Through Saturday, August 29, Officemax is having an unadvertised special where you get a $15 rebate when you buy $300 worth of Visa gift cards. I made a whopping 24,000 miles during a promotion just like this one around Christmas by driving around to different OM stores. By buying 3X$200 gift cards you will get an instant $30 discount off the total automatically. The gift cards each have a $6.95 fee so your total for all $600 in gift cards will just be $590.85 [(3X$206.95) – $30]! This means you are getting $10 for free!
Hello, free lunch!
But wait… There’s more! If you use a normal miles earning credit card you will score 591 miles or points, but if you use the Chase Ink Plus card (which gives you 5X points on Office Supply stores like OM) you will take home almost 3,000 of the ultra valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
You can usually do this once per day at every OfficeMax in your local area (if they aren’t sold out of course). Note this works for the $200 and $100 gift cards but the $200 are a better value since the fee is approximately the same. Keep in mind that even though they are merged, this promotion is only at OfficeMax stores not Office Depots. You can also call before you go to make sure they have the $200 Visa’s in stock so you don’t waste a trip.
There is TONS of availability for this city. You could use this as a jumping off point for many of the other cities. To keep things simple (and the milage costs down), I am only going to focus on the non stop available awards. For just 50,000 Avios + $88 you could fly down from Miami and see three world cup matches!
For those of you not in Miami, British Airways may not be the cheapest option (but it probably still will be), so check out the American flights for 60,000 AA or US Airways Miles and $118 from anywhere in the continental US. The Citibank AA Mastercard currently has a 50K sign up bonus and the US Airways Card has a 40K bonus after spending $1. You would just need to find connecting flights from your city to Miami where there are award seats using the tools we linked to above.
Option 2: Recife
For the non stop there is only availability after the USA match but you could see the first match of the Round of 16. You could spend the rest of the time on the beautiful beaches of Recife! For only 40,000 Avios (the same amount as the sign on bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred) + $88 you could see this historic match!You could do the same thing from anywhere in the US for the higher price of 60,000 AA miles + $118.
Option 3: Rio de Janeiro
How does this sound for the ultimate long weekend? Fly into Rio on Thursday night, July 3, arrive at 5 in the morning on July 4, attend the quarter finals that day at the famous Estádio Maracanã, then celebrate through the weekend in Rio then fly back out on Sunday July 6. For only 50,000 Avios (the exact amount of the sign up bonus on the Chase British Airways Visa) or 60,000 American Miles, you can do it! And there are two seats available so you can take a friend with you!
Option 4: Brasilia
You can’t make the Colombia match unfortunately for the cheapest miles price, but you can make it for 3 matches including the Quarter-finals in the amazing city of Brasilia for only 40,000 Avios (which you could get from the sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred) and $91!Like the other options you could travel from anywhere else in the US using 60,000 American miles once you find your connecting flights to Miami.
Option 5: Belo Horizonte
For just 40,000 Avios and $88 you can leave in two days and see Argentina, Costa Rica, and England play, and also catch the first round of 16 match in Belo Horizonte, one of the most beautiful cities in all of Brazil!As with the others, 60K AA miles is also an option if you aren’t located in Miami.
Bonus Option 6 for my Colombian Friends
I have so many Colombian Friends I had to include an option to see your match vs Japan in Cuiabá, Brazil on June 24. Since Cuiabá is such a small airport, I couldn’t find frequent flyer seats there so you would need to buy a ticket from Sao Paulo to there for $78.You could then buy another $65 ticket from Cuiabá to Brasilia to catch your frequent flyer ticket back from there.
This gives you a total cost of 45,000 Avios and $234. Which still isn’t too bad to see your country play in the world cup! A better option might be to predict where they will play in the Round of 16 and go there since I am sure they will be making it through!
You would still need hotels and tickets to the games but there are a ton of options available to you when you get the flights there for cheap. Using the tools I have provided above you can look for the flights and cities that match up with your favorite teams. That Rio option is looking awfully tempting to me. I think those two seats are going to go quickly once this article is published!
