Several commenters have mentioned here on the blog, several folks have e-mailed me today, and I’ve also checked over at my local Office Depot which had Vanilla Reload cards yesterday, but it does seem like Office Depot is withdrawing those cards from sale. Even stores that still had some, many are removing the cards from their shelves.

And there’s much hand-wringing and teeth gnashing over it, of course. There’s no question that this was one of the great, albeit short-lived opportunities: to buy money with a credit card, earn points, and use that money to pay off the credit card. It was the U.S. Mint (buying coins by credit card, depositing the coins, paying off the credit card) without the hassle of physical coins which were heavy and required transporting.

Except… even if Office Depot stops selling Vanilla Reload cards, all that means is the quintuple points play is gone.

  • There are plenty of places that still sell Vanilla Reload cards
  • There are plenty of places that still let you pay for those cards with a credit card
  • There are plenty of places that sell Vanilla Reload cards, let you pay by credit card, and are in ‘bonus categories’ for certain credit cards.

Meanwhile, there are still gift card options at office supply stores.

Even if I can’t buy these cards at quintuple points, I can buy them wherever credit cards are accepted and use the spend to (1) earn credit card signup bonuses, and (2) earn miles paying bills that don’t normally accept credit cards, such as rent/mortgage.

Not every CVS carries Vanilla Reloads. Not every Walgreens will sell them for cash. So this is a little bit harder than before.

But Vanilla, still a new product, is getting broader and broader distribution. The American Express bet, even, is that the market for reloadable cash cards and especially those that double as a low cost bank account, have a bright future reaching a huge untapped consumer market. Products like these are hardly going away.

Vanilla Reloads aren’t dead. Bluebird isn’t dead at all. It’s just that the quintuple points leverage may be ending. Commenter Mileage Update offered some sage wisdom earlier today:

This isnt dead so no sense claiming it is. Vanilla and B[luebird] are big programs that just launched. IMO, its just starting not stopping you just have to be smart about it.

Many folks who knew about the opportunity to buy money with credit cards, earn 5 points per dollar in the process, and use the money to pay off the credit card wish that others didn’t know about the opportunity, too, so that they might have been able to take advantage of it longer.

And there’s a tendency to ascribe ‘motives’ to people who share deals, that it must somehow benefit the sharer. From where I sit, though, posts that are ‘complicated’ or ‘weird’ don’t appeal to a mass audience. You build readership, if you’re looking for page views, with generic and simple pieces. That’s why you see generic, simple, and mostly wrong articles on travel and miles and points in mainstream media.

I used to share a lot less details of deals than I do in recent days, and my motives have been to correct misinformation. When I started to see purposely false information getting posted on Flyertalk and in the comments of blogs, lots of scare comments meant to discourage readers from taking advantage of opportunities so that the commenters could selfishly hope to keep the deals for themselves, I wanted to make sure to correct that misinformation. That’s always been a mission of this blog, and it seems to have taken on much greater urgency in the past few months. I’m not proud of my fellow frequent flyers. Some of them just talk in code on Flyertalk. Others have created their own private forums. That’s their right. But when they come out and actually attempt to mislead other frequent flyers, I have a problem with that.

Is it possible I share too much? Sometimes, and in any given case it might be. I shared a Travelocity deal that Travelocity said caused an uptick in their bookings that they noticed and they decided not to honor it. On the other hand, I shared the Wyndham 16,000 point bonuses which my continued coverage after they indicated they weren’t going to honor likely helped get the deal honored for everyone. Similarly the Alitalia $300+ discount recently, they started cancelling tickets but I worked with some media and that seemed to influence them to go back and honor any ticket that cost at least one euro cent. Who knows, there’s a balance, and sometimes I am certain I get that balance wrong.

Which has very little to do with what happened here. What actually killed the leverage in this deal?

The Bluebird thread on Flyertalk has nearly 150,000 views and over 2000 posts. The Getting Spending Up Without the Mint thread has over 650,000 views and more than 2000 posts. It’s also been covered broadly. On this blog, on Frugal Travel Guy and the Points Guy and One Mile at a Time and Mommy Points and of courage on Frequent Miler.

Because it was an amazing deal. It still is an amazing deal.

