Sweet Home Chicago

I finally returned back in Chicago after my 3 day trip to NYC turned into a week long extravaganza thanks to Hurricane Sandy!

That being said there was some silver lining to the whole situation. I was originally booked on an American Airlines Award Ticket that I booked using British Airways Avios, so I wasn’t supposed to earn any Miles on the flight. However due to the flight cancellations, when AA re-booked me, they couldn’t say “We don’t have any availability for Saver Award Tickets”, so I was booked in O Fare Class, aka deep discount economy. Well thankfully, O Fare Class on AA earns miles, so on my flight home to Chicago, I earned 717 Miles. Although 717 Miles isn’t worth being stranded for a week, it is better than nothing!

Anyways when I returned home yesterday, I was happy to see my American Express Bluebird Pre-Paid Card had arrived in the mail!

For those of you that aren’t sure what I am talking about, please refer to these 2 old posts, The Death Of Minimum Spend Requirements and Earning 5x UR Points Everywhere.

5x UR Points Everywhere

Basically with a Chase INK Plus Card and a free Bluebird Pre-Paid Card, you can go to Office Depot and buy Vanilla Reload Cards for which you will earn 5 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent. In my case, I bought $2,500 worth of Vanilla Reload Cards and earned 12,500 Ultimate Rewards Points in one visit.

Once you have your Vanilla Reload Cards, simply go home and load them for free onto your Bluebird Card. Then anywhere you use your Bluebird Card, you basically earn 5x points!

If that wasn’t awesome enough, since Bluebird is a hybrid-checking account, you can do free Online Bill Pay.

This means you can purchase the Vanilla Reload Cards on a Credit Card, then load those Vanilla Reload Cards onto your Bluebird Card, and then simply use Bluebird’s free Online Bill pay to pay off your Credit Card. Of course to not raise suspicion, you should use your Bluebird Card for Everyday Purchases too since you are earning 5x!

Although the Chase INK Plus has a $10,000 Minimum Spend Requirement in 3 months, as you will see below, using Vanilla Reload Cards, you can clear this hurdle very easily without spending any additional money. Even if for some reason you aren’t able to complete the $10,000 Minimum Spend Requirement, you still do get 25,000 Ultimate Rewards Points instantly after you sign up and make 1 purchase, so it is still worth it in my opinion.

As I have pointed out many times before, you don’t need a Business to get a Business Card. Any idea for a future business will work. More information here.

Link To Chase INK Plus

Goodbye Minimum Spend Requirements

With this strategy of paying off your Credit Card bills with Bluebird, Minimum Spend Requirements are also basically dead.

I am a few days away from doing my first App-O-Rama. Needless to say I am EXTREMELY excited now that my Bluebird Card has arrived.

Once all my new Credit Cards from my App-O-Rama arrive, I am simply going to go to Office Depot and use them to purchase Vanilla Reload Cards. Then I’m going to load those Vanilla Reload Cards onto my Bluebird and then use that money to do free Online Bill Pay and pay off my Credit Cards. The only expenses to do this are the $3.95 per $500 of Vanilla Reload Cards.

A few of you have asked how to load your Bluebird Card with the Vanilla Reload Cards, so I thought I would explain it.

As I said in 5x UR Everywhere post, you want to buy the Vanilla Reload Cards and NOT the Vanilla Pre-Paid Card. The Vanilla Reload Cards look like this.

Once you have your Vanilla Reload Cards and your Free Bluebird Card, simply go to VanillaReload.com

Where it says Load Card Number, enter the 15 digit Card number on your American Express Bluebird Card.

Where it says PIN Number, enter the 10 digit Pin Code on the back of your Vanilla Reload Card.

After you hit Submit, it will then ask you if you Agree with the Vanilla Reload terms.

After you hit Agree, it will take you to the confirmation page. Review that and then hit Submit.

Once you hit Submit, it will process your reload and give you a Confirmation that it went through and was loaded.

After you get confirmation it has been loaded, I’d recommend logging into Bluebird.com and double check that it did in fact load.

I loaded $500 on to my Bluebird Card today and another $1,000 yesterday.

Believe The Hype

A few other Travel Bloggers have been saying “Bluebird Is Over Rated” and that “Bluebird Isn’t A Game Changer”, I am going to beg to differ.

I have been doing this for a couple years now (although in comparison to the Veterans, I am a baby), starting in 2009 with the US Mint.

There will always be Debbie Downers for anything and back in the day no one believed that the US Mint thing would work or last. However it lasted for 2 full years and some people I met at Chicago Seminars said they cleared $1,000,000 in Coins during that period. In other words, they got 1,000,000 Miles for free.

The ironic part about the US Mint is that you had to take physical delivery of the Coins, then physically take them to the Bank and deposit them. Not to mention there wasn’t even any 5x multiplier.

That being said with Bluebird, all you have to do is go to Office Depot, buy the Vanilla Reload Cards, and then load them online onto Bluebird and pay your Credit Card bilsl. 95% of the process is electronic plus you get 5x multiplier.

If you are sitting on the sidelines saying this sounds too good to be true, or are unsure whether to dive in, I urge you to take the plunge because this 5x will not last long! You will not regret it!

The Chase INK Plus and Bluebird AMEX are both free to get (although obviously the Chase INK Plus is a Credit Card), so I would say there isn’t any real risk involved.

As I said earlier, I went to Office Depot and in one $2,500 purchase, I earned 12,500 Ultimate Rewards Points which is enough for a One Way almost anywhere in the United States. You won’t find any other “deal” that is as effective in earning points.

As I explained in the previous post, if you bought $2,500 worth of Vanilla Reload Cards at Office Depot every month (which isn’t a lot), because you are earning 5x at Office Depot with the Chase INK Plus, you would earn 150,000 Ultimate Rewards Points ($2,500 X 5x UR X 12 Months) for around $237 in Vanilla Reload Card fees ($3.95 a Card x 60 Cards).

With those 150,000 Ultimate Rewards Points, you could transfer them to United and take a First Class trip anywhere in the World! If your Travel Partner got their own Chase INK Plus and did the same thing, then that is 300,000 Ultimate Rewards between the both of you!

Even if Chase decides to stop offering 5x UR per $1 spent at Office Depot, because Walmart and Walgreens still sell Vanilla Reload Cards, Bluebird is still extremely valuable!

Although you wouldn’t earn 5x at Walmat or Walgreens, as I said in the last post, with Bluebird you can clear any Minimum Spend Requirement for only the cost of the Vanilla Reload Card fees.

For my upcoming App-O-Rama, I am going to need to spend $12,000 in 4 months. There is no way I could normally do that without spending money unnecessarily. However with Vanilla Reload Cards and Bluebird, for less than $100, I can easily clear the Minimum Spend Requirement for free and earn around 290,000 Miles! That is without any 5x Chase INK multiplier!

I cannot state the importance of this enough!

The 5x UR per $1 spent at Office Depot is pretty cool, but that is the SHORT game. The LONG game is using Vanilla Reload Cards to do App-O-Ramas and earning 290,000+ Miles in 1 sitting!

Anyways, I am going to write about my full App-O-Rama coming up but as I said before, I strongly encourage everyone to get in on this 5x Office Depot and Bluebird offer while you can.

-Parag

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