Free Giveaway: Two American Airlines Admirals Club Passes Expiring April 15th

Update: Jeff Pierre is the winner! He has already responded to claim the prize. Thanks to all that entered!

A kind reader of mine (Christian) commented on a recent post that he was looking to get rid of a couple expiring AA Admirals Club passes and I offered to help by having a giveaway on the blog.

AA Passes

It is quite simple to enter the drawing for these free passes – simply leave a comment on this post telling me what airport you would use these passes at.

Since these passes expire in a month please only enter if you know you can use them by 4/15. I will select the winner, using a random number generator, on Tuesday night (3/15) at 9pm EST and put you in touch via email with Christian so he can mail you the passes. Based on when they are mailed, you will have a little less than 4 weeks to use the passes.

Good luck!

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Free Points Roundup + One Deal Where It is Worth Buying Points

There a few offers out there for some free points and I’m not one to pass up any points, even Spirit points with their draconian expiration policy. Here are some free points that you should take 30 seconds or less to claim:

1. 1,000 Free Spirit Miles – I don’t fly Spirit but I do love magazines. The last time Spirit handed out miles I picked up a few magazine subscriptions and I see some current magazine subscriptions starting at 600 points so I’ll pick up another subscription. Western Horseman anyone?

Only 800 Spirit Miles!

Only 800 Spirit Miles!

2. 25 Free Hertz Gold Rewards – Register for their Winter Promotion here and get 25 points. Doesn’t get much easier than this.

Now below isn’t a truly free points gig but it is an opporunity to buy ~$42 worth of JetBlue points for only $14.99.

JetBlue

Via Running with Miles, JetBlue has partnered with Texture which is an app that delivers a variety of different magazines electronically to you on a monthly basis. JetBlue is offering 3,000 points (which are worth about ~$42) for signing up and paying for their premium service which is $14.99/month. However, you can cancel at anytime so as long as you pay for a month, you should collect the 3,000 points from JetBlue. Just set a Google calendar alert to cancel the subscription if you don’t plan on using it.

Even if you don’t ever read any magazine from Texture, you are essentially paying $15 for $42 worth of points. If you fly JetBlue, than I definitely recommend taking advantage of this.

Enjoy the long weekend folks!

Do This Now: Deals & Offers That Expire on 12/31

Last year, I published a year end checklist of sorts with various deals, offers & promotions that I thought were worth considering maximizing before they expired. A lot of you found it helpful so I did the same for this year with a quick list of offers or promotions that expire on 12/31/15 that you should seriously consider taking advantage of.

The clock is ticking...

The clock is ticking…

1. Use the Airline Credit on the American Express Platinum ($200) or Premier Rewards Gold ($100) – Even though the official language regarding this credit is meant to cover baggage fees, lounge passes etc., I always buy gift cards to make sure I fulfill this credit, since I wouldn’t complete it on fees alone. Buying $50 Delta e-gift cards or $100 American Airlines gift cards does the trick. Make sure you have chosen the airline first!

2. Maximize Chase Freedom Q4 Bonus & Earn 10x at Amazon – The Chase Freedom Q4 5 10% Bonus category is Amazon, Zappos, Audible, & Diapers.com and you will earn 10% cash back up to $1,500 in spend in these categories. I’m a big Amazon shopper so I will always stock up on Amazon gift cards to make sure I hit the $1,500 in spend. You could take a similar approach for the other stores by buying gift cards for future purchases. I’ll gladly take earning 10x on all my Amazon purchases for next year!

If you plan to buy Amazon Gift Cards or reload your Amazon Gift Card Balance to maximize this promotion, please consider using my Amazon link here. I do earn a small referral for any purchase – thank you for your support!

3. Use Those Great Amex Offers – In the past quarter, American Express has released some of the better Amex Offers which can offer some substantial savings especially if you have multiple Amex cards in your household like I do. Here is a quick summary of the better offers expiring on 12/31 – if you don’t have anything to buy, consider a gift card.

