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Last updated on March 27th, 2019

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perryplatypus
Guest

How long did it take for your club carlson gold status to post after you made your 1st purchase with the card?

FrequentMiler
Guest

perryplatypus: For my wife, it took a while. I think they waited until her first statement was issued.

Marshall
Guest
Marshall

FM:

Has anyone gotten SW rewards credit for buying GC from drugstore.com? I am trying to come up with a way to get 60k SW points spend this year to keep my companion pass. DS.com has 8X thru SW portal. Did the Sears GC trick last year and got 3750 in Sears gift cards for 60K miles and then took the GCs to K-Mart and exchanged for Visa GCs. BTW, one store would do the exchange, one would not.
Any thoughts on how I can meet the spend? Lots of Chase points, but would like to keep them to use with Hyatt & United.

Marshall
Guest
Marshall

Also, got SW business card this year & canceled SW personal card so I could get again in 2014 to use in 2015 for 50K towards companion pass. So, only have one SW card.

Danny
Guest
Danny

FM, I’ve applied for the Chase BA card. I received the pending… result.
Is it better to call today? or is it better to wait?
That was the first app of my app party.
I also applied for US airways next and also got pending… Should I call in about this one too? or wait…
My AA adventage Visa app was third and was approved online…

Those were the three apps.

Please advise.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Danny: Personally, I would call about all of them, but its really up to you. I like to get everything done and settled as quickly as possible.

smay
Guest
smay

I’m with FM, I always call right away and have been successful 99% of the time. In fact i’ve called for both the BA and USAIR cards to get approval.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Hey FM!

Just saw this in my email. I’m loving the new earning potential with Amex Prepaid + Bluebird!

Taken from email:

Thank you for being a loyal American Express Prepaid Cardmember. To better serve you, we have made some important improvements to your Card:

Now you can save time by transferring a portion or all of your paycheck to the Card automatically.

You can now add cash to your American Express Prepaid Card using a Vanilla Reload Network™ Card available at participating retailers for an average purchase fee of $3.95 from the reload network.

Your withdrawal limit has now increased to a maximum of $400 per day.

We have increased the amount of cash you can load onto the Card to $1,000 per day.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Simon: Yeah, I got that too, but I find it very confusing. The email from Amex about the prepaid cards seems to list benefits that have been there for at least a year
Alan: tips for merchandise reselling. See these posts: Hunting for deals and Frustration by Amazon

Alan
Guest
Alan

Any tips on merchandise reselling? What’s best to be resold?
Going to attempt a triple dip in Canada, and trying to keep options open.

maryjane
Guest
maryjane

Dear FM,I just tried to reload a Visa gift to BB at Walmart and system wouldn’t take it.Are there any other options?

FrequentMiler
Guest

maryjane: you need a debit card with a PIN in order to reload Bluebird in-store. You could always get the Suntrust Delta debit card as one option. Another option is to buy Vanilla Reload cards (not Vanilla Visa cards — they’re different) at CVS with a credit card and use those to load Bluebird at home.

Mizliz
Guest
Mizliz

Hi FM,
My brother is a business owner in Ann Arbor and is starting to show interest in my points/miles hobby. He has asked me for advice but I don’t have a lot of experience with business cards myself. I’m steering him toward Chase UR points, for the flexibility factor. My 2 questions are:

Mizliz
Guest
Mizliz

sorry my computer freaked out! To continue the post above:
1. He owns 3 distinct businesses. If he gets an Ink card for each, can he combine all of the UR points? If he also has a personal Freedom card, can he combine it with his UR points from his businesses?

2. Is UR a good choice, given his location in A2? His travel goals are Hawaii, and Singapore. He will be able to generate substantial spend across his 3 businesses.

Thanks for any advice you can provide!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Mizliz:
1) Yes, he can combine UR points across multiple Ink cards and/or from a Freedom card or any other card that earns Ultimate Rewards points
2) Yes UR is a great choice. Its true that most flights out of Detroit are on Delta, but UR points transfer to United, British Airways, and Southwest Airlines. Your brother can use UR points transferred to United to fly on any Star Alliance airline including US Airways, Lufthansa, etc. He could also transfer to British Airways for cheap flights on American Airlines (example: 4500 points each way Detroit to NYC). Or transfer to Southwest. Southwest and BA points are great options for getting to other international airports for flights booked on United in case United/Star Alliance doesn’t have availability from Detroit.

