There's been some concern over whether the Priceless Surprises sweepstakes that IHG is sponsoring was not, in fact, a guaranteed winner as some speculated:
More than 40,000 IHG points for more than $46 and a cramped hand
Originally, it appeared that every play would result in at least 500 IHG points, but in the past day, plays have been resulting in "you haven't won a prize" messages as reported on Flyertalk. Well, it seems that was a glitch:
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Friday, January 8, 2016
Amex's Bluebird card has been a useful instrument for manufactured spending for a few years. It allowed fee-free loading of up to $5,000 per month and could be loaded via various pre-paid debit cards. The money could then be easily withdrawn to your checking account. Personally, I mainly used it to generate Delta Miles via Suntrust. It appears that it's usefulness is at an end. This morning, Amex sent out a wave of Bluebird shut-down notices like this one:
The shutdown wave is being discussed over at Flyertalk, and seems to be pretty thorough. Both Mrs. Pointsninja and I were shut down. This will no-doubt come as a blow to many folks who had been using the card to do a limited amount of low-cost MSing, but it's not surprising. Using the Bluebird as nothing more than a means of shifting money around was a money-loser for Amex, and if something can't go on forever... it won't.