But the leverage that came from using cards which bonus office supply spend with quintuple miles? That was really really expensive for the card issuer. The offer is meant to entice people to get the card, and to offer the bonus only on a limited amount of a cardholder’s expenses. But this wasn’t just a way of getting quintuple points on all spend, it was a way of doing it quickly and on a bigger scale than ever before. It was inevitable that the card issuer would notice and wouldn’t be keen on it. And with the scale of purchases on their cards, they did notice I’m sure.

I don’t know the economics of Vanilla Reload cards but I have to imagine that Office Depot made out fine with them or else they wouldn’t have agreed to carry them, so the massive sales there must have been fine by the corporate office. Certainly the Vanilla folks had to be happy with their product’s uptake.

And American Express, they probably don’t like cards being used for nothing but bill payments and cash withdrawals, but these are features built into their program and the phase they’re in is pushing out the Bluebird card, there’s been huge attention to that card and potentially even greater uptake than they could have even hoped for at this stage.

The biggest costs were being borne by paying out 5 points per dollar on all of the spending, so I have to think that it’s the bank that worked with Office Depot to discourage the sale of these cards, much easier for them to do that I’d imagine than to change the marketing and benefits of the cards themselves (and end quintuple points on office supply purchases).

Of course, and it isn’t just Office Depot, but office supply stores continue to sell gift cards — including gift cards which with some effort can be turned back into cash (including by buying gift cards at an office supply store and using those cards to buy Vanilla Reloads elsewhere to load onto Bluebird if you must). And if you’re willing to pay shipping (in some cases) then you can even going through a shopping portal to buy those gift cards and earn a cash rebate or points for the purchase in addition to the points from the credit cards.

  1. Marathon man said,

    Lets not reinvent the steps to out the next best thing

  2. Gary said,

    There are a hundred variations of this. Honestly my desire to share then will be influenced by just how much venom comes from the folks who want to keep information to themselves, and how much misinformation those folks spread. ;)

  3. Dean said,

    Employees at Office Depot (Ann Arbor) have been told the Vanilla Reload cards are now discontinued and will no longer be stocked.

  4. Scott said,

    I heard FlexOffers contacted all the Office Depots and asked them to be removed.

  5. Gary said,

    @Dean yes that’s what is being reported at most of the office depots today though there are a few that apparently haven’t paid attention to the memo yet

  6. Jack said,

    I wouldn’t say “there are plenty of places that let you pay for vanilla reload cards with a credit card.” I would say you have to hunt around and maybe you will find one. Not all stores are everywhere. I spent a couple of hours driving around today and have not been able to find a vanilla reload card that I could buy with a credit card. This is easy to prove to yourself. Go down the list of places that sell reload cards and try to find a reload card on a rack that you can buy with a credit card.

  7. Meow said,

    Gary, great post as always, play on player.

  8. mark said,

    Great post, Gary.

  9. Chris D. said,

    Plus Vanilla Reload is still adding stores, so new opportunities may present themselves in the future. In the points game the only constant is change.

  10. Ryan said,

    What incorrect information and scare info is/was on FT that you have been correcting?

  11. Travis Swanson said,

    Office Depot in CHA had 12 left. Hoping this is not the end, adds much excitement to my hobby! I did see a ton of American Express Reloadable cards. What is the con of buying these, and still getting the 5 percent? Thanks for the info and help.

  12. AK said,

    How many views do your posts have? If I wanted to learn how to abuse VR/BB/PP/OD/INK 5x, I wouldn’t go to FT, I’d go to blogs that copied/pasted FrequentMiler’s information and amended it with bright arrows and pictures of reloads.

  13. jason said,

    there was nothing wrong with the Vanilla reload. The problem started when Office depot started accepting credit cards for cash/debit products.

  14. NoCajonesToApprove said,

    [3 extremely crude sexual references removed by blog owner.]

    I relish the day when this elementary Vanilla reload Bluebird drivel is done with just so you guys can step out of this route of laziness and get back to your previously higher quality work that veterans of this game can appreciate.

  15. gregorygrady said,

    LOL, idiot bloggers………killing yet another deal prematurely. Everybody thanks you I’m sure.

  16. Gary said,

    I was waiting for my troll! I knew you wouldn’t let me down. :-)

  17. SR said,

    Gary, agree with most of the post, but it’s a pretty big exaggeration to say there are “plenty” of places to buy VRs with credit cards. This may become the case again in the future, but it’s not the current reality, so I think it’s slightly misleading to make that claim to support your point.

