Living with credit, Rewards

WikiLeaks unearths top Clinton aide’s card offers

Tony Mecia
WikiLeaks unearths top Clinton aide's card offers

Tens of thousands of emails stolen from one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides are pulling back the curtain on the way Washington works. But they are also showing how the nation’s top political operatives are like the rest of us: They receive junk email about credit cards.

The most famous emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta released in the last month by WikiLeaks reveal how the Clinton team used bare-knuckled political strategies to win the Democratic nomination. But less-publicized emails released by WikiLeaks feature pitches from marketers with subject lines such as, “John, Hurry Your Reward Expires in 3 Days!” and “Congratulations John, You’ve Earned a Reward of $20.35!”

Of the 43,000+ Podesta emails released as of Wednesday morning, 251 mention the term “credit card.” Some are just receipts for items purchased, such as a baby stroller from Amazon. Some are policy discussions about the Credit CARD Act of 2009, which imposed new rules on credit and debit cards.

But dozens of the emails are marketing efforts by credit card companies or reward programs. The biggest emailer in this category seems to be United Airlines’ MileagePlus frequent flier program, which showered him with offers to “Enjoy priority security lanes with Star Alliance Gold Track,” “Shop great products for less with our Labor Day and Back-to-School sales” and to “Enjoy a free drink and snack on us,” among dozens of others.

Podesta also received offers for at least four credit cards, the emails reveal. There are marketing emails explaining the virtues of the Chase United MileagePlus card, the American Bar Association Visa card by Bank of America, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards card and the Clean Water Action Visa (offered by Capital One in 2011 in an email, now offered by Beneficial State Bank). There are also emails about the reward program connected to a Comenity Sports Authority credit card.

The Clinton campaign has accused Russia of hacking the emails and passing them on to WikiLeaks in an effort to hurt her campaign and to aid rival Donald Trump. Campaign officials have largely declined to say if the hacked emails are real or fake.

But to those of us who wind up on the email lists of banks and retailers, these emails, at least, appear legit.

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