MLA for Citi Prestige Now Off?

I am getting conflicting data points here. Reader Tim C. on 11 March 2019 says:

Just to let everyone know. I just applied for the citi prestige and got approved for the MLA benefits. However, they told me that they would not be waiving the annual fee because the interest on the card had not reached 36%. It was extremely confusing and very unfortunate to hear. Does anyone have any advice on how else to get it waived?

However at the same time reader Jesus on 08 March 2019 writes:

Submitted required docs to Citi last Friday MLA credit for $495 applied Monday for the Citi Prestige. Account was opened 2 weeks ago.

Redditor FB1088 writes on 11 Mar 2018:

My AA Exec was opened July 2018. I emailed them regarding MLA and they sent me a letter on 5 March saying it qualified for MLA. My brand new Prestige fee was waived the same statement the fee was applied.

It looks like some people are getting waivers while others are not. The same thing seems to be going on for the American Airlines Executive Card. Let’s put all the data points on this one post here.

Update: Reader Ryan says:

Try lowering your credit limit. They probably use some sort of formula to determine if your effective interest rate is less than 36% based on credit limit and annual fee. For example:  APR + (495/CL) < 0.36; So if your APR is 20% (0.2), then you would want your CL to be $3000 or lower. Just a theory but I think it makes sense…

This was a trick to do with the Ritz card, if you can get your credit limit to be less than two times the annual fee then they can’t charge you the annual fee. It is written up here. It’s just that we are using the 36% cap per the MLA.

-Derp

Delta Reporting Gift Card Purchases On Visa

Bad news, an O-4 Specialist from Great Lakes just reported a $50 gift card bought on a desktop computer on his Chase Visa Ritz-Carlton card posted as this:

Needless to say there is a whole thread dedicated to these datapoints on flyertalk here. Most recent datapoint is here from bigblue2007:

My two $50.00 delta gift certificates posted on 3/2/18 and the credits posted on 3/4/18. The credits posted in 2 – $50 increments. I have the [AmEx] Platinum card and still have $100 to go.

Not sure what this O-4 did with his Visa, but there has been reposts that you must use this link to buy the cards, some times the mobile app or website will send you to a third party site. Any datapoints out there from our readers?

Delta and Southwest have been the only option for gift cards since United shutdown their registry in Sept 2017, and American Airlines started reporting Gift Cards on 08 Feb 2019.

Sothwest has always been good for us. I got a single $250 gift card with my AmEx Hilton Honors Aspire. On 07 March 2019 an O-3 reader at Great Lakes reports buying a weird $194.40 Southwest gift card (since he got reimbursed for a $5.60 fee previously) from his AmEx Platinum, and getting that reinbursed:

Delta has been great as well, but only at $50 increments. Some people have been able to surpass the three card limit when they call a ticket purchase in:

You can use more than 3 GCs for Delta flights now, though you have to do it over the phone “Up to 3 gift cards can be redeemed per transaction on delta.com. If you wish to redeem more than 3 cards for a single purchase, please call 1-800-221-1212 and a Reservations Specialist will be able to assist you.”

via flyer talk: Originally Posted by ukinny2000 

Other comments suggest you can use up to 6 cards depending on the person on the other end. This most recent datapoint on Delta reporting as Gift Card may be limited to VISA cards and not AmEx, Note this comment here:

At least since December 2018, my VISA Infinite shows “GFT AA Y FEE” in the description. Even with that, it was reimbursed as part of the VISA Airline incidentals statement credit.

-igorjrr from flyertalk

-Derp

World of Hyatt Offers: Points Vs. Nights

Currently Chase is offering 50,000 Hyatt Points or 2 Free Category 1-7 Nights (Worth 30K each for Cat 7) and a $50 Credit both for $6,000 spend in 3 to 6 months.

I was going to go for the 2 free nights but I realized I only had one year to book it at only these places to maximize my category 7 nights. If I go for the 50K points then I had infinite time to use them, and I could transfer them as needed. I could also use them to book many nights at a lesser category hotel:

By not going the route of the two free nights, I would be losing out 10k points and a $50 statement. The points would have the flexibility on transferring and splitting up 50k.

Did I make the right choice?

-Derp

March 2019 Webull Standings

Man, what a market ride it has been! The standings for the end of the trading day on 01 March 2018 are as follows:

  1. DerpReporter: $1,112,847.49
  2. Credible: $1,085,997.81
  3. Sheep Doggy Dog: $1,065,126.88
  4. MJV305: $1,056,950
  5. BC: $1,034,749.80
  6. Julia’s College Fund: $1,000,000.00
  7. Jouster: $996,599.55
  8. Magoo: $964,136.46
  9. It’s Heim Time: $733,155.96

There are only 42 more trading sessions before the game is over! The top prize will have to be a digital $250 Southwest Gift Card from our good friends at AmEx Hilton Honors Aspire Card, because the AA Gift Cards have been shut down.

