Author Archives: David Shvartsman

New restrictions for Chase Southwest Consumer Credit Cards

Starting April, 5 2018 Chase no longer allows customers to open both the Plus and Premier personal credit cards. That was the easiest way to acquire Southwest Companion Pass. Anyone who either currently has a Southwest Rapid Rewards personal credit card or who has received a signup bonus on one during the last 24 months is not eligible to open a new Southwest Rapid Rewards personal credit card. In the past it was possible to open both: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus card, and use points from both signup bonuses to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.

It does not apply to the holders of Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card:

“The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapids Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.”

So it is still possible to earn an easy companion pass with 1 personal and 1 business credit card. 

For additional limitations of Chase and other Banks for the new customers see the Unofficial Limitations for New Credit Card Applications post.

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$10 Instant Rebate on $300 in MasterCard Cards at OfficeMax from 4-1-2018 to 4-7-2018

WARNING: There have been reports of fraudulent transactions appearing on the gift cards after purchase. I would recommend “liquidating” the gift cards as soon as possible after purchase. For example by buying the gift card to your grocery store. 

OfficeMax is offering a $10 instant rebate with the purchase of $300 in MasterCard gift cards from 4-1-2018 to 4-7-2018. There is a limit of 1 offer per customer/business.

To maximize Miles/Points earnings use your Chase Bold/Ink credit card to make 1 transaction buying 2 $200 cards each. You will earn 2019 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points or you can earn  5% cashback with American Express SimplyCash Plus Business credit card.

See post on How to set PIN number for MasterCard or Visa gift cards.

Please remember:
1. This time it is a $10 instant rebate.
2. Available only at the store.
3. Limit 1 per customer.
4. Valid 4-1-2018 to 4-7-2018.
5. Subject to availability.

This is a similar another offer like Office Max had in November 2017: you could make multiple purchases and earn instant rebate every time.

Office Max stores in Beachwood, OH have plenty of different varieties of MasterCard Gift cards from strict $200 to variable $20-$200 cards (those work too).

Remember to register for Q2 2018 Credit Card Category Bonuses

Bonus Categories

Many Credit card offer 5% Cashback/5 pints for $1 spend in different categories of spending each quarter. The 2nd quarter of 2018 starts on April 1 and it is time to register for those promotions:

Citi® Dividend Card:

Sign up for 2nd quarter 2018 and get 5% cash back at:

  • Home Depot
  • Home Furnishing Stores

Department stores are larger merchants that sell a general line of apparel, home furnishings, furniture, electronics, cosmetics, housewares and major appliances. They have several departments that usually have separate checkout counters.

Chase Freedom Card:

Sign up for 1st quarter of 2018 and earn 5% cash back from Chase on up to $1,500 in
combined purchases from  April 1 – June 30, 2018 at:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Chase Pay
  • PayPal

Note:

  • earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in this quarter’s bonus categories
  • List of included merchants can be found here.

Discover Card:

Sign up for the 1st quarter of 2018 and earn 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases at:

  • Grocery Stores

List of included merchants can be found here.

Citi Thank You Premier (Targeted):

There is targeted promotion for Citi Thank You Premier card holders to use the Card to earn 5 ThankYou Points per $1 spent, up to 2,500 points, through 6/30/2018 on eligible purchases you make at:

  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Home Furnishing Stores
  • Computer & Electronics Stores
  • Department Stores

You have to sigh up by 05/31/2018 to receive this special offer.

Priority Pass benefits with Amex Hilton Honors Ascend Card

One of the benefits of new Amex Hilton Honors Ascend Card is that you can enroll in Priority PassTMSelect.  Priority Pass Select membership provides access to airport lounges participating in the Priority Pass Select program. You must enroll your Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card in the Priority Pass™.

“With your Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card you will receive 10 complimentary lounge visits every calendar year. Once your 10 complimentary lounge visits are used, all subsequent lounge visits during the remainder of the same calendar year are subject to a fee of U.S. $27 per person per visit, which will be automatically charged to your Card. To check on your remaining complimentary visit balance, please contact Priority Pass directly. Any unused complimentary lounge visits will be forfeited at the end of each calendar year. Priority Pass Select membership automatically renews on the anniversary date of your enrollment in the Priority Pass Select program. Priority Pass membership may be cancelled by American Express if your Card is cancelled. Priority Pass Select lounge partners and locations are subject to change. To access a lounge, you must show your valid Priority Pass Select card and an airline ticket for travel on the same day for you and each of your guests. This benefit is limited to the Basic Card Member. Additional Card Members are not eligible for this benefit, however, a complimentary visit may be applied to a guest visit, including for Additional Card Members. If you have no complimentary visits available, the Basic Card Member and each guest will be charged $27 per person, per visit. In some lounges, Priority Pass Select member must be 21 years of age to enter without a parent or guardian. Amenities may vary among airport lounge locations. Lounge fees and rules of participating lounges are subject to change. Priority Pass Select membership is subject to the Priority Pass Conditions of Use. For complete Priority Pass terms and conditions and a listing of participating lounges, please visit www.prioritypass.com/select.”

To enroll: login into your Amex Online Account, navigate to https://global.americanexpress.com/card-benefits/detail/priority-pass-select, and click Enroll.

Once enrolled, you will receive your Priority Pass Select card directly from Priority Pass within 10-14 business days.

Priority Pass Select is specially designed for customers who receive their membership through a US Financial Institution. Priority Pass Select Members have access to over 1000 airport lounges around the world, including hundreds across North and South America and a true global spread across the rest of the world. If your Financial Institution offers Priority Pass as a benefit of your bank account or credit card, and you have yet to enroll, please refer to your benefits guide or contact your Financial Institution.

