Let’s take a quick look at the some of the big things going on in the points & miles world this week.
1) New IHG Promotion And Why You Should Care – Every quarter or so, most hotel chains release a new promotion which generally range from sucky to OK but the recently announced “Into The Nights” by IHG has potential to be one of the best hotel promotions in recent memory. The offer is slightly different for each member but generally others have indicated that 2-3 nights stayed at IHG hotels from now to December 31st could result in 2 Free nights anywhere in the world with IHG. The obvious hack here is to stay at two really cheap hotels and redeem them at high end hotels.
The above is my offer for the promo. I only need to complete 4 of the 5 offers for 2 Free Nights anywhere. Looking closely at it, if I can simply stay at 2 different Holiday Inns, I can complete this promo by staying only 2 nights. Holiday Inns are everywhere and can be cheap, so if I could find 2 Holiday Inns at $100/night, I could get 2 Free Nights certificates for $100 each and then I could redeem them at InterContinental Hotels that range from $300-$700 a night! Check out this post from Travel Summary for more analysis.
2) American Express Gift Cards No Longer Eligible for Cash Back via Shopping Portals – I haven’t written about this yet on the blog but a popular way to meet the minimum spending requirement on a credit card to unlock a large signup bonus is to purchase American Express Gift Cards via shopping portals. You would actually earn a small profit while meeting the spend requirement but recently all the portals stopped paying any cashback for these gift cards.
In the past, if a portal paid 2% back you would earn $20 cashback but pay $12.90 in fees for a $1,000 Amex gift card. Then you simply use that card to pay for your normal expenses (or liquidate it if you are more advanced) going forward. In a pinch, if I had no other way to meet the minimum spend on a card, I would consider still buying a gift card but I’d hold off until the portals start paying again for the gift cards.
3) 50,000 Mile Chase United Explore Credit Card is Still Available – The popular 50,000 mile signup bonus offer expired on September 2nd online but there are reports you can still signup for it…if you visit an airport. It seems in some of the United hubs, they are still promoting the 50k United Credit card offer in the terminals. Most of the time any credit card you see promoted in an airport is typically inferior but its nice to see one time where that isn’t the case. (H/T Milecards)