My Biggest Mile Manufacturer – TD Go

During a time where Joann & I have more miles & points than we do vacation days, I’m looking for easier ways to manufacture these points instead of ways to just amass a stockpile of them. Notice my emphasis is on easy. 

I’m not a fan of driving to Walmart to load my American Express Bluebird 2-3 times a month.

I don’t enjoy driving to multiple CVS stores to find $500 gift cards (and then driving to Walmart to load them to Bluebird).

Buying $200 gift cards from Staple with my Chase Ink is pretty easy, but then I’m stuck with several small denomination gift cards to liquidate.

Enter TD Go.

This is a prepaid product that is intended for parents to issue their “teens” debit cards with certain limits.

The main advantages are that this debit card can be funded by a credit card online and TD is very lax on what they consider a “teen.”

The main disadvantage is that this card is ONLY offered in the following states:


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Hyatt Updates Mobile App

I just downloaded an app update for the Hyatt mobile app for Android. I believe the iPhone update for the app has been out for a few week now.

From what I’ve noticed, it’s a very useful update. Prior to this update, the app was only great for checking out current reservations. It sometimes wouldn’t remember your login so you would have to log in every time you opened the app. Searching for, let alone booking, reservations (paid only) was a pain and easier done on an actual web browser.

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Bluebird & Serve Increase Daily Load Limit to $2500

American Express Bluebird has updated their Membership Agreement. Previously, the daily load limit was $1,000 via loading online with Vanilla Reload cards or loading in person at Walmart with a debit/gift card.

As of July 1, the daily load limit will now be $2,500. However, the daily limit for loading at Walmart will be $1,999.99.

bluebird walmart 2

bluebird walmart

This effectively halves the amount of times you have to visit a Walmart to reach the monthly limit of $5,000.

I’m very happy with this news because it decreases the time & effort it takes to load our Bluebird accounts. It also aligns perfectly with our latest points-earning strategy, the TD Go card. Stay tuned for a future post on that.

Note, American Express Serve has also mirrored this increased daily load limit to $2,500.

Hat tip to Frequent Miler

A Machu Picchu Anniversary: Palacio del Inka & Cusco


The hotel was a short taxi ride away and we were surprised that we were already feeling the effects of the altitude. Cusco is over 11,000 feet above sea level (higher than Machu Picchu and surrounding villages) so it may hit you hard!

When we arrived to the Palacio del Inka, a bell hop immediately took our bags into a waiting area in the lobby and offered us some coca tea to help with the altitude sickness. The effects of this are unproven but, hey, when in Rome Peru…

Upon check-in, the front desk agent informed us that we had been upgraded to a “junior suite.” I am Starwood Gold (thanks to an American Express Platinum card I had up until a few months prior) so that would explain the upgrade. The agent also gave us the code to the complimentary wifi – one of the 3 Gold welcome benefits to choose from (bonus Starpoints, complimentary in-room Internet access or a complimentary beverage).

The bell hop brought us to our room, which was definitely better, but it wasn’t a suite. There was no separate bedroom + living room area. It was a weird setup with a floating wall separating the entrance from the rest of the main area.

Entrance & mini bar

Entrance & mini bar

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Chase Freedom Third Quarter 2014 Bonus Categories Are Live!

The 3rd quarter of 2014 is upon us so that means new bonuses and maybe some shuffling of spend.

As I wrote previously, this quarter’s bonus categories are gas stations & Kohl’s.

You will receive 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent in the bonus categories, up to $1,500 in spend.

The 3rd quarter bonus runs from July 1 – September 30, 2014.

If you haven’t already activated your Chase Freedom for this quarter, activate it here.

Similar to Chase, Discover IT 3rd quarter bonus category is also live and it is ALSO gas stations.

Between the two options, I’d rather have Ultimate Rewards points than cash back so I’ll be leaving the IT in the drawer this quarter. Or, if you can buy gift cards at your local gas station, you can easily spend the $1,500 max for both cards.