Over the weekend news came in that the beloved 5x points Chase Ink Card + Office Depot + Vanilla Reloads + AMEX Bluebird combo has (at least temporarily) come to an end as Office Depot stores have pulled selling VR cards. That was the key part of the chain that enabled the earning of 5X points on your monthly bills and your everyday purchases. You know what they say about things that seem too good to be true (they usually are) and this trick probably fell into that category. It also required a heck of a lot of steps to achieve the (substantial) benefit.
Never fear though, there are still may opportunities you can take advantage of. Here are just a few.
Advice for Earning Miles:
Can You Take Advantage of Bluebird and Vanilla Without an Ink Card? The Points Guy talks about how you can leverage VRs purchased from other stores coupled with AMEX’s Bluebird product to meet credit card spending thresholds, earn points for paying everyday bills, etc. The 5x Ink Card/Office Depot/Vanilla Reload/Bluebird points party is over (at least for now) but there is still value here you can take advantage of.
Earn 5x Points on Everyday Spend With Visa and AMEX Prepaid Cards – The Points Guy further explains that even with VR card sales discontinued by Office Depot, you can still accelerate your points earning by purchasing prepaid debit cards at any office supply store if you hold one of the Chase Ink cards. Use these prepaid debit cards for your everyday spending. For example, if you buy a $500 prepaid visa with a Chase Ink card for $504.95 (card + activation fee) you’ll net 2,525 UR points for $4.95 (or $0.002 per point). This is a very good deal and you use this to earn 5x points on your Christmas shopping!
Best Spending Category Bonuses – Frequent Miler details how to maximize the your points earning by matching the right credit card with the right spending category. Good stuff at this link.
Advice for Spending Miles:
Best Uses of Membership Reward Points – Europe - Lucky over at One Mile At A Time gives some amazing advice for how to best spend your AMEX MR points for travel to Europe. Best deal? Spending BA Avios on partner Aer Lingus and you can travel Boston to Dublin/Shannon Ireland RT for just 25,000 Avios in coach class and 50,000 Avios in business class. That’s pretty amazing.
Best Uses of Membership Reward Points – Asia - Lucky also gave some great advice on the best way to spend MRs for Asia trips too. Looking to go to Asia in First Class or Business Class for a good price and with good seat availability? You should check out China Southern (booked via a points transfer to DL).
Understanding Delta’s Medallion Levels and MQM’s and MQS’s – Delta Points gives a good walk through of the various DL “Medallion” elite status levels, how to earn them and what benefits are gained per level. Remember, elite status benefits are great for frequent travelers but if you don’t fly a lot and your goal is to simply accrue points for a few big trips, it might not be worth it to obtain.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Sprengben