My Week in Points: Freddie and Warren

So you’ve already been shopping in $2.5k increments today or you will before close. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Still work to do and travel to enjoy.

A quick recap of the week:

  • Freddie Awards in Atlanta. Delta did a great job hosting the ceremony on their excellent Delta Flight Museum and kept stiff upper lips as they did not even appear as a finalist for any category. I don’t recall seeing United either. Every Americas airline category seemed to be Air Canada, American, Avianca and Southwest. The other regions seem to break nationalistic lines. Haven’t heard much good about El Al’s program or in-flight product but they cleaned up. Same for Air France and Accor. Tough dilemma how to set regions, too many and the awards never end, too few and you have unwieldy geographies.
  • I used two expiring Marriott certs at the Category 3 Residence Inn Atlanta Airport North/Virginia Avenue. Walkable to the Freddie’s host hotel, Hilton, quiet suburban feel, they gave me a two bedroom suite and I invited a gaggle of geeks to party all night but the wifi wasn’t good and they all left. Kidding. Have not slept so well in a long time. I miss quiet, suburban life to offset my hectic travels. The hotel shares the property with a Courtyard. Never liked Courtyard’s, old or new design. I like the feel of extended stay hotels down to the collegial happy hours, even when, as my first night, there was a creep guy approaching each table, announcing, “This beer tastes funny.”
  • Miles came in real handy to attend the 50th Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. More on that to come, start with my log of Quips and Quotes from the Berkshire Hathaway 2015 Annual Meeting.

I have a few days at my apartment to take care of the odds and ends that get shunted aside while on the road:

  • IHG Set Your Sights task completion is posting ok, 5 of my 6 show done, even the timeshare thing. Now I need IHG credit card spend task to post and get my full bonus. Or write them now and hope to get the bonus manually and another by system (Into the Nights…). Not going to diddle around with the lame Share Forever this summer.
  • A month ago notices went out that the Club Carlson credit cards are dropping the last night free on award stays benefit June 1. Got around to starting to book stays for the upcoming year+ (calendar is open for at least May 2016) and calling US Bank to get 2,500 courtesy points for each of my cards.
  • 212 Club Carlson hotels at the same time will increase in price, while 117 will decrease. Points With a Crew compiled a sortable table and map. US Radisson Blu increases, lots in Europe go up, decreases in India where many Country Inns are opening. I am not all that bummed, expected this and still see value in key regions of the world where other chains are absent or absurd-o-pricing. I am earning Triple Points this month and in June/July will additionally earn 5,000 points per stay for stays booked in May thanks to targeted offer sent to elites, registration not required. That and a room charge on an (award) stay with each of my cards (personal and business) will be 30k each more. Heck, if you want to stay in the original spa, Radisson Blu is your points option and that one isn’t going up.
  • In March I called to downgrade a BofA Alaska credit card to Better Balance Rewards. Seems for every 2 CSRs who say it is impossible, one has no issue. I wondered why nothing was happening and called to find they had delayed the conversion to reconfirm with me that I didn’t mind no longer earning Alaska miles. Didn’t notice my other Alaska cards. ūüôā They had called without voicemail and mailed a generic letter that I thought was something else. While on the phone I converted another so my Better Balance goes up to 6 cards and I need an automated way to make small monthly charges. Also thinking to lower all their credit limits to $500 or $1,000.
  • I did that American Airlines Learn and Earn for 1,000 miles.
  • We had a Delta award booking incident that nearly tore apart our marriage. Let’s just say when you are treating your love to a business class award for her birthday and your call goes from agent to supervisor, make darn sure they don’t accidentally take the miles from the passenger’s account. And if they do, notice it yourself, right away.

Items of note:

Credit Cards:

Airlines:

Hotels:

  • Intercontinental Rome: upgrading or not? (Muslim Travel Girl). I would not pay to upgrade at an Intercontinental anywhere, or nearly any hotel in Europe, unless I was absolutely sure I was getting more than the room with coffee maker upgrade so often extended to elites.

MS:

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  1. […] My Week in Points: Freddie and Warren by Rapid Travel Chai. This is a nice roundup and they are always worth reading, but the real reason I’m posting is this nugget: “While on the phone I converted another so my Better Balance goes up to 6 cards”. If you’ve tried to convert to a BBR card before, keep trying. Some reps can still do the change. Dunno what I’m talking about? Read this first. […]

  • Pingback: Failure, BBR Cards, Buy United Miles Cheap, ¬£30 Hotel Code And A LOT More - Doctor Of Credit()

  • mike

    How did the convo go for converting to the BBR card?

  • mike

    And what number did you use to convert?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @mike – Just the number on the back of the Alaska card, I can’t explain why some say the option if unavailable or strongly resist, and others see it and no issue, each time over past year have done it have succeeded within a few calls.

  • Shannon

    what’s that courtesy 2,500 points form US Bank about ? I think she will understand and forgive you eventually. ” it’s the thought that counts”.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Shannon – if you have a Club Carlson credit card and call the number on the back to say you are unhappy with the June 1 changes, they are giving 2,500 points. Seems system-based that they pull up, I imagine some have tried to push for more, I did not try and have not seen reports on the effort. If you’ve got the card it is worth a quick call.

  • mike

    How long have you had the alaska card before you can product change to BBR? Mine is ~3months old and they can’t see an available offer to product change to BBR and ask me to apply for it.

  • Neil

    I just called BOA today. They could not change my 123 Cash Rewards card to BBR. I called multiple times and they all told me the same thing. I can’t change cards. They were more than happy to cancel my current card and apply me for the BBR, but not a direct switch.

    I think for OP, they canceled his current card and started a new app for the BBR without him knowing it

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Mike – as soon as one month in.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Neil – I am not sure why some agents vociferously insist it cannot be done while the occasional agents does it without missing a beat. Each time it has been a product conversion where I have gotten all the correspondence roughly 4 weeks after conversion. No credit inquiry, in fact, for my state BofA always pulls Experian which I have frozen.

  • mike

    I contacted BofA and they said something about a 2-4 week wait to see