  18. gregorygrady said,

    “Honestly my desire to share then will be influenced by just how much venom comes from the folks who want to keep information to themselves, and how much misinformation those folks spread.”

    LOL, you’re not kidding anybody by this statement. Your desire to share is to pad your pocketbook, nothing more and nothing less. The more deals you share, the more readers you get, the more they click your links and pad your pockets. But also the quicker you kill those very deals. I certainly can’t blaming you for looking out for only yourself and your own wallet, but neither can you blame those of us looking out for ourselves and hoping you stop ruining deals prematurely for all of us that can do a little research on FT digging up some of these deals.

  19. Gary said,

    @gregorygrady you post your deals on a private website meant to keep information off of flyertalk even. and you throw around accusations without any actual data or facts. writing about bluebird doesn’t get me more readers or more clicks. i get more traffic writing about much more basic topics. those get links from bigger media. those get passed around in social media like twitter.

  20. HikerT said,

    What killed this so quickly was bloggers trying to milk as many Ink referrals bloggin about this ad nauseam. How many blog posts did you have on this subject? Time to own up.

  21. FMfan said,

    Time to move on to a different topic…

  22. SkyFalling on Vanilla « Points to Point B said,

    […] also gets to be a little bit much to say that they shouldn’t be to blame for over-publicizing deals when FlyerTalk has just just as…. Last time I checked on Google, FlyerTalk didn’t show up on the front page when I searched […]

  23. ck said,

    Gary i give you credit for Alitalia but i personally think the Wyndham promo would have been honored and maybe lasted longer if it wasnt blogged.

  24. MileageUpdate said,

    Im in the camp that says buying the reloads with a CC is a lot harder if this is true. Most drugstores are not avail w a CC and who wants to waste time trying 6-7 diff stores and get 0 results. Walmart will be cash only. I’ve been down that road yrs ago

  25. Gary said,

    @ck – Wyndham *is* being honored. They never intended to honor and best I can tell only honored it because of the heat they got after they announced otherwise. It wouldn’t have been honored automatically though because accounts were coded with the direct mail marketing piece, without that coding points wouldn’t have posted.

  26. gregorygrady said,

    “writing about bluebird doesn’t get me more readers or more clicks.”

    @Gary: You lie. The only reason I am reading this current blog post of yours is cuz I’m interested in this Vanilla Reload deal. This is fact, not accusation. Please stop lying.

  27. gregorygrady said,

    “Wyndham *is* being honored. They never intended to honor and best I can tell only honored it because of the heat they got after they announced otherwise.”

    @Gary: You are delusional if you think that. That Wyndham promo would have been honored for EVERYBODY had you not gone and blown it out of the water by publicizing it to everybody who would listen as a way to buy miles for 0.8cpm.

    There WAS no coding of accts, NOR was there even a freaking direct mail marketing piece. They made that up as an excuse to get out of honoring this cuz your step-by-step guide to exploit the promo made it too expensive for them to honor. You are darn naive if you think otherwise. Get a clue……………..

  28. Gary said,

    You’re simply mistaken.

  29. gregorygrady said,

    For some reason this link didn’t post properly in my recent post (maybe you can’t post links here probably to eliminate SPAM?). But this is the funniest Hitler spoof I’ve ever seen, based on this Vanilla Reload thing dying. Just input www before the following website and you should be able to see it:

    youtube.com/watch?v=r6R5cEEqXpk

    Gary even gets some airtime in the video!!! Good stuff!!

  30. colleen said,

    @gregorygrady: I’m really trying to understand your POV, but I’ve followed Gary since BEFORE there were ads and BEFORE there were links, which makes your continual vitriol not just off-base but also really puzzling to me. Near as I can tell, you want internet discussion (i.e. FT) so YOU can hear about and benefit from deals. But when it comes to anyone else learning about these deals, not so much. If you’re making a different point, it isn’t coming through.

  31. Grant said,

    @gregorygrady, thanks for the youtube video, one of the best I’ve seen and the Alitalia one :)

  32. NoCajonesToApprove said,

    @Gary See, I knew you didn’t have the cajones to approve the comment. Instead, you gave your best Disney version, despite us all being adults here where the “crude sexual references” were pretty funny to those who would have read it, except you and maybe your new crush and fellow boarding area parrot mommypoints. In fact, she probably found it amusing.

