My Week in Points February 3-16: Delta’s partners get hosed, last-minute Accor to Iberia

Glad I never got around to learning the US Airways Dividend Miles program. Sure it will be around for a while longer as the merger progresses in fits and starts. I need to prioritize and though I have gotten two of their credit cards, figuring the program out has never crept to the top of my list.

I fell way behind the past couple weeks, here are a few items top of mind before I escort my wife for a last swing through London.

Delta:

  • New Medallion credentials arrived…and they look exactly like last year…and the year before. Don’t they understand that a big part of the value of elite status is showing off, and that is undermined when hangers-on from previous years can pretend to still have status? Put ‘2013’ in big block letters on everything
  • The new mileage earning rates for partners take effect March 1, 2013. Delta’s been so successful in having an award program with industry-worst awards, now they are turning attention to their partners. I have my first Tarom flights on March 3, I am surprised I am earning credit at all. In March I may have a business trip to Asia, schedule-wise, price-wise, service-wise Korean Air is the better pick but with that business class C fare now only earning 75% MQMs instead of 150% I guess I am a test of Delta’s new strategy. Do I take Korean anyway and Delta wins? Do I take Delta and Delta wins? Do I succumb to the pull of Star Alliance to try out Asiana and Delta loses?
  • A Frugal Travel Guy contributor wrote a post about “Diamond Moments,” not my Diamond experience at all, the closest I can come is one time a flight attendant took my meal order first in case something ran out.

Accor:

  • I converted 3,000 Accor points to Iberia Avios prior to March 1 devaluation. Too bad they only go in 3,000 point blocks whether by manual or automatic transfers, as I have 1,500 orphan points. Other airlines go in similar blocks, most at 4,000 points. I have a BA household account which does not work with Iberia to BA transfers, rather than leave my household, which only allows changes every 6 months, I will let them sit as the points converted to 7,500 Avios which is one of the Avios price levels for short flights, such as my Christmas NY to Nashville on AA.

Hilton:

  • Hilton has a new, incredibly complex F1 Fantasy racing game that I have no idea how to play, but readers do, check out their comments.
  • I complained about the difficulty of using the CCiti® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card’s weekend certs. Day before trip the London Hilton Park Lane opened up standard awards and we are just wrapping up a pleasant stay, unremarkable room, great executive lounge.

Club Carlson:

  • I am loving the flexibility of the Club CarlsonSM Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card 2nd award night free benefit. We ended up not using it for London but this weekend it is perfect for a booking in Istanbul while I take a day trip to Cyprus. There is a widespread perception that their footprint is limited, however I find it quite useful in many parts of the world, whereas, say, Hyatt is almost useless to me, because I do not see a shortage of expensive major city hotels.

Credit Cards:

  • Lots of bonuses posted from my December 12-card churn, great to cross them off the list.
  • I did get the bonuses for the personal and business Club Carlson credit cards.
  • A friend kindly gave me a 100k code for the Amex Business Platinum Card® in consolation for sleeping through the recent 100k personal bonanza. This was less than 60 days from my churn so was happy to see it approved.

Pingbacks

Comments

  1. The last time I was a Delta Diamond member Delta went out of their way. They’ve even been known oversell flights for Diamond members only to request volunteers at the gate. Kinda feels bad when you are getting on a plane at that point, but the unstated benefit sure makes you feel important.

  2. Can you explain to a newbie the advantage of the AMEX platinum code? This is the second time I saw a reference to it. Thanks.

  3. @Elaine F – some people are lucky enough to receive targeted offers with these single-use RSVP codes, and people who get targeted sometimes receive them over and over but can’t take advantage of all so will pass them on to friends, no one has a clear answer how to get targeted, unfortunately.

  4. Thanks for explaining. Along these lines, my family has been receiving snail mail offers from United for the Visa Explorer card, each of which has a different 12 digit “personal invitation number.” Is that 12 digit number linked to the person to whom the offer was sent, or could it be used by someone else? And does replying to one of these offers make it more likely to get the card, that is, more likely than if I used the link of a favorite blogger to the very same card offer? Thanks again.

  5. Elaine F – we don’t know exactly what the banks do in their decisions so everything is anecdotal, but there is no evidence to suggest that you will be more likely to get a card by responding to an offer code.

    The personal invitation number is intended for the recipient, and the application often pre-fills some info but generally you can fill out other info without issues. I personally have only experience with Amex, 2 successes, no failures. If the same offer is publicly available then might as well go with the public offer to be extra safe, otherwise, it should be safe to try, at least I have no hesitation doing it. Sometimes things go wrong in all this stuff, but I consider this low risk.

  6. Thanks again for the explanation. I am getting ready to do an app-o-rama – my first was just dabbling: a Sapphire Preferred in my husband’s name (of course with his permission although he mostly makes fun of my new hobby and is woefully bad at keeping track of what card to use for which purchase); an Amex Hilton Hhonors again in his name, and US Airways cards for each of us. We were pretty inundated with snail mail offers soon after, although we used to get them often before too. So I am now deciding what to go for next. Again, thanks for taking the time to reply. Best, Elaine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>