Mizliz
Guest
Mizliz

Thanks FM!

JP
Guest
JP

Hi FM,

I know this isn’t really a huge points program, but wanted to hear your thoughts on the Starbucks rewards program. To get to gold, you need 30 stars, which is just 30 transactions within 12 months. Could you purchase a $5 gift card with a credit card, then load that gift card to the starbucks app, then spend that $5 that is in the app to purchase another $5 gift card at starbucks( to count as 1 transaction), then load that gift card back into the app? Rinse and repeat 30 times, you made gold status by only spending $5 out of pocket, correct? I looked through the T/Cs and see nothing about gift cards being excluded.

FrequentMiler
Guest

JP: I don’t go to Starbucks often, so I’ve never tried it, but yes I believe there are tricks like that which work. I don’t know if that particular trick works, though.

JP
Guest
JP

Thanks for the reply, FM.

Guess it’s worth a try!

darren
Guest
darren

check out the latest offer from Southwest Visa:
https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/southwest/2ffhero

FrequentMiler
Guest

darren: Thanks! You’ve uncovered a 50K offer for the “Premier” version of the card (as opposed to the “Plus” version). I’ve added this and business versions to my Best Credit Card Offers page.

darren
Guest
darren

note the increased annual fee $99 but now they offer 6K annual bonus

bwiflyer
Guest
bwiflyer

I am in the market for a Dell computer. How can I maximize miles and points.

John Hine
Guest
John Hine

In your newsletter of 3/3/13, you mention transferring Avios from British Airways to Iberia to avoid paying BA’s high fuel surcharges.
How do you transfer Avios from one airline to another ?
Thanks,
John

FrequentMiler
Guest

bwiflyer: I’m not aware of current deals like this, but watch for these two things for Dell purchase:
1) Sometimes Amex has promotions in which you link your card via Twitter or Facebook and can get $100 or so off any Dell purchase above a certain amount
2) Often Dell has promotions in which you get a bonus if you buy a gift card from them.
Sometimes those two deals are stackable.

FrequentMiler
Guest

John Hine:
It’s harder than I thought to transfer Avios from BA to Iberia. First, you have to open an Iberia account and it needs to be open for some number of months (I can’t remember for sure (3? 6?). Then, log into BA, manage account, combine points. Try to combine points from BA to Iberia. In my case I keep getting an error. Hopefully it will work for you!

BH
Guest
BH

why are comments turned off on the posts?

I wanted to make an inquiry on today’s (March 7th’s post) but it appears that although there are currently 45 there is no box like this one, or other link to leave one.

thanks

FrequentMiler
Guest

BH: Sorry! BoardingArea is moving to new servers today and this weekend. We will hopefully be back up to working order by Sunday

jack
Guest
jack

don’t know if you’ve seen this, but this is the kind of story that gives you the warm and fuzzies:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/christopher-elliott/united-airlines-holds-plane_b_2820787.html

FrequentMiler
Guest

jack: That’s a great story. Thanks for sharing!

Drü
Guest
Drü

Quick question regarding US Bank Flexperks and Kiva: Do you get 3 pts/dollar when making a loan to Kiva or is it only 3 pts/dollar when you donate to Kiva?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Drü: You’ll get 3X with either a loan or a donation to Kiva

Drü
Guest
Drü

Thanks for the quick response! One more question: which Chase card to you use to double dip on Ultimate Rewards? I used my Ink Bold to buy a $25 Home Improvement card and then going through the Chase UR portal, bought at $25 Lowe’s card which did not get me a second x5. Any tricks or tips to making this work? I’m doing a kitchen upgrade in the next few months and will likely drop over $10k at Lowe’s…might as well get this figured out. Thanks agin.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Drü: That should have worked. How long has it been since you placed the order? It can take 5 days or more to show up in the UR Mall as pending.

newbiee008
Guest
newbiee008

Hi FM,

Thought of alerting you to the Safeway/Von’s deal for Visa GC! Though we could earn only $5, thought of sharing wit you. Right now, safeway has a coupon for $15 off 2 x $50 Visa GCs. Thread in SD reports that the coupon did’nt work on $100 or $200 cards. So if you buy 2x $50 GC = $100+ $9.80 (fees) – $15 = 94.80, a savings of $5.20. The coupon can be found on the coupon center of your safeway account! HTH!