    And no, I’m not your only troll. There are plenty others, but you’re too busy paging through your google analytics and flex offers reports to notice.

    The end of the freeloading copy-pasta gravy train is near and I hope it’s a soft landing for you and the others.

  33. Jeff said,

    @NoCajonesToApprove

    Hey, don’t be so prejudiced. I’m not 18.
    And gosh, no 5x anymore. On par with Canada!

  34. Joediver said,

    Colleen, I’m with you. Maybe @gregorygrady should join the ft threads that require a secret handshake to learn the latest code words.

  35. Cory said,

    I occasionally peruse flyertalk, but I admit it’s much easier to follow the blogs for deals than it is to sift through some of the manure that can sink a thread on FT. As to this deal, not at all surprised by this development. I was telling a friend just the other day that as excited as I am, when something feels like stealing it won’t last very long.

    I was excited at the prospect of paying my mortgage with my 5x Ink Bold. I hadn’t ever used Vanilla Reload until I got Bluebird. Got to pay my mortgage once and my electric/gas bill with it once. Disappointing that this deal came apart so fast. I would think that instead of the bloggers being to blame it is those who couldn’t contain themselves and bought piles of these.

    But, on to the next one. I’ll be quite content with my using Ink to buy my gas gift cards, barnes and noble, iTunes from Office Depot while also having my internet and phone on it. Few hundred a month will keep me happy for now.

  36. Dave said,

    So sad as my bluebird card just came today. I guess it will be going in the drawer and not the wallet. I don’t blame the bloggers as that’s what they do, but I do think some of them night have gone overboard such as a husband and wife team that I won’t mention.

  37. John said,

    Gary- I realize I am very late to the game on this…been working too much. Do I understand this correctly? Do we need to go to somewhere that sells the Vanilla card to reload the card? Is there a way to do it over the phone or online? I ask because if I have to go to the store to load $500 at a time, that is probably too much work given my schedule.
    BTW, despite what some people with obviously way too much time on their hands that appear to enjoy spewing hate, I find your blog to be by far the most interesting to read. Thanks

  38. Adam said,

    It was obvious from the start that this Vanilla/Office Depot thing was an exploited loophole that would be cut off, not a promotion that Amex, Chase, and OD intended customers to use en masse. To blame Gary or other bloggers for its demise is sour grapes of the most pathetic sort. They were basically selling cash for free on credit and then bonusing it.

    Frankly, this “hobby” so many of you speak of, finding loopholes and unforseen exceptions in these loyalty programs, gives legitimate frequent flyers and program users a bad name and likely diminishes the quality and generosity of the promotions offered.

    I have full respect for making the most of these programs and expecting the carriers and businesses to live up to their promises. But those of you who take it to an extreme are making it worse for those of us who travel for more than just mileage accumulation, and spend to actually buy things.

  39. abcx said,

    “I don’t know the economics of Vanilla Reload cards but I have to imagine that Office Depot made out fine with them or else they wouldn’t have agreed to carry them, so the massive sales there must have been fine by the corporate office.”

    Asinine comments like this make me wonder who made you CFO. If you were CFO of OD, they’d probably be out of business by now. What company do you run? Just asking so I can avoid patronizing/investing in it…

    I’ve met a lot of dumb CFOs but you see dumber than all of them.

    Congrats on killing another deal.

  40. beachfan said,

    Regardless of the reasons for the deal’s demise, I can’t understand raging at the forces of nature, or media, that lead towards the end of an unintended consequence by the entity offering the bonus points.

  41. Gary said,

    @John — the best (most effective for miles) way to load the card with money is to buy these Vanilla Reload cards. In person, they aren’t available online. You don’t have to buy $500 at a time, the cards are $500 cards but you can buy as many as you want. You take them all home and enter them online to put money on Bluebird. There are other ways to do it, such as with a mileage-earning debit card at Walmart potentially.

