Over the past seven days, a number of deals have come and gone — but the one that keeps getting better has been the Amex Business Platinum. We’ve written about a number of its positives this week, and it just keeps getting better. Find out why and enjoy some of our other highlights as we recap the top stories this week at Frequent Miler.
After more than a year of investing with Kickfurther, Greg shares his results and a candid look at the shortcomings of the platform. Kickfurther is making big changes — but based on Greg’s review and comments from readers, I have to wonder if it’s too little too late.
Membership Rewards have flat-out taken over as my favorite transferrable currency. The recent addition of the 50% pay with points rebate for Business Platinum holders has produced the opportunity to create your own awards that cost fewer points, aren’t subject to saver availability, and earn miles. At the end of this month, the Business Platinum is being further enhanced with 5x points on airfare — which might turn out even better than it sounds….
I’m far from the only one who has been won over by the Amex pay with points rebate. Greg covers the many advantages of booking with Membership Rewards points, including the ability to choose your preferred flight times and increased upgrade opportunities among some of the benefits mentioned above.
If we haven’t given you reason enough to be excited about the Membership Rewards program, Greg stumbled on a discovery last night that may mean even more value out of Membership Rewards when Business Platinum holders pay with points. If you were happy with the ability to get 2 cents per point in value towards airfare, you’ll be happy to know that it may soon be better than that. I look forward to testing this theory later this month.
Greg offered some early analysis of the changes in the Hilton Honors program following their elimination of award charts. If this was Hilton’s way of saying they were looking to be #1, they chose a funny way to show it. But…………
It turns out that charts, graphs, and statistics can be manipulated to skew facts and present an alternate reality. Who woulda known? It just so happens that the Hilton changes might actually be representing an overall improvement in terms of consistently getting more value for points. Unfortunately, that improvement has meant the loss of most opportunities for outsized redemption. While there are dwindling opportunities to redeem for huge value, my opinion is that Hilton’s generous promotions mean that they remain strongly competitive in terms of earnings on paid stays. And beyond the value of the points is service. Over the past couple of years, Hilton has nailed it on customer service consistently during my stays, while other chains have fallen short. I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel on them!
On the opposite end of the spectrum in award redemptions, Wyndham Rewards brought us the opportunity to redeem points at borderline insane value. While I can’t wait to compare notes between my mansion and Greg’s, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about an award redemption, I have to admit that I don’t “get“ this promotion at all. The hotel loyalty program of Super 8 and Days Inn offered the chance to use their points to rent palatial European estates through Wyndham’s partner, Cottages.com. I’m not sure I see the overlap in target markets, but I’m sure glad I followed Greg’s advice to hoard and cherry pick Wyndham points. I only wish I’d hoarded more. Or searched harder when booking……and found this place:
Frequent Miler’s Extreme Stacking guides have conditioned me to not just look for extra discounts, but to expect them. When I saw Tumi bags on sale at Amazon, I almost ignored it since I know that 20% cash back is regularly available at eBags. But when I realized the Tumi sale was across dozens of retailers, I knew there would be a chance to stack. In this post, I explain how to know whether you’re getting a deal and then how you can put together a nice discount on a specific Tumi product. But the methodology is not limited to Tumi or eBags. Rather, ot can be applied towards many kinds of purchases. The moral of the story is to never settle for one discount when you can stack three or four.
Finally, Alex reminds us this week that someone is looking out for the little guy. Perhaps the most important lesson here is to know when we need help. It’s hard enough to take on a corporate behemoth when the court system makes it a “fair fight”. When arbitration means taking them on in the playground that they designed and being bullied for your lunch money, it’s good to know someone who has read the blueprints and can stand up for your rights.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back for some of the most interesting articles we’ve read around the web and for this week’s last chance deals.