The United MileagePlus card issued by Chase has brought us an awesome limited time sign-up bonus offer that gives 50,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months.  You can get an additional 5,000 miles when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the first three months.  That is up to 55,000 bonus miles just for getting a card and putting $2,000 in spending on it in three months.  I’ll never lose the adrenaline rush of so many miles for so little effort. 

United MileagePlus® Explorer Card: Limited Time 50,000 miles after spending $2,000; additional 5,000 miles via authorized user

The standard offer for this card is 30,000 miles, so obviously this is a big improvement.  Targeted offers for more than 30,000 miles are relatively common, but a public offer available with this many miles is not common for the United card.  This is one not to miss if you have been in the market for United miles.

United 50,000 miles

In addition to the sign-up bonus miles, this card gives you your first checked bag free, priority boarding, two United Club passes each year, no foreign transaction fees, 2x miles on United, 1x on other purchases, and has a $0 intro fee the first year; $95 thereafter.  You can also earn an additional 10,000 miles if you spend $25,000 on the card in a year.

Unofficially having the card also seems to allow you to see some extra award inventory when logged into United.com – along the same line as what elite United flyers see.  No guarantees on that unofficial perk, but my family members who have the card have access to additional award availability over what my family members who do not have the card see.

While I haven’t been told an official end date for this limited time offer, I have seen this offer advertized as being available through September 2, 2014 as shown above, so I would assume that is the correct end date.

If you have had this card in the past, pay attention to the language in the terms that indicates:

This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months

Good luck if you go for the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card – that is a bunch of United miles, so stay tuned for posts on how to maximize those miles.

 

 

Posted by Mommy Points | 11 Comments

From today (August 1) through August 31st you can get a $5 statement credit when you spend $5 at small businesses in and around the following cities thanks to American Express:

  • Houston
  • Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
  • Minneapolis – St. Paul
  • Philadelphia
  • Sacramento

You can do this up to three times on each registered American Express card for a total of $15 in “free money” on each American Express card you have.  Authorized User cards with their own unique card number will also count as eligible for their own $15 in statement credits per card.  You must register each American Express card in order for it to be eligible, and registration is “limited”.

Amex August Promo

When searching for eligible small businesses in the Houston area I quickly found that there are eligible stores in the greater metro area that extends out  beyond the boundaries of the actual cities listed.  So, if you are even sort of near one of the cities listed, check the search tool to see if a business in your area may be eligible.  Note that online transactions do not count for this promotion.

shop small directory

If you found an eligible business willing to work with you, you could go in and buy three $5 gift cards with each of your registered cards to hit the $15 max in one visit (ring each up individually).  I’ll probably just pick up coffee or lunches at some nearby joints throughout August with my multiple registered Amex cards to trigger the statement credits.  Add in some dry cleaning runs, car washes, pedicure, visiting a local dairy, etc. and we would probably get all the statement credits we have coming to us without even trying if we just rotate through our Amex cards.

Honestly Amex is already getting a good share of my smaller “everyday” purchases on the EveryDay Preferred Credit Card so that I hit 30 transactions a month and trigger the 50% points bonus.  They will just be reinforcing my behavior with this awesome promo!

How much “free money” do you now have in August thanks to Amex?

 

Terms and Conditions:

  • Limit three (3) statement credits per American Express® Card. To be eligible, Card Members must register any eligible American Express Card for this offer at americanexpress.com/ShopSmallAugust. Corporate Cards and all prepaid Card products (other than American Express Serve®) are not eligible.
  • The number of registrations is limited. Registration opens at 12:00 A.M. MST (Mountain Standard Time) on Aug 1, 2014, and will continue until 11:59 P.M. MST on Aug 31, 2014, unless the registration limit is reached sooner.
  • To receive the $5 statement credit up to three times total (once per eligible transaction), the Card Member must use his or her registered Card to spend $5 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location listed in the Shop Small August Offer Directory during Aug 2014. To receive the credit, the transaction must equal $5 or more (for example, if the transaction is only for $4, the Card Member will not receive a credit). Multiple transactions of less than $5 will not qualify even if the combined total of those transactions is over $5. Card Member may purchase multiple items that together equal $5 or more, but they must be purchased in a single transaction to receive the statement credit. Online transactions do not qualify.
  • Qualifying small business locations will appear in the Shop Small August Offer Directory, available beginning on Aug 1. (Please note that business location information provided on the directory may contain inaccuracies or errors, including as a result of information provided by third parties.) Transactions with political campaigns or political action committees are not eligible, regardless of whether they appear in the offer directory.
  • If American Express does not receive information that identifies a transaction as qualifying for the offer, the transaction will not qualify for the statement credit. For example, a transaction will not qualify if it is not made directly with the merchant. In addition, in most cases, a statement credit will not be received if a transaction is made with an electronic wallet or through a third party, or if the merchant uses a mobile or wireless card reader to process it.
  • Statement credit(s) will appear on the Card Member’s billing statement within 90 days after Aug 31, 2014, provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about the qualifying purchase. Note that American Express may not receive information that identifies the transaction as a qualifying transaction if the items from the purchase are not all provided during the offer period. For example, if a Card Member purchases an item that is not available or is provided after Aug 31, 2014, that transaction will not count toward determining whether the purchase qualifies for the offer.

