Welcome back to our Weekly Summary Series where we review the stories that were covered throughout the previous week.
If you are a regular reader of the blog, you will have noticed that the last couple days have been silent here. Not by desire in any way! I have a bunch of posts in the (mental) hopper but they are pretty time consuming to do and I ran out of time last week to get them done. That was because we were wrapping up our trip to the US, getting medical checkups done, last minute buying and packing of personal items, and saying goodbye to friends and family. Last night, we returned to…
When it comes to airport lounges, I enjoy them. I don’t love them – I just enjoy them. I enjoy being able to have a quieter area that somewhat removes the hustle and bustle of the airport scene. I enjoy being able to get free food (even if it is only carrots, celery sticks, and Biscoffs) and drinks. I enjoy the free internet, the more comfortable seating, the cleaner bathrooms, the rest areas, and the lounge agents that can help with airline problems. All of those things make the travel scene a little bit nicer and easier.
There is a lot of talk right now about the American Express SPG card as it is in the middle of the annual increased offer of 30,000 Starpoints. It is a fine card to get and one everyone should have at some point in their point collection because the Starpoints are extremely valuable – even beyond hotel stays. However, since American Express has cut the ability of cardmembers to get the bonus on cards more than once (see this post for details about this policy), each customer can only get the bonus from the SPG card once per lifetime.
With American Express ending the churnability of their cards a couple of months ago, point earners who have hit all the big cards have been searching for the next way to earn big bonuses again. The good news is that Chase has relaxed on the bonus terms on some of their cards!
This is part of the Amex Sync Offers program for this period. This started at the beginning of the month but I just realized that I had not mentioned it as of yet! I say targeted because there are many people who do not see this offer in their Amex accounts. It may also be because it appears only for supermarket purchases in CA, NY, NJ, and CT. Fortunately, I was in NY and had it on my account so I took full advantage of it. Here are some ways to really maximize this promotion.
July 4th is just around the corner and it is definitely a big holiday for traveling! If you will be traveling this Independence Day weekend (or would like to), here are some races in cities you should definitely check out.
The news is out that the bonus on the Southwest Airlines card is going down from 50,000 Rapid Reward points after June 30th. The good news is that the bonus is actually going to be around until at least August 31. The even better news is that you can earn 5,000 points yourself for each person you refer and is approved!
If you are like many other US-based point users, you have been excited about the possibilities that opened up with the addition of US Airways to the Oneworld Alliance. One of the main reasons for that excitement was the opening of several airports to the distance-based British Airways Avios redemptions. A short-haul (< 650 miles) one-way booked with British Airways Avios can be had for only 4,500 Avios. That means a round-trip of the same distance will only require 9,000 points – 16,000 fewer than both American Airlines and US Airways would charge for the same ticket!
The question of cash vs credit is very easy to answer when it comes to most items. I cannot tell you how many times I have been behind someone in line at a store like Best Buy and watched someone pull $2,000 out of their pocket to pay for a television. I just stand there thinking about the points they let slip away as well as the extra protection offered by credit cards (with warranty and price protection). I understand that, for some people, it is better for them to use cash and lose out on points than to use a credit card that they cannot control themselves with – and that is not what I am talking about with this.
Club Carlson is running another flash sale that ends tonight at 5:29PM EST. With this flash sale, you get a 75% bonus on purchased points. Club Carlson Flash Sale purchase link For Club Carlson Points (I do not receive a commission for this link) Until 5:29PM EST today, you can buy Club Carlson points at the regular rate of .7 cents per point and then receive a 75% bonus on the points you purchase. You can purchase up to 40,000 points (and receive a 30,000 point bonus) in a calendar year. The total cost for the maximum of 70,000 points is $280. It is always a sticky thing to buy points for travel. However, there are some cases where it can make perfect sense.
I have come to take expiring credit card offers with a grain of salt. Sure, they all expire at some point, but the truth is that they (almost) all come back to that level at some point and sometimes, the issuer even extends the limited-time offer. So, I mention that this card’s increased offer expires soon, but that does not necessarily mean you should rush to apply for it. Let’s see what it does have to offer and then whether you should get it or not.
All-inclusive resorts are fantastic places! It combines a hotel room with restaurants and activities all for one total price. Where you might normally just pay for a hotel room, paying the same (in a different place) or more gives you all the food you could eat as well as many activities. I stayed at my first all-inclusive resort with my wife a few years ago for our fifth anniversary and really enjoyed it. We did another recently, a Hilton, and it renewed my appreciation for them yet again!
US Airways has sent out an e-mail to targeted users (which may just be all US Airways credit card holders as I do not know anyone that did not receive the e-mail) that there is a bonus offer tied to spending on the card. US Airways has normally given out spending offers for cards that had been somewhat dormant in use. These offers were things like spending $500/$750 per month for three months to earn 10K/15K bonus miles. Those were great offers!
I had heard about this a couple of years ago (and many stories from a few months ago) and glad to see that some places are beginning to put this out in a trial manner. The advent of the smartphone hotel key is here and hopefully gets wide acceptance over the next few years.
Today only, you can receive $40 off of hotel bookings of $100 or more when using the Travelocity app (for iOS or Android). There is a whole list of hotels (and chains) that are not applicable with this code, but there are still some great places to find. I did some searches internationally and domestically and found some pretty good deals! Also, though the terms say for US customers only, I went through the process (but not booking) from Europe for an international hotel and it removed $40 from the price.
At Sears Sears and United are having a one day only increase on miles earned through the United shopping portal. It is up to 9 miles per dollar. Per Frequent Miler (and the terms of this offer) gift cards do count for mileage earning! This means that you could buy a Sears gift – earn the 9 miles per dollar – and then go back through the United portal to buy what you actually want – and earn another 9 miles per dollar.