tor eceive but cards didn’t get shut down. the one for my niece which i ordered was shut down even before i could activate. it even said YOU AND THE PERSON WHO REFERRED YOU WON’T GET THE $20 RFERRAL BONUSES.

Jer
Guest
Jer

about to sign up for the ink bold… if i do the amex w/ prepaid vanilla reloads, does this mean the end of my SPG amex? Under what circumstances would you still use the SPG amex (personal) if you were getting 5x UR on everything? It wouldn’t even work for staying at a starwood property!

would this mean a complete conversion from starwood to hyatt?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jer: It’s true that I hardly ever use my SPG card anymore! I still highly value SPG points though so I do use the card at SPG properties, but you could make the argument that even there the prepaid trick is better. As to a complete conversion: there aren’t enough Hyatt’s in the world to limit yourself to just that one program, in my opinion.

Jer
Guest
Jer

Are there any ways to transfer points INTO SPG? b/c if not, then that effectively takes SPG out of the points game for me – where would I earn them other than at a Starwood property!? =) thanks!!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jer: Membership Rewards points can be transferred to SPG points, but at.a very unfavorable ratio. I keep hoping SPG will open a shopping portal!

ted
Guest
ted

I, my wife and sister all signed up for the this 44k to 50k promo and have stayed and so far received most of our points.

I want to transfer points from 2 of the account to the 3rd account. My wife has Gold status on CC account. My sister & I don’t but I am the one who will do the traveling/club carlson hotel stay in future in my name. Should My wife & sister’s points should be transferred to my account or we should transfer our points to her account?
I like my wife’s gold status but if future CC hotel stay is not in her name, then?

For the transfer, I have to just call and give the CC account name & number of my wife and sister’s and that’s it for instant transfer?
thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

ted: You’re probably better off moving all of the points to your wife’s account. Then, when booking stays, you can log into her account to book rooms. Club Carlson let’s you put in a different person than the account holder when indicating who the room is for. You can put your name in there. This way, the room will be booked with your wife’s status (I believe). To move points, each person has to call individually and ask to have their points moved to your wife’s account. Yes, the transfer is instant.

Bacc
Guest
Bacc

Re vanilla reloadable cards New type of gift card display at 2 Hartford Ct ODs. No room for the larger vanilla amex. The receiving card –amex prepaid is available but the ones you use to reload are not. No employee knew anything about them.

mithun
Guest
mithun

will try new chase card for wife but spend req on the IB is just way too high these days. It used to be $5k for 50k.

they also reduced sign up bonus on SP.
chase did this cos they recently lost 5 billion something?

FrequentMiler
Guest

mithun: You can always get the IB and just take the 25K bonus (after first purchase), but there are plenty of other options. Yes Chase lowers signup bonuses and increases minimum spend in order to try to stay profitable. It makes sense.

jacky
Guest
jacky

@FF our family of 4 got 4 netspend card, one got shut down even before I could activate it, (lol)

one one card, i put $1500 in it and used it to pay my chase card bill, the bill was paid( shows (paid) in cahse card account and it has been about 48 hrs but the netspend card account still shows balance of $1500 still.
just order a money order to my sister with that balance or better not do it cos I may get in legal trouble of any kind?

FrequentMiler
Guest

jacky: you might find that they reverse the payment to Chase. Personally, I wouldn’t use the money until I knew what was going on. You might want to call or just wait until it plays out.

chuck
Guest
chuck

https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/southwest-rapid-rewards-credit-card.aspx

This just came back for my CP this & next year! I had to wait for my refi got done and 50k offers were gone for a few months.

rob
Guest
rob

my wife has chase sp applied in nov 2011, chase priority club applied in april 14th 2012. Her credit history is only few yrs but it is still around 745. She had to transfer credit from her SW card to get approved for priority club card. She closed the SW at same time.
I know a new chase app would be difficult for her and the card she is thinking about is the IB card. IB is a biz card, does she have an option to transfer credit from her CHASE SP to get approved for the IB card?
thanks!

