Archive for October, 2012

Requisite Bluebird Post

The entire (points) world is abuzz this week with the arrival of Bluebird, the newest Airbus model powered solely by the collective sadness of the French. (Zing!) No, Bluebird is allegedly the best thing since buying dollar coins from the U.S. Mint: a new scheme to manufacture “millions” of points. While the prospect of mere millions doesn’t usually entice us, we at Points Envy decided to spend a few minutes browsing other blog posts about Bluebird to find out what all the hubbub was about. Below we have compiled that information into a completely superfluous post repeating useful bits of what other bloggers that you follow have already told you. We are a points and miles blog, after all.

Bluebird seems to be a new offering from American Express, the folks who periodically give you money to not use a superior points-earning card. We can’t understand the real reasons behind their launching this product, but the key for the points world is that you can use Bluebird to pay for things you cannot normally use a credit card for, like your mortgage, credit card bills, and drugs (assuming your dealer will accept a check).

For the best value, all you really need to do is: (1) have a Chase Ink card that earns 5x Ultimate Rewards points on office supply store spend; (2) find an Office Depot that stocks Vanilla Reload cards; (3) purchase all of the Vanilla Reload cards in stock with said Ink card; (4) load Bluebird with said Vanilla Reload cards; (5) immediately withdraw all of the money from your Bluebird account at an ATM; and (6) head to the nearest club and have the time of your life, knowing you are earning five points for every dollar bill you use to make it rain!

So, there you have it. As Amex continues to roll back many of the most beneficial features of its cards, they appear to have thrown the points world a bone with this one. If history has taught us anything, Amex will soon cancel Bluebird and then also revoke the lounge privileges associated with its Platinum card, just for good measure. Get while the gettin’ is good points fiends! That is, until American Express gets sued by Twitter.

How well do you know your avian silhouettes?


Churn in Hell

Getting your family members involved in the points game is a great method for maximizing the total rewards available for all of you (or, occasionally, a surefire way to marital hell). Typically this means ensuring that you and your significant other both engage in regular churning. Other points fiends go so far as to get their parents and siblings involved, but this tactic requires that your parents and siblings not hate you, which is unlikely to be the case (statistically speaking).

For this reason, we at Points Envy sought out a more trusting and loving generation: grandparents. For the past several years, all of our grandparents have been churning credit cards for signup bonuses on the regular, helping to amass well over five million points of various character in the process. Given credit histories that go back to the beginning of credit histories and steady social security income, approval has never been a problem.

       Preserve the love, spend the points

One of our grandparents has even been churning from the afterlife for more than a year now, thanks to a large freezer in our basement. The freezer was expensive, but we got it while Sears was offering 10x in the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall. We plan to buy more when the time comes, seeing that they essentially pay for themselves in a matter of months.

Of course, not one of our grandparents has set foot on a plane since the 1970s, but that hasn’t stopped them from giving their grandchildren the greatest gift of all: first class travel.

TPG’s Bad Taste Keeps PE Out of Contest Finals

This morning, esteemed travel blogger The Points Guy announced the 5 finalists in his caption contest, the winner of which will be his seatmate for the upcoming Star Alliance Megado 4. We were hesitant to enter this contest, seeing as the grand prize is a seat in the oxymoronic Economy Plus cabin, but we figured we would brave the new experience for the opportunity to chop it up with such a legend. Here is our entry, which somehow did not even make the top 5:

Our entry to TPG's contest

Everyone makes mistakes, even the great Brian Kelly, but this one is hard to explain. All of the people we showed it to said it was hands-down the clear winner, including the flight attendants and fellow passengers in the first class cabin on our JFK-LAX flight this morning. When we found out that we had been given the cold shoulder, we began to weep. With tears falling into our champagne and warm nuts, we found ourselves transported from the lap of luxury to the hell of rejection. Our pain was eased only slightly by a nice ice cream sundae and 8 servings of Glenfiddich.

Tornado Assassination Fails, Still Yields Millions of Points

Well, you got us. We tried a devious scheme and it almost worked, but those damn Windy City engineers and architects seem to have designed Chicago buildings well enough to keep our fellow points bloggers safe.

You see, we’re tired of being nationally and internationally famous for being the third-and-a-half-biggest travel blog in the world. We would like to move up to at least number two or, G-d willing, the top spot. And so when we heard the world’s top travel bloggers would all be gathered in Chicago for the big seminar, we saw our chance to make things right.

We are not old school gangsters, just classy gentleman of leisure. But we definitely wanted to kill the competition. So we thought back to an article about some guys in Abu Dhabi who learned how to control the weather. They were using their machinery to make rain in the desert for food or something, but we figured we could use it for something far more noble: a murderous tornado. But sadly, our mission failed, and the bloggers who actually have insight and real knowledge of the travel industry lived to write another day.

It was such a simple plan.

On the whole, however, the undertaking was not a total loss. We paid roughly $350 million for the machinery and setup, with $35,000 on our Sapphire Preferred and the remainder on our Platinum card (thanks for no limit Amex!), so at least we earned over 350 million points (350,037,450 after the 7% dividend on the Ultimate Rewards points). And luckily we’ve already found a buyer for the tornado machinery in executive producer and all-around nice guy Steven Spielberg, who begins shooting Twister 2: More Twisters soon. You read that right folks, Bill Paxton is not dead.

But if you know anything about the editors here at Points Envy it is that we never give up. Maybe next time, the elite bloggers of the points world won’t be so lucky….

Deal Alert: 600,000 United Miles for Simple Surgical Procedure

In the past, we have seen U.S. Airways offer a large mileage bonus for undergoing lasik treatment, but we have just found out about a new deal from United that makes that bonus look puny. On Tuesday, we were contacted by a doctor in India whose brother works for the MileagePlus program. They have put together an incredible offer that’s just too good to refuse. All you have to do is fly to India, let the doctor remove your kidney and sew you back up, and voila! Within three weeks you should have 600,000 United miles deposited to your account.

The only caveat seems to be that you have to get to India yourself. From the US it will run you 80,000 United miles roundtrip, so you’ll come out 520,000 miles ahead (or 480,000 if you fly first class on the way back, to help ease some of the post-surgery discomfort). File this deal under no-brainer! A couple of the editors here at Points Envy are even considering donating both kidneys. And we thought earning 40x UR points from that white van was a great deal!

Look for our success reports in a few weeks.

Who doesn't trust a doctor with Mickey Mouse ears?

There are 600,000 United miles in there, let’s get ’em out!