My Week in Points August 12-18: milevalue blog continues to amaze

I am trying to limit my time spent per day on the miles and points hobby because I need to focus on 1) day job, 2) blog, and 3) actual travel. Wife revises this to 1) wife, then other misc.

Yet I may need to block a day to go back to March 26 and re-read every post of milevalue to date. The detail is overwhelming at times which is why my bookmarks have built up, but that detail is overwhelmingly useful. I am a United newbie, been looking at a simple redemption to Newfoundland. All the fees have frustrated me and the MileagePlus Explorer card is useless in this case (I like that card for rental car primary collision damage waiver but little else). His posts this week on saving on United award cancel fees and last minute award bookings are just what I needed, with a bonus post on United Miles and Avios in Asia.

No blog I have seen comes anywhere close to churning out this quality of how-to posts. And they are about ACTUAL TRAVEL, not just credit cards and coupon clipping, No idea how he finds time to put these together day after day. Readers like me benefit big.

Targeted Offers:

Points, Miles & Martinis continues to develop a niche in targeted offers for which I am not targeted and hence intensely jealous, from the Delta SkyBonus 1 flight bonus to the awesome Hilton Gold + bonus point offers. Next time I take him to dinner I will make sure he is targeted for the check.

I was finally feeling victorious with a 10k survey bonus for Delta SkyBonus until Delta Points three-upped me with 30k.

Club Carlson:

Not a rationally justifiable use of time, but I am daily logging in for the next few weeks to earn 100 points/day. This first picturebook includes the Park Inn Muscat, Oman where I collected my summer 44k bonus.

Priority Club:

I try to have one business stay a quarter to rake in all the bonuses. My stay at the Crowne Plaza Milpitas, CA netted a haul similar to that pictured on Loyalty Lobby. The post links to many current quarter and ongoing bonuses. Sign up for all and open your statement after a stay like a Christmas present.

National:

One Two Free is back. At my new job I can choose between Hertz and National. I can’t understand the Hertz program and it’s many free and pay levels. Each of my recent rentals with them the cars were old and not even a MP3 capable CD player. National is a great rental experience and the promo is great when available. Both are generally too expensive for me to consider for leisure.

Debit Cards:

Catching up on the ruckus over debit cards. The ‘bloggers ruining everything’ debate was already rather tired before this recent flare-up, and I have nothing to add. There is a SunTrust Bank across from my hotel in Miami, but I do not have the time or dedication for this level of points-itis.

Credit Cards:

  • Approved for a Amex Delta Platinum targeted 40k offer (15k of which are MQMs) + $100 statement credit. It was for both personal and business. I already have the personal so got the business. Got greedy by adding SPG business, still pending after a week and several calls.
  • Reminds me I need to call Amex retention about my Premier Rewards Gold, Hilton Surpass and SPG personal, none of which I see the value for me in keeping. I have never understood the big allure of the SPG card beyond the bonus, Million Mile Secrets has a great analysis. The value people like is mostly specific to the SPG program, not intrinsic to the card. For that matter, I have not seen much value in SPG for me. When I need Cash & Points, it is not available. I don’t think their hotels are any better than the others and never use them for leisure.

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  • Next time take him to a restaurant that actually takes credit cards, and he’ll pay with his Chase Freedom Card to get 5x points per dollar spent 🙂

  • PatMike

    Yes, I agree – milevalue continues to blow me away with the quality of his posts…

  • @The Weekly Flyer – ah, but ‘cash only’ is a solid indicator of a good meal, you take the points, I’ll take the calories. 😎

  • Craig New York

    I discovered the Milevalue blog a while ago and it is fantastic!

  • Thanks for the love, folks. Some of my best posts really are time consuming to write, but I have loved sharing. Plus I get a lot of material because I book awards every single day through my award booking service.

  • Scott is very mathematical! I wish I had the time to implement a lot of his suggestions to score bigger travel. Thanks to Million Mile Secrets for introducing him.

  • JoC

    I love milevalue. I wish he will put up some application links so I can give him credit for giving us valuable “how to instructions”.

  • JB

    Love milevalue too! Also, its good to see a SPG burn – Chase rules it.

  • guera

    I wanted to thank you for two things:

    1. Turning me on to the milevalue blog. He is wonderful!

    2. Informing me about the 2% cash back Priceline Visa. Of course I got it for the cash back but the picture of William Shatner on the card always brings a smile to the face of whomever I hand it to. Evidently people are supposed to be in awe of the Sapphire Preferred when you use it, but I never got admiring comments about it.

  • @guera – A great laugh from point 2, I want the Priceline Visa though actually was not approved by Barclays, I had never had a Barclays card before, applied US Air and Priceline the same day and they would only approve one. My loss, I am a big priceline user for hotels and rental cars and a Shatner fan.

  • guera

    Perhaps a Priceline Visa for Mrs. RTC? I hope you’ll find time to work on your credit card section. Your analyses are probably the only objective ones in the travel blogosphere.

  • @guera – yes, I am quite embarrassed by my lack of time to put up more reviews, work has gotten quite busy, I put up the pages to force myself to do more and ran out of steam after Barclays, thinking of a way to really force myself to do it.