This week at Frequent Miler, we covered a number of easy wins. Whether stacking at Amazon or counting the stacks of credits earned on your Platinum card, we shared some ways to keep on #winning. Here is this week this morning:
Do you shop at Amazon.com? Of course you do — I might as well be asking if you breathe air. Do you like to pay less and/or earn more rewards? Of course you do – that’s why you’re here. Do you like easy wins? Well, if you haven’t yet read the new guide to Extreme Stacking Amazon.com, click the link and get to it — you’ll earn more/pay less. That’s a win in my book.
Before I read this, I had my mind made up: Business Platinum for the win. This week, I booked four one-way business class tickets (in what I expect to be flat bed seats) from Europe to the USA for what I believe will be a grand total of 75,912 net Membership Rewards points thanks to the pay-with-points 50% rebate. Compare that to the 70,000 points per person that it would cost if I found saver availability with United or Delta miles (or maybe even more now with Delta). That’s more than a 200,000 mile/point difference in total. It wasn’t just a big win to me, it was yuge. That said, the outstanding value of the perks of a Platinum card were what drew me in and kept me before the pay-with-points rebate existed. But if I had to live in a world without a Business Platinum card (the horror!), the Ameriprise Platinum might be my pick. This I know for sure: of the many flavors of the Platinum card, our taste-test will help you pick your winner.
Did you know that there was another Morgan Stanley Amex in addition to the Morgan Stanley Platinum card? I did — but if you asked me on Monday what the category bonuses were, I’d have had nothing for you. By Wednesday, it was on my list of “Cards I don’t have, but should.” I could see this card getting a heavy workout in my household between 2x dining and 2x department stores. In fact, I could see this card becoming my favorite no-annual-fee card on the market. I’ve got rough plans for other cards I need first for one reason or another — but if this is still available come early 2018, it might win a slot in my wallet.
Have you ever sat down at the computer and just marveled at the way technology seamlessly integrates complex systems to provide fingertip access to everything you could possibly want with the stroke of a keyboard or click of a mouse? If yes, you have had an experience that I fear zero people in the IT department at United have ever known. Booking anything more complex than a simple one-way can be a real exercise in frustration these days at United.com — but with some persistence and a knowledge of some of the routing rules, you can get more distance out of your miles. I won’t say it’s easy. Heck, after the time I spent on the phone, I won’t even call it a win. My wife sure wouldn’t call it a win since her seat on the Lufthansa flight didn’t even work, a tidbit I initially forgot to mention in the post (but have since added). Maybe my loss is your gain?
Ever kind of wanted something for your trip, but couldn’t justify the expense of it because you wouldn’t use it much afterwards? Here, we turn the rent-to-own business model on its head by looking at buying something for short-term use and then selling it for a small loss (look at it as your “rental” cost) or maybe even a small profit if you snag the right deal. Combine this with the Extreme Stacking Amazon post and you could outfit yourself with all the latest gear for your trip and maybe even have a small win when all is said and done.
While we don’t normally include short-term deals in the week in review, there were some excellent airfare deals still available as of late Friday night that might be of interest to some readers. Two real winners in my book were of course TAP Portugal for $408 one-way or $775 round trip in business class (Europe to the US) and NY to Barcelona in Aer Lingus economy class for $291 round trip. But we also have deals for readers based in or willing to position to DC, Vancouver, and Toronto as well. While some may be dead by the time you read this, many have been alive longer than I expected and may still be kicking. Worth a look!
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Heads up for the week in review around the web and last chance deals still to come.