Feel free to comment on what other good options you found and tell me which matches you think would be the best to watch! As always, reply with any questions and follow me on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss any great info!
This offer isn’t quite as great as that one, but it is still pretty good! This week, OfficeMax is having a promotion where if you buy $150 in Amex Gift cards, they give you $15 off the cost instantly. Only the $25, $50, and $100 Amex gift cards work for this promotion. The best value is to buy two $100 gift cards each with a $5.95 purchase charge. Once they scan the coupon code from their binder, it will remove $15 from the cost of $105.95X2 which gives a grand total of $196.90. The cards you should buy look like this.
If you have the Chase Ink Bold card that gives you 5X points on office supply stores, this will earn you almost 1000 points for your purchase! You can use any mileage earning card to earn 1X miles, but the Ink Bold is definitely the best way to go if you have it because of the bonus.
Once you have these gift cards you can use them for day to day spending. They unfortunately don’t have a PIN code so you can’t use them for getting money orders at Walmart. I have found that using these gift cards at the grocery store is one of the best ways because the cash registers are smart enough to automatically determine the balance on the card so you don’t have to say “put $3.98 on this card” etc. You can use them anywhere Amex is accepted though.
If you have multiple OfficeMax stores near you, you should be able to buy $200 per day per store and really rack up the miles. Even though it says that it is limited to one per household, every store I have been to before has said you can get the deal once per day. I haven’t verified this yet, but now that the OfficeMax / OfficeDepot merger has closed, I think you should be able to get this at both stores. In my location there is an OfficeDepot half a mile away from an OfficeMax which would make it convenient to double it up with one trip. That gives me a potential of 14,000 free miles this week if I just take 15 minutes each day! What a deal!
Edit: This is confirmed to work at both OfficeMax and OfficeDepot. So double up if you have two of them close to one another!
People who read this blog know I love my Chase Ink Bold card. It is one of the first cards I recommend after the Chase Sapphire Preferred card because the points can be combined together in one Ultimate Rewards account. It makes me tens of thousands of miles every month with its 5X points on office supply stores. The sign up bonus for these cards is typically 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, but maybe two times a year, they bump it up to 60,000. This is one of those times!
You can use this card for buying gift cards at Staples or OfficeMax to earn 5X points on all of your spending! I used this technique this to help me get 257 Miles by buying protein powder!
This bonus bump applies to both the Chase Ink Bold (which is a charge card and you have to pay off in full each month) and the Chase Ink Plus (which is a credit card which you can pay over time).
My sources tell me that this should last for the month of May. We will probably see this bonus again in 6 months or so, but if you were considering getting this card soon, then now is the time! If you want an idea of how useful this card is, then check out this list of all of the Ink Bold articles we have written!
My statement just cycled for my Ink Bold account and I was in for a treat! Over 43K Ultimate Rewards points in one month (although basically all of them was in one week)!How did I do it?
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about how to make $9 and 3000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points via a gift card promotion they had at OfficeMax. When I run into a good deal, I like to go big so that is exactly what I did in this case! 🙂 By running around to multiple Officemax locations and getting creative by bringing my Dad and nephew into the store (so I had 3 customers and I could get the special deal 3 times), I was able to make 15 transactions over 4 days.
Most of the transactions were for $600 in gift cards for $590.85 and a few were $500 in gift cards for $499.75 (used when the store didn’t have the $200 gift cards in stock). So I ended up spending $8680 for $8800 in gift cards. I then used those gift cards to fund my Bluebird account and then did an online bill pay to pay the card off. Since I used my Chase Ink Bold which gives me 5 Ultimate Rewards Points for every dollar, I scored over 43,000 points and ended up making $120 while doing it!
What could I use 43,000 Ultimate Rewards Points for?
4 Round Trip tickets from Miami to Cancun using BA Miles on American.
4 Round trip tickets from Miami To Detroit on Southwest.
2 tickets to San Jose, Costa Rica using BA Miles on American.
I hope some of you also took advantage of this great deal. If you weren’t ready then start getting the things now that you need so you will be ready for next time. For this great deal, all you needed was an Ink Bold charge card, and a free Bluebird card.
