Cooking up some new brews with your points


This week, Greg cooked up some creative combinations to bring out the best from a couple of interesting deals. Amex also announced their latest concoctions and I’ll admit that they had me at “Aspire”. All that an more in today’s Frequent Miler Week in Review.

A simple Chip & PIN solution for US tourists

If you’ve traveled to Europe, you know that there are situations where a signature-based card just doesn’t work. Or maybe you’ve seen that confused look from a cashier when they go to hand the terminal to you and it prints a receipt without you having to enter a PIN. They then vaguely seem to remember that the US is behind the times and start to search high and low for a pen. Greg found a simpler solution on his recent trip to Europe. I almost tried this on my recent trip, but assumed it wouldn’t work. Silly me!

The Amex war on gaming heats up

The terms they are a changin’. Or maybe not exactly changing, but rather strengthening in tone quite a bit. Amex isn’t exactly hiding their intention to discourage behavior that they don’t like. What will it mean in practice? Time will tell. In the meantime, we know they’ve got their eye on us. Check out the key takeaways from the changes and Greg’s analysis of what they mean for us.

Newbie’s Second Dance


Ben, our newbie-in-the-know, has taken his second at-bat. If only the Dodgers had him on their side this week…Check out Ben’s latest results on the road from zero to credit card hero.

A new ultra-premium card, in-depth review: Amex Hilton Aspire

I honestly don’t remember the last time I was this excited about a new card. This card looks awesome to me. I’ll admit that Hilton has lost a little luster with me (See: Hilton stinks at math: book award nights separately), but I’m still the closest thing to a Hilton fanboy in the miles & points world. I had been debating whether or not to spend for status this year or wait until January (with a baby on the way, I don’t intend many hotel stays in the first quarter of 2018, which would give me time to work on the spend for 2018/2019 status). Now, I’m thrilled to be able to buy Diamond status….and a free night…and a Hilton Resort credit….and an airline credit….seriously, this card looks like a great deal to me. I might be applying for it from the delivery room, but I’m confident that a $250 spa credit will buy my way out of the doghouse. I’m looking forward to this one.

Point alchemy: Turn pennies into United miles (Buy miles for 1.15 cents each)

At what price are you a buyer? In this post, Greg shows you how to mile enough miles to fly just about anywhere you want in business class for a little over a penny a piece. Does that mean it’s a good deal? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder on that. It’s a much better deal than paying the cash price and it’s a lot faster than most other means of generating the necessary points. I might even argue that it’s a pretty darn good deal if you pay a little more per mile and make use of the 7-night cert at one of the best places in the world or within the US. But it’s not for me. It’s fun to think about, but I’ll probably sit this one out.

Easier point alchemy via Choice (buy United miles for 1.1 to 1.3 cents each)

If you’re looking for an even easier potion from which to extract your United miles, Greg’s got another solution for you: Choice points. What I like about this one is that it’s also possible to restock your Choice points each spring during the Daily Getaways (no guarantee it will run again this coming spring), so I’d have no qualms with using up a Choice balance to make this one happen.

Buy Marriott points for 0.7 cents each

When you can buy points for under a penny, there is usually a good play to be found. For a limited time, you can buy at a pretty steep discount. Whether or not that makes sense will depend on your intended use, but it certainly could make sense in the right situations. See this post to find out how to do it the right way to pay as little as possible and you could enjoy a nice discount on your next stay.

That’s it for this week in review at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

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