FrequentMiler
Guest

newbiee008: Thanks!

David
Guest
David

Just noticed that both Home Depot and Lowes have this warning when coming from several of the points malls…
“Any return, exchange or other adjustment made at a physical store location for an on-line purchase may result in your purchase being deemed ineligible for reward.”

Any experience with this? I’m planning on buying something for store pickup and then exchanging it for something that I do want in store (assuming they convert to HD GC)

Bryanport
Guest
Bryanport

Greg,

Hi, We met at the Chicago event. FYI- I was able to purchase Sears gift cards with the Home improvement gift card. I just limit the gift card to 250.00 or less. I didn’t call when my order status was “processing” for three days and the purchase ending up going through. I went through the SW shopping portal and my points haven’t posted yet. I will update you when they post.
GREAT BLOG, keep up the good work!

FrequentMiler
Guest

David: I don’t have direct experience with that so I don’t know for sure what will happen.
Bryanport: Thanks! I’m glad your purchase went through!

grapes
Guest
grapes

Hi FF, I’m trying to finish my CSP $3k spend in a month, just to get it done quickly.

I’d prefer to pay down that balance $3k-ish before the statement balance posts (and affects my credit score).

Is there any reason I should wait until after the statement generates? I just want to make sure I get my bonus points, so I’ll let the statement close out for the billing cycle – but only if I have to!

I appreciate your feedback.

Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

grapes: Its fine to pay your balance at any time. The only caution I’d make is that if you do that too often it might raise some flags somewhere, but even then you haven’t done anything wrong.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

I’m in the market for a new camera, and while 5X points via office supply store to Amazon gift cards is an option, I lose the extended warranty offered by purchasing directly with a CC. I checked Sears.com for the camera I’m looking for, and while they show it online, it’s sold and shipped by a 3rd party. Do you know if I would still receive points going through the UR mall for this purchase? Sears is only 3X right now, but still, that’s better than 1X…

FrequentMiler
Guest

Scott H: Yes, you’re supposed to get points even if it is sold by a 3rd party. Just as long as there is an “add to cart” button, you should be OK. Note that the United MileagePlus shopping portal is 6X at Sears for a couple more days I believe

PaulX
Guest
PaulX

Hi, I enjoy posts and website. I have a credit score of about 770 and 12 hard pulls in the past year according to Equifax. 7 of these are from Chase. Others are from cable and internet providers. I have about 6 active credit cards now. Should I hold off on applying for cards at this point?

Also, doesn’t a churn every three months result in a large accumulation of hard pulls during the 2 year holding period?

Thanks.

Greg Z
Guest
Greg Z

Hey FM, I just got the same Citi TY card with 4 extra points for “everyday spend.” When I called to activate, I tried to find out whats included and the Citi and TY reps have no idea.

Have you gotten a statement yet with drug store spend?

OldPorkChops
Guest
OldPorkChops

Hi there FM, Now that the Club Carlson Business Visa has entered the game, could you please do a comparison between CC and the other competing Hyatt, Hilton and SPG credit card rewards programs out there? I am planning to sign up for one of them (using the business card option where ever possible) but was not sure which was a better product considering that no apples to apples comparison (to the best extent possible) exists. My questions are as follows:

Assumptions:
– Visa and Amex are equally accepted every where
– Assume that hotel rooms are available in all desired cities
– Hotel tiers are equally matched up

1) In the absence of 5x on everything else for SPG, does SPG allow earning as fast to reach the same number of nights as for CC? Let’s say that because of 5x on CC, I’m able to redeem 4 nights (1+1 and 1+1 not 3+1) in category 6 hotels by generating 100k points or spending $20k @ 5x. How many dollars would I need to spend to be able to enjoy the same category of hotel room if I were to be on SPG?

