End of an era: sock-drawered SPG, offers on life support, and more

Welcome to this Frequent Miler week in review around the web, where we recap the week’s main posts here at FM. This week, we witnessed as the SPG card collectively fell out of wallets coast to coast, which coincidentally coincided with the impending doom for Amex Offers. Read more about those stories, get your Marriott/SPG credit card flow chart, and more in this week in review.

A new era for Amex Offers

They lived a long, full life…may they rest in peace. I will cherish some of the memories we shared and promise to feel fortunate to have known you, Amex Offers. But now we must find a way to pick up the pieces and move on. Of course, we’ll still visit now and then and remember you fondly. We’ll tell stories about that 20% back-at-Sam’s Club offer had on all 99 AU cards and reminisce about the “good ole days”. Well….the euology may be a little premature — but things are changing. See this post for how you can hold to the last threads.


Can you change the last name on an award ticket? (Maybe!)

While many programs have terms that state that you can not make name changes on tickets, I ran into my first mistake recently where I had to call and test that out. Fortunately, I found that it is indeed possible to make that kind of change. Doubly fortunate: I caught the mistake in plenty of time, because it took 5 phone calls over several days to get it changed. The moral of the story is this: if the first agent says no, it might be worth calling back and trying again, because it can probably be done. In my case, they said yes every time — it just didn’t turn out to be easy I guess.


It’s time to shelve your SPG card

The SPG card was quite accurately my gateway drug to this hobby — I am sad to see a card that embodied my entry to this hobby relegated to a sock drawer….or worse, the trash can. I still clearly remember the day I was approved for and SPG card and my excitement at the value I knew I could get from Starpoints. Deals come and go with such frequency that I long ago stopped getting emotionally attached, but the SPG card somehow feels different. However, its usefulness has run its course apart from its annual free night, for which I will end up keeping it since my anniversary is coming this month. But the card I once pulled out of my wallet most often has now been permanently pulled from the rotation. See this post for your best alternatives.


A mileage run…on Southwest?

Southwest

I have never been a mileage runner, but the current A-list promotion from Southwest has been considering a flight to nowhere — and not even so much for the benefits on Southwest as for a match to a more useful program. That said, I’m not sure there’s enough in it to make this one worth the time invested. But I reserve the right to change my mind…and for that reason, I’ll book it.


Navigating Marriott’s Byzantine Credit Card Rules

This is absolutely ludicrous. The only thing more complicated than breakfast in the new Marriott scheme is which credit card(s) you can get. When we have to make our own charts to put things in a digestible form for a readership that rapidly devours points and miles, I can’t imagine any of this making sense to the average customer. Obviously, “they” (Chase, Amex, and perhaps to some extent Marriott) don’t want us to get all of the credit cards. But I feel like the average person who travels for work or owns a small business is going to be perplexed as to why they are not eligible for one card/bonus or another — and I could see a lot of average customers who took an upgrade offer given to them being even more upset that this offer the bank made will preclude them from getting another card. This just doesn’t seem customer-friendly to me.


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

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Losingtrader
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Losingtrader

I really like this post and the chart. It shows what happens when anti-competitive forces come into play. This was good work. Question : is the new 35000 point free night just that, or is it like Radisson’s 40,000 points which can be combined with other program points? Same question for IHG. It would be much more palatable and wouldn’t seem to hurt the programs.

PoorChurner
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PoorChurner

Such BS over the anniversary night. If you had SPG card for many years and your card date is before Aug 1 no night award Amex just laughs at you. I know people say ask for retention but what a way to stuff loyal card members.