Donate Miles in Addition to Money

tsunami
Jan 01 2005

Here’s an updated list on how to donate miles for tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia. Not everyone can spare tons of cash, that’s certainly understandable although in times of severe crisis I hope that folks will dig as deep as possible. But those of us with even a small amount of spare frequent flyer miles — possibly not even enough to use for free tickets — can help provide free travel for relief efforts. While minimum donations vary by program, in some cases you can give as few as 1000 or 5000 miles. You may have this laying around in an otherwise-forgotten account. These miles might even expire on their own, going to waste. But you can do some good with them. And since most frequent flyer programs keep accounts active with any activity…

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly… Or an Update on Correspondence About Free Electronics

free electronics
Jan 01 2005

Regular readers of this site are familiar with the free electronics offers from Gratis Internet. I’ve received several items myself, several readers have, and I’ve seen boxes arriving at my office for colleagues. Free Game System. Free designer handbag Free photo iPod. Free iPod. Free flatscreen TV. Free desktop computer But not everyone has had a perfect experience, so I wanted to note that as well as offer advice on dealing with bumps in the road to getting these items. Reader Gail took great umbrage at my discussing the Gratis Internet offers. I don’t mind that you say they are legitimate and that you have received your items. I do think it is unethical for you to avoid noting that at least one person – me – has been unsuccessful in receiving credit for completing…

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Gutting another Rewards Program — Dining for Miles Becomes Just Another Program

dining
Dec 31 2004

Rewards Network’s Dining for Miles programs are being revamped, a.k.a. gutted. You may know the program as iDine (what I’ll always call it), and its precursor was Transmedia — the old program where you paid to sign up and had a membership card which you needed to present at restaurants for a cash discount. The program awards frequent flyer miles in the program of your choosing when dining at a participating restaurant. Traditionally the award was 10 miles per dollar, although increasingly of late some restaurants only offered 5 miles per dollar spent and some restaurants gave miles only on certain days of the week. Now comes the announcement that earning in the program is being changed dramatically. Instead of a default of 10 miles per dollar (plus frequent bonuses), most members will only earn…

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An end to the Amtrak-United Partnership

The Amtrak/United partnership has ended, apparently effective immediately. It used to be possible to transfer Amtrak points to United miles at a 1:1 ratio, up to 25,000 points per year (50,000 points for Amtrak elite members). That option is apparently gone, removed sometime in the past 48 hours, with no notice whatsoever. This is a real blow to the value of the Amtrak program for several reasons. I used to recommend the Amtrak Mastercard as the best free points-earning credit card. It had several benefits: Obviously, it was free Points could be transferred to United, Midwest, Continental and Hilton It’s issued by MBNA, so the foreign currency conversion charge is only 1% (rather than 3% for most issuers) In fact, it was a better way for most people to earn United miles than the United…

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Bonus miles for filing taxes

delta-airline-plane
Dec 30 2004

American Express OnlineTax is offering 1000 Delta miles for using their online tax filing service from January 1 to April 15. $34.95 buys filing of your federal and state returns, which is somewhat higher than other online services I’ve seen and likely higher than the after-rebate price of some software packages.

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Applying for credit card signup bonuses… over and over

A reader writes: Hi Gary: I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now and find it highly enjoyable and informative. Thanks! However, I’ve never seen one question asked or answered. How frequently can you sign up for an airline or hotel credit card, get the signup bonus, cancel the credit card, then sign up again? I’ve signed up for the various airline and hotel credit cards, used them for a while, then canceled them since I never actually used them much. My credit rating is good enough that it can suffer another round of hard inquiries on my credit reports if I were to sign up for those credit cards again and would be worth the extra signup points. I’m somewhat puzzles that this isn’t a more frequently asked… Perhaps I am missing…

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Support Disaster Victims

tsunami
Dec 28 2004

Flyertalk is accepting contributions for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund in support of the earthquake and tsunami victims. Red Cross contributions are tax deductible, and there are of course only a few days left in the calendar year to seek such deductions. What better cause?

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Time to start thinking about taxes again

Lots of rebates, and all your finance and tax software needs for $6.49, shipped. Note, though, that the Norton Anti-virus rebate is an upgrader’s rebate so the deal only works if you already have a version of a Norton, Symantec, or McAfee software product (which in my experience a large number of people do). Borrowed from FatWallet.com:# Amazon.com is carrying this TaxCut 2004 Deluxe for $24.50 # Search for “B0006466DA” to add TaxCut 2004 State to your shopping cart for $24.50 # Search for “B0002D1572” to add Microsoft Money Standard 2005 to your shopping cart for $27.99 # Search for “B000646EGO” to add H&R Block DeductionPro 2004 to your shopping cart for $19.95 # Search for “B0002UCJV6” to add Norton AntiVirus 2005 to your shopping cart for $46.99 # There is a $5 Mail-In Rebate…

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