My Week in Points: Citi Salvos

Citi has been throwing around bonuses and new features on its ThankYou cards. Let’s dive in on what I missed in a fortnight on the road.

What I’ve been up to in miles and points:

  • Delta waived the $200 per person change fee on my credit card companion certificate. Yes, the $200 fee applies to the companion as well. Call center agents not so accommodating, rather it is the ‘request refund’ on the website that sometimes pays dividends and while you wait a few days for the response the ticket is not canceled.
  • I am no longer canceling award tickets on the United website. I have had numerous errors on ones for myself, some the miles came back but phantom itineraries stay in my account. Now, one for my wife, that should have no change fees because came from my platinum account, got hit with a $200 fee that still waiting for my refund. Never had issues calling in except lack of paper trail.
  • It is so pleasant to go to Target and CVS in Los Angeles. I even got the chance to treat Bengali Miles Guru to dinner, he is in to so many things it is eye-popping to hear his exploits at a tender, young age. Based in NY, my temptation to get into heavy MS is tempered and even he warns of the mind-numbing time suck.
  • I presented at FTU Dallas on Advanced Tricks with Credit Cards (not shared online), All About Delta SkyMiles, The Secrets of Renting Cars at Home and Abroad, and Extreme International Travel. Next FTUs are in DC in August and Dallas again in September.
  • I am typing this on a LAX-JFK flight on AA, trying not to have my screen broken by a women in front of me, despite the extra economy plus whatever AA calls it space, constantly thrusting herself into the back of the seat, already at full recline. $448 one-way ticket, better earning on AA for me as Platinum than Delta Diamond and United Platinum. Nice plane. Maybe I will fly AA more.


Other credit cards and banks:





  • Pizza in Motion posted his FTU talks, All About AAdvantage and Introductory Comparison of Hotel Status.

Things I don’t do:

In tribute:

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  • Leana

    Stefan, I appreciate the mention! You really made me laugh when I saw the pingback, so thank you for that. Say what? My favorite Belorussian blogger ? That’s like saying “my favorite president of Belarus during the last 20 years.” I bet not too many will get that joke.

    I’ve enjoyed interacting with you, and always thought your blog was unique. I hope you don’t lose that. Oh, I actually just had a guest post on Doctor of Credit. I might be like Phoenix rising from the ashes now and again. Or not. It’s nice not to have the pressure to deliver on a regular basis. I do feel bad for my readers because some truly hated me closing up shop. The blog has become a dysfunctional community of misfits and rejects, my kind of people. 🙂

  • Any chance you’re going to share any of those FTU tips in blog form? You’re probably one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to credit cards, but we don’t get nearly enough content from you about it – although perhaps that’s just because you write about things you find more important.

    I hope Leana decides to keep blogging and just does less of it, even if it’s just the periodic post here and there.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @William Charles – maybe I am just a wuss, but my feeling on the credit cards is if I post the slides then I attract the crazies and when I do the blog for fun not any serious profit, then it will take away too much of my fun to deal with that hassle. Out in the sunlight most people are reasonable and never had a negative interaction at an event like FTU, maybe back in their basements these are the haters, I don’t know. I used to write more on it, I never had time to go all-in and comprehensively cover them so felt like doing it half-ass wasn’t helping anyone. I love that you are covering so much so well, in my talks I usually have links to obscure forum threads on B* or whatever and now I can tell them to instead pull up your article which invariably exists on every topic. You are your team certainly know more than me, in the talks I try to use the lecture format to provide a comprehensive state of play and tools, and expand horizons. That works well for the many of us, even us in the hobby, who don’t have the fascination to put so much time into it.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Leana – hey, I was reading that Belarus’ economy is doing comparatively well compared to the other members of Putin’s economic union. The classic Lukashenko quip, ““There are dictators a bit worse than me, no? I’m the lesser evil already.”

  • Thanks for the mention! Like you, I am a “hobby blogger” but its still nice to get affirmation via page views.

    Speaking of credit cards, have you been putting your Priceline 2% into use lately? Basically it’s working like the Arrival+ now but as always you can redeem for statement credit on ANYTHING, with no FTF and the extra 0.2% kicker on travel rewards. I get annoyed when something that should be coded as travel, like airport parking, is not coded correctly by Arrival. If they would make the Priceline VISA chip and pin it would be the best card ever.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @plane2port – I have been trying to decide whether or not to cancel all by Barclaycard cards in order to get new ones approved. Seems about the only way for frequent churners. I don’t do the kind of MS needed to exploit the value, what I do is focused on big spend bonuses on cards like Fairmont $12k annually for the free night.

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