Would you like to get 4x on food? Of course you would. But is it worth $250 per year? This week at Frequent Miler, we gave you a tool to run the numbers on that, the background for how we run the numbers on stuff like the value of TrueBlue points, and how to extract great value by stacking Hilton’s policies with a great credit card benefit. All that and more in our Frequent Miler Week in Review to follow.
The new Gold Card from American Express is clearly a hot topic of discussion. I’m not going to lie, I’m personally pretty darn excited about 4x restaurants & groceries. While we eat at restaurants much less often than we did before adding Baby Rey to our family, I’ll still earn a healthy bit of 4x there…and 4x on groceries speaks for itself — at least, it sure speaks to me. But if you’re not sure that adding a $250 card to your portfolio is a wise spending decision, check out this post for a pretty easy formula to evaluate the value of keeping this card in your wallet: just plug in the numbers and crunch them for yourself. One thing I noted in the comments that the formula misses is Amex’s frequent transfer bonuses. With the current 40% transfer bonus to Avios, it’s like earning 6.4 Avios per dollar on US restaurants and US Supermarkets (up to $25K spend, then 1x). So when you finish the formula, keep in mind that your numbers could even be more compelling if you take advantage of a good transfer bonus down the road.
We don’y typically include Quick Deal posts in week in review, but with all of the discussion of the Gold card, I thought it was pertinent to include that you can easily do better than the standard offer on this one by making friends. See the post for details.
I had a heck of a time looking for a valid price match guarantee this week. I did have another successful one on a booking I made last month — and by stacking Hilton’s price match guarantee and the 4th night free, I’m getting about 50% off on my room. See this post for the numbers on that, especially if you have a Citi Prestige card.
We maintain a list of Reasonable Redemption Values to give you as objective an idea of what to expect from your points as possible. Note that our valuations are based on what you can reasonably expect without much effort to maximize. Our JetBlue valuation needed updating, and Greg explains how he went about re-calibrating the numbers. One thing I didn’t appreciate about Frequent Miler before I worked here was how much effort Greg puts into valuing things in ways that are measurable and accurate rather than subjective and idealistic (whenever possible), and this post gives you some insight into that.
I recently wrote about the advantages of Membership Rewards over Ultimate Rewards, so it was time to turn the tables and look at it from the other angle. I have no plans to stop earning Ultimate Rewards any time soon, and here are nine advantages to URs over MRs.
Do you remember a time when you weren’t connected to the Internet 24/7 — a time when you relaxed and went on vacation without needing to upload photos to Facebook, check the score of the game, or respond to an email? Yeah, me neither. So how do you stay connected? Some people swear by finding free Wi-Fi. I use my phone way too much for that (and as Greg notes in the comments, I often use my phone to decide whether or not I should be walking into that restaurant across the street advertising free Wi-Fi based on the reviews I find about the food). Like more and more people these days, I enjoy the flexibility to work while traveling — which both allows me to travel more than I otherwise would and requires me to be connected / working sometimes while traveling. Greg has been exploring options for this and has settled on trying out Project Fi. I’m interested to see his results. I also considered Project Fi before I switched to T-Mobile, but ultimately didn’t because, Sprint. But then, I didn’t consider T-Mobile for years based on my outdated notion of the coverage map, so I do know a thing or two about incorrect assumptions. I look forward to the 6-month update on this post.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.