Amazon.com has “enhanced” their website making it easier for you to pay for your Amazon purchases with the flexible points from your credit cards. If you’re not careful, the points you were saving for a trip to Hawaii might end up paying for that 18 foot inflatable Frosty the Snowman you’ve been wanting to buy. I mean, it’s awesome but not a great use of your Membership Rewards points.
Flexible Point currencies like American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points are useful because of the various ways you can redeem your points. Some redemptions are great values, like when you’re able to transfer points to travel partners and make once in a lifetime trips. Other redemptions are average, such as using the points to book travel through the designated booking portal where you’re typically get 1 to 1.5 cents of value per point. These bookings are good when you need a reservation where transferring points is undesirable or unavailable, Still other redemptions are terrible, like redeeming for merchandise, magazines or even TSA Precheck memberships. You’ll often get less than 1 cent of value per point (and the merchandise is also overpriced to begin with).
I’m a big fan of American Express’ AMEX Offers. If you have an American Express card, you can log in to your account online and see any number of offers available on your account. They may be for restaurants, hotels, online shopping or anything else you would pay for with your AMEX card. Taking advantage of these offers for “free money” or bonus points is one way you can recoup the cost of a card’s annual fee or the offers can even be money makers if you play your cards right. I’ve strategically used these offers in the past, like during our stay at a Hilton in Las Vegas or when I put in an order from Boxed. Recently, the offers on the AMEX site have been underwhelming so I haven’t bothered signing up for them. I’ll still look at the e-mails that AMEX sends me about the new offers and the one I received today stopped me in my tracks.
When I’m talking about stacking, I’m not talking about stacking cups, although that is an impressive, yet useless skill.
I’m also not speaking of the catchy Anna Kendrick song Cups from Pitch Perfect, where she never actually stacks anything.
When I’m talking about stacking, I’m referring to the combining of multiple deals to maximize the returns on purchases.
I regard myself as a entry level player to this area who occasionally gets lucky with a decent reward. I’m almost always helped by a post or two that points me in the right direction. My goal today is to show you how these work and that it’s not difficult to make them work for you.
When it comes to the way I earn miles and points, I’ve always considered myself as “Neutral Good.” For those of you who didn’t grow up playing Dungeons and Dragons, you can fall into nine different categories. Here’s a summary of a “Neutral Good”
A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do.
Now while I’d think myself more of a Hermione, when push comes to shove, I’m a Harry (Note from Sharon: I’m Sirius. 100%, LOLOL!).
So what does this mean when it comes to points, miles and travels? Mainly, I’ll stretch the limits a bit I’m eventually going to follow the rules. You know, I’m still an Eagle Scout and all.