Naughty & Nice in review, MSing in volume, & don’t forget to tie up your loose ends

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In this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air, we review our naughty & nice lists, debating whether Marriott really has been naughty this year, why AA shutdowns didn’t make our naughty lists, and more. This week’s reader question (at the end of the broadcast/podcast) was about volume MS, which we tackle in general terms and with some of the necessary caveats. Watch, listen, or read on for this week in review.

FM on the Air Podcast

For those who would rather listen during the morning commute or while you’re working, the audio of our weekly broadcast is also available for download as a podcast on all of your favorite services, including:

You’ll also find us on Spotify and hopefully your other favorite platforms. If you’re not finding the podcast via your favorite source of good podcasts, send us a message and let us know what you’d like us to add.

On to our weekend recap of the week’s top stories:

Closing out the year:

Frequent Miler’s 2019 Naughty & Nice List

The post that inspired this week’s Frequent Miler on the air, read all about our naughty & nice list in its entirety here, including Stephen’s picks.

End of year checklist: Do these things by Dec 31st

Amex Platinum Checklist

Wednesday marks the dawn of a new decade! Have you completed the annual tasks on your plate to make sure that you trigger all of your end-of-the-year travel credits and transferred the points you need to before year’s end? I’m probably going to move around some Marriott points in my household and rather than wait until next year, I’m going to do it today so that I won’t find myself in a jam of some crazy opportunity presents itself next year.

Nick predicts: 2020 vision

How will the points and miles game change in 2020? What new credit card benefits will be offered, what new credit cards will shake up the space, and more — based on my guesses. One prediction I didn’t make but was mentioned in the comments that I’d love to see is some issuer other than Amex bonusing supermarket spend. Why do Chase and Citi let Amex have the monopoly on the best supermarket cards? I honestly don’t know the answer and would love to see someone challenge for spend in that space.

In loyalty:

Dear Santa, Please Bring These 14 Changes To Hyatt Place

All the power outlets we could hope and dream of at the Hyatt Place Chantilly Dulles Airport South
All the power outlets we could hope and dream of at the Hyatt Place Chantilly Dulles Airport South

I have a love-hate relationship with Hyatt Place. Sure, they’re cookie-cutter, but I like cookies (and they have some delicious ones). Seriously, I love the consistency of the Hyatt Place experience: I know I’m going to get a room with plenty of space (huge when traveling with a young child), I know the common areas will be bright and comfortable, I know breakfast will have the things I want, I know they will have a delicious warm chocolate chip cookie I can order at 2am when I’m working in the lobby and get hungry and a glass of the Canvas Merlot when I’m in the mood for one. I like a Park Hyatt as much as the next award enthusiast, but on an average domestic trip I am more than happy with a Hyatt Place. But what I hate is that they offer nothing for the most loyal customers of the chain and I believe they are still the biggest brand under the Hyatt portfolio. And while there is a lot of consistency, Stephen makes a great point about power outlets. Outlets are one of my most common gripes with hotel rooms. In 2019, it just seems like a basic necessity that a hotel room should have at least an outlet on either side of the bed and in the immediate vicinity of any sitting surface (chain, sofa, etc). Most of the HP properties I’ve stayed at in the past couple of years have been good on this front, but not all. See Stephen’s other gripes and add your own in the comments.

American Airlines SimplyMiles Offering 5x Bonus AAdvantage Miles

SimplyMiles BJ's

I don’t typically include Quick Deal posts in the week in review, but this one is good enough to warrant your special attention — and the bonus ends in a few days. It is well worth pursuing this while you can, especially if you have one of the larger offers availableUpdate: This one is dead as of 12pm PT / 3pm ET on Friday, December 27th. It was alive when I checked it yesterday, but the promo must have been pulled shortly thereafter as purchases after 12pm PT / 3pm ET on 12/27 will not qualify for the 5x promotion according to the new landing page. Bummer.

In credit cards:

Ultimate Rewards Credit Card Travel Insurance

Which Ultimate Rewards cards come equipped with travel insurance? What is covered with each, and when does it kick in? See this post for a comparison complete with easy color-coded visuals.

What is the best credit card?

Beauty is in the eye of the cardholder, but this post tries to tackle the question your friends and family have likely been asking you at holiday parties for the past couple of weeks. I was surprised at Greg’s pick for the one best card not because I think it was a bad pick but because nobody would have expected that pick 18 months ago and many wouldn’t think to include it in the discussion today. That said, I was ready to argue why another of his picks should be #1 in this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air before we decided to go for a naughty & nice review. I look forward to making my argument next week.

In other big news:

[EXTENDED Indefinitely!] $1K Visa Gift Cards w/ $3.95 fee at Simon Malls

This. Is. Awesome. Simon will continue to sell $1K Visa Gift Cards indefinitely. It isn’t the cheapest of cheap MS, but it’s awfully low cost and opens up the ability to do very high volume pretty easily. We talked a bit about liquidating these at the end of this week’s FM on the Air as I’ve recently done my share of them, but be sure to also see this post: Mistakes to avoid with $1K Simon Visa gift cards.


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

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