The big news this week is that, starting today, the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card card is increasing its sign-up bonus from 25,000 points to 30,000 points up to September 3, 2012.
But more exciting to me, is that you may be able to earn miles by buying money orders using a debit card. I’ve been running tests over the last 2 months, and will share the details in the next few days.
Read this very carefully
Of course, you shouldn’t go overboard with this technique. And before you think of buying $100,000 worth of money orders a day, depositing it in your bank account and becoming a mileage billionaire, remember that there are limits on purchases, that repeated purchases and deposits in your account make it easy to trace, that financial institutions have to file reports to the government for large purchases and deposits of cash equivalents, and that banks have shut down ALL accounts of folks who abuse the ability to buy money orders with a debit card.
Yes, I am trying to scare you into not abusing this technique because the odds are high that you will get caught (more on how to use this ability in future posts).
But you should be able to top off your account or earn miles for transactions for which you otherwise couldn’t earn miles such as student loans, mortgages, etc. with these techniques.
There are also other ways to use the debit cards to earn miles, but since its Emily’s birthday today, you’ll have to wait a bit!
Here’s one of the experiments which was successful (lest you call me a tease!)
I used the debit card which earns Delta miles…
…to buy money orders…
…from this American institution (among others).
I earned Delta miles for the PIN debit card transaction and paid 60 cents for the Money Order!
I suspect that there will be lots of comments with folks suggesting that I shouldn’t have posted about this, but this has been going on for 10 years and made it to the Wall Street Journal.
Here are my thoughts on sharing deals on the blog and they haven’t changed. Is this ethical? Only you can decide for yourself if it is ethical or not for YOU to pursue.
Again – there are risks to abusing this which I’ll outline in the next few days, so be careful.
I’ll be driving for most of the day, so I won’t be able to get to the comments. It is okay to disagree with me or others, but please be civil with your responses! Not only is that polite, but it increases the credibility of your thoughts.