Jim
Guest
Jim

Have you looked into the green dot cards? Is the Vanilla card better?

https://www.greendot.com/greendot

rob
Guest
rob

@FF, i ordered the $150 worth downloadable antivirus software 2days ago, right after that, i got an offer of free pizza cutter set worth $29.99. it was free with any $150 online or phone purchase, i contacted online chat and had that delivered free to me yesterday! wow!

you can do coupon search or if u want more info, email me. i also just tried this for my sister’s already ordered item and worked!

FrequentMiler
Guest

rob: That’s great! I’ll try the coupon with the next FAR deal.

dan
Guest
dan

Hey. I stumbled across a website on Techcrunch’s crunchbase a couple days ago. Basically it allows you to use giftcards to pay for retailers online.

I dont think its been released yet, but it would be interesting were it to open up.

http://www.openbucks.com/

Das
Guest
Das

Any thoughts/pending experiments on using the Chase Freedom 5% on Gas Stations/Restaurants to buy gift cards and use that as a multiplier?

FrequentMiler
Guest

dan: Very interesting!

Das: I haven’t searched those venues for gift cards yet, but if you can find some that would be a great way to go. I’m sure some gas station markets must sell gift cards.

Goosh
Guest
Goosh

Just curious since this is going on with me right now. Went to France and made purchases that qualify for a VAT refund on the pre paid amex. Still have not received it yet while all other VAT refunds onto my Chase Saphire have been credited. I only ask you because I seem to recall that you went to Paris some time ago and was wondering if you had any experience with the pre paid amex and the VAT refund. Tried calling AMEX, but the CSR was no help since they had no idea what a VAT refund was.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Goosh: I haven’t used the card overseas yet. Sorry, I don’t have any information. Please let me know how this gets resolved.

backom
Guest
backom

I was told that there is a ink plus credit card, sign on bonus is 50000 pts, no minimum spend. It’s not a charged card like Bold
I am wondering how to apply it. Thank you

FrequentMiler
Guest

backom: So for the Ink Plus is only available to people who received targeted offers. I’ve never even seen one.

ROBERT
Guest
ROBERT

I just got hit with the annual fee on July 22nd and it shows the fee is due by August 6th. Called and they said No fee waiver or credits and they can cancel it if I ask. So they want me to keep by paying $175 fee or cancel.

What other non annual fee cards with cash backs/ rewards points/miles are out there to downgrade to?

Thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

ROBERT: ThePointsGuy recently posted some information about a situation like yours. Click here for ThePointGuy’s post. It looks like the Green card is your best current option if you don’t mind losing the ability to transfer points to airline partners (you can always get a new MR card in the future that gives you that ability again). Otherwise consider going with the Gold card (first year free)

ROBERT
Guest
ROBERT

i forgot to mention , I meant the AMEX PREMIER REWARDS CARD

Dave
Guest
Dave

@FM- If you recall I asked you about a shortage on my chase Ink Bold account. I was shorted 1200 points and I believed it was from my Verizon spend. After 3 secure messages to chase I finally received an acceptable answer. The first time I wrote them and told them about the discrepancy. They wrote back and said that the charge was after the closing date and it was due on the next billing cycle, which they were wrong. I made the charge on the 6th and the closing date was the 12th The second time I wrote them back they insisted that they could not make a mistake and it must be correct. So, the third time I wrote them I spelled it out so any 5th grader could understand it and I received this message back:

Dear David,

Thank you for contacting Chase about your point earnings
on your June 12 bill statement.

Our records indicate on your Office Depot and Qwest
purchases, you earned 5 points to the dollar spent. The
Verizon Wireless charge only earned 1 point per the dollar
spent as this comes under merchant category code
telecommunication equipment. This is not eligible for the
5 point earn since it was a telecommunication equipment
charge. As a one time courtesy, I will add the difference
of 4 points per the dollar spent on this transaction. The
adjustment will total 1,200 points.

If you have any further questions, please reply using the
Secure Message Center.

