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Goldpoints: LL Bean: 100 miles/ dollar???

Goldpoints: LL Bean: 100 miles/ dollar???

Old Aug 14, 03, 9:51 am
  #1  
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Goldpoints: LL Bean: 100 miles/ dollar???

Has this been discussed before?

Through goldpoints, one can earn 2000 points per transaction with LL Bean. So if you buy a $5 gift certificate, that's 2000 points (which translate to 250 airline miles, or 50 miles to the dollar.)

Can you then take the $5 certificate and use it to make a $5 purchase, earning you 2000 more points? (190 miles to the dollar) Is this legal?

I suppose you can do it over and over.

Doesn't sound ethical to me. Come to think of it, something like this MUST have been discussed in the past. I just can't find it.

[This message has been edited by zrs70 (edited 08-14-2003).]
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Old Aug 14, 03, 10:00 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by zrs70:
Has this been discussed before?

Through goldpoints, one can earn 2000 points per transaction with LL Bean. So if you buy a $5 gift certificate, that's 2000 points (which translate to 250 airline miles, or 50 miles to the dollar.)

Can you then take the $5 certificate and use it to make a $5 purchase, earning you 2000 more points? (190 miles to the dollar) Is this legal?

I suppose you can do it over and over.

Doesn't sound ethical to me. Come to think of it, something like this MUST have been discussed in the past. I just can't find it.

[This message has been edited by zrs70 (edited 08-14-2003).]
</font>
WoooHooo! This is awesome!
LL Bean used to have a link from Goldpoints, and I made a ton of points double dipping(buying a gc first, then using it for a purchase). It's been gone for a while, but if they really are back, this will be a windfall!

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Old Aug 14, 03, 10:22 am
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The problem is that LL Bean awards 2000 Goldpoints per transaction. Which means you have to make a whole lotta transactions for this to add up!

Maybe some will find it 'worth it' but I don't see this as another Goldpoints/Valumags or Goldpoints/Hallmark. At least with Hallmark, IIRC, you could do 12000 Goldpoints per transaction and that's when Goldpoints were worth twice as many airline miles. Those Hallmark Gift Certificates were then redeemable at hundreds of places (like Hertz, Amazon.com, etc.) And Valumags... Wasn't that 120 miles per dollar spent, and fewer transactions too? That was sweet.. (for those that could get the miles to credit!)

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Old Aug 14, 03, 5:32 pm
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Should this be in S.P.A.M?
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Old Aug 14, 03, 6:48 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by jfe:
Should this be in S.P.A.M?</font>
Or: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum91/HTML/000356.html
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Old Aug 14, 03, 7:30 pm
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This is a nice find if you want to do the work.

But from my calculations, it's only 80 miles per dollar, not 190.

$5 GC = 2000 goldpoints
$5 purchase using GC = 2000 goldpoints

A total of 4000 goldpoints for $5.
4000 goldpoints = 400 miles

400 miles / $5 = 80 miles per dollar.

FF

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by zrs70:
Has this been discussed before?

Through goldpoints, one can earn 2000 points per transaction with LL Bean. So if you buy a $5 gift certificate, that's 2000 points (which translate to 250 airline miles, or 50 miles to the dollar.)

Can you then take the $5 certificate and use it to make a $5 purchase, earning you 2000 more points? (190 miles to the dollar) Is this legal?

I suppose you can do it over and over.

Doesn't sound ethical to me. Come to think of it, something like this MUST have been discussed in the past. I just can't find it.

[This message has been edited by zrs70 (edited 08-14-2003).]
</font>
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Old Aug 14, 03, 7:56 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Fire_Fly:
This is a nice find if you want to do the work.

But from my calculations, it's only 80 miles per dollar, not 190.

$5 GC = 2000 goldpoints
$5 purchase using GC = 2000 goldpoints

A total of 4000 goldpoints for $5.
4000 goldpoints = 400 miles

400 miles / $5 = 80 miles per dollar.

FF

</font>
4000 Goldpoints is 500 miles not 400.

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[This message has been edited by Pat H (edited 08-14-2003).]
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Old Aug 14, 03, 8:34 pm
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No way will I touch another Goldpoints promotion after the fiasco last year. Besides, it doesn't sound like much of a bargain.

If $1.00 equals 80 miles, that's $100.00 for just 8,000 miles. I received 10,000 miles for $44.00 from the AT&T Worldnet promotion months ago.

[This message has been edited by Neal (edited 08-14-2003).]
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Old Aug 15, 03, 3:48 am
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Wow, I'm surprised - this has all the makings of megadeal - and it meets a lukeworm reception by veterans gleff and cactuspete.
Have we lost our touch, did fixation on airline miles blurred our vision?
In short - the value of this deal is with using Goldpoins at Radisson hotels.
Let's put our collective brains to work before it goes away, DIG, DIG, DIG !!!
Briefly: $1.25 items available, free shipping for holders of LL Bean Card (MBNA).
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Old Aug 15, 03, 6:30 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by neophyte:
Wow, I'm surprised - this has all the makings of megadeal - and it meets a lukeworm reception by veterans gleff and cactuspete.</font>
This is a perfectly reasonable topping off strategy.

But it takes a whole lot of transactions to build up a significant amount of points.

It would take 5 transactions each day and night over 40 days to earn 100,000 miles at a cost of $1000.

That's IF all the miles post. And plenty of folks (myself included, although fortunately only on smaller transactions) have had bad experiences there. I guess a bunch of FTers reporting back "Success! My 2000 GPs posted overnight! For each transaction!" would make it easier to go down this road.

Of course, if gift certificates were available in $1 denominations... or gift certificates could be used to buy gift certificates... or GP hadn't doubled the number of points necessary to redeem for miles.. this would be a better deal.