Second prize will still be a digital $100 American Airlines gift card that I got with my AmEx Rose Gold Card before that was savagely taken away form us this past February 18th.

Third prize will be a $50 physical gift card from the AmEx Personal Platinum Card. This will be sent in the mail to whomever you choose. We should have a last prize for the person who has lost the most money in 6 months! Any suggestions out there? I put everybody’s holdings below:

Please note that Julia’s College Fund had not made any trades and is currently sitting on $1,000,000 in cash. If you want to start you own Webull account, please use my link here.

-Derp

75K Back On Delta Plat & Reserve, 60K on Gold

Right now they are offering 75K for both Delta Reserve and Delta Platinum. Then 60k on gold. Please use the links below or here (Reserve), here (Plat) and here (gold) to apply. Then upgrade the Plat and gold to get three companion passes good for coach, business and first (even Delta ONE) every year! All annual fees waived for military. This is great for those stationed in Hawaii and Guam to fly to mainland.

With the 210,000 Delta sky miles you can fly anywhere. I just booked ORD to FRA (Frankfurt) on Delta One for just only 172,000 a person with the points I got the points from these three cards when the offer was on last year, and player two’s cards.


Delta ONE is just amazing, will full 180 degree fold flat beds:

Delta One lie-flat seats business class Boeing 767-400ER to Honolulu, Hawaii.

But the best looking trip out there is Detroit to Amsterdam on their brand new Airbus A350, Delta One Suite:

Looking forward to my first trip to Europe! Looks like these miles are not as useless as we had thought.

-Derp

Free Beer @ WeWork!

It’s true, there is free beer at Wework, well at least at the 1875 K St NW Washington DC 20006 before 1800. I also got beer after 1800 at 718 7th St NW Washington DC 20001. I have been hitting this new AmEx Business Platinum benefit hard, and have visited the following places:

  • 332 S Michigan Ave Chicago IL 60604
  • 718 7th St NW Washington DC 20001 (Free Beer)
  • 1875 K St NW Washington DC 20006 (Free Beer)
  • 125 S Clark St, Chicago, IL 60603 (Home Base)
  • 1440 G St NW Washington DC 20005 (Out of Cider)

What has been weird is the inconsistencies in access. I signed up online and received my key card in person at the Home Base at “The National” (125 S Clark St). However when I use the app to reserve a room in any other place I get this response:

Your booking provides access from 09:00 – 18:00. Please bring a valid photo ID for check-in with the building reception. A community associate will then guide you to your workspace and help you get set up.

At most locations I was asked to pack up and vacate at 1800, but at 718 7th St NW Washington DC 20001 everyone just worked tilled they quit. However at the K st location and at the Grant Park location (332 S Michigan Ave) I get this email:

Your booking provides access from 00:00 – 23:59. Please bring a valid photo ID for check-in with the building reception. A community associate will then guide you to your workspace and help you get set up.


I though this was a fluke, but I was able to have the front desk at the K St. location verify I could stay here all night long as part of my Platinum Global Access. I was able to get the elevator after the 1800 close time with my key card. This has to be some sort of a mistake that should be shut down very soon. For the time being I have found my 3rd place where I can blog all night long!

All in all, the Wework experience has been one of r/actlikeyoubelong and a bit of spot the churner at the Centurion lounge. The only experience I have had at a AmEx Business Lounge is at the McCormick Place’s OPEN lounge. This place has since closed:

Empty Longe as of Feb 2019

There is almost too much human interaction at these Wework locations, each community manger asks about your business, and they want you to link your linked in profile and answer a shit ton of questions to make the community more vibrant.

There is an over all attitude here of keep promoting your dream, no matter how unprofitable it may be to you, your trust fund, investors, and your children’s college funds. Even the materials promote this “Do What You Love” mantra:

I get the positive attitude because these spaces are for legit small business to find partnerships in the local community. This is the entire basis of a giant multi national company that has a $20 billion valuation. The irony is not lost on me.

This review may come off as unduly negative, and it is not at all. I find myself in a foreign work environment where I am sitting here and have to listen to all these hip little think tanks and startups talk about getting funding and I thinking that would suck if I had to actually run a small business, but I digress. Good for them, Keep the millennial dream alive fueled with cold brew coffee:

The decor of each location claims to be unique, but it all feels to me the same mash up of the Ace hotel meets the W with a twist of unfinished and reclaimed everything.

