In late November, I received an email from Barclaycard to register for a promotion offering 30,000 miles for spending $2,500 each month on my AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard. The promo runs from December 2015 until May 2016. So essentially I would earn 45,000 miles after adding the 2,500 a month for 6 months.
$2,500 is a lot to spend each month without doing any Manufactured Spending. At least, for me, it is a lot to spend each month!
I got through December pretty easily thanks to a couple VISA GC purchases at Walmart.
And then this happened.
Ahhhh that dreaded e-mail that we all knew was coming. Don’t say you didn’t know. This could not go on forever. Eventually AMEX would wise up and realize they were losing money.
I got that e-mail on January 8 and I’m totally kicking myself for not buying a gift card the first week of January. But I have always been very conservative in this hobby. I don’t buy $40K worth of gift cards every month! So my plan was to wait until the end of each month and see how short I was. If I was within $1,000 of the $2,500 (likely) I would buy a couple gift cards to make up the difference. That’s pretty much what I have always done. I usually bought $1,000-$1,500 a month and paid my mortgage with it. I rarely used Bluebird to pay off the credit card I used to buy the gift cards. I think I did that once. And I didn’t pay the whole balance. I would usually pay $378.55 or some other odd amount.
So again. I am really surprised that I was shut down by Bluebird. I have heard that some people are still going at it. I’m not sure how they managed to stay under the radar, but at this point, I hope they ride it hard. I know I would.
Yesterday I got this e-mail from Barclaycard.
That’s very nice. I was wondering how (if) they were going to keep track of the monthly spending for this promo. I WISH they had some kind of calculator on their web page so you could track your monthly purchases. You can look up your month to date purchases, but you have to whip out the calculator to get the total.
According to my calculations, I am at $1829.26 for the month of January. And that is with a large $1,000 purchase that I would not normally make. So in reality I have only spent $800 so far this month. That is probably about average for us, unless it’s Christmas time, someone’s birthday or we are on a trip. So at $1829 for this month, I am $670 short. I don’t see myself spending that much in the next week. Maybe another $100-200.
Unless I buy a gift card.
I’ve been thinking about this. People are still buying the Visa GC and then buying money orders. I have only done that once, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. But I might give it another try. Worst case, I am stuck with a $500 gift card that I will have to liquidate by regular spend. And at that point it won’t matter because I will not be able to complete this promotion.
Do you still do any manufactured spending? Do you think the end is nigh?