The blogosphere exploded with activity yesterday! Not much was going on over the weekend and then boom, come Monday morning my Google Reader feeds just kept coming at me all day long! Lots of good stuff to feature here, so here we go!
READER QUESTION: Is it a bubble?
We live in unprecedented times in the miles/points hobby. The explosion of the prepaid cards (take a look at a gift card rack next time you are in a store…any store!) has been phenomenal. The Vanilla Reloads and Bluebird have gotten all the attention but there are other ways to get into the action (from Paypal/WellsFargo/Reloadit/AmexPrepaid/TargetAmex)…It is an absolute orgy of “laundering” money and generating mega miles/points. The credit card minimum spending requirements have now become an afterthought really. So…is it a bubble? My gut feeling (we have never been wrong like Points Envy) is that this baby has some legs but I just see more fees hitting us all (and when I say fees…I mean cash advance fees like Citibank). And it will happen suddenly just like when Office Depot stopped selling Vanilla Reloads. This whole game has changed so much now with the abundance of the blogs spelling it all out for the masses and the competition between them to “break” the news. And of course it is much easier to conveniently serve the affiliate credit card app links when you write about this. So…we have a giant feast going on…feeding on itself…Here in TBB we are so busy wasting our time reviewing other blogs so you don’t have to that not only we are not generating any money from this labor of love but we have no time to get in on the action to pad our miles/points balances! And that hurts…a lot more than anything:-)
Rick the Frugal Travel Guy wrote “Has Our Niche Reached Critical Mass?” Great post Rick! You can still bring it when you try:-) I started commenting on this on your blog but then I thought it may get censored so…I am commenting here instead:-) Heck YES the niche has reached critical mass! In the older days it was almost unthinkable that we will get strong push back…Now, with so many blogs feeding each other and the masses, this group is no more small potatoes and it DOES hurt the bottom lines of the affected companies so we get, rightfully in my opinion, effective push back! I actually LIKE that we get push back from these companies because some of our fellow “gamers” are way over entitled and…out of control! I also think reporting to DOT and suing is….just crap. I have no sympathy for folks who cry foul for not flying on First Class to Singapore for 4 miles, come on! This is my personal opinion and this is my own blog, I know you disagree. I still love you man. As I stated before, the game has changed from “Do not call, do not call…book and ask questions later” in some obscure Flyertalk thread or blog comments to “holy crap, a blogger spelled it all out, the others will follow now, this will last hours, book and head to the airport NOW”. My 2 cents as always. I always invite comments, we do not censor here unless…the comments get unecessarily personal and vulgar, lol!
Speaking of spelling it all out….here comes Million Mile Secrets with his “How to Use the Wells Fargo Prepaid Card to Complete Minimum Spending Requirements & Load Bluebird“. Daraius has a talent for writing and making everything so simple that even a…Caveman can do it, lol.
Over the past week or so I have followed Loyalty Lobby and these guys have broken a lot of hotel news that other bloggers then blogged about too! I am impressed. Keep up the good work!
Frequent Miler with another solid post about “Best Big Spend Bonuses” If I had no family or job I would be a freaking machine with all this stuff generating gazillions of miles/points. Instead now I have a lovely family, a cool job (self employed) and blog that keeps my therapist bills lower, lol!
We absolutely loved the pics and the sarcasm in “Do not fly Lufthansa First Class on the A380” by Points, Miles & Martinis (we love all three by the way!) We can’t wait to get ruined ourselves flying this baby!
Hack My Trip wrote “What I did when Chase Tried to Cancel my Sapphire Preferred Card“. Ouch! Warning to all: Combining points between individuals is NOT cool, Chase may shut you down! I think we are all better off transferring out to loyalty programs even though we may lose some flexibility! Just imagine if Chase added 50% transfer bonuses, omg what an orgasmic thought this is!
The Wandering Aramean wrote “United cuts off points aggregation sites” This is just horrible! Why will airlines make the lives of their customers more difficult? Oh, like we discussed yesterday, it is ALL about the money now! Become a free agent! Shame on you Delta, American, Southwest and United! My beloved Award Wallet is getting more difficult to use and that just blows big time!!
Do you like free movies? Get an account at GoFobo. Once in a while you will receive emails about getting free movie passes for movies opening soon. I just got TWO today that are back to back for Jack Reacher (the new Tom Cruise movie) and Guilt Trip (starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, what a duo!). They are always two per movie. Get to the movie theater early because it is first come – first serve and you do not want to be turned away. Last time this happened we worked our indisputable charm on the cute manager who let us in to watch any other movie we wanted. We used to go to the movies much more frequently before we started blogging you know:-)
NOT SO BEST OF
Ben gets mentioned here for a second day in a row, oh oh I think I lost another friend:-) He wrote “American Express Points for Presents – redeeming your Membership Rewards points for holiday gifts” Redeem for Bose headphones, Bionic jackets, iPads…are you kidding me?? The disclosure (thanks for it by the way) “I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers about how to use Membership Rewards points…” is hilarious, really?? Conflicts of interest in this business (it is a business now…but not for us idiots here at TBB!!) are so rampant that…Breathe, breathe, BREATHE! Serenity now, serenity now!
ODDZ & ENDZ
We mentioned the Starbucks card made of steel the other day and retailng for $450. Well, guess what? It goes for $1,000 a piece now on eBay. Wow!
Interesting article how Square now offers Gift Cards. Everyone is jumping into this game!!!!
We always speak our mind here per the strict directions of our therapist! This is afterall considered therapy! We mean well and we offer praise and constructive criticism and, we hope, some humor! We always hope nobody takes anything personally. If you do, maybe you can use our therapist’s assistance, she is really really good! She will offer us a referral discount, yes!!!
Mileon! Just made that up, sounds like Pileiton, we like it!
TBB and the whole team of just one wishes you a great day! We had a little accident last night in our Monday night indoor soccer game and someone kicked us a little too hard…but we had the last laugh as we won 6-4 #winning