[updated] Automate Twitter American Express offers the (really) easy way

[updated 1/6/2016: this technique is working again.]

[updated 12/30/15: this technique is no longer working.]

[updated 11/30/15: update the RSS feed your Twitterfeed points to to this URL.]

[updated 8/2/15: apparently a number of people didn't read the Devil's Advocate post I linked to closely enough, and did not follow the instructions there, so I'll repeat the relevant ones here. When configuring your Twitterfeed account:

"You’ll also want to change a few settings by clicking on that 'Advanced Settings' link at the bottom. This will open a whole slew of options, but you only need to adjust two of them. Unclick the 'Post link' checkbox so that it’s empty, and change the 'Post Content' option to “description only.'"

By doing this, you won't be mentioning my Twitter account every time you tweet out an Amex Sync offer.


Hat tips go to William Charles, Devil's Advocate, and Amit Agarwal at Digital Inspirations for this post.


In the last few weeks there have been a flurry of posts about methods of automating enrollment in American Express offers available through Twitter.

All the methods have one thing in common: they require you to open separate Twitter accounts for each American Express card you have, and sync each Twitter account to a single American Express card, as described here.

One method, described by William Charles at Doctor of Credit, is to set up an additional, separate account with the service IFTTT for each of your newly linked Twitter accounts, then retweet each tweet from the Twitter account @OffersBot that includes the hashtag "#available".

That's a pretty good method, but involves a lot of brute force and a lot of new IFTTT accounts that you'll only ever use for a single purpose.

A second, more elegant method, described by Devil's Advocate, involves:

  1. Setting up a single IFTTT account linked to a "master" Twitter account that tweets out all available American Express offers;
  2. Creating an RSS feed of that Twitter account using the technique described by Amit Agarwal;
  3. Then linking all your "slave" Twitter accounts to that RSS feed using Twitterfeed.

However, since the RSS feed created in step 2 is public, there's actually no need for you to create your own.

Feel free to use my RSS feed to automate your American Express offers

I set up one of my Twitter accounts as a "master" account, which all of my other American Express-linked Twitter accounts automatically retweet. You can use it too!

To be clear, you'll still need to set up unique Twitter accounts for each one of your American Express cards.

But once you've done that, you can skip to creating a Twitterfeed account and using the URL of my RSS feed, as described by Devil's Advocate in this post (skip down to "Option #3: Twitterfeed."

Once you've opened a Twitterfeed account, use the following URL as the "Blog URL or RSS Feed URL:"


Then follow the rest of the steps Devil's Advocate lists, and you'll be all set.

One note: Devil's Advocate doesn't make clear that you need to repeatedly sign in, validate, add, and sign out of each of your Twitter accounts while still within "Step 2" of the setup process. It's time-consuming, but not too hard as long as you have all your Twitter passwords handy.


I had fun hacking together my automated Twitter sync machine, but I understand that not everyone has the time and patience to set up their own. Hopefully those readers will find this streamlined method easy enough to implement.

Note that if you choose to do this you are giving me and, vicariously, @OffersBot, control over your American Express-linked Twitter accounts! This is another excellent reason to never, ever use your actual personal or professional Twitter accounts for American Express offers, although an even better reason is that it drives me, and everyone else you know, absolutely crazy.

Quick hit: activating Sam's Club gift cards

Back in June I wrote about my super-boring strategy to take advantage of an American Express Offer for You of $20 off $20 or more spent at Sam's Club.

It turned out to be anything but boring: only today was the last of my $50 Sam's Club gift cards activated. Here's the story, and some advice on how to proceed if you've been having trouble with your own gift cards.

Activating Sam's Club gift cards is supposed to be easy

When $50 Sam's Club gift cards are shipped, you receive two e-mails, confusingly with almost identical subject lines:

  • Your UPS shipping confirmation and tracking number is in an e-mail with the subject line "Your SamsClub.com order has shipped‏;"
  • The link to activate your Sam's Club gift cards is sent almost simultaneously, and has the subject line "Your Sam's Club Gift Card has Shipped‏."

