A card with rewards too good to be true

In November, reader Amit wrote the following on my Contact Frequent Miler page:

Have you seen Dynamics Inc’s ePlate reward program for JetLimo? http://dynamicsinc.com/JetLimo
Seems too good to be true… the program is so confusing that it warrants some investigation. The rewards could be HUGE though.

DynamicsePlate

I spent some time looking at this.  The crazy ePlate card lets you select your rewards earnings by pressing a button on the card.  Most rewards seem lackluster, at best, but the JetLimo rewards seem way too good to be true.

According to the documentation, you can earn a $1,500 flight on a private jet after you spend just $1,250.  That’s less than one trip to CVS for me!  Anyway, I’m 100% sure there’s a big catch to this, but I couldn’t find it in the online documentation.  It may be simply that the reward seats are rarely available and can only be used on chartered flights that are not full?  Maybe once on board you’ll be subjected to the equivalent of a timeshare presentation?  Maybe you have to fly the plane and clean the bathroom?  I have no idea.

The terms & conditions say (bolding is mine):

  • a. If you have a base ePlate™ card, which does not carry the annual Rewards Upgrade Fee, you will earn 1 JetLimo JetSeat credit for every cumulative $50.00 in “Qualifying Purchases” you make.
  • b. If you have an upgraded ePlate™ card, which does carry the annual Rewards Upgrade Fee, you will earn 1 JetLimo JetSeat credit for every cumulative $25.00 in “Qualifying Purchases” you make.
  • c. Once fifty (50) JetLimo JetSeat credits are earned, those credits may be exchanged for a travel voucher for one (1) passenger seat on a private JetLimo business jet. Redemption for passenger seats will not be available until July 1, 2013

So, you need 50 credits to get a seat on the jet.  You can get those by spending just $1250 with the annual fee card or $2500 with the no-annual fee card.  Or, you can essentially purchase enough credits for less than $125:

  • JetLimo JetSeat credits may also be purchased by authorizing an automatic $2.50 purchase to be made after every “Qualifying Purchase” that you make with your Card utilizing the Application. You will earn one (1) JetLimo JetSeat credit through this automatic purchase in addition to the number that you may earn from the underlying “Qualifying Purchase.”

OK, I think I know what the catch is.  You probably get this guy’s seat:

Is anyone brave enough to try this?


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Comments

  1. But how far does $1500 get you on a private jet? When I’ve charted a plane from the Northeast to Florida it’s been ~ $12k one-way. Northeast to Stockholm was ~ $60k.

    So I assume this is either like a seat on a shared plane, LAS-LAX? Or far worse, a $1500 non-combinable *discount* on a $12k flight, so you are out of pocket the rest? Of course I’m speculating without reading any terms and conditions or clicking any of the links here.

  2. Probably no limit to where, rather WHEN. From the terms: The availability of flights varies and only become known after a flight has been chartered but not filled.

    A quick glance at their website shows that flights are scarce as hens teeth. This would be great for somebody looking to just get on a private flight for bragging rights.

  3. This is not a “call us and we will send the jet” private charter like marquisjets….this is sort of a pooled charter setup. The price to charter a jet on a route, cited above, is not a meaningful comp. The credit is for one seat on a plane.

    You post the approximate date and route you’d like to fly on the jetlimo website and if they get critical mass, they run a flight.

    While the planes are nicer than commercial, unless you take the entire plane, you will nearly certainly be paired up in very small surroundings with strangers. Are they cool or not? You won’t know till you board. Plus, recall lavatory facilities on these planes are pretty cosy…you could end up with a stranger who “abuses” the loo!

    Now, the interesting thing would be putting enough spend on the card to buy all the seats on a plane and using this to get your own charter. I don’t know how far $1,500 gets you. Assume you need three units for a seat on a longer flight, and there are eight seats on the plane…that is 24 units of $1,250 spend to get an entire eight-passenger aircraft. That seems interesting.

