I’m hoping everyone had a great Christmas holiday (or nice mid-week break if you don’t celebrate)! I enjoyed spending time with my close family and friends, and I hope you had the chance to do the same. It’s been a while since we’ve caught up on what’s going on with points and miles, so this “Miles in a Minute” post might be more of a “Miles in 5 Minutes” post.

Starting with last weekend – I completed my ~$69 stay at a local Candlewood Suites (meaning I just checked in and left) in order to collect on my bonus points before the conclusion of the IHG Big Win promotion. After debating if I wanted to mattress run in the first place, I’m glad I did. Now I will just patiently wait for those points to post.

Speaking of points posting… I did a lot of points-chasing over the last few days, and that’s never fun.

  • First, I realized that my 2,000 bonus points from the AAdvantage shopping mall promo never posted from back in September. Following MommyPoint’s advice, I sent in a missing-points inquiry proving that I had made a qualifying purchase during the the promotional period. I received a response indicating that my 2,000 points would be crediting soon. Bravo!
  • I also know a lot of readers are playing the highly-additictive La Quinta Returns game (related post), just a word of caution – I’ve stopped playing all together when I realized my winnings were no longer posting to my LQ account. The game shows that I’ve won 18,100 points, yet they have shorted me a little over 5,000. I wrote to LQ inquiring about this and have yet to receive a response. I’m not confident that I will hear from them… too bad.
  • I double checked my Hyatt Credit Card statement and saw that my $1900 charge at Andaz Maui only posted points at 1x (should be 3x when used at Hyatt properties). A quick call to Chase resolved that issue – apparently Chase doesn’t have the Andaz Maui updated in their system yet, so if you’ve had a recent stay, go back and see if your points were posted correctly.
  • Now that I think about it, I haven’t received my  1,000 United miles from Milepoint Premium yet – has anyone else?

2014 Q1 Hotel Promotions Worth Registering For:

  • IHG Big Win: I’m happy that this promotion is back in action, but many are saying that it’s not as lucrative for them as it was in 2013. What is your “Big Win” offer? Mine is for 76,000 points – I’ll probably only go for 20,000 of them.
  • Marriott MegaBonus: February 1 – April 30, 2014: I genuinely enjoy these “Stay 2, Get 1″ offers – it’s an easy way to get a free night certificate after completing just two stays. Although I am happy that this promotion is returning for 2014, it’s not quite as lucrative as it has been in 2013 (previously you’d earn a free category 1-5 night, up to 3). In 2014, the limit is 2-free category 1-4 certificates. Registration required under the “Promotions Central” section of your Marriott Rewards account.
  • Starwood Bring on the Nights Promotion: With the SPG® Bring On The Nights promotion, you’ll earn 2,500 bonus Starpoints® for every five eligible nights you stay from January 5 through April 30, 2014 — up to 10,000 bonus Starpoints and 20 eligible nights. Plus, get an additional 5,000 bonus Starpoints when you hit 25 eligible nights, for a total of 15,000 bonus Starpoints. Don’t miss out, registration ends February 28, 2014.
  • Hyatt Endless Possibilities: Between January 15 and April 30, you can earn either free nights or bonus points with Hyatt’s Q1 Endless Possibilities promotion. Registration doesn’t open up until January 9, and do know that you’ll need to choose between Free Nights and Bonus Points at the time of registration. Lucky at One Mile at a Time does an awesome job explaining the promotion in detail.
  • Kimpton Secret Password: If you have any upcoming Kimpton stays now through February 28, 2014, be sure to say the secret password “Sugar Plum” at check in for a surprise! (HT: Frugal Travel Lawyer).

Other News and Promotions Worth Mentioning:

  • I received my very first birchbox today. I don’t know about you but I love getting surprises in the mail, and $10 a month to get some beauty samples (great sizes for travel) sounded like a nice treat. My first box included a nice sized texturing spray, body butter, lipgloss, perfume and some chocolate (hey, I feel like I got an amenity kit!). What really caused me to cave in and sign up was when my friend told me that you can earn $5 a month in credits for full-sized products just by posting a quick review of each item you receive. The little girl inside me is happy!
  • American Airlines and United Airlines are both offering bonus miles on select transcon routes between January 7 and March 15. Registration required.
  • Lots of people have been getting great category-spend 5x promotional offers for the US Airways MasterCard, me not so much – still waiting to see if I get anything!
  • If you have some holiday travel coming up between now and December 30, you can enjoy free Gogo wifi. (HT: Pointchaser).
  • If you’re an American Express Platinum cardholder, don’t forget to give them a ring before December 31 to receive your free Hilton HHonors gold status benefit.

