This Thursday (5/17): Dallas Frequent Flyer Meetup for Sushi & Sake!

Y’all ready? I’m excited for the next Out for Miles frequent flyer meetup – this Thursday in Dallas! 

The events have been popular, so I’m aiming to host one around the middle of every month. We have a great group of peeps so far. Next one’s near the Dallas/Richardson border (in North Dallas off 75), easier for those heading south.

dallas frequent flyer meetup

This Thursday – a great happy hour and talking points & miles

It’ll be at Sushi Sake Grill on Walnut Hill Lane. And there’s a Happy Hour until 6:30pm – come for sushi and sake, stay for the good times. 😉

Out for Miles Dallas frequent flyer meetup

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Chase Avios 100,000 Point Offers: Deals for the Rest of Us

Also see: 

I’m down to the wire with card offers I qualify to get. Especially with Chase. But their Avios-earning cards are in the few NOT subject to the 5/24 rule.

If you live in an American or Alaska hub (because you can use British Airways Avios points on both airlines) – you should have one of these cards. That includes peeps in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland… pretty much any place with lots of American or Alaska flights. Because on expensive routes, these points are the easiest way to save money.

Most everyone can apply. I got a Chase British Airways card in late 2017 – and definitely LOL/24.

avios 100k offer

I use Avios to visit Memphis, Austin, and Mexico on the cheap

More often in recent time, I’ve been redeeming Avios points. And when you sign up for a 100,000-point offer, you’re basically earning 6X points on the first $20,000 you spend within a year.

About the Chase British Airways 100,000 point deal

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15 Cashback Shopping Portals Compared: Payments, Bonuses, & How They Work

Cashback Monitor is far and away the best site to check the highest payouts (be it points, miles, or cashback) for online shopping. And there are a lot of shopping portals out there.

Each has its “quirks” – from slow payouts to minimum thresholds and different ways of paying. And most of them even give you a little reward just for signing up and shopping – some as much as $10 on top of your cashback bonus.

Cash Back Shopping Portals Comparison

Always click through a shopping portal when you shop online – but which one should you use?

There are many to choose from – and of course you can earn points or miles from airline or bank portals. Here’s an overview of the 15 most popular cashback portals. And how to pick which one to click through!

15 Cash Back Shopping Portals Comparison

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4 Apps to Effortlessly Save Money and Get Discounts (Set & Forget!)

I know – more apps. Between social media, mobile banking, loyalty programs, and shopping, the last thing most peeps need is another app.

But there are a few apps out there you can set up once – and then, if you want, never look at them again. Even better, these apps earn credits for gift cards, get you refunds, or award cashback for setting them up.

best apps to save money

I turn Drop points into Whole Foods gift cards and get free groceries – just for keeping the app installed

I’ve gotten free groceries and Amazon gift cards, deposits into my checking account, and credits on my cards – all from having these apps on my phone.

Here’s an overview. And how they save you money without any ongoing effort.

4 best apps to save money

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Like Discount Shopping? Save Big With These Sites – My 3 Faves

Also see: 

As someone with 3 Airbnb properties, I buy a TON of home supplies: paper products, cleaning supplies, and linens. And I love Kohl’s for bedding, towels, and pillows.

But for regular stocking up, there are a couple discount shopping sites I turn to. I also wanted a share a site I discovered that’s pure fun slash addicting if you like to shop.

discount shopping

Do you use these sites to save? I’m obssessed

Here are 3 go-to sites for discount shopping.

Brandless

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Get 50 Cents per Uber Ride Through Acorns (YMMV)

Saw this today and wanted to share. You can now get 50 cents back for each Uber ride after clicking through the Acorns app.

Some peeps can still get $1 back after clicking through Ibotta – although it’s no longer showing for everyone. The 50 cents deal is also targeted. So hopefully you see it in one place or another.

acorns uber

Better than nada – but targeted

It’s not a lot. But all you have to do is tap a button and get 50 cents. Plus, there are 60+ other merchants on Acorns’ “Found Money” with great payouts.

Acorns is an app that lets you start investing for as little as $5. Here’s my full review of the service.

Targeted Acorns Uber deal

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Weekend Roundup: Office Depot Double Cashback, Pay It Forward, & Cheap DNA Testing

Hi chickadees. Here are a few things that caught my eye on this beautiful, sunny Dallas day. All are time-sensitive to this weekend.

Double cashback at Office Depot

Now this is a great deal: through April 30th, 2018, you can get double cashback in store when you link a card through Ebates.

