Category Archives: Promotions + Deals

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Quick Reader Poll Question: Which Blog Posts do You Want to Read?

Good evening everyone. We want to write about what YOU want to read about, so please take a few minutes and cast your votes!  Please select up to 5 answers.

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Easily Track Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses & Bank Account Bonuses with these 2 Spreadsheets

Hat tip to my friends Bodie and Ramzi for the reminder.

Good afternoon everyone.  2 weekends ago, I was at FTU (Frequent Traveler University) Advanced in Seattle and, naturally, the topic of credit card sign up bonuses and bank account bonuses came up.  Call me old fashioned, but I have a spreadsheet for just about everything – including credit card sign up bonuses and bank account bonuses.  If you are just getting into the credit card or bank account bonus game (I made $2,850 last year from bank account bonuses), it is very important to be detail-oriented and organized.  I have used these 2 spreadsheets since day 1 (I’ve made some modifications along the way), but I think they can definitely keep you organized.  Up first, I have my Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Template.xlsx.  Let me explain this spreadsheet.  Please ask me a question if I miss anything or if anything is unclear:

  • Credit card name, merchant type, credit card number, CVV (3 digit code on the back or 4 digit code on the front of AMEX cards) and expiration date are pretty self explanatory.  I use real data and password protect the spreadsheet, but you can use the last 4 digits of your cards if you feel more comfortable.  I use real data so I can purchase anything online, wherever I am, without having to carry every single card with me.
  • Phone numbers are great for calling customer service without having the card in front of you and come in handy if your card is lost or stolen (most of these numbers are saved into my phone as well).
  • Credit limit is not super useful, but if I need to make a large purchase, I know exactly which cards have big credit limits.  It can also be helpful if you need to make a reconsideration call and move some credit around from existing credit cards.
  • I also track all of my debit cards and authorized user cards so all the info is in one place.

Credit Card Sign Up Bonus Template 1

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My IHG Accelerate Promo Bonus Points Posted Quickly (with no Customer Service Calls/Emails)

Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend.  A few months ago, I registered for IHG’s Accelerate promo where I had to complete a few requirements between January 1 and April 15 to complete the promo.  The requirements differ from person to person as well as the number of bonus points offered.  Here are my requirements:

  • 3,000 IHG Points – Complete 1 stay
  • 10,000 IHG Points – Complete 5 nights
  • 2,000 IHG Points – Book 1 stay with Points + Cash
  • 1,500 IHG Points – Use your Chase IHG Rewards Credit Card to pay for a stay

If I completed at least 3 out of 4 requirements, I would get 23,500 bonus IHG Points, on top of the bonus points earned above.  I’m happy to say that I recently completed my third requirement and the bonus points posted.  I think I could have technically booked 1 stay, paid with Points + Cash, and used my Chase IHG Rewards Credit Card to complete 3 requirements with only 1 night.

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Flights Booked with Citi Thank You Points + Cash do not Trigger Citi Prestige $250 Airline Travel Credit

Good afternoon everyone, I have one more quick post to share this weekend.  My Citi Prestige Credit Card annual fee is set to post in early May and I do not anticipate keeping the credit card for another year, since there is a big devaluation to the card benefits that goes into effect on July 27.  Doctor of Credit has more details, but here are the big blows to the card benefits:

  • Eliminating 3 free rounds of golf.
  • Eliminating American Airline redemptions at 1.6 cents per point (if you have any upcoming AA flights, read How to Book American Airlines Flights with Citi Thank You Points (1.6 Cents Per Point Value)).
  • For all other flights booked with Citi Thank You Points, the redemption rate is changing from 1.33 cents per point to 1.25 cents per point.
  • Fourth-night-free hotel benefit will be based on average nightly rate instead of the 4th night’s rate (and the fourth-night-free benefit will no longer include taxes).
  • Eliminating Admirals Club access.

With those devaluations in mind, I wanted to redeem the full $250 airline travel credit before the annual fee posts.  I wanted to experiment and see if flights booked with Citi Thank You Points and cash would trigger the $250 airline travel credit.  For those unfamiliar with booking flights through the Citi Thank You portal, you have the option to pay for flights with all Citi Thank You Points, with all cash (you might as well book directly on the airline’s website) or a combination of Thank You Points and cash.  In the example below, the flight costs $178.20 or 13,398 Citi Thank You Points.

13,398 Citi TYPs + $0

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$10 Amazon eGift Card Winners Announced for Cash Back Monitor & World of Hyatt Giveaways

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  After much procrastinating deliberating, I have selected the winners for my Cash Back Monitor giveaway in which I asked my readers: what feature is missing from Cash Back Monitor that would make the service better for you and other users?  I carefully reviewed your answers and selected my 6 favorite comments (I couldn’t pick just 5 winners).  The winners are… La La Land!

  • Brian said: It would be great if the exclusions (if any) were listed on CashBackMonitor, instead of having to go to each site individually.
  • Nancy said: Using a symbol/indicator to denote if a portal is currently offering a bonus for hitting a certain level of spend, i.e. United offering 500 bonus miles for spending $100.
  • rxgeek said: CBM saves me money all the time. Great site! Suggestion: Have a pop-up alert when the merchant is in CBM like Ebates, Piggy and others do.
  • Pinky said: Love CashBackMonitor! Please add how long it takes to confirm/track on the site. For example, I often will choose eBates over TopCashBack at a slightly lower rate because TopCashBack takes forever to confirm/track and then pay out. Please also add if gift cards are excluded.
  • Marc said: Might be hard to do, but how long the rate will last. I know there are a lot of short term rate boosts (i.e. until Valentines Day, Presidents Day, etc.)
  • esdot said: An ability to receive email or text notifications when a retailer has a [or a certain, user selected] portal offering increased rates or more than [x, user inputted]% rates.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway and congratulations to the winners.  I will email Yansong (creator of Cash Back Monitor) and share my 6 favorite suggestions to improve the service.  Hopefully some of your suggestions will be available on his site in the near future!

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