Banking The $100 Dell Credit

I have 6 Business American Express Platinum Cards, all which get their hefty $595 annual fee waived by the generous people at AmEx due to our active duty status! Me and my wife (also active duty) each have gotten the following cards:

What is great about AmEx Business cards is an individual can get one as a sole proprietor by using your own SSN, and there is no wait on upgrading the card to the higher product. I went ahead and got the bonus and the gold and upgraded both to multiple Business Platinum cards. The main reason for doing this is the diversify your 35% points portfolio to three different airlines, all while getting $200 in airline credit, and then the $200 for Dell schwag every year.

$300 Samsung Frontier s3 split over 3 AmEx Business Platinum Cards on

From January to June of each year you can charge $100 on each Business Platinum Card at and you will instantly get a $100 credit. You get another $100 from July to December. You can also split charge over three cards max per order, and double dip with ebates:

You would charge $100 per card for a max of $300 for free per Dell order

After my shopping spree I was left with a $13 credit on one of my cards so I bought a $15 xbox live gift card on

The smallest amount is $10 and the largest is $100, and sure enough my $15 card got reimbursed!

The gift code appeared in my Dell digital locker in 4 hours, just click the order number and hit the get text based key option:

and I added it to my Microsoft account under payment options:

On checkout I was able to apply the $15 towards buying physical merchandise:

Come July I am looking at buying $600 in xbox live gift cards, all stacking with ebates, spit over my 6 Business Platinum Cards. I will do this again in January for $1,200 in gift cards to buy this crazy thing:

Screen+Shot+2019-05-14+at+8.29.44+PM.png (2048×1296)

Hopefully it will increase my blogging output!


The AmEx Full House: 3 Hilton, 2 Bonvoy

We’ll time to pack up Derp Report! I finally achieved my AmEx Full House consisting of 3 Hilton Cards and 2 Marriott cards:

Here is what I got planned out, I have one free night with my one active Hilton Aspire. I looked at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, but it turns out the rooms are all dated in the historic hotel. I just discovered the main hotel is for basic bitches, and there is an attached Beach Village at The Del, Curio Collection by Hilton with nights starting at $1,049! This is where the cool kids stay with it’s very own private entrance and pool.

I plan on using my free weekend night here, and the Hilton Diamond status would then waive the resort fee. Additionally since the place is considered a Hilton resort, I would have $250 a card to spend at the property.

Now my $250 airline credit resets January 2018, and my free weekend night will expire 03-Apr-2020. This gets me just in time to have my Player 2 get her own Hilton Honors Aspire as well as convert her Hilton Honors Surpass (Ascend) Card into another Hilton Honors Aspire card. With these three cards we can have 3 weekend nights at $1,000 a night, $750 in Southwest or Delta Airlines Gift cards, and $750 to spend on a 4 day, 3 night stay from Friday night to Monday morning all for free.

Come May 2020 I would be able to convert my Hilton Honors and Hilton Honors Ascend to two more cards as well as my Player 2 to convert her third Hilton Honors card to do the same thing all over again, but probably at the Boca Beach Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Boca Raton, FL.

All of this work is worth it for 8 days and 6 nights a year for free, with $1,500 in resort credits and $1,500 in airfare. With the MLA waiver of multiple $450 annual fees, we are looking at an out of pocket cost of $0.00.

We continue the churn with our three Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Cards. My and P2s free nights and $300 credits resets on August. On top of that I can upgrade my Bonvoy to a Brilliant in February. So I can book 3 nights in a row at 50k points a night at the Ritz Amelia Island with $900 in hotel credit. Here we can have our first official Military Churn summit with some local top brass!

Then every year thereafter we will be get the same benefits without opening or closing any cards. The perpetual churning wallet will be achieved. I might actually drop under 5/24!!!

My wife will still have her Business AmEx Delta Reserve which will give us a companion pass for first class every year. Not sure if its worth playing the shuffle game to get a 4th Marriott card. Any data points on getting a second Bonvoy Brilliant while holding on to one?


No Bonus On Hilton Ascend With Previous Surpass

If you were wondering if you can get the bonus for the Hilton Honors Ascend, but had a previous Surpass, the answer is no:

My goal is to get all three Hilton Cards:

I currently have the Aspire and Honors cards, I clicked continue and submit. I intend to upgrade the Honors and the Ascend to two more Aspire cards. The application for the Ascend went to pending. I think it is because I just closed my Delta Platinum (my 5th amex credit card) last night and that hasn’t cleared yet.

My other thought is it has been exactly 90 days since I applied for 3 credit cards. There is an ongoing 2/90 day rule where you should not try to apply for more than 2 cards in a 90 day period. Any other data points out there?

