Wouldn’t it be great if you could earn points/miles/cash back for things you can’t normally pay for with your credit card? Amex has a solution: Bluebird.
Bluebird works like a bank account in that you can deposit money to it and from there you can use its bill pay system to have Bluebird send out checks or you can get checks for that account and write them yourself. It comes with an Amex-branded card that you can use like a debit card to make purchases or ATM withdrawals.
The difference is that you must first add funds to your Bluebird account and only then can you spend the funds. You can add up to $5000 per month to your Bluebird account though I believe there is a maximum of $2500 per day. Continue reading →
Bonus on Purchased AAdvantage Miles
American Airlines is offering bonus AAdvantage miles where the bonus amount varies depending on how many you buy or gift. If you bought the full 100,000 miles you’ll get 60,000 bonus miles for $3201.25 including taxes and fees. That works out to ~2 cents per mile which is actually about as cheap as we’ve seen American offer them for sale. On the other hand, if you’re accustomed to US Airways selling points at 1.7 cents, it’s a bit of a price hike. So it looks like the new management has decided to split the difference on the price. This is a pretty good deal if you need to top off your account for an award but not necessarily a great way to stock up on them. For other, more knowledgeable opinions, check out what Gary and Ben have to say – and if you haven’t combined your American and US Airways accounts yet, Ben makes a compelling case as to why you might like to hold off if you’re planning to buy miles.
Discount on Visa Gift Cards at Kroger Stores
I actually don’t get to travel a lot and accrue the majority of my points via credit card sign-ups and through manufactured spending. If you’re not familar with manufactured spending, it’s the process of using points-earning credit cards to buy products that can be quickly turned into cash. For some people this involves buying and reselling things on eBay. For others it’s buying gift cards that can be used like debit cards and loaded to one of the prepaid accounts like Amex’s Bluebird (Wal-Mart) or Target RedCard or used to buy money orders. These prepaid accounts or money orders can be used to then pay off the credit card account.
Now through April 18th, Kroger is offering an electronic coupon that will save you $5.00 when you buy two or more Visa gift cards. Kroger (and their family of stores including King Sooper, Smiths and City Market) sell Visa gift cards offered by US Bank and these cards come with a PIN so that they can be used as debit cards. The cards come in various fixed-value denominations from $25 to $100 and a variable-denomination card where you can load $20-500. There is an activation fee from (I believe) $3.95 for the cheaper, fixed-value cards up to $5.95 for the $100 card and the variable-load card.
So if you log into Kroger.com or the Kroger app and apply the coupon you can save $5.00 which will nearly cover one of the activation fees. Plus, if you use a cash-back card to purchase these gift cards, you’ll save even more.
HT: Miles To Memories on Frequent Miler