 

Share or Transfer Hotel Points to Maximize Rewards

Share and Transfer Hotel Points to Maximize Rewards

Many Hotel Rewards programs allow you to transfer or share points, sometimes for free and sometimes at a cost. You can transfer between family members, domestic partners, household members, or in some cases anyone you choose!

That comes in handy when multiple members of your family have points on the accounts but no one has enough to book a stay you planned.

Here are some additional reasons to share or transfer hotel points:

  • To reach a specific redemption. A no-brainer, but trying to reach a particular redemption for an upcoming trip often involves juggling points between accounts.
  • Allows you to transfer rewards to an account that has elite status. Redeeming flights and stays through an account that has elite status can add a ton of value to your travel experience.
  • Pooling makes it easy to utilize small numbers of orphaned points. Family pooling enables you to collect rewards into a usable balance and burn them for travel and accommodation.
  • When you want to cancel a card or account and need to move the points before pulling the trigger. Travel goals change from year-to-year and the cards we need to achieve them change the goals.
  • Transferring points and miles is often the only way to keep them alive in this case.

Best Western

You can transfer points for free between Best Western accounts that share the same physical address. You must call the Best Western Rewards customer service team in order to arrange a transfer.

Redison Hotel Group

Elite members can transfer Redison Rewards points to anyone free of charge. Non-elite members may transfer to anyone in their own household so long as both accounts are at least one year old and the addresses have matched for 30 days.

You must call Redison Contact Phone to speak with a Member Services representative: U.S. and Canada+1 (888) 288 8889

Marriott

Marriot allows transferring points between a domestic partner or legal spouse for free. Transfers must be made just prior to an award redemption for the number of points needed to fulfill that specific redemption (rounded to the nearest 1,000 points), and you can only execute one redemption per transfer up to 50000 a year. You must call Marriott Rewards Program Guest Services at 1-801-468-4000.

You can take advantage of one of Marriott’s more generous policies by putting award reservations on hold before you have the points so that you don’t miss out on space while it’s available.

You also have an option to transfer points between Sheraton and Marriott.

SPG

You can transfer Starpoints to anyone in your household at no cost using a simple online form.

“SPG Members Who Reside at Same Address. In Starwood’s sole discretion, an SPG Member may be permitted to transfer Starpoints in 1000 point increments only from one SPG Member account to another SPG Member account under specific conditions. Generally, Starpoints may transfer if both SPG Members are active, consent to the transfer, and share the same residential mailing address that is not a P.O. Box, APO or SPO address for a minimum of 30 days prior to requesting the transfer. SPG Members may be required to provide proof of residency prior to Starwood transferring the Starpoints between the two accounts. Elite Preferred Guest Membership Status and the related benefits will not transfer to the recipient of the Starpoints.”

A great strategy here is to take advantage of SPG’s generous 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to one of its airline partners. You can simply combine points with someone in your household to end up on a multiple of 20,000 and claim your 25% bonus. You also can combine points in order to utilize Fifth Night Free benefit: Redeem Starpoints® for five Free Night Awards — we’ll pick up the last night. And that’s at any of our Category 3-7 hotels.

You also have an option to transfer points between Sheraton and Marriott.

Points transfers can take up to 5 days to process.

World of Hyatt

Hyatt allows points transfers between any accounts that are in good standing, but only allows transfers once every 30 days.

“…A single member may only participate in a point combining transaction (transferring or receiving of points) once every 30 days…”

The process is straightforward. Simply fill out this form or visit World of Hyatt’s new points sharing page.

Hilton Honors

Hilton now has one of the best points pooling options of any rewards program: you can combine points with up to 10 other members, sending as many as 500K points and receiving up to 2 million Honors points!

You can create your Hilton Honors Points Pool by inviting up to 10 Hilton Honors members by filling out this form.

IHG Rewards

There is no limit to the number of points IHG Rewards members can transfer to other members, but the cost is high and not an action we recommend. IHG points transfers are processed by Points.com. We’ve only listed IHG here, because they’re a standout among major loyalty programs as they charge for the transfers unlike, Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt, and Marriott.

“IHG® Rewards Club points can be transferred to another IHG® Rewards Club member in 1,000 point increments for $5 USD per 1,000 points. There is no limit to the number of points a member can transfer or receive…”

If you need to transfer IHG points, head over to transfer page on IHG’s website and sign into your account.

ChoiceWyndham

Those programs do not allow points transfer.

 

$10 Instant Rebate on $300 in Visa Cards at OfficeMax from 3-11-2018 to 3-17-2018

WARNING: There have been reports of fraudulent transactions appearing on the gift cards after purchase. I would recommend “liquidating” the gift cards as soon as possible after purchase. For example by buying the gift card to your grocery store. 

OfficeMax is offering a $10 instant rebate with the purchase of $300 in Visa gift cards from 3-11-2018 to 3-17-2018. There is a limit of 1 offer per customer/business.

To maximize Miles/Points earnings use your Chase Bold/Ink credit card to make 1 transaction buying 2 $200 cards each. You will earn 2019 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points or you can earn  5% cashback with American Express SimplyCash Plus Business credit card.

See post on How to set PIN number for MasterCard or Visa gift cards.

Please remember:
1. This time it is a $10 instant rebate.
2. Available only at the store.
3. Limit 1 per customer.
4. Valid 3-11-2018 to 3-17-2018.
5. Subject to availability.

This is a similar another offer like Office Max had in November 2017: you could make multiple purchases and earn instant rebate every time.

Office Max stores in Beachwood, OH, and Solon, OH have plenty of different varieties of Visa Gift cards from strict $200 to variable $20-$200 cards (those work too).