RIP, 80K IHG BONUS, SORT OF: Points and Pixie Dust broke the news that the IHG Rewards Club Visa card (you’re no longer allowed to call it the Priority Club card) is no more, as Chase has switched it over to MasterCard. That wouldn’t be a big deal were it not for the fact that there was a super elite double top secret 80,000-point offer on the old Visa card that was known about only to the chosen few of the points and miles movement. And also to a bunch of bloggers, plus tons of people on Flyertalk and Fatwallet, and me too, plus my kids talk about it a lot. So it wasn’t that secret. But still, it was a good deal and I’m sad to see it’s gone. The current best offer for the MasterCard is 60,000 points.
Or is it? Looks like there may be an accessible 80K MasterCard offer as well: see this Flyertalk post for more info. Thanks to FT member AnInfrequentFlyer for tracking that one down! Early word is that you should not apply for the MasterCard if you already have the Visa. Beyond that, you’re on your own–pore through the Flyertalk thread for breaking news on this important topic.
Speaking of Chase, here’s something that will let you check to see if they have any pre-qualified offers for you. I got a big bowl of nothing from it, maybe you’ll have better luck.
BE WARNED: There’s a new affiliate link (i.e bloggers get paid if you get approved) for the 35,000-mile sign-up bonus Hawaiian Airlines card. It’s not a bad deal, but it’s certainly not as good as the coverage the next few days might lead the unwary to believe. It used to be good for grabbing a bunch of Hilton points, but now you can only transfer at a 1 to 1.5 ratio instead of 1 to 2, plus HHilton HHonors Ppoints have been devalued anyway. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then pass on this one.
STAPLES SLIMMING DOWN: In sad news, Staples is shutting 200 stores:
Staples Inc said it would close up to 225 stores in the United States and Canada – 12 percent of its North America outlets – and forecast another quarter of sales decline as it loses customers to mass market chains and e-retailers. Shares of the largest U.S. office supplies retailer fell as much as 17 percent after the company also reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results and forecast a profit for the current quarter that fell far below analysts’ estimates.
Shares of the largest U.S. office supplies retailer fell as much as 17 percent after the company also reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results and forecast a profit for the current quarter that fell far below analysts’ estimates.
WIFE-O-RAMA FOLLOW-UP: In the wake of last week’s Wife-o-rama I was pleasantly surprised to see Comenity give my wife a five-figure credit line on her new Fuel Rewards MasterCard. Since they mostly do obscure retail cards, I was thinking it would be one of those piddling thousand-dollar lines, a la GE Money. Speaking of which, on the Toys R Us card welcome packet, GE told her she had a $1,000 credit line, but upon logging in the credit line was $800.
INTERESTING APPLE FACTS: I was not aware of how big Apple is in personal finance:
With 575 million active accounts, Apple has more populated digital wallets than any other player in finance. 575 million accounts is 1.37x the total number of MasterCards issued worldwide, 3.5x the number of card holders in the U.S., 5x the number of cards on file as PayPal and 3.4x the number of cards on file for Amazon.
C’mon Apple, give us a credit card! Or at least a prepaid or something. Unfortunately, the author of the linked article does not think Apple is likely to offer a financial product:
This whole notion might be the worst move ever—unless the company can somehow make it exciting.
Personally, I cannot see how to do it. This is dreadfully dull stuff. Apple does not need the reputation of a boring finance company. What’s next? Insurance?
If you don’t think free stuff from credit cards is exciting, then I don’t know what to say to you.
REAL ESTATE I: Apparently Spain has extra villages, because you can buy them for as little as £50,000. Even the most expensive is only £372,000. Could I interest you in the village of Barrerios, seen below? Many more pics at the link if you’re interested.