Sincerely,

Karen Kuthe
Customer Care Specialist

1-800-436-7927

Account is owned by Chase Bank USA, N.A. and may be
serviced by its affiliates.

Needless to say I just wrote them back and informed them that it was not an equipment purchase that I rounded the amount off for my phone service and that is why it was an exact number.
I guess I am lucky that it is finally over but cheez what do you have to do to get your points. Lesson learned I guess. Next time I pay over my bill I it will it will be in an odd number??

FrequentMiler
Guest

Dave: Thanks for sharing that! It’s a good cautionary tale for readers.

Student
Guest

I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to come up with a way to earn miles on student loan payments. Official Payments and other services let you use a credit card, but you’re hit with a fee which often cancels out any miles you might earn in the process. Can you think of any other options? Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Student: Do they have lower fees for debit cards?

Student
Guest

The fees are the same as far as I can tell. Chargesmart charges 7% and Official Payments 5%. I have a Suntrust Delta check card and would be more than happy to use that with a service that charged no fees, if I could (Suntrust now lets you earn miles on debit purchases). Any ideas?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Student: See my post NetSpend challenges the throne. With that card, you can have a check sent to “pay bills”

Student
Guest

That’s what I’ve been looking for! I’ll wait for my Chase Ink Bold card to arrive, and will be sure to use your netspend referral link. Earning 5 pts/$1 on my loans would be amazing. Thanks again!

tenzin
Guest
tenzin

@ FF,

the INK PLUS card which used to be exclusive cards to some chase members is now available online . it has same 50k bonus with 10k spend within 3 months like the IB and IP looks like the credit card version.
https://www.chase.com/online/business-credit-cards/ink-business-credit-cards.htm?a=undefined

The question now is,

if I have the chase INK BOLD and already got the 50k bonus from it, can I get approved for and get 50k bonus from the INK PLUS?

thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

tenzin: THANKS for alerting me to this! Great news. Yes I believe these are different products and so you should be able to get both bonuses!

Rob
Guest
Rob

Officemax is offering 50$ hotel discount cards for purchases over 175$ til july 28th. Maybe worth combining this with opensavings even more now to buy 250$ + of giftcards?

Student
Guest

I just signed up for Netspend, using your link. You mentioned a feature that allows you to send checks for just $1. Is this the “Money Order” feature?

jim
Guest
jim

out of 4 cards ordered for 4 of of us, 2 got shut down and 2 left!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jim: what kind of cards do you mean?

student
Guest

Great. Thanks!

jim
Guest
jim

netspend card. lol i got referral bonus on 3 cards and than used the money loaded to send mother on each other’s account, paid bill, 2 got shut down, i am sure the rest of the 2 may have alerady gotten shut down, i have yet to check

Willy
Guest
Willy

In a recent email from Delta there was an offer for 1,000 bonus miles for 3 Fedex shipments. I checked quickly and a .2oz letter shipped Fedex ground, dropped off at a Fedex shipping point is ~$7, but I’m sure if you have an association discount it will be less. So, for $21 you can get 1,000 miles. I’m sure there are ways to leverage the spending and perhaps other bonuses? Kinkos near me is a Fedex shipping point. Maybe get 5x points that way too?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Willy: I’m sure there are some good tricks there. $21 for 1000 Delta miles is not a great return though. If you can match it up with some other offers, as you suggested, it might be worth it.

RZ: When you bought the gift cards, did you go through the UR Mall for extra points at Staples? If you did, you’ve got it all. You can increase your take a little by getting Marriott Platinum status before your stay, then you’ll earn an extra 5 Marriott points per dollar. You can do that by calling and requesting a Platinum Challenge.

RZ
Guest
RZ

Hello FM,

Follow up on the Marriott process. I reserved a Marriott room through Ink Bold portal and purchased Marriott gift cards from Staples. What is the next step to maximize? Use the gift cards for the room, obvious move, but am I missing a step to gain more points?

