Saks Doing 10% Cash Back on Ebates Today

Today I noticed they are offering 10% Cash Back on Ebates for shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue online. Please use my link if you haven’t signed up for Ebates here. As you can recall, I bought $600 in gift cards in person earlier this month. I used Ebates and added all my 12 AmEx Personal Platinums to earn 4% cash back in store on Ebates. Then I went in person to Saks Fifth and the nice salesman allowed me to use 7 AmEx Platnum cards for a single $350 card and then another 5 Platinums for a single $250 gift card at the menswear department. I then got 4% cash back on the $600 in the form of $24 at Ebates:

I then got $50 back from AmEx on all 12 cards as part of their new shop Saks with Platinum which is a $50 credit that resets 01 Jan and 01 July. Today I am going to buy an item online at Saks Fifth and get $60 back at the 10% rate on all $600 of gift cards.

If this works out, I am able to get paid $84 to get $600 worth of goods shipped free to me via shoprunner. This trick works on the following cards (with respective referral links) that I have gotten over the years:

  1. My Plain Vanilla AmEx Personal Platinum
  2. Wife’s Plain Vanilla AmEx Personal Platinum
  3. My Gold Card Upgraded to AmEx Personal Platinum
  4. Wife’s Gold Card Upgraded to AmEx Personal Platinum
  5. My Green Card Upgraded to AmEx Personal Platinum
  6. My Ameriprise AmEx Personal Platinum
  7. My Charles Schwab AmEx Personal Platinum
  8. Wife’s Charles Schwab AmEx Personal Platinum
  9. My Morgan Stanley AmEx Personal Platinum
  10. Wife’s Morgan Stanley AmEx Personal Platinum
  11. My Mercedes Benz AmEx Personal Platinum
  12. Wife’s Mercedes Benz AmEx Personal Platinum

It seems random when the 10% is offered for Saks, but if you are sitting on some gift cards or have not spent your $50 credit, now is the time to maximize a return with Ebates.


5x and 35% Double Dip Shutdown

Bad news to report, looks like they closed the loophole where you can earn both 5x points (With Personal Platinum) on top of getting 35% of points (With Business Platinum) back when paying with points and choosing your Personal Platinum card on check out. In times past you would get 5x on the initial charge (charged as AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL – CHICAGO, IL) to your airline of choice on the Personal Platinum:

However it charges a new charge of “PwP AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL – CHICAGO, IL” which no longer triggers 5x despite choosing the AmEx Personal Platinum. The charge details show no bonus earn, not even sure if it gets 1x points.

I reported on this double dip in the past, but it seems like they were aware of the issue and made a new charge category to limit earning 5x on this on top of the 35%. This method was very lucrative. For example a $1,000 flight would cost 100,000 MR initially, but you would earn 5,000 MR bonus on the charge as well as a refund of 35,000 MR after a month. The overall cost of this $1,000 flight would have been 60,000 MR or 1.6 cents per point.

This by all means is not a deal breaker! You will still get 1.5 cents per point with the 35% points bonus when using an AmEx Business Platinum. Please use my links: here, here, here, here, or here if you are at all interested. I currently have 3 Business Platinum cards per points pool in order to get 35% on Delta, American Airlines, and United to ensure booking flexibility. I also have reports where you can get a single $200 gift card on American Airlines (if you had it a previous year) and then switch to United in January after reimbursement of the $200 gift card. Then next year swap with the other card to always ensure $200 x 2 for American Airlines Gift Cards but also diversify your 35%.

For example for my three cards in 2018 I have Biz Plat A as United, Biz Plat B as American Airlines, and Biz Plat C as Delta Airlines. In January of 2019 I bought 4 x $50 gift cards with C. I then swapped Card A to American Airlines and bought a $200 AA gift card. I bought an $200 AA gift card with Biz Plat B. I then was reimbursed for it and swapped Plat B to United so that I could earn 35% points back on all three. Then repeat the swap for 2020. The summary is here:

AmEx Biz Plat201820192020
Card AUnitedAmericanUnited
Card BAmericanUnitedAmerican
Card CDeltaDeltaDelta

To get multiple Biz Plat cards you need to get Green Biz and Gold Biz and then upgrade right after you get the bonus. No need to wait one year.


2019 Gift Card Round Up

Happy to report both a O-3 LT and myself were reimbursed for a single $200 with AmEx Personal Platinum and a single $250 using the AmEx Hilton Aspire Card.

Share your data points if you got it! I updated my churning guide as well. Also happy to report the $50 in person Saks is coming back fully reimbursed, even for a gift card:

Additionally I was able to get cash back using Ebates on buying the gift card:


Ameriprise Gold To Platinum Upgrade Thwarted

It has been a year and I just tried to upgrade my Ameriprise Gold to another Ameriprise Platinum both online and calling the number on the back. In the end I was told I had to call my financial advisor at 800-297-2012 to initiate the upgrade, mainly because I had gotten the Ameriprise Platinum and the first year was “free”. The truth of the matter is, I was never able to get an advisor to take my money! Nor did I ever get any of their insurance products via my Costco membership. It looks like until I do I am stuck with the gold card!

Be warned!


Delta Gift Card Shutdown?

Thank you to reader ArmyGrunt07 who reports:

Just executed my 2019 Delta gift card purchases on my AMEX PRG and it is now showing up as one total combined charge (Rather than two $50 charges like) and instead of the description reading “Delta Airlines – Atlanta” I’m now getting “Delta CSTAR GFTCRD.” Looks like they made some unfortunate changes in the new year. Thankfully i switched my Platinums to American Airlines to take advantage of the larger gift cards that I’m now hoping will still work out fine.

I verified that they used a desktop computer and the website, it appears like the servicer they use for the App is now handling the web transactions. This means the charges are no longer valid for reimbursement.

So I have always been cautious in the new year and take it slow. I charged $200 for American Airlines and have yet to be reimbursed myself. Any one out there willing to share their experiences?


January WeBull Standings

Woah! What a wild ride it has been, I have been getting reports back from our WeBull challenge. The standings are currently:

  1. DerpReporter: $1,000,172.17
  2. Julia’s College Fund: $1,000,000 (no trades)
  3. Jouster: $992,459.15
  4. mjv305: $965,700
  5. BC: $901,134.90
  6. Credible: $898,954.08
  7. Magoo: $885,229.71
  8. HeimTime: $860,206.23
BC Holdings

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Previous Results: Dec 2018 , Nov 2018