Not quite my style, how can I take your start up seriously if I feel like I am in your college door room cafeteria?

AmEx has been trying damn hard to cast away the old man stuffy country club persona they have been know for since they were founded in 1850. This has got to be there greatest attempt to be cool and relevant, and it might be working for some out there. I just don’t find myself shelling out $2,400 to have access to these cool places once my trial is up.

You can find me across Farragut Square at the Army & Navy Club any day (thanks to my Marine Memorial Club membership).

-Derp

Time To Hit Citi Hard

Many positive data points have emerged showing overall blanket waivers of annual fees for all new Citibank cards for military members and spouses for accounts opened this year.

I have been opening multiple AA Citi Platinum using codes in mailers. Tbis is the only way to get multiple 75k AA bonuses on this product. If you the reader get any codes in the mail, please don’t toss them and we can share some codes here on the website.

Now that it is open season on Citi, I need to compile a best strategy to hit all of their cards found here. Please post your referral links and thoughts below. Keep in mind, for Citi, Up to one personal credit card application in any eight-day period. Up to one business credit card application in any 90-day period. Up to two Citi credit card applications in any 60-day period, which could be two personal cards or one personal and one business card. I just got my second Citi AA Platinum on 12 Feb and and my first on 24 Jan. So by 29 march I should be golden by giving 65 days from my first application as suggested by reader Dan.

-Derp

Southwest Gift Cards Working, For Now…

One of the O-4 specialists here at Great Lakes is having some serious regrets in taking his time on the AA gift card buying for the $200 reimbursement. He was slowly buying only $100 AA gift cards over all of his AmEx Personal and Business Platinum cards just in case it did not work. This plan has backfired since all gift cards in any denomination are being coded like this:

It will hard to justify a $200 gift card purchase on AA if it is clearly labeled as “GIFT CERTIFICATE”. This is because gift cards are specifically excluded as one of the fees not reimbursed. In the past the AA gift card charge was labeled as “MISC fee”, and got 5x MR points. This fee was coded as valid being one of the following items:

  • Checked baggage fees (including overweight/oversize)
  • Itinerary change fees
  • Phone reservation fees
  • Pet flight fees
  • Seat assignment fees
  • In-flight amenity fees (beverages, food, pillows/blankets, headphones)
  • In-flight entertainment fees
    • (excluding wireless internet)
  • Airport lounge day passes & annual memberships

The best part is it was reimbursed in just a few days:

What makes matters worse is since he already spent a segment of the $200 credit, he will not be able to switch airlines to SW or Delta. Usually you can switch airlines only in the month of January, but only if you DON’T spend your credit, a simple chat online with the AmEx Customer service was all this is needed to switch airlines at any time:

I would say my “Travel Patterns Have Changed” (which they will) and then switch without any question. I did just this with my Aspire card, and swapped from AA to Southwest and bought a $250 gift card:

I got the airline switched and gift card bought on 14 Feb and got the credit on 16 Feb. The fee showed up as “SPD/AIR FREIGHT” and was considered a covered fee. These most recent events should show that if you have a datapoint like this, time to hit it hard! For this is just the next loophole to close. Keep in mind the Southwest Airlines gift card policy:

Southwest gift cards – A maximum of three Southwest gift cards can be applied per passenger on each reservation.  If your purchase exceeds the amount available on the three Southwest gift cards, you will only be allowed to use two Southwest gift cards and another form of payment will be required for the difference. 

If you have not spent your credit, time to fly the Greyhound of the sky, Southwest Airlines! Also note that you need to reserve two or three seats if you spill over one:

Customers who encroach upon any part of the neighboring seat(s) may proactively purchase the needed number of seats prior to travel in order to ensure the additional seat(s) is available. The armrest is considered to be the definitive boundary between seats; width between the armrests measures 17 inches. The purchase of additional seats serves as a notification to Southwest of a special seating need, and allows us to adequately plan for the number of seats that will be occupied on the aircraft.  In turn, this helps to ensure we can accommodate all Customers on the flight/aircraft for which they purchased a ticket and avoid asking Customers to relinquish their seats for an unplanned accommodation. Most importantly, it ensures that all Customers onboard have access to safe and comfortable seating. You may contact us for a refund of the cost of additional seating after travel. Customers of size who prefer not to purchase an additional seat in advance have the option of purchasing just one seat and then discussing their seating needs with the Customer Service Agent at their departure gate. If it is determined that a second (or third) seat is needed, they will be accommodated with a complimentary additional seat(s).

