Middle Age Miles

Middle Age Miles News & Notes 5/4/2020 – MCGC deal; Rakuten 15%/15x (and 10%/10x for Dell); Amex Biz Plat credit; UPromise

middle age miles news notes 5/4/20 mastercard gift card mcgc just4u safeway albertsons tom thumb rakuten 15 dell 10 american express amex business platinum statement credit appreciation credit upromise bonus offer mystery bonus

Happy Star Wars Day from Middle Age Miles – May the Fourth be with you!

Following up on Friday’s big announcements from Amex and Chase, especially with respect to earning bonus points for grocery store spend, we’re already seeing another good day of opportunities. Also, Amex is sending a little more love to at least some Business Platinum cardholders in the form of a $200 statement credit after renewal. Let’s get to the deals!

1 – Just4U deal – $10 off any Mastercard Gift Card purchase of at least $100

Grocery stores in the Safeway and Albertson’s family of brands that participate in the Just4U loyalty program have a great new deal for Mastercard gift card (MCGC) purchases – $10 off when you purchase $100 or more in MCGCs.

You must add the offer to your Just4U account prior to purchase. The discount will be taken at the register when you check out. The offer is for a one-time use on each Just4U account. Offer deadline is 5/16/20. Note that the ability add MCGC Just4U offers such as this generally ends about a week before the offer expires, so be sure to add the offer now!

This offer works on purchases of variable MCGCs, including $500 MCGCs. We tested it ourselves at a local Tom Thumb store in the Dallas area yesterday.

This offer stacks beautifully with the many grocery store points bonus offers from Amex and Chase that we covered in detail in our article on Friday:

2 – Rakuten (formerly Ebates) “It’s Our 15th Birthday” 15%/15x MR Offers

The Rakuten (formerly Ebates) shopping portal has a widespread offer for 15% cashback or 15x Amex Membership Rewards (MR) points (depending on which type of account you have) for many stores, starting today.

Here’s a sampling of the online stores available; check the Rakuten site for a full list:

For most of these stores, 15%/15x is at or near a high-water mark for portal earning – especially if you’re collecting MR points (as we do!).

It’s not clear how long these deals will last. The header on Rakuten says “new stores added daily,” so we may see the deals last as long as a week. But if you see a merchant you like at 15%/15x, we recommend using it right away!

If you’re not already a Rakuten member, it’s a great time to join, too. If you join using our referral link and spend $30 through the Rakuten portal, you’ll receive a sign-up bonus of $30 or 3,000 MR points, depending on which type of account you set up. This sign-up bonus is an all-time high on Rakuten/Ebates. Here’s our referral link:

3 – Rakuten Offer for Dell – 10%/10x MR

Rakuten also has a great portal offer for purchases from Dell today – 10% cashback or 10x MR points. This isn’t an all-time high, but it’s the highest we’ve seen in a while.

The Rakuten/Dell offer is particularly timely in light of the increased Dell credits on Amex Business Platinum cards. Amex Biz Plat cards include a standard benefit of $100 in statement credits for purchases from Dell during January through June, and another $100 for July through December. Late last week, Amex announced that it was increasing the benefit to $200 for each 6-month period during 2020 – an extra $100 for May-June, and an extra $100 for July-December.

For those of us who have Business Platinum cards, today’s Rakuten deal presents a great opportunity to stack these deals. We’ve already used $100 in Jan-June statement credits on our 3 Biz Plat cards, but now we have another $300 in credits we can use. And fortunately, Dell’s online shopping cart allows us to split payments onto as many as 3 different cards – perfect for us!

We can also earn Dell Rewards credit for these purchases for a triple dip!

4 – Amex $200 “Appreciation Credit” for at least some Business Platinum cardholders

This morning, we received an email on one of our three Amex Business Platinum cards, informing us that we’d receive a one-time $200 “Appreciation” statement credit following our account renewal date.

No enrollment is needed. The statement credit will automatically be applied 8-12 weeks after the account renewal month. Thus, you’d have to pay the next year’s $595 annual fee in order to receive the credit, effectively reducing the effective annual fee to $395.

At this time, it’s unclear to us whether all Business Platinum cardholders will receive this offer, or whether it’s targeted to certain cardholders – perhaps those with renewal dates coming up relatively soon. As noted, we only received an email for 1 of our 3 Business Platinum cards, and it’s the card with the nearest renewal date. The card where we received the email has a renewal date of August 1. The cards where we haven’t (yet) received the email have renewal dates of November 17 and January 3.

There is, however, a dedicated Amex webpage that includes the $200 Appreciation Credit. This page says that the benefits discussed there are “for the remainder of 2020.” This suggests that we’ll see the $200 statement credit for all renewals for the rest of 2020. (If this is correct, then cardholders with annual fee posting dates in May through December seem to be winners, and those with annual fee posting dates in January through April would be unfortunate losers!)

Another interesting question about the $200 “Appreciation Credit” is whether it will entirely replace retention offers, or whether it will still be possible to receive a retention offer in addition to the statement credit. We’ll see how this plays out in the coming months.

5 – Upromise Shopping Portal “Mystery Offer”

This morning, we received an email from the Upromise.com shopping portal advertising a “mystery” bonus offer. When we clicked through (without logging in), the site revealed a bonus offer of $10 when we spend at least $125 through the Upromise portal from now through Friday, May 8.

As we received this offer without logging in to our Upromise account, we’re guessing that $10-for-$125 is the standard offer for everyone. This is certainly a solid offer, and we’ll probably use it.

In the past, when we haven’t needed to make organic purchases through Upromise, we’ve purchased gift cards online through GiftCards.com (GC.com) to trigger similar bonuses. In our experience, these purchases have worked to earn regular portal rewards plus Upromise bonuses. If you have good liquidation options available to you, the GC.com approach might be a profitable choice!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our News & Notes for May 4. We’re glad to be back into a position where we can post regularly about these types of deals!

Do you have additional comments or insights on the deals we’ve discussed here or others? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!

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2 thoughts on “Middle Age Miles News & Notes 5/4/2020 – MCGC deal; Rakuten 15%/15x (and 10%/10x for Dell); Amex Biz Plat credit; UPromise

  1. Grant

    I have an AMEX Biz Plat and just used the $100 Dell credit (part 2 of the first half of the year) today on Rakuten. My annual fee is in December 2020, so no $200 statement credit for me yet, hopefully it comes later today / this week. The perks for the AMEX Biz Plat keep on coming 🙂

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