From the changing fortunes of point valuations to ways to keep cash in your physical pocket and points alive in your digital one, we had an assortment of topics to pique your interest this week at Frequent Miler. In our FM week in review, we recap the top stories of the week. Keep in mind that we also posted some excellent Quick Deals this week that might be worth a peek if you’re still working on your holiday shopping (some may still be alive). Read on for the recap:
What’s a mile worth? The truth is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But we keep a list of reasonable redemption values for the purposes of being able to objectively rank the value of credit card offers. Before I worked here at Frequent Miler, I didn’t realize how much automation was involved in things like our Top 10+ Credit Card Offers page. Did you know that when you look at an individual section of our Best Offers page, the cards are ranked based on first year value considering the signup bonus value and opportunity cost of putting the minimum spend on that card vs a 2.5% cash back card? In other words, if you look at the section of “Chase Airline Cards”, the order in which they are displayed is determined by the value of the offer as determined by a spreadsheet that takes reasonable redemption values into consideration — which is why it’s important to see the method to our madness. In addition, Greg gives his subjective thoughts about current trends.
I often hear people complain about the worthlessness of AAdvantage miles, and my opinion is on the other end of the spectrum. Of course, that’s because my uses just aren’t the same. While I’d be thrilled to once again book Cairo to Tokyo in Etihad first class for 50K miles one-way or business class to Asia on Cathay Pacific reasonably, I know that others would just like to be able to get somewhere within the US to see family for the holidays. As some readers know, my wife and I are expecting our first child in the new year. As fate would have it, both our home airport and the home airport of my parents/sister are on the reduced-mileage awards list…and availability is wide open on the weekend of our due date. I’m definitely glass-half-full on AAdvantage miles — but all that said, I flew American last weekend and didn’t credit my flights to American, so I clearly don’t value them more highly than partners. See Greg’s post to get both sides of the argument.
Newcomers are often confused by the various points currencies and how they can move around both within a family of cards and to partners. In this post, Greg not only covers how to move your points around, he covers what you need to know about when and how your points could expire if you aren’t careful.
It’s easy to get swept up in the Black Friday madness. But the truth is that with some of the right techniques, you can probably get a lot of the savings you see on Black Friday on other days of the year. That said, I disagree with those who proclaim Black Friday dead: I just think you need to adjust where you look if you want to find the kill deals. See this post for some thoughts on how I look at Black Friday and where I’m searching for deals.
So you found a deal you think looks pretty good. But is it? How can you maximize it to eek out every bit of savings possible? Should you buy now, or wait for a better deal on Cyber Monday? See this post for some thoughts on how I measure the quality of a deal and what you can do to get the best combination of portal rewards and price. We posted a number of good deals throughout the day that looked pretty solid based on principles outlined in this post.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for this week around the web and our month-ending last chance deals.