FM Intro: While I’m on vacation, I will be
lazily reposting old classic Frequent Miler posts. Today’s post, originally published November 13, 2011, is a satiric look at a debate that took place between two well known bloggers. At the time, Amex had just dropped Continental Airlines as a transfer partner and, as a result, the value of Membership Rewards points had dropped. The question was, how much had the value dropped…
(note: unfortunately some of the links to Gary’s posts no longer work but I’ve left them in place in case Gary decides to restore those old posts)
Heavyweight travel hackers Lucky and Gary spar over Membership Rewards You probably already read the entertaining blog-post sparring between Gary (View from the Wing) and Lucky (One Mile at a Time). In case you haven’t been following along, you can follow the thread backwards from here or save yourself the trouble and read the following quick summary.
The following is a fictional re-enactment of Lucky and Gary’s duel (intentionally simplified, exaggerated, and made ridiculous):
Gary: Changes to American Express Membership Rewards airline partners have devalued Membership Rewards points. As a result Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards have become a great alternative. I still value MR points, though, so I’ll use my Amex when I can get double or triple points. [Editor’s note: see Gary’s actual post here]
Lucky: Are you kidding me? The only reason MR points are worth more than a bag of dog poo is that you can transfer them to Delta miles (which are worth just a wee bit more than dog poo). You should, instead, buy everything with the Chase Sapphire card. Ultimate Rewards points are worth more than gold! In fact, I’ve been buying dinners and flights for random strangers just to get double UR points. Bam! There, I just bought you a flight to South Africa, and I got double points!
Gary: Lucky, you’re forgetting some of the great options that are still available through MR point transfers. For example, on alternate Fridays during leap years it is possible to get low level business class awards to Prague on Istanbul Airways originating from certain US cities (Topeka and Wichita) with connections in LA, Cleveland, and Havana.
Lucky: Well, yeah, that would be really valuable except that Istanbul Airways now charges huge fuel surcharges and in some cases first born children. Delta poo is better than that.
Gary: Sure you may have to pay fuel surcharges, but you’re just plain wrong about first born children. They actually allow second and/or third born children instead (as long as you have elite status with the airline, of course).
Lucky: Ultimate Rewards are better! Nana nana boo boo! [Editor’s note: this is actually very close to Lucky’s real argument. See the original here]