News You Can Use – American Airlines, US Air, & Hyatt Points Sale, Office Depot Discontinues $500 Gift Cards & 4 New Hyatt Hotels in France

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1.  American Airlines, US Air & Hyatt Miles/Point Sale.   One Mile at a Time writes that you can buy American Airlines miles for ~2 cents up to February 28, 2013.  View from the Wing writes that you can buy US Air miles for ~1.9 cents up to February 28, 2013, if you bought US Air miles in 2012.  And Loyalty Traveler writes that you can buy Hyatt Points for ~1.8 cents (30% bonus) up to February 6, 2013.

Occasionally it does make sense to stock up on miles and points if you’re very close to an award and if a small purchase will get you the miles and points needed to book your award.  Sometimes, it could even make sense to buy the miles or points and redeem them for an award ticket or hotel night.

For example, it costs 100,000 miles for a business class ticket to Europe or South America.  It costs $1,800 to buy the miles and, say, ~$200 in taxes and fees, so you’re looking at ~$2,000 for a business class ticket.  $2,000 for a business class ticket is a good deal for some, and not a good deal for others.  So always do the math for your situation before buying miles and points.

Frequent Flyer University and Mommy Points have good posts on how to evaluate buying miles and points!

2.   Office Depot Discontinues $500 Gift Cards.   Frequent Miler writes that Office Depot will no longer carry $500 pre-paid gift cards (Visa, AMEX etc.).

Folks used to buy these gift cards with a Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold or other Chase Ink card to earn 5X points or 5% cash back for the purchase because of the 5X category bonus for using the Ink cards at office supply stores.  They would then use the gift cards for their everyday spending or use Amazon Payments.

However, Pizza in Motion reports that Office Depot may just be increasing the price of the $500 gift cards.  We’ll know for sure in the next few days.

3.  4 New Hyatt Hotels in France.   Loyalty Lobby reports that Hyatt will get 4 new hotels in France – 2 in Paris, 1 in Cannes, and 1 in Nice.  This makes it easier to redeem Hyatt points for stays in France, and I can’t wait to go back!

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33 Responses to News You Can Use – American Airlines, US Air, & Hyatt Points Sale, Office Depot Discontinues $500 Gift Cards & 4 New Hyatt Hotels in France

  1. The OD system gets top billing with numerous articles explaining it in excruciating detail nearly once a week. Then it dies and gets stuffed into a 3 bullet point summary misc happenings in the FF world. That’s some weak sauce.

  2. @JC - Would you prefer a state funeral & an obituary in the New York Times? :)

  3. Hi Daraius,

    As of yesterday the ODs in my area had plenty of variable prepaid gift cards in stock. But I’m sure there will be a run on them in the next few days from other FTers and MPers. :)

  4. If true will be canceling INK card.

  5. PlagiaristPolice

    About time you give credit to those who deserve it. Stop plagiarizing and regurgitating other peoples ideas Daraius!

  6. I stayed at the Hotel du Louvre in spring 2011 and it was superb. Perfect location.
    Great news for Hyatt point users.

  7. E if you cancel the ink card just because of office store purchases you need to think a bit more. Just on the internet cable phone cellphone categories alone will pay for itself. Most people should get around 30,000 points a year from the card, even with a $100.00 annual fee this is a steal, but remember you could just chance it to a no annual fee version.

  8. sheldon cooper

    Some pics of Emily hunting for $500 gift cards at OD, but looking disappointed when she doesnt find them (with arrows pointing to her frown, and circles around her tears) would be helpful to the noobs.

  9. @Dae – you make a great point plus if you use the card for this an even just buying “real” stuff now and then on the card you should be able to get retention bonus points each year to offset a bit of the yearly fee as well! :-)

  10. Keep up the good work :) I love reading your site!

  11. Just called Hilton Am Ex. They reduced the bonus points for stand alone supermarkets and drug stores from 6 to 3 points. This a a big drop when one buys their Vanilla Reloads at CVS…..but not the end of the world. $80 or so for 10,000 dollars of cards in a month will still net you 30,000 points and that is a good Hilton Hotel for a night…..for what is actually $80.

  12. @jeff4jojo wait … What?

  13. @JC and @Sheldon Cooper: ++10

  14. Marriott Marty

    Still have the usual cards at my local OD this morning at 8:30 a.m. [2/4/13], I bought some AMEX for the usual $4.95. I even saw a Visa variable to $500 gift card, which have been out or low on stock the last couple of weeks [probably because there are more versatile than the AMEX prepaid].