If you don't know that Sam's Club gift cards require activation in the first place, you might be forgiven for not even opening the apparently-duplicate e-mails.


Here's what my inbox looked like:

As you can see, half are actual shipment notifications, and half are activation codes.

The activation process is unreliable

Sometimes clicking on the activation link works. Sometimes it doesn't. Sam's Club is aware of the problem.

When cards won't activate, you need to call

To have your cards manually activated, call the number on your receipt (888-537-5503) and select menu options 3, 5, and 7, in that order. You'll be connected very quickly (within a few seconds) to a representative, who will ask for your order number, shipping and billing address, and the gift card number.

The gift card number they need is the number underneath the silver strip

Sam's Club phone representatives have apparently never actually seen Sam's Club gift cards, and every single representative I spoke to asked me for "the number on the back of the card." If you look at an actual gift card, however, you'll immediately see that there are 3 "numbers on the back of the card," and not one representative knew which number they needed to send an activation request.

It turns out it's the gift card number located under the scratch-away silver strip.

If at first you don't succeed, call, call again

My orders were shipped between June 3 and June 5, and were just finally activated on July 6 and July 7. That's a long time, and I wasn't sitting idle; I was calling every 2-3 days in order to find out the status of the activation request. In fact, I didn't make any progress until I had the phone representative open an actual support ticket, which finally seemed to set the gears in motion, and my cards were all activated within 5-6 days after that.


At the end of the day (or, in this case, the end of a month of waiting), I got a few hundred dollars of household supplies from Walmart at a generous 70% discount through this American Express Offer for You, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, even knowing how much of an aggravation it would turn out to be. Walmart sells a lot of useful things!

I hope this post will reduce any readers' aggravation if they find themselves going through the same process, now or in the future.

Using US Bank Flexpoints for hotel stays

Flexpoints, US Bank's proprietary rewards currency, are famously most valuable when redeemed for airfare: they're worth between 1.33 and 2 cents each, which makes the US Bank Flexperks Travel Rewards card an (almost) unlimited 2.66% to 6% rewards card, depending on the flights you ultimately redeem your Flexpoints for, as long as you're sure to spend exclusively in the card's bonus categories.

In addition to flights, Flexpoints can also be redeemed for hotel stays, and if Flexpoints are the points you happen to have while booking a trip, they may be worth redeeming. There are a few nuances to doing so, however, which you should know before getting started.

Prices are after-tax

This may go without saying, but before calculating the number of Flexpoints required for a stay, US Bank adds the taxes and fees for the reservation.

What didn't occur to me until I started researching this post is that the Flexperks Travel website presents the total cost, including taxes, up front, which is information that is typically hidden on both online travel agencies and the websites of hotels themselves. Instead of having to click all the way through to the reservation screen to see how much you'll actually be paying for a stay, you can search using the Flexperks portal and see the total cost of your different hotel choices presented on one screen:

Redemption values are lower

While you can get up to 2 cents per Flexpoint in value when redeeming for paid airfare, Flexpoints are only worth up to 1.5 cents each when redeemed for hotel stays. However...

Redemption thresholds are lower

Flexpoint redemptions for airfare start at 20,000 Flexpoints, for flights costing up to $400. When redeemed for hotel stays, you can redeem as few as 10,000 Flexpoints for stays costing up to $150, and in 10,000/$150 intervals thereafter. While your value per Flexpoint is lower, if you're Flexpoint-rich and cash-poor, it could be a great way to get value from large, unused balances.

Redemption prices are based on the total cost of your stay

In other words, while a one-night, $200-after-taxes reservation costs 20,000 Flexpoints, a two-night, $400-after-taxes reservation costs just 30,000 Flexpoints, since the total cost falls within the $301-$450 band.

