There was a time where my AA Mailer code dealer lost his supply. Then the rumors came that the GrAAvy train was over, we all believed they caught wise to the multiple mailer loophole. I started getting the shakes when I got too close to completing spend without another card to churn! I had been very generous and regretfully gave my last code to a colleague, these were grim times indeed! Then my luck changed yesterday!
Now with my most recent success in using an email code, I am looking at 400,000+ American Airlines Miles! I began looking at all the possibilities on how to use it. I stumbled on this new airline I have never heard of called Air Tahiti Nui which only has a fleet of 6 planes:
What is nice is these planes fly a route from LAX to CDG overnight with business class. Right now saver award space is wide open for 57,500 miles:
The return is a bit crazy with an overnight stopover in London on BA:
Not bad for 230,000 AA for RT from ORD to CDG. Although the routing is a bit messed up:
Thanks for the impromptu chuning meeting last night at Jaleo Bethesda! The restaurant gives a very generous 20% discount for active duty. Good to see the folks over at Army Medicine are on top of their churning game. One thing that came up is the new Green card will literally be made of garbage:
I often joke that every card in my wallet is now metal since the banks have us all to believe metal cards are high class! They assume we won’t hold on to a plastic card because, it’s made of the same material as toilet seats! I guess AmEx wants to go with a high class garbage look. Anyways this deal came up from the conversation last night:
That is right! $50k spend get up to 150,000 MR points (but only on hotels, airfare, and dining in the form of 3x) in the first 90 days! This is the highest offer ever made for the green (previously only 5k MR for any spend), and is found on their public link. This may not be a great offer for most, however if you haven’t gotten the Green card bonus to later convert to another Platinum business, this may be your best offer yet.
For those that were bummed that the green personal went away, sit tight, your garbage card will be available soon!
If you haven’t applied for a AAdvantage Platinum Card, then go ahead and get one directly from Citi AA here (public link). However if you had gotten this card in the last 48 months you can’t collect any more points. Read carefully the offer details:
AAdvantage® miles are earned on purchases, except balance transfers, cash advances, checks that access your credit card account, items and services returned for credit, unauthorized charges, interest and account fees, traveler’s checks, purchases of foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers (and similar cash-like transactions), lottery tickets, and gaming chips (and similar betting transactions). Miles may be earned on purchases made by primary credit cardmembers and Authorized Users. Miles earned will be posted to the primary credit cardmember’s AAdvantage® account in 8-10 weeks. American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles are not available if you have received a new account bonus for a Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® account in the past 48 months.
However the use of these mailers will circumvent this rule! I last applied for a AAdvantage Platinum Card on Feb 26, 2019 and Feb 04, 2019. Then again on Apr 28, 2019. Then I opened my first AAdvantage Platinum Card Business version on Jun 24, 2019. The soonest I could apply for another card would be 02 July 2019 (8 days after the last application) which was long ago!
Today a very nice reader (and contributor) sent me his email code from: American Airlines AAdvantage Program <email@example.com> which had the text:
Earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage®bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World EliteTM Mastercard®.
The annual fee of $99 is waived for the first 12 months.
Best part is the terms of the offer which was:
Bonus miles Balance transfers, cash advances, checks that access your credit card account, items and services returned for credit, unauthorized charges, interest and account fees, traveler’s checks, purchases of foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers (and similar cash-like transactions), lottery tickets, and gaming chips (and similar betting transactions) are not purchases. American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles typically will appear as a bonus in your AAdvantage® account 8-10 weeks after you have met the purchase requirements. Miles may be earned on purchases made by primary credit cardmembers and authorized users. Miles earned will be posted to the primary credit cardmember’s AAdvantage® account.
Note the lack of 48 month language!
I went ahead and applied to it because it has been over 65 days since my last application (April 28, 2019), and it was more than 8 days since the Business version (June 24, 2019). I had previously tried to use a version for the AAdvantage Executive sent to my mother, but it was instantly denied even before a credit pull was done.
They sent me a letter regarding my denial, and it cited specifically that the invite code was only meant for that specific person. I gave the code to another person and they got the same response. Since this denial last month I lowered my credit limit on my other cards, and waited for a code to show up.