  42. Gary said,

    @colleen Gregroygrady doesn’t even want the discussion on Flyertalk, if he were honest he would say he wants it only on a private forum that he participates in that works to keep the information off of flyertalk even. Thanks for reading since before there were ads, even! :-)

  43. Gary said,

    @abcx – when I say I do not know the economics of Vanilla Reload I mean that I do not know the margins that Reload earns — how much does American Express pay them when their cards are loaded onto Bluebird? Put a different way, when Amex gives you $500 how much does Amex actually receive from Vanilla? And we know what the fee is to buy Vanilla. And can make a pretty good guess about the credit card interchange rates being paid by Office Depot. But what is Office Depot’s cost on the Vanilla cards? I do not know what Vanilla sells their $500 cards to stores for. Does that lack of knowledge make me ‘dumb’?

  44. Marathon man said,

    I always loved the “well thats not the intent of this product, sir” line. What bull! Marketers will often pull things, however, citing just that! Customers didnt use the product, in this case, the vr, as intended. Some store chains will bust you-kick you out, cite fraud and even ban you from going there.

    So lets just say i was some sort of anti firearm advocate…

    Now, if your store sells guns and bullets and i walk in there one day and im really rich and have loads of money and i buy every gun and bullet from every store in your chain and have them all turned into smelted metal, am i going to get busted for not using the weapons as intended? Hahaha

    Alas, thats what happened with vr in a way:

    Buying a $500 gc with your cc is fine because its meant to be used by self or given as a gift.

    But the vanilla reload product is meant to be put onto products designed for people with no banks no high incomes and no ccs. So its intent is different and they see our needs as not complying with that.

    These store chains and marketers see our mile needs as nowhere near the intent of the vr program. So since, say, 90% of the sales went to our kind, they pulled em. Chase could have said to do it or just od or both, but i do think it had to do with perceived intent of use, which is bull–but they make the rules not us.

    There was no stealing or wrong doing but we are led to think that if we buy into their mindset.

    Like i said before… Lets not lay out so easily how to exactly do the next thing.

  45. gregorygrady said,

    @Gary: Seems like you are the mistaken one my friend. Well, either that or else YOU LIE, which is more likely as we have already come to that conclusion above anyways.

    I participate in no private forum that works to keep Vanilla Reload information (or ANY other info) off FT.

    It might surprise you, but I don’t even have an Ink CC and have only bought 1 VR in my life, only to test it out. It just slightly bothers me that you and your hat-tipping blogger friends continue to kill deals left and right for no other reason than to line your pockets with credit card referral kickbacks. You really should be ashamed of yourself.

  46. Gary said,

    @gregorygrady do you and your private forum friends want me to get some of your members to give me screen shots of your posts there? if not, stop claiming you don’t participate in private forums whose purpose is to keep information away from Flyertalk.

  47. Adam2 said,

    @gary Don’t listen to the trolls. Your blog is great. Most people are like myself; we enjoy the game of maximizing our miles but have other jobs and responsibilities in life. We don’t have the time that guys like Gregorygrady have to devote to this.

    Does that mean that we shouldn’t get to participate? No, it doesn’t. Guys like you bridge the knowledge gap for guys like me, and in return I use your links for every CC I apply for. I could care less what others think of that arrangement.

    Reading the “keep it a secret so I can milk this linger” type posts is very entertaining.

  48. sanjay said,

    Tried 7 cvc stores. Only one of them had vannila but needed cash or debit. 6 other store had no vanilla but had other gift cards and takes cash and debit only. All the walgree store wanted cash. So GARY, pls don’t say PLENTY it should be rarely. Just don’t talk nonsense

  49. Gary said,

    @sanjay – patience. patience. There are some already, likely many more coming.

  50. Brian said,

    @Gary: Yes, please send me a screenshot of a private forum where I “work to keep information off of FT”. You cannot come up with something like that cuz there is no such thing. Stop continually lying you pathetic dolt.

  51. gregorygrady said,

    Whoops, that was posted from my other handle that I use to post “misinformation”. :-)

  52. Goosh said,

    When something is too good to be true, it comes to an end quickly. The mint took forever to die because, well, it was the US government. Corporations don’t usually take this long to come to their senses but at least they are quicker than the government. Imagine how inflated the revenue numbers for ODP must have been for the last few months and the margin compression due to the fact that the margins on VRs must be nil. Gary, love the blog and assign no blame whatsoever to you for keeping your loyal readers well informed. Looking forward to a vacation in the coming days that is in some ways thanks to you and all of the great info and inspirational trip reports on this blog. Thank you!

