Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nice deal at 1-800-Flowers (and website AND affiliated websites) + potential AMAZING travel-related angle!!

There is a simple/easy angle on this deal, and a way-over-the-top (complicated but potentially hugely lucrative/beneficial) version.  Read on ...

For starters (before I comment), you can get all of the details HERE.

As I mentioned, there's two levels to this deal ...

1) SIMPLE LEVEL:  Buy things at 1-800-Flowers (or its website OR affiliated websites) and get 1500 Southwest Airlines miles every time you spend at least $29.99.  Warning - in case you don't already know, stuff on these "gift" websites are VERY expensive and have expensive shipping (but, as the link above highlights, you can purchase free shipping for the entire year on all orders for $30). The best way to "maximize" this deal is to keep your purchases as close to $29.99 as possible, since you get exactly 1500 SWA miles no matter how far you go over $29.99.  So what is a SWA mile "worth"??  SWA guarantees that they are worth at least 1.42 cents (although they have devalued their miles in the past - so be aware that could happen in the future, although they usually give at least a few months of warning).  They are "worth" that much because, unlike other airlines who have mileage programs that do things like 25k miles = free flight (if you can find availability), SWA has a dollar price and a "points price" for ALL airfare (no restrictions) - and the points are ALWAYS worth AT LEAST 1.42 cents (and usually, in my experience, more like 1.6-2.0 cents per mile!). So ... at the end of the day, those 1500 SWA miles you get for spending $29.99 or more is worth AT LEAST $21.30 (and possibly as much as $30 - or more, see #2 below!).  Not bad to get at least $21.30 off a purchase of $30+, especially if you're wanting to make the purchase anyway.  (Final note, as the author in the link above notes, you can use an AMEX Business card that's affiliated with their "OPEN" program to get another 5% statement credit off on your purchase to further bring down the price and make the deal even better.)

2) COMPLICATED/AMAZING ANGLE:  I'm not going to type even as much as I did above, as the author of the blog linked above already covers this.  But if you're crazy enough to buy 74 items using this deal, and keep the cost per order to around $30/each, you can generate 110,000 SWA miles. You'd prefer to time it so that the miles don't hit your SWA account until January (and it says the miles take 6-8 weeks to post - but I don't know how accurate that is!).  Because if you earn 110,000 or more SWA miles in any calendar year ("clock" resets on 12/31 every year), you can earn a "Companion Pass" that allows a companion of yours to fly on SWA for free (with you) for the entire remainder of the calendar year PLUS the entire NEXT calendar year!  Here's a key point: you CAN use the Companion Pass for flights you purchase with SWA miles!  Thus, all these miles you generate from this 1500 mile deal would actually be worth 2x the amount if used with the Companion Pass!  Let that sink in ...  (Note, you can also accomplish the Companion Pass by applying for two SWA Chase credit cards that give you 50k miles for signing up + some additional spending.  But that's a blog post for another day.  Or you can Google search on the topic.)  Obviously, this is pretty over-the-top crazy.  But I currently have the SWA companion pass (via the credit card route), and it is a pretty amazing deal.

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