    I hope some variable to $500 prepaid cards survive…

  15. I’m confused, didn’t the Ink Plus OD opportunity die a while ago, or was that just vanilla reloads?

  16. @Dae – How are you getting 30,000 points a year with the Ink cards?

  17. Man, and I just applied for the Ink.

  18. @MMS

    Pretty sure he was referring to maybe a post dedicated to this new development. Don’t go sleazeballing hyperbole of obituaries and state funerals. But then again you knew that.

    Have you considered selling used cars? Pretty sure you will do well, and I mean it.

  19. PlagiaristPolice

    @ Mickey

    I was thinking the same. Daraius and his plagiarist ways were so out in the open during the bluebird days and now since it has died due to his spoon feeding and regurgitation every other day, he adds such developments in bullet points. Oh and guess what, he also gives credit where its due for such negative developments, but not when he was stealing the ideas off FM and FT

  20. @Ken: presumably if you have a family and pay close to $500 a month for cable, internet, phone, and cell phones that’s $500 x 5 points x 12 months = 30,000 UR points per year. You can get that with the no fee card though and thus if you have a CSP, it probably makes sense to just keep the free Ink card instead and transfer points to your own CSP card to transfer to other partners.

  21. Daraius,
    Why would you credit Frequent Miler with the OD giftcard matter? He didnt even know about until others told him. I know I did via Twitter. He was oblivious to it.

  22. @Justin
    Taengoo? Lol.

  23. Flyer Talk tries to be all code and secretive like it’s really hiding info from the masses. People get scolded. OMG, don’t spell out Office Depot, write “OD”! Don’t write Vanilla Reloads, the merchants will read it! Say “ice cream” instead! How idiotic. If you share ideas on the internet expect them to be shared on the internet. Unless you are writing in hieroglyphs once it’s out it’s out. Sharing does not necessarily equal plagiarism. Personally I like how this site is layed out and it is unique. If not for his site, there are 100s if not thousands of other credit card affiliate sites which provide info shared on the internet from flyer talk, mommy points, blah blah blah. We’re not talking about legally protected copyrighted works. Darius gives way more credit to other sites than he needs to. On top of that he’ll repeatedly steer readers AWAY from his own affiliate links if there’s a better offer from some other affiliate. That’s pretty selfless. Very few will do that when the links are your money makers. LOL all you anti-plagiaristic enforcers who act like you are in some secret society and privately entitled to info. The cat always gets out of the bag. All deals die then others open up. Move fast or lose out. That’s life. Keep doing what you are doing Darius and pay no attention to the naysayers who read your blog regularly, take useful info and then complain about your blog on your blog.

  24. I think we should give a name Blog Groupies nut huggers like KC. How about Blogies.

  25. @Traveling Well For Less @Marriott Marty – Thanks for the update! I’ll check around my area as well to see if they are still available.

    @SS @KC – Thanks for reading!

    @Justin – That was Vanilla Reloads and this time it maybe the $500 gift cards.

  26. “Blog Groupies”, love it. So, in fairness, what shall we nickname those who waste their time ranting against blogs as if they belong to some exclusive club whose secrets are being outed?

    Clearly they hold such info after exhaustive research, were granted it via the secret FT brotherhood, or on Twitter (my personal favorite source for secret info… seriously?). Get over it; the info gathered on MMS is freely available to anyone with access to Google and an IQ equal to their age.

  27. Still available in my area!

  28. @sddjd

    Awww. Your IQ clearly is equal to your age and hence you found it. How about you hug Points Envy’s nuts next? He needs it in the blog just below this one. Only saw one comment there, whose IQ clearly is greater than you and your blogies age combined.

  29. Marriott Marty

    Bought some of the last AMEX prepaid cards at 6:30 p.m. tonight 2/5/2013. There were a few AMEX gift cards left. It looked more like a run on OD then anything being pulled from stock. I think that OD will still be a source, but perhaps at $5.95 for AMEX variable to $500 gift cards. Time will tell…Reporting from LB CA.

  30. @Marriott Marty @Miles Momma – My OD in Kansas doesn’t stock them and the teller copied my license information when I bought the $200 version, so it likes no more $500 cards for me here.

  31. Daraius, based on your experience maybe they are actually dealing with fraud and chargebacks involving stolen credit cards. That’d make sense as to why they take DL info.

  32. @Jeremy - I don’t doubt that, and am more than happy to let them take down the information if they will start selling the $500 version again.

  33. Pingback: Hyatt Summer 2013 Promotion | Million Mile Secrets

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