TRIPLE DIP BUYING MILES FROM POINTS.COM: Chasing The Points just bought 100,000 miles from USAir for a little over $1,800 from Points.com, since USAir is currently offering a 100% match when you buy up to 50,000 miles. Obviously, CTP is not going to do this the easy way. Here’s how the transaction went down:
- Buy 4 Paypal Cash cards @ $500 each for $2000 in total
- Click through to points.com from TopCashBack and depending on the airline the rate differs, but for US Airways is currently at 2.5% Cash back
- Use Paypal Debit card to pay for miles to earn 1% back, since the miles are through points.com it is a non bonus category merchant and best to use the Paypal card
Click here to read the results. If this is too complicated, you’re welcome to click through my affiliate link to Points.com instead, though that would of course disqualify you from any TopCashBack bonus.
HOTELS.COM SALE: As long as I’m shilling my affiliate links, here’s another one: get 9% off your hotel booking at Hotels.com with the code SUMMERFUN9.
MCDONALD’S MONOPOLY UPDATE: Over at Bargaineering, Brandon has topped last years’s effort by writing 500 letters to McDonald’s to get 2,000 Monopoly game pieces, while partner-in-crime Jim bought 200 hash browns. The results:
I’ve gone through 900(!) of my 2000(!!!) pieces so far and have a decent amount of instant-win prizes already, though Jim has a higher “prize-per-piece” count so far. Mcdonald’s claims “1 in 4 wins!” but what they really mean is 1 in 4 game pieces wins, but each game piece consists of 2 game stamps. So one would think the 1:4 claim would be for each piece, but it’s actually for each set of two. Jim apparently beat those odds, getting 75 instant-win prizes on 200 game pieces (400 game stamps) for a 37.5% success rate. Me, on the flip side, am right at the 25% clip (actually 25.5% to be exact).
And here’s a picture of the hash brown results:
Not for the faint of heart… but no pain, no gain. Or in this case, no loss–here’s the bottom line so far:
Jim spent $200 on hash browns and managed to get around $170 back in value from prizes. I spent about 1.02 per letter sent, which works out to about $277 for the 908 pieces (272 letters) I’ve counted so far. I’ve made about $208 in value so I’m still in the red as well by $64. We’ll see if this improves.
So far Jim’s made about $0.42 per game piece (having spent $0.50/piece) and I’m at $.023 (spent $0.25), so technically I’m “winning” in overall value per piece so far.
THE 140,000-POINT RITZ-CARLTON OFFER: Apparently there’s a 140,000-point Ritz Carlton credit card targeted offer out there, and Frequent Miler analyzes whether or not it’s worth it. The catch with this offer is that the $395 annual fee is not waived, so you have to have a very clear idea of what you’d do with those extra points.
IS DELAWARE A TAX HAVEN?: Priceonomics has an interesting article on why so many businesses are located in Delaware. Having a court system which caters to the needs of businesses is a big part of it, though there are some nice tax advantages as well. I hadn’t heard about this one:
Delaware does not tax “intangible assets” such as royalty payments. As a result, incorporating as a Delaware corporation, or transferring ownership of royalties to a Delaware subsidiary under what is known as the “Delaware loophole,” can avoid taxes on royalty incomes. A New York Times article estimated that corporations saved $9.5 billion in taxes over the last decade – a loss felt by other state budgets.
I wonder if all best-selling authors incorporate themselves in Delaware? That is one sweet loophole.