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Last updated on March 27th, 2019

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Jerry W
Guest
Jerry W

FrequentMiler,

I got this response from Chase when I tried to request for UR points on a purchase I made without using a Chase card. Here’s what I got as a response:

Dear Jerry,

I am pleased to advise that we have added the
points to your Freedom rewards account ending in XXXX. The terms of the Ultimate Rewards Mall have recently changed.
Going forward, the purchases made through the Ultimate
Rewards Mall need to be used with your Chase credit card
to earn the bonus points.

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

Thank you,

XXXXXXXXXXXX
Customer Service Specialist

1-800-436-7927

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

Just wanted to advise you that perhaps they might put an end to the points earning without a Chase card soon.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jerry W: Thanks for sharing this. That would be really bad news, if true. Would you consider replying back to them to ask where one can find the new T&C in writing?

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

FrequentMiler: If I purchase an airfare with Cathay Pacific, would I be able to designate/transfer those earned points/mileage over to BA Avios? I currently have 50k BA Avios atm, just wanted to see what the best course of action would be… appreciate any input given!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Thomas: Yes, with both airlines in the OneWorld alliance, you should be able to do that.

Yaokai Jiang
Guest

FrequentMiler: I was looking at the Intuit GoPayment thing. It seems like it will be the next “perpetual points machine”, since you can pay the monthly fee and get 1.7% transaction cost. If you use any 2% card, it essentially means you can generate money!
What do you think?

RH dailey, MD
Guest

So HERE IS THE $64 QUESTION FOR THE FREQUENT MILER!!!!
How do I search for a specific vendor’s gift card on an online mall that gives the best multiple this month????!!!
For instance, I want to buy a Home Depo gift card. Which mall do I go to, WITHOUT searching each mall separately. Can I do it on Evrewards, eg? Etc.
Thanks in advance!

FrequentMiler
Guest

RH dailey, MD: Great question! I don’t think there is any good way to do that. Right now the best option I know of for Home Depot gift cards is to sign in with Ink Bold at Ultimate Rewards Mall and buy the gift cards at Buy.com for 10X.

FrequentMiler
Guest

yaokai Jiang: you can do that, but only if you have legitimate payments going through GoPayment. Otherwise, they are likely to shut down your account. This has happened to many people who tried to do this with SquareUp

Merrily
Guest
Merrily

..and then the party got busted. I went to Office Depot in Seattle today and was told I could no longer purchase vanilla reload cards or any other gift card with my Ink Bold card. I was told a memo went out to no longer accept the Ink Bold card for this type of purchase. Darn. I just got to the party and it’s over!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Merrily: Sorry to hear that! Since May, when I first published this approach, I’ve heard a similar story about a dozen times, but many OD stores continue to sell them. In other words, check with other OD stores before you give up completely.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Any way to get cash off my Amazon e-gc that I got from PJ?

Rick
Guest
Rick

How can I get cash off my Amazon e-gc that I got from PJ?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Rick: I don’t know of any way to do that other than to sell the gc through a site like CouponTrade. The problem is that you’ll lose more money than you gained by getting a gift card from PJ instead of cash.

Alex
Guest
Alex

FM- Thanks for all the info you post. You have me hooked on here every day. I wanted to get your take on my upcoming plan.
I conveniently have a $10K student loan i would like to pay off with chargesmart ($10 flat fee per payment) and I was going to apply for an Ink card to cover the $10K min spend. I wanted to use Mio in order to get the 5x, but I’d have to buy $10K of vanilla over the next 2 months to make the $10K spend within the 3 month limit. Is this too risky of a plan (estimated $1.5K per week spend)?
I’d appreciate your opinion.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Alex: I’m glad you enjoy my posts! I’d be wary about doing that much with the Vanilla cards all at once. Maybe pay about $6K with Vanilla cards and the rest directly with your Ink? I can’t even promise that this would be safe, but I’d guess you would be OK.

chuck
Guest
chuck

Hey FM, I am using Southwest dining program for 3 points on top of 2 points regular credit card rewards; however, I recently knew that Delta miles can be earned at 5pt plus 2 points http://skymiles.rewardsnetwork.com/

Since I don’t need Delta, I would keep doing the SouthWest miles; nonetheless it is worth investigating for you since you are close to Delta hub…

Alex
Guest
Alex

Thanks and good call. Don’t want to risk the long term relationship on a short term opportunity

rob
Guest
rob

extended warranty
90 day return and purchase protection.

These benefits apply to any amex logo cards issued by any issuer like CITI, BOA
or mostly/only those amex cards issued by amex itself?

or the 3 benefits on amex cards issued by amex itself is superior?

FrequentMiler
Guest

rob: I don’t know

aaron: Thanks

SC Parent: I don’t know. I’d guess that Chase looks at the spending together since the charges hit the same business account, but that’s really just a guess. So, yes, to be safe it makes sense to me to have one person use the EIN and the other use the SSN

aaron
Guest
aaron

FM, some readers may be interested in ebates now offering 3% cash back on limited Amazon categories. It sure beats the only other cash/points portal; HA @ 1 HA mile/$, if you’re buying the right items.

