Sadly, it’s time to pour one out for an opportunity that’s been a great friend to Middle Age Miles – payments through the Bravo “Tip or Pay” app appear to no longer earn 3x ThankYou Points (TYPs) on the Citi AT&T Access More card.
Even with this unfortunate change, however, there may still be some useful opportunities with Bravo.
Background & Our History with the Bravo App
Bravo is an online app that facilitates person-to-person (P2P) payments. Its original basic business model was designed to allow people to tip or pay a service provider when they didn’t have cash. If both the payer and payee had the Bravo app, the payer could send money to the payee through the app without sharing any personal data. The pitch, when Bravo’s founders appeared on Shark Tank during Season 9, involved a person paying a tip to a street musician through the app.
Bravo charges a 2% fee on all transactions made through the app. Through some experimentation, we learned that payments made through the Bravo app earned 3x TYPs on the Citi AT&T Access More (ATTAM) card. These payments qualified for the ATTAM card’s 3x bonus category for online retail purchases. We reported this opportunity in our well-received article on the ATTAM card:
- Middle Age Miles: One Year of Experimenting and Earning with the Citi AT&T Access More – What Earns 3x TYPs as Online Retail & Travel? (January 10, 2019)
As you can imagine, this situation created a great opportunity for acquiring TYPs. The opportunity had limited scale, but this limitation wasn’t too bad. We believe that transactions were capped at $500 per day (until recently), although we never personally tested it beyond $400 for fear of ruining the opportunity. [The Bravo terms & conditions as of 5/17/2019 now say that payments less than $500 are charged a fee of 2%; payments of $500 or more are charged 3.5% plus 30 cents.] We also varied the amounts of our transactions and generally limited our transactions to every other day.
Beyond just earning 3x TYPs, spend on ATTAM through Bravo was also instrumental for us on receiving and then collecting on a great retention offer this year – 2x bonus TYPs on all spend on the ATTAM card, up to a cap of $17,500 (35,000 TYPs max). We reported on the retention bonus in this article:
- Middle Age Miles: Did I Get an Awesome Retention Offer on My Citi AT&T Access More Card? Why yes. Yes, I did. (January 4, 2019)
Payments made through Bravo also consistently showed up and were available in the receiving account within 3-4 days. We have never had a problem with a “lost” payment made through Bravo. This consistent performance further endeared us to Bravo and its combo with ATTAM.
All this to say – the Bravo-ATTAM opportunity was a very good friend to us.
Demise of the Bravo-ATTAM Opportunity
Bravo appears to have stopped earning 3x TYPs on the ATTAM card as of June 27 or 28, 2019, about a month ago.[On a side note, we apologize for the delay in reporting this change. It’s impossible to see TYP earning on a per-transaction basis online. Even the monthly statements don’t contain transaction-level earning detail; you have to back into which transactions earned 3x or 1x by using the summary of TYP earning on each month’s statement. Our statement closed a couple of weeks ago, but we didn’t review it closely until today, as we’ve been catching up on a million things following our wonderful trip to Switzerland & France.]
Looking at our most recent ATTAM statement, here is our TYP earning summary:
As you can see, we earned 7,863 TYPs for online purchases that earn 3x ($2,621 * 3), and we earned 1,445 TYPs for “regular” purchases that earn 1x ($1,445 * 1).
And here are the charges on our most recent ATTAM statement:
As you can tell, we didn’t have $1,445 of non-Bravo purchases, so we’re quickly tipped off that some of our Bravo charges didn’t earn 3x.
We also know from past experience that the Amazon Digital charge on 7/5 would code as 3x, whereas the Amazon Prime subscription renewal for $128.82 on 6/26 would only code as 1x.
With those data points in mind, we could work backwards to find out when Bravo changed from 3x to 1x. If you add the Amazon Prime charge ($129) to the 4 latest-occurring Bravo charges from 6/28 through 7/2 ($388+$255+$326+$347), you get $1,445 – hence, our conclusion that Bravo changed from 3x to 1x as of June 27 or 28, 2019.
For what it’s worth, we don’t see that anything changed in the categorization of our Bravo charges between the June 26 charge that earned 3x and the June 28 charge that earned 1x.
Here are the charge details for our June 26 charge, from our Citi online account:
And here are the charge details for our June 28 charge:
Nothing changed. The Bravo charge was in the category “Services – OTHER SERVICES-NOT ELSEWHERE CLASSIFIED” at all times. We also didn’t see any changes in the detail of other transactions utilizing Bravo during our most recent statement period.
We assume that Bravo charges also no longer earn 2x on the Citi AT&T Access (ATTA) no-fee card.
Where Do We Go From Here with Bravo?
First, we’ll continue to try Bravo charges on ATTAM periodically, to see if the earnings revert to 3x. We’re not optimistic, but it would be really nice if this change turns out to be just a temporary glitch.
Otherwise, the good news here is that Bravo still seems to present some great opportunities, given its 2% fee for transfers using a credit card as the payment method, up to $499.99.
It seems that Bravo can still be quite useful to help in hitting minimum spend requirements, big-spend thresholds and special spend offers on credit cards. In addition, we can see where Bravo may be useful to liquidate gift cards, depending on what types of cards are supported. We’ll try to experiment with this and report back in our ongoing Manufactured Spend Data Points series.
Bottom line, we think we can still get a lot of use from Bravo, just not with ATTAM. We’ll have to be a little more creative, but I think we’ll still be fast friends with Bravo going forward.
Do you have any additional Bravo-related data points that would be useful? If so, please let us know in the Comments!
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