Pie at 3.14X for Pi day 3/14

11

I don’t know how I missed it, but I just found out that today is Pi day!  March 14 = 3.14.  It’s too late in the day for me to get the free pie at 3:14 pm that some local bakeries offered.  Instead, I’ll tackle an important challenge: how can one buy pie for 3.14 points per dollar?

At first blush, this challenge seems impossible.  I mean, sure, we can find ways to get 2X, 3X, or even 5X or 10X..  But 3.14X, no way.  Right?  But then I remembered that with a Sapphire Preferred card all points earned get a 7% end of year dividend.  So, if you simply buy a piece of pie at a restaurant you’ll get 2X for dining + .14X end of year dividend.  The total comes tantalizingly close: 2.14 points per dollar instead of 3.14.  Now we’re getting somewhere!  But, how do we get that final point?

How about dining programs like SkyMiles dining or MileagePlus dining?  If we buy pie at a restaurant enrolled in one of these programs then we’ll get extra points per dollar over the 2.14!  Sadly though, there doesn’t seem to be a way to get just 1 extra point.  If you’re a basic member you only get half a point per dollar.  If you’re an “online member” you get 3 miles per dollar.  VIP members get even more.  Rats.

OK, how about a different approach.  What if we find a merchant in the Ultimate Rewards Mall that offers 2X and sells pie.  The closest I could find was World Market which has this Pie Contest in a Box:

Pie Contest in a Box | World Market

OK, so its not pie, but if you buy it correctly you can get 3.14 points per dollar.  Just log into the Ultimate Rewards Mall with your Sapphire Preferred account, click through to World Market and then buy this item.  Don’t checkout with your Sapphire Preferred card though!  If you do, you’ll get a total of 3.21 points per dollar (because of the annual 7% dividend).  Instead, use a card that only gives 1X (your Ink Bold would work fine).  Now you’ll get 2.14 points from the Ultimate Rewards Mall and 1 point from your other credit card.  There!  3.14 points per dollar.  Not for pie, but for a pie contest.  Close enough?

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