My Week in Points: July 22-28 – forced into a dining bonus and heading for SFO ice cream

Maybe a summer lull, maybe work was too busy and interfered.

A quiet week on the points front.

Ongoing from last week:

  • UA missing mileage request for SAA flights finally posted, now what about the Swiss flights?
  • Hertz 500 bonus points posted, yeah, another chance to drive the crumbling roads around EWR without laying out a c-note. With a Polish surname it pains me to say that the Pulaski Skyway and surrounds look like Escape from New York really happened.
  • Wife had Michelin star-rated crab and mussels courtesy of the Chase British Airways Visa Signature New York dining credit offer. Gotta get that second stuffing in by 7/31.

US Air:

  • Wife and I both first-time US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard holders. Turns out they automatically enroll new cardholders in their dining program, so we were on the clock for the new member bonus. They DO NOT automatically register for the new member bonus but it can be manually added. We have only one mainstay restaurant that participates: our reviews for Congee Village span every program we have worked through. We still have HHonors, Priority Club, Mileage Plan and Rapid Rewards in our snail’s pace progress.

Delta:

  • Friday afternoon a last-minute trip for Monday to San Jose came up. Anyone who uses Concur for their business travel bookings knows the pain, and I insist on handling my travel (duh!). I nearly reached the number of “this fare is no longer valid” needed for me to smash the monitor. Eventually had to give up on EWR-SJC and take a late JFK-SFO, giving me all day to find a better option with same-day confirmed. Diamond status allows me to swap amongst co-terminals LGA/JFK/EWR and I am hoping that applies to SFO/OAK/SJC. Would rather connect somewhere than go out to JFK.
  • There is decent low award availability up to Prince Edward Island  on the seasonal flight. Booked for late August. Halifax is a little harder but booked a placeholder for mid-September. Trying to find trips wife and I both enjoy, and earn a little marital credit that my “crazy” trips can tap.

Priority Club:

  • That battle with Concur for the last-minute business trip above was nearly as painful for the hotel. Takes forever to get it to show what I want. Lots of hotels sold out or astronomical, booked a Crowne Plaza in Milpitas. It is comical how well I am treated at their overseas hotels all because of a $49/year credit card (no commission link for card info, better offers are easy to come by). Have not been to a US Crowne Plaza, though, perhaps ever.

About that SFO/SJC trip:

  • GQ’s Alan Richman muses on ice cream this month and 3 of his favorites in the US are in San Francisco. See his “The 10 Ice Cream Shops You Need to Visit.” Methinks I shall plump up.
  • A friend from school days in Shanghai is in Milpitas. The cool part of globetrotting is the the people. Not the seats, not the in-flight entertainment, not the suite upgrades. The people.

From the coupon clipping department:

  • Not travel, but FrequentMiler’s Target gift card find landed me a great deal on a TV through the purchase of several e-gift cards at 10% off. Some people hoped to turn the it into a one-day money spinning machine which I felt was going too far; Target wisely did not issue any cards until the following day when the sale was over.
  • If you have a Taret REDCard (credit or debit), as long as you pay some portion of the total with the card, the 5% card discount applies to the entire purchase. Plus free shipping. And if you register for Take Charge of Education they also give 1% toK-12 school you select. I have the debit card since the benefits are the same and I do not want a credit pull for the credit card. Awesome card from a Minnesota company (yes, I am an unrepentant homer).

Credit cards:

  • Citi put out the Hilton HHonors Reserve Card. That’s my referral link. No, I don’t really deserve your application since I haven’t written a darn thing about it, but hey, at least I didn’t SPAM you with the press release. It does seem a good card for certain profiles and I will do a review at some point.
  • Chase launched its Ink Plus. Well, ‘launched’ in the sense of making it publicly available. Not ‘launched’ in the sense of putting out affiliate commissions yet. Expect that to happen this week when an onslaught of posts about it flow forth. Kudos to the credit card bloggers who covered it out of the gate. In a crowded field, that builds reader trust.

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  • I’ve only been to two Crowne Plazas in the US, but wasn’t particularly impressed with either. Nothing wrong with them, but if I was paying out of my own pocket, I’d save the cash and stay at a HIX. Moot point in your situation.

    Looking forward to a PEI trip report, as it seems beautiful, but not sure exactly what to do there. Maybe you can provide some inspiration.

  • Newton

    Planning a trip to Nova Scotia and PEI next fall. Looking forward to your reports on those areas!

  • jackie

    For the target REDCard you mentioned, 5% was only applied to the charge to the REDCard I had, but not the total. How to you get it to work? Thanks.

  • @jackie – this was the first time I tried with mixing in gift cards and it worked for the whole purchase price (gift card portion and REDCard portion) so I assumed that is how it works. I did not do anything special, just made sure a I left some balance that the gift cards could not cover. I will watch it on future orders.

  • jackie

    Thanks for the reply.

    Are you doing it in store or online?

    I asked them to charge some portion to another card in store, so that may be the problem here…Thanks!

  • @jackie – it was online, give that a try.