Author Archives: The Flying Detective

About The Flying Detective

The Flying Detective has traveled around the world since the 1990's and has visited many countries. TFD has been involved in travel hacking since 2015 and enjoys free or discounted air travel and hotels. He writes trip reports and other articles that may be of interest to fellow travel hackers.

Some TPM Sellers Who Liquidated GCs Receive GiftCard Mart Demand Letter

Today, we received a copy of a letter that was sent out to certain individuals that sold gift cards to TPM.  In the image, you can see that GiftCard Mart has conducted some inquiries and determined certain persons sold gift cards to TPM, and then liquidated the cards. The problem is GiftCard Mart had purchased these gift cards from TPM.  Talk in private groups of how TPM sellers could recover from losses incurred when TPM checks either bounced or never arrived resulted in the idea that since the monies were never received, or not enough monies were received for cards sold to TPM, the seller could simply liquidate any of the cards that had remaining balances and recover some of their losses.

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Hotel Review: Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos All-Inclusive Resort

I had intended to review another property in Cabo, but due to the problems, I left after one day and booked my remaining 5 days at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos.

This property was great and I really had no problems during my stay. The stay cost me 20,000 Hyatt points per night, so 100,000 points total for the stay. Since this property is an all-inclusive, they usually charge more for the room depending on the number of occupants; single occupancy is the cheapest. This makes sense as they are essentially paying for the food and drink of all occupants. I was surprised that the 20,000 points per night was the same for 1 or 2 occupants, but the cash price was not. For only 7.3 million Hyatt points, you could live here for a year, all-inclusive. Well, you would have to find someone to do your laundry as that’s not included, but everything else is!

Image source: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/mexico/hyatt-ziva-los-cabos/sjdif

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Up to 30% Off Starbucks, 15% Off Chipotle, 10% Off Panera & More!

We all like to save money, and there are many portals and cash back apps that routinely offer 1%, and sometimes 5% or more depending on how you use them.  One place I spend way too much time at is the remote office, aka Starbucks. I can get a lot of work done there with the free WiFi and a nice leather chair. OK, I have that at home too but Starbucks is easier.

I don’t like paying for Starbucks though. There are many ways to save money here, I have bought discounted Starbucks gift cards, or loaded my Starbucks card with Bank of America promotions and saved money, used Chase Pay, etc. The problem is these are all typically one time offers or limited time deals.

My drink usually runs roughly $3, if I bring my own mug. Using the methods I listed above and joining the Starbucks Rewards program helps to offset the list price. Recently, I discovered another program that seems to be here to stay and saves me literally 33% per day, or $1 off each time I buy my drink. Continue reading

GiftCards.com Portal Reversals on Yazing

Updated July 31 at 2pm:  Adam, the founder of Yazing, just left the following comment:

The GC team has gotten back to us and confirmed that the vast majority of the reversals were made in error. They are working to correct those now. Please watch your Yazing.com dashboard and transaction emails over the next few days and if there are any valid orders that haven’t been resolved by the end of the week, please submit a support ticket with the transaction information and order confirmation emails and we will work with GC to get answers and hopefully resolve any outstanding issues in short order.


If you are in the game of buying gift cards and using portals, you may have woken up this morning to an email you didn’t want to read. Mine read, “You had a return/credit on Yazing”. Upon further inspection, it showed all my orders from July 14 to yesterday had been reversed. This was strange because those orders were previously recognized by Yazing and I had received emails the orders had posted from GiftCards.com to the Yazing system.

What’s Going On?

Here’s what we know so far. I reached out to Adam, the founder at Yazing. Adam wrote back within an hour and said a lot of reversals came through yesterday and were posted this morning. He said that typically once a month, they post reversals as they go through and validate transactions. There are times when the commissions post as commissionable but are never actually fulfilled and these are caught in the monthly validation process. Continue reading

Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos – Spoiler Alert – Don’t Waste Your Time

I received an email several weeks ago about 20,000 points per night redemptions at the Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos All Inclusive. I began thinking of the great weather, the sun, the beach, and booked 6 nights. Unfortunately, the rest of this trip report is the failures I experienced until I finally decided I had enough and left for the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos.  Prior to my arrival, I was in contact with a manager by email, and he let me know I was entitled to an upgrade due to my IHG Platinum Elite Status (I was not expecting this), and for $45 / night additional, I could again upgrade to an ocean view room with a terrace and hammock. I upgraded as the limited photos available showed what I thought was a nice room.

CHECK-IN

Upon arrival, the check-in process was the first problem; we were told to go do “something” for an hour while our room was cleaned. This was odd since we arrived around 1:30pm and the manager was aware of my arrival time. We went to the one restaurant on property that was open and had a good meal. After an hour had passed, we returned to the lobby to find complete chaos. There was a line from the desk half way through the lobby, and only some of the computers were staffed for check-in. It appeared there may have been internet or connection problems because nobody was moving it seemed. I was given a key to my room and thought I had dodged a bullet – I didn’t have to wait in that line. My hopes were short lived as I tried to get in my room and the key didn’t work, the dreaded red light. I returned to the lobby and the same faces were standing in line, not on the beach or enjoying their free alcohol. I asked an employee what was going on and was told to come back in 45 minutes. I asked to see a manager.  A manager arrived about 5 minutes later and had keys to our room, and we were finally starting to settle in.

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