New Year’s Morning Mileage Errands From In Front of My Computer Screen

While some people nurse their New Years hangover, I’m well into my “miles and points checklist” for the day.

  1. I sent $1000 to someone via Amazon payments, using a credit card to fund the transaction fee-free. The $1000 fee free maximum resets at the beginning of each month. (See Ways to Create Spending at Little Cost)

  2. I loaded my American Express Bluebird with (2) $500 Vanilla Reload cards. The daily $1000 limit resets overnight, and the $5000 monthly limit resets at the beginning of each month. (See You Really Don’t Have an American Express Bluebird Yet?)

  3. I made my quarterly estimated federal tax payment (admittedly a couple of weeks early). I used, which charges $2.79 for a debit card transaction (not the cheapest provider) and paid with my Suntrust Delta debit card. See Earning Miles for Paying Taxes Without Big Fees.

  4. I purchased (4) $50 American Airlines gift cards with my American Express Platinum card. That card’s $200 annual airline fee credit resets each January 1. To be clear, the card’s terms and conditions say such purchases are not eligible for reimbursement, so I cannot be responsible for your own experiences! (See American Express Platinum’s Amazing Travel Benefits)

What have you done this morning to earn miles or get cheaper travel?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Spend 3000 at CVS on two southwest cards and transfer in choice points so I can extend companion pass until 12/31/15.

  2. @Brian One Mile at a Time says so this morning, but since I can put more than one gift card onto a single AA reservation I like to play things safe

  3. I did $200 for AA and got refunded after 7 days but i was nervous, to be safe $100 is better, i just did this december 20th 2013

  4. Gary,

    Do I have to call the Amex folks and assign an airline to get my $200 credit. I used United last year and will use UA again in 2014.

  5. @dhammer53 if you had an airline assigned last year and do not want to change it you do not need to do anything for 2014. You can also change it online at the link in the post above.

  6. @caveman the particular vanillas that I deposited today were purchased with a US Airways MasterCard since I want to quickly dispense with the spend for elite qualifying miles.

  7. Thanks for the reminder to start the monthly Vanilla reload process……but the Amazon payment clock is a 30 day clock that starts on the date of your last $1000 send………..with the $200 credit my wife and I will fly to Seattle for FTU in April for $104 total on AA……..

  8. Do you have any experience or know someone that does with the Citi Prestige airline credit. Does it work like Amex on a calendar basis or membership year basis? I asked by phone and was told membership, but that doesn’t mean it is, of course.

  9. Hi Gary,

    I know it’s not included in the list of refundable expenses, but can the $200 AA credit be used to pay the $150 award cancellation fee?

  10. The Prestige $200 is calendar based, so drivers start your engines…

    >Does it work like Amex on a calendar basis or membership year basis? I asked by phone and was told membership, but that doesn’t mean it is, of course.

  11. Gary, do you buy your VRs one per transaction? Or do you not subscribe to the concerns over ID scanning?

    Just curious what your take is. I usually do one at a time but sometimes get lazy and go for 2x.

  12. I don’t really have any concerns about ID scanning, my local CVS will do $5k per day in a single transaction (it’s not even required any longer to do 5x $1000 transactions).

  13. Any idea when the Chase Ultimate rewards year end bonuses post? At the end of the monthly cycle?

  14. I staged my Southwest credit card 50,000 point bonus and business spending so I should have 110,000 points post by mid-January. Hello Companion Pass through the end of 2015!!

  15. My CVS does scan with $1000 purchase so i buy 2 bluebirds- one for 500 and 1 for 490. keeps me under .

    also pay my taxes – and real estate tax- with a bluebird check. works fine.

  16. Both my local CVS’s and 7-11’s refuse to load VRs with a credit card. Can I use something else to load my Bluebird card with point generating money?

  17. Gary since you already have the SunTrust Delta Debit are you doing $100 load x 10 days each month to all your bluebird accounts? Very easy to put on autopilot.

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