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NYC Meetup – Wednesday August 6

If you haven’t seen it, my pals MilesAbound and The Miles Professor are having a meet up on Wednesday, August 6 at the Hudson Hotel at 58th and Columbus. Both are great people to learn from their expansive knowledge!

Don’t forget to RSVP!

Just looking at the map, the location has a CVS, Duane Reade, and a Walgreens all around the corner and a potential wild card in Morton Williams supermarket.

If you get there early enough and have an American Express Campus Edition card, Fordham and John Jay are all around the corner and they both use Barnes and Noble to run the book stores.

Further away, there’s a check cashing place and a D’agastino’s on 10th ave and 55th street to try your luck in manufactured spending.

If all that hasn’t convinced you to go, I’m not sure what else could!

 

First Friday Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Baloney Grab A Citi Thank You Premier

The hype about first Friday for 3x the points is just a ploy to lure you into signing up for the Cash Sapphire Preferred using affiliate links. You never heard of Citi’s Thank You Premier card offering 3x on dining everyday (until October, HT to Paul below). You will now with the advent of Citi’s Thank You Points being flexible with new transfer partners

I would go as far as saying that signing up for the Citi Thank You Premier is a great choice and would choose it over the Sapphire Preferred. I have the Sapphire Preferred, but not the Thank You Premier

  • Citi has 3x dining every day
  • Sapphire Preferred lost the 7% dividend
  • Citi has added transfer partners not accessible to other flexible point programs

As a reminder, the transfer partners are:

  • Cathay Pacific
  • EVA Air
  • Etihad
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • Hilton Hotels

This makes the Sapphire Preferred not as strong of a card as it used to be. If you add the Citi Thank You Premier into your wallet and own a Chase Ink card, there is no need for the Sapphire Preferred. The Citi Thank You Premier has you covered for dining/entertainment at 3x as well as 2x on airfare and hotels and the Chase Ink has you covered in the primary auto collision insurance as well as the Ultimate Rewards mall as the “premium” card. In addition, the Ink still had the other bonus categories like gas and also covers hotels.

With that strategy, the downside is the loss on the bonus in other travel categories like train travel. When you rebalance and don’t already have it, consider adding the Fidelity American Express would cover the rest of the gaps.

 

Need Your Help Finding Tail Paint?

I found images of OneWorld like the below of American Airlines

aa

 

 

What is that called? Tail paint? I’m not sure what the proper terminology for it so I can use some schooling.

Ideally, I’d like to have a picture like the above for the following airlines:

Air New Zealand
Air China
Singapore Airlines
Etihad Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Alaska Airlines
Aer Lingus
China Eastern Airlines
Jet Airways
Adria Airways
Aegean Airlines
Air Canada
Austrian Airlines
Avianca
Brussels Airlines
Copa Airlines
Croatia Airlines
Egypt Air
Ethiopian Airlines
EVA Air
LOT Polish Airlines
Lufthansa
Scandinavian Airlines
Shenzhen Airlines
South African Airways
Swiss International Air Lines
TAP Portugal
Thai Airways International
Turkish Airlines
United
Hawaiian Airlines
All Nippon Airways
Gulf Air
Royal Brunei Airlines
Air France
Emirates
Asiana Airlines
Air Macau
Garuda Indonesia
Virgin America
Delta Airlines
SilkAir
Asiana
GOL
Middle East Airlines

 

I’d like to try to make the results for the airline calculator tool look pleasing to the eye

Gaming Starbucks For Bonus Stars Ends July 25

Currently, there is a great Starbucks stars earning promotion. If you buy a breakfast sandwich you earn an extra star and 2 bonus stars if you buy a frappuccino for July 24 and 25 only.

sbux_bonus_stars

 

Also happening at the same time are the treat receipts where you make a purchase before 2 PM, and make another purchase after 2 PM you would receive a grande beverage for $2.

 

starbucks_treat_receipt

Combine the offers and you are looking at 5 stars for the two transactions. Say your purchase total becomes $7 for the breakfast sandwich and frappuccino, you will be paying $1.40 per star which almost gets you to the free item award star.

 

 

PayPal Is Not Joking Around!