2) Is the extended reach and quality of SPG hotels really worth going with it over CC?

3) Considering all the possible contenders: Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, SPG, CC, etc, which program would allow the most accumulation of free nights with as little out of pocket costs (credit card annual fees, and avoiding cash+Points as far as possible)?

4) An advantage of SPG is that it allows 1:1 transfer to Singapore Airlines (I grew up in Singapore and know the quality of their products and services). Add to that a 5k bonus for every 20k transferred. The 15% online booking if award travel is booked on KrisFlyer is to be negated, since my competing mileage program (UA MP) does not allow me to book premium saver seats on Singapore Airlines. Do you know of conduits that allow the transfer or miles from say UA MP to SPG and then to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer without loss and without charges?

JYankee
Guest
JYankee

FM…first off, great blog…visit it daily for ideas.

Since the Q2 bonus is for Lowes, would it make sense to go through ultimate rewards website to get the additional 5 points on each dollar to buy Lowes gift cards. Does the Q2 bonus include shopping at Lowes.com?

Can you then go to a Lowes and purchase other types of gift cards with the Lowes gift cards.

Thanks….

FrequentMiler
Guest

PaulX: It really depends on your comfort level. The impact of hard pulls seems to decrease quite a bit after 3 months so many people have found that they can sign up for credit cards every 91 days (or so) despite a large number of inquiries piling up on their report. If you’re uncomfortable with this (which is totally understandable!) then yes, wait a while.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Greg Z: Yes, I already got a statement for that special Citi TY Preferred card, and yes I got 5X for drug store purchases.

FrequentMiler
Guest

OldPorkChops: Those are great questions! Yes, I’ll consider doing an analysis to answer many of those questions. Off the top of my head, though, I’d say that the Club Carlson card would get you more nights for less spend than any other card. The only good options I can think of for getting Singapore miles is to transfer from SPG or from Membership Rewards.

FrequentMiler
Guest

JYankee: Yes, you can get 5X with your Freedom card this quarter at Lowes.com, but you can’t use a Lowe’s gift card to buy other Lowe’s gift cards. Best bet is: 1) Go through UR Mall to Lowes & buy physical Lowes gift card (not e-card). Get 5X from UR Mall + 5X from Freedom. Go through UR Mall again to use the gift cards to buy merchandise. Get another 5X.

Tysen
Guest
Tysen

FrequentMiler, thanks for all you do.

We are new to this, but I’m wondering about authorized users and credit card bonuses. My wife and I offset our credit card applications because our spend isn’t high enough to both churn at the same time, I was wondering if she could add me as an authorized user on her new card so that I could help meet the spend. Would this affect my eligibilty to receive the same card bonus at a later time? (i.e. she gets the Sapphire Prefered, adds me as an authorized user and I get a card, 1 year later I apply for the the Sapphire card, will I still be eligible?) If we do do this should we remove eachother as authorized users when we have completed spend?

Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Tysen: Yes, that’s a great strategy. Your wife can add you as an authorized user to her accounts without any effect on your credit profile. I don’t think there’s any need to remove each other as authorized users later, but it may make sense to cancel the 1 year old account rather than pay the annual fee. I think that having (and paying for) one Sapphire Preferred account in each family makes sense, but there isn’t any advantage to paying for more than one.

Jason
Guest
Jason

Hi Greg…

I was recently targeted for a US Airways MasterCard offer entitling me to 3 bonus miles for each dollar spent on purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and home improvement stores (up to 7,500 bonus miles, which equates to $2,500 in total spend). Is there a way to manufacture spend in these categories that would make this deal worthwhile?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jason: it’s not easy. I’ll write up something soon

Jack
Guest
Jack

FM, After NetSpend close your account, are you able to purchase visa gift card from GiftCardMall.com?
After NetSpend shut me down, all my registered VGCs were shut down and I can not place an order to buy any more VGC through GiftCardMall.com(they were all related with MeteBank and Blackhawk Inc.). I called GiftCardMall.com to report the error “you can not place the order this time” when I click the purchase button and CSR has no idea why that happen and told me that just try again later, maybe too many people try to buy at the same time.
Does anybody else experience this too?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jack: I haven’t had any trouble with GiftCardMall after NetSpend shut me down. I don’t know why you’re having trouble, but I think it is unlikely to be due to your NetSpend account.