I assume my astute readers will see where this is going: a way to goose the value of your Flexpoints on longer stays is break down your stay into multiple, shorter reservations to test different permutations of your reservation with "breakpoints" that bring each component reservation as close to the maximum allowed value as possible.

Another trick is to book the most expensive room that doesn't bump you into a higher price band. In other words, rather than booking a $200 stay for 20,000 Flexpoints, see if there's a bigger room or one that includes breakfast or parking, that won't raise your total cost above $300.

Stays probably won't earn points or elite-qualifying nights and stays

The Flexperks Travel portal is "powered by Orbitz," so unlike with airline redemptions, you probably won't earn points on your hotel stays, and they won't count towards elite status. You may or may not receive your elite benefits, depending on the elite program's policies. [Side note: I understand there are ways to get around these restrictions. I don't know any of them.]

While that doesn't sound ideal from a travel hacking point of view, you can also use the opportunity to stay in boutique hotels you don't get a chance to enjoy if you're usually too busy redeeming hotel points or chasing hotel elite status.


Unlike some bloggers, I choose not to pretend to live in a universe full of "ideal" redemptions. Instead, I choose to live in the real world, where points lose value the longer they go unredeemed. In that world, every trip presents a choice between spending cash that could be invested, used to pay off debt, or spent on all the other expenses of daily life, or spending points that have already been acquired, whether advisedly or not.

If you find you're consistently redeeming your Flexpoints for less than the opportunity cost of acquiring them (2% or 2.22% in cash back or statement credits, for example), then you should at least think about earning fewer of them. But don't let the perfect $799 airfare redemption be the enemy of the perfectly adequate $599 hotel redemption.

Quick hit: free money from American Express and Marriott Hotels

I don't write about (or take advantage of) deals like this very often anymore, but this one is easy enough to be worth a quick mention.

If you registered in time for the current American Express "Offer For You" at Marriott Hotels, you can get a $50 statement credit when you make a single purchase of $200 or more at Marriott Hotels (excluding all their other brands: "The Ritz-Carlton®, EDITION®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Autograph Collection®, JW Marriott®, Renaissance Hotels®, MOXY(TM) Hotels, Courtyard®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, Protea Hotels(TM), Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott®, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Gaylord Hotels® and Marriott Vacation Club®").

If you have a local Marriott Hotel (or if you'll be traveling near one before December 31, 2014) you should be able to buy a $200 Marriott gift card at the reception desk. Then use TopCashBack to click through to Cardpool.com and earn an additional $8 per $200 card, on top of the $176 Cardpool will mail you as a check. Earn $34 profit per registered American Express card (I have 5).

Cautious as I am, I'll be buying one $200 gift card first to make sure the statement credit posts properly. If it doesn't, I do have an upcoming Marriott stay which I can pay for with the gift card, rather than the points I was planning to use. That's less than ideal, but since Marriott Rewards points are seldom worth even a cent each on award night redemptions, I don't consider it a great sacrifice given the potential upside of the experiment.

Naturally, I'll report back once my statement credit posts (or doesn't).

Moving credit lines between American Express accounts

There are many reasons someone might want to move a credit line between accounts. Perhaps the most common situation is when closing a card to avoid its annual fee; rather than seeing your total available credit decrease by the amount of the card's credit limit, you can transfer all but (typically) a nominal sum to another credit card issued by the same bank.

Alternatively, if you have a large credit line on a non-rewards-earning credit card like the Chase Slate from your pre-travel-hacking days, then you might decide to transfer the credit line to a more lucrative card also issued by Chase.

Each bank has a different procedure for this operation. In my experience, I've been able to transfer all but $2,500 from my Chase credit cards when closing them, and I've done that both over the phone and through the Secure Message Center without any difficulty.

Bank of America, on the other hand, in my experience requires a hard credit pull when transferring credit lines – even though they're not extending any additional credit!

American Express has fiddled with their procedure over the years, but since I just did this, I thought I'd share the method that worked for me today.

What cards are eligible?

