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O!ePay AAVS Loophole with PrimeCredit's EarnMore CC + More Ideas Wanted

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  1. #1

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    O!ePay AAVS Loophole with PrimeCredit's EarnMore CC + More Ideas Wanted

    @bdw inspired this thread.

    So I tried using O!ePay within the Octopus app for the first time yesterday with my wife's NFC-enabled Android phone. We could deduct at least 500HKD from each of our personalized Octopus cards that are linked to her PrimeCredit UnionPay EarnMore card, which earns 2% on all purchases in HK including AAVS, which as far as I know is the highest available (please tell me of a card that earns more).

    SC's Simply Cash card earns 1.5%, but PrimeCredit's card is still better and worth it, in my opinion, even with the annoyance of no login website (we still haven't downloaded their OmyApp) and their website and online application forms only being in Chinese. I wait for their paper statement in the mail and use Planto (I like it, but it has issues) to check on the PrimeCredit spending.

    With O!ePay, you can set up FPS with a bank account, and you transfer money in and out of your O!ePay account. If you transfer 1,000HKD (two personalized Octopus cards linked with AAVS) that's a 20HKD reward for moving money from your Octopus cards to O!ePay and then FPS out to a bank account (unfortunately ICBC (Asia) isn't one of them, but HSBC, HS, and most other major HK banks work with O!ePay via FPS). It's definitely not going to make you rich, and maybe not worth the hassle for most, but if it's amusing to you and you treat it like a game, then I can recommend trying it.

    @bdw mentioned figuring out a way to use O!ePay to pay his mortgage, which I'll assume is with SC. The O!ePay has a specific designated link to SC Mobile, so maybe it's even easier to use like a SC Simply Cash card, use a personalized Octopus card linked via AAVS with your SC Simply Cash, add up to 500HKD (maybe you can figure out how to do more in a day) via your Octopus card to O!ePay, and then transfer your O!ePay balance to your SC bank account, which pays your mortgage (I'm assuming as I don't have an SC credit card or bank account). The Octopus app mentions that if you transfer out more than 3,000HKD of your O!ePay to a bank account, you'll get charged a 1% fee, but if you earn 2% via AAVS then you effectively can keep earning 1% until you hit your credit limit and/or you give up wasting your time on this method.

    I didn't get in on the game with using HSBC's Payme app before HSBC closed the loophole, but I guess you can still transfer 2,000 out of your credit card, move it to a mortgage linked savings account, and earn a bit of interest before needing to actually pay off your credit card. Again it's probably more hassle than it's worth for most, but if you like trying to play games to skim off a bit from financial institutions, then it can be amusing for some.

    Any other ideas for skimming a bit off of financial institutions, but that are probably more hassle than they're worth? Credit card sign-up bonuses in HK are paltry compared to sign-up bonuses for many U.S. credit cards, but I guess getting credit card sign-up bonuses even if they're relatively meager can be amusing enough for some. The other issue in HK with credit cards is that they aren't nearly as widely accepted compared to the U.S. and plenty of other places that don't actually like the security issues involving handling lots of physical cash. If you only spend at places that take almost any kind of credit card in HK, then you could probably save a lot more money by changing your spending habits than playing skimming games.

    shri, pin, bdw and 1 others like this.

  2. #2

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    @LoganH - You've caught the bug .. there is no going back.

    nivantj, chuckster007 and bdw like this.

  3. #3

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    HK Cards forum is an absolute wealth of information for this. There are also a few FB groups dedicated to this. Only problem is both the forum and the FB groups are in Chinese.

    Also follow the FT thread for AsiaMiles, loads of information on that one.


  4. #4
    bdw
    bdw is offline

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    I'm glad my legacy lives on and someone has taken over since I left HK 6 months ago now.

    I still have my octopus card with AAVS, HK credit cards, HK bank accounts, a HK mortgage (still have a flat in HK). So yeah my Octopus is totally useless to me here in Australia except when I want to play a little bit of "screw the banks" game and suck $500 out of my Octopus card each day (max $4k per month) by beeping it on the back of my phone, then depositing the funds back into my SC mortgage accounts. Reduces my mortgage interest just a tiny bit, interest free cash advance on my credit card, and a few free Asia miles (AAVS reloads are treated as any other purchase)

    shri, LoganH and greenmark like this.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pin:
    FT thread for AsiaMiles
    I'm after cashback or another way of skimming off the top of something like O!ePay as Asia Miles aren't useful to me. I can fly stand-by fairly easily on most airlines, and on the occasion I do need to pay for a full-fare ticket it'll be last minute and probably within the U.S. where it has been difficult to fly stand-by with the worst priority.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pin:
    HK Cards forum is an absolute wealth of information for this.Only problem is both the forum and the FB groups are in Chinese.
    I guess I can try with Google Translate. However, I deleted my Facebook account over two years ago and I refuse to sign up again. I sometimes view Facebook content and deal with the annoying pop-ups to sign-up, but if you have to join a group to see information that's out for me.

