News & Notes on this Monday morning includes some gift card deals, hotel free night deals, a ticket deal, and an extension to the Jet Blue schedule. We hope you find today’s news interesting and useful:
1. Visa Gift Card deals are underway this week at Staples and Office Depot/Office Max
In Friday’s News & Notes, we reported on a gift card deal this week from Staples. In short, buy a $200 Visa gift card (VGC) in-store from Staples from September 29 through October 5, with no purchase/activation fee. There is a limit of 1 per customer. Our local Staples enforces this limit on a per-day basis (or at least a per-visit basis).
We’ve written a fair bit recently about VGC deals at Staples in our Manufactured Spend Data Points (MS DP) series. For Staples deals, you can find the most up-to-date information in this article:
- Middle Age Miles: MS DP Series – Follow-Up Part 1 – Reviewing Episodes 1-4 (September 10, 2019)
Finally on this deal, we’ll remind you that there’s a current Amex Offer for Staples that expires today, which you should use for this deal if you haven’t used the offer yet. The Amex Offer is for a $10 statement credit when you spend at least $40 (or alternatively, your Offer may be for 1,000 MR points when you spend $40+). Beyond that, best-in-class earnings at Staples would be with a Chase Ink Cash card for 5x Ultimate Rewards (UR) points per dollar.
In addition, there’s a deal for $15 off when you purchase $300+ in VGCs at Office Depot/Office Max (OD/OM). This offer is also valid from September 29 through October 5. Again, the limit is 1 deal per household, although your mileage may vary as to how rigidly your local store enforces the limit.
With the OD/OM deal, the best play is to purchase two $200 VGCs. Activation fees will be $6.95 on each card, for a total of $13.90. Thus, after the $15 off, you’ll be ahead by $1.10. Use your Chase Ink Cash card for 5x UR, and you’ll earn 1,995 UR points. At our baseline value of 1.5 cents per UR point, those points are worth about $29.92. Even if you use online liquidation methods at 2%, you’ll come out nicely ahead with this deal.
Hat Tip to Stephen at GC Galore for tipping us off to these deals.
2. 4th Night Free offer from Waldorf Astoria and Conrad
Waldorf Astoria and Conrad are offering a 4th-night-free deal at 69 properties worldwide. Key terms and conditions are:
- Must complete stay before December 31, 2019
- Book through the landing page for the promotion, or by calling 800-925-3673 and requesting the “LRM Extra Night” package
- Code for this promotion is PBBOG1
- Booking must be made at least 3 days in advance of the stay
- Minimum stay is 4 consecutive nights; and maximum is 7 consecutive nights
- The “free night” is implemented as a discount of 25% off the hotel’s Best Available Rate
- Blackout dates apply
When we spot-tested this offer, we had a little trouble finding dates when it would apply. But when we did find an applicable offer (in our case, at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok), the rate for a 4-night stay easily bested all other publicly available rates (including AAA & AARP discounts and advance purchase rates). In addition, the rate in our spot-check was not a pre-paid rate; rather, it was fully cancellable until shortly before the check-in date, which is great. So, it looks like this might be a useful sale if there’s a Waldorf Astoria or Conrad stay in your future before the end of this year.
There are also some great stacking opportunities here. First, this offer will stack with Hilton’s current worldwide “Power Up” promotion, where you can earn double Hilton base points on all stays, or triple points if you hold and pay with an Amex Hilton co-branded credit card. And second, there’s a current Amex Offer for $70 statement credit when you spend $350+ at Waldorf Astoria or Conrad hotels. The timing on the Amex Offer is perfect to use in conjunction with the “4th-night-free” promotion, as it’s also available through 12/31/19.
3. 3rd Night Free deal from Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park
This is a very niche deal, but it caught our eye, especially since we’ve had several friends ask us about deals in Chicago recently. The Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park is offering a complimentary third consecutive night, valid only on weekends. Key details are:
- Stay three consecutive nights and receive the 3rd night free
- Valid Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun nights only
- The offer is available year-round, subject to availability
- Book through the landing page for the promotion or use promo code PTHR
The weekend that we spot-checked this offer turned up a really good deal for such a nice hotel and beat the available rates from OTAs. So, this deal may be worth looking into if you’re thinking of a fall weekend in Chicago. As with the Waldorf/Conrad deal we just discussed, the rate in our spot-check was not a pre-paid rate; rather, it was fully cancellable until shortly before the check-in date.
Finally, note that with Fairmont reservations, you should be able to get 2.5%/2.5x MR by going through Rakuten (formerly Ebates), plus you’ll want to be sure to credit the stay to your Le Club Accor account.
4. JetBlue schedule extended through 6/10/20
Just a quick note here that, as of yesterday, the JetBlue schedule has been extended so that you can book JetBlue flights through 6/10/2020.
5. Ticket Club 5% Off Code – Today Only
In case you’re not familiar with it, Ticket Club is a ticket resale site where you can purchase tickets with no service fees (if you have a membership, which you can get for free; read our article for details). We’ve written about Ticket Club here (non-sponsored post, and we’re not affiliated with Ticket Club in any way):
- Middle Age Miles: How to Save Money on Secondary Market Tickets with Ticket Club (May 14, 2019)
Ticket Club runs periodic 5% off promotions, and we’re seeing one today – save 5% when you enter code TCFLSEPT at checkout. The code is good for today only, so jump on this deal if you’re needing to purchase event tickets on the secondary market!
In addition, we believe that you can also get $10 cash back on your purchase from Ticket Club if you go through the Top Cashback shopping portal. If you’re not already enrolled with Top Cashback, we certainly appreciate it if you use our referral link:
That’s it for today’s News & Notes – we hope you find these tidbits helpful!
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