When something too good to be true pops up, should I jump or not?
Often the answer for me hinges on whether or not it requires a cash outlay. And if I understand the proposition.
If something appears in a flash that requires no opening of my wallet, I will sign up and let the dust settle as the rabid do vetting work. Things like the recent Wyndham and Jetsetter offers that do require cash outlay, and that unraveled shortly after appearing, I steered clear. New Girl in the Air has a great piece, This Hobby is Not Without Risks.
No matter how convincing the experts are, I do not like the concept of buying miles, the only time I have effectively done it is Avios + cash redemptions on British Airways when I had an immediate need for the Avios.
The recent US Airways miles sharing promotion was a no-brainer to many and they get value out of it, but I did not want to put out $500+ in real cash. And that was a rock-solid deal with no questions that it would be honored.
So when the Wyndham offer appeared, a program that I know nothing about, I let it sail on by. As for Jetsetter, my memory is long-enough to remember the prior issues with the car service deal. Even though I did get that car service deal, I decided to not bother investing the time and effort to try again.
That means some deals I will miss out on, but I only have so much time and tolerance for these, and I try to chose my battles.
Changing gears, my Choice Privileges Take Two Trips, Earn 1 Night Free bonus posted from my two stays in Australia. It took a missing credit request from the second stay folllowing no action during the 20-day international allowance. The terms state:
After a second qualifying stay with arrival between 8/30/12 and 11/14/12, you will be awarded a minimum of 5,000 and maximum of 8,000 points, depending on how many points were earned from your two (2) separate qualified stays. These bonus points will allow redemption for a free night at the 8,000 reward night level at over 1,500 hotels. A free night at most Choice Privileges locations requires more than 8,000 points.
I received 5,000 points and I am disappointed. Nowhere in the terms does it say how the final bonus amount from 5,000-8,000 is determined. So Choice went to the cost of awarding me 5,000 points but at what end? Not a satisfied customer. The offering was already confusing enough by requiring multi-night stays at certain brands, then adding bonus uncertainty is downright frustrating. I don’t have enough points for a free night so won’t be back anytime soon. If a company is going to do a promotion, they might as well do it in a way that will make customers feel rewarded, even pleasantly surprised.