Category Archives: Rewards

Picking a Rewards Network Dining Partner

Since all it takes is registering a credit card, it makes sense to sign up for the Rewards Network dining rewards program. The only question is which partner to sign up with.

Earning Rates / $
Program Member Online Member VIP Member Notes / Recommendations
Alaska Mileage Plan 0.5 miles 3 miles 5 miles info 12 dines to VIP status
Good value
American Airlines AAdvantage 1 miles 3 miles 5 miles info 12 dines to VIP status
Good value
Delta SkyMiles 0.5 miles 3 miles 5 miles info 12 dines to VIP status
Good value
jetBlue TrueBlue 1 point
Mosaic: 2 points
info jetBlue Mosaic status is unrelated to the number of dines
Not worth it
Southwest RapidRewards .5 points 3 points info
Good value if you don’t dine out often (< 12 times / year) and fly Southwest
FREE SPIRIT 0.5 miles 3 miles 5 miles info 12 dines to VIP status
Good value
United MileagePlus 0.5 miles 3 miles 5 miles info 12 dines to VIP status
Good value
Hilton Honors 2 points 5 points 8 points info 11 dines to VIP status
Good value
IHG Rewards Club 1 point 5 points 8 points info 12 dines to Elite/VIP status
Good value
iDine 5% 10% info earn 10% after spending $750
Best value if you spend > $750 / year
eScript 5% Good value
Shell Fuel Rewards 10 cents / gallon / $50 Not worth it
Orbitz Rewards 5% info
Good value
Club O 5% info
Good value
Sears Shop Your Way 7% Good value
Caesars Total Rewards 1 credit
2 credits
info Requires Total Rewards Visa to earn 2 credits
Not worth it
U Promise up to 5% no details for earning rates available
Good value

All programs do not use the Member, Online Member, or VIP Member statuses; however these are the most common terms and the earnings are placed in the closest category.

Which program works best for you depends on which loyalty programs you belong to and how much you value the various rewards currencies. If you’re not a frequent traveler, at least signing up for the iDine program makes sense.

Chripify Permissions

I was going to link my Marriott Rewards account to my Twitter and Instagram accounts to take advantage of the #REWARDSPOINTS social promotions and start taking advantage of the Extra Point Sunday Twitter trivia, but Chipify is asking too much.

Chirpify Twitter PermissionsTwitter permissions requested:

  • Read Tweets from your timeline. – reasonable
  • See who you follow, and follow new people. – reasonable
  • Update your profile. – why do they want/need to be able to update my profile?
  • Post Tweets for you. – why do they want/need to be able to post tweets?
  • See your email address. – reasonable

Chirpify Instagram PermissionsInstagram permissions requested:

  • Access your basic information: Your media & profile info – reasonable
  • Access public content: Media & profile info of public users – reasonable
  • Comment on photos: Post and delete comments on your behalf – why do they want/need to be able to comment?
  • Follow accounts: Follow and unfollow accounts on your behalf. – why do they want/need to follow/unfollow accounts?

Marriott Rewards MORE

Update: November 2, 2017

I guess 3.5 pts / $ at was too good to be true. Last I checked, Amazon is no longer listed as a retailer.

Edited November 1, 2017 to correct actual earning rates in the conclusion.

Marriott’s brand new shopping portal, Marriott Rewards MORE, isn’t ready for prime time, but might be worth the hassle for purchases.

Once you sign in to your Marriott account, the MORE portal shows how many points / $ you can earn. This value appears to take into account all bonuses you are eligible for. The only retailer that stood out to me was Being a Platinum member and having the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card provides a 50% and 25% bonus respectively. I think it’s better to use a different shopping portal for the other retailers, but this is the only shopping portal where I’ve seen a reasonable value for Amazon purchases.

To take advantage of this, you need to install a browser extension or install the MORE app.

The browser extension adds a big ugly banner to eligible pages.

Extension error in Safari.

First I tried through a browser. As far as I can tell, the HTTPS Everywhere extension in Chrome conflicted with the MORE extension and I didn’t receive points. I tried installing the extension in Safari and Firefox, but it gave errors when trying to load in both browsers and no other extensions.

You start you checkout process like normal, but when you get to the Checkout page, you need to click "Pay now" to select Marriott points before clicking "Place your order".

The checkout page when I didn’t receive points.

I finally downloaded the app (which is not available natively for an iPad). Here I was able to complete my transaction with minimal issues.

For the $56.98 charged, I received 114 base points (2x pts / $), 57 Platinum points (50% bonus = 1x pts / $), and 29 credit card points (25% bonus = .5 points / $) in addition to the 5% back from using my Amazon Store Card. This results in earning 3.5 pts / $. I figure points are work approximately $0.01 each which results in 8.5% back at Amazon.

I figure it’s worth the effort to add items to my shopping cart until I am ready to make the actual purchase through the MORE app.

Maximize Shop through Chase

If you have multiple cards with Chase Ultimate Rewards and you are trying to maximize your points using the Shop through Chase portal, do a quick double check to see if your cards give you different earning rates.

I recently checked Groupon and my Sapphire Preferred offered a 4 pts / $ bonus while my Freedom Unlimited and Freedom both offered 8% extra cash back. Since the Freedom Unlimited gets 1.5% cash back on all purchases, I can get 9.5% cash back on the Freedom Unlimited and transfer that cash back to the Sapphire Preferred.

4 bonus pts / $

Sapphire Groupon Bonus

8% bonus

Freedom Groupon Bonus

My current rewards strategy.