Contact Me

I love hearing from my readers and love helping you travel for free or as close to free as possible. If you would like to send me a private comment or question feel free to email me at Admin@thepointstraveler.com and I will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have and I will respond to you via email. Or you can also leave a public comment/question down at the bottom under reply.

Is there a certain topic or issue you would like to see a post on? I welcome all suggestions and feedback! Have something you would like to write about yourself? Email me and maybe I can feature you as a guest post!

Thanks for checking out my blog!

 

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63 Responses to Contact Me

  1. Jerry Mandel says:

    Jerry Mandel says:
    July 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    In WF website–”Where can I get a Wells Fargo Prepaid Card?
    At this time, we are not opening new Wells Fargo Prepaid Cards; however, existing customers may continue to fund and use their cards.” Bummer!
    I guess I’ll try US Bank.

    • The Points Traveler says:

      Yeah, unfortunately Wells Fargo went through several months ago and shut down pretty much everyone who was loading them with credit cards and then removed the option to load via non-Wells Fargo credit cards. This deal is dead.

  2. Eric says:

    For the Chase gift cards, do they automatically come with a pin number or do I have to call them for every single one I buy (that could be a lot – if you do it for $13k/mo, do (would) you do all of them in one phone call?)

    • The Points Traveler says:

      You have to individually set a pin for each card. When you call the automated phone # to activate you just hit option 2 and it will prompt you to pick a PIN. Takes about 1 minute per card, separate calls. Chase has announced the deal ends Sep 22nd. Get in while you can!!

  3. Dee says:

    The link for the 50,000 Citibusiness Advantage card you posted is not working as the app does not come up. Could you please send it to me. Thanks

  4. sunshine says:

    I have question about about reloadable walmart gift card. Can it be use to load BB?
    or can it use to purchase Money order?

  5. Don says:

    Is there a way to earn points/miles/rewards when pating credit cards and mortgage?

    • Jeremy - The Points Traveler says:

      buying Vanilla Reload or Visa gift cards and loading to Bluebird can be an option. Bluebird has a free bill pay service. I just emailed you a more detailed explanation

  6. Eric McCaslin says:

    I would love a more detailed explanation as well. Thanks for all you do !

  7. Holly Oberle says:

    Hi Jeremy-
    After reading your blog for about a year, I decided to finally attempt free travel. Thought you might be interested in a rookie’s tale on the matter. I blogged about it here: wp.me/p1Qwc4-cl. I would love to hear your comments and feedback about my strategies and my mistakes. Although I was largely unsuccessful, I still love your blog and thanks for the info!

  8. Larry says:

    Hey Jeremy, Just started reading your blog and have found a lot of information (i.e. AP) that I was looking for in a detailed fashion for a newbie like me that I can follow. I’m analyzing all my spending with the goal of turning each dollar spent into rewards. What is your recommendation for paying my HOA fees, electric bill, and maybe even my real estate taxes. Thanks in advance for your comments.

    • Jerry’s idea of advance pay is great when trying to hit minimum spend. Most of my utilities do not accept credit cards and I cannot by real estate taxes w/ credit card either. Bluebird’s or Serve’s bill pay can be a great option for paying things that do not accept credit cards. You can use your credit card to buy vanilla reload or visa gift cards to load to Bluebird or Amex Serve at Walmart but make sure you are getting the VR’s or gift cards at a low enough cost to justify it. I wouldn’t buy at a store that only earns 1x points/miles on my card (not worth the cost to me).

  9. Jerry Mandel says:

    Advance pay (charge) all utilities, including TV, to meet minimum spending for big bonuses and/or cash back.. You get it back by no monthly payments for many months.

  10. Jerry Mandel says:

    I couldn’t imagine utilities that won’t accept credit cards, including automatic charging each month. Some insurance companies will and some won’t. Another way to save is to charge discount gift cards for your own spending. Like buying money at a discount. giftcardgranny.com

  11. Jerry Mandel says:

    Will they accept your bank or credit union debit card? If so, auto pay monthly? Beats mailing checks. Anyway, move to a decent climate……and civilization.

  12. Jerry Mandel says:

    How much cost to move your Mother, too? Texas and Florida have no state income taxes = a raise for you. Do you pay online from your bank?

  13. AMJ says:

    Hi, your blog is very informative.