  4. Good luck redeeming. It is a jet sharing situation, so you can only redeem on a flight that someone is offering.
    I did searching and the only flights I could find were LAX/SFO to LAS.
    If you’re in that area and like Vegas trips, this may be worth your while.
    Sucks for me in ATL (couldn’t find any flights out of atl using their byzantine search tool).
    Worth looking into if I could actually get a flight from my home airport/city

  5. Hi FrequentMiler,
    This is my first time visiting your blog (and I love it!) so please pardon me for posting an out of topic question here since I don’t know where to go to post and if I post to old posting in your blog I am afraid it will get buried with new posts and I don’t get a response. I am pretty new to credit card game so I hope you could please help me with my questions below, I am going to break it down into several points so it’s easier for you to answer each:

    1. What is the best cc for AMEX if I haven’t have any AMEX cc before? Mainly I fly to Asia (Japan, Korea, HK, Singapore) so I would like AMEX card that would allow me to use or transfer my point (at good ratio) to airlines like Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Asiana, and other airlines that fly to Asia.

    2. I saw news about AMEX Gold Premier CC promo that offers 50k bonus points after meet the minimum spending. However I also heard that some people got 75k bonus points upon approval for same cc, can you please let me know how to do this and if you have the link that direct me there it would be great, I would like to use your referral link as a way to say thank you. (fyi I used cardmatch matching program and I didn’t see the AMEX 50k bonus).

    3. Does the free Hilton Gold status still available, if so, can you please point out how to get it?

    4. Also for Chase Hyatt cards, one of the perks is that I will get free Platinum membership status automatically upon approval? does this require me to have or become Gold Passport member prior applying? I never have Gold Passport or membership with Hyatt before.

    If you have any link (either to your blog post related to my questions above or referral links, please let me know, I would love to use it!:))

  6. Can somebody please help me? thank you in advance for your response, frequentmiler!

    Hi FrequentMiler,
    This is my first time visiting your blog (and I love it!) so please pardon me for posting an out of topic question here since I don’t know where to go to post and if I post to old posting in your blog I am afraid it will get buried with new posts and I don’t get a response. I am pretty new to credit card game so I hope you could please help me with my questions below, I am going to break it down into several points so it’s easier for you to answer each:

    1. What is the best cc for AMEX if I haven’t have any AMEX cc before? Mainly I fly to Asia (Japan, Korea, HK, Singapore) so I would like AMEX card that would allow me to use or transfer my point (at good ratio) to airlines like Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Asiana, and other airlines that fly to Asia.

    2. I saw news about AMEX Gold Premier CC promo that offers 50k bonus points after meet the minimum spending. However I also heard that some people got 75k bonus points upon approval for same cc, can you please let me know how to do this and if you have the link that direct me there it would be great, I would like to use your referral link as a way to say thank you. (fyi I used cardmatch matching program and I didn’t see the AMEX 50k bonus).

    3. Does the free Hilton Gold status still available, if so, can you please point out how to get it?

    4. Also for Chase Hyatt cards, one of the perks is that I will get free Platinum membership status automatically upon approval? does this require me to have or become Gold Passport member prior applying? I never have Gold Passport or membership with Hyatt before.

    If you have any link (either to your blog post related to my questions above or referral links, please let me know, I would love to use it!:))

    • Cindy,
      I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! I’ll try to answer here, but feel free to post questions like these in the future on the Contact Frequent Miler page.
      1. You can look for cards that earn either Membership Rewards points or Starwood Points. Both transfer to many airlines. The Starwood card is a good starter card.
      2. Not everyone gets targeted for these offers. Unfortunately, I don’t know any good way to increase chances of getting targeted. Every now and then a great public offer becomes available. In those cases, I’ll update my Best Signup Offers page. So, I’d recommend adding a comment to that page (simply write “subscribe” for example) and check the box that says “Notify me of follow-up comments by email”. That way you’ll know when I’ve added new offers.
      3. There are quite a few ways to get Hilton gold status. Google search for thefrequentmiler mid-tier hotel elite status. You should be able to find my post that lists a number of options.
      4. Yes, you’ll get Platinum status when you signup for the Hyatt card. If you don’t already have a Hyatt Gold Passport account I believe they’ll create one for you.

  7. Where can I find the “Contact FrequentMiler” page? I could not find it. Can you please kindly post the link that direct me to there. Thanks a lot.

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