Welcome to Frequent Miler week in review around the web, where we recap some of the top stories we’ve seen around the net.
Will big data someday be used in evaluating loan and credit applications? This intriguing read from The Science of Us touches on the role of big data in lending decisions and the ethics of its use. Like it or not, big data is all the rage and your online presence is likely to continue to increase in importance. Whether it should or it shouldn’t be considered, I think big data is here to stay.
If you’ve ever actually looked at the pamphlet on benefits that comes with your credit card, you’ve probably seen fringe benefits like this one and wondered how well they work. When I’m booking a trip, I often think about the coverage(s) offered by my cards when considering which one to use. Up until now, the choice for flights has been the Citi Prestige for the generous delay protection benefits. I’ve been tempted to use an Amex Platinum card for 5X, but haven’t been able to justify forgoing the trip delay coverage in order to earn an extra 2X. Gary at View from the Wing shares a story that will have me considering a Platinum card more carefully for future international trips. A situation like this is of course very rare, but great to know that it worked out for this family.
This week, Southwest changed over to a new back end reservation system. That new system is said to bring them into the 21st century with future ability to schedule red-eye flights and overnight connections. However, Jen at Deals We Like covers one big negative change that has come about as a result of the new system: an impact to changed reservations and how they can become non-refundable. If you are a regular Southwest flyer, you definitely want to read this.
Status matches are an interesting ball of wax. On the one hand, they allow a loyalty program to poach the most valuable members from its competitors. On the other hand, they enable savvy travelers to leverage one year of earned status into several years of manipulated status if you play the game right. Jon at No Mas Coach brings us the full scoop on Delta’s newly expanded status match program. I previously matched from the Southwest Companion Pass to Virgin America Gold. That got me Alaska MVP Gold when the programs merged. I only intend to qualify for MVP this year, so I’m on the hunt for a mid-tier match opportunity for my MVP Gold status. Could Delta Gold Medallion be the one? Maybe. The good news is that Delta has not only expanded the number of airlines to which they explicitly match, but they have opened to door to more possibilities. Read the post for more details.
Doctor of Credit brings welcomed news about Venmo payment method limits and how to add a couple more cards if you are currently at the limit in terms of payment methods. While this may not appeal to everyone, there are some who find Venmo a worthwhile tool for liquidating some gift cards. Also remember to be careful what you list as the reason for your payment.
That’s it for this week around the web. Stay dialed in for this week’s last chance deals.