Ariana
Guest
Ariana

I recently checked out Home Depot in the Ultimate Rewards Mall and noticed the terms don’t say anything about giftcards being excluded. Does anyone have experience purchasing Home Depot giftcards through the UR portal? These giftcards will be purchased in large amounts and for someone else, so I want to do my research before ordering.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Ariana: At least one person has reported that he did not get points buying Home Depot gift cards from Home Depot via the Ultimate Rewards Mall.

Fran: I don’t know if MyGopher purchases would count. You can reduce your risk by buying Sears gift cards first (10X) and then using them to make MyGopher purchases. If you do that, please let me know if you earn points for the Mygopher purchase.

Rick: EBay doesn’t do much to protect gift card sellers from fraudulent buyers. I think it’s too risky. Plus, since Ebay takes about 12% from seller and Paypal fees, it’s not as easy as it appears to do better than Cardpool and PlasticJungle

Fran
Guest
Fran

Hi FM – Thanks for your amazing website. My questions is about bonus points for either Kmart or Sears via an online mall – do mygopher purchases count? Mygopher is the Kmart/Sears evil twin that kicks in when you want to purchase online but pick up in store. Anyone have any experiences with it? Thanks!

Rick
Guest
Rick

I notice you always recommend selling gc via a tcb-type site, but what about ebay? Potentially, they pay more. Is there some reason you shy away from ebay for selling gc?

David
Guest
David

Hi, I’m seeking your advice regarding my current series of card applications undertaken 8/8. (1) I applied for the AmEx SPG, approved instantly. I had it previously but AmEx reguired I sacrifice to Get the Delta Platinum last Sept. (2) Citi approved me today by phone for the Hilton Visa Sig. (30 Applied for the LanPass Visa because I thought it would work for me to get no fuel Europe or Asian travel together with My BA Avois, under consideration(4) Under consideration also for the Chase Visa Priority card with the 80K points, I called Chase today and was told I had too many cards and that I had recently applied for and received the BA and Hyatt cards. I had 10 Chase cards before that but gave up 2 Continental and one United cards to get BA and Hyatt. The CSR said he would only approve the Prioity card if I gave up another Chase card. I have the Amtrack; where would you suggest I transfer those points to get good value. DL and UA are my Main carriers and I have most of the big hotel cards?

FrequentMiler
Guest

David: I’m not familiar with options for transferring Amtrak points to other programs. However, I’m not sure you need to do so anyway. Amtrak guest rewards is an independent program from the Chase credit card so you should be able to keep your Amtrak points even when you close your Amtrak credit card.

Lynn: Truthfully, if you spend a lot at Target, you may do well to simply get the Target credit or debit card. I believe each of these cards give 5% off for all Target purchases (double check that before jumping in!). Alternatively, you can use whatever credit card you value points most from to buy Target gift cards at a discount (search GiftCardGranny.com). You may be able to save more than 5% sometimes AND you’ll earn the normal number of points from your credit card (usually 1 point per $). 2 Hilton points per dollar isn’t a great return: if you have an SPG card or Ultimate Rewards card I would value those points more than 2X Hilton points.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Trying to figure out how to maximize my points for spending at Target. I seem to spend a lot each month there. I can get 2 Hilton Honors points w/ my Citibank HH visa or I could buy Visa gift cards through Ultimate rewards from Staples when they extra points are above 2x. Any other suggestions? I do not have an Ink Bold as I do not have my own business and could not afford the spend to get the card.

lahaina
Guest
lahaina

Hi! I love your insight, Mr. FrequentMiler! Your blog has become my #1 go-to blog for cohesive and relevant information to maximize my mile/point earnings!

My question is: Is it true that on AMEX CHARGE accounts, that on your credit report,

– it shows up with a minimum payment of WHATEVER AMOUNT is your outstanding balance at the time? I’m under the impression that a potential creditor will take your income vs. your outstanding debt; therefore, this may not be so good, because even though one might be paying off the entire balance every month, the debt to income ratio becomes less favorable.

I have the Ink Bold share account and am concerned that this is what’s also being reflected in my credit report. i do not wish to run an unnecessary inquiry, though, to check it. Kindly let me know your thoughts. Thank you!