    It seems like this forum is the only place to find out about the best little money tricks/games to play with financial institutions in HK. It seems like there is an opportunity to fill in that gap that moneyhero and others just aren't doing well enough in English at least.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoganH:
    I guess I can try with Google Translate. However, I deleted my Facebook account over two years ago and I refuse to sign up again. I sometimes view Facebook content and deal with the annoying pop-ups to sign-up, but if you have to join a group to see information that's out for me.

    It seems like this forum is the only place to find out about the best little money tricks/games to play with financial institutions in HK. It seems like there is an opportunity to fill in that gap that moneyhero and others just aren't doing well enough in English at least.
    Totally , yes agree on this. If only I had the time......

    BTW don't discount the FT Asiamiles thread. While it is mainly focused on Asiamiles there is lots of other information about how to game the system.

  8. #8

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    I've read through a good amount of the Asiamiles thread, but I'm more after gimmicks like the Octopus with AAVS to O!ePay to a bank account to earn 2% on the first 3,000 and 1% on the rest or using Payme once a month with a credit card to add 2,000HKD to Payme and then transfer it a mortgage linked savings account to earn a tiny bit (not really worth it unless you just really want to skim a bit from HSBC, who I feel takes way too much of my money via my MPF account).

    Many HK banks don't want to let me use their express online bank account opening services (I know at least ZA Bank, BEA, and SC explicitly state U.S. citizens can't use their quick online bank account opening service.) I also don't really want to open additional bank accounts in HK as I have to record all of the highest balances of each one on my U.S. Treasury FBAR (FinCEN Report 114) each calendar year.

    So does anyone know of other non-credit card sign-up or bank account sign-up bonuses gimmicks like those I mentioned in my first paragraph? Like any other ways of just moving money around and getting a bit? I'm also not interested in time-deposits as I have a mortgage linked savings account that earns H+1.24 or P-2.9 (whichever is lower) on whatever cash I choose to temporarily keep in there until I can find a better place for it (like a U.S. index tracking fund that has an expense ratio of 0.03% with Schwab).

    I'm now pursuing Chase', Amex's, and Schwab's referral bonus offers with my family (almost all in the U.S.) as there are some pretty attractive referral bonuses (100+USD).

    I'm not trying to increase my spending, but I'm happy to move it around or move my money around temporarily for what I consider a bit of fun that might pay a bit.


  9. #9

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    Would this work with the Citi Cash Back Card? https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/co...TOKEN=CXJSURQA


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckFan:
    Would this work with the Citi Cash Back Card
    It's an okay card that is simple and effectively earns 2% cash back on all purchases, but it doesn't have a sign-up bonus, so for example if you spent 10,000USD with it you'd earn 200USD, but a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 60,000 points (worth at least 600USD) if you spend 4,000USD within the first 3 months of getting the card, 2% on travel and dining, and 1% on everything else, so even if you didn't spend it at all on dining or travel if you spent 10,000USD with the sign-up bonus + 1% - the 95USD annual fee (as far as I can tell Chase won't waive it the first year) = 605USD.

    Capital One's Venture Rewards credit card, which I already have, has the second best sign-up bonus that I'm aware of. If you spend 3,000USD within the first three months you'll get 50,000 bonus miles (worth 500USD) and you earn 2% on everything, so if you spent 10,000USD you'd also get 605USD in rewards (500+200-95(annual fee that no longer is waived in the first year).

    I made a spreadsheet (it's all in USD) of what I have found to be the best U.S. credit cards currently available (you'll need a SSN, an accessible U.S. address, and excellent credit in the U.S.) at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing .

    I'm happy to share my Capital One referral link with you so I can get a 100USD reward via PM (I could split it with you via PayPal, Payme, or FPS, but they'll take ~8 weeks to give me the bonus). Additionally, I haven't added any Amex cards as I didn't find them suiting my wants, but I'm happy to share my Amex referral link via PM if you want to enable me to get a 100USD reward (I'm also happy to split any U.S. Amex reward with you). I don't have a Chase card yet, so I don't have a referral link, but I could get one from a family member and once again split the bonus with you for their Sapphire Preferred card.

    My favorite financial institution is Charles Schwab, and I'm happy to share my referral link via PM, but only you'll get a reward (based on how much you deposit and keep with them for at least 12 months).

    And that wraps up the referral bonuses that I know of that I can currently try to get with U.S. financial institutions I already have some relationship with.
    Last edited by LoganH; 24-06-2020 at 04:43 PM.

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