The worth of your wallet, hacks for status and value, and more


This week at Frequent Miler, we opened with a couple of simple hacks to Delta status and closed out with figuring out which cards to hack out of your wallet after year one. In between you’ll find out how to spend more while spending less and how you can eke slightly better value out of your JetBlue points. Read on for this week’s recap.

Toward Delta Elite Status: Short on qualifying dollars (MQDs). What to do…

We’re heading in to the home stretch on 2018, which means that some readers will be scrambling to find a couple of last-minute mileage runs to bring them over the hump for next year’s elite status. It might be even easier than you think — in this post, Greg covers how you might be able to reach the next level without much effort and potentially position yourself for another year of easy elite status to come.

Contemplating which ultra-premium card(s) to keep

credit card customer service

How many ultra-premium credit cards (those with annual fees of ~$350+) do you keep year after year? My answer: more than I can justify. This post was my effort to examine some of the (very expensive) credit cards in my current collection and decide what should stay and what should go. If you had asked me to answer without thinking, I can almost guarantee a completely different result than after I put some numbers to benefits in terms of how much they mean to me.

Increase credit card spend (and get most of it back). What still works September 2018?


The landscape is always changing when it comes to spending without spending much. In addition to our Manufactured Spending Complete Guide, we periodically update you on the changes: what’s new, what died, and what we’ve learned anew. See this post for the most recent installment.

Marriott publishes the new rules re: point transfers, suite upgrades, etc.. (finally!)

Well, shoot: Marriott went and improved its Platinum upgrade policy. And no, I don’t just mean by actually putting their new policies in writing, though that’s certainly a big improvement in and of itself. Greg has the scoop on the new rules — read all about the good, the bad, and the upgrades.

A JetBlue stacking opportunity hiding in plain sight?

Sometimes, opportunities to get very good value are hiding under your nose, and this example certainly fits the bill. This post is about a stacking opportunity that had escaped both Greg and me. Some people thought we shouldn’t have published it for fear that it will kill the deal. That’s certainly not our intention — we discussed that before deciding to write a post on this, but the truth is that this is a pretty niche play. It’s going to appeal to those who want to (and can) get two JetBlue credit cards and then it’s going to offer as much as a little over 2 cents per point — meaning that it doesn’t beat the best cash back options for everyday purchases, nor does it beat the cards with the best category bonuses in each of the bonus categories. It isn’t far off, which makes it an interesting play for JetBlue enthusiasts — but it doesn’t have the mass appeal of, say, fee-free Visa gift cards at Staples (ends today!). If Chase hasn’t yet killed 5x at office supply stores, I’d be surprised to see this opportunity die.

Your turn: Which Ultra Premium Cards are Keepers?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While we certainly make an effort to assign reasonable value to tangible credit card perks when creating comparisons, the truth is that value is inherently personal. Is a Tag Heuer watch worth $1,000? Not to me…but I was glad it was to the last person I sold one to on eBay. On the other hand, I would gladly use some of that money to buy a pair of these….if my wife would let me. But I know she won’t find them worth the cost of admission. My point here is that the value of any particular credit card perk is subjective. Greg made an awesome spreadsheet to help you assign your subjective values to determine whether or not to keep a particular card — and he makes a good case as to why you shouldn’t value most perks at close to face-value.

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.

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