It’s a beautiful day in Northern Virginia, 87 degrees as I write this, and I just down at the pool …. explaining to a friend how to get eBay points for Priceline bids, and how to convert those points to American Airlines miles — as I’ve written about in pieces here on View from the Wing.
Admittedly my obsessions for miles and points has reached problem-status if my poolside conversation turns to Priceline and alternative currencies like eBay points.
Having just had the conversation, though, I decided to pull it all together for my readers along with a couple of other offers and spell it out as explicitly as I can. Apologies to all who have seen it before.
- Create an eBay Anything Points account. Click either “Start Earning Now” or “Set Up Points Account.”
- Make all your Priceline bids from the eBay Travel site because each successful bid will earn 1500 eBay Anything Points. Either click on Travel from the left hand set of links on the main eBay page or go directly to their travel page.
- Get a PointsPlus account at Points.com. If you want the account for free, then
- Enroll in Fairmont President’s Club
- Take your membership number and enter it at the Fairmont promo page for Points.com.
Personally, I would enroll for my PointsPlus account and pay the $19.95 fee and choose 2100 eBay Anything Points points as my enrollment bonus, since those points can be converted to over 2000 American Airlines miles (through June 30th, as a result of the Points.com 3rd anniversary promotion) which are worth more to me than $20. In fact, after a few days a link should appear offering the bonus points again for renewing the membership and I’d take that too! But you can also just get the account via the method outlined above.
(The reason you want a PointsPlus account rather than just a regular account is that regular accounts charge to make points transfers.)
- Sign up for a ShareBuilder account.
Go to the eBay Anything Points page and next to eBay parters, choose “See List” which will take you to the partners page. (Sometimes when I go to the link directly, rather than by clicking “See List,” I don’t see the partner offers listed.)
Click on the Sharebuilder link (which says below it “Buy stocks for $4 and earn 5,000 Anything Points!”).
Set up the account, which is free, and then choose to transfer $5 into the account from your checking account.
When you set up the account there’s a place to enter a promotion code. I’m told that if you enter “FISB50” they’ll credit your account with $50 in 4-6 weeks. This should be in addition to the 5000 Anything Points, though I haven’t done it myself.
- Update: Sharebuilder’s Director of Business Development emails a clarification that the two offers are not combinable, so you’ll have to pick the dollars or points
Then establish a “ShareBuilderPlan” to make a one-time investment of $5 in whatever stock you want (it can be any stock because you’ll just buy a fractional share) and schedule it for the upcoming Tuesday (oddly, this plan only makes purchases on Tuesdays!). You’ll be charged a $4 commissiona and own $1 in stock and then Sharebuilder will credit you with 5000 eBay Anything points plus $50 in a few weeks.
- If you want, though this can be more trouble than it’s worth, you can sign up for various other trial offers (like consumerinfo.com, audible.com, and ancestry.com) for the free points — just be sure to cancel after the points post to your account but before the free trial period is up.
eBay points can be used to pay for auctions you win (they’re worth 1 penny apiece) or converted at points.com to frequent flyer miles. Through June 30th you get a conversion bonus that makes 1 eBay point worth a little more than 1 American Airlines mile. You can also convert the points to Starbucks gift cards where 1500 points buys you ~ $13 at Starbucks.