While the community's attention is focused on the betrayal and heartbreak caused by this week's American Airlines devaluations, allow me to pass along some thoughts on a slightly different topic.
The Alaska Airlines debit card was real
For as long as I can remember, I've been the biggest cheerleader for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines debit card. Believe it or not, all the way back in May, 2013, bloggers were already claiming the card was no longer available, but there was still a working link that I included in every blog post I could – no matter how tenuous the connection – because I believed the card was one of the best methods available to earn travel, while paying next to nothing.
Finally, it was announced that existing cards would no longer earn Alaska Airlines miles starting May 31, 2014 – over a year after my post letting readers know the card was still available. A year of $0.70 money orders, $1 and $1.88 credit card bill payments, and a year of free, $3,000 Venmo transactions up to 4 times per month.
That's a lot of miles.
It's still possible to apply for the Suntrust Delta debit card – but not for long
The Suntrust Delta SkyMiles World Check Card is still available — today — for new accounts being opened online and over the phone. Your humble blogger just opened an account over the phone an hour ago.
The card earns 1 Skymile per dollar spent on PIN-based and signature transactions.
But it has disappeared from Suntrust's website, and certainly will stop accepting new applications sometime in the coming days, weeks, or months. Until that day comes, I'll continue including the link to the card in every post I can – no matter how tenuous the connection – because I believe it's one of the best methods currently available to earn travel, while paying next to nothing.
Have you let the last week teach you anything?
With the end of CVS reloadables nationwide and the unannounced American devaluation, the last week has given every travel hacker an opportunity to reevaluate their entire system from the ground up: what's working, what's not? What entails too much risk, and what's worth the risk? Where do I go from here?
Are you taking advantage of that opportunity?
I don't give advice — but I don't entertain complaints
I don't know how long currently-existing Suntrust Delta World Check Cards will continue to issue Skymiles. It might be months and it could be years.
I do know that when they finally close existing accounts, a lot of people are going to regret not trying their luck to see just how many Skymiles they could earn in that crazy period in the early 2010's when debit cards still earned rewards on PIN transactions.
When that day comes, are you going to be complaining – or bragging?