Posted by William Charles on July 26, 2015
Questions & Answers

Published on July 26th, 2015 | by William Charles

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Got A Question? We’ve Got The Answer

I want to start answering more reader questions, it’s something that we used to do a lot of but haven’t done as much of recently. If you have a question that you can find the answer to (and please search on this site and google first) then please ask in the comments below. If the question/answer is quite simple or we’ve already answered it before, we’ll simply reply in the comments. If it’s slightly more complex, or something that lots of people want the answer to then we’ll do a dedicated post answering it.

I also encourage other readers to answer questions they know the answer to, this gives us more time to focus and research the answers that are a bit more challenging. If you have a question that you want to be slightly more discreet about, you can also contact us instead and we’ll answer by e-mail.

So, get asking questions below!



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JR
JR

Hi, do you have bank promo code for the spg asia pacific world Mastercard promotion?

Jb
Jb

Easiest quickest cheapest way to manuspend $1k in one day on the island of Manhattan. Must work for any credit card and total transaction costs to return to cash is less than 2%

Alan
Alan

1. I have a grand total of 4,071 Hyatt points — which will expire in January due to inactivity.
2. I do not want to get the Hyatt credit card this year — because I will not be able to use the 2 free nights before they expire. (Currently, I can’t travel due to illness. But I hope to travel again starting in 2017.)
3. The price that Hyatt charges to buy 1,000 points is not a good value.
4. I can’t get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card — because I have had many more than 5 credit card applications in the last 24 months.
5. Any suggestions as to how I can — inexpensively — keep my 4,071 Hyatt points from expiring?
Thanks in advance!

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

Generating any kind of activity on your account should keep it active. You could book a low cost far off reservation with points and then cancel. That should in theory deduct and refund points. I don’t know for sure that’d get the job done but it’s something low risk and easy you can try.

Alan
Alan

Parkerthon — Thanks for the suggestion — but I have only 4,071 points. Not enough to book a reservation.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

What about points and cash? Those start at 2500 point redemption rates I believe.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

Also, failing a hack approach like I’m suggesting, you may simply be able to call gold passport customer service and explain your plight. CSR’s can give out points… even 1 point from a sympathetic human CSR would reset your clock. In my experience, HGP reps tend to have a decent amount of empowerment to fix something without having to get their boss involved.

Alan
Alan

Parkerthon — Thanks again.

paul mills

Can I buy a $500 dollar visa gift card at walmart and the go to the servic desk at walmart and buy a money order with the vgc. Thank You

CtownBin
CtownBin

Depending on which VCG you buy, it could be possible, yes. Walmart sells 2 types of $500 gift cards. One is OneVanilla, which as is well-known won’t work for unloading at WM. The other type is a Wal-Mart branded VGC, issued by Sunrise, I believe, and these will work for unloading, I did this just last week. However, as usual, it is best not to openly show that you’re using a GC when buying a MO at WM, so after buying the GC, I would step aside somewhere to open the package before heading over to the service desk.

Also, since the maximum value MO at WM is $1,000, I would wait until I had 2 VGC- that way you could do a split tender and cut your MO costs in half.

Ted
Ted

Alan – have a meal at a Hyatt and tell them your HGP number. They post the next day. Or someone might buy them from you or have someone sell you a few points.

Alan
Alan

Ted — Thanks for the suggestion — but I am currently homebound — and can’t get out to a Hyatt for a meal.

Raj
Raj

Do you have any UR (Ultimate Rewards) points? You can transfer the minimum to Hyatt that way.

Alan
Alan

Raj — Thanks for the suggestion — but I as indicated in my original post: “I can’t get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card — because I have had many more than 5 credit card applications in the last 24 months.” Therefore, UR points are not an option.

Jason Scott
Jason Scott

With the new 18 month language in the Citibank T&C, can I obtain a sign up bonus on a business card multiple times or only once within this window? Specifically, can I obtain the bonus for a new/different business concept than my original business.

Johnny D
Johnny D

For the Amex zappos offer, if I spend 200 but return about $100 of the items in my order, would Amex still provide the $40 credit or there’s a strong chance it wouldn’t count?

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

I’ve been searching for an answer to this question myself. Bloggers don’t address it since it’s further down the slippery slope of what may be deemed fraudulent behavior if done repeatedly and intentionally. Here’s what I’ve learned thus far: 1.) It’s YMMV by offer. Seems things the require completion of the sale like reservations are clawed back almost always where sales of goods are not. It’s definitely something that just varies in how amex monitors it. 2.) It’s mostly processed faster and left unchecked for smaller offers. 3.) I’ve heard that it checks transactions on statement close. They balance off how many purchases vs credits happened potentially over 90 days although it seems more likely first statement. If your below the qualifying amount overall it claws it back.

HORACE
HORACE

What “may” be deemed fraudulent behavior, you say??