  • Amazon – Spend $60, Get a $15 Statement Credit
  • Best Buy – Spend $199, Get a $20 Statement Credit
  • Walmart – Spend $35, Get a $15 Statement Credit
  • Dunkin Donuts – Spend $10, Get a $5 Statement Credit
  • AirBnb – Spend $100, Get a $50 Statement Credit
  • Newegg – Spend $200, Get a $25 Statement Credit

4. Maximize Discover + Apple Pay Promotion for 10% Cashback on In-Store Purchases – This is a huge deal that is valid on the first $10,000 of spending so you could earn a cool $1,000 on top of all normal cashback from Discover (such as their Double Cashback promotion so this is really worth $2,000). If you have no clue what I am talking about, read this post from Frequent Miler.

5. Apply for a CitiGold Checking Account for 50k AA Miles or 50k Thank You Points – You must have an American Airlines credit card (Platinum Select) for the AA offer using code 42ERCWNQU6 or a Thank You Points earning card (Prestige, Premier, Preferred) for the Thank You offer using code 42ERCZ42PY. I’ve written extensively about taking advantage of this offer and how to do it here, here and here (though this was a savings account which is also worth reading about).

6. Use the $300 Ritz Carlton Credit Card Travel Credit – This is similar to the American Express airline credit with the main differences being it can used across many airlines and that the credit is not automatic. You must call in and it has effectively gotten much tougher to get credit for items that normally don’t qualify for a credit, such as airline gift cards. You can try to go down that path if you are willing to fib about the actual charge so I recommend buying lounges passes or upgrading to economy comfort/plus seats for travel already booked for next year. You can see what others have had success with here.

7. Use the Citi Prestige $250 Travel Credit – Unless you have a December 31 close date on your statement, it is too late to do this but for those that do, make sure you use the $250 airline credit from the Prestige card. Unlike the Ritz or Amex cards mentioned above, this credit is not calendar year based but rather expires for the year on your December statement close date. So for example, if you statement closed on 12/20, it is now too late to use your 2015 credit but you can start using your 2016 credit today since that statement will close in 2016. This credit is also good for the purchase of anything from the airline – including actual tickets!

8. $15 Statement Credit for Using a Chase Freedom with Visa Checkout – This is pretty simple to execute, go to a store that accepts Visa Checkout (Staples, Newegg, Gap and more) and use your Chase Freedom for a purchase of $15 or more to see a $15 statement credit in a few weeks.

These are the ‘bigger’ offers I could think of – what did I miss?

Happy Thanksgiving! (And Some Notes about Black Friday/Cyber Monday)

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and clients!

Some Random Notes I Want to Share on Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals:

I am not expecting any amazing deals related to travel from either the airlines or hotel chains but I’ve included the links below for each “sale” I am aware of. For the airlines, Delta has a “Pre-Black Friday Sale” that discounts award tickets to 10,000 miles on some flights. Go to this link for the applicable flights and travel date restrictions. My one question is how can Delta have a sale on award flights when there is no published award chart stating what these flights normally cost?

I see that Starwood has a 30% off sale, Marriott matched that (starting tomorrow), and Hilton did the same as well though the travel dates are more limited. If you have upcoming stays that you know about, even if you already booked them, double-check the prices with this sale and you might be able to save a few bucks. Last year, I was able to score 50% off at Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii (I got the new MAKAI rooms at around $120/night) but this year’s deals don’t seem to present the same opportunities.

Today has already started with some great deals on electronics from the usual array of retailers including Target, Staples & Best Buy. A lot of the good stuff is sold out already but I was able to pick up some iPad Mini’s 4 that I plan to resell on Amazon. With Staples, make sure to checkout with Visa Checkout this weekend for another $25 off.

I don’t plan on posting anything over this holiday weekend but I recommend following my Twitter feed @PointsCentric as I will be posting any amazing deals or opportunities there.

BFCM

RedBird’s Dead, Free Points/Miles & Other Items I Missed

I just got back from an excellent trip to Dubai and the Maldives in which I got to fly some of the world’s best first class products (Emirates & Etihad) and stay at some luxurious hotels (Park Hyatt Maldives) using points & miles. I plan to post a trip report in the coming week or so but I wanted to put together a post summarizing some important updates I missed while I was away.

Here is a very brief rundown of changes, updates & promotions you should know about that I missed blogging about.

Marriott Points & Cash