Update, I was approved a mere two hours later:


Golden Flashlights From Barclays Gold Luxury Card

There is one O-6 in Hawaii who successfully negotiated with Barclays Bank to continue his $995 annual fee waived on his 24k Gold Luxury Card. Last night he got his third “Luxury Gift” which was a gold maglight flashlight set:

This very disappointing as compared to the Ray-Bans and Cross Pens that we had received before:

I didn’t pursue getting the $995 fee waived on my Gold Luxury, so I closed the card in January 2017 after hitting the $200 credit one last time. I currently have the Arrival+, AAdvantage Aviator Silver, and Wyndham ($75 annual fee version) also from Barclays Bank. I don’t get charged the annual fee on the Arrival+ and the Aviator because I had them all prior to 2016 (before the 28 Nov 2016 Gold Card shutdown). However I get charged for the Wyndham card:

I figure that I opened the card after the 28 November 2016 SCRA shutdown, BUT before the September 2017 MLA implementation. I haven’t even tried to apply MLA on this one, and just paid it like a bitch. I wrote Barclay off as a complete lost, but then I got this datapoint today from reader MJV305:

So apparently they only deny scra and mla on the gold card.  My 03 buddy has the black card and he says the annual fee is waived and he def got it after he joined the military.  I personally wouldn’t even waste my time with the black card though.

Mjv305 on 11 May 2019

If this is the case regarding MLA, there are several card worth looking into:

$495 annual fee, worth $100 travel credit and Luxury Gifts
$99 annual fee, 70k for inter-Hawaii flights
$99 annual fee, upgrade to Silver Aviator for $25 a day credit for in flight dining
$95 annual fee, do it for the 75k AAdvantage, and companion pass

Any data points out there on these other products?


New MLA Verification Site

Interesting discovery while reading about the MLA here, there is now an official site to generate a single MLA record. What is interesting is Reservists that are active 30 days or more get verified same as AD in this report. I ran mine and it gave me this letter and text:

This inquiry system has been designed to support identification of borrowers covered by 32 C.F.R. Part 232, which legally protects covered military personnel and their family members from excessive interest rates. This Federal regulation, which implements 10 U.S.C. 987, defines covered borrowers as: (1) A regular or reserve member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard, serving on active duty under a call or order that does not specify a period of 30 days or less, or such a member serving on Active Guard and Reserve duty as that term is defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(d)(6), (2) the member’s spouse, (3) the member’s child defined in 38 USC 101(4), or (4) an individual for whom the member provided more than one-half of the individual’s support for 180 days immediately preceding an extension of consumer credit covered by 32 C.F.R. Part 232.

This inquiry system checks the enrollment of individuals in the centralized database of identity, military medical eligibility and enrollment, and benefits verification data on members of the DoD Components, members of the Uniformed Services, and other personnel as designated by the Department of Defense, and their eligible family members (called the Defense Enrollment and Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) database).

The Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) is the Department of Defense organization that maintains the DEERS database. The data in DEERS is sent to DMDC from the Uniformed Services and DoD Components. The data is as current as the information received. The DEERS database can consistently identify most individuals included in the definition of covered borrowers with the exception of (4) above: an individual for whom the member provided more than one-half of the individual’s support for 180 days immediately preceding an extension of consumer credit covered by 32 C.F.R. Part 232. Some covered borrowers in this category may not be included in the database.

This certificate was provided based on information provided by the requester. Providing an erroneous last name or SSN or date of birth will cause an erroneous certificate to be provided.

I wish I knew more about the reservists, but I would encourage any of you reserve members to run this report during different times of your activation to see what reports come out.


Why I Don’t Have a Capital One Savor Rewards Card

An O-2 medical service corps reader asked me why I don’t have this card:

Simple answer is I don’t even know if Capital One waives fees for military per the MLA or SCRA. Please post data points if you got them! I don’t have any of their credit products, but have a 2% Money Market Account ($10,000 minimum). This gives me an ATM card with access to their Capital One cafes around the country.

I did a quick back of the envelope calculation on the known MLA waived products and determined we have much better cash back with these products:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve:
    • 3x UR on dining
    • Each UR is worth 1.5 cents on flights
    • 4.5% travel value.
  • AmEx Personal Gold
    • 4x MR on dining
    • Each MR worth 1.5 cents with AmEx Biz Plat
    • 6% on flights
    • Each MR worth 1.25 cents with Schwab Platinum
    • 5% cash back on dining
  • AmEx Biz Gold
    • 4x MR on dining
    • Each MR worth 1.5 cents with AmEx Biz Plat
    • 6% on flights
    • Each MR worth 1.25 cents with Schwab Platinum
    • 5% cash back on dining
  • Citi Prestige
    • 5x TY points on dining
    • Each TY point worth 1.25 cents on travel
    • 6.25% Cash back on travel

The Savior card is a flat 4% on dining and would waste a hard pull and a 5/24 slot. The 4% cashback cah be beat with AmEx Gold at 4x MR on dining, with cash out with Schwab Plat at 5% cashback since each MR is worth 1.25 cents per point.