American Express Sync Promotions Ending Soon (stock up on those gift cards! Check out Deals We Like for full list)

  • Teavana: Spend $50+ in-store and online, get a $10 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013 (gift cards can be used at Starbucks).
  • Forever 21: Spend $25 in-store or online, get a $5 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013 (gift cards count – I got mine!)
  • BP: Spend $25+, get a $5 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013 (not a one-time only offer – credit posts every time!)
  • Exxon: Spend $30+, get a $5 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013 (one-time only)
  • Best Buy: Spend $250+ in-store, at BestBuy.com or Best Buy Mobile, get a $25 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013. (I bought a bunch of $200 Visa gift cards split across multiple American Express cards)
  • Rue La La: Spend $100+, get a $20 statement credit. Expires 12/31/ 2013.
  • FedEx Office: Spend $15+, get a $5 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • P.F. Changs: Spend $40+, get a $10 statement credit. Expire 12/31/2013. (dine-in only)
  • Ruby Tuesday: Spend $30+, get a $10 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013. (gift cards count – Ruby Tuesday is currently offering a bonus on gift card purchases. Purchase a $25 gift card, get a $5 gift card bonus, purchase a $50 gift card, get a $15 gift card bonus. Bonus gift card valid January 2-February 28 2014.
  • JCPenny: Spend $50+ in-store or online, get a $10 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Zappos: Spend $150+ Zappos online, get a $30 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • West Elm: Spend $150+ in-store or online, get a $30 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013. (West Elm gift cards can also be used at at Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and Williams-Sonoma. Only physical gift cards will trigger the statement credit)
  • AMC Movie Theaters: Spend $20+ in-theatre only, get a $5 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013. (Gift cards count, but only if purchased directly in the theater).
  • Maggiano’s: Spend $50+, get a $15 statement credit. Expires 12/30/2013. (Maggiano’s gift cards can be used at Chilis, Macaroni Grill, and On the Border. Currently you can purchase a $100 Maggiano’s gift card, and get a $20 bonus.
  • CoffeeBean.com: Spend $80+, get a 20% statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Everything But Water: Spend $100+, get a $25 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Land’s End: Spend $100+ online, get a $25 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013. (enrollment limit met, but Land’s End gift cards can be used at Sears and Kmart to buy other gift cards - related post)
  • Neiman Marcus: Spend $200+ online, get a $50 statement credit. Expires 1/6/2014.
  • Delivery.com: Spend $25+ online, get a $5 statement credit. Expires 1/31/2014. (gift cards count)
  • TigerDirect: Spend $100+, get a $30 statement credit. Expires 1/6/2014.
  • Blue Nile: Spend $100+, get a $30 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Nars Cosmetics: Spend $100+, get a $20 statement credit. Expires 1/31/2014.
  • Macy’s: Spend $50+ at Macys.com, get a $10 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Sony: Spend $100+, get a $25 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Columbia.com: Spend $100+ online, get a $20 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Kohl’s: Spend $50+ in-store and online, get a $10 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Costco: Spend $115+ online, get a $15 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013.
  • Toys R Us: Spend $25+ in store or online at toysrus.com and babiesrus.com., get a $5 statement credit. Expires 12/31/2013 (gift cards count – and can be used at Babies R Us too. TRU also sells other merchant gift cards in store).
  • J. Crew: Spend $100+ in us in-store or online, get a $25 statement credit. Expires 1/31/2014. (J.Crew Factory stores, jcrewfactory.com, and J.Crew Canada excluded)
  • Chevron: Spend $40+, get a $5 statement credit. Expires 1/31/2014. 

That’s all I can think of for now – anything else worth mentioning?

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  • Tzukino said,

    Hi!

    Thanks for the updates! Regarding Milepoint I checked my United account today and they posted! So maybe urs will soon!

    Regards,

  • Kate. said,

    Just wondering what you do with the visa gift cards? Do you have a way to liquidate them quickly?

  • Jerry Mandel said,

    By phone or online, get a PIN and buy money orders at Walmart. $1,000 max per MO. Pay 68c fee separately in cash. Deposit MOs into your bank account. This is for all VISA and MC gift cards. Great for min spend to get bonuses and to recycle funds.

  • Pixie Points said,

    Yay! So glad you liked the Birchbox. The $5 credits really add up quickly….if you wait for a sale with free shipping, you can get some great deals. Some months are definitely better than others, but on the whole it’s a fun way to get premium samples :)

  • Dan said,

    I’ve had mediocre results with the LQ game. I am level 3 and get about 15K tokens a day with my bonus wheel spendings. Still though I can’t seem to get more than 100-200 points a day…

    On the positive side, my 3600 points have all transferred to my LQ account..

  • Kate said,

    Thanks Jerry.I recently bought a couple at Staples and found I could not get cash back when making a purchase. I guess it is important to pay the money order fee separately from the money order itself?

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