Good deal alert

One of the participating stores is Office Depot for 6% cashback! Read More

I Bought the Wrong Gift Card – Then Broke Even With Points & Raise

My little brother came to visit recently. We went to the mall because he wanted to buy a new pair of shoes – in cash. He’s one of those “sneakerheads” so his purchase was likely going to be around $100.

My little mind started wondering how to get some points out of the whole deal. Then I remembered MileagePlus X!

sell gift card raise

An app you really need to download

And because I have the Chase United Explorer card (see it here), I knew I could get a 20% mileage bonus on any gift card I purchased through the app – even if I didn’t pay with that card.

We went into a dozen stores – Nike, Finish Line, Journeys, Foot Locker, and a couple of department stores. I’m not much of a mall shopper, so my head was spinning. When he finally decided on a pair of Nikes at Finish Line, I licked my chops and bought a Nike gift card on the MPX app. But realized the second the transaction processed I was in the wrong store. Guh!

My brother paid cash and I… had a Nike gift card I couldn’t use. “It wasn’t that much,” I told myself. But then remembered… I could sell it online. Maybe that would make it OK – and at least break me even – with the points I’d earn in the mix.

I ended up selling the gift card on Raise. Here’s how it went!

My experience selling a gift card on Raise

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Chase Freedom Vs Freedom Unlimited: Which Is Better for Your Spending?

Chase has 2 great no annual fee cards that pair nicely with premium Ultimate Rewards cards: Freedom and Freedom Unlimited.

The Freedom card earns 5X in rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 per quarter in combined spending. The Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5X on all purchases with no cap.

Really gonna depend on bonus categories and how much you typically spend

Lots of peeps ask which is better. To which I always answer: it depends on how much you like the bonus categories. But there’s a longer answer even beyond that: how much to you plan to spend on the card each year?

Let’s talk about the break even point and which is better for your finances.

Freedom Vs Freedom Unlimited

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Earth Day 2018: Commit to Using Less Plastic!

Earth Day is TODAY – Sunday, April 22nd this year. And I have a new mantra:

The only plastic I carry is in my wallet.

Our earth is full of plastic in oceans, landfills, and accumulated litter. This past year, I committed to eliminating plastic from my life as much as I can by using refillable water bottles, steel straws, and cloth bags.

I’ve made so much progress that I mostly touch plastic to earn points & miles.

use less plastic

I believe we can interact peacefully with the earth and help it heal. There is too much plastic pollution

The travel and hospitality industries are incredibly wasteful. If everyone took a small step to offset plastic use, imagine how much we could save from ending up in oceans, hurting animals, or going into a landfill.

“The only plastic I carry is in my wallet.”

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A $2,100 Trip to San Francisco and Portland for 30 Cents Out-of-Pocket!

This month’s marked with lots of travel. I just got back from a week in Japan. And tomorrow, I’m off to San Francisco and Portland!

I was tallying up my points totals and comparing what the retail costs would’ve been. This trip would’ve cost over $2,000 had I paid cash.

san francisco with points

I got 30 cents… will this be enough for 5 days in San Fran and Portland? :p

I should disclose ended up paying a little cash, in addition to my points. 30 whole cents. 😹

Here’s how I did it!

5 days on the West Coast for under a buck

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Which Chase Card Is Best When You’re Starting With Points?

In general, I tell most peeps to start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s the quintessential points card, even after all these years. And you can transfer the points you earn directly to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio – most of them instantly.

If you spend a lot in travel & dining, or if you want lounge access, spring for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Here’s how to find the break even point with the annual fees ($95 for the Preferred and $450 for the Reserve, but you get a $300 annual travel credit).

which chase card is best

I transferred Chase points to Hyatt to stay 3 free nights at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

Already have one or the other? Then get the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited. The only difference is the bonus categories. Freedom has 5% rotating quarterly categories. Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 points per $1 spent – and you can combine the points with your Sapphire card points. So they’re an easy way to boost your Ultimate Rewards points balance fast. And both cards have a $0 annual fee!

If you’re looking for a small business card, get the Ink Business Preferred or Ink Business Cash. The former earns points that transfer directly to travel partners and has a $95 annual fee; the latter requires you to have a premium Chase card to access travel partners, but a $0 annual fee.

If you just want to earn cashback, spring for any of the cards with a $0 annual fee (Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, or Ink Business Cash).

But to get awesome travel (think international Business Class flights, upscale hotels, and cheap flights to Hawaii), you want one of the annual fee cards (Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred). The annual fees are worth it for the huge travel savings you can get. It’s how I got a $2,000+ Mexican vacation for $90!

Which Chase card? Here’s a flowchart

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