SC Parent
Guest
SC Parent

FM – I want to be very conservative, but I also don’t want to leave a ton of points on the table. I’d like to spend $1-2k/mo at OD. I was how you think Chase might review spending on multiple IBs. If two people apply separately for the card using the same federal EIN, would Chase consolidate their spending habits when looking for suspicious spending in particular categories or stores because of the same EIN? Or, would the accounts likely be viewed separately since they’re separate applications and individuals? In that case, do you think it’s better for one person use the EIN and the other use their SSN?

T3pleShot
Guest
T3pleShot

Hi, I got a 3x miles offer (upto 2500 miles) on my alaska airlines CC. categories are book/department/toy/sporting/electronic stores. I am trying to buy visa/mc gift cards and liquidate them. any ideas for department stores (jcp/macys/sears/kohls) that carry visa/mc gcs?

kohls is 10x UR, anyway to double dip with this card?

thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

T3pleShot: You could try this Kohl’s triple dip: 1) go thru UR mall to Kohl’s and use Alaska card to buy gift card; 2) go thru UR mall again to Kohl’s to buy something. If all goes well you’ll get 3X from your card, 10X from the mall for buying the gift card, and then 10X again for using it! Some stores like Kmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc. sell $100 visa/mc gift cards, but with a hefty fee. Read my Campus Edition post tomorrow for another idea…

Bob
Guest
Bob

FM: I stopped at my local Staples today and saw that they have an Easy Rebate going on right now. It is: “Get a $10 Staples Gift Card on Purchase of $100 or more on Various Mastercard Gift Cards at Staples Stores Only.” The limitations are up to 10 Staples Gift Cards per name/address/household and it goes through 10/13/12. I think it could be an okay deal for those that otherwise would make purchases at Staples. Purchase 10 $100 Mastercards for $1,059.50 and receive $100 in Staples gift cards and 5,295 UR with an Ink card. Potentially a $40 money maker if you don’t mind Staples gift cards. I guess you could always resell the gift cards for about 75% of the value. BTW the Staples Easy Rebate Offer # is: 12-22901.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Bob: Thanks! Great info.

iamamy
Guest
iamamy

FM: I am planning to purchase my daughter a MacBook Pro for Christmas. I am trying to decide which CC to use to reap the most benefit. I currently have the SPG Am Ex., Chase Sapphire & Chase Ink Bold cards. Which would you recommend to use for that purchase? And when? I love your blog. Thanks for all the tips. I’m a newbie, but am enjoying learning.

FrequentMiler
Guest

iamamy: In general, with a big purchase like that, it’s a good idea to sign up for a new credit card and then use that big purchase to help meet minimum spend. Another consideration: last year the Ultimate Rewards Mall had a one day special (Nov 28) in which Apple gave 10 points per dollar. You could wait to see if that do that again (but then you risk missing out on Christmas if they are back-ordered!). Also, see this post for money saving ideas: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2012/07/20/apple-savings-and-points/

Choi
Guest
Choi

this is regard to today post about AMX campus edition. I want to establish credit history for my stay home housewife. is this a card good for that purpose, to load and use and get good credit reporting ?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Choi: No, I don’t believe that prepaid card activity gets reported to your credit report at all. Instead, you could look for a low cost secured credit card if your wife can’t qualify for a regular starter card.

Choi
Guest
Choi

another question, I like to apply the ink bold 50k and ink plus 50k at the same time, is this possible ?have you done this with success ?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Choi: In general I wouldn’t recommend that unless you have two separate businesses that you can apply for.

choi
Guest
choi

what cards do you consider as “low cost secured card”, chase freedom..?

FrequentMiler
Guest

choi: there are “starter cards” like Chase Freedom, Discover, etc. You should start there. If she can’t get approved for one of those, then go to a “secured card”. Google for “secured cards” to learn about them. They tend to have high fees and low benefits, but in some cases it may be worth it to get approved for a card and to start building credit.

david
Guest
david

I just went to office depot to buy my usual $500 vanilla reload card and they didn’t have any. I asked if they had been moved, and the lady said that vanilla stopped doing them and that office depot was not carrying the reload cards anymore (as of a couple of weeks ago). I haven’t verified it with another office depot yet (on my way now), but that would be a bummer.

jeff
Guest
jeff

I don’t have any Hilton associated cards but have over 150k HH points currently with Gold status. I logged on my hilton account and it says I GET DIAMOND STATUS if I have another 100K points? is it true? I earned the 150k points from BOA Virgin atlantic miles. I am getting 75k new points cos I transferred 35k Hawaain airline miles.

so 150k currently plus 75k in a week. If I transfer another 25k points to HH, I get diamond status? If I can’t get the 25k points, My wife can transfer it from her hilton account?