FrequentMiler
Guest

lahaina: I’m not an expert on this, but I think that since the Ink Bold is a business card, it might not be included in your personal credit utilization ratio.

lahaina
Guest
lahaina

I meant, I have the Ink Bold CHARGE account. Thanks.

chuck
Guest
chuck

Here is FAR at Staples.com thru 5x URM. If you use Ink to purchase AMEX PPG, then it would be 10x netting out to be 2,000 UR pts.
Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012 (1-User) [Download] (SKU 368662) $20.00 – $20.00 SER = Free after SER
Valid Dates: 08-12-2012 through 08-18-2012
Limit: 10 rebates per name/address/household

chuck
Guest
chuck

Forgot the coupon code 99618 for $15 off of $150.

FrequentMiler
Guest

chuck: Thanks! I’ll report this tomorrow!

Chris L.
Guest
Chris L.

Hi Miler – small item for the laboratory. On the Chase UR mall, looks like you can double dip for Pacsun (Pacific Sunwear). On 8/6/12 I bought an E-gift card for $40, and then used it (same day) to by a $42 item ($40 ecert and $2 credit card). Used the Sapphire UR Mall and used AMEX for the $2. On 8/9/12 UR Mall Reward Activity showed two purchases post – $40 and the full $42 (got points on both amounts).

Not much, but may help someone’s back to school shopping.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Chris L: Thanks! I’ve updated the Lab table

napo: For AA Million Miler status, I think you’ll need to start doing mileage runs since most other options for earning lifetime status have closed. For Marriott points, you can do tricks to increase spend on your Marriott credit card. Also, through my blog I write about many ways to earn Ultimate Rewards points. With either a Sapphire Preferred credit card or an Ink Bold or Ink Plus card, you can freely transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott points.

napo
Guest
napo

Hi:

I just had 2 goals in mind:

1) Acquire Million Miler status at AA and 2) enough points for Marriott free stays,

This is my current and up-to date status to reach both goals:
1) I had 695.477 miles to reach Million Miler Balance and had 4 AA cards that I used for travels as well as a citi debit card
2) I had a chase Marriott card with 58,000 miles

Can you please give me ideas as to how to reach this goal?

KT
Guest
KT

@ FF

I was lucky at 2 times to get chase UR points for shopping thru UR mall and by using visa gc to pay.

will this trick work on any other credit cards? like amex, citi or boa card?

thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

KT: Yes, it should work with any credit card, but there is always a risk of the points not posting (not because of the card used, but due to other factors)

Jeff: Nice! I would go for it. 12000 Wyndham points can be quite valuable for stays or can be transferred to 4800 airline miles.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

I just received a targeted offer for Wyndham Credit Card holders. 12000 pts if I charge $750 per month for the next 3 months.

KT
Guest
KT

when does the club carlson points exire?

FrequentMiler
Guest

KT: As long as you keep your account active (by earning or redeeming points once every 24 months), the points do not expire.

Mary
Guest
Mary

Just saw a Reloadable Visa Card in Kroger yesterday at an Atlanta location. The CS rep said that you can’t earn the 4x fuel points promotion going on right now. I am assuming this can be reloaded with the Vanilla reloads if I can find? Another option could be buying reloads at Kroger and paying with the Hilton card to get 6x points.

Smay
Guest
Smay

Like many people I can’t find an OD with amex vanilla cards in stock. They do have OneVanilla visa prepaid cards for a 4.95 purchase fee. I bought one yesterday with $500 with my INK then was able to use it online to pay for my sons college tuition. Thoughts?

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Love your site and have been scouring it ever since I stumbled upon it!

Question: I have about 58k worth of Citi ThankYou points and was wondering how best to take advantage of it for travel? It doesn’t seem like they are transferable to airline programs like United, etc….

