Quick Amex Financial Review, what status you should [not] go after, and more

This week around the net, we’ve got a look at why you should answer the phone when Amex Financial Review calls, awards that can now be booked online, and several looks at hotel status that should give you food for thought on your 2019 status plans. Read on for the Frequent Miler week in review around the web.

I’m Spending Too Much?!? How I Survived My American Express Financial Review

Shawn at Miles to Memories recently got the dreaded call and it sounds like a good grilling about his spending and business. However, his outcome shows it’s not all doom and gloom and that the person who calls has more power than you might think, so it’s a good idea to answer that call.


Hilton Diamond status: more like cubic zirconia, amirite?

While I’ve been happy with Hilton Diamond status and can’t really imagine a world in which I’d cancel the Aspire card with its current set of benefits, Windbag Miles provides a counterpoint. And he’s not totally wrong in that Hilton Gold status is strong enough that Diamond status isn’t a compelling benefit of the Aspire card but rather an added perk. One of the things I value about Diamond status is automatic lounge access. I usually end up staying at a Hilton with a lounge a few times per year and I like knowing I’ll have access. I’ve also twice been offered a 6pm checkout when I’ve needed it and I’ve had better success with suite upgrades than with other chains (including Hyatt when I was a Globalist), so my experience differs quite a bit from ye ole Windbag, but i recognize that his points are relevant for many out there and balance out my love of Hilton / the Aspire for those on the fence and looking for the other side of the coin.


American Makes It Official – Qatar Airways, Air Tahiti Nui & SriLankan Redemptions Available Online

American now shows availability for several more partners online. Whether that’s good or bad depends on whether you like convenience or prefer making it harder so that novices won’t find the seats you want. I’d say this is good for most people — however, Adam from Point Me to the Plane (and Juicy Miles) points out that just because the flights show up online doesn’t make the tool accurate. See what you need to know about how to make sure you’re finding the seats you need.


The Best Hotel Elite Status for 2019

In what brand’s bed should you lay your head in the new year? No Mas Coach tackles that question with a look at what it takes to get status with each of the major programs and whether or not it is worthwhile. However, I’d argue that they are making a fundamental mistake in the conclusion: if they already have top-tier status in two chains, they should be leveraging that status to get the benefits they’ve earned rather than focusing on starting from scratch with a third program. I think a lot of people waste time and money both chasing status in too many programs and in forgoing the benefits they invested the time and money in getting in other programs while they chase another elite status. Hyatt status is great — but if you have a friend who is already invested in it, you don’t really need to have it the way the current program runs. And beyond that, there’s this next post below…

Why I’m Not Chasing Hyatt Hotel Elite Status, and What I’m Doing Instead

I got a great upgrade to this premium suite at the Park Hyatt New York as a Globalist by luck — but now you can book premium suites on points.

Emily at Million Mile Secrets explains the other reason why I’d say that there’s not a lot of reason to be loyal to Hyatt unless it’s super convenient. Now that anyone can book premium suites at Hyatt properties on points, the appeal of Globalist status comes down to how much you value breakfast and free parking. As someone who visits New York City a few times per year, parking can really add up — but I’d have to stay a lot of nights for it to add up to more than the cost of 60 nights in Hyatt hotels — and all the extra gas I’d waste driving to a Hyatt Place that’s 30 miles from where I really need to be on at least half of those nights.


That’s it for this week around the web. Next up: 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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Jordan (Windbag Miles)

“Ye ole”… love it.

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Re: Hyatt status – as someone with no Hyatt status, I was excited about the ability to book suites with points but having already been rejected a couple of times calling into Hyatt to try book suites, it remains unclear how much inventory is being set aside for these point upgrades. If it’s very limited inventory, which has been my experience so far, then I’m guessing it won’t affect globalist upgrades at all. Time will tell…