American Express's basic rule is that a card must be open for at least 12 months before you can transfer that card's credit line away from it. In theory, credit lines can be transferred to a credit card almost immediately after the card account is opened.

I can now report from personal experience that the 12 month clock does not reset when you upgrade a credit card: I upgraded my Hilton HHonors Surpass card less than 12 months ago, but was able to reallocate credit away from it today.

Additionally, credit lines cannot be reallocated from business credit cards to consumer credit cards. Any other combination is theoretically possible using the online system: from consumer to business, between business, and between consumer credit cards.

Avoid the phone and online agents

I twice attempted exactly the same procedure that was successful today, once over the phone and once through the online messaging system, but was unsuccessful both times. Both times I believe the agents attempted to reallocate the credit lines from my (new) Blue Cash card to my HHonors card, instead of the other way around. I may have simply had incompetent agents helping me both times, or they might all be equally poorly-trained.

So for the sake of your sanity, use the online system if possible.

How it works

From your American Express home page, click on "Profile" near the top of the screen, then "Manage Credit Limit:"

From there, look for "Transfer Available Credit to Another Card," and click "Start:"

From there, select the card you want to transfer your available credit limit from:

And the card you want to transfer your available credit to:

Once you confirm the request, you'll be immediately notified whether the request was successful or not, and your available credit limits will almost immediately reflect the change (they say it can take up to 15 minutes).

Initializing Iberia Plus Avios accounts

Last month I mentioned that I was trying to figure out how to "initialize" my Iberia account. Now that I've succeeded, I can share my experience.

What are Avios?

For most hotels and airlines we use in the United States, a loyalty currency is almost indistinguishable from a loyalty program. It doesn't occur to anyone that there's a difference between the Delta Skymiles loyalty program and an individual Delta Skymile.

Avios work slightly differently: Avios are the rewards currency of three different loyalty programs: British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Plus, and the Avios travel rewards program.

So just like you can use Euros issued in France to buy bratwurst in Vienna, you can use your Avios for rewards through any of the three programs.

However, as the people of Greece recently discovered to their chagrin, just because countries use the same currency doesn't mean they can't impose border controls. That's exactly what Iberia has done, and smuggling Avios past those controls is the subject of this post.

Why Iberia?

While British Airways and Iberia charge the same number of Avios for flight redemptions through either program, Iberia charges much lower fuel surcharges for award redemptions on their own flights than those booked using Avios in British Airways Executive Club club accounts.

Here's British Airway's Avios calculation for a non-stop flight between Madrid and New York's JFK airport:

At the request of a very generous reader, this picture features a circle

Here's the same route priced out using Avios in an Iberia account:

At the request of a very generous reader, this picture features four arrows

What's the problem?

In a perfect world, that's all you'd need to know. By choosing "Combine my Avios" (find it under "Manage my account") on British Airways' website, you'd be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars on your Iberia award flights by booking using Iberia Plus instead.

Unfortunately, the world we live in isn't perfect yet, and you're not allowed to transfer Avios into your Iberia account until it's been open for 90 days and has at least one other (non-"Combine my Avios") transaction.

What's the solution?

In response to my original post a number of readers reached out with suggestions on how to "initialize" my Iberia account:

  • e-Rewards redemption. This is what I ultimately did: I redeemed $25 in e-Rewards credit for 750 Avios in my Iberia account. That transaction initialized my (over-90-day-old) account, and I was then able to successfully transfer Avios from British Airways to Iberia using Avios.com as the Points Guy describes here. This worked for me since I already had about $24 in e-Rewards credit, so I just had to flunk a few surveys in order to earn the additional $1 in credit. I initiated my transfer on May 29, and the Avios were credited to my Iberia Plus account on June 2;
  • Membership Rewards transfer. In the comments, Grant not-very-helpfully (I don't have Membership Rewards points) pointed to his post on transferring Membership Rewards points to Iberia Plus in order to initialize an account;
  • Melia Rewards transfer. Another reader reported being able to transfer the 2,000 point signup bonus with the MeliaRewards program to Iberia. I wasn't ultimately able to do this — as the reader pointed out, the 2,000 bonus points aren't supposed to be eligible for transfer. However, if you do ever stay with a Melia-affiliated property, or earn Melia points through some other activity, you will be able to transfer the points you earn to Iberia Plus.


