AMEX Loses Antitrust Lawsuit. What Does That Mean For Consumers?

After a lawsuit filed over 4 years ago by the US justice department, the ruling came down this morning that American Express had lost in court. The crux of the lawsuit was that the DOJ thought the major credit card issuers (American Express, VISA and MasterCard) were restricting merchants and discouraging competition with such rules as prohibiting merchants from offering incentives to customers to pay with a debit card or credit card that would result in lower fees for the merchant. American Express isn’t as large as VISA and MasterCard […]

What If It Was Free To Buy Visa/MC Gift Cards At Staples?

A couple of quick updates on my post about the possible restriction of Visa and MasterCard branded gift card sales at Staples: Some Different Math on Gift Cards: I’m not a fan of buying Visa and MasterCard gift cards from office supply stores. I used to be before the fees went up. But, Shawn from Miles to Memories decided to lay out the math for a way to buy gift cards “for free”. How does he do it? This only works with a card that earns flexible currency like Chase […]

Is Staples No Longer Accepting Credit Cards For Visa/MC Gift Card Purchases?

Neil, one of my friends who’s also a regular reader of the blog, has just recently gotten hooked on buying gift cards at Staples with his Chase Ink Bold card.  He wrote me an e-mail last night letting me know he had an interesting experience at Staples yesterday. He picked up a gift card for a retail store to go along with the printer he was buying and headed to the register.  The clerk told him that he couldn’t pay for the gift card with a credit card.  When Neil […]

Things I Find Interesting On Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Did you submit a picture to win a free airline ticket yet? View From The Wing has some news on changes to the Hyatt Visa card.  The card is now free for the first year, which I think is a big plus.  Earlier this year they added double points for restaurants, airline tickets and rental cars, which was also a positive move. On the down side, I think the benefit they added earlier that allowed you to earn credits towards elite status is a bit pricey.  $20K in spend gets […]

Hyatt’s New Fall Promo: New Possibilities

I’m running a couple days behind reviewing Hyatt’s fall 2013 promo.  On whole, hotel promotions have been less rewarding then in year’s past as occupancy and rates have risen.  On it’s face, I’m reasonably pleased with the Hyatt promo based on those circumstances.  It’s a promotion based on the number of nights stayed during the period as opposed to stays, which makes it a bit harder to max out cheaply.  The key details: At 5 nights, this promo isn’t a ton of bonus but each of the subsequent tiers becomes […]

A Bit Of Old News: Office Depot Bad, Staples Good For Gift Card Purchases With Ink Bold Card

There’s been a lot written by travel bloggers about buying gift cards at office supply stores to earn lots of points.  I’ve been involved with it for a while myself, though not to the extreme of some.  I know I’m supposed to get a Bluebird card and pump it up with Vanilla Reloads.  Heck, View From The Wing pretty much demands it of me, daring me to prove him wrong.  And, he’s right.  But, I’m lucky enough to earn a ton of points through my work expenses and I’m just […]

Office Depot Excites With The Return Of Vanilla And $500 Gift Cards, Then Disappoints

Boy, it’s been a crazy busy week for me.  I’m just getting caught up on a bunch of reading.  Part of that reading was a few posts on Visa gift cards and Vanilla reloads by fellow travel blogger Frequent Miler. Visa gift cards and Vanilla reloads were a popular way to rack up the miles using Chase Ink cards not too long ago.  I got to it a bit late and was certainly disappointed when it died a quiet death. I was a bit intrigued when I heard Office Depot […]

Check Your Mail! Hyatt Credit Card Spend Bonus

Don’t forget to enter my giveaways for a Bubble Bum and 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points. I got a nice surprise in the mail today.  I normally pitch all my credit card offers that arrive via mail and this one almost ended up in the trash.  It was from Hyatt, and it looked like it was just an announcement for their current hotel promotion. Instead, it turned out to be a nifty bonus offer.  Spend $6,000 between April 1st and June 30, 2013 and earn 6,000 bonus points. At first, I […]