Account Overview
Hilton Honors Stamp

Welcome:
Jeff ******

HHonors Number: 6******

Earning Style : Points and Points
Edit Profile | Edit Preferences You have not completed your profile
150,500 Total Points

HHonors Member Status through 2012:
Gold
Your HHonors Benefits You’re just 100000 points away from Diamond Status — see the benefits you’ll receive

Learn more

FrequentMiler
Guest

jeff: No. You need to earn 100K base points (points earned from stays) per calendar year to get to Diamond status. Alternatively, get the Hilton Reserve or Hilton Surpass credit card and spend $40K in a calendar year on the card to get Diamond status.

jaybird
Guest
jaybird

FM, do you know if merchants are charged a fee to accept Vanilla or other prepaid cards? The reason I ask is that we’re thinking of making a large purchase and the merchant will only allow a small deposit to be charged to a credit card. If they are not charged a fee for prepaid cards, then I could buy a bunch of Vanilla cards and use those for the rest of the payment. Thanks for your insight.

FrequentMiler
Guest

jaybird: Yes merchants are charged fees for prepaid cards.

Snowcone
Guest
Snowcone

My husband and I both have Amex Business Gold card and since we don’t need 2 of the same cards, I would like to cancel mine before the annual fee kicks in. I am thinking about applying for Blue card with no fee in order to keep the reward points in my account but I would like to hear an expert’s opinion. Is there any downside to making this move? Do you think this is a good idea? Thank you in advance for your advise.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Snowcone: Yes, that can be a good strategy. The downside of the Blue card is that it won’t let you transfer your Membership Rewards points to airline programs. If that’s important to you, then you have two options: 1) transfer your points before canceling your Business Gold card; or 2) Go ahead with your plan and in the future when you want to transfer points to an airline, sign up for another Membership Rewards card that has that capability (and hopefully get a good signup bonus!)

Snowcone
Guest
Snowcone

Thank you for a quick reply. I am glad I asked you as I didn’t know Blue card doesn’t let you transfer points to airelines. But I like your strategy. I guess it doesn’t hurt to have the Blue card to keep the points alive while applying for different Amex cards with airline transfer option. I actually received an invitation to upgrade my Gold card to Platinum card for 25,000 bonus points but I didn’t think this was such a good deal. Wouldn’t you agree?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Snowcone: I agree. Wait for at least a 50K offer for the Platinum card. I got in on a 100K targeted offer for the business Platinum card. BTW, instead of applying for the Blue card, try simply calling and asking if they will downgrade your current card to the Blue. That way you might be able to avoid a credit pull.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I just pulled the trigger on an 8 card AOR. I did 7 out of 8 not too bad. The one I missed out on was the UA Airways card. I read that you could churn them every 3-6 mths. I had gotten my first in May so I thought I would be good. The CSR stated that you are only allowed 1 card at a time though. I did pull 4 of the 8 from your site!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Dave: thanks for using my links! Congrats on such a big app-o-rama!

Choi
Guest
Choi

I have a question about UR shopping, the warning at the bottom of the page before entering merchant websites said, no gift cards purchases, does this hold true or just a discouragement. all the double dips you suggested have this warning. also, do I have to use Chase own SP to get the bonus points or any type of cards will work ? Thanks if you answer this.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Choi: it varies from merchant to merchant whether they give points for buying or using gift cards. No, you don’t have to use a Chase credit card to get points, but it helps if you need support from Chase for missing points. See: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2012/08/22/ultimate-rewards-mall-tc/

Choi
Guest
Choi

pretty much or most merchants mentioned in your blog have that warning at the bottom, most common homedept, khols and the like have such warning.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Choi: True, but many of those work anyway

Choi
Guest
Choi

Regard to UR mall, I made some purchases with several merchants and saw some points posted with email conformation, but for some I dont get any email and eventually get no points. I bought a groupon coupon through the portal but never got points for it. my question is, how do I resolve this and what evidence do I need to prove my case. also on some dinning outing, I also didnt get any bonus points for chase SP. if you can help, Thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

Choi: Please see my post about how to ensure you get portal points: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2012/04/04/how-ensure-your-portal-points/
.
The only thing you can do about the transactions that haven’t resulted in points is to call Chase or send secure messages. Keep trying until they award you points.

stevento
Guest

FM: Thanks for the fantastic blog. I’ve used your strategies on many smaller purchases, with great success!
But the big prize still eludes me.
I average $20-30K of monthly credit card charges with specialty vendors who will never be in bonus categories. Most of the charges are well above $1,000 making use of prepaid and gift cards difficult. What strategy would you recommend?
It would be great if you could have a post with ideas for big spenders.
Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

stevento: I think that your best strategy for those very big purchases is to get credit cards that offer perks for big spenders. Here are a few examples:
Delta Reserve: $60K spend: 30K bonus redeemable and elite qualifying miles (get a personal and business Reserve and you can have high level Delta elite status)
Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: Free weekend night after $10K spend. Diamond status after $40K spend.
Southwest credit cards: Companion pass after 110K points earned (via credit card and/or other ways)
Brithish Airways Visa: Companion pass after $30K spend

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

At the Chicago meeting you were recognized for the 250K on United, Hyatt and Amtrak where can I find your post on that?

jeff
Guest
jeff

Anyone tried buying MONEY ORDER with the AMEX PREPAID CARD at walmart or post office? use as a debit by entering the pin number?

jeff
Guest
jeff

@ FF
Can you buy MONEY ORDER with the AMEX PREPAID CARD at walmart or post office? use as a debit by entering the pin number?

