Hey folks sorry it’s been a while since posting… both work and family life have been very busy over the past couple of weeks. I have been travelling a lot both work and play, including a bit of time to catch a drink with fellow blogger SitInFirst which was a pleasure. Also we had an awesome Thanksgiving break in Las Vegas using some deals I had blogged about previously. I was worried about going to Vegas with the kids but they absolutely loved it and I will post a trip report as soon as I can covering it from the family angle.

Of course being away from home meant I pretty much missed out on the new epicenter of Thanksgiving in the USA – American Express’ Small Business Saturday! LOL. This year was an epic fail for me on this front… having gotten several hundred dollars out of this promo the past couple of years, this year we were out at the Grand Canyon and then driving back to Vegas and then flying back to RDU. My half-hearted attempts at using Amex cards at a Grand Canyon souvenir store, a gas station on the way back and a restaurant at LAS airport all failed. I had I think 17 cards registered so would have done nicely had this been on home territory. Let’s say I just did my bit to keep this promo going another year ­čÖé

Still I made up for it somewhat yesterday. Not travel related but I always love a deal and got a postcard a couple of months back with a promo on my Banana Republic credit card offering 200 bonus points (worth $2 in BR spend) for┬áeach and every transaction made in November and December outside of BR/Gap. Now trust me, if this had been say 200 AA miles or Amex points or Chase UR points, you’d have heard a┬álot about this one. I immediately scoured the terms & conditions for any┬áminimum┬átransaction size or cap on earnings but nothing. Joy! So since the beginning of November, I have been paying my water bill in $0.01 increments! Racking up 20 odd transactions a day. I did go on Slickdeals to see what other experiences people were having and learned that the rewards cap out at $250 per month but any excess gets paid out eventually when you don’t earn so much. So I was sitting on my first set of free $250 BR vouchers when yesterday they had their own “mistake fare” where they were allowing two 40% off discount codes to stack, giving 64% off. So I managed to use my┬áfree $250 voucher to get over $700 worth of Banana Republic clothes! Thank you and Merry Christmas from Banana Republic! Got to love it ­čÖé

This particular offer was targeted which is the only reason I did not blog about it when I first saw it (so if you’re name was not already down, you weren’t “in” on the deal) but the real lesson is pay attention to all the junk mail including those crappy store cards that you never ever use. A few stories on Slickdeals of folks who used to have a BR card but had it shut down for lack of activity… given these cards almost never have an annual fee, probably worth buying a pack of gum on them each year to keep them alive.

So what’s coming up? Well I have to finish my Maldives trip report. I know a few folks have asked me about the Park Hyatt Maldives report and I promise it’s coming soon! Then on the prepaid front I will give a review of the Vision prepaid that I recently started using. This one is proving to be a real good Bluebird alternative with an ability to pay your credit card directly from the account. And I have a summary of credit cards to use at grocery stores to make the most of this card. And then a trip report on Vegas with the family which was a great value. Though I can tell you flying Southwest was quite an experience for Mrs MilesAbound on the back of our prior trip on Etihad First Class. How the mighty have fallen!!!