 

Posted by Mommy Points | 3 Comments

Happy Friday!  Since today is not only Friday (woohoo!), but the First Friday of the month, I wanted to offer a reminder that you can earn an extra point on dining charges put on your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.  Normally dining charges put on the Sapphire Preferred (even those at a fast food restaurant or coffee shop) will earn you 2x Ultimate Reward points, but on First Fridays you get 3x on all dining charges.  Not huge for sure, but hey every point counts in this house!

First Friday Dining

Other Updates to Chase Sapphire Preferred:

While we are on the subject of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, I also want to mention that the changes to the card I talked about last week have now officially been communicated by Chase on their website.  As expected, the loss of the 7% annual points bonus is confirmed to be on the way out and the auto rental collision damage waiver is enhanced from secondary to primary.

Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance Coverage Increased:

Coverage has been increased from a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000 per covered trip. If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather or other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.

Auto Rental Coverage Enhanced:

Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver has been enhanced from secondary coverage to primary. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.

New Ultimate Rewards Site Launching in September:

You will reportedly be able to access rewards from your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, in-depth travel guides, and the site will be tailored for you based on your previous redemptions and where you like to shop.

Discontinuing 7% Annual Points Dividend:

After 12/31/2015, you will no longer earn the 7% annual points dividend. You will be awarded your final 7% points dividend in early 2016. The card will still earn 2X points on travel and dining and 1 point on all other purchases.

Getting Cash via Statement Credit:

You can continue to redeem your points for cash through a statement credit or direct deposit into an eligible checking or savings account. However, Pay Yourself Back will no longer be available after 9/20/2014 and paper checks will no longer be available after 11/15/2014.

Earn on Travel Changes:

You will continue to earn an extra 1 point for each $1 of airfare and hotel accommodations booked through Chase.com/UltimateRewards until 12/31/2015. After that, you will no longer earn an extra point.  This does not mean the card no longer earns 2x on travel, it just means that booking via the Ultimate Rewards portal will no longer give the extra point.

Other Changes:

  • Merchandise may be offered directly through Chase or third-party merchants
  • The Ultimate Rewards Mall will be referred to as Shop through Chase℠

Discontinuing underutilized features:

  • Auctions
  • Purchasing Ultimate Rewards points (though this seems to have been gone for a while anyway)

 

Obviously I’m sad to see the 7% points bonus on its way out, but the $10,000 in trip interruption coverage, no foreign transaction fees, 2x earning on travel, and primary auto rental coverage are enough to have this card be my #1 go-to card when traveling, which I suppose is their goal!

Posted by Mommy Points | 4 Comments

Here are two facts that I’m sure will (not) come as complete and utter surprises to anyone reading this site. 1.  I travel a lot. 2.  I like to help my family. Because I travel pretty frequently (and get co-branded credit cards) I earn elite status with various hotel programs and airlines.  Because I like helping my family I leverage my elite status to benefit them when possible.  This might… Read the Rest.

Posted by Mommy Points | 4 Comments

I get questions regularly about what type of seating arrangement is most comfortable and practical for a traveling family with a child under two who does not yet require their own seat.  I received this question again this week and thought I would share the situation and my suggestions in case they are helpful for anyone else thinking through a similar situation.  Of course, I’m most interested in hearing what… Read the Rest.

Posted by Mommy Points | 21 Comments

Let’s say that you had a specific rewards earning credit card a couple of years ago that you cancelled because you no longer flew that particular airline or your spending patterns simply didn’t align with what that card hard to offer anymore, or whatever.  Fast forward to a couple of years later and your spending patterns or type of points you desire changes again and the card you cancelled a… Read the Rest.

Posted by Mommy Points | 13 Comments

Given our pretty easy driving proximity to the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa we get a chance to visit the property at least 1-2 times per year.   Thanks to my stash of points we get to do it, even during peak season, without breaking the bank.  Hyatt Resorts in general are fantastic, and this one specifically has a very special spot in my points loving heart.  I’ve written about… Read the Rest.

Posted by Mommy Points | 19 Comments

For the last several months I have successfully been paying some of our recurring monthly bills via Evolve Money with gift cards that I purchased using rewards earning credit cards.  I usually buy these gift cards at office supply stores, grocery stores, or even gas stations.  I do this mainly to hit minimum spending requirements on cards that would otherwise be tough for me to hit, though also to occasionally… Read the Rest.

Posted by Mommy Points | 17 Comments

The Marriott Rewards program is very popular, especially to those outside of the core miles and points community I interact with online, day in and day out.  I am always blown away by how many awards their loyalty program receives each year at the Freddie Awards and this loyalty/popularity is backed up by how many business and leisure travelers I talk to in everyday life who almost always bring up… Read the Rest.

Posted by Mommy Points | 12 Comments

The new round of IHG Rewards Point Breaks hotels is now bookable!  As usual, the Point Breaks rooms are available for 5,000 IHG Reward points per night and rooms are now available bookings (and stays) from July 28- September 30th.  Even though IHG has introduced some limits on how many Point Breaks reservations folks can book to help with limited inventory, you should still grab the nights you want ASAP before… Read the Rest.

Posted by Mommy Points | 6 Comments

During a recent stay in Washington DC for the 4th of July we split up our stay between two different hotels – the W Washington DC that is located virtually across the street from the White House, and the Grand Hyatt Washington that was located just a couple blocks away.  We split our stay in part to stretch points/dollars and in part because while we wanted the W for its… Read the Rest.

Posted by Mommy Points | 13 Comments

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