    1. Do you know if it affects credit score if I apply and take2 credit cards in a week.
    2. If I cancel a credit before the 2nd year begins (ie., before annual fee starts) and apply for a new card at the same time, does it hurt my credit score. Can I apply for the same card I am canceling and also get bonus miles again?

    • 1. Every time you apply for credit your credit will receive an inquiry which will affect your score temporarily about 3-5 points.
      2. See credit 101 for more details on credit.

      • AMJ says:

        Thanks. That was helpful. Could you also help me with my second question above.

        Also, I applied for a new credit card (my 3rd) last Friday which got approved on Monday. Would my score have taken a hit already?
        If I apply for a another credit card now, will it hit my score again and by how much points?

        • there are two different issues. one being closing account and one being opening a new account.Closing an account can affect credit utilization but opening a new account to replace it can help with that. Also average age of all accounts plays a part in this see credit 1o1

          The credit pull should have happened when you applied on Friday had already show on the credit report. If you apply again you will take another hit from the inquiry. Each inquiry takes roughly 2-5 points off your score but if the cards are used right can help increase your score over time. The are also 3 different credit bureaus and the inquiry could have been with any and would only affect your score at the one credit bureau. Applying for cards at multiple different banks helps increase the chances that all the inquires are all on one credit report which lightens the blow.

  14. Jerry Mandel says:

    Here’s an example. I just got some credit cards. My “official” FICO went down from 797 to 774. Boo Hoo

    • AMJ says:

      How long does it generally take to recover the points back, say if you applied for 1 new card and the score went down by 5 points.

      Besides Amazon Payment, what is the other best way available now to earn points (read your comments above – appears – Wells Fargo gift card is discontinued, reloads are not available at CVS)?

      • Fluctuates from person to person as there are many variables in a persons score but if you keep you balances low and pay on time it shouldn’t take long at all. As an example, I apply for 3 or 4 cards about 3x per year and my score as stayed between 798 and 812 for years.Just goes up and down in that range but is usually back to about 812 by the time I apply again.

  15. Jerry Mandel says:

    I just got the Wells Fargo AMEX PROPELworld credit (not gift) card and used it at CVS for One Vanilla debit cards.

  16. AMJ says:

    Thanks for that info. How long do you think it take to recover the 5-7 points one loses when he applies for a new credit card.

    So with these Vanilla card, one can pay off the credit card balances? Sorry, I am new to this so perhaps some very basic questions. What are the charges, if any, to get a vanilla card and is there any max amount which can loaded on to the card?

    You had also mentioned about going to Walmart Store and loading it there. How does that work? Would be great if you could send me a private email.

    • The One Vanilla cards he was referring to are the One Vanilla Visa cards which you can buy, set a PIN, and load them to your Bluebird account simply by going to your local store to the money machine and loading the value onto the Bluebird card.I’ll try to send you a more in-depth email if I get time. But in the meantime I would suggest reading more on Bluebird.

  17. Jerry Mandel says:

    AMJ—Nearly all questions have already been answered in Comments.

  18. RR says:

    Problem with Greendot reloads and Amex Serve cards.

    I’ve been purchasing greendot cards and loading them onto two different AMEX Serve cards and using the Serve cards to pay the CC Cards.

    This week when I went to do a green dot load I got a message in RED saying that GreenDot refuses to load money onto the card, suspicious behavior, can issue a refund.. etc. etc. etc. This happened to BOTH of my cards. So now their basically useless. I’ve only loaded a few thousand $ onto them in the last month.

    Any ideas here? Can’t get very far in this hobby if this keeps happening

    Help!

    • RR says:

      I was able to call greendot have them check my card and find out what went wrong.

      They said it could of been two things.

      1. loading a single card from multiple different IP addresses. Yep, I was using my work and home computer to do this.

      2. Loading multiple cards from the same IP address. Yep, I had two different SERVE cards that I was loading.

      So I guess I better stick to the same PC and one card for doing the greendot thing.

      Sorry for the spam posts.

      • Sorry for the late response – I’ve been gone on a Cub Scout camping trip w/ no access to internet.

        That is good info to be aware of when loading multiple cards – Thank you for the data point! Are you able to load the cards again now?

  19. RP says:

    Greendot said once their flagged they can never be loaded from a greendot card again. From a AMEX point of view their fine. I called AMEX today and told them they they were lost and requested a new card. I believe the CC number changes when you do this, otherwise I have to close the account.