Today I got his code in an email offer ment for the reader, I clicked the application link and used the readers last name. The application will populate with the intended recipients info. Just delete and replace with your own. I instantly got this approval on application:
I then got the email shortly:
So there is still hope on using mailers, and additionally, possible email codes! Keep an eye out for these codes, check that junk folder. My next card will have to be 8 days from now, but I need another code!
An award worthy of your Explorist status. Your complimentary Week of Wellbeing at participating Exhale locations is here. Enjoy access to Barre, Yoga, Cardio, and HIIT classes, 25% off spa therapies, and 15% off boutique purchases at participating Exhale locations.
To claim, connect your World of Hyatt account to your Exhale account. If you don’t have an Exhale account, you’ll be prompted to create one. After connecting, you’ll see your Week of Wellbeing in your profile along with instructions on how to use it.
Be sure to claim your award by February 28, 2021. Once you claim your Week of Wellbeing, you have one year to use it.
I logged in and was surprised that I had another one from my first tier goal:
Now I have two full weeks of classes! Just need to get my fat ass to the gym! Regarding using your points you can get about 1.375 cents per point:
For example a 60 min Flow Massage is $165, but you can use 12,000 points for that session.
I was tasked with booking the Four Seasons Chicago for my Wife’s birthday, but I found myself with a first time dilemma! Now that I was flushed with points from all four major credit card companies, I had no idea which one to use. Let’s break down how I got here:
U.S. Bank Altitude Points
I have the U.S. Bank Altitude Card and have been earning 3 points for every dollar spent using my mobile wallet. Since this card is a Visa card I earn more points at Costco that their own branded Citibank Costco Anywhere card. Each point is then worth 1.5 cents on travel including hotels. I didn’t have enough points to book the entire cost of the room, but each point takes off 1.5 cents on the booking:
Earning UR points was accomplished by getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), Chase Freedom, Chase Business Preferred, and Chase Ink Business Unlimited. Best thing to do it earn 5x on the Freedom category, and then the for the quarter then transfer points to the CSR to book for 1.5 cents per point:
Total due today: 26,636 PTS and $0.00 Trip Total: $399.55
Note that when you log into the Chase Ink site you end up only getting 1.25 cents per point:
Citibank Thankyou Points (TY)
Citibank TY points can be earned with the Citibank Prestige card which had a sign up bonus of 50k for $4k spend. The real big earning is 5x on dining. Each TY point is worth 1.25 cents on flights only, and only if you have the Citi Prestige! This means the hotel was a bad redemption at 1 cent per point:
When I pull up the Chicago Four Seasons they want $400 or 40,000 points or nominally only 1 cent per point. I could cash out 40,000 points for $500 in real money using my Schwab Platinum Card at 1.25 cents per point. I could alternatively cash out 40k points for a $600 flight at 1.5 cents per point. If I booked with AmEx I would however get $100 room credit, 4 pm checkout, and also daily breakfast for two but at the cost of $500. Not worth it in my mind.
Since I had no elite status with the hotel I had no problem with booking with expedia via Chase UR at 1.5 cents a point! Especially at a property that I could not have booked otherwise using their points system. I stopped by the Four seasons in Philadelphia and was pretty impressed:
I checked the Four Seasons site and found it to be 36 cents cheaper:
Since I can’t convert UR to cash, to get this room for 26,636 UR points was a great deal. You can earn this much with $5,327 spent on my Chase Freedom card on the select quarterly categories, then transferring them to your CSR.