FrequentMiler
Guest

jeff: FF? I don’t know if you can buy a money order, but regardless of whether its possible I think it’s a bad idea.

Choi
Guest
Choi

Regards to Bluebird, most retail outlets take visa, master debit but never seem they ll take AMX debit. also retailer will charge a hefty fee for each trans for debit, will this be the case for Bluebird for every trans(from the retailer side).. ?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Choi: We won’t know what works and what doesn’t with the Bluebird until we have it in-hand and can try it out

Robert: There may be some risk there, but I’d be more worried if you also had a high credit utilization ratio. That is, do you actually use a high percentage of that credit?

ROBERT
Guest
ROBERT

my overall total credit limits on all my cards is more then my annual income, is that a risk? should i shut down 1 or 2 cards? i am thinking of canceling the boa virgin atlantic card.
thanks

ROBERT
Guest
ROBERT

my utilization rate is 1%, i use my credits a lot but i pay them in full every week.

ROBERT
Guest
ROBERT

there is currently a reduced spend req for ink plus $5k in 3 months for 50k points. it is on many blog sites.

if you have that, i want to apply from your site so you get refferal

FrequentMiler
Guest

Thanks Robert! Yes, my link also has the improved offer (50K points after $5K spend) for the Ink Plus. Here is my signup link. You can also find this link and others on my Best Credit Card Offers page.

yeliad
Guest
yeliad

FM,
I just had a v interesting talk with an agent at Chase Ink business cust. svc [800-346-5538] with regards the question that bedevils us all lately, i.e. ” how much spend is “safe” with Ink cards in purchases of visa, amex or vanilla reload cards bought at Office Depo?”
The agent was clearly experienced, intelligent and knowledgable- even with merchant category codes and corporate UR points movements behind the scenes. Thus, he seemed as trustworthy as one can assess under phone conditions.
He said: 1] Purchases at Office Depo are seen by Chase systems only as the store’s MCC [merchant category code; here = office supply code], and are not broken down into categories of merchandise. That is, Chase doesn’t know what exactly you’ve bought. 2] Of the 5x points that will be ponied up, Chase pays 1x and Office Depo 4x. Thus, Chase isn’t the loser when large numbers of cards are bought, and so could care less. He said specifically, he’s never heard of anyone getting dumped by Chase under these circumstances. NOT seen as card abuse!
If all of above is true, it would appear that “overuse” of Ink cards in this manner is Office Depo’s loss, and might eventually cause Office Depo to simply pull its lovely visa, amex, and vanilla cards off its shelves, or in some manner severely limit the number one can buy.
FM, i’d be really interested in your input about what i was told. Would that change in any way your approach to this issue? Tx!

FrequentMiler
Guest

yeliad57: That is very interesting, but I’m very skeptical about what the Chase agent said. It doesn’t seem possible to me that Chase could have contracted with all office supply, telecom, cable, and internet providers to pay 4X back to them. I guess its possible that they have a deal in place with some of the major players and are willing to eat the cost of the rest, but it just doesn’t seem likely. So, my guess is that this agent is misinformed.

FrequentMiler
Guest

All: my Ink Plus, Ink Cash, and Ink Classic links are temporarily down. The Ink Bold link still works. Links should be restored shortly.

Alexandre
Guest
Alexandre

Hey FM!

Just saw you in Chicago. Are you going to the LAX’s FTU?

Also, I just got my Ink Plus card. In your opinion, is it too much to get $2000 worth of vanilla reloads at one time?

Alexandre
Guest
Alexandre

FYI: I bought Marriott Gift cards through the Ultimate
Rewards Mall at Buy.com and did not get the bonus points.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Alexandre: Sorry to hear that! Most people reported success. There are always lots of things that can go wrong in tracking your order for awarding points — that is a risk we always take. You could try contacting Chase to ask for the points. It is unlikely that they’ll be able to tell that you bought a gift card, but if you paid with your Ink card they’ll be able to see that you made a Buy.com purchase.

choi
Guest
choi

this business of bb and vanilla are very shaky, if chase and I do believe they are, are on the scheme. any day now they will pull the string and bb wings are clipped. game over for bb, even before it gets off the ground.

Smay
Guest
Smay

So I have been one of many people frustrated with the lack of Vanilla reload cards at OD. I came up with a little scheme tonight and thought i’d pass it along. I was in my local CVS and they had a ton of them. Who cares right? No 5x points there….. but….. I helped myself to about 10 of them (not stealing since they have no value) and will bring them with me to an OD store next time i’m near one! If they are coded by store this will not work but i’m going to give it a try! Any predictions??