Sometimes these deals come around that seem too good to be true but they aren’t! What if I told you I would give you 3000 Ultimate Rewards points and pay you 9 dollars for your trouble. This is 1/3 of the amount you need to go from Miami to Cancun as I mentioned in the 5 things you can do now to go to the BPM festival article. This deal is good until March 8, 2014.
Overview: From March 2 – March 8, Office Max is having a special where you get a $15 discount when you buy $250 in Metabank gift cards. There is a limit of two discounts per customer.Step 1: Go to your local OfficeMax and pick up three of the $200 Visa Gift cards. Only the Visa’s are on the special. If they don’t have $200 gift cards, you can buy five $100 gift cards instead. If your OfficeMax only has the $100 ones then you will still make the 3000 UR points but will make $1 instead of $9 due to the additional in fees paid. (5X$5.95 instead of 3X$6.95)
Step 2: Buy these three gift cards and the sales associate will scan a code from their sale book that gives you a $30 discount. The normal price of each of these is $206.95 so your total should be $590.85 for $600 worth of gift cards! Pay using your Ink Bold or Ink Plus card and you will get 2950 Ultimate Rewards points.
If you have an Ink Bold card and a Bluebird card then you should really be able to go to OfficeMax, stop by home to set the PIN code, then go to Walmart, load your Bluebird and then pay off your Ink Bold card all within about an hour. Do this 3 times before the 8th and you have enough points for a free ticket from Miami to Cancun!
This is the first in a series of articles called TWM Take Me Away! where I will pick a destination a reader wants to go to and show you how to get there for free with miles!
A reader contacted me recently:
“I am taking the time to message you right now because I want to go to Bali at the end of August for my birthday and I’m trying to figure out how much to save to have. And also around what months should l look into buying a flight ticket.”
Bali is definitely on my bucket list due to the amazing culture , beautiful scenery and friendly people.
I priced out a ticket around those dates on Kayak.com and the cheapest I could find was $1401 on Delta for JFK to DPS (the airport in Bali) via LAX and TPE which seemed like a decent price since you are flying halfway around the world. Business class was over $6,000! But the name of this site is Traveling With Miles not Traveling with Cash, so lets see how we can get there for free.
1. Use 70,000 or 110,000 American AAdvantage Miles to book OneWorld flights.
According to the American Airlines OneWorld chart on this page, you can go from North America to 70,000 Miles round trip in economy class and 110,000 Miles Round trip in business class. I checked and there is some availability on Cathay Pacific which has a great business class product if you can be flexible on dates throughout August.
It is a 15 hour flight from JFK to HKG so I would definitely recommend business class. As a general rule, for any flight 5 hours or more, I try to do business class if I have the miles because it makes the experience much more pleasant.
2. Use 65,000 or 120,000 United miles to book on Star Alliance
This price will change drastically on February 1 when United changes their award chart so if you happen to want to book this trip, do it now. I just did a search and found a coach flight departing from EWR to DPS via TPE on EVA and then returning from DPS to EWR via TPE and LAX (on EVA and United on the way back).There was also business class availability for 120,000 and $25!
Note that these prices will be going up to 80,000 for coach and 160,000 for business after February 1.
If you can find availability on Korean Air flights (which you could book with either type of mile) for JFK to DPS via ICN (Seoul), then you should be able to get the above pricing if you are flexible about your travel dates.
To get these miles you could get 30-50,000 Skymiles by getting the Delta Amex card at this link. But I would recommend getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for 40,000 Ultimate Reward Points, then getting the Chase Ink Bold for 50,000 more.
For hotels, it looks like the best values are either the Grand Hyatt property or use cash and points at one of the SPG properties.1. For 12,000 Hyatt Gold Points per night you can stay at the Grand Hyatt Bali
2. For 10,000 SPG points + $180 cash a night you can stay at the W Retreat & Spa Bali – Seminyak. This can be especially rewarding if you have Platinum status with SPG and could possibly get upgraded to a suite.
