For the first week of #milesmadness, you will see the results posted on the blogs. I did not fare too well. Frequent Miler has posted the recap of what folks did for #milesmadness. The Office Max deal certainly did not help my case. I was holding my bankroll for this opportunity for cheap points, but it didn’t materialize with what I envisioned. I spent $135 of my bankroll for this:
I downloaded all of the mail in rebate items and did the calculations for the $/point and it’s not a good deal at all. The best deal is at an eye popping, incredibly awful rate of $.10/point. At the end of the month, I will reveal the vendor and all the other pertinent details of what I planned to do to leverage this deal. I will also teach you how to do it yourself.
For those who haven’t signed up for MyPoints, it is another online mall like TopCashBack and BigCrumbs, but pays out in points.
What MyPoints offers that the other two do not are clicking through to the site and earning some points:
Points are posted almost instantly instantly after the click. Often times the next promotional email they send you has the points updated.
Another interesting aspect that MyPoints offers are limited time purchase gift card of gift cards with bonus points.
Unfortunately, almost all of the bonus point offers for the gift cards are not good for gift card churning. However, if you can find gift cards to and don’t earn points from portals for buying gift cards like Macy’s, then MyPoints would be a good way to go.
I have to applaud and give thanks to my buddies (at least I like to think that) Personal Finance Digest and MilesAbound for contributing a great deal to the community for applying and trying out different credit card programs.
PF Digest has:
Toys R Us
I was thinking that I have been led astray with credit card pimping and using only the “mainstream” cards. We don’t have enough people like PF Digest and MilesAbound testing other cards. There are so many bloggers out there and we are supposed experts, I think we need to be like PF Digest and MilesAbound trying other cards out. I’m not saying we should be signing up for really bad cards like the First Premier Mastercard, but something that adds value to the wallet. I will probably be in the small majority in saying the above, but I strongly feel that to contribute to the community we need to be doing it.
That being said, I’ve written a few times how I don’t like opening new cards because I like to take advantage of the cards that I have and maximize the spend on them. However, as of today, I am changing my thought and plan to open new cards and apply for a few cards per quarter.
To see how boring my cards are here is my portfolio of active cards:
- Chase Amazon
- Chase United MileagePlus Explorer
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Freedom Visa
- Chase Freedom Mastercard
- Chase British Airways
- Chase Ink Bold
- Citi Forward
- Citi AAdvantage Visa
- Barclays Lufthansa Miles & More
- Bank of America Alaska Airlines Personal
- Bank of American Alaska Airlines Business
- American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business
- American Express Hilton
- Discover It
- US Bank Flexperks
- US Bank Cash+
Chasing Mall Points is still under development, progress is slower than I expect. But there is still some actionable/interesting data that has come through:
The pull was made 12PM EST and 5 PM EST and we already have changes. The data is old/new:
The other day, I revealed to you about Chasing Mall Points. To add additional value to the community. Here is my next project that I have, a little bit more manual and time-consuming:
Finding low cost ATM’s.
How do you want the information? Do you want all the ATM locations that I’ve been to with the fees + max? (Personally, I would only list the cheap ATM’s because all ATM’s would be too much noise) Or is it generally accepted to find and post $1 and under ATM’s like the one I posted a little while back?
I’d like to hear some feedback and would love for you to contribute as well.
Here’s how I figure out the max withdrawal and fee:
- Use cancelled credit card
- Fake a PIN
- Pretend to withdraw
At that point, the ATM will tell you the maximum and the fee that would be assessed.
Without going into too many details, here is my strategy to start the #milemadness:
- Continue my normal routine that I’ve established
- Check stores to buy VR
- Get cashback from Wholefoods
- See if I can still buy prepaid cards for the gas bonus before this quarter ends – only spent $1000 so far
- Gift card churn
- Normal routine does not include weekends unless I happen to be in an area where I can MS
- Pay careful attention to the strategies of other players
- As part of the email chain of discussing the rules like T+1 Milesabound mentioned that someone will find an arbitrage opportunity within the rules and I thought that was incredibly funny so I plan to do that
- One of the portions of the game is how cheaply we can buy points according to Frequent Miler’s fair trading prices chart this where I will be gaming for the cheap points
Here are the top 25 gift card rates according to Gift Card Granny with programs that I have been approved for bulk selling (these are the public rates, it could be higher for me because of the bulk program):
Gift Card Zen:
The top 25 list of the three programs isn’t too good, and all the cards’ cost per cent would be about a cent and I know the other folks are doing much better than this.
In November 2013, I traveled to Tokyo and attempted to see about a best rate guarantee for 20% off, but it did not work. I’m not exactly sure if it was the currency exchange. Either way I was disappointed.
In May 2014, I will be travelling to Hawaii and tried a BRG claim with Starwood and that was declined, but then I found a great deal with Marriott and had a successful BRG for a room for ~$125 a night.
In less than two weeks, I will be attending a wedding for a buddy at work where it won’t end until pretty late and didn’t want to get home terribly late so I booked a room in the city and had a successful Hyatt BRG.
Hyatt wanted $175/night on the advanced purchase
Getaroom.com had $165.75 for the same room.
I will now be paying $132.60 (20% off the lowest rate, which is $165.75) for the room before taxes. Comes out to be about 24% off the rate that Hyatt was asking for.
I want to publicly put HikerT on the spot and give a big thanks for the contributions to the MS arena. What am I talking about? Well, HikerT created this site and it had a nice listing of the data of what you could earn from Chase Ultimate Rewards compared among the cards.
I was really excited every month when the new data would appear, but oftentimes disappointed when my favorite vendor went down for the month.
I’m really excited to tell you that Chasing The Points will be debuting Chasing Mall Points shortly. The planned malls:
- US Airways
- United Airlines
- American Airlines
- Chase Ultimate Rewards
- My Best Buy
- Alaska Airlines
Here’s a screenshot of the proof of concept. Some kinks are still being worked out like the user interface.
While the development is still going, if you have any malls that want to be part of the list and do not require a log in, please leave it in the comments and I’ll pass it to the developer. I am expecting to close the project no later than March 10, 2014.