Shop Small Returns To Australian American Express Cards

American Express Membership Rewards are one of the most valuable tools to getting free airline miles in Australia.  This month is the annual Shop Small promotion.  You can also get some great shopping deals at small businesses all over Australia – $10 rebate on a $20 or more purchase.

Register your cards here and read the T&Cs.  If you have more than one Amex – for example from NAB, ANZ, Westpac, etc then you need to register each card individually.

Then check the map to see what small businesses are participating!  In my experience, the credits post pretty quickly around a day or so.

Shop Small Returns To Australia This Month

Last year, the Aussie Shop Small promo ran in November which is the usual time for the similar promo in the USA.  This year, it’s coming a few months earlier.

Shop Small Australia

You can register Amex cards issued by Amex, the NAB, ANZ, CBA & Westpac,.

It’s not quite as generous as last year where you got $10 for spending $20 so this year I won’t be going out of my way to hunt down eligible shops as the only useful one near me is a pharmacy.  Still $5 is $5 so I will def use my various Amexes at shops near me if possible!

Amex still doesn’t have the popularity here as it does in the USA and not many small shops accept it but I wish they would as typical Aussie Amex cards offer double the usual points a co-branded Visa or Mastercard would.

Help us support local businesses this August and get up to $50 credit*.

Register your American Express® Card and spend $20 or more in a single eligible transaction at up to ten different participating small business locations between 1 and 31 August 2014, and get a $5 credit for each purchase per location.
Don’t miss out – this offer is limited to the first 50,000 Cards to register.
*T&C’s apply.

I do have a minimum spend to make on my new ANZ Visa & Amex combo for 50,000 Qantas points………………..if the cards ever get here!  I’ve been approved but apparently there is a delay in shipping them out as the promo is so popular!

30,000 Bonus Starpoints For SPG Amex (USA)

From time to time Amex runs specials for their card holders that allows them to refer friends for an extra special deal.  The usual sign up bonus for this card is 25,000 points but until the end of June it has increased to 30,000 points.  The card holder (me) gets a bonus of 5000 points for each referral.  I do not have an affiliate marketing relationship with Amex, any card holder gets the same offer – you will too the next time around!

.

Your friends must apply for the Card through the REFER NOW buttons in the email (that I will send you) and be approved in order for you to earn your Referral Bonus.

And for a limited time, each friend can earn up to 30,000 bonus Starpoints: 10,000 Starpoints after their first purchase on the Card in addition to 20,000 Starpoints after they make $5,000 in purchases within their first 6 months of Card Membership.2,3 Referrals need to occur by June 30, 2014 and your friend must be approved by June 30, 2014 to be eligible for this limited time offer.

After you have met your minimum spend (pretty easy to do since they give you 6 months to do it), you will have at least 35,000 Starpoints in your account.  The best use of Starpoints for eco-tourists is to transfer them to airlines in blocks of 20,000 points as they give you a bonus of 5000 points so you end up with 25,000 miles in the airline.

If you would like a referral, please either comment here and make sure your real email is in the comment form, only I can see it.  Or send me an email tara at milestothewild.com.

I recommend transferring them to American AAdvantage or US Airways and depending on your destination maybe one of the others I highlighted below.  Don’t transfer them to United as they have a poor rate of exchange.  Here is the full list of partners.

Frequent Flyer Program

Exchange Ratio (Starpoints : Miles)

Aeromexico Club Premier 1:1
Aeroplan/Air Canada 1:1
Air Berlin 1:1
Air China Companion 1:1
Air New Zealand & Air Points 65:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 1:1
Alitalia MilleMiglia 1:1
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club 1:1
American Airlines AAdvantage 1:1
Asia Miles 1:1
Asiana Airlines 1:1
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
China Eastern Airlines 1:1
China Southern Airlines’ Sky Pearl Club 1:1
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 1:1
Emirates Skywards 1:1
Etihad Airways 1:1
Flying Blue 1:1
Gol Smiles 2:1
Hainan Airlines 1:1
Hawaiian Airlines 1:1
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank 1:1
LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms 1:1.5
Miles and More 1:1
Qatar Airways 1:1
Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan 1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1:1
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus 1:1
US Airways Dividend Miles 1:1
United Mileage Plus 2:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1:1
Virgin Australia 1:1

2014 List Of Miles & Points Credit Cards – USA Edition

.

ARE YOU NEW TO MILES & POINTS CREDIT CARDS?  READ MY NEWBIE GUIDE TO LEARN HOW TO USE THEM TO FULL ADVANTAGE!

  • This is simply a list of which travel credit cards (airlines, hotels, travel points) cards are in existence and where you can look for more information.

  • This is not a list of current best deals on offer.

  • Do not apply for any of these cards until you have checked all resources to make sure you are getting the best deal.

  • You should also check on the airline or hotel’s website and FlyerTalk to see if there are any better offers going.

