The Best of Million Mile Secrets – April 2013

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Here’s what I consider the most interesting and useful posts in April 2013.

1.   Buy Visa and MasterCard gift cards from grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations etc. and then use those gift cards to load your American Express Bluebird at Wal-Mart and pay your mortgage, car loan, etc.

Even Better With a PIN!

Buy Gift Cards with a Credit Card

2.   You can even load your Bluebird using an automated kiosk at Wal-Mart.  Some readers are reporting that the machines aren’t working or require a manager to authorize the transaction.

Bluebird Reload Wal-Mart Kiosk-004

Load Bluebird at the Kiosk

3.   50,000 Membership Rewards points (~$500+ in travel) with the American Express Business Rewards Gold card.

4.   How to fill out an American Express Business card application.

5.   Donate to the Captain Jason Dahl Foundation (by May 10, 2013) for a chance to fly in one of American Airlines’ oldest surviving planes!

 Jason Dahl Scholarship

Donate to The Jason Dahl Scholarship & Fly in a 1929 Stinson Tri-Motor

6.   The best cards to earn extra miles & points on groceries and why it often doesn’t matter.

Grocery Stores Also Have Gift Cards!

Grocery Stores Also Have Gift Cards!

7.   ~$420 in travel with the Barclaycard Arrival.

8.   How to add additional drivers to your car rental for free!

You Have to Wade Through a Lot of Fine Print to add an Additional Driver for Free!

You Have to Wade Through a Lot of Fine Print to add an Additional Driver for Free!

9.   What are the new rules to get 2 Citi personal cards?

10.   What’s the impact to your credit score if you’re denied for a credit card?

FICO score pie chart

What’s the Impact if I am Denied a Credit Card?

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16 responses to “The Best of Million Mile Secrets – April 2013

  1. I found a Walmart ATM in the store but it always says “more information needed” after I input the amount, no matter how small, that would have been reloaded. I ended up reloading over the counter.

  2. I used your advice and got the Amex business card (and my credit score is under 700 – whoo hoo!). I have 2 questions:
    1- They told me that I WON’T accrue credit toward the spending requirement if I use it (and the AMEX Gold I got at the same time) to buy “prepaid cards, travelers checks, or any cash equivalent.” This includes the bluebird card (I asked specifically). Is there a way to get around this?????
    2- I have a Skymiles debit card I load to bluebird at the cash register. Do you think it would work if I used my new AMEX credit cards to load bluebird at the register?

    • @Yi @Faye – I’ll check it out at my Wal-Mart.

      @Nancy – If your score is under 700 it is probably best to not apply for more cards and get your score above 700. You won’t earn credit for buying prepaid cards directly from AMEX (or another bank) online. But you DO earn credit for buying gift cards at stores since it is categorized as a store purchase. You can’t use a credit card to load your bluebird at the cash register. But, you can use the credit card to buy certain gift cards (sew #1 above) which can be used as debit cards. But start with a small amount to see that it works for you since there are different type of gift cards.

  3. Cash withdrawals at the Wal-Mart atm started charging $2 (max $300 at one time), used to be free to withdraw. Now it hardly seems worth it.

  4. We have a MoneyPass machine here near our house where I have gotten money from the Bluebird. It is a really old, old machine. Has anyone had any luck putting money from a debit card to the Bluebird with these machines? Also, I read somewhere about using an app to add money to the Bluebird. Do you have any info on the app?

  5. I just bought a $100 Visa gift card from Jewel-Osco in Chicago (+5.95 fee) . I received a coupon for $10 off your next purchase of $10 or more for doing so. I registered the gift card at and added a pin. The card then worked for cash back at Target, so a slight money maker, plus 2X points using my AMEX Gold! I know this is not a great return or use of one’s time/gas/etc., but I needed to go to both these places today, and I wanted to see if it worked.

  6. Looks like I’m one of the lucky ones who has a Walgreens about half a mile from home and they accept credit card payment for Visa gift cards ($500 plus $4.95), AND I have a WM about a mile from home where I can load the Visa gift card onto my Bluebird without a hitch! I’m working on a spend bonus right now.

  7. Agreed. I definitely was checking those first two posts on my iPod last Friday as I bought a gift card at Staples and walked it over to Walmart to deposit. My Walmart didn’t have the kiosk, but going to the counter was easy enough. Thanks!

    • @Mary – The moneypass machine in Wal-Mart should work. You can download the bluebird app, but you are limited to only $100 a day and $1,000 a month and there is a fee to load with a debit card using the app.

      @Mike U – Very nice to know. I guess you don’t have the card anymore, but which bank issued the gift card?

      @AJM @Ryan
      – Very nice! Glad it worked out.

  8. Here’s a link to a picture of the gift card.$splssku$

    It was issued by MetaBank and came in a light green package with a picture of a silver gift with a silver bow on it.

  9. The gift card was is a light green package with a picture of a silver gift with a silver bow on it. It was issued by MetaBank.

  10. Once again thanks for all you advice. I’m fairly new to this, but with your help have been accruing and using points for the last few months. I plan on attempting this Bluebird/gift card challenge. But before I do I’m hoping you (or some of your readers) will offer some advise. I do not have an Ink Card (maybe next yr), but I do have United, American, Southwest, American Express (Delta), and a Freedom card. Of those cards, which one would you pick to buy gift cards (I’m planning on starting small, enough to pay my mortgage). Except when Freedom offers 5X, do any of them offer more then 1X for buying a visa gift cards at a department store? Separate question: When you use the Freedom Card program and spend $1.00 and earn 1 point, will I be able to transfer that 1 point for 1 mile? Thanks! Yvonne

    • @Mike U – Thanks!

      @Yvonne – If you have the Ink Bold/Plus or the Sapphire Preferred, you can convert the Freedom points to airline/hotel points. I’d use the United card because if you cross $25,000 in year, you will get an extra 10K United miles. But perhaps the best card is one which gives you a category bonus or one which you’re completing a minimum spending on.

  11. Since the debit card BB loading shares the monthly limit with vanilla reload, it doesn’t make sense if you can easily buy VR, right?

  12. @ Mike U
    Thanks for your post. Could you go into a bit of details how to register your Visa gift card @ the
    gift card mall. Do I need to register? and then go thru login? Thank you Mike U