10,000 United Miles
Option House will give you 10,000 United Mileage Plus miles for opening an account with $5,000 and making 10 trades at $4.75 each in addition to their unbeatable 5 for $5 rates. It’s not a bad deal if you already trade, but do not go in strictly for the miles if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are a few tips from my secret FB group reader Ian, who uses Option House (thanks Ian).
- Make sure to get your quotes off a different site and set your limits accordingly because their pricing is not accurate.
- You’d be paying $47.50 + cost of 5x bid/ask spread for 10k miles. Look for something liquid so the spread and slippage doesn’t kill you.
- I’d skip this one and wait until they offer iPads. They usually do a few times a year.
Here is some important T&C language (bolding mine), but don’t be lazy and read it entirely.
OptionsHouse reserves the right to restrict or revoke this offer at any time. This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business. Taxes related to OptionsHouse offers are your responsibility. Retail values totaling $600 or more during the calendar year will be included in your consolidated Form 1099.
OptionsHouse reserves the right to debit the fair market value of the promotional item from any account that has received the 10,000 United MileagePlus miles and has either closed their account or withdrawn assets below the minimum qualifying funding level within 180 days of original funding date. This promotion expires December 31, 2014.
Now, I do not expect them to send you a 1099 for 10,000 United Mileage Plus miles, but I am not your tax adviser. And by the way…
Speaking of Taxes…
As per this Flyertalk thread, the US Tax Court “said yesterday that a taxpayer was not entitled to omit $668 of 1099-MISC income from redemption of 50k Thank You points”.
I won’t dwell on that, since you can do your own reading, but the general consensus that I happen to share is that it is not really a deal-changer. Citibank has sent 1099s for the checking account ThankYou bonus points forever. Nothing in the court’s decision says anything about taxing ThankYou points or any other loyalty points earned with the credit cards. And by the way…
Speaking of ThankYou Points…
There is currently a Citibank offer that gives you 20,000 points after meeting the $2,000 spend within 3 months in the first year, and another $3,000 points after meeting the $3,000 spend within 3 months in the second year–which means you can’t ditch the $125 annual fee. However, per this Saverocity thread, a better offer might be available at a Citi branch near you. VR Hunter explains:
The in-branch offer gives 30,000 points after $3,000 in purchases and, more importantly, 20,000 points after $15,000 in purchases within the first 12 months.
The way I read it you don’t have to pay the annual fee to get the full 50,000 points with the in-branch offer.
That $15,000 spend must appear cruel, but you are saving $125 and Citi would give you the whole year to complete the task. Just remember to set your cash advance to ZERO in case you forget and accidentally hit some giftcard sites you shouldn’t. It’s no fun having to pay those cash advance fees.
Considering that Citi ThankYou has many airlines among their transfer partners, spending $15,000 for [at least] 65,000 points doesn’t sound that bad. Hell, I say, with partners like Cathay Pacific, Eva, Etihad, Singapore, and Qatar (among others), you can start building your next luxury vacation in no time — especially, if you have a spartner to apply with, since ThankYou points can be freely shared between ThankYou accounts, and by the way…
Speaking of Luxury Vacations…
My newest but already bestselling Honeymoon and Luxury Travel: Cheap and Free is going from $0.99 to $4.95 in a matter of hours. If you are as
cheap enthusiastic about free travel as I am, you won’t wait for that to happen and grab this great, down-to-earth, informative, how-can-I-do-this book right now! Come on, we all need a little Wendoming in our lives, no matter how much fun we poke at it.
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Secret FB Group: Reminder
Those who want to join my secret FB group, there are two things. First, friend me on FB, and second to send me an email. It’s not enough to do one or another. I have other people who friend me on FB and who have nothing to do with the hobby.
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