  53. Gary said,

    Yes, ‘Brian’ has commented here before. You’re not very careful with IP addresses, either. Stay classy, gregorygrady.

  54. Gary said,

    I’m thinking about ACTUALLY posting under the radar deals. The more bashing gregorygrady or his alter ego does, or that abcx does, the more I ‘out’. Want to see which credit unions allow credit card funding (as purchases) of new accounts on this blog? Or which frequent flyer programs allow free award flights with every new signup? Just keep coming back. I use a tremendous amount of discretion here in what I write. I don’t ever share anything given to me in confidence. I don’t break ‘grey area’ stuff first. But I know more about this game than probably 85% of the folks on the private forum that gregorygrady is a part of. GIVE IT A REST.

    Hopefully that can be more effective than an IP ban (across all of the various IPs the trolls have used).

    Oooh.. A how-to guide on fuel dumps, complete with city pairs.

    Or, y’all can give it a rest.

    Are we cool?

  55. LarryInNYC said,

    “Want to see which credit unions allow credit card funding (as purchases) of new accounts on this blog? Or which frequent flyer programs allow free award flights with every new signup?. . .Oooh.. A how-to guide on fuel dumps, complete with city pairs.”

    Yes?

  56. LarryInNYC said,

    Ultimately, the idea of buying cash on credit is not something that I imagine any of the commercial parties involved want to see. Any instances in which it’s possible ought to be considered temporary mistakes on the part of someone along the line.

  57. Jack said,

    “Want to see which credit unions allow credit card funding (as purchases) of new accounts on this blog? Or which frequent flyer programs allow free award flights with every new signup?”

    Yes, that is the kind of information I would like to see you blog about in the future. Thanks.

  58. Peter said,

    How long is blame the blogger going to go on? If I remember correctly it was Frequent Miler who first published this opportunity and a lot of people made a LOT of miles from HIS experiment. Funny thing is when I go to his online comments this morning I see little gratitude from the commenters.
    I never bought a single VR. Got the Ink in September and just hit the 10K spend the old-fashioned way, by using it for my business expenses.
    Gary, let me chime in with Adam2: your blog is a pleasure to read which I do every morning. I’ve gotten far more value from it than just the latest scheme. Don’t listen to the haters.

  59. SgFm said,

    Having been a member of the FF bulletin board communities for thirteen years (and now mostly sticking to reading and responding to blogs), many of the comments here make me laugh. Sure I’m sad that I only got in on this deal for maybe 60K UR points before it died. But, like every other deal, especially the most lucrative ones, it had to end. It was only a question of how soon. I know there will be other equally lucrative deals, that’s why I am still in this game. I can be patient and will certainly continue to read some of the many excellent blogs out there, including of course, Gary’s. I only have 24 hours in my day like everyone else here, and I have many, many other obligations, but this crazy pursuit of points and miles is worth it to me, as long as I keep it all in balance/perspective. Thanks for doing what you do Gary. Keep up the fine work!

  60. bluto said,

    Guys, there is no point in bickering here. It’s beneath you all (on both sides), plus it’s actually counterproductive.

  61. Cory said,

    If only bitching on the comments sections was worth 5x UR points per coherent thought.

  62. Larry V said,

    Gary, I like the way you resolved the troll issue. Keep up the good work.

  63. Easy Victor said,

    Just out of curiosity- Called a local Office Max and they told me they carry Vanilla Visa cards. Are these the same as Vanilla Reload?

  64. TJ said,

    Keep up the good work and keep sharing those deals! I have had 3 of ‘my deals’ killed by bloggers but participated in a half a dozen I wouldn’t have known about (although I read FT every day). So for me sharing comes out ahead and I like your mature analysis and up-to-date reporting. You still write the best ‘general’ travel blog IMHO.

  65. Lahaina said,

    Here’s my theory:
    1. Vanilla Reloads, OD and Ink Bold/Plus have been doing just fine until…
    2. Bluebird came along.
    3. Amex had to have foreseen the high demand for Vanilla Reloads.*
    4. Chase scrambles…and asks OD to stop carrying the VRs because:
     – people stopped putting all other spend (less than 5pt. category) on their Ink Bold/Plus cards – why would they, when all spend on the Bluebird has effectively become 5pt-accumulating spend?
    *Amex has effectively diluted Chase’s Ink Bold/Plus appeal.

