Semi-Monthly Update (October 26th, 2017)

Wow!  There have been lots of developments in the ValueTactics sphere of interest in the past couple of weeks.  Some credit card deals have disappeared and others have materialized.  Card issuing banks continue to modify their terms and policies.  An airline announced some potentially exciting news.  Personally, I have been very busy strategizing my own points and miles earning and usage.  Nicoleen and I have almost earned the sign-up bonus on both of our new cards.  And on top of all this, we leave for our family Disney trip in 2 days!

Air Travel News

Southwest Airlines has announced it will begin flying to Hawaii in 2018!  More options are always better than fewer.  This could mean cheaper flights across the board to this destination.  It’s definitely good news for those of us who collect Southwest Rapid Rewards or their surrogate transfer point, Chase Ultimate Rewards.  But I don’t know, could you endure the at least 6-hour flight to the islands with no meal service or assigned seats?  Let me know in the comments below!

Recent ValueTactics Blog Posts

Tighter Rules for Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses explains how to tell if you’re eligible for a particular sign-up bonus on a credit card.  The banks are making it harder and harder to play their game.  Read the post to see the exact rules for each of the main rewards card issuing banks.

Credit Card News

As I reported in the last update post, Nicoleen recently got the Chase Ink Business Preferred and I got the Bank of America Premium Rewards card.  I already hit the minimum spend on my BoA card, earning me $550+ worth of their cash-only rewards points.  Nicoleen still has a bit of spending to do before earning the massively valuable 80,000 Ultimate Reward bonus on the Ink Preferred.  I could use another card already but I’ve been agonizing over the decision of which one to apply for.  The rules and limitations like I describe in the post linked above are really making it a difficult process to maximize the value of the credit card tactic.

There are currently several noteworthy elevated sign-up bonuses on co-branded airline cards:

  • The AAdvantage Aviator Red from Barclay is up to 60k American Airlines miles with no minimum spend requirement (well, actually you have to make one purchase of any amount.)  American Airlines has been notoriously stingy with award space lately, but American miles is still worth having if you have flexible travel dates.  With 60k miles you could fly round trip to Europe or get 2 domestic round trip flights in economy and have points leftover!  Link to offer
  • The United MileagePlus Explorer card from Chase is back up to 40k United Airlines miles after $2k of spending in 90 days.  This offer bounces back and forth between 30k and 50k, but the 50k public offer hasn’t been around for over a year.  Link to offer
  • American Express’s Delta Gold comes with a 60k Skymiles bonus after spending $2k in the first 90 days.  This offer is the highest ever seen for this card.  When Nicoleen and I got this card the bonus was only 35k, and occasionally it goes up to 50k.  With a once-per-lifetime limit on American Express bonuses, now is a great time to apply for the Delta Amex Gold!  Link to offer  EXPIRES 11/08/2017

Travel News

walt-disney-world-2066168_640On Saturday we leave for our trip to Florida!  For our family of 5 (2 kids are staying home) the airfare and hotel combined only cost us $155!  The entertainment and dining, on the other hand. . . let’s just say Orlando is an easy place to nail that required spend for a credit card sign-up bonus.  😉

I’ll try to post a field update or two from our trip.  No promises though; something tells me I won’t have a lot of downtime!

Free Travel Photo

Kids are funny

One kid attempting to strap down the other kid to our luggage rack during our family vacation last summer.  As we prepare for our Florida trip, I am reminded of our last family trip to South Dakota last summer. It had a few value tactics sprinkled in, like a free hotel night and gas savings along the way.

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

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