If you live in NYC you might want to check out this most recent PFS buyers club deal:
On Thursday, September 12th – at 12:00PM ET the US Mint will release a limited edition Palladium coin. There is a limit of one (1) coin per household. The cost of each set will be $1,987.50. After including the $4.95 shipping, each order’s total will be $1,992.45. Important: We will only be accepting opt-ins for members who are willing and able to drop off the coin in Brooklyn (Crown Heights or Boro Park). We will not be providing shipping labels for this deal. Additionally, we will be working with a strict timeline on this deal – coins will have to be delivered to us by Sep 25th – no exceptions. We will pay you $1,995.00 – for a profit of $2.55 per order. This is also a great opportunity to earn valuable points/miles on your credit cards, as well as meet any spending thresholds. We will not be running any referrals for this deal. For all the deal details and terms, as well as the ability to opt in to this deal, please login to your account at PFSbuyersclub.com and click the “Current Deal” page. – Aron PFS Buyers Club
Use my link here if you are at all interested in this deal or future deals:
The 2018 coin only cost $1,392.45 last year, and is currently selling for $2,425.90 at APMEX. Keep in mind that Palladium has skyrocketed in value for whatever reason:
The spot price is $1,600, up from $1,000 last year. If I apply greedy idiot logic to this, then this one coin should be worth ten billion dollars by the time I retire. However I think it’s more like I bought into another bubble!
as of 12:30 ET the coin is still on sale, this is different from 2018, when it sold out in 10 mins!
BLUF: If you are eligible, get to AMDOC ASAP, it is the most eye opening two weeks of your Navy career. Face to face with both military medicine higher ups, as well as White House insiders such as Sid Davis who is pictured above at the First inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson after the death of JFK.
Hope to see everyone out there at AMDOC 19-55! Here is just my running timeline of what I *should* have done, and what I have done in order to make a smoother trip. Also, I put in dates for an expected timeline of events.
Lodging is held at the Rockville Hilton. To ensure free breakfast, better room, and late check out, look into the AmEx Hilton Honors Aspire Card for Diamond status OR any AmEx Platinum for Gold Status. The $450 card annual fee is waived for military. You can call the hotel at (301) 468-1100 and they found my reservation based on name and group alone. I called and added my Hilton Honors number but that resulted in all 18 rooms put under my name! I had to call for them to fix it, best use the HHonors number at check in for the upgrades and free breakfast at the restaurant on weekends, lounge access, free water. The hotel and class agreement also has 15% discount on all beverages and dining which you will be on the hook for at the end.
Make sure you Citi Govt Card is not expired and in good standing order, call Citi Gov’t line at 1-800-200-7056 to check that is active, especially three business days before your planning on departing, this is when your ticket on DTS will be purchased via CWTSatoTravel. The card is now blue, this replaces the silver Citi Card.
Finish BIMDOC course found on https://learning.nel.navy.mil
The welcome email will contain a welcome letter which must be promptly filled out and faxed or emailed in.
An email will come to get access to the Pentagon and BUMED. This email will come twice and are identical, but are for two different visits. Make sure you go to the link and fill out the info to get registered for your visit.
Another email will come for Sakai Account Registration, make sure you register CAC access and the course info shows up.
Another form will come for the directorate level approval. Fill this out, get signatures and route up the local chain of command. Then upload to DTS. The LF-102 is the VA equivalent, and worked in place of this form.
A guide with accounting codes will come with the command concurrence form. Follow this guide to submit the trip in DTS. Here you will book the flights
The lodging will be booked by the course, it will be under a single reservation number for everyone, they will give you the room at check in based on Full Name alone.
Update your profile with the most current Government Travel Card information, and choose a flight with PZ availability on United. Since DTS books contracted Y fare rates, the instant free upgrade to first will be available, see below for searching PZ class seats.
Finding PZ fare class flights for first class
The one big advantage of any United Airlines status (even silver) is that Y class economy tickets are instantly upgraded to first class, but only for PZ seats are available for the flight. There is a government contract for United to sell only Y class tickets at a deep discount contracted rate. For example the ORD to DCA is only $250 round trip. This price for the city pair is set in stone for the fiscal year and does not vary. The goal is to find availability before booking with DTS. You need to turn on expert mode on United.com to see these seats. I searched the one way ORD to DCA flights on united.com and found out the 6:00 am flight has two PZ seats open as represented by the text PZ2 (Class PZ, 2 seats):
I then booked the flight on DTS and put in my United Airlines Milage Plus number. When the flight is fully paid for (make sure the business office activates the travel card, and that you activate any new card), then you will get this option when logging into united.com, and checking the flight under reservations:
Choosing the upgrade box you now can choose a first class seat! This is of no additional cost. When you search again for the same flight in united.com you will note that PZ2 now is listed as PZ1:
If you are flying American Airlines, I have had luck getting a first class upgrade by just nicely asking to be on the priority upgrade list at check in. You can always choose a Main Cabin Extra seat at the military check in kiosk on the day of your flight.