FrequentMiler
Guest

Smay: I don’t know what will happen, but I’m eager to find out!

Rick
Guest
Rick

Ever hear of junkcard.com? I’m looking to buy a gc not available at PJ, but I’ve never heard of junkcard. (Then again, I’d never heard of PJ until you blogged about it.)

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Great blog! Would love to see a post about using category spend bonuses to buy gift cards for those of us that don’t have office depots near us. A couple of ideas I had include Amex blue cash to buy visa gcs at supermarkets or using Amex hhonors card to buy them at supermarkets or drugstores. But I’m sure there are additional opportunities I haven’t thought of…

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jeff: Great idea. I’ll do that.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

So property taxes are due soon and I wanted to see what and how I can benefit from it. I’m debating on opening the Ink Plus and paying the first installment with it since the spend requirement still hasn’t been reduced to $5k. I could then use the Vanilla Reloads and amazon to meet the remaining amount within the 3 month time frame. Do you think it’s a good idea or have you a better suggestion, or should I apply for a different card altogether and wait for the Ink to reduce the spend requirement? How would you approach this? Also, do you happen to know if it’s possible to pay the 2nd installment of your property tax in advance? Thanks for any insight you may have!

Gary
Guest
Gary

Hi FM
If you use a Citi card to buy vanilla reloads, will this attract negative attention from Citi? I know Citi sometimes has a different viewpoint. Or will they just look at those transactions as regulat, positive spend?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Gary: As far as I know Citi will just see that as an office supply purchase. In some cases Citi is more aggressive than other companies in treating things like this as a cash advance, but in my experience with using a Citi card at Office Depot, they treated a Vanilla purchase as a purchase.

John
Guest
John

FYI: See link about AMEX executive speaking about blue bird at a credit union industry conference. Apparently paper checks will be an option in 2013?

http://www.cutimes.com/2012/10/24/bluebird-flies-at-money2020-onsite-coverage?ref=hp

FrequentMiler
Guest

John: yes, paper checks should be coming next year. Woo hoo!

B-Rad
Guest
B-Rad

FM: I would love to sign up for the ink bold (or other ink card) now that I found a well-stocked OD about 15 miles away. A few questions:

1. Credit – I have excellent credit, 720+, but I don’t have many cards. I have an old capitalone card with a $1500 credit line and that’s it. I haven’t applied for a credit card in years. I am fairly new to this points game, but the 5x is too good to pass up, especially with a good OD nearby. Does my lack of credit history and low credit line work for or against my app for ink bold? Should I apply for a different ink card that would give me a better chance to be accepted? Obv, I would like to get the max signup bonus, but would rather get accepted and miss the big bonus in order to get approved.

2. I am learly of hitting the 10k spending in three months. I read your post of how to hit it with $1600 in spending, but with the new bluebird, this seems like a great way of hitting 10k faster because of getting 5x on everything.

3. When I call my bank to ask if about paying with my bluebird, what do I say? Do you take amex for payment? Or do I go through Bluebird and have them send a check.

Thanks for your advice.

FrequentMiler
Guest

B-Rad:
1. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is to try it. Its not uncommon for people to get declined at first, but then approved when they call the reconsideration line. My guess is that you will be approved either initially or after recon, but its really just a guess. It’s possible that they have less strict rules about the Ink Classic so you could try that instead. Then, if you sign up for the Ink Bold or Plus in the future, you could move your points over.
2. Yes, Bluebird makes it extremely easy to hit spend targets
3. Go through Bluebird and see if your bank is listed as a payee. If so, then you’re all set. If not, you simply add them and have Bluebird send them a check.

alex
Guest
alex

hey fm!
Something strange happened today. I bought vanilla cards at od today and the cashier made a copy of my driver’s liscense. She told me they started to do that a few weeks ago. She was vague as to why but said somethimg about watching for people buying a lot of these… Not sure who she meant by ‘they’. Od, chase, this particular store only… What do you thimk about this. Should i worry about what she is going to do with my info?

FrequentMiler
Guest

alex: They are just trying to protect against actual fraud. You are not committing fraud by buying an item that the store is willing to sell to you. For more info, see “When thieves steal our points

Marshall
Guest
Marshall

FM:

Went to my first DO in Chicago! Great info & good time. Enjoyed meeting you and your charming wife.

Anyway, I bought a bunch of Sears gift cards during the 15X SW sale. Took 5 months to post to my account & ONLY after I bugged SW with many emails to get it done. Sears was REALLY slow to post the points to SW. Good news is I now have the companion pass thru 12/31/13.

ALSO, went to my local Kmart and was able to use the gift cards to but Visa & Mastercard gift cards. Could not use to buy Amex GC since their cash registers do not let you purchase with gift cards. Thanks for the tip. Thought you might be able to post this in your lab. I live in Jacksonville, FL.

