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There were some great deals this week:

But there were also a few bad deals that superficially looked a lot like the good deals that I want to warn you about.

What are the bad deals to avoid this week?

Southwest is offering a 40% bonus on purchased points through October 17.

Why it’s a bad deal:

Even with a 40% bonus, the Southwest points cost 1.96 cents each. Southwest points are only currently worth 1.69 cents each toward any Southwest airfare. (60 points per dollar on redemptions, but tax and other issues make the value about 1.69 cents) And starting March 31, they’ll only be worth about 1.44 cents after the recently announced massive devaluation of Rapid Rewards.

And these aren’t traditional region-to-region miles where they may only be worth X amount normally, but you can redeem them for international first class and do better. These are fixed-value points. You will never get 1.96 cents of value for Southwest points, so buying them for that amount is burning money.

TACA Transfer Miles with 100% Bonus = Buying TACA Miles for 1.5 Cents

Why it’s a bad deal:

The US Airways 100% bonus on transferred miles gets you US Airways miles for 1.13 cents.

Through February 20, 2014, the TACA 100% bonus on transferred miles gets you TACA miles for 1.5 cents. There are near constant promotions to buy TACA miles for 1.5 cents. Those are a decent deal if you want to book a TACA award right then, though I wouldn’t stockpile TACA miles because I don’t trust the airline to give fair notice of devaluations.

So this isn’t actually a bad deal, it’s just a near-constant deal that runs through February 20 that you don’t need to get involved with unless and until you are ready to redeem the TACA miles.

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 80,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!


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