Miles, Points, Credit Cards — And I’m Going to #TBEX

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You might have noticed that the frequency of postings on this blog has gone down recently; well, I assure you there is a perfectly good explanation for that. This labor of love does not pay my bills as you can imagine, and there are things in life I have to do — if only to pay for my hosting. By the end of May, I’m going to lose my office that I’ve been renting for the last 20 years, and believe me when I say, looking for a new office in this lively section of Brooklyn where I would like to remain in business isn’t fun. The offers I’m getting here are insane; they rival offers I can get in the best areas of Manhattan, and yet, they still want less than what my commercial landlord wants from me for the chance to stay put. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

If all that was not enough, I’m going to the #TBEX conference in Lloret de Mar in Spain. I went to the TBEX conference last fall in Cancun and had fun hanging out with normal bloggers, who  aren’t crazy about miles and points (although they are crazy about other things like press trips). I guess, everyone who’d willingly trade the comfort of their home for flying half way across the world already has at least one serious mental disorder. Me — I can’t wait, but my hands are kind of full at the moment.

I don’t expect to be writing a lot of “hobby” stuff while on the road. I’m going to concentrate on trip reports, as I’m hoping to hit quite a few places besides Lloret de Mar and Barcelona. Before I leave, however, I’d like to dedicate a few words to my favorite subjects: Miles, Points, and Credit Cards. Here goes.

Citi Is Getting Restless

Miles, Points, Credit Cards

Miles, Points, Credit Cards — Citi ATT Access Offer

I’ve already covered both Citi Premier and Citi Prestige credit card offers and told you how awesome they work in tandem. Then Citi went ahead and surprised everyone with one more trick they held up their sleeve — in a good sense of the word.

Citi ATT Access More is quite a unique card — unique meaning I’ve never seen an offer like that. I took a liberty listing only the four features I like…

• Spend $2,000 in purchases with your AT&T Access More Card within 3 months of account opening.

• Use your card, now or later, to buy a new phone from AT&T, at full price and with no annual contract.

• Make your phone purchase using your unique phone offer link (which will be provided to you), activate and maintain service with AT&T for 15 days. If you buy a new phone now it will count toward the $2,000 in qualifying purchases!

• Citi will then credit your AT&T Access More Card account for the cost of the phone up to $650 (exclusive of taxes, shipping, fees & wireless service).

Earn 3X ThankYou Points for every $1 you spend on purchases made online at retail and travel websites.

… and one feature that I don’t:

  • Annual fee $95 (is not waived for the first year)

The way I see it, this is a credit card that can get you at least $450 after you meet the spend, pay the annual fee, pay whatever the 15-day ATT service will cost you and sell the phone on Ebay or Amazon — because I am sure as hell don’t have any interest in a $650 phone. If you are not as cheap as yours truly, you can keep the top-of-the-line cell phone for $95 plus… again, I have no idea how much the ATT service can be, but how bad can it be for 15 days?

Mile to Memory seems to be excited about the new Google Nexus phone. I don’t know. I guess, I’ll wait and see.

Don’t forget 3x for online retail and travel purchases. 3 TU points per every dollar is nothing to sneeze it! If you fly American, the 3X quickly becomes 4.8X, and if you transfer these points to partners and redeem for international premium class — well, the sky is the limit. Especially if you grab the Premier, the Prestige, and a Citi checking account bonus. Boy, do I love credit card wars!

Remember the protocol when you apply for Citi Cards.

  • Apply for the second card no earlier than 8 days after the first. I would wait 10 day to be safe.
  • Apply for the third Citi card no earlier than 60 days after the first. I would wait 65.

Here are more takes on these amazing offers.

Miles to Memories

Doctor of Credit (there are 100K targeted offers going around, see if you’re eligible — I’m not 🙁 )

And here is a totally useless factoid: I remember a Citi ATT card from the 90s — totally plain vanilla. Not everything is getting worse, it seems.