Marshall

FrequentMiler
Guest

Marshall: thanks for the info! Yes, I’ll update the lab. BTW, my wife wasn’t in Chicago so I’m not sure who you met…

Dave Op
Guest
Dave Op

FrequentMiler,
When I go to Lowe’s hardware store, I see tons of gift cards. Can I use a Lowe’s gift card to buy another gift card?

The cashier at my local Lowe’s does not know the answer, so unless I give it a try, I will never know for sure.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Dave Op: I’ve never tried, but others have told me that Lowes doesn’t allow buying gift cards with gift cards. No, I haven’t tried Giftcardbin or eCardExchange.

Dave Op
Guest
Dave Op

FrequentMiler,
I have used Plastic Jungle for all of my gift card purchases, and have been satisfied. Have you ever tried Giftcardbin and eCardExchange?

SC Parent
Guest
SC Parent

@Dave Op: I tried to use Lowes gift cards to buy a Southwest gift card (along with a bunch of other items) and the Lowes cashier immediately told me I couldn’t buy the gift card with a gift card.

Smay
Guest
Smay

yeeeshhhh Mashall! Don’t get FM in trouble with Mrs. FM. Hard enough to get away and travel without the spouse and now you’re starting rumors!! 😉

Marshall
Guest
Marshall

So who WAS that women, FM? 🙂
Just kidding. Met Emily, Darius’ wife. Don’t want to get you in trouble. Enjoy your blog too much. Incidentally, another Kmart in Jax refused to trade Sears GC for Visa, MC, etc. Apparently depends on what the store mgrs policy is.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Marshall: Don’t worry, you didn’t get me in trouble. You might have just gotten Emily in trouble though :). Thanks for the info about Kmart.

smay
Guest
smay

I was able to get 10 $50 BP gas cards with one of my $500 sears gift cards yesterday at Kmart! Always enjoy getting 11x points for gas! I will absolutely jump on the next 10x UR points promo.

FrequentMiler
Guest

smay: Sweet!

tom
Guest
tom

I have a question and wanted to know about this for long time.

Can you tell me whats good about this card? =US Air credit card with 40,000 bonus Dividend Miles?
what can you do with that miles? only good at redeeming for US airways flight? can it be transfreed to united. AA or any hotel programs? anything else?

thanks

Jenn
Guest
Jenn

Hi FM,

Are you aware of Chase shutting down cards/accounts that are used only for strategic spend? I have 6 Chase cards, use 3 of them (Ink, Sapphire, Amazon) only for spend that gets multiplied points, don’t use 2 of them at all since meeting the minimum spend and getting the sign up bonus, and use the Freedom (have a Chase checking account) for everything else. I’d like to maintain this strategy and start using Bluebird (with Vanilla cards bought with Ink) for bills I can’t otherwise charge, but am wondering if I am risking problems with Chase. I am wondering about that risk even if I don’t play with Bluebird. As context, my total monthly charges without Vanilla/Bluebird are about $2K/month and sometimes I have no charges on a particular card in a billing cycle. Thanks for your thoughts!

choi
Guest
choi

I have two mortgages of 5 k plus each month, do you have a source of “bill pay” where they take Amex. I dont mind the fee just to meet the minimum. I have sources for visa and Master but none for Amex. if you could help. thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

choi: Yes, use your Amex to buy Vanilla Reload cards at Office Depot (some Walmart stores allow you to buy them with credit cards as well). Then, load the money to an Amex Bluebird cards (you need to order one ahead of time). Then, use Bluebird’s online bill pay feature to pay your mortgage.

Joediver
Guest
Joediver

Is it possible to load my Bluebird Amex with the Target Amex. I’d really like to pay bills with it and I’ve called so many ODs around Chicago they know what I want when they hear my voice.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Joediver: If there is a way to do that, I haven’t found it.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Can you use Amex Gift cards to load the Amex Target card? Or is it just Vanilla Visa Gift cards that work?

Ron
Guest
Ron

FM – never mind. Of course you can use Amex gift cards – I’ve done it myself…

grapes
Guest
grapes

Maybe this is a silly question, but is there any risk to buying an OD Vanilla reload pack with your Ink Bold, loading it onto your Bluebird card, and then later using Bluebird’s billpay option to pay your Chase Ink Bold statement – when you’ve used the the Ink Bold to buy the Vanilla reload in the first place?

FrequentMiler
Guest

grapes: I believe that is safe, but we don’t really have evidence one way or another to prove it.

TheInternationalLine: That’s true. I know a number of husband/wife teams that do that.

TheInternationalLine
Guest
TheInternationalLine

Serve + Bluebird = Free Credit Card Reloads + Billpay

Because Serve and Bluebird both sit on the same platform, transfers between Serve and Bluebird accounts are instant and free. Because you cannot technically have both a Serve and Bluebird account at the same time, you need a friend to make this work.

Alexandre
Guest
Alexandre

Hi FM!

Which stores will give you points through the Ultimate Rewards Mall for gift cards (besides buy.com)?

Thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

Staples is the only other one I know of that sells gift cards to other merchants and gives points when buying them. Quite a few stores give points for buying their own gift cards. Check out the Frequent Miler Laboratory to find them.

