Bi-Weekly Update (September 5, 2016)

Happy Labor Day!  This update is a few days late because I was enjoying the long weekend with my family.  Thank you for bearing with me; I know you were all anxiously checking the site for updates throughout the weekend.  🙂

State Fair 1

State Fair 2

Enjoying a beautiful day at the MN State Fair

Camping with the extended family on Labor Day weekend. You can't measure the value on that!

Camping with the extended family on Labor Day weekend. You can’t measure the value on that!

I recently came across this flyertalk thread by someone just starting out in this hobby. He wanted to know what kind of results can realistically be expected by using the credit card and points & miles tactics.  There’s a general sentiment on flyertalk that bloggers “sell a fantasy” when it comes to this hobby.  One thing I’ve always tried to do with ValueTactics is present my raw data so you can get a realistic picture of how this all works.  I am thinking about doing a whole post on this topic, but in the mean time…

Here is our points activity (transparent and unfiltered) for August:

  • earned 5,580 airline miles
  • earned 121 “other” points
  • earned 1,017 Citi Thank-You points
  • earned 632 Chase Ultimate Rewards

Free Gas Update
As you will see in the new blog posts below, it was a big few weeks for the free gas tactic.  Super America’s announced the discontinuation of Double Coupon Tuesday, I discovered a new points earning tactic for My SA Rewards, and I redeemed my last ever $25.00 value gas coupon.

Since I started tracking my free gas results in January 2014, I have pumped $1,365.57 in free gas, largely by leveraging the double coupon redemption on Tuesdays.  My total discount on gas purchases in 2016 has been 20.6%!  These numbers will decrease in the future, but I will continue to use the tactics and maximize the value of whatever opportunities are around.

New ValueTactics Blog Posts
The Man Who Earned 1.25 Million Miles . . . with Pudding is a tale of a legendary hero of points and miles.  If ValueTactics had a patron saint, the Pudding Guy would be him.
The Free Cheese Stick Loophole is a bittersweet discovery I made that could have gotten me 56 free cheese sticks a week.  But I made the discovery just in time for the deal to become far less valuable.  Read the post to take a trip into my points-calculating mind. . . if you dare!
Last Chance for Double Coupon Tuesday was last Tuesday, August 30th.  I really hope some of you with My SA Rewards points in your accounts heeded my warning and redeemed them in time to earn maximum value.

Website News
I updated the Free Gas tactical page to reflect the loss of Super America’s Double Coupon Tuesdays. I also moved around some of the sidebar elements on the site (affects mainly desktop users) to be more convenient and helpful.

Travel News
One week until our get-away to Hawaii!! Nicoleen and I couldn’t be more excited for this trip. It’s the culmination of 3 strategic credit card applications, some tactical flight and hotel bookings, and a masterpiece of child care planning (that last part all attributable to Nicoleen). It’s an interesting fall to travel to Hawaii, as the island chain recently had two rare near misses with hurricanes.

The leftovers of Hurricane Lester, seen northwest of Hawaii

The leftovers of Hurricane Lester, seen northwest of Hawaii

Credit Card News
No big news on the personal front, but if you follow these things at all, you’ve read some of the hubbub surrounding the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the honey badger of credit cards, which was just released in the end of August.  I won’t even try to delve into the details of this card in this update, but I’ll do a post on it shortly.  In the meantime, you can just google it to see what the fuss is about.

Now you’re updated. Go employ some Value Tactics!

2 thoughts on “Bi-Weekly Update (September 5, 2016)

  1. M-I-L

    I was checking for updates all weekend! May I please have an island fresh pineapple as payment for an evening of childcare?? I am glad you have this opportunity and hope the trip is delightful!! I am looking forward to some time with the grandkids!


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