Iberia has great award availability and relatively low fuel surcharges on their own flights; that can be a powerful combination when trying to decide how to fly to or from Europe using Avios, while Avios can be one of the easiest loyalty currencies to earn since British Airways Executive Club is a transfer partner of Chase's Ultimate Rewards points.

JFK-MXP // PRG-NRT mistake fare/fuel dump still available

If you've been under a rock for the last 24 hours, you may have missed news of a fuel dump that broke into public last night.


Fuel dumping is one of the more arcane arts of travel hacking; it involves configurations of flight legs which cause the fuel surcharges normally associated with an itinerary to "drop off," leave only the (usually much lower) base fare in place.

There are a plethora of these tricks, and they're reproducible. Most travel hackers I know, myself included, don't bother with them for the simple reason that they're typically only good for specific routes or carriers; if you aren't interested in flying that route or carrier, they're little more than a party trick, although a very neat one.

Today's fuel dump

What made today's revelation (starting yesterday evening in this FlyerTalk thread, continuing today on Twitter here and here, among other places) interesting was that it was for a huge range of dates (I found it on basically all mid-week-to-mid-week itineraries) and between destinations that were conceivably interesting to a lot of people: the first leg from several major US cities to Milan, Italy, and the second leg from Prague, Budapest, and other European cities to many destinations in Asia.

How to find it

A few moments ago I was still able to find a $257 fare using this trick; how long it will last is anyone's guess. Here's how to find your own trick fare:

  1. Use Priceline.com to conduct a "Multi-Destination" search.
  2. For the first leg, search for a US city served by Alitalia (it seems to be Alitalia coding on the first leg that triggers the error, whoever the operating carrier is). JFK and LAX reportedly work, although I haven't been able to reproduce any fares out of LAX. Use Milan's MXP airport as the destination. As I said above, mid-week departures seem to return the lowest fares.
  3. For the second leg, use a European city served by Alitalia, KLM, or Air France with a destination in Asia. Mid-week dates return the lowest fares.
  4. Keep searching.

For further suggestions, start with the FlyerTalk thread where people are reporting their successful reservations.


Here's a $257 flight using JFK as the US origin and Shanghai as the Asian destination:

Act now...

Priceline seems to give you until midnight on the day after booking to cancel airline reservations. Even if you're not sure about your plans yet, consider doing what I did: book several options, then talk it out with your family or friends and see which, if any, of the options end up working for you. While apparently this trick has been around for a while, I do not expect it to last long now that it's out in the wild.

...but be careful

For the time being I would not associate your frequent flyer number with any of these reservations, especially an account with the operating carrier. Instead, consider crediting your miles to a partner mileage program, like Alaska Airlines for flights operated by Delta.

New(er) changes to Walmart point-of-sale systems


Just a few weeks ago, I noted that the point-of-sale (POS) software had been updated at my local Walmart, such that I selected any cash back amount before entering my pin, instead of after. Reader Serion presciently advised me in the comments:

"My WM got the update you're talking about a few weeks ago. However, they just got ANOTHER update ~2 days ago. With this update, it won't allow them to split debit payments. Everytime they key in $500 debit, the system beeps and says transaction type not allowed. Has anyone else ran into this. Know any way around it? (It'll allow you to run a single $500 debit purchase w/o a problem)"

That update has now been rolled out to my Walmart, and while it is somewhat annoying that they keep changing the procedure (and making us retrain their cashiers), I'm happy to report that we can still conduct all of our favorite transactions. Here's how.

Old system: cashier goes first

With the old POS software, after the final total was calculated for your purchase, the cashier had the option of typing in a split-tender amount on the physical keypad located to the right of the screen.

