Quick miles bites for the 4th

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Happy 4th of July!  Today I’ll present a bunch of unrelated miles & points related news bits, advice, and more…

Platinum cardholders: Call Amex when booking international premium flights

The Amex Platinum card no longer offers free-ish companion tickets for full fare international business and first class tickets.  Instead, they now offer something much more useful: discounted premium international fares.  Unfortunately, there’s no way to find out online if they have discounts available, so I recommend calling when you need a flight and then compare Amex rates to those found elsewhere.  For complete details, see the International Airline Program Amex site: iap.americanexpress.com (note that I get an error page when I browse to this directly, but it works when I view via incognito mode).

Earn extra rewards at Amazon.com, Whole Foods, Uber, Walmart, and more with the Drop App

This can’t possibly last long, but for now an app called “Drop” is offering automatic rewards when you spend with a number of popular merchants.  You simply link your credit card account, select the merchants you like, and wait for the rewards to roll in. You do have to trust them with your bank log-in info, though!  Also, I fully expect Drop to drop like a rock at any moment. If you go for it, make sure to cash out your rewards (in the form of gift cards) as soon as possible.  If you’re interested in rolling the dice with Drop, click here for my referral link.

Setup your Air France account now

Via a personal conversation with Matthew Klint of Live and Let’s Fly, and the Award Expert booking service, I learned that Air France has continued to shut down accounts of those who create accounts and immediately transfer in points in order to book awards.  Apparently this happens when you book awards online, but not over the phone.

Regardless, one easy way to protect yourself is to create your Air France Flying Blue account right now so that it will be available when you need it.  Air France is a transfer partner with… nearly everyone: Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and SPG.

While you’re at it, setup your Iberia account too and transfer in a few points to activate the account.  That will make it possible for you to move points between British Airways and Iberia as needed.  True, you might never need to do so, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

When will Citi step up their premium card game?

Citi is set to drastically reduce the benefits that the Citi Prestige card offers after July 22  (details here).  This is at a time when competition in the premium card market has heated up dramatically.  I can’t believe that we’re weeks away from the big downgrade and haven’t yet heard a peep from Citi about features that they’ll add to make up for the losses.

Anyway, Doctor of Credit says that new benefits may kick in on July 17th.  I’m betting on 1.5 cents redemptions towards travel in order to stay competitive with the Sapphire Reserve and Altitude Reserve.  And I’m hoping that they’ll match the Citi Premier card’s 3X categories.  We’ll see!

How much does Fairmont pay for those credit card free nights?

$99 per night apparently.  After my recent stay at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, the front desk agent accidentally emailed me the folio that was intended to be sent to Fairmont corporate to reimburse my free nights.  The folio showed $99 room charges plus $14.03 in taxes per night.

How to find discounts on 1-800-Flowers free shipping plan?

Visit this site for Celebration Passport discounts and/or free trials: www.1800flowers.com/promo-codes.

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