Are the golden days of credit card rewards over? What do you need to know about those crazy Cathay fares? Can you load up your Starbucks account to use up your foreign change before you come home? Answers to some of those questions and more in this week’s Frequent Miler week in review around the web.
Did you get in on those crazy Cathay Pacific business and first class fares? I’m embarrassed to admit that pessimism got the better of me and I missed out because I didn’t expect it would be honored. If you were smarter than me, you’ll want to check out this post from One Mile at a Time with key tips you need to know. A few years ago, I was in Saipan and had just finished packing my bags to head to the airport for my flight to Vietnam when it dawned on me that Americans probably need to get a visa for Vietnam…and I hadn’t done that. Thank goodness the Hyatt had availability for another night (8K points was much better than the $330+ cash rate) and that the United agent I called that night took pity and waived the change fees to route my itinerary through a country I could actually enter. Avoid that kind of silly mistake with some good tips in this post. (I’ve since been to Vietnam and I look forward to getting there again!)
I gave up on subscribe & save years ago because of some shipments that changed in price before they shipped the first shipment, so I was surprised to see this new post from Doctor of Credit. I had long assumed this to be Amazon’s practice and I wasn’t interested in monitoring whether or not I got charged the price I agreed to pay. Whether this is old news or the new normal, it’s worth being aware that Amazon subscribe & save is a convenience rather than a money-saver.
Are you going to visit Japan? Would you like to catch live sumo wrestling? On my first trip to Japan, I didn’t think about this until it was too late. I have another trip to Japan booked this year, and this post from The Travel Sisters reminded me that this was something I’d really hoped to see this time around….except I once again didn’t plan it out right to catch a tournament. Doh! If this is an experience that interests you, it isn’t hard to plan a trip at the right time if you read this post.
Are the golden days of credit card rewards over? This long form article (a surprisingly accurate look at the credit card rewards space compared to what you’ll often find in major media) would have you believe the banks are pulling back. In some ways, that is surely true: from 5/24 to 2/3/4 to lifetime language and more, there are a lot of limitations today that didn’t exist three or four years ago. On the other hand, the Citi Prestige began offering 5x at restaurants and on flights yesterday. Amex retooled a card late last year to offer 4x at US Supermarkets on up to $25K per year in purchases. Capital One recently launched a 200K welcome bonus. If this is pulling back, it certainly isn’t all doom and gloom. But this was nonetheless an excellent read with lots of interesting nuggets — including the fact that Chase was in fact considering an end to points pooling, a rumor we reported months ago.
Here’s a silly little tip from British blog Head for Points that I wish I’d have known about sooner! While I’m not sure if this works in reverse with the listed countries, I’d be very curious to find out where else you can go to Starbucks and load up your account with the spare change you have leftover from your trip in that country. If anyone has tried this abroad recently, I’d love to hear where you’ve been successful. I like to collect a little foreign currency from every country I visit, but I’ve come back with more than I’d like more than once and will try this out next time.
That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.