Archive for November, 2012

You can now use ThankYou Points to Make Purchases on

Friday, November 16th, 2012

This is the greatest thing since sliced bread… really. Citi’s ThankYou points has been junk for years and not worth anyone’s time if you ask me until now. Citi is following the lead from Discover Card and is now letting you make purchases with Amazon by signing in. This could not come at a better time since Black Friday is next week and Holiday Shopping is in full swing. Ordering from Amazon with the Thank You Points is simple and it seems to be closer to 1 point per $1 purchase than redeeming for statement credits or cash.

You can make eligible purchases with your points, your Citi Card or a combination of both. Eligible Citi cards include all Citi ThankYou Cards, the Citi Forward Card, CitiBusiness ThankYou Card, Citi PremierPass/Expedia Card, AT&T Cards, and Sunoco cardmembers with available ThankYou Points.

Linking your accounts is easy. Simply go to the Citi ThankYou page at and click the Get Started button in the blue box. From there follow the online instructions to link your ThankYou Member Account to your account

Bluebird from Walmart and American Express Card

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Is this card the real deal that all these travel bloggers are going crazy about the last few weeks? I have read countless posts on how you can go up to an Office Depot and BUY a Vanilla Reload card with a credit card then go over to a Walmart to buy a Bluebird card and use that site to load up the Bluebird card in increments of $500 or so. If you do this you end up making 1% to 5% on some credit cards in rewards. This is great if it proved to be true it would help me pay on my taxes without writing checks directly. This being because you can use the Bluebird card to pay bills or even get the money out at ATM’s but they may charge a fee if you go out of their network or not initiate direct deposit within 30 days.

I gave in and brought myself up to a Office Depot location before close one night. I was almost nervous just asking about it. I noticed that they had no more cards out but they did have a not that said “Vanilla Reload” as if it went there where it was supposed to hang on the display. I then asked about it and they dug them out from somewhere and I put $500 on my American Express Simply Cash Card. This is quite different than Noob Traveler and Million Miles Man and all the travel bloggers have you do which is use their INK PLUS (by Chase) Business Card to get 5% back. I figured that I will get the same 5% back either way.

I then walked over to Walmart and purchased a Bluebird starter kit. It was easy to find it was right in the middle of the aisle when I walked in the store. Talk about great placement.

I tried to pay the $5 starter kit fee with my Discover Card and it would not let me. It also indicated I had to load it with $1 or more to take the box out of the store. I then gave the cashier $6 in cash (since I was not sure what a debit card would do on this transaction).

Picking Two 5% Cash Back Categories with the US Bank Cash Plus Card

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

My new U.S. Bank Cash Plus Card came in the mail this week and I have been uber excited. This is the card I told you about a few months ago that gives you 5% cash back in 2 categories you choose. I just activated my card then signed on to their Cash+ site to select my categories. I picked the 2% category for groceries which I may not really use. I already have a 2% back card that gives a FULL two on everything so that is not really needed but just in case it happens to be in my wallet at the grocery store.

The two 5% categories I picked were

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants

Although I was surprised that it did not combine the restaurants with fast food.  Discover and Chase and other bank credit cards let you put the category with everything under Dining which would include Fast Food and Restaurants.  Since I had to choose one or the other I decided it was best to choose the one that I would benefit more from in higher spending.  I definately spend more money at restuarants than fast food.  REstaurants hopefully still incude bars and nightclubs as well which is a big expense of mine of around $1,500 a month at least.

How to redeem these quarterly rewards from the Cash +  Visa?  It is best to wait until you reach $100 in rewards so you will get the $25 bonus!  Then do the following-