Each of us are motivated at different levels and have different travel goals. The longer I have played this game, the more focused I have become in my activity and the more I expect out of each play that I make. I don’t play for 50 points for TopGuest and could care less about 100 Hilton Honors points. I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, that is just my own personal threshold. I’m looking for a bigger payday. Here is my CVS story.
I live on an island with two CVS stores. My closest Office Depot is one hour by car. I had no problem driving that hour with Katy and our three Ink Bold and Plus cards to buy Vanilla Reloads in rather large quantities When that option disappeared I needed a new strategy but wasn’t willing to drive the hour to test it out with gift cards then into Vanilla Reloads at CVS. I needed easier proof of the outcome.
I used my Blue Cash Preferred card for 6% cash back from a local grocery store to receive the cash back and bought two $500 Visa gift cards. I took them to my local CVS and they would not accept them as payment. These are gift cards that have been activated and have valid cash on them? I was confused to say the least. The CVS would only take my credit card Well OK, I can live with that. But now what card do I use? Is it the Hilton card for 6 points per dollar? Or the SPG card for one point per dollar? And how much to I hit them up for each month? I have one big bill each month that I am reimbursed for so I will make that payment with my Bluebird and be constantly reimbursed. It will be with my SPG card and Katy’s as well. I’ve done $1000 on each trip at a cost of $7.90 per 1000 spg points or .0079 per SPG point. $80 equals 10,000 SPG points. The clerk asks for my drivers license and credit card so she can actually swipe my credit card.
Is it as good a Office Depot? Heck no, but it is 4 blocks from my house, not one hour away. I can’t drive that hour to buy gift cards I can’t dump.
Think of the changes it makes in my future travel plans. Transfers to AA miles instead of Ultimate Rewards points and United. Hotel stays at Starwood properties instead of Hyatts. I’ll still need to crank up Hyatt points for the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
Each month we’ll add to those SPG accounts. Reevaluate our trips, airlines, and hotels. Just because of one little pharmacy our focus changes again.