Denise
Guest
Denise

Thanks for all your tips. Would it be okay if I paid my SPG with my Bluebird account?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Dinise: That should be OK, but honestly there’s no way to know for sure. If you’re worried, simply transfer money out of Bluebird to your checking account and then pay the SPG bill from your checking account

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

@Denise & FM: used my bluebird to pay a portion of my SPG bill ($600+) on 11/5, indicated on AMEX site under pending for 11/6… and posted as payments on 11/7

Denise
Guest
Denise

@FM and Thomas. Thx for all your help.

Jenn
Guest
Jenn

Can you suggest cards that offer good bonuses for higher annual spend? With Bluebird in the picture, it’s easier to strive for spends that would otherwise be too high. Thanks.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jenn: Delta Reserve and Delta Platinum offer bonus points and MQMs at high spend levels; Amex Hilton Surpass and Citi Hilton Reserve offer Hilton Diamond at $40K spend; BA card offers companion pass at $30K spend; Southwest offers companion pass at 110K of SW point earnings per year; several cards offer 10K bonuses at $25K spend (e.g. United MileagePlus) and some offer 15K bonus at $30K spend (PRG). I’ll do a full post in the near future.

traveler
Guest
traveler
FrequentMiler
Guest

traveler: Awesome! I should get links to those better offers very soon. If people are waiting to sign up with better offers, of course you can sign up now through those public offers. If you’re willing to wait a few days and help out this blog, though, I would appreciate it!

grapes
Guest
grapes

Hi FM,

Has anyone ever tried/been successful in upgrading an Ink Classic card to Ink Plus/Bold?

I got a Classic card back in September to test the waters and because the previous 10k spend of the Plus and Bold seemed too daunting for a noob like me (lol).

Now that they’ve reduced the spend to 5k for Plus and Bold, I’d obviously be interested in upgrading to either premium card…

FrequentMiler
Guest

grapes: I don’t know if anyone has succeeded in upgrading (I would assume so), but I’d recommend instead that you simply wait a month or so and then apply for the Ink Plus anew. That way you can get a second signup bonus.

Rick
Guest
Rick

FM: I secure-emailed Chase today to request they reduce the Ink Bold $10K spend to $5K for me and included a link to the site in post #413. (I was approved for the Ink Bold within the last 3 months.) But, no love for me from Chase.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Rick: You might have better luck calling. I’d recommend waiting until early next week though. I expect they’re still struggling to get up to speed with this new offer

econjon
Guest
econjon

FM- Was just thinking about BB, taxes, and refunds. As the end of the year approaches…Have you thought much about this?

FrequentMiler
Guest

econjon: Was your question about how to pay taxes with BB? I certainly think about those topics!

stevento
Guest

Dear FM,
I have a BB for myself and my wife, so together we can do about $10K of billpay/month. That covers our mortgage/escrow expenses very nicely. But if I could get more BB cards, and use them for business checks, I could easily do tens of thousands per month in legitimate spend. Is there a way to get multiple BB cards?
Because I have to buy the reload cards at CVS, my payoff is not as high as with OD.
Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

stevento: I’m doing some research to see if there’s a way to get multiple BB cards, but I don’t have anything solid yet.

Marshall
Guest
Marshall

FM:

I am in Jacksonville, FL. Found a CVS with VRL cards. They do not allow you to buy with CC. Cash register is programmed to display message “Cash only”. Could not buy VRL cards at Walgreen’s either with CC. Can buy Visa GC at both with CC.
Looks like Target AMEX may be only option if want to aggregate
gift cards OR want to cash out via ATM withdrawal.

choi
Guest
choi

wow with that kind of payment and using Amex H 6x, you ll earn a free Cat 5 or 6 night per month. but work the math for Vanilla x 10k and see if its worth it.

Marshall
Guest
Marshall

@Choi – Amex Hilton 6X is option if VRL cards not available. Can deposit 2500 in AMEX Target card per month buying 500 Visa gift cards for total of 15K Hilton points per month. Prefer Chase 5X thru OD and using BB can put 5K per month or get 25K Chase points per month. However, I will do BOTH since where I live OD sells vrl cards & can use CC to get AND CVS & Walgreens sell Visa GC. Curious – how do you figure 10X with Vanilla?

Alexandre
Guest
Alexandre

Can you buy a Vanilla reload with a My vanilla card?

Alexandre
Guest
Alexandre

Sorry, I meant can you buy a VR at CVS or Walgreens with a Visa or Mastercard gift card?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Alexandre: Yes

HAM
Guest
HAM

What better place to ask for help with airline miles than a community full of frequent flyers. Hello, I am wondering if anyone is willing to purchase round trip tickets for me using their miles and I pay them directly. I had a friend who was successful in doing this but the guy he went through email no longer works neither does his phone. I actually tried once before but got scammed out of $450. Unfortunately I am persistent. If anyone is able to help or point me to the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it. I would like round trip international tickets flying coach. I am honestly only looking to spend about $400. If you can help, please let me know. If not than I thank you for taking the time to read this

Alexandre
Guest
Alexandre

Hey FM!

