33

Combating the Herd Mentality in This Hobby

Park Hyatt Maldives on points and miles

There is a tendency in this community to follow the herd. That’s normal in any group – people look towards each other for advice and in this case, that pertains to how we earn and redeem our miles. There’s nothing innately wrong with… Continue Reading

29

Is Safeway Discontinuing Visa Gift Card Sales?

Update: The Value Traveler spoke to a store manager at a VA Safeway and confirmed they’re pulling gift cards due to issues with fraud. Several readers from around the country have also emailed to confirm their Safeway stores have pulled Visa… Continue Reading

13

Should You Pay 1.99% to Earn Miles on Rent Payments?

I briefly mentioned RadPad recently in a post, explaining how paying rent through RadPad is one way to unload extra Visa gift cards, since they don’t charge fees on debit card transactions. Meanwhile, credit card fees are hefty at 3.49%.… Continue Reading

17

How to Liquidate Excess Gift Cards Without Bluebird or Serve

Yesterday’s news of the mass shutdowns of Amex Bluebird and Serve prepaid cards came as a shock to many people. There were no quiet rumblings, in-store memos, or signs of trouble, like we had when Vanilla Reloads and Redbird went… Continue Reading

22

Amex is Shutting Down Bluebird and Serve Accounts: What’s Next?

I woke up today, well past noon, from a Nyquil induced sleep to some terrible news: Both the American Express Bluebird and Serve prepaid cards are dead as far as manufactured spending goes. Several readers got email notices that their… Continue Reading

3

Points and Miles Checklist: Things to Do in December

It’s been a hectic week, which is why I’ve fallen behind on blogging about the latest promotions and keeping up in general. I had to visit two family members in the hospital and on top of that, my hard drive crashed… Continue Reading

32

Bluebird vs. Serve: Which Prepaid Card Should You Switch To?

It’s been three weeks since the demise of Redbird and already some people are switching back to the American Express Bluebird or Serve card. Up until recently, I had decided not to bother switching to either card, since I was… Continue Reading

19

My Week in Manufactured Spending: Visiting My Favorite MS City

It’s been another low key week in manufactured spending. No $23,500 gift card churning feats or Redbird drama. It’s partly because I haven’t had the time to churn out big numbers like I used to. Whenever the opportunity presents itself,… Continue Reading

26

My Week in Manufactured Spending: Redbirds and False Alarms

After taking a break from gift card churning the week before last, I picked things up again. Now that American Express gift cards are out of the picture, I’ve been buying Visa and Mastercard gift cards directly with a mile-earning… Continue Reading

36

Is Target Hard-Coding Registers to Reject PIN-Enabled Gift Cards?

Unfortunately, it appears that way. I’m in Roseville, CA for the day and thought I’d take the opportunity to churn a few gift cards. This has been an ms-friendly town – one of the deciding factors in my plan to… Continue Reading