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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.

Chase Silently Devalues Amazon Credit Card, Is Freedom Next?

I just received an email from Chase letting me know they were offering the “same great rewards” with new verbiage on how I earn them.

 

chase_amzn_email

 

At the bottom of the email, it said for further information click to see their new rules. So I clicked on it and noticed a shocker in how you can redeem the points for air travel.

For reference, here is what I uploaded in February from the post Valuable Chase Amazon Credit Card Airfare Redemption, which sadly, I never got around to updating to include KennyB’s finding

 

Originally the reward program stated:

If you choose to book a ticket using the “fixed” ticket bonus option, and the actual ticket value is less, the number of points needed to redeem remains the same. For example, an offer to redeem 25,000 points for one roundtrip scheduled airline ticket valued at up to $335 will still require 25,000 points if the ticket you book is valued at $300

 

The new reward brochure states, with no mention of a fixed ticket option:

Travel
• You may redeem points for available airline tickets, hotel stays, cruises, travel packages, and car rentals through our toll-free travel redemption number 1-855-234-2538 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• You will be told the amount of any service fee, if applicable, before you book your airline ticket(s) through our toll-free number.
• Redemptions may be made in 1 point increments for each $0.0100 incremental ticket value. For example, 20,000 points can be redeemed for a $200 airline ticket.
• If you want to book a ticket with a value greater than the redemption value of your points, the additional amount must be paid for using your Card. Sufficient credit must be available for the transaction to be approved.
• Travel rewards are subject to availability.
• Standard age, driver and credit rental requirements apply to car rental rewards. Minimum rental age is
25 (exceptions apply)

 

According to the PDF, the last time stamp of edits was on 3/11/2014. I checked my online statements and secure messages and I couldn’t find anything regarding the program change. The reason I pose the question if the Freedom is next is because both cards were structured the same way with the fixed ticket price point redemption.

Let The Games Begin!

I previously wrote about Rutgers not accepting Visa and it is official, Rutgers processed my refund without my intervention. Albeit, longer than I liked. They handled my refund as expected and mailed me a check a little more than a month later.

rutgers_tuitionsummer2014_with_refund

 

 

Rutgers said they processed the refund on 5/29/2014, but I didn’t receive the check until over a month later. What’s worse, they back dated the check as 5/29 and the check is valid for 60 days. Need to be careful of that. I’m not sure where the $300 came from, I logged into my student loan account and I don’t have another loan. For comparison before the GSM deposit or refund processing:

 

rutgers_tuitionsummer2014

 

 

 

Remember, as Will posted, you don’t want to mess around too much with the tuition if you pay too little. Schools can withhold you from graduating from something simple as library fines, my undergraduate school was the same as Will pointed out in his comment as well. For me, I am not too worried about under paying tuition as I have every intention of over paying.

I put some serious thought into how I plan to pay my tuition and hit my manufactured spending goal, namely to earn the 100,000 British Airways Avios offer I signed up for late last year and the Travel Together pass.

Plan of Attack:

This is how I plan to manufacture spend, it’s a multi step process to maximize rewards on all cards:

  • TopCashBack for American Express Gift Cards using Chase British Airways card
  • Use Old AMEX Blue and buy enough cards to bill pay the Chase card

In total, I’m looking at 5% return after fees for all the cards and shipping. After paying tuition, I should be netting 2.5% and any British Airways Avios that I’ll be receiving

 

Final Thoughts:

With the ability to pay by credit card, I am excited to hit my goals. For those that need credits for a CPA, can you pay by credit card? Is anyone else using tuition bill as your way to hit your goals?

 

Limited Opportunity Prepaid Card Offer

If you do your homework in your area of where you work or reside you can find some great offers. My buddy at MilesAbound found while we competed in #milesmadness.

We’re going to take this one off on to The Forum to discuss further. This one is a strictly New York City offer as there are only 13 locations, with 9 in Manhattan and 2 each in Queens and the Bronx.

This place of business  is a Moneygram transmitter and does bill pays and money orders.

There are a lot of unknowns to this offer and let’s get our collective thoughts together and collaborate on this one.

 

Here is the link to the thread: http://saverocity.com/forum/threads/nyc-only-prepaid-card.514/

You need to be a Level 2 member. If you’re not, you’ll need to register and post here: http://saverocity.com/forum/threads/introduce-yourself-here.1/

Comments are closed to this post. Please take the discussion to the thread.

 

Citi AAdvantage Targeted Offer

Citi is pushing hard promoting American Airlines. On my seldom used Citi Visa AAdvantage card, I have been targeted to earn two one day lounge passes for spending $600 in a department store, restaurant, gas, or grocery store. They are making it way too easy for some lounge passes.

Have you been targeted recently? What would you earn for the spend bonus? Personally, I’d rather get a multiplier bonus on my spend.