KT
Guest
KT

I got the spg personal & the spg biz recently
Did some purchases but like always I paid them off before due date. Amex rep called me this morning verifies the purchases and other info. Then she says I should fill out their form to verify biz income with irs. I told her I have other Amex cards too and always pay my balance due I full before due date and that I am not a risk to them but she didn’t care and says do or your cards will be canceled. Not just my 2 recent spg cards but even my old simply cash biz card I have since 2007. I paid the $2k purchase made on spg card 3 days after I made the purchase. What is my option here? Is there a way to have the Amex credit pulls removed for canceling the Amex cards. Honestly I only do sell very few stuff on CL but not the biz mentioned in my Amex App. Thanks for any advice or suggestions

Carol
Guest
Carol

Is there any way you can reverse the order on the response? It would be nice to see the latest response first instead of having to go thru all of them to get to it.

Ram
Guest
Ram

@Thomas:
Citi Thank You points cannot be transferred to other partners. You can use them for travel, giftcards, electronics etc. i would never redeem electronics for TY points since gift cards make a better redemption value. That said I would agree that gift cards are not the best value for those points. So far from what I have seen thank you points seem to be very decent for rental cars. You can check in the travel section while redeeming.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

@Ram:
Thanks for the response! I’ll poke around that section. I’m wondering if it’s worth booking flights through their site, whether it would be worth the point values…

FrequentMiler
Guest

Mary: I would not assume that they are reloadable with Vanilla reload cards until you’ve tried it.

Smay: That’s an awesome option!

Thomas: If you have the Citi Premier card, you can use the TY points for airfare at a discount. That way you get 1.33 cents per point value. You’re right that you can’t transfer points to airline programs

FrequentMiler
Guest

kt: Can you tell them that it is a new business and you haven’t yet filed with the IRS?

Carol: Good idea. I’ll ask about that

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

@FrequentMiler:
I do, in fact, have the Citi Premier with TY points. And per your suggestion, I just checked and it looks quite decent for redeeming airfares through their site! Additionally, I just got approved for the MileagePlus 65k bonus as well as the amex SPG 30k bonus card, is it worth transferring the SPG points over to United? I tend to favor United mainly because of the Star Alliance partnership and it’s great for traveling to Asia! My next target is the Chase Ink so that I can take advantage of their UR points, but for now, the $10k requirement is a bit steep to achieve… =(

FrequentMiler
Guest

Thomas: SPG has a bad transfer ratio to United. You’re better off using SPG points for hotel stays or transfers to other airlines such as AA.

lahaina
Guest
lahaina

Hi! Thank you for replying to my earlier question re: if Ink Bold shows in one’s personal credit utilization ratio. My husband, an added user in my Ink Bold cc, did run a credit report on himself and you’re right: Ink Bold, being a business cc, DOES NOT show in his personal credit report.
– Can you please suggest a reloadable prepaid credit card for my daughter’s use – it’s about $2k/month in cash withdrawal/check payments to pay both her rent and tuition.
I’m thinking of course, of maximizing my earnings using Vanilla One reloads.
Thanks again for your blog!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Iahaina: I think the Amex Prepaid is a great one since it doesn’t have any fees, but it won’t meet your goal of allowing check payments. The only one I know of that will do that is the NetSpend card, but NetSpend is quick to shut people down when they perceive them to be unprofitable (which happens when you do large bill payments). I’d suggest Amex for your daughter’s day to day use (or Mio mastercard if you can find one) and ATM withdrawals. And then maybe try NetSpend for bill payments until it gets shut down

lahaina
Guest
lahaina

If you prefer, please email me…thanks!

Jose A
Guest
Jose A

First off, great site. I check it daily.
Two questions:
1. Any thoughts on using more than 1 Amex Prepaid cards for some spending and ATM withdrawals?
2. Can using Amex HHonors cards to buy Vanilla cards to reload my Amex Prepaid lead to any issues with Amex down the line?

Thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jose A:
1) Sure you can use more than 1 Amex Prepaid. I use two. You’re allowed up to 3

2) I think using the Amex HHonors card to buy Vanilla cards should be safe, but I really don’t have any info to go by — just my best guess.