Ulysses
Guest
Ulysses

Hi FM,
Do you know if triple-dipping for airline tickets in the following way works: Go through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (1 point/$ at Expedia) –> Expedia (Expedia Rewards) for the tickets –> purchased with Chase Sapphire Preferred card (2.14 UR points/$). Theoretically this would net 3.14 UR points + Expedia Rewards per dollar. Would any one of these three get voided during the triple-dip attempt?

Thanks very much and I’ve learned a lot from your blog!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Ulysses: Yes, that should work. Here’s another good option: Go through UR portal to Travelocity (2X) and pay with Sapphire Preferred (2X). All 4X would get annual 7% dividend so it would really be 4.28X.

choi
Guest
choi

I missed a couple of the post related to a few questions I m about to ask.
1. did you get pts for buying sears GC at UR mall and pts using sears GC back into the UR mall and buying things ?
2. Same as above but with Lowes, buying GC and then using at UR mall to double dip.

Thanks in advance

Rick
Guest
Rick

I’ve had the Amex DL Platinum card for years and pay the $150 annual fee each year & manufacture enough spend to get the 20K annual bonus MQM’s. Six months ago, I got the Amex DL Reserve card, paid the $450 annual fee & have already got the 40K bonus MQM’s for applying/spending. Last month, I got both the SPG personal & biz cards & will soon meet the $5K annual spend on each. After meeting the required annual spend on each card, I stop using it & move onto the next card. I really don’t want to pay the DL Platinum $150 fee when it comes due in a month or 2. As a high spend customer (albeit manufactured spend), what would you suggest I say to get them to waive the $150 annual fee if that’s even possible? (P.S. I don’t want more DL miles as an incentive to keep the card; I just do all this spend for the MQM’s.)

Rick
Guest
Rick

@FM: To follow up on my earlier post above, I called Amex & told them I was thinking of closing my long-standing DL Plat biz account (which is in excellent standing & on which I’ve met the annual spend goal for 2013 already), and asked what they could offer me to keep the account since the annual fee would be charged in the coming months. The answer: nothing. They offered to downgrade the account to a less expensive one if I wasn’t using all the benefits, but they wouldn’t budge an inch on the annual fee & didn’t offer miles either.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Rick: Sorry to hear that! I don’t know how they decide when to offer points (or cash) to keep a customer

Trevor
Guest

FM – Staples has a nice Free After Rebate — Intuit QB Enhanced Payroll (Prod# 957717) — requires a mail in rebate though (vs electronic), but is $280 * 7 (Ink + UR Mall) is nearly 2k points.

hanly2
Guest
hanly2

Just needed a quick answer because I need to make a purchase. I have a Ink card and I need to make a purchase at Home depot for about 800-1000. Can I purchase e-gift cards through the portal from Staples and then go back through the portal and use those cards to make my home depot purchase? This would earn me 10 ppd spent.

FrequentMiler
Guest

hanly2: Yes, that should work, but there’s never any guarantee with portals.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Trevor: Thanks!

JohnnieD
Guest
JohnnieD

Uh-Oh…………Topcashback has a notice on website that says 1.5% cashback ends in three days……………………….oh crap

FrequentMiler
Guest

JohnnieD: It is the 1.5% cash back rate for Visa Gift cards at TopCashBack that goes away in 3 days. It will be replaced (for one day only) with 2% cash back

JohnnieD
Guest
JohnnieD

Whoa, I hope so…..

Jim
Guest
Jim

got bunch of visa gift cards, VR & chase GC in my drawyer, can’t load to BB cos it looks like $5k limit reached on both of our account.
any other way to cash them out besides AP? Want to pay our CC bills.

thanks

tom
Guest
tom

can I use chase gift card to buy money order at USPS?

Can I use non chase credit cards ( cards other than chase) to buy chase gift cards online?

