As I’m sure you know by now, Serve will no longer allow credit card loads beginning on April 16. Boy, that was fun while it lasted. The limits were low (only $1,000 per month), but I could do it from the comfort of my home. I didn’t have to put on my PJs and go to Walmart to buy gift cards and hope that Kate was not ill.
I will finish out my $1,000 for March and get $1,000 more loaded before April 16 and then I will bid adieu to Serve. We had a good run, you and I.
But, wait, what’s this? A pretty little red bird on the horizon? Unfortunately, I live in an area that does not sell the Target Prepaid RedCard (aka RedBird) and when I was looking through the list of states that sell them, I could not think of anybody I knew who lived in one. Apparently, I forgot about my niece in Maryland! Well…my nephew’s wife. Technically, my husband’s nephew’s wife. My niece-in-law? In-law?
Anyway! I explained to her what I wanted and she had no problem stopping at Target on her way home from work to pick one up for me. She even loaded it with $5! She then sent me a picture of the card showing the number and the 4 digit code on the front of the card. I used that information to register the card online, in my name. Within 3 or 4 days I received a personalized, permanent RedCard in the mail.
I was a bit nervous going to Target to load the card. Since my local Target does not sell them, I wasn’t sure they would know what they are and/or what to do with them. Visions of WalMart danced in my head.
It was a rather busy Sunday afternoon at Target, but the express line had no wait. I walked right up to the register and said “I’d like to load my RedCard please”, like I had done it a million times. She looked at me with a smile and said, “Of course!”
I loaded $325 with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card with absolutely no issues. It was the easiest thing ever. I was in and out of the store in about 5 minutes. (Confession…I was having Walmart flashbacks when swiping my credit card, trying to keep it out of her sight so she wouldn’t bark at me “Cash or debit ONLY!”. When she asked to see the card for the last 4 digits, I had a mild panic attack. But she entered them, handed it back to me and I was done) As my son would say “Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey”
So now, where do I go from here? I need to have some sort of strategy for loading the card. I don’t have any minimum spending requirements to meet, so I need to beef up an account that I plan to use soon. Ultimate Rewards points are ultimately the most valuable in my opinion, so I think I will focus on them. But I can’t get too greedy and have Chase wonder why I am suddenly spending so much money at Target. In even amounts. I can fix part of that by loading, say, $432.67 to make it look like an actual purchase. As I have said before, I am not a HUGE manufactured spend(er). I usually do only a couple thousand a month to pay bills with. The RedBird limits are $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month, so I can’t go too crazy anyway. I read blogs of people who do $15,000 or $20,000 a month (and I’m sure you read them too) and honestly, I think those are the people who ruin this for the rest of us who play conservatively.
Right now I only have 1 RedBird, but when Serve dies I think I will close it and open a RedBird in Matthew’s name. That will give us $10,000 of MS availability each month. Not that I would use that much.
I also might buy a few American Express Gift Cards through cash back portals. I will likely use my SPG Amex card for that. Right now I can get $30 back for buying a $2,000 Amex gift card. The gift card will cost $12.90 in shipping and fees, so I will make a $17.10 profit. Better than nothing. And then I can load the GC on to my RedBird for no fee. Less Target purchases appearing on my credit card accounts.
We’ll see how this goes. I’ll keep you posted.
Saving Money at Disney
We are going to Walt Disney World for Spring Break next week. Yes, I know we are crazy.
I have done a pretty good job saving money on the trip. I booked our rental car way back in October for the great rate of $136 for the week! The same car at the same company booked right now is $299.
We are staying at the Country Inn & Suites by the airport. It’s not fancy, but it has decent reviews and who spends that much time in the room anyway? I am using Club Carlson points for half of the stay (with the BOGO deal for having the Club Carlson VISA card) and my friend is paying cash for the 2nd half of the stay and I got a great rate at 30% off for 3 nights.
I used 34,000 reward points from my Wells Fargo Propel American Express card (40,000 point sign up bonus) to get my 5 day adult park ticket and bought my son’s 5 day ticket on Undercover Tourist. With my leftover Wells Fargo Propel rewards points I got a Best Western hotel gift card that I will use on our trip to Bryce Canyon this fall.
But here is the most recent Disney money saving deal I found.
Do you know about AMEX Offers or AMEX Sync? For Sync, you connect your Amex card with your Twitter account and follow the American Express Twitter feed to take advantage of money saving offers. You can also just log in to your Amex account to see “Offers for You” and have them added to your card.
Since the Wells Fargo Propel is actually serviced by Wells Fargo, it does not appear when I log into my American Express account. My SPG, Delta SkyMiles Platinum and SkyMiles Gold Business card are on my American Express account page online. You can usually add each offer to only one card. BUT since the Wells Fargo card is separate, I can get the offer added to that card as well via AMEX Sync on Twitter.
So how does this save money at Disney? Well, one of the Amex Offers is $10 off a $50 purchase at Lowe’s. Lowe’s sells gift cards, including Disney Gift Cards. I bought two $50 Disney gift cards at Lowe’s and got two $10 statement credits from American Express. I added the offer to my SPG card and my Wells Fargo card and got $100 worth of Disney gift cards for $80. In my book, this is a 20% discount on food. That should buy at least one meal, right? My husband wanted me to use the offers to buy mulch. Yeah…that sounds like fun.