Stuff almost, but not quite worth writing about


I keep a to-do list of blog posts that I intend to write.  Many ideas never make the list.  And, many that make the list, never become a post.  I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of these recent topics and thoughts that didn’t make the cut…

Southwest devaluation

You now need to spend 70 points per dollar instead of 60 for Wanna Getaway awards on Southwest.  Southwest’s communication to their members was pretty clear, so I didn’t see much I could add. I had thought about trying to figure out the actual value of a point, though.  It is not as obvious as it seems because points cover more than the base fare – they cover most taxes too.  See my now out of date post: More value from Southwest points.  Maybe I will get around to calculating it, but it just doesn’t seem all that important.  Southwest is still an excellent airline and their points are still valuable, but slightly less so now.

Southwest 50K offers are back

OK, so I could have posted that headline.  Then what?  Actually, some blogs have posted great advice about how to delay spend on these cards until 2014 so as to maximize the companion pass benefit that comes from getting 110,000 points in a calendar year.  I don’t think it helps for me to repeat it.  Except I just did.  Woops.

Maximize points when buying a new iPhone

Buy phone from carrier (AT&T, Verizon, etc.).  Pay with Chase Ink card. Get 5X.  Oh yeah, and start with an online portal.  Maybe I’ll try this and write it up.

United $0 mistake fares

I missed the party too.  Details here.

The extra value of gift card double dips

When you buy things through a shopping portal, you typically don’t get bonus points for the sales tax and sometimes the shipping portion of the purchase.  If you get points for buying a gift card through a portal, though, and then you go through the portal again to buy stuff, you can end up with more than twice as many points because the gift card will cover sales tax and shipping.  It’s a minor point that ultimately didn’t seem worth a whole post.

40% Virgin America transfer bonus from Amex Membership Rewards

I never got around to researching opportunities to get extra value from Virgin America points.  The bonus ends September 30.

Small Business Saturday is coming

If it is like previous years, you can get a $25 statement credit for every Amex you use at small businesses (and spend $25 or more).  Last year I planned ahead by ordering authorized user cards for my wife for all my Amex accounts, and she did the same for me.  It’s a great opportunity to support small businesses and to go on a guilt free shopping spree. is broken… fixed… broken…

Kohl’s consistently offers 10 points per dollar through the Ultimate Rewards Mall and through many tests I’ve found that it is possible to double dip (buy physical gift cards for 10X, then use them for 10X).  Since mid-August, though, there have been many reports of people getting less points than expected and/or orders being cancelled.  I want to write up the final word on this, but I don’t know yet know what it is.  Stay tuned.

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