My new strategy

Now that my Qantas First dream has been fulfilled, what now? Well the end of May i am flying Cathay First Class so no need to get working on that as it was easy. Other than getting myself into the Lufthansa First Class Terminal (which seems like it is going to take some strategic thinking to do that) my one other real desire right now is Singapore Airlines.

I’ve already flown them a couple of times and their business class product both long haul and regional are fantastic. Their long haul seat is practically a First Class Suite. But their actual First Class Suite seems to be the epitome of luxury. Only onboard their A380 so it is fairly exclusive and at one point when first released, cost a fortune.

Now though times have changed and the cost is reasonable. A one way Suites fare between Tokyo and the West Coast of the USA will set you back about 70,000 points. So that’s my aim right now. Working towards that amount of Singapore Airlines Krisflyer points. I managed to get 50,000 points when I got myself an American Express Premier Rewards Gold card, that took a huge chunk away. But now I still have 20000 to go.. What to do?

Well I am taking my first attempt at manufacturered spend, kind of. All the rage in points earning circles right now is using gift card purchases to rack up heaps of points. You buy the gift cards on your credit card and use them like cash or use them to pay off your bills. Cheap easy points. I am doing this kind of thing but not all the way, yet.

The hardest thing about doing this for me is getting the right gift cards and they are hard to come by in Seattle. So i have decided to just do what I can so I am not losing out on anything. Good thing with my Amex is that it is double points on Gas & Grocery. I have a good strategy still with this. Here it is.

Walmart and American Express put out a prepaid card that unlike any others had a bill pay function where you could get them to send a check to pay your bills, then came the ability to writr checks from the card, now resembling more a bank account than a prepaid card the Bluebird is just pretty awesome. You can load up to $1000 a day at Walmart onto your Bluebird card, and I have two Walmarts within 10 minutes of my place.

With a little bit of guidance from Scott at HackMyTrip I now have my process down pat and it means I don’t miss out on any points. My biggest points loss was my rent & utilities. Almost $1000 a month and it just was not possible in the past to use a credit card. New owners came in and they allowed credit card rent payments, but with a $38 fee. Stuff that! I can buy $500 gift cards at QFC or Fred Meyers for $6 a piece, they can have a pin assigned to the card (not all allow this) and I can then load them onto my bluebird at the local Walmart, where I can then write a Bluebird check for my rent. Sounds complicated? It’s not.

I did this for the first time over the weekend and it was easy. My time in Walmart was all of 3 minutes, I shop at Fred Meyer weekly so adding on a gift card to a weekly shop is nothing. The hardest thing is writing the check and walking it to the office.

What does it cost me to do this? Well the cards are $6 a piece so $12 a month plus all up about 10-15 minutes of my time each month. The good thing is that using my amex getd me double the points as I’m buying at a grocery store. 2000 points for 12 aint bad. What’s even better is I can earn grocery points towards fuel discounts at the same time!

Ahh the life of a points junkie. Confusing right?

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