My Week in Points March 3-16: BRG, and churn or wait?

Things sure seem quiet in the miles and points world. I caught up after a 2 week break and my bookmarks for this column are quite thin. Sure there was another round of ‘must act now’ Amex offers that bring the carpet salesman out of the blogger. A few measly facebook bonuses for liking a page. A Hilton Las Vegas contest that requires a purchase. Pretty tepid when the economy improves. Remember when Million Mile Secrets had a regular roundup just to keep track of contests?

Without any great offers should I bother with a quarterly churn? I have never gotten a Sapphire card, maybe I should and start of 10-part series of the gospel of Sapphire?

It seems historically April produces some decent offers, Capital One and Chase at least. The July and August there is some activity. Rather than go through the motions on marginal cards I may just wait.

Gratuitous Bluebird/Vanilla entry:

  • I have spent 1 night in the US since mid-February and have no one I can burden with hunting those down. It is one thing to ask someone to water plants or take in a pet, quite another to ask for this.

Delta:

  • So far Delta is winning against me in their partner earning devaluation. I took them over Korean Air for a business trip to Shanghai, just to preserve my earning. It helped that I was targeted for double miles to Asia. First time in the true lay flat 747-400, I slept pretty darn well and enjoyed the special Japanese meal, after several years away from that route.
  • This may be the most show-off thing I ever put in the blog: for those who have already earned their 2014 Diamond/Platinum, gifting Gold/Silver status is good all the way through 2014 when you use the 2014 Choice Benefits. 2013 Choice Benefits only good through 2013. I learned this after I had given a 2013 Gold to my mother, I wish I had done the 2014.
  • Reminder to use your Choice Benefits, Delta makes no effort to remind you!
  • The Flight Deal notes a very bad Delta deal.

Starwood:

  • I am in the middle of a 20-day stay at The Hongta Hotel, Shanghai, an unremarkable property with convenient access to my office and good selection of nearby restaurants, this of the sneaky opt-out UNICEF donation. Walk down to the street towards the Courtyard Shanghai-Pudong and it is “Hello, lady massage?” city, so I eschew that neighborhood. This stay will roughly double my lifetime Starwood nights.
  • Not that it would be much use in my travel patterns, but 250 nights and 5 years of Gold status (taken care of with an Amex Platinum?) to get Lifetime Gold seems a low bar. I guess it is all about getting people in the door, rather than the much more strict airline lifetime status qualification.

Hilton:

  • I really should burn points before the month-end devaluation, I just don’t have any reasonably solid travel plans for which to use them.
  • Mommy Points helpfully notes that my Reserve card certs won’t be devalued. A relief after my battle to get my 2nd set.

Club Carlson:

  • I received an ‘we miss you’ email for a 10,000 point bonus on my next stay worldwide. My last paid stay was in November, had an award stay in the interim. Not enough to go out of my way, though will earn it if it works on a business trip.

Alitalia:

Best Rate Guarantee:

  • I have never played in this area, TravelBloggerBluzz links to a NBC News article about a guy who claims it is oh-so-easy. I am skeptical of people who claim for stuff like this, “He does this three times a month, and usually calls Expedia, which takes about 20 minutes, while folding laundry or going for a walk.” No doubt I am dim and slow, these things always seem to take more time in reality, and I disregard the show-off/marketing spin. Readers, how much time/effort do you spend on Best Rate Guarantee?

American Express:

  • I have had more trouble with Amex bonuses not posting than any other card issuer. Latest was the 20k of the 30k from last August’s SPG Biz card. Took months of back and forth to resolve, finally got that plus 3k good will bonus.

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  • Haven’t tried Expedia, but I just received a BRG from Hyatt after finding a cheaper rate on booking.com — all I had to do was call the Hyatt BRG number, tell them what I found and where, and five minutes later they confirmed 20% off the booking.com rate. Surprisingly low-hassle.

  • andreas

    Well put “I have never gotten a Sapphire card, maybe I should and start of 10-part series of the gospel of Sapphire?”

    While I like the intros to the programs, I don’t understand why every blogger on BA has to repeat the same offers? It lowers their brand equity as just CC pushers rather than providers of any useful knowledge.

    I’m going to wait until april as well.. PRG got pulled today.

  • @andreas – unfortunately, it seems to work for many bloggers so we hear no end of the hyping re-hash.