It IS fraudulent behavior, let’s see if the “moderators” of this board will permit this comment as they seem to condone the posting of comments that advocate fraudulent behavior!

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

Horace.. for the record, ethics aside, this type of behavior would never scale and I don’t condone it. I’m just curious. If someone did this a lot, eventually Amex will catch on and shut them down(if not something worse) as happens in all instances when folks find loopholes with issuers and exploit them too much. Manual reviews are randomly triggered in credit card issuer systems by crossing thresholds of what is considered activity outside the norms which even conservative MSers can trigger so better to stay closer to the plausible side with your actions if you want to stay out of trouble. Not only that, but merchants tend to take notice when you return a lot as well. It’s too much risk and not enough reward for the little money these offers dangle. Much easier to just cherry pick offers that you can fulfill for a nice return without blatantly abusing the system and risking your relationship… although some would argue buying gift cards or doing retail arbitrage is unethical and is abuse of the system so…

Johnny D
Johnny D

what do you mean if you’re below the qualifying amount then the $40 does not get credited?

are you saying that you need to not return for one statement period to keep the $40? fyi i am just inquiring due to the situation that there is something i want on zappos for $100, but not for $200. but id be very happy if i still received a $20 or $40 credit or some proration (but i realize thats probably not possible since this is just a set amount credit). i can see how this would be abused with returning though

so basically, for a purchase offer like this one where its spend X and get Y credit, you’re saying that as long as i hold my order for one statement period, i should keep the credit and not see it clawed back?

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

This is my understanding based completely on anecdotal evidence collected from forums across the internet. I haven’t had an opportunity legitimately to test these cases and have no desire to cross my own line to intentionally test it out. One thing is consistent, it is all YMMV so I wouldn’t count on keeping the purchase to make my decision to buy or not buy an item. You’ll just have to see if you get lucky. It does seem like it is more likely you’ll keep the credit if you don’t return the item right away but I couldn’t find a conclusive timeline. I’d suggest waiting to send in the return until the next statement cycle if it’s close. That said, an above board approach that I leveraged was buying a $200 gift card and using that over time instead. I don’t think they ever do a partial clawback, so you’ll either get to keep the $40 or they’ll take it all back.

RL
RL

If you shop regularly on Zappos and not doing it just for the offer, you can get $200 in Zappos gift cards which will trigger the credit. Then use the gift cards to buy atZappos anytime.

HORACE
HORACE

Johnny D — I’m glad your ethics are in black and white for all to see. I would like to hear from all the other pigs who defend your actions.

Getting a good deal is one thing, so is maximizing bonuses, etc, but you are an out an out fraudster!

Yuanxi
Yuanxi

Does the Amex retention offer depend on what customer service agent sees in the model in front of him, or does he have authority to give it? Thank you!

savemesf
savemesf

Raise recently mailed out a promo code to reduce their commission on sales to 10%. Will using this code invalidate the $10 from TCB?

Mike B
Mike B

I’ve heard many say that due to recent FF program devaluations the best option for strictly based US domestic travel is to acquire the best cash back CCs you can and just book flights based on price. But is there still any value to obtaining one of the airlines co-branded CCs and trying to build loyalty in their FF program? If so, which one would it be?

Andrew
Andrew

Hey all, I’m a bit new to the redeeming part of the miles and points. I’m want to book a vacation to us virgin islands, or any other us territory.

I have 60k AA, my wife 50k AA. I have 50k TYP. 50k delta. And about 20k MR and UR.

Can I get anything for an end of August vacation? Any suggestions on how to best use the miles I have?

Rich
Rich

Can we buy $500 vgc at Walmart using wm gcs? If so, is there a maximum number of wm gc we can use? I have ten $50 wm gc and want to get one $500 vgc. Thanks!

RL
RL

Last I tried, register won’t accept WM cc for purchase of VGC, in store or online.

RL
RL

Opps typo, register won’t accept WM GC for VGC purchase.

Nicholas
Nicholas

Don’t even think about attempting this. Walmart is already very YMMV for using CCs for VGC purchases and then you’re looking to break the purchase into 10 transactions using WGCs??? That’s just begging for negative attention.

Unclesam
Unclesam

Do you know if the $50 off $300 Amex Sync Offer for Air travel needs to be in a single purchase or can be split across multiple transactions? Also if purchase of AA GC fro aa.com will count towards the $300 purchase limit.

Jason
Jason

I have four $1000 American Express gift cards, and unfortunately they are not personalized. I have been turned down when trying to buy $500 VGCs at the mall with them, and I keep getting “Please enter a valid credit card number” on GiftCards.com.

Gift Card Mall doesn’t sell $500 VGCs any longer, so I would rather not use them.

What are my options to liquidate these gift cards? Am I limited to finding a grocery store or pharmacy that accepts them for VGCs?

Michael L.
Michael L.

It depends on how much of a haircut your willing to take. Search this blog, there are some good options. Also, sign up for the newsletter. Sometimes there are exclusives in there.

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