They say that even a broken clock is right twice a day. In today’s Frequent Miler week in review, we look back at some guesses going forward and our other top stories here at FM. Are our forecasts well-founded, or do we need to get the crystal ball re-calibrated? Time will tell….
When I tell friends outside “the hobby” about perks of some of my credit cards, there is an inevitable reaction of disbelief. “Wait…so the 4th night is free on every hotel booking?” “You have Gold status without spending a single night in a hotel?” “A credit card concierge stalked Alinea’s Twitter account to help get you the kitchen table as soon as they released new bookings?” “You paid the same rate that I did for this hotel, but you got breakfast for 2 and a $100 property credit?” — and those questions are always laced with a bit of healthy skepticism. And it makes sense — if it sounds too good to be true……well, you know. In this post, Greg channels his inner Nostradamus to examine some of the best credit card perks that might be living on borrowed time. Get them while the gettin’ is good. You never know when one of these benefits may die . . .
And he said he didn’t have a crystal ball…..Move over, Miss Cleo. On Tuesday, Greg predicted that the US Bank FlexPerks card would kill 3X charity. Aaaaaand….they did. OK — in fairness, perhaps they killed this for new cardholders even before he wrote about it (though he didn’t realize it if they had). No email, no announcement….just a quiet change in the online list of benefits for new cardholders. It sounds like a similar change is on the docket for existing customers. I’m not sure whether Altitude Reserve cardholders should be emboldened by how long this generous 3X category lasted or concerned that US Bank seems poised to chop a popular benefit while giving only 6 months advance warning (or less). Either way, this benefit was certainly terrific while it lasted (and it isn’t over, yet!). If I were predicting, I’d say that the way they handled this benefit overall bodes well for 3X on mobile payments with the Altitude Reserve.
Mother’s Day is coming. Birthdays are coming. Summer BBQ’s are coming. I predict you’re going to need a gift or two, but you want to save a bundle on buying them. Am I right? This prediction thing might not be so tough after all. Read on for information about how to pay less and get more.
Greg summarized the final days of Daily Getaways 2017, including the one “real deal” that was left to come. That would have been the Marriott gift cards at 20% off this past week (and as predicted, they sold out very quickly). So that’s that — it’s a wrap. No need to look at the Daily Getaways site again. No no no no — there’s nothing left to see. Hyatt points on Wednesday? Or is it Thursday? What Hyatt points? Look away. Have an extended lunch. There. Is. Nothing. To. See. Here.
Greg lays out the math to make the case for who should get and keep the Altitude Reserve card. My only question is whether or not US Bank is going to let customers spend up to the necessary thresholds to remain in that group. Actually, based on Greg’s math, I think it’s possible that this card could work out very well. But as mentioned by a commenter on one of our posts, I’d almost rather see US Bank provide a cap on 3X spending. I think the spending benchmarks laid out in this post would probably fit under the cap, and a limit would help us know where the ceiling is without breaking through it (and getting shut down). Time will tell. With the first batch of cardholders just getting started, we should have some data points in the coming months as to how much is too much when it comes to taking advantage of this card’s most valuable benefit.
Would you like to fly 2 people for nearly 16,000 miles and collect redeemable miles for both of them based on distance flown while paying for only 1 of the tickets? Sound too good to be true? Well, friends — read on. While credit card perks come and go (and many could be here today and gone tomorrow), one benefit that I think will hang around for the foreseeable future is the Alaska Airlines companion certificate. While most people in the miles-and-points space are probably familiar with the fact that this perk exists, some may be surprised at just how valuable this benefit can be. Check out this take on one of my favorite credit card perks.
Loyalty program status levels exist for one key reason: to drive irrational behavior. There is no other explanation as to why I chose to spend nearly a month of my life in Hyatt Places last year — I wanted that free breakfast at the Andaz Maui. But some airline and hotel statuses come with meaningful benefits like excess baggage, lounge access, and priority boarding. If you can get those benefits for free (or close to it) that seems like a solid deal. The hunt is on. Whether you’ve found a way or want to float your ideas, give us a shout in the comments with your thoughts on putting together a status match to keep Star Alliance Gold.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Read on for this week around the web up next.