TheInternationalLine
Guest
TheInternationalLine

Make your Amex look like a Mastercard! Google just released an update to their wallet app for Android phones:

“Add your Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express to your Google Wallet and use them for in-store purchases anywhere Google Wallet is accepted. If you already have an online Google Wallet account, your cards will be automatically synced to your Google Wallet app.”

The beautiful thing about this is that you’re not actually using the card you add to Google Wallet; rather, Google gives you a “virtual” Mastercard. The merchant charges Google, and then they turn around and charge your actual card (and eat the processing fees). Now you can use your Amex at any NFC terminal, even if the merchant doesn’t accept American Express!

Google Wallet can also work as a credit-card loadable prepaid card. Lots of possibilities…

FrequentMiler
Guest

TheInternationalLine: Very interesting! Do you need an Android phone to do this? Also, do you get a Mastercard virtual number that can be used for online purchases?

TheInternationalLine
Guest
TheInternationalLine

You need an Android device that supports NFC (phone or tablet, presumably). Google does assign you a Virtual Mastercard number, and they provide you with the last four digits, but you don’t get the full number. I’m sure there are probably ways you could get it (by looking at the account a payment terminal is charging, for example).

More info: http://wallet.google.com/files/virtualcard-tos.html

KT
Guest
KT

When CC points, Hilton points, Wymdham points expire & how to extend?
I have 32k wyndham rewards points, 120k hilton points and 250k club carlson points. I don’t have any of the credit cards related to those hotel points.

I earned the the wymdham points in May 2012, hilton points with gold status in July 2012 and club carlson points in July 2012.

Do any of these points ever expire? if yes, how do i extend them?

I don’t think I have any travel plans for this or next year, so I want to make sure I don’t get them wasted!
thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

KT: Great question, but not one that I can easily answer in a comment. I’ll follow up later with a post about this. In general, though, most programs points stay alive for at least 2 years and then any time you get more points or use points, the time is extended. So, by going through a point earning portal to buy something cheap, you can extend the life of your points. Or, use points.com to transfer a small # of points into or out of the program

rob
Guest
rob

chase INK biz cards downgradable to avoid annual fee?
There are 4 different chase biz cards,

1 INK CASH, 2 INK CLASSIC, 3 INK BOLD. 4 INK PLUS
https://creditcards.chase.com/busine…dit-cards.aspx

I currently have the ink bold. my wife wants to apply for either one of the above and she has no chase biz card.
we both have SP card which is personal.
CHASE INK BIZ CARDS DOWNGRADABLE?
There are 4 different chase biz cards,

1 INK CASH, 2 INK CLASSIC, 3 INK BOLD. 4 INK PLUS
https://creditcards.chase.com/busine…dit-cards.aspx

Are all four or three of the above are downgradable/convertable each other?

If she applies for INK BOLD now and when annual fee comes next year, she can downgrade to ink cash or the ink classic to avoid annual fee?

Out of the 4, only INK CASH has some kind of zero liability, purchase protection?

thanks

LAM
Guest
LAM

Any thoughts on trading gift cards for United Miles? They are having a promotion where a $25 card will get you 940 miles. I hope the gift card purchase will be receiving 10x points from Sears also.

FrequentMiler
Guest

rob: Yes you should be able to downgrade to any of those (I’d recommend the Classic. Alternatively, sign up for the Classic as a new card and then call the reconsideration line and offer to cancel the Ink Bold if they’ll approve the Classic. That way you get another signup bonus!

FrequentMiler
Guest

LAM: Don’t do it unless you’re desperate for miles. I ran the math and even under the best circumstances you’d be paying more than 2 cents a mile.

rob
Guest
rob

my wife has no ink cards and wants one, MAY go for INK BOLD CHARGE CARD OR THE INK BOLD PLUS CARD.
Which one you recommend and might be bit easier to get approved?