After typing in the amount, he or she would press the physical "debit" button, also located on the right side of the terminal.

Then, the customer could swipe a debit card, select the amount of cash back desired, if any, and type in their PIN.

This procedure could be repeated up to 4 times total (3 times if loading a Bluebird card).

New system: customer goes first

Once your Walmart receives the updated POS software, the process is reversed.

Now, after the final total is calculated for the purchase, the customer can swipe a debit card, select a cash back amount, and enter their PIN.

After the PIN is entered, the customer-facing keypad will read "Waiting for Cashier," and only then can the cashier type in the amount to be charged to the swiped debit card and push the "debit" button, again using the physical key located on the right side of the screen.

In fact, the cashier can type in the amount of the split tender before the customer swipes a debit card – what triggered reader Serion's repeated error was the cashier pressing the "debit" button before he had swiped his debit card and entered his PIN.

This procedure can still be repeated at least 4 times (that's how many swipes I did this morning).


The new POS software has been reported to have something to do with making Walmart registers compatible with chip-enabled credit and debit cards. I don't know anything about that – my Walmart registers are most decidedly not compatible with chip-enabled cards, but already have the new software.

In any case, I was fortunate enough, because they know and trust me, to be able to do multiple laps with my cashiers until we figured out the pattern that worked. Since my readers may be dealing with less cooperative cashiers, I want them to know how to get through this process as painlessly as possible.

However, you should still expect some confusion, frustration, and delays the first few times you go through this process with each new cashier.

Reminder: double dip with portals & cardholder promotions

Today I was reminded of an old marketing aphorism: "I know half my advertising budget is a complete waste. I just don't know which half."

I was reminded of this because I'm in the market for a pair of running shoes.

Whenever I log into my Bank of America online account, I'm reminded that one of their current BankAmeriDeals® (I kid you not) is for 10% cash back on one purchase of up to $175 at the Sports Authority.

If you're not familiar with BankAmeriDeals, they work exactly like (most of) American Express's "Offers For You:" you "add" them to your card, and then if you make an eligible purchase you automatically receive the offer amount as a statement credit.

The cool thing about these offers is that since they're triggered solely by the amount of your purchase, you can combine them with online shopping portals. That enables at least double dips, and sometimes triple or quadruple dips if a merchant also participates in a marketing program like Plink.

Anyway, back to my running shoes. Bank of America is offering 10% cash back, which is nice, but American Express is also offering an "Offer For You" (Offer For Me?) at the Sports Authority (in-store only): $10 back on a purchase of $50 or more – a 20% discount on a purchase of exactly $50!

Let me guess: you already see where this is going.

That's right, by buying a $50 gift card in store, then using it on an online purchase (paying the balance with a BankAmericard), you can earn between 10% and 20% cash back on your entire purchase (up to $175, at least).

But wait: there's more. As I mentioned, since these deals are triggered by your credit card activity, you can combine them with shopping portal bonuses, like the one currently offered by ShopDiscover:

I know what you're thinking: who cares, right? I'm the one buying the running shoes, after all, not you.

But I'm also the one who had some free time this afternoon to put together this table:

This isn't totally exhaustive since I may not have been selected for every linked offer. But it's probably pretty close! I didn't verify most of the evreward portal payouts, although I did check the ones that seemed way out of line (15 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on berries!).

Are you starting to pity the company whose marketing department got the brilliant idea of running simultaneous, stackable promotions? Don't bother. After all, to get a full 25% off at Crate & Barrel, for instance, you'd need to buy something that cost exactly $50. And the markup on Crate & Barrel objects that cost exactly $50 is probably close to 100%.

Biggest Discounts

Here are a few of the biggest discounts. Enjoy your shoes, jeans, flowers and...pet food?