  • Cash back cards are not included in this list.
  • The links are to the bank’s page and are not affiliate links.
  • I’m not going to list cruise cards as they are such a bad deal, you are better off with a cash back card.
  • The figures may have changed by the time you read this.
  • Cards will be listed by bank issuing them in alphabetical order.
  • Although some cards may be “churnable”, meaning you can get the same card more than once, it is best to assume they are one-time only bonuses and keep you eye on FlyerTalk to see if others are currently churning a card.

.

I am only listing the name of the card, sign up bonus, minimum spend and annual fee (waived or not) for each card.  Some cards will have extra benefits such as category bonuses, free checked bags, priority boarding, elite benefits, lounge passes.  To see these, click on the card’s link.  Some cards also have business versions, please click on the respective links for details.

***********************************************************************************************

.

AMERICAN EXPRESS (MEMBERSHIP REWARDS & CO-BRANDED TRAVEL CARDS)

THESE CARDS EARN MEMBERSHIP REWARDS

Amex Platinum Card – 25,000 sign up – $2000 minimum spend – Annual fee $450, not waived

Amex PRG (Premier Rewards Gold) – $25,000 sign up – $2000 minimum spend – Annual fee $175, waived first year

Mercedes Benz – 10,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $95, not waived

Most people wouldn’t sign up for the next two but downgrade an existing card to avoid the annual fee and keep collecting Membership Rewards.

Amex Gold Card – No sign up bonus/minimum spend – Annual fee $125, waived first year.

Amex Green Card – No sign up bonus/minimum spend – Annual fee $125, waived first year.

CO-BRANDED CARDS: POINTS POST DIRECTLY TO PARTNER’S PROGRAM

Gold Delta SkyMiles – 30,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $95, waived first year.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles – 35,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $150, not waived.

Delta Reserve – 10,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $450, not waived.

Jet Blue – 20,000 sign up – $2000 minimum spend – Annual fee $40, waived first year.

Hilton HHonors – 40,000 sign up – $750 minimum spend – No Annual fee.

Hilton HHonors Surpass – 60,000 sign up – $3000 minimum spend – Annual fee $75, not waived.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) – 25,000 sign up – $5000 minimum spend – Annual fee $65, waived first year.

BUSINESS CARDS AVAILABLE:  PLATINUM, GOLD, DELTA, SPG

*********************************************************************************************

.

 BANK OF AMERICA

Alaska Airlines – 25,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $35-75, not waived.

Asiana Airlines – 10,000 sign up – First purchase         – Annual fee $99, not waived

Spirit Airlines – 15,000 sign up – First purchase             – Annual fee $19-59, not waived.

Virgin Atlantic – 20,000 sign up – First purchase            – Annual fee $90, not waived

BankAmericard Travel Rewards – 10,000 sign up – $500 minimum spend – No annual fee.  Points can be used to pay any travel expense on your statement, not transferable to airlines.

**************************************************************************************************

.

BARCLAYS

Be careful with this bank.  They will deny you if you have what they deem to be “too many recent inquiries” or “sufficient credit with them”.  They have a lot of partners (see link above), most of which don’t represent a good deal.  I wouldn’t waste an inquiry on Aer Lingus, Best Western, Choice, China Airlines, Iceland Air, Wyndham unless they come out with a major sign up promo.  They do have a couple good partners such as US Airways but this card will likely disappear once the merger is final.  Barclays is also fond of bait & switch.  You apply for a signature card and get a gold card for example.  They also advertise what looks like good sign up bonuses, then in the fine print, you need to do a balance transfer to get a lot of it.

Balance transfer points are not included below.  Check on FlyerTalk before applying as this Bank is constantly changing bonuses and terms.

Frontier– 40,000 sign up – $500 minimum spend            – Annual fee $69, not waived. No fee card available with lesser bonus.

Hawaiian Airlines (new) –

Lufthansa Miles & More – 20,000 sign up – First purchase            – Annual fee $79, not waived unless elite with LH.

US Airways – 30,000 sign up – First purchase         – Annual fee $89, not waived.

BarclayCard Arrival – 40,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend, $89, waived first year.  Points can be used to pay any travel expense on your statement, not transferable to airlines.

BUSINESS CARDS AVAILABLE: FRONTIER & US AIRWAYS

*******************************************************************************************

.

CITIBANK

These cards can be churned, usually by waiting until Citibank thinks you are a “new” customer again.  This can take anywhere from 15-24 months.  Best advice is in the FlyerTalk thread, where you can usually find much better offers as well.  I haven’t listed the “Thank You” series of Citicards as they are more cash back than travel orientated.

AAdvantage Citi Gold – 25,000 sign up – $750 minimum spend, $50, waived first year.

AAdvantage Platinum – 30,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend, $95, waived first year.

CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard – 30,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend, $95, waived first year.