I posted about PayPal Select last week about $10 off Target for spending $50. Their terms were pretty clear, not eligible on gift cards.

paypal_select_target

 

 

Turns out, this is probably one of the few terms that are actually enforced. I’ve given them over a week and I have not been credited the $10. I thought about opening an inquiry to fight for the $10, until I saw the invoice:

 

paypal_target_receipt

 

 

It has it itemized that  I purchased the Puppy Gift Card. While this Target offer was not successful, there may be other offers where it could work. Similar to how we attempt to double dip. Sometimes you earn no points for buying gift cards, but earn points when redeeming. I am hoping that PayPal Select may be like this.

There’s still a huge advantage to using PayPal for these type of offers where you could potentially triple dip. Pay with PayPal Select + AMEX Sync Offer + Portal bonus. In my limited testing, I can confirm earning portal points after paying with Paypal. Note: I have never done a Paypal + AMEX Sync offer.

 

 

 

Chasing Mall Points Is Alive! And Chasing The Points Needs You!

Way back in March, I wrote about Chasing Mall Points, but today’s version is nowhere near what I originally envisioned it.

There were complications along the way, I didn’t have the same knowledge 4 months ago that I have now. I am very happy to say that we’ve launched Chasing Mall Points first of many web applications for points and miles and enthusiasts. The original app is still planned, but there’s a few issues that still need to be ironed out, notably database set up.

Chasing Mall Points currently has one app, it’s a distance based frequent mile calculator. There’s a few things currently happening with the app while we are in beta mode that is not pretty. Like after running the query, your query will display on the top (when we go live and move to production it will go away) – it is there for us to debug if something strange occurs.

Please leave all of your comments in this post so we can aggregate and see what we can do for enhancements.

There’s a few things we currently have planned like removal of unnecessary columns, to make the user interface a little cleaner, a small fix to the data retrieval process, and a few small things.

 

Big thanks to Matt @ Saverocity for the inspiration of the calculator in these posts:


A Tale of Debauchery AKA the Fat Bastard’s Challenge!


Exploring Distance Based Award Programs – Part 1 An Introduction to the airlines

 

The current programs in the calculator are: Cathay Pacific, Virgin Australia, British Airways, Asiana, ANA, and JAL.

After reviewing the posts from Matt, looks like I missed LAN and Qantas. With the addition of Citi Thank You points being a transfer partner to a few more airlines, I could use your help on finding the redemption chart for Etihad and Garuda. Qatar is nice and easy and can be added fairly quickly as soon as I have a chance.

 

Have fun and I’d love to know your thoughts!

Targeted PayPal Offer – PayPal Select

PayPal has kicked off a program called “PayPal Select” I was lucky enough to be “on the list” and received an email notifying me to check it out:

paypal_select_email

 

 

I’m not entirely sure how I made it to being their “top customer,” but I’ll take it. As I perused PayPal Select, it seems to me to be another cashback portal mixed with a little bit of the AMEX Sync deals. The vendors are currently limited, but there is a Target offer I took advantage of for a gift card churn.

paypal_select_target

 

 

We’ll see where this goes, but I am curious to see what comes out of this. Remember, if you use PayPal, if the vendor is coded properly you can earn a bonus with your credit card category in addition to portal points. If PayPal Select can team up with more vendors, I’d be incredibly excited for some double or triple dip action.

 

 

Harvard Business School Case Study On Revenue Earning Loyalty Program

In one of my class assignments for a group project, we are working on a Harvard Business School case study, about Olympic Rent A Car. It’s rather fitting in our scope of mileage/points earning. This case study was originally published in December 2013, right before Delta announced that mileage accumulation would be based off of revenue. I never thought that having this blog would have any relevancy to my classes.

For our assignment we are to come up with a 20 to 25 minute presentation:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Situation Analysis
  3. SWOT Analysis
  4. Primary Problem Definition
  5. Development of Alternatives
  6. Evaluation of Alternatives and Recommendation to Management
  7. Appendix – Used for exhibits that are not part of the actual presentation

 

I did primary problem definition and development of alternatives. For the alternatives, I suggested:

  • Cobranded credit card
  • “Enhancing” the current program, really a program devaluation
  • Or as the HBR case suggested, move forward with revenue based points earning

 

I’m only in one class so far, but I am so happy to be part of  the MBA program. It’s very exciting, I’m learning quite a bit.