  66. Azzurri said,

    Gary,

    I enjoy reading your blog, keep it up.

    @EasyVictor: No they are not the same.

    @SGMF: I agree completely with what you are
    saying. I try to keep up on FT threads, but it can be a daunting task to say the least.

  67. frank said,

    post 54 was ridiculously cool. gary, i always thought you were kind of a wuss, but you’re a bad man.

    …i just wish you could share that info you mentioned :)

  68. Ron said,

    The best deals are the ones that are a bit more complicated. Way too easy to do Ink/OD/VR and it was abused mercilessly as soon as BB was released. Thankfully, few are running the second/third tier churns – they occasionally get mentioned on the blogs but few pay attention because they aren’t flogged mercilessly with pictures and posts with a dozen referral links every day – because there aren’t referral bonuses to be had :)

  69. gregorygrady said,

    “Yes, ‘Brian’ has commented here before. You’re not very careful with IP addresses, either. Stay classy, gregorygrady.”

    @Gary: LOL, you fell hook, line, and sinker for that one McFly. ;-)

  70. Adam, but not the one from comment 38 said,

    If Office Depot stops selling Vanilla Reload cards but continues to accept credit cards for buying $500 financial gift cards for purchase feels of $4.95-5.95, then the Chase Ink family’s 5% rebate will still be one of the bigger opportunities out there (albeit nowhere near as much $/hour as the Chase Ink –> Vanilla Reload at Office Depot –> Bluebird billpay loop).

  71. gregorygrady said,

    [Removed personal attack and mention of my wife]

    BTW, I’m still waiting for you to post that private forum screen shot you promised me where you swear I “work to keep info off FT”. Oh yeah, it’s because there is no such thing you lying dolt.

    Finally, if you know all the above things and you DON’T share them with your blog readers, then that just proves that all you care about is lining your pockets with CC affiliate referral kickbacks. Because if any of those things above made you a dime in referral money, everybody knows you would have already pumped them left and right until they were dry, just like with all the other CC referral links that you incessantly pump these days, which has turned your blog from the darn good blog it used to be into 50% rubbish now. You should be ashamed that you have allowed all those affiliate commissions/dollars to slowly ruin your views/thinking/blog. Pathetic!!!!

  72. Gary said,

    @Adam, but not the one from comment 38 – yes, see that very idea mentioned in my post :-)

  73. Gary said,

    @easy victor – vanilla visa are not the same as vanilla reload

  74. Gary said,

    And as folks can see I try to allow people to call me nasty names if they wish. I do not relish editing comments, I can count on one hand the number of times I have done it in 10 years of blogging. I will no longer respond to uncivil comments. Or uncivil commenters.

  75. goinverted said,

    And now back to the subject: I went to CVS last night and they wouldn’t sell me ANY reload or gift card with a credit card. I then went to a grocery store and bought a $500 MasterCard debit card. CVS said cash or debit to buy Vanilla Reload, but still wouldn’t sell me a VR with the MC debit card. Seems the deal is completely locked down where I live.

  76. JP said,

    I’m surprised that Chase didn’t just lower the 5x Office supply store bonus. It really is one of the best full time bonuses out there (compared to 2x gas or groceries or dining). In fact, it seems like it’s the 5x bonus that might end sometime because it’s expensive for the bank to keep paying it out.

  77. WakeUp said,

    @Gary – You don’t have the balls to post one tenth of what you pretend to know. I am calling your bluff. Put up or shut up!!! Your true colors like every other blogger on this site is starting to show.

  78. gregorygrady said,

    Commenter “Wakeup” above said it perfectly. gleff, you really are a softie/wuss if you consider a well-known comment about a member of your family wearing combat boots to be a personal attack. You really should man up a little bit.

    You gave me the bait I needed in Post #54 above when you said if I keep bashing you would “out” all this super secret info that I supposedly have access to. So I put in a very mild bash for each of the bits of info you tempted all us readers with, and asked that you please post this info for all of us to see and learn from. And then you go and delete half my post and pretend like it’s a personal attack? Get real and grow a pair.