  20. Emmanuel S. Ruiz says:

    Hi there! Just an update on GC reloads at Walmart. I was there today trying to load 2 Vanilla Visa GC @ the Kiosk (Money Machine – not the CASHIER) and lo’ and behold, for the very first time I got a message that the card is not a valid Debit Card…wow! I was blown away. Could this be something new in terms of not just the Money Center Computers being re-programmed but the Kiosk too? Just thought I let you know man!

    • I am getting a lot of reports that this is happening with the Vanilla Visa cards. I am still having success with US Bank issued cards and MetaBank – knock on wood.

      Thanks for the datapoint – have you tried to use them for money orders or at a register to load you BB?

  21. Smruti Aski says:

    Hi,Can you please provide me referral to Marriott loyalty program?

    Thanks

  22. Jerry Mandel says:

    marriott.com

  23. RB says:

    Just went to RA to get some MP. They no longer accept CC to purchase them! Tried a 2nd RA and no luck. I’m in the San Francisco area. Is it like this all over?

    What to do now?

  24. Jerry Mandel says:

    What are RA and MP?

  25. Charlie says:

    Topcashback & Upromise no longer give cash back for staples giftcards
    Office max is no longer accepting credit cards for Vanilla refills,
    Where can one get Visa gift debit cards without paying 3.5% and maximize Inks 5% ? etc. how do you manufacture spend using Ink?

  26. Jerry Mandel says:

    Charlie-Simon malls and outlets may limit to $1,000 per day in gift-to-debit cards or debit cards. I don’t understand 3.5%. $5.95 is only 1.19% on a $500 card.

  27. Charlie says:

    Simon outlets 3hrs. away, do they get 5% or 1% back from Ink?
    Staples $206.95 equals 3.5% with 1.5% cashback on Ink

    • Simon is only 1x on Ink cards.

      While 6.95 is basically 3.5% of 200, it is not the correct way to look at the math. You are getting 5% back or 5x points. So you would look at it as paying 6.95 for 1034 points which is a cost of 0.67 cents per mile. For most (myself included) that is too high of a cost to buy miles. Plus it can be driven higher by liquidation costs to get rid of the cards.

      For Simon, I think it is best to utilize a 2x card like the Arrival card or just to meet minimum spending requirements, otherwise it is expensive as well. 3.95 per 500 at 1x earning is a rate of 0.79 cents per mile which is not a good rate in my book. But with a 2x card it is only 0.395 cents per mile (or better when you figure the 10% rebate on arrival travel redemption’s.

    • I have a local gas station that accepts credit cards for Vanilla which is 2x on Ink making the cost basically 0.4 cents per mile. I would start checking your local gas stations and see if you can find one of the few that still accepts credit cards.

  28. Jerry Mandel says:

    I don’t know anything about Simon and Ink……and don’t care. I only know their card fees are lower than fees in grocery stores. I can never imagine buying any debit card for less than $500. Two of them = a $1,000 money order (with MO fee paid separately in cash or with a bank debit card.). Again, Kroger’s $5.95 fee is 1.19% on a $500 card.

  29. JC says:

    Hey man, how’s everything? It’s been a long time that you haven’t posted and I just realized it. I hope you didn’t give up, you were one of the best ones.

    • Hey JC – Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it. I had to make a hard choice -with working 60+ hrs/wk plus maintaining the blog along w/ a family of 4 it was very difficult to juggle everything and still give my kids the time they deserve. I meant to do a final farewell post but I just kept putting it off because I really didn’t want to have to give it up!

  30. we are big costco shoppers, but want to funnel all purchases onto our American Airlines credit card for miles. The issue is Coscto doesn’t accept credit cards in the store (except for AMEX). I’ve been doing this for several months now and it’s working great. I go to Costco online, order a $1,000 Costco cash card (or any amount) and pay for it with my AA Credit card. Buying online with credit card at Costco works good. about a week later, the costco care arrives and i use it to make my purchases in the store. I buy all I can online to get the points, but when I go into the stores, I use the cash cards.

  31. JA Moore says:

    JA Moore August 5, 2015 at 5:44 pm~

    Thanks for the advice on retention offer, I contacted the retention dept regarding my upcoming annual fee. The rep stated I would receive a $95 statement credit for keeping the card and that I have 30 days to make a spend of $95. I don’t understand whether I need to make the spend in the next 30 days or if it’s normally 30 days after the annual fee appears on a statement or…..????

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