American Express has lot of cards with no annual fee. Couple of popular no annual fee cards are Amex Everyday card and Amex Blue Cash Card which earns Membership rewards points and cashback respectively. American Express also has annual fee option available for these same cards and they usually differ in the earning's in categories.
For e.g. the Blue Cash Card earns 3% cashback at U.S. Supermarkets whereas the Blue Cash Preferred would earn 6% cash back (On up to $6,000 in purchases per year). So, although the annual fee for the preferred version is $95 you do get 3% additional earning and so if you reach the max spend cap for the year, you would earn additional $180 which would easily cover the $95 fees.
Interestingly American Express is known to provide upgrade offers usually in 2nd year of card membership. Depending on the type of card (Cash back or Membership rewards) you would either earn certain amount of points (for e.g. 10,000) or cashback (for e.g. $100) when you upgrade and spend certain amount on the upgraded card with 3 months or so. The good part is that these offers would show up on your American Express account and these is no hard credit pull or inquiry. Also since this is an upgrade offer they usually do not come with "once a lifetime bonus restriction".
For e.g. one of our account has an offer of earning $150 by upgrading to Blue Cash Preferred and spending $1,000 with new card within first 3 months after the upgrade.
Similarly if you have other partner cards such as no fee Hilton Honors card or Marriott card it might be worth checking if there are any targeted upgrade offer available. So, login to your American Express accounts and check for your targeted offer. Do note that if you never had the "premium" version of the card before you might be excluded to get the bonus again in future if you decide to apply for that premium card directly.
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Its been long hiatus at this blog. So, why not re-start with something interesting. Today I want to talk about Plenti Points from American Express. I am sure you would have heard about it and if not you can check out the details here. The reason I want to talk about it is because till December 31st 2016 you can transfer your Membership Rewards points to Plenti at 1:1.5 ratio. So every 1000 MR (Membership Rewards) points transfers to 1500 Plenti Points. Also the transfer is instantaneous and you can transfer as often as you want. Below is the quick snapshot of locations where you can earn Plenti Points at as of now:
Although you can earn on many partners the only partners as of now where you can spend are AT&T, Exxon / Mobil, Macy's and Rite Aid. Out of these partners AT&T and Exxon/Mobil are the most useful one as most of the folks would use Cellular Service and pretty much everyone needs gas for the vehicle (unless you are already on Electric Vehicle).
AT&T -- Primarily you can use to pay your postpaid wireless bill and In-store available merchandise (excluding gift cards).
Exxon / Mobil -- You can pay for gas or any other purchase in-store (excluding gift cards). You need to have Exxon or Mobil Gas Station to take advantage of this though.
The interesting aspect of Plenti is even if you use the points towards the payment you still earn Plenti points (Although, You earn 1 point/Gallon for Gas which is sort of peanuts, but they have frequent promotions for bonuses).
So, if you do not have any better use (airline partner transfer?); rather than redeeming the Membership rewards points as statement credit it's better to redeem them at 1:1.5 ratio and use it to fill up your gas or pay your postpaid wireless bill with AT&T.
There are few great amazon promotions going on where you can score $10 off on $10 or $15 off on $50 purchase from Amazon for goods sold and shipped by Amazon. Here are the promo details:
$10 off $10 or more purchase using pay with Discover Cashback Bonus
The details of the deal can be found on this slickdeals thread, but the idea is you need to link your Discover Card to your Amazon account. Add $10 or more items which are sold and shipped by Amazon and select payment method to be Discover Credit Card with payment of at-least 1 cent from your Discover Cashback Bonus. In the promo code box enter the code "SWP07DFS10" on the check-out page. You should see $10 being taken off your purchase. Here is the link to the terms of this promo.
$15 off $50 or more purchase using Amex Membership Reward Points
The details of the deal can be found on this slickdeals thread, but the idea is you need to link your AMEX Membership points earning credit card to your Amazon account. Add $50 or more items which are sold and shipped by Amazon and select payment method to be American Express (AMEX) Credit Card with payment of at-least 1 cent from your Membership Reward Points. In the promo code box enter the code "SWP07AXP15" on the check-out page. You should see $15 being taken off your purchase.
Here is the trick to make above work!
Although the above promotions are "targeted" and may not work for your account, the trick to make both the above deals to work is chat with Amazon customer care which you have stuff added in your Amazon cart. Here is the link to that page. Select "1. Prime or Something else" --> "2. Promotion & Deals" --> "3. Chat" option and speak with the representative that you have this promotion but not able to apply the code and you will hopefully get $10/ $15 taken off your order or $10/ $15 credit for your future order.
$10 off $10 Citi one-click setting change promotion
The reason I listed this in the end is because there is a way by which you can potentially make this work and get $10 off $10 or more purchase by making Citi Credit Card as your preferred "One-click setting credit card". This promo will appear automatically if you login on the "app" from your android device and you can just register for it. The other way to make it work is by using the steps on this slickdeals thread. There is no promo code required and the promotion automatically gets applied at the checkout when you select the Citi credit card as the form of payment.
So, enjoy free credits from Discover, Citi and American Express (AMEX).
Flying the airlines used to be the traditional way of collecting miles on airlines for that dream trip, but thanks to the advent of "mileage earning" credit cards (where you earn miles/points based on spend on the credit card) it has become easier than ever to earn those miles to redeem for your dream vacation trip or that future trip which you have been planning for a while. With the help of credit cards, some effort from your end and lot of available techniques you could rack up those miles for your "award travel redemption". Some of these techniques are:
Let's see few methods which you can follow to generate the miles/points on the credit card of your choice by "Buying/Selling gift cards".
Method 1: Buy gift card online for merchants that awards points/miles for their gift card purchase and exchanging those gift card in store for more valuable gift card.
A common example where above method is used is Sears. Sears usually awards miles/points for purchase of their physical gift cards through various portals. For example if you earn 10 miles/$ spend ( or 10% Cash-back) on purchase of sears gift cards through the portal, later on which you can use to purchase Visa/MasterCard in the store (provided the store sells those and cashier is fine doing it). You could also use Sears gift card to buy other merchant gift cards such as Amazon or Shell (provided they are available and cashier is fine doing it). Purchasing $1k of Sears gift card would generate 10k miles/points ( or $100 cash-back) which could help you for that future trip.
Method 2: Buy gift cards online at discounted rate and sell these gift cards at minimal loss on "gift card exchange sites".
A common example of these would be to Buy gift cards online on Ebay when Ebay bonuses it by giving percentage discount of 8% or more or 4X or greater bonus Ebay Bucks. These could be then sold to various gift card re-sellers. You could scan through "giftcardgranny" for the resell value you would get before you buy the gift card on Ebay so that you know your profit/loss before hand.
Method 3: Buy discounted gifts cards online for merchants that allow buying Visa/MasterCard or other better value merchant gifts card in-store or online using their gift cards.
Again Sears would qualify here for in-store gift card purchase using Sears gift card. There are other stores which would allow you to do that. A useful place to browse for this is at Frequent Miler Laboratory. Walmart used to allow using their gift cards to purchase Visa/MasterCard online, but no longer does that.
Hope these data helps you to get going in your miles quest for the upcoming trip.
I love traveling / backpacking. This blog focuses on below 3 aspects of travel:
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