    And for a third time, I urge you to please post this screen shot you claim to have of me working to keep info off FT. Either post it or my hypothesis that you are a liar will have to be assumed to be true.

  79. Gary said,

    Though I am done responding to trolls I will clarify my own comments.

    I did not say I have screen shots of you working to keep info off Flyertalk.

    You said that you “participate in no private forum that works to keep .. ANY other info off FT”

    So my comment was, “do you and your private forum friends want me to get some of your members to give me screen shots of your posts there? if not, stop claiming you don’t participate in private forums whose purpose is to keep information away from Flyertalk.”

    My claim was simply that you participate in a private forum, the purpose of that forum being to keep information off of Flyertalk and other public venues and discuss that information only amongst its members.

  80. gregorygrady said,

    Comment by Gary: “I will no longer respond to uncivil comments. Or uncivil commenters.”
    “Though I am done responding to trolls I will clarify my own comments.”

    @gleff: How convenient. You are so paranoid and you continue to insist on something that is not the case. Now you realize you are wrong so all of a sudden you are “done responding to trolls”. How extremely convenient my friend.

    Again, for the 4th time on both counts below:

    – I PARTICIPATE IN NO PRIVATE FORUM WHOSE PURPOSE IS TO KEEP INFO AWAY FROM FT!!!!

    – YES, I WANT YOU TO “GET MEMBERS TO GIVE YOU SCREEN SHOTS OF MY (supposed) POSTS THERE.” PLEASE POST THEM FOR ALL TO SEE IF YOU FEEL LIKE IT.

    It’s time to put up or shut up my paranoid friend.

  81. Are Points Blogs Changing Right Before Our Eyes? | Travel Summary said,

    […] in the last few weeks is very interesting. Gary Leff, who writes View from the Wing, has become increasingly defensive in his posts. He says he hasn’t got any deals shut down, except one. I respectfully disagree, […]

  82. oh so tired of gregorygrady's juvenile comments said,

    I am so very bored and tired of reading comment drivel from gregorygrady. Life is too short- Gary, please do all of us a favor and SHUT HIM DOWN!

  83. gregorygrady said,

    I really need to get a life.

  84. gregorygrady said,

    LOL @ Comment #83 (a completely different gregorygrady than me for the record). I didn’t know that a person can input any name they want as the commenter. I could really start to have some fun with this function if you can’t get this under control gleff.

    BTW, I’m still waiting for those screenshots you promised gleff. Your silence is deafening, and I will take that to mean that you finally admit you are wrong……….but not man enough to officially admit it with a response.

  85. gregorygrady said,

    I’d like to offer a truce to gleff. He emailed me the goods about my private forum, and let’s just say I don’t want them shown here.

  86. gregorygrady said,

    @ the gregorygrady in Comment #85. From the “real” gregorygrady: I received no such e-mail from gleff. If you read above, I would like that info posted here or FT/MP if gleff prefers, but he cannot produce it as I said in Comment #84, therefore obviously he is full of hot air as I am in no such private forum that tries to keep things off FT. Half of me thinks Commenter #83 & #85 is in fact gleff. If not, I’d suggest he look into it and ban e-mail addresses impersonating other commenters, otherwise I myself will take full advantage of this in the future as well.

    Sigh……………maybe it’s time to start yet another blogger rant thread on FT………………….

  87. gregorygrady said,

    I wish I could edit my post #86. I’m an idiot for thinking gleff would stoop low enough to impersonate me. I’m also an idiot for thinking that someone can “ban email addresses impersonating other commenters.”

    Arggh. It’s one thing to argue with people on the internet, it’s quite another to troll one’s own self. Gosh, I need another hobby.

  88. gregorygrady said,

    @ “fake” gregorygrady: He could certainly ban the e-mail address (or IP address) that posted those 3 idiotic Comments (#83/85/87).

    Don’t worry though, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So I’m actually honored that you’d take the time to try to pretend to be me while commenting. ^^^ ;-)

  89. gregorygrady said,

    How many posts do I need to make to get VFW Evangelist status?

  90. WakeUp said,

    @Gary – I am glad you came to realize it was not a bright idea to threaten private forums. You are talking about some of the most creative and brightest minds FT has seen. Their IT skills are out of this world. Just as bloggers stick together so do ALL private forums.

  91. Add A Comment

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