Bill
Guest
Bill

What’s the best credit card to put a car purchase on? Not talking about meeting minimum spend necessarily, but in terms of percentage or points back, etc.

Thanks!

AmexMCCQ
Guest
AmexMCCQ

Hi! Is there an Amex website similar to the Visa MCC locator website ? I know Visa has different MCC tags for some gas stations for the pump and inside, wondering if Amex is the same. Want to buy some gas station GCs before Hilton changes the 6x program. These GCs are not available at pharmacies or grocery stores today. Thanks.

Victor
Guest
Victor

Hi FM, I can’t seem to setup autopay for BB to pay for things like mortgage, insurance. Is it possible then to setup with my bank or insurance company to automatically deduct the payment from my BB account as if it’s a checking account? It’ll be awesome if I don’t have to set reminders for myself to log onto BB to pay my bills.

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jim: Wait until May?
tom: I don’t know. I haven’t tried out Chase gift cards yet
Bill: That really depends on a huge number of factors. Amex SPG is good. Barclays WorldArrival card is good. Or, use a card that gives bonuses for high spend
AmexMCCQ: I’m not aware of any such thing unfortunately
Victor: That’s true: you cannot setup Bluebird for autopay. It is designed for one-time payments

BK
Guest
BK

Hi FM,
Sterling efforts – its a pleasure to see your efforts in action. Hey I got $5K of Amex cards and was looking on the giftcardsmall for Visa gift cards but it looks like there is only a $500 upper limit per card?
B

silver springer
Guest
silver springer

Hi. At FTUDC you talked about a Citi Thank You Preferred card that gives you 5X but the link on your site is for a card that only gives 1x. Can you tell me how to get the 5x card and any other key facts/

Thanks.

FrequentMiler
Guest

BK: Thanks. GiftCardMall has Visa gift cards up to $1000
silver springer: You can find details about the 5X Thank You Preferred card here: http://www.pfdigest.com/2013/02/06/the-old-citi-5-gasgrocerydrugstore-link-is-dead-heres-a-new-one/

JohnnieD
Guest
JohnnieD

Have you ever loaded a BB card at WM with four GC,s? Just tried it and reguster(front desk) cancelled the transaction after I loaded $800 ( 4. X 200). Girl then split it into two 400 trans and it worked. Very time consuming……..

There is only one wm in my area that has the correct ATM.. It’s quite time consuming loading multiple cards 200 at a time…….

Amit
Guest
Amit

Good talking to you before the 5x presentation at FTU. have you noticed the rushcardlive at CVS? i’m curious if it can be bought and then “cash advanced” at the bank without registering. The T&Cs suggest this is possible, but i have yet to experiment.

FrequentMiler
Guest

JohnnieD: I’ve always loaded one card at a time via the machine.
Amit: No, I haven’t noticed that card at CVS. I’ll look out for it.

Seth
Guest
Seth

Hello,
I am new to the miles game but a relative is gifting Membership Rewards Points, about 70k. She has given me the option to which program I would like them transferred. I do not have any trips planned for the near future nor do I wish to travel to any one region more than another. I live in the DC area, mostly travel domestically currently and do not travel for work. I am considering Aeroplan and British Airways Avios (especially with the 35% bonus transfer). I am intrigued by Aeroplan for its ability to book on United (Dulles being a United hub) and British Airways for its incredible ability to book short haul domestic, flights to the Carribean and possibly to South America. Which of these do you think would be best? Or do you suggest something completely different? Thanks for your time.
Seth

FrequentMiler
Guest

Seth: I think both of those options make sense, but since you travel mostly domestically you may get more out of BA, especially with the 35% transfer bonus.

Paul S
Guest
Paul S

FM,
Great recent write ups on buying GCs through TCB and BC but it was a lot of info so I have a couple q’s. Can I get a pin if buy the $3k personalized Amex through TCB or BC so I can load my BB or is that why you were using it to buy Visas and MCs through GCM?

Should I be concerned about buying too many gift cards from TCB, BC or GCM and getting flagged by Chase or Amex?