For those that are stuck with AA since you only spent part of it, then get your Mini-Bar ready for hundreds of tiny bottles.

-Derp

Ebates Pays 100 MR Per $1

Earn Cash Back

Thanks to reader Steve for the heads up on this new offer from Ebates that DoC wrote about:

You can earn cash back and convert it to MR points. You can then cash out the MR points for 1.25 cents per point. The most recent 14% cashback from Dell and Saks would be the same as 17.5% cashback if converted to cash this way. This is for new accounts only, and had to use incognito mode to sign up for a new account at this public link.

I will be using this instead of my old cash account in order to take advantage of the 25% boost. Thanks Steve!

-Derp

Mini-Bottle Laws of The Sky

I did not get a chance to drink in Charleston South Carolina prior to the repeal of the Mini-Bottle Law. This old segment from the Daily Show with Jon Stuart shows how bar service was done between 1973 to 2005 in Charleston. However with the end of gift card reimbursements we bring ourselves into a world of acquiring up to $200 worth of mini bottles of liquor per AmEx Platnum Card each year. That is about 28 bottles a card, spread out over several flights as they only serve 2 bottles per service for most airlines. This is for good reason as two bottles is actually almost as much as three shots!

As it turns out, the mini-bottle is not so small. A mini-bottle holds 1.7 ounces of liquor, and bartenders must pour all 1.7 ounces–no more, no less. It may not look like much, but compared with the average drink size around the country–1 to 1.25 ounces of liquor — it packs a wallop

March 23, 2004, Chicago Tribune

In anticipation to this grim reality, I have consolidated the inflight spirit menus of all the possible AmEx Plat reimbursable airlines for 50ml liquor bottles (note Southwest pours from a big bottle, therefore excluded from list):

Delta $9 a bottle:

  • Bacardí® Superior
  • Baileys ® Original Irish Cream
  • Bombay Sapphire ®
  • Canadian Club ® Reserve
  • Dewar’s ® White Label ®
  • Finlandia ® Classic Vodka
  • Jack Daniel’s ® Old No. 7
  • Jack Daniel’s ® Tennessee Honey™
  • Tequila Cazadores ® Blanco
  • Woodford Reserve ®

jetBlue $7 a bottle:

  • Bacardi® Rum
  • Bombay Sapphire® Gin
  • Dewar’s® White Label® Scotch Whisky
  • Jack Daniel’s® Whiskey
  • Tito’s® Handmade Vodka

Frontier $7 a bottle:

  • Breckenridge Vodka
  • Breckenridge Bourbon
  • Breckenridge Gin
  • Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  • Bacardi Rum
  • Baileys Irish Cream.

Alaska Airlines $7.50 a bottle:

  • Tito’s®Handmade Vodka
  • Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • Cruzan® Aged Rum
  • Crater Lake hazelnut espresso vodka
  • Woodford Reserve bourbon
  • Sauza tequila
  • Dewar’s White Label scotch
  • Jack Daniel’s Black Label
  • Seagram’s Crown Royal
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream

Sprit Air $7 a bottle:

  • Bacardi® White Rum
  • Crown Royal® Canadian Whisky
  • Fireball® Cinnamon Whisky
  • Jack Daniel’s®
  • Platinum 7X® Vodka
  • Tanqueray® Gin

Hawaiian $6 a bottle:

  • Ocean Vodka
  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Koloa Kaua‘i White Hawaiian Rum
  • Johnnie Walker Red Label
  • Jack Daniels
  • Crown Royal
  • Amaretto Disaronno
  • Grand Marnier
  • Courvoisier Cognac
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream

United $7.99 and $8.99 a bottle

  • $7.99
    • Wheatley Craft Distilled Vodka
    • Bacardi® Superior Rum
    • Dewar’s® “White Label®” Blended Scotch Whisky
    • Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Whiskey
  • $8.99
    • Baileys® Irish Cream
    • Bombay Sapphire® Dry Gin
    • Buffalo Trace® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
    • Glenfarclas Single Malt Scotch Whisky
    • DISARONNO® Amaretto

American Airlines $8 a bottle

  • BACARDI Rum
  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Bombay Sapphire® Gin
  • Canadian Club® White Label®
  • Dewar’s® White Label®
  • Disaronno Amaretto
  • Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Whiskey
  • Tito’s® Handmade Vodka
I was able to get two double drinks on United

Besides re-creating a minibar in my house, I am not sure what to do with these credits in a post gift card reimbursement world. We get all of our luggage waived for military, and I am able to get premium seats with my status. Thoughts on anything at all?

-Derp