Manufactured Spending

Points and Miles Checklist for June 2018

It’s only Monday and I already feel like this:


Now can you see why I need a monthly to-do list? May was a stellar month in terms of earning points and miles. While 100,000 points isn’t the most I’ve ever earned, it was pretty substantial considering I did it largely without manufactured spending. I want to keep the momentum going and the best way to follow through is with a to-do list. If you’re trying to keep track of all the various promotions, program changes, and deals then make your own list, check it twice and let the points roll in…

Claim your airline fee credits

I know what you’re thinking: It’s only June. Why worry about this now? Because the end of the year is going to be hectic, so I’d rather get a jumpstart on things. There is ZERO harm in picking up some airline gift cards and getting the $200 Amex Platinum Airline Fee Credit out of the way now. The same goes for the Citi Prestige or any other premium credit card offering an airline fee credit.

Amex Offers

I have about 3-4 travel-related Amex Offers left to take advantage of. There’s the 10,000 bonus point offer for spending $600 on travel, plus a couple of bonus point offers from Marriott. I probably won’t stay at any Marriott hotels but I do need to start booking some paid travel. My travel plans this year include a trip to Toronto the first weekend of July, as well as a longer summer vacation to any place. Literally. At this point I’ll take five days in Omaha if it means shutting off my brain for a while. Paid travel is definitely in the works and I’ll have two 10,000 point bonus offers from American Express as a reward.

Plan for the SPG-Marriott merger

After a honeymoon period, the Marriott-Starwood merger is about to go downhill, starting in August. That’s when Marriott will introduce the first wave of award redemption changes. But the worst part is that all SPG points will transfer to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio…automatically! 

At some point, I’ll give some more thought to whether Marriott Air + Hotel packages are a better value than SPG’s airline transfers. But for now I see this as a last hurrah to generate as many consequence-free miles as possible. I’ll probably order a ton of MasterCard gift cards and pick up a couple of $9,500 gift card batches at my local mall. That sounds really tame as I write this, but I’m hoping to really pick up the pace in July.

Sign up for hotel promotions

Since I have some paid travel coming up, I need to remember to sign up for hotel bonus point promotions now. I really don’t have it in me to research the entire list of promotions, so I’m going to direct you over to Head for Points. He’s got a list of every current hotel promotion. I would list them all out here…


What are you all doing to earn more points and miles this month?

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  1. Concur re. the SPG card — use it now, if you’re going to, and then sock-drawer it.

    Top “to do thing” for a lot of us in this space is to find a replacement for ThePlasticMerchant. I happily credit you with getting me into TPM (for about a year, it was almost a “good thing” — even as we should have seen the writing on the wall….) I thank others (namely M2M) for saving me from nearly losing a ton recently. (A lot of your readers are sitting on bounced checks and now having to do the unthinkable…. see m2m for the only blog in this space having the decency to talk about this; others are doing bizarre “be happy” posts about amazon & socks…. quite the soma routine, the “crickets” from so many blogs that one happily promoted TPM and/or the discounted gift card industry….)

    Yet going forward, what’s your thoughts re. TPM replacements? Unless you get super insider high volume, institutional “bulk seller” arrangements (e.g., the kind going to TPM), Raise is quite limited….

    And GiftCardWiki suffers from serious language issues — and not having a how to use manual (the one thing TPM had right), plus even less transparency than TPM. With the TPM debacle, I’m gun-shy…. but open to ideas and experiences from others who once followed you into the TPM DMZ

    • Yeah I can’t believe they pulled this bs a third time (that I’m aware of). I do plan to write a post – I just haven’t had the time to do it yet. Definitely steering clear of TPM.

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