Paul

FrequentMiler
Guest

Paul S: No, Amex gift cards don’t have PINs. Yes, that’s why I use them to buy Visa gift cards through GCM and at Kroger. Yes, if you buy too many gift cards there is some risk of being flagged by your bank. Unfortunately, no one knows what “too many” is!

maryjane
Guest
maryjane

Hi FM I look forward to your emails daily. My question is- I don’t want to stockpile points in FF programs (e.g. Luftansa)that I may not use but I would like to join the FF programs to have better access to award availability. Do Aeroplan, Miles and Points, and ANA allow you to check award availability without having the actual mileage (needed) in your account.I could then transfer the miles from Ultimate Rewards. MaryJane

FrequentMiler
Guest

maryjane: That’s a really good question. I don’t know if each program shows availability without points. Equally important, though, is whether they show fuel surcharges and other taxes. Just because award space exists doesn’t mean that its a good deal.

maryjane
Guest
maryjane

Hi FM, Thanks for responding so quickly.In your opinion,which are the best FF programs to access availibility for business seats. It seams you have to belong to certain FF programs to gain greater access.

Mary
Guest
Mary

Hey, I just wanted you to know that I ordered a 3000 amex gift card the day topcashback had 2.5% cash back. Well I received the $2000 one I ordered however the $3000 one never came. By the time we called it had $42 left on it. The UPS tracking stopped in California(I live in FL) and the person who had it went to Rite Aid multiple times in one day to cash it out. Now we are in the process of disputing it and it is a mess. Just wanted to see if anyone else had the same issue.

FrequentMiler
Guest

maryjane: While its true that not all airlines open up their good seats to their partners, most still do. In general, I think you would find that United miles are still the best currency to get you into great business seats.

Mary: Wow, that’s terrible. Hopefully Amex will refund your money!

jim
Guest
jim

BB Load limit has reached and I got several $500 Visa GCs. I know I can buy money order and deposit to my bank account. I have done it few times in the past and I heared that frequent money order deposit to chase checking account is not a good idea. Is there any other way to cash them out?

FrequentMiler
Guest

jim: I haven’t tried it, but you might be able to go to Walmart and use the GCs to pay bills.

WhatsNext
Guest
WhatsNext

no more CB from TCB or GCM so what’s next to make some money.

sweetdealgreg
Guest
sweetdealgreg

looks like Square is following suit..just changed terms regarding swiping prepaid cards
maybe i’ll try some other hobby. lol.

FrequentMiler
Guest

WhatsNext: Only time will tell!

sweetdealgreg: What are the new terms?

Grapes
Guest
Grapes

Hi FM, just received my Amex BRG card after that 75k bonus offer posted (yay!). As I was registering online, I had the option of adding the card to my existing personal account (which is for the Costco cash back card), or creating a separate account altogether.

I do plan on getting the PRG and and personal platinum at some point. Would you recommend combining my accounts or managing the business and personal accounts separately? Does it affect point transfers at all to keep them separate?

Thanks in advance!

traveller
Guest
traveller

The AMEX Business Gold card for the limited one day application stated 75k upon 5k minimum purchase within 3 months. After receiving the card , I called CSR and was told I have 6 months to complete the spending. I thought it was 3 months so I asked again. I then SM and asked what the date was to meet min spending and was given 6 months out. Will this be honored if I do take 5 months to meet min spending?

FrequentMiler
Guest

Grapes: I’d recommend that you go ahead and add the card to your existing personal account. It would be much simpler that way. Plus, its better to have all MR points together in one bucket (when you get personal MR cards).

traveller: Hmm, that’s weird. I’d recommend that you do the $5K spend in 3 months if you can, just in case. Since you have SM proof, I’m sure you would get your points eventually at 6 months, but it might be a headache fighting for them.

Jake
Guest
Jake

I think in your last churn you got two Ink Plus cards (1 for SSN business and 1 for TaxID business). Did you succesfully get the 50k bonuses for both? Do you think I need a business with a TaxID to do that, or would two businesses with the same SSN work? Thanks!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Jake: Yes, I got both 50K bonuses. I don’t know if you need a TaxID, but it can’t hurt. It’s a very quick and easy process to get one online.

grapes
Guest
grapes

Happy Friday, FM!

