Grand Slam progress report

I have been using the spreadsheet from the last post to try to figure out the easiest and most lucrative ‘hits’ as a non-US resident.  Living in Alberta, it’s not easy!  So many ‘cheap’ hits in the States are incredibly expensive up here.  This is especially true because of the high cost of hotel rooms.  That being said, Calgary has some inexpensive options for hotels, getting as low as about $80/night (which is still a far cry from the $50/night you can get in the States). 

It’s only a few days into the promotion, and I already have six easy hits: 

  • I took advantage of the 100% bonus promotion for purchasing Dividend Miles (DMs)
  • I transferred points from Alaska Airlines to DMs on points.com.
  • I transferred Starwood Preferred Guest points to DM
  • I transferred Best Western points to DM
  • I purchased a ticket for a poetry slam ($12.50) at Audience Rewards
  • I downloaded and used the DM toolbar

So far my cost per mile is $0.014, which I think is pretty good.  I have a few other freebie hits coming up, like cashing in some of my Priority Club points for DMs. 

It looks like most of the cheap rewards will be from car rentals (some as cheap as $20/day, all in) in the Edmonton area, and buying items from partners.  Luckily, I have a willing recipient with a US address who will enjoy things like Biscoff cookies and baby stuff from various partners.  It always works best if you can get points for things you need or that you were going to buy anyway (like baby shower gifts).

Flyertalk has an excellent thread on the cheapest partner purchases, which I have already used for the somewhat difficult to figure out Audience Rewards.  Another good source to keep track of all the fun is this thread on the Points Guy’s blog.  He can always find a useful twist that others seem to miss. (I don’t like his spreadsheet as much though).

I hope to do a lot more this week, so I’ll post more about the next set of hits in a few days.

Happy playing!

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