This last holiday shopping season was one of the best on record, if not the best one. Retailers reported record earnings and the shopping craze is looking to last well past the holiday season online. For me personally, it was an awesome season, as I racked up over 40,000 miles on United and Alaska Airlines taking advantage of holiday shopping bonus offers. If you aren’t using the portals from the mileage shopping programs, then you aren’t doing it right. Its an incredible opportunity to rack up huge sums of miles and points, to get you closer to that award ticket of your choice. Use a strategy like using a credit card that offers 2x on shopping online, or airlines. Luckily, I have an American Express card, which earns me 3X on airline purchases. I simply tack it onto the Mileage X app, and buy gift cards for stores like Best Buy, Mayc’s, or whatever, which counts as an ‘airline’ purchase earning 3X points, and United Airlines miles on top. Double dipping my way to that next trip. If you haven’t been doing that, its never too late to start. When shopping online, use one of the portals to go through and collect your miles. Even Chase and other banks have portals, that you can earn points on if you arent into airline miles. You are going to shop online anyways.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a letter from Chase informing me of an annual fee increase on my Chase Sapphire Preferred. This is one of my favorite credit cards, and its ability to transfer points into numerous airline and hotel programs, makes it one of the heavy contenders out there. Ultimate Rewards points are one of the best points currencies out there, and I would hate to lose them. Furthermore, I have plans for future travels to Asia, and Europe using these points. They basically told me if I did NOT agree to the increase, then I would have to close out my card. I wouldn’t forfeit the points because I also have the Chase Freedom card, which is also an Ultimate Rewards account, but there is no ability to transfer into airlines. Its mainly cash back.
I decided to write them a snail mail letter asking them for compensation, and they have replied.
I was hoping for something a little more than $60, which is really 6000 points, but I guess at this point, its better than nothing, and will offset the cost for the next 6 years, if you think about it. I was paying $85 rather than $95. This also is a lesson in that if you are not happy with the service, say something. Otherwise, you have no reason to complain.
Chase is running a contest right now, where they will basically pay for a charge that you made to one of their credit cards or debit cards. There is no fee to enter this contest, and it’s pretty straight forward – make a purchase, as you would normally do, and if you are lucky, they will pay the tab! The Holidays are coming up, and I know a lot of you will be flashing the plastic, so you might as well sign up for this perk, if you are going to be using a Chase card, and see if you win! Who knows, you may get lucky. Now in order for you to do this, you MUST walk into a Chase branch, and have them enroll your card(s). There is no online registration. If you live in Portland, this is easy as walking into most Fred Meyer stores when you do your groceries, as they have Chase branches inside, which are open till 7pm. This promo expires Dec 31st, so take advantage. Good Luck!
Chase is currently offering fee free gift cards online, that may be used to fund Bluebird accounts, or just to be used as debit cards. These cards are great because you can assign a PIN to it, and use it like any other debit card. They can be bought in amounts ranging from $25.00 – $500 using a Chase credit card. You won’t be able to use any other VISA/MC, but a Chase credit card. You cannot use American Express cards either. However, it does post as a purchase, and you will get points or miles, depending on which Chase reward card you use. I have been using my Chase Sapphire Preferred Signature VISA card and my Chase FREEDOM Visa card. The order process is simple, and the cards take about 7 days to arrive in the mail. Activation is a breeze, as you just call the number listed on the sticker on the front of the cards, and its fully automated. During activation, you may also assign a personalized PIN to the card, so you can access it just like any other debit card.
So why buy these cards? Simple. You get reward points for buying this, and you can use this to fund your Bluebird account. If you have not opened a Bluebird account, I recommend doing so, as it allows you to pay your mortgage, car payments, and any other bill that doesn’t let you use credit cards. There is no activation fees for these cards, unlike other prepaid debit cards, and these count as purchases on your bill, rather than a cash advance. Click on the image above to get yours!