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m trying to meet 5k spend for the Amex BGR card. Under the offer terms, it states:

Eligible purchases are purchases of goods and services minus returns and other credits, and do not include fees or interest charges, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchase or reloading of reloadable pre-paid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents.

Does “purchases of other cash equivalents” include gift cards? Now that GCM is back for TCB, I’d like to purchase a couple of Visa GCs but obviously will refrain from doing so if Amex views this purchase as against their offer terms and doesn’t credit me for the spend.

I’m probably overthinking this but would like your input.

Thank you!
Grapes

FrequentMiler
Guest

grapes: Despite the T&C, Amex treats gift card purchases just like any other purchases. That could change at any time, but personally I don’t worry about it. You should be fine buying gift cards or even reload cards.

Will
Guest
Will

I’m in a rare and lucky position of being young and new to credit cards. I want to get a bunch of no fee, low credit, cards from each company that I can keep forever to help drag my average age of accounts up later in life.

All the ones I like have terrible comparative sign up bonuses but I read that you can downgrade sapphire to freedom and figured you would be the guy to ask about the best free cards and which ones can be acquired through downgrading. Thanks!

MoneyMateKate
Guest

Your blog has turned me into a Kohls-FBAmz trader! I’d never do that for money, but for 20K UR points a month, absolutely! Weird thing is, I’m making a profit too, and didn’t expect that. It’s nice to have a “cushion” for the inevitable returns or things that just don’t sell. I would never have thought of doing this if it weren’t for your wealth of information. Thanks a million (miles…one day soon).

Grapes
Guest
Grapes

Hi FM, when you buy $250 or more in GCs from OfficeMax to take advantage of OPEN, does the 10% credit back immediately at POS or after sale in a statement credit from
Amex? Also, why do the terms say 10% OR up to 4x MR points? Do you know how that’s determined? Lastly, can the purchase be in store and/or online? Seems like the terms allow only for online now..

Thanks!!

FrequentMiler
Guest

Will: That’s true about the Sapphire Preferred. You can start with that (to get the bonus) and then downgrade after a year so as to avoid the annual fee. In fact, almost all paid cards have some downgrade option so I’d recommend simply signing up for the cards with the best signup bonus and then when the annual fee comes due a year later, call to find out about downgrade options. if they don’t have a good option, then you can always simply cancel.

FrequentMiler
Guest

MoneyMateKate: I’m glad that’s working for you!

Grapes: You have to spend more than $250 at officemax.com (online only) to get 10% from OPEN Savings. The 10% comes in as a statement credit about a week after the purchase.

Sean C
Guest
Sean C

FM,
Thanks always for your great posts. I benefit a lot from them.
Question: My Citi Thank You Premier CC was up for an annual fee. I called to close the account and I was offered to either waive my $125 Citi Thank you Premier annual fee if I spend $4500 within 3 months or downgrade my card to Citi Thank you Preferred that has no annual fee. Do you think I should accept the offer and keep the Premier? How can I maximize using Citi Thank You Premier CC?

jim
Guest
jim

Hello FM

I forgot about the target amex prepaid card cos I didn’t use it for long time.

The reload fee is $3 for each reloads? if I load 5 $200 visa giftcards, I will be charged $15 reload fee in total?
You have to select credit? Can you load visa, mc and amex gift card? Can you buy money order with it at MO? Atm fee charged by the ATM?

Thanks for your answer

FrequentMiler
Guest

Sean C: The Premier card is great if you have (or can get) lots of ThankYou points and use them for airfare (at 1.33 cents per point value). See this post: https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2013/02/19/thankyou/

FrequentMiler
Guest

jim: The $3 fee for the Target Amex is for the entire load regardless of how many forms of payment you use. You can load up to $1000 at a time and pay just $3. Yes, select credit. No, you can’t buy money orders with it. Yes, there is an ATM fee charged by the ATM.

jim
Guest
jim

Thanks FM,
So since you can’t drain the target amex gc balance with the money order method, How else can you drain?if I load 5 $200 up to $1k, How do I take the money out of the target amec gc? I don’t think ATM is the option because of the fees and you can do $only $400 max i guess

I use my regular credit card for amazon payment.

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