Perhaps I've been spoiled by all the great "Get Miles Quick!" schemes folks here have come up with, and I'm jaundiced. But as for me, I'd just assume buy a whole bunch of Inside Flyer subscriptions and let Randy, Karen, Michelle, and the gang do the work for me...

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Old Aug 15, 03, 6:31 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by jfe:
Should this be in S.P.A.M?</font>
Would certainly be appropriate there, although my own hunch is that since the original poster was asking whether this was a megadeal in the making it's probably alright to leave it here. Fair question, though!
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Old Aug 15, 03, 8:17 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by neophyte:
Wow, I'm surprised - this has all the makings of megadeal - and it meets a lukeworm reception by veterans gleff and cactuspete.

Have we lost our touch, did fixation on airline miles blurred our vision?
</font>
Many of us have been around long enough to remember the last time Goldpoints offered something that seemed too good to be true. Then they remember how Goldpoints refused to honour some of the transaction. Then they remember how Goldpoints cut redemption levels in half overnight, without any prior warning.

Many people on Flyertalk got f*cked by Goldpoints last year, and no longer want anything to do with them as a company. In a nutshell, here was my analysis of Carlson (who own Radisson and Goldpoints) at the time:

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">
Are Carlson most dishonest company around?

Carlson proclaims on their website that "the history of Carlson Companies is one of the classic business success stories in the American free enterprise system". But this company seems to succeed despite itself. It frankly amazes me that a company which conducts business in this manner is still in business.

Let's look at the facts for their market-leading loyalty program:

1. They introduce a promotion which clearly was not properly vetted or researched
2. They are overwhelmed with orders, so they pull the promotion early and without warning
3. They make ad hoc exceptions on which orders will be honoured and which will not
4. Their staff give inconsistent responses about the redemption rates for the promotion
5. They change the redemption policy for frequent flyer miles by stealth, with no warning.
6. Their staff give inconsistent responses about the frequent flyer mileage

At best, this company is grossly incompetent. They fail to grasp even the most rudimentary elements of marketing, communications, or generating loyalty. They establish a relationship with a customer then do their best to destroy it. They overpromise and underdeliver. They'd rather lose customers rather than make the right decision. Marketing 101 was obviously lost on this bunch.

But Carlson's conduct goes beyond gross incompetence. It borders on being deceitful and dishonest. There is something about this company that makes me angry every time I think about it. I don't trust them, not as far as I could throw them.

And I'm not alone. Here on Flyertalk we had hundreds of people post about their poor experiences with this company. My experience was not an isolated one, and I am not the only one on Flyertalk vowing never to do business with Carlson again. Never mind, with their new exchange rates and dwindling vendor list, there isn't any point in doing business with Carlson anyhow.

Yes, the terms and conditions of the Gold Rewards program state that the rules can be changed at any time, without warning. But let's be honest - changing rules by stealth, not honouring your own commitments - these are not good business practices. They indicate weak, indecisive management; poor market research and poor product testing.

Carlson may have made Fortune magazine's 2002 list of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For", but I wouldn't want to work there. I will never do business with Carlson or any of its related companies again.

We dropped Carlson Wagonlit as our corporate travel provider. Good riddance. Now I've actually got a chance of getting a decent fare, receiving my tickets, and no longer having to educate our travel agents. In my experience, every element of Carlson shouts out incompetence. The folks at Carlson even make me look clever.
</font>


If you're interested in the whole story, do a search in the Radisson forum or in Milesbuzz around December 2001.

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Old Aug 15, 03, 9:11 am
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I have to agree with MatthewClement. Although I eventually received the points/miles I was due from the GoldPoints/ValueMags promo, it took way too much time and effort. It's fairly clear to me that GoldPoints, i.e. Carlson, was attempting to delay awarding of the points so that they could alter the redemption structure and thus incurr lower costs for what was a botched promotion.

I can't begin to count the number of times I was told by GoldPoints reps that "the points will post in two weeks". I was also told that they were auditing my purchases and that was holding things up, even though I twice faxed them complete screen copies of my ValueMags transaction as they requested and acknowledged that the orders were indeed placed by me and were indeed valid. ValueMags reps confirmed the same thing with GoldPoints.

After this fiasco and the total lack of customer focus exhibited by GoldPoints, I too have vowed not to do business with GoldPoints, Radisson, Carlson, Country Inn & Suites and other Carlson enterprises...and so far have stuck to this.

It may seem like a good deal, but if experience is any guide you will have a difficult if not impossible task getting the points. My recommendation is simple: Don't do business with them!
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Old Aug 15, 03, 9:27 am
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Every word about moral values of Carlson management is true, and I have my doubts about it, but the deal is a deal, and it is probably worth pursuing.
Just for reality check, Radisson still has a solid if second rate hotel frequent guest program, and hotels redemption levels had never been devalued. The even added redemptions in Europe earlier this year:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum91/HTML/000326.html

So here's the simpliest strategy I see now:
Buy multiple cheap items from LL Bean using LL Bean credit card (for free shipping), earning 2000 GP's for $1.25 - $1.75
That earns basic hotels night (20,000 GP's or 2500 miles) for $15, or a night in the nice hotel (60,000 - 70,00 GP's) for $45 - $50
Not too bad.
Strategies with Gift Certs might exist, but the free shipping is a key.
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Old Aug 15, 03, 10:02 am
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A few thoughts:

1) I did the original goldpoints/ valuemags thing. It took time and many calls, but the miles did go through, and I have no reason to complain about tons of miles for little $$$.

2) With items through LL Bean at $1.25, it's worth it to spend a half hour a day, buy those items, donate them, and earn miles.

3) I wouldn't regergiate the $5 gift certificates.
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