U.S. Bank Hates Churners

The current debate raging right now is if we need to hit U.S. Bank before even hitting Chase. I am currently 24/24 right now and have been denied for Altitude card #2 as well as the Skypass Select in the last two days:

I applied in persson to get my first and only U.S. Bank card 2.5 years ago. I have $33k in credit on my first Altitude card, but I don’t get the MLA waiver since I opened the card before October 2017. In the last year I opened 8 new cards:

I have to be careful since these two attempts have put two new inquiries on my credit report. Some people say that more than 6 inquiries in 6 months may result in denials for future Citicards.

Should we consider revising the strategy as such:

  1. U.S. Bank Altitude
  2. CSR
  3. Chase United Club Card
  4. Freedom Unlimited (Upgrade to CSR in 1 yr)
  5. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless (Upgrade to Ritz in 1 yr)

Please report in on when you got your Altitude and how many cards you had before applying for it. We need to crack this U.S. Bank problem before making our optimized churning wallet! I have been working on this since January 2018.

Update: I got this letter today (04 May 2019):

It appears that the most recent lines with Citibank are the problem, and they were not even hard pulls. I also checked credit karma and saw that the two pulls were not combined:


U.S. Bank: 120k Radisson Offer

Frequent Miler is reporting the U.S. Bank Visa Infinite is offering 120k for $3k spent in 90 days. Unfortunately, I looked into it and 120k doesn’t go too far at the nice hotels in Chicago:

On the flipside, U.S. Bank is offering MLA waivers on all of their cards. This means the card will generate 40k every year for free, as the $75 annual fee is waived.

There does not seem to be a limit on U.S. Bank card cards. I am serious about hitting U.S. Bank hard, but can’t decide between a second Altitude, Korean Airlines, or this Raddison Card. Does anyone out there have a referral for this card or any U.S. Bank Product?

Any data points on getting a second Altitude?


WeBull Challenge Conclusion

Six months ago we started a little contest using Webull to trade paper money. Today I get to announce the winners:

  • 1st: $250 Southwest Airlines digital gift card
    • Credible @ $1,144,215.47
  • 2nd: $100 American Airlines digital Gift Card 
    • DerpReporter @ $1,112,847.49
  • 3rd: $50 physical gift card from Saks fifth Avenue
    • BC @ $1,087,812.00
  • 4th: Jouster @ $1,066,405.21
  • 5th: Mjv305 @ $1,062,962.27
  • 6th: SheepDoggyDog @ $1,030,841.68
  • 7th: Julia’s College Fund @ $1,000,000 (No trades)
  • 8th: Magoo @ $939,530.34
  • 9th: HeimTime @ $700,425.81

Previous posts can be found here, and an excel file here:

Thanks to all that participated! I hope you guys get some ideas on what, (and what not) to invest your money into aside from the $19,000 you put into TSP! Many more contests to come in the future, so stay tuned.


U.S. Bank Korean Airline SkyPass Select Credit Card

Thanks to reader James that suggested to include the U.S. Bank Korean Airline SkyPass Select Credit Card in my optimal perpetual preferred card portfolio. I had sadly never heard of this card because U.S. Bank is not really know for their premium products, nor for their MLA annual fee waivers. The card was launched May 2018 and was dubbed the “Worst Premium Credit Card” by the people at one mile at a time, and this is when they were offering 30K points for $3k spend (now only 15k for $1.5k spend).

I have never flown Korean Airlines, but enjoyed their lounges when flying to Seoul from Okinawa. Since U.S. Bank waives the $450 fee per the MLA, I just see the following benefits of the card as free perpetual benefits:

  • 15,000 Skypass miles after spending $1,500 in 90 days
  • $200 on travel purchases, resets on card anniversary
  • A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit every four years
  • 2 Korean Air Lounge passes every year
  • 2 Korean Air in-flight duty free vouchers of $25 each on $50 spend
  • $100 discount on a Korean Air ticket, valid for 90 days

The 15k initial sign up bonus is pretty useless according to their redemption chart below. However the Korean Airlines considers Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to be part of North America.

I am thinking of hitting all their 30k point cards and then pooling the points, that’s 75k, which is good for first class to Hawaii! They have so very many obscure U.S. Bank products:

The two current offers for 30K are for these cards:

One good thing is you can use MR, UR to transfer to Marriott Points, then transfer again to Korean Airlines Skypass at a 3:1 ratio to book a flight. Although that would be a terrible use of points in my opinion. The $200 travel credit and the two free lounge passes are the only thing that appeals to me. Keep in mind they consider travel to be: airlines, hotels, or car rental companies.

Valid lounges can be found at these locations:

  • Seoul (Incheon, Gimpo)
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • Honolulu?? (Korean Air considers HI to be part of North America for the purpose of SkyTeam awards)

The Chicago Lounge closed in 2018, but mainline KAL metal flight to Seoul still departs out of Terminal 5:

4 digit flight codes indicate codeshare with Alaska and Delta, KE 284 is Cargo

The card can be referred! Please post a referral code or link so we can all get in on this action. I am planning on doing it for the sake of the yearly $200 credit to use on the Minibar on my points stays!