5. Another good option might be to get the Barclays Arrival card and then use the $400 sign up bonus (40,000 points you can redeem for $400 in travel expenses) just pay cash for a reasonably priced hotel or hostel or bed and breakfast you find there.
Whew! That was a lot of information! But I hope that this shows you how you can get to Bali for free with a little planning.
Black Friday is a crazy time of year for promotions and this year was no exception. I thought it might be interesting to share some of the deals that I came across for Black Friday and took advantage of.
Earlier in the week, Amazon had a promo on the Nexus 7 32 GB tablets that I like to buy for resale for $239.99 including free shipping and no tax. I had a bunch of Amazon gift cards I had gotten from Plink so this was a perfect way to turn those gift cards into cash when I resell that same tablet in my Amazon store for $269 after the Black Friday sales are over!
Then on Wednesday, I got an email from Staples with a $50 off coupon for any tablet so I ordered another of the Nexus 7 32 GB for $269-$50 = $219. I had to pay tax on this one so my total cost was $234.33. If you read my article on Shopping Portals for Mega Miles, you know that I always get extra miles by starting at a portal. This time I used UPromise for an extra 5% back in cash. Staples also has a rewards program where I get another 5% back in Staples bucks to use towards a future purchase. I also get Plink Points for Staples so will get another $3 back. I used my Ink Bold card to pay for it which gives me 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. This makes my net cost $210.09 plus I get 1174 Ultimate Rewards points. I will resell this for around $269 through my Amazon store.
The last deal I was really happy about. OfficeMax was offering a promo where you could buy a $200 gift card for $180. Since there is a $6.95 activation fee, this means you would make $13.05 on the card after the promo. And since I was going to use my Chase Ink Bold Card, I would get 5 Ultimate Reward points per dollar since it is an office supply store. I got there shortly after they opened at 8 PM on Thanksgiving (we did a Thanksgiving lunch instead of a dinner so I was free). They had them right up front when I asked about them and they told me “You can buy two per transaction but there is no limit on the number of transactions.” What!?! OK, I will take them all then!
Each of those is two $200 gift cards. So I ended up with 16 $200 gift cards for a total of $3200 in cards for a total cost of $2984. Since I used my Ink Bold, I will get another 15,000 Ultimate Rewards on top of making $215! Gotta love it! If you read my article about Spending Money without Spending Money you know I can use my Bluebird account to take these gift cards and immediately pay off the Ink Bold card I just used to charge it!
I am not sure if there is anything else I will be buying this weekend, but I wanted to share these deals with you so you could get some ideas on how you can make extra miles too! How did you make miles on Black Friday?
Check your email for one from Delta Skymiles Shopping titled “Member Exclusive! Make 1,500 Bonus Miles When You Shop Three Times”. If you have it like I did then you have been targeted for a special promotion for extra miles. This promotion is only open to those who received the email. The promotion gives you 500 Skymiles after you make a $50 purchase, then 1000 Skymiles when you make two more purchases totaling $50 more. All of the purchases have to be made by November 4, 2013. Here is how I am going to maximize it:
Click through the Delta Skymiles Shopping page to Sears and buy one physical $50 Sears gift card using my Chase Ink Bold that I have registered with Plink (with K-Mart chosen as one of my wallet entries since Sears issues their gift cards from K-Mart). This will give me 50 UR points for the purchase plus 150 Skymiles for the 3 miles per dollar plus 500 Skymiles for the first bonus plus $3 in Plink points.
One day later I will buy two physical $25 Sears gift cards in separate transactions, again with my Ink Bold. For each purchase this will give me 25 UR Miles,75 Skymiles, and $1.25 in Plink points. I will also get the 1000 bonus Delta Skymiles.
Keep in mind that you can do this even if you only have a debit card and still get the 1800 Delta Skymiles and the Plink points.
This means I will receive a total of 1800 Delta Skymiles, 100 UR Points and $5.50 in Plink points for $100 in purchases. I will receive even more miles and points when I use the gift cards at Sears. What a deal! I love this game!