Amex Platinum Edge – My Secret For Earning Miles & Points

Many people wonder how I manage to do all these amazing trips on such a tight budget.  The #1 thing I do is to take advantage of any credit card promotions that come along.  We all have daily expenses – groceries, petrol, bills that have to be paid regardless so why not earn miles and points on them?

In Australia, the Amex Platinum Edge is the best card for normal everyday spend.

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Here you can see the benefits of this card.  You may notice a 10,000 points bonus for applying but I can do better than that!

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However if you use my referral link, you get 15,000 Membership Rewards points!  I also get a referral bonus……………….and then you will become eligible to refer people yourself so you can pick up some more points!

There are 9 airline transfer partners –  Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Air New Zealand Airpoints, THAI Royal Orchid Plus, Malaysia Airlines Enrich and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.  Most of these transfer at 1:1 ratio.  You can also transfer to Starwood Preferred Guest at a ratio of 2 Amex = 1 SPG.  From SPG, you have access to over 20 airlines worldwide including American Airlines, British Airways, Flying Blue & more!  When you transfer from SPG to an airline, you should do so in blocks of 20,000 SPG to get a bonus 5000 miles in your airline account.

Earning Amex Membership Rewards is easier than you think!  First of all, your groceries not only get the 3 points per $ but you also get the Coles Flybuys or Woolworths Rewards by scanning your supermarket loyalty card.  Then you can buy gift cards to all kinds of stores like Bunnings, BCF, several clothing stores, Netflix, iTunes and more so almost all your purchases can earn 3x!  It all adds up and you soon will have enough points for your dream trip!

Amex T&Cs

Hacked Credit Card

I’ve had this happen a few times even though I am very careful with my credit cards.  Usually the bank sends an alert to my email (email works better than texting for me) and even if I am overseas I check my emails and get the alert.  I usually do advise them I will be in a certain country so I don’t have cards being declined in awkward situations.

Last weekend, I got one of those unwelcome emails early Sunday morning.  We were up early at Rainbow Beach Holiday Park to see any resident birds before the first morning birding excursion.  I can get a decent cell signal so I downloaded my emails and got the bad news.  Someone had tried to charge over $400 in the UK when I haven’t been there in years!  Thankfully the bank caught it.  The strange thing is that this card had been in a sock drawer the last few months and only used 4 times in the last week – local BP station, BP station in Gympie (gotta get those Velocity points), Hungry Jack’s, Gympie and the Rainbow Beach Holiday Park to pay for the stay.  All of these are pretty innocuous low-rosk businesses in Australia.  I have no idea where the hacking took place or how it was done.  Maybe I let my guard down because I was in a location I felt safe in.  Maybe someone hacked one of those businesses or went through a rubbish bin.

I then had to try to get a good enough signal out to call Citibank in the USA.  It took a while but I finally got through and they cancelled the card and agreed to Fedex me a new one to my home in Australia.  The card arrive 5 days later so all is well.  It could have been worse – I could have been in the middle of the Amazon and not gotten the email for days instead of 3 hours from home.  But it was a good wake up call and be careful where I use my cards.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Loses Major Travel Partners

One of the biggest incentives to pay with a Chase credit card is the opportunity to earn bonus points by using their “Shop through Chase” online mall (formerly called Ultimate Rewards Mall).  Although I don’t buy a lot of consumer goods, I have used them primarily for Expedia and Hotels.com.

I am currently chasing United miles for next year’s travel plans so I would make Rocketmiles my first port of call.  But in this case, the hotel options on Rocketmiles were too expensive.  I only want a mid-range guesthouse in Chiang Mai and Hotels.com has several in the $25-30 range.  Who goes to Chiang Mai to sit around a hotel?

Anyway, I logged into Chase about to use the portal as usual and saw that Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, Hotwire and all their travel partners are gone.  The travel category has disappeared from the drop-down menu.

Shop thru ChaseA quick look at Flyertalk confirmed it.  The only thing I have to fall back on is TopCashBack as a portal since Hotels.com don’t partner with any of the airlines.  If you are in the same position and want to go for the cashback option, you and I both get $10 bonus by clicking my link.  I must admit that I rarely use cashback instead of portals that earn miles as I get more value from the miles but sometimes there isn’t any other option.

Anyway, now I am feeling better about my decision to cancel my formerly prized CSP.  It was once my go-to card but I don’t think its worth the $95 fee anymore.  I will be using a combination of the Freedom and Ink to maximize the 5x bonus categories.

Out Of The Sock Drawer – Barclay’s Finally Axes Forex Fees

What a pleasant surprise to find this email!

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Just 2 months ago this card was on the chopping block as I didn’t want to pay the $89 annual fee.  Otherwise the benefits to this card are pretty good and the US miles will soon become AA miles. I have an older version that gives 10,000 anniversary miles and now I will get 10% of miles redeemed (up to 10,000 annually) as a rebate.  On top of all that, I got them to give me a statement credit for the annual fee!  The only thing holding me back from using this card more often is the forex fee but now that is gone!

I will still give preference to cards that have category bonuses such as Chase Ink & Freedom (this quarter is grocery stores!) but for non-bonused spend, this card will be going back into my wallet.

If you want to apply within the next 2 days, I can refer you as per below.  Please comment below and ask for a referral.  I will need your real email address but no one can see it but me.  50,000 points will get you a free trip to Central or South America!

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Airline Miles For Grocery Shopping – Chase Freedom (USA) Visa Card

People often wonder how I get so many frequent flyer miles when I rarely ever pay for an airline ticket.  This is one of my techniques.  Using the right credit card can get free miles for simply doing your normal grocery shopping!

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Maxing out your $1500 during 3 months is basically $500 a month and most families will easily spend that on groceries.  You can also buy gift cards for any other merchants (such as gas stations, restaurants, department stores) you do business with at most grocery stores.  You then end up with 7500 free Ultimate Rewards points that can be converted to airline miles if you also hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus card.  The best partners to transfer to are United Airlines and British Airways.

 

If you don’t already have a Chase Freedom, you can post here asking for a referral as I sometimes have them to give out.  My most recent referral just expired on 8 Dec but I still have referrals for the Chase Sapphire Preferred valid until 31 Jan 2015.  Or you can read this Flyertalk thread to see if there are any specials going on.  The most recent special has been this one, but please read the thread to see if it is still active when you wish to apply.

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