Did you end up trying your Citi forward at a B&B campus bookstore to reload your Amex Campus Edition? Is so, dod you get the 5X points?

Henry
Guest
Henry

Hi, Frequent Miler.

Apple has started to offer Passbook-enabled gift cards: http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/11/apple-starts-offering-passbook-enabled-gift-cards/

Is there an opportunity for us here?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Did you ever get your mypoints from the opensky promotion? What do you think is the best way to use them or cash them out (plasticjungle, etc).

Ryan K
Guest
Ryan K

Do you know if you can load the bluebird at walmart by swiping at the register using a visa debit gift card? If this is the case you could buy those at OD and fill with it at walmart. It would be the same as the Vanilla’s with just one extra step.

choi
Guest
choi

same question as Ryan, at OD, there are vanilla visa and Amex prepaid. can you use those cards to swipe at Walmart on BB ? has anyone try it yet ? Thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

Alexandre: I’m still waiting for my statement to close to see if I got points
.
Henry: Thanks. I don’t see any obvious opportunities with that. Am I missing something?
.
jonathan: I still haven’t received my MyPoints. There are some reasonably good gift card options. If you value United Airlines miles highly, that’s a good option too.
.
Ryan K / choi: No, you need a PIN to swipe load Bluebird at Walmart. Gift cards don’t come with PINs.

rob
Guest
rob

hey bro,

I have been using bluebird to pay my credit card bills and today I tried again but says Limit reached or something. My sister just got her Bluebird card and she won’t use it. Can I use her BB account to pay MY credit card bills? It won’t work?

also, How do I transfer money from paypal or topcashback to my BB account to avoid the atm fee?
thanks

Dave
Guest
Dave

FM, I posted in the “Vanilla/BB Backup” blog from 2 weeks ago, but I don’t know if you still check on that one.

In any case, I got my permanent Target AMEX and registered it. I was a little surprised to find out that you can set up DD on it, and so there’s a routing number and an account number. Does this mean that it’s possible to use this card to pay bills (such as credit card bills)? Thanks

Christian
Guest
Christian

Mypoints posted in my account yesterday and today it shows that I earned a new member double points bonus which shows that 75,000 points available and another 75,000 points pending to be available on 12/15. Has anyone else seen this double bonus?

FrequentMiler
Guest

rob: yes, you should be able to pay bills from your sister’s account. to use PayPal, log into bluebird and select direct deposit in order to find your account and routing number. Use those within PayPal to link bluebird as if it is a checking account

FrequentMiler
Guest

Dave: I think that Amex prevents ACH withdrawals. However, I love to hear if it works if you decide to try it.
.
Christian: Yes, several others have reported also getting a new member bonus. Apparently they had a deal going on in which they offered double points for your first purchase as a new member. That’s awesome that you got 150K!

Chris
Guest

@christian @frequentmiler : which deal involves getting th 150K points? i’d love to get in on that 🙂

FrequentMiler
Guest

Chris: it was a temporary MyPoints deal only available for a day or so

stevento
Guest

Just got back from my local OD. Can’t buy Vanilla Visa in greater than $200 increments with a credit card.
I was actually planning to load up on them and give them to employees as a holiday bonus.

FrequentMiler
Guest

stevento: I just bought several $500 Vanilla Visa cards at OD in Michigan. It must be a store by store thing

stevento
Guest

Good to know. Don’t have too many ODs in my area, but will have to try. I know Staples doesn’t carry anything above $200 (and at higher fees), do you know if OfficeMax does?

FrequentMiler
Guest

stevento: I haven’t seen anything bigger than $200 at Staples or OfficeMax. Only OD

robert smith
Guest

what are the benefits of silver or gold status in the hilton rewards program

Duc
Guest

Greg,
There is a great deal at Office Max for buying Visa/Master gift card which is similar to the Staples one
This one is even better I think because you get the discount right away on Thanksgiving. Here is the link to my page that I described it. Would you like to share with your readers?
http://ucanflyfree2.com/2012/11/11/make-money-on-black-friday/

FrequentMiler
Guest

Duc: Thanks for the tip! I’ll post a link to yours tomorrow morning

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Hi Frequent Miler,

I’ve been having trouble finding any Vanilla Reloadable cards in Manhattan. I’ve found many places that offer Vanilla Visa cards ranging from $50-$500 for a purchase fee of $4.95. Do you know if these Vanilla Visa cards can be purchased with a credit card and also be loaded on to AMEX bluebird? I figured this could be a simple alternative to searching for the rare vanilla reload cards.

Thank you,
Daniel

smay
Guest
smay

@Daniel, they can’t be loaded on Bluebird but are farily easy to find at OD. If you don’t have any in an OD, you could “bring” some with you from another store and buy them at OD with an INK. Also, have you tried CVS’s? They are pretty well stocked with V-reloads.