Point & Center: 10-20% off Virgin America Flights, $50 off Marriott Hotels with Amex Sync & Using Credit Cards to Pay Bills with Evolve Money

I am in the Phoenix this weekend attending the #westcoastDO where about 100 or so points & miles fanatics meet to hear some interesting speakers talk and to share stories, tips and tricks about manufactured spending, travel hacking and trips they have taken. It’s been an awesome weekend but here is a recap of what’s going on in the points & miles world.

1) 10-20% Virgin America Flights – It seems Virgin America is always offering some sort of discount on flights as there is yet another promotion going on right now in which you can take 10-20% off Virgin America flights with promo code DEAL20. This deal isn’t as good as the one a few weeks ago (that one had a much wider travel period) but this deal does include weekend travel so it might work for a quick weekend getaway. Here are the key details:

  • Must book by 11:59 PST TONIGHT (11/9) using promo code DEAL20
  • Travel must be between December 3rd and December 16th
  • You can take 20% off if you travel on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday
  • You can take 10% off if you travel on the other days of the week (including Friday and Sunday which were excluded last time)

I see roundtrip fares from NY to LA at $242 for this promotion which is fantastic for a non-stop transcon. Play around with the dates to get the lowest price.


2) Take $50 Off Your Next Marriott Stay with Amex Sync – There is an American Express Sync offer that will allow you to take $50 off your next Marriott stay by tweeting #AmexMarriott and then booking a reservation directly with Marriott with your American Express card that is enrolled with Amex Sync. It kinda stinks so many Marriott brands are excluded (see below) but this could work if you are traveling for the upcoming holidays at an eligible Marriott Hotel.

Here is a direct link to the terms and conditions but the big things to know are:

  • Tweet using #AmexMarriott to add this offer to your connected American Express Card
  • Must book directly with Marriott Hotels as reservations must be made online at http://www.marriotthotels.com
  • The total amount charged must be over $200 for the $50 credit to hit. So even if the room rate is under $200, you can still charge any incidentals to your room to get to $200 and make this promotion work for you.
  • You must stay in a Marriott hotel between 11/6/14 and 12/31/14
  • Several Marriott Chains are excluded including The Ritz-Carlton®, EDITION®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Autograph Collection®, JW Marriott®, Renaissance Hotels®, MOXY(TM) Hotels, Courtyard®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, Protea Hotels(TM), Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Gaylord Hotels® and Marriott Vacation Club®

3) Use Credit Cards to Pay Bills with Evolve Money – I don’t think I’ve blogged about this before but Evolve money is a bill pay service that in the past let you use gift cards or debit cards to make bill payments for student loans, mortgages, utilities and more.  There was even a short time where you could use credit cards to pay those bills without a fee. Unfortunately, Evolve made some changes a while back that stopped allowing credit cards and limiting you to make only one payment per bill in a month.

Well the good news now is Evolve is “evolving” (I’ll be here all week folks) and they are now accepting at the moment, just Discover credit cards to use for bill payments. They also noted that in early 2015 they will be introducing plans to allow users to use Visa or MasterCard credit cards to pay bills. There are no fees for this service from Evolve but I do wonder if the credit card companies will consider this a cash advance instead of a purchase. And if that’s true, there is no point to do this. I don’t have a Discover card to check it out but I am looking forward to testing it once Visa/MasterCards are accepted.


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