Paypal $15 off $150 offer ends on April 30

Miles, Points, Credit Cards -- PayPal Offer

Miles, Points, Credit Cards — PayPal Offer

The offer is targeted, but it seems like everyone is targeted, so if you have a couple of online purchases going on, log on and see if you are. No, “paying” money to other people doesn’t count toward your goal. That would be too easy, and where is fun in that?

BlueBird Up To $50 a Month Promo

Even if you (like me) have failed miserably to earn more than a few bucks in April with this promo, there is still time for the next two months.

Use your Bluebird Card anytime to grab your morning coffee, pick up lunch, or dine out. The more places you use Bluebird in April, May, and June, the more you’ll get back.

Get $1 back every time you use your Card at a different place. Here’s how:

1) Use your Bluebird Card virtually anywhere American Express® Cards are accepted.

2) Get a $1 account credit the first time you spend at a merchant each month.

3) Keep using Bluebird at different merchants and get up to $50 in account credit each month in April, May, and June—for a total of up to $150.

It’s a targeted offer, but lots of people have received it, so check your email around end of March if you [think you] didn’t. Since BlueBird does not impose Forex fees, I’m taking it with me to Europe. I mean, everyone takes AMEX in Europe, right? 🙂

Miles, Points, Credit Cards --  BlueBird Offer

Miles, Points, Credit Cards — BlueBird Offer

 New 70,000-point FNBO Best Western Credit Card Offers

Miles, Points, Credit Cards --

Miles, Points, Credit Cards — New FNBO Best Western Offer

Doctor of Credit caught some flack on Twitter the other day for talking about this card, and I don’t know why. Well, I actually do, because this card is a total loser (LOL), but it’s a new card, issued by not Chase/Citi/AMEX/Barclays, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t have been reported. I don’t know what FNBO was smoking when they designed this offer, but I guess they tried.

There are two major reasons why I believe this offer is a dud.

    • Best Western is a non-transparent and hugely overpriced program (good luck finding more than a few Category One, 8,000-point BW hotels in the world)
    • I hate these tiered bonuses, and they make no sense when we are dealing with a low-quality rewards program, like Best Western Rewards.
      • 25,000 bonus points after you spend $2,500 in first 3 billing cycles
      • 25,000 bonus points after you spend total of $5,000 in the first 6 billing cycles
      • 20,000 bonus points when you spend at least $10,000 during each 12 billing cycle period.

Seriously, what would you rather get for spending $5,000 in 6 months: 25,000-30,000 SPG points or 50,000 Best Western Points. I don’t care that Best Western hotels are “everywhere”; they  are also cheap enough to stay for cash — well, save a few locations — and wasting $10,000 to get maybe 3-4 free nights at Best Western doesn’t look like a deal to me.

Having said that, if you find yourself staying at Best Western fairly often, this card might make sense. Here is a mostly favorable review of this card from Well Traveled Mile, and Loyalty Traveler has discovered that Best Western has seasonal awards, which can make it alright if you’re lucky enough to get it.

The last, but not the least: read Rapid Travel Chai’s My Week in Points: Citi Salvos for more interesting stories.

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4 Responses to Miles, Points, Credit Cards — And I’m Going to #TBEX

  1. […] Miles, Points, Credit Cards — And I’m Going to #TBEX by Lazy Travelers. Nice little recap, but the $15 back on $150 paypal deal is nice and you have very limited time to complete it. […]

  2. kj says:

    If you fail to do 50 transactions of $1 in Apr or month 1, you will not get bonus 2nd and 3rd month. Says in terms. Better alert people in case they go on spending spree.

    • Andy Shuman says:

      Whoops. Thank you for clarifying this.

      • Neil says:

        I don’t think that’s correct. I think KJ is misreading the same paragraph that confused you when you posted last month. If you don’t spend $50 in month one, you can still get up to $50 in month two and $50 in month three (but you can’t expect to get $60 in month two because you spent $40 in month one – i.e. no rollover)

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