  • iTunes: 100% off $5
  • Reebok.com: 39% off $60
  • Diesel.com: 39% off $150
  • Personal Creations: 38.6% off $49
  • Shari's Berries: 35% off $50
  • FTD: 35% up to $175
  • Henri Bendel: 30% off $200
  • Sports Authority: 30% off $50
  • Petco: 30% off $25

Suntrust online banking errors are a feature, not bug

Ten days ago, I passed along a working link to a signup page for the Suntrust Delta Skymiles World Check Card. When I shared that link, I had just called the number on that page to open a "balanced banking" account over the phone.

Today, my account is finally up and running, and I wanted to share the timeline for opening new accounts in case anyone else is as confused by it as I was.

Wednesday, April 9

10 days ago I:

  • Called and opened a "balanced banking" account over the phone;
  • Was told to wait for a "signature card" to arrive in the mail, sign it, and mail it back in the provided envelop;
  • Was given an online banking "password" to configure my online profile;
  • Set up an online username and password;
  • But was unable to log into my new account. Instead, I received an error stating that "This service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later."

Monday, April 14

On Monday:

  • I received, signed, and mailed back my signature card;
  • I was still unable to log into Suntrust's online banking.

Tuesday, April 15

On Tuesday:

  • I received my Delta Skymiles World Check card;
  • I was still unable to log into Suntrust's online banking;
  • And I was unable to call into their phone system for help, because that required my PIN number, which I hadn't yet received.

Thursday, April 17

On Thursday:

  • I was still unable to log into Suntrust's online banking;
  • I received my PIN number in the mail, and attempted to call into the Suntrust phone tree, but after entering my check card number and PIN was not connected to a representative;

I used the online banking "live chat" feature and had the following conversation with a customer service representative, "Tera:"

Tera: Good afternoon. Thank you for contacting SunTrust. How may I assist you today?

Free-quent Flyer: I am not able to set up my online account. At Step 3: Services & Agreement I just get an error page: "This service is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later." This has been going on for a week or so

Tera: It sounds like your temporary internet files and cookies need to be deleted. Do you know how to clear those?

Free-quent Flyer: Yes, I've already done so multiple times

Tera: Are you making sure to close the browser after clearing those then open a new one?

Free-quent Flyer: Yes, and I've tried private and incognito browsing as well

Tera: There is something in your browser that is causing the page to do that. Are you able to use a different browser such as Internet Explorer or FireFox?

Free-quent Flyer: I get an identical error in Chrome and Safari and Firefox

Tera: Our services are not down. Your browsers seem to have a bad file that is blocking the site. Let me set up the profile for you. So that I may bring up your profile may I please have your full account or card number and the last four digits of your Social Security Number?

Free-quent Flyer: [numbers]

Tera: Thank you, let me pull up your profile. I will be right back with you.

Tera: Your profile has already been created. You will need to log in through www.suntrust.com using the user id and password that you chose however that will not be accessible until the "no debit" status is removed from your account. That will be removed once we receive your signature cards.

Free-quent Flyer: I am logging in using the user id and password I chose

Free-quent Flyer: That brings me to this error screen

Tera: I'm sorry, I thought you mentioned you were just setting that up. Sorry for the confusion. The Online Banking is set up however you will not be able to log in until the "no debit" status is removed from your account.

Free-quent Flyer: So I'm supposed to be receiving this error screen? Perhaps the text could be changed so it doesn't look like a generic error page

Free-quent Flyer: Will I be notified when you receive my signature cards? Or am I supposed to just try every day until one day it suddenly works?

Tera: Yes, I am sorry. I will submit your feedback on that. Sorry for the confusion.

Tera: You will not be notified when those are received.

Saturday, April 19

I was able to log into my Suntrust online banking account, and everything looks to be correctly configured.


As frustrating and ridiculous as it seems, this appears to simply be Suntrust's standard operating procedure for new accounts. Instead of a specific error message telling you to wait until your signature cards have been processed, they return what looks like a website error.

The take-home advice from this is: wait at least 10 days, and perhaps as long as 12-14 days, to have online access to your Suntrust account. And try not to worry too much about it in the meantime!