Here I will update the current plan to maximize card benefits on this trip, (all times local):
Credit card churning is dangerous because without self control, the game wins you! If you are looking for a more tempting churning experience, check out the wonderful world of casino comps! At every corner you are tempted to blow your funds on something stupid. I am happy to report I churned Atlantic City with minimal use of my own money.
I ended up in Philadelphia and have been trying to pull off this status match chain for quite some time now. I missed the February 2019 deadline to get Hyatt Explorist in order to get suite upgrades. However I went to AC to get into the the world of Casino Comps especially for military members.
You can get a hard copy of your Cesars Rewards card at the Cesars in AC or really any location. With this card alone you can get one free night at the Hard Rock without status match! I called and booked for a free night which I gave to a friend after checking in. He was my ride from Philadelphia to AC, but with the free night he ended up staying with his wife, and I ended up getting a $129 Uber back to Phila:
If you bring this Cesars Diamond to the Wild Card services in the Hard rock you can get a status match to rock royalty. Instantly there should be $100 loaded on the card to use on slots. You also get another 2 free nights to stay there, but only have three months to take advantage of it along with two tickets to Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club. I went to the slot machine with my card. The $125 in credits showed right away:
You can’t cash out the credit, but you must wager with it. So I chose all the lines and spun the wheel! I cashed out every time it paid out, and ended up with about $45 in “winnings”.
Now here comes the real cash out, I ended up with 2 free buffets that I picked up at the rewards kiosk. I went to the buffet and got some good food:
In the end I got paid a free night, two dinners and $45 to go to Atlantic city. I believe I have 2 more free nights that expire in 90 days as well that came on my Rock Royalty match.
My friend only had her Military ID and was given the Wild Card elite status:
This came with a single free buffet instead of two. I think $25 of free play got loaded on the slot machine.
The fun doesn’t stop there! I went to Borgatta and got M life Gold by showing my Cesars Diamond card again. This resulted in $100 Match Play certs that I picked up in $25 increments from the kiosk:
You have to pony up your own bet and the cert will double that bet. I played roulette, but they would only let me play the halves (black/red, even/odd, high/low):
I put $25 and cert on black and red hit, then I did it again on the odds and the evens hit! Right there I was out $50 of my own money. I then bet $25 and my third cert on red and got $75 (3 $25 chips)! They took away the cert after the wager and I was left with my original $25 chip and the payout of $50. I did it again with the last cert and my last $25 and it hit again! I ended up winning $50, and I got a free beer out of it.
When I picked up the M Life gold card I showed my military ID and they put me into the MVP program. This gave me 10% off on food at the cafe. I went to the casino cafe and got myself two tubs of caramel corn and a bottle of water for the $25 in express comps:
If you are out in Philadelphia and have some time to kill, then check out AC! Make sure you get that Hilton Diamond (From Hilton Aspire) Match to Wyndham Diamond to Cesars Diamond! When I got home I went here and then matched my M Life gold to Hyatt Explorist, good till Feb 2021!
The match took a few weeks because of some glitch, but reaching out to World of Hyatt via facebook messenger fixed the whole deal. Looking forward to what this status gets me at my stay at the Lincoln hotel in Lincoln Park!