SMAY
Guest
SMAY

My daughter went to buy some Vanilla Visa’s for me today (since no OD’s within a 2 hour drive and she was near by) and had some trouble. The manager approved her purchase and then the card was declined. When they called Chase she was told it was declined because it was a gift card purchase. Further questioning led me to believe my daughter told the rep that and they might not have known it if she hadn’t. They did a retry adding a small purchase with the gift cards and manually put the CC number rather than swiping the card. Success! I dk if this was a glitch or cause for concern.

FrequentMiler
Guest

SMAY: I expect this was a strange fluke. Do let us know, though, if it happens again. Did your daughter use a Chase Ink card?

FrequentMiler
Guest

rob: I doubt there’s much difference in the Ink Bold or the Ink Plus in terms of which one is easier to get approved for.

SMAY
Guest
SMAY

She did use the INK. I agree that it had to be a fluke. I’ll let you know if it happens again. It may have had more to do with fraud identification based upon what she told me transpired when she eventually got home. BTW, I had great success and a lot of fun (and UR points!)with the Sears double dip in Aug. Looking forward to more in Sept using the Freedom! Yeah baby!

Peter S
Guest
FrequentMiler
Guest

Peter S: Thanks! Sadly there is a limit of 1 per household, but better than nothing! I’ll have a write-up tomorrow today

Derek
Guest
Derek

Hello FrequentMiler and thanks for your great blog!

Anyways, I recently purchased some e-gift cards from sears through the Chase UR mall and then did the double dip with those to purchase a camera and lens also through the UR mall from sears.

I made both of these purchases on August 29th and so far nothing has shown up as pending in my UR account. Should I be worried at this point? Is there anything I can do about this? Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Derek: Lately the Sears purchases have been taking a long time to post as pending in people’s accounts. Of the purchases I made, only about half have shown up so far. I would wait a couple more weeks and then call or private message if the points still haven’t shown up.

dominick dalsanto
Guest

Hey Frequent Miler,

I just got two new SPG cards from Amex and I need to hit the limits relatively soon on them.

I only have about 3 months (I need to get the points by then) to hit 10k. I know I can do amazon payments for about 3k off that tab, but that leaves me about 7k. I was thinking I can just Paypal invoice myself (as I had done with my Ink), but my question is there any other better way?

I was thinking that I could maybe buy and sell gift cards. I know I might take a hit on them, but thats ok. I am just worried about geting it done fast enough. Also to add the mix, I am outside the US right now (Argentina) so I don’t think I can get cards sent to me here, and then ship them back out. Do you know any way I can buy and sell e-gift cards? If so, which ones are the best?

FrequentMiler
Guest

dominick: I haven’t seen any good buy/sell opportunities on e-gift cards for a while. Do you have estimated taxes coming due? If so, you could pay with the SPG for a 2.29% fee which is less than you’d pay via PayPal. If you can float the money for a while, I think the best bet of all is kiva loans (see https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2012/05/31/minimum-spend-requirements-kivalens-to-the-rescue/)

Allen
Guest
Allen

Hi. I live in the Bay Area and I’ve been to four Office Depot stores recently and none of them have the Vanilla Reload Cards in stock.

San Leandro – Purchased two last week 9/1. Went to purchase three more on 9/7; none to be found

Hayward – Out of stock for the past two weeks

San Mateo – Out of stock

San Carlos – Out of stock

They have plenty of the temp cards, but the slot for the Vanilla Cards looks as if they were “pulled”

I just thought I would pass this information on.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Allen: Thanks

dominick dalsanto
Guest

Frequentmiler,

The thing is that I cant exactly float 10k…At most I could float about 2k right now (getting married in 6 months…sucking up all the liquid cash). Any ideas for me that would be better than Paypal at 2.9% ?

FrequentMiler
Guest

dominick: Take a look at this post: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2012/07/25/how-to-spend-10000-in-three-months-and-earn-90k-ultimate-rewards-along-the-way/
You won’t get as many points as you would with the Ink Bold, but it should help you meet the spend requirements.

rob
Guest
rob

Hi FF

Can I use amex prepaid card to send $1k on amazon payment?

cash advance fee?

thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

Rob: yes, no fee.