Hilton HHonors Reserve – 2 weekend nights, $2500 minimum spend – Annual fee $95, not waived.

Hilton HHonors Visa Signature – 40,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend, No annual fee.

****************************************************************************************************

.

 CHASE

Chase is probably the miles & points collectors’ favourite bank.  They have a wide variety of Ultimate Rewards cards and Co-branded cards.  Ultimate Rewards can transfer to various airlines & hotels or be used to pay for travel or statement credits.  You need a card with an annual fee to be able to transfer Ultimate Rewards points out.  Co-branded cards directly sweep to the partner’s program after each statement.  Using a combination of United Airlines cards and Ultimate Rewards cards it is pretty easy to get enough from a sign up bonus for even long-haul business class awards or several shorter flights.

ULTIMATE REWARDS CARDS

Chase Freedom – 10,000 sign up – $500 minimum spend, No annual fee.

Chase Sapphire – 10,000 sign up – $500 minimum spend, No annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred – 40,000 sign up – $3000 minimum spend, $95, waived first year.

Ink Cash – 20,000 sign up – $3000 minimum spend, No annual fee.

Ink Classic – 20,000 sign up – $3000 minimum spend, No annual fee.

Ink Bold – 50,000 sign up – $5000 minimum spend, $95, waived first year.

Ink Plus – 50,000 sign up – $5000 minimum spend, $95, waived first year.

CO-BRANDED CARDS

British Airways Visa – 50,000 sign up – $2000 minimum spend         – Annual fee $95, not waived.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier – 25,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend         – Annual fee $99, not waived.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus – 25,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend         – Annual fee $69, not waived.

United Mileage Plus Explorer – 30,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $95, waived first year.

United Mileage Plus Club Card – $100 Statement credit after first purchase, United Club membership – Annual fee $395, not waived.

Fairmont Visa – 2 free nights, $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $95, waived first year.

Hyatt Credit Card – 2 free nights, $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $75, waived first year.

IHG Rewards Club – 60,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $49, waived first year.

Marriott Rewards Signature Visa – 30,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $45, waived first year.

Marriott Rewards Premier Signature Visa – 50,000 sign up – $1000 minimum spend – Annual fee $85, waived first year.

Ritz-Carlton Visa – 70,000 sign up – $2000 minimum spend         – Annual fee $395, not waived.

**************************************************************************************************

.

US BANK

Although their cards are with foreign airlines, two of them are very useful to eco-tourists:  Avianca Lifemiles & LANPass.  They also have one of the best hotel cards on the market, the Club Carlson Visa.  Most of their cards have anniversary bonuses built in, see card’s web page for details.

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa – 20,000 sign up – $3500 minimum spend         – Annual fee $49, not waived.  Award travel starts at just 20,000 FlexPoints (up to a $400 ticket value) on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates or redemption fees.2 List of available airlines.

AeroMexico Visa Card – 15,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $45, waived first year.

AeroMexico Visa Signature Card – 20,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $80, waived first year.

LANPASS Visa – 15,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $45, waived first year.

LANPASS Signature Visa – 20,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $75, waived first year.

Lifemiles Visa – 15,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $45, waived first year.

Lifemiles Signature Visa – 20,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $75, waived first year.

Skypass (Korean Airlines) Visa Classic – 5,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $50, not waived.

SkyBlue Skypass – 5,000 sign up – No minimum spend – No annual fee.

Skypass Visa SIgnature – 15,000 sign up – No minimum spend – Annual fee $80, not waived.

Club Carlson Visa Signature – 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase plus 10,000 points once you spend $1,500 on your card within the first 90 days – Annual fee $50, not waived.

Club Carlson Premier Visa Signature – 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days.  Annual fee $75, not waived.

ALL CLUB CARLSON CARDS -Bonus Award Nights – When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free.  Exclusively for cardmembers!

************************************************************************************************

In future posts, I will be referring back to this list in showing you how to strategize best use of these credit card sign ups to get the points you need for YOUR trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA Based Amex Card Referrals

It’s no secret that credit card sign up bonuses are currently the biggest source of acquiring frequent flyer miles.  You have probably seen numerous posts on travel blogs about them.  I rarely blog about credit cards but just thought I would share this deal.  American Express has a special deal where existing card members can get a bonus if they refer friends and family for cards they have.  For example, I have the SPG Amex and the Amex PRG and can offer referrals for either one of them.  This is what the offer currently looks like.

.

The offer of bonus points you get looks like these.

.

.

I can’t refer for cards I don’t have such as any of the Platinum cards.  The offers above are equal to the best offer currently on the market for this card so you don’t lose anything by letting me refer you and you help me to keep traveling, birding and writing if you do use my links.  I need your first name, last name and email address to refer you so it would be best to do this privately.

The benefits of the Amex PRG include the Membership Rewards program and the ability to transfer your points to many different partners.

.