I should start by saying that my churning game doesn’t run nearly as long or deep as Derp’s, or probably most of the readers. I got my first “adult” credit card in 2006, my second in 2013 (AMEX Platinum), but didn’t start churning until January of this year (2019). In 8 short months I have amassed the following horde: – 4 AMEX Charge cards (2 x plat, 1 rose gold, 1 green) – 4 AMEX Credit cards (all 3 Hilton cards, 1 Bonvoy Brilliant – 4 AMEX Biz cards (3 x plat (2 upgraded from Green & Gold), 1 Green after upgrading previous card) – 3 Chase cards (1 CSR, 1 Freedom & 1 Freedom Unlimited to be upgraded to CSRs in one year) – 1 Citi Prestige – 3 x P2 cards (Rose Gold, Biz Plat, Hilton Surpass)
All of this has been done without any manufactured spending (other than paying taxes, which isn’t necessarily considered MS). The rest of this article assumes you have read the Beginner’s Guide to Churning and/or the Optimum Perpetual Wallet Holdings, and that you have some basic background knowledge of the reason we’re doing all of this.
Conventional wisdom for churning says that “Slow & Steady wins the race”. It certainly is easier & more sustainable long-term, but with the right mindset, tracking (spreadsheet), and referral partners you can crank up your wallet size and points balance in less than a year, all while setting yourself up to have some sweet travel credits waiting for you in less than 2 full years of churning. I am by no means advocating irresponsible spending… follow Derp’s rules of churning, one of the first few is ALWAYS PAY YOUR BALANCES IN FULL! I have a 2xweekly rule, every Wednesday and Sunday I login to my accounts and pay every single balance in full. If you can’t do this, slooooow down. I’m not rich, and run a single income family with 3 kids… if I can do it, so can you.
My rapid churning SOP: – First and foremost, enjoy the fact that you won’t be paying annual fees for any of this; otherwise, you’d have to be insane to pay for all of these cards. – Keep a rotating 3-4 card active welcome bonus chasing stack, application dates/approvals separated by roughly a month each. Sometimes more, sometimes less for both amount of cards and time difference between stacks. Once you meet a welcome bonus or you’re about to meet one, apply for your next card (keep in mind Derp’s rules of thumb for starting with Chase until 5/24, then moving on to US Bank and AMEX). Take advantage of the easy cards (Biz Green, Regular Green) that you can meet minimum spend on without much effort. – Spreadsheet tracking each and every card with the following info: Card name, approval date, sign-up bonus, achieve-by date (always 10 days prior to actual 3 or 4-month deadline to ensure it is reached). Each row/card status highlighted in Green (sign up bonus achieved), Yellow (not yet achieved), or Red (missed… should never happen!) – Meet low amount sign-up bonuses as quickly as possible (ex: Hilton Honors card, $1k in 3 months) to focus your big-spending items on larger card bonus requirements (ex: Biz Plat, $10k in 3 months). – Pay taxes in large chunks (preferably do at least one $5k payment on a Biz Plat to get 50% bonus MR points). I only pay taxes as a finisher for welcome bonuses if the deadline is getting close, or with the first Biz Plat I got to get the high spend welcome bonus. You can do this from the IRS website, or just google “Pay taxes with credit card”. – Keep an eye on your credit score. Mine has fluctuated up to 30 points following heavy application periods (mostly at the beginning with 3x Chase cards and my push on Hilton cards rapidly), but always returns to normal a month or two later. – Follow up advice for “healing” your credit score after a dip: AMEX Biz and/or charge cards are your friend and don’t have major impact on your score. After you max out your Chase 5/24 and get rolling on Citi and/or your pile of 5 AMEX credit cards, take a break and work on Biz cards only for a couple months.
Those are the basics to getting a healthy stack working for you in less than a year. If you have a P2, you can have a larger & better high-end card portfolio before you start slumming it with AMEX Green cards & regular Hilton cards. As I said, year two you should be able to start enjoying some of the fruits of your “labor” (travel credits, points, free hotel nights), and you’ll spend much of year two upgrading the lower-tier cards that you phased into your collection during your first portfolio building year. By the end of year two, you can easily have several AMEX Platinums, 3-6 Biz Plats, 3 CSRs, 2+ Citi Prestige cards, and multiple $450 annual fee-waived AMEX credit cards that give you whatever you desire (airline credits/companion passes, Hilton/Marriott free nights & hotel $$ credits).
Stay tuned for not-so-distant future articles about ways to EASILY maximize points earned while achieving welcome bonuses to multiply your point-folio in whatever your cards of choice are.