Carnival / Cruising / Gift Cards / etc.

How to Use Carnival Gift Cards

My most popular posts are about how to get discounted Carnival gift cards, but getting the cards is only half the equation.  There are a few quirks to spending them, and I will outline these in this post. Before You Board You can use the gift cards to pay for a cruise.  You may use them if you are booking online on the Carnival website, and you may also use them if you’ve called Carnival to book your cruise.  You can also use them while booking with a third-party travel agency.  They can be used for the deposit and

Carnival / Cruising / Prepaid Cards

Save $15 on Carnival Gift Cards at Publix–Expires Jan. 1, 2016

You can get $15 off of Carnival gift cards at Publix supermarkets when you buy $50 or more in groceries.  At lower denominations, this is even a better deal than the AARP or Verizon gift cards which offer 10% off.  You will find the Carnival gift cards at the gift card rack. Notice this card is a variable load card– you can load any amount from $25 to $500.  To use the coupon you would have to load at least $100.  This gives you more flexibility than the AAPG or Verizon cards which come in denominations of $100 or

Award travel / Carnival / Credit and Debit Cards / etc.

Redux–10% Off Carnival Gift Cards on AARP.org

While I’m traveling, I’ve scheduled a few of my more popular posts to appear.  Any changes I’ve made to content will be italicized This post on discounted Carnival gift cards has been my most popular post to date.  Since posting this, I’ve purchased $100 gift cards through the site that I’ll use for onboard credit on my Carnival cruise next month.  You can get discounted Carnival gift cards through the AARP.org website.  You do not have to be a member of AARP, and the gift cards can be used just like a debit card to pay for cruises, excursions,

Credit and Debit Cards / Manufactured Spend / Prepaid Cards

The Parable of the Tortoise (Bluebird) and the Hare (Redbird)–Redux

Here is an excerpt from a blog post I did back in May, right after Redbird stopped allowing credit card loads.  I think it is apropos today, as it looks like Redbird is not allowing loads by debit card either. Viva La Bluebird! Both the Tortoise and the Hare had been using Bluebird for several years to help them meet their minimum spends on their credit cards.  As time went by, they got several Bluebirds (one for Mom, one for spouse, etc.) so that they could put more spend on their credit cards and earn even more miles and

Carnival / Cruising / Prepaid Cards

10% Off Carnival Gift Cards on AARP.org

You can get discounted Carnival gift cards through the AARP.org website.  You do not have to be a member of AARP, and the gift cards can be used just like a debit card to pay for cruises, excursions, and any other on-board credit.   If you know that you’ll be taking a Carnival cruise within the next year or so, why not use these to get a 10% discount?  The only downside is that the cards sell out right away, so you have to check the website frequently. Here’s how to get the cards: Go to www.aarp.org and click

Credit and Debit Cards / Manufactured Spend / Prepaid Cards

Manufactured Spend on the United Club Card

I don’t usually go into details of how I manufacture miles and points.  There are other bloggers that specialize in this, and I also do not want to publicize fragile methods that I don’t want to disappear due to too much exposure.  I don’t mind talking about dead deals, or zombie deals that are on their last legs.  This post discusses a method that is on its last legs.  I’m posting it to explain this method to curious friends and family.  Yes, this is for you whose eyes glazed over as I was trying to explain what I do.

Credit and Debit Cards / Manufactured Spend / Prepaid Cards / etc.

AMEX Gift Cards Are Now Officially a Pain-In-the-Ass

I have come to the end of my rope with AMEX Gift Cards.  Once the mainstay of my miles and points collecting, they have now just gotten to be too much trouble to use. I have been buying them for years to offset the costs of earning miles on my credit cards.  I went through cash-back portals like Ebates and TopCashBack to earn from 1-3% cash back.  This money that I earned helped to offset the costs of buying the VISA gift cards that I used to get the money spent on the credit cards back into my hands. 

Credit and Debit Cards / Manufactured Spend / Prepaid Cards

Staying the Course with AMEX Gift Cards–Reduced Portal Payouts

Now that cash-back portals have reduced payouts on purchases of American Express gift cards from 1.5-2.2% down to 1% or less, I have tried to figure out if it’s worth it for me to continue to buy them on a regular basis. The cornerstone of my points and miles accumulation has been to spend a lot of money on my credit cards.  I buy them to meet the minimum spend to earn bonuses on new cards.  I also buy them to earn extra miles on cards that give me extra miles on spend; for example the United Club card

Credit and Debit Cards / Manufactured Spend / Prepaid Cards

The Parable of the Tortoise (Bluebird) and the Hare (Redbird)

Both the Tortoise and the Hare had been using Bluebird for several years to help them meet their minimum spends on their credit cards.  As time went by, they got several Bluebirds (one for Mom, one for spouse, etc.) so that they could put more spend on their credit cards and earn even more miles and points via manufactured spending.  They spent many tiring but fruitful hours at WalMart feeding Bluebird. One day the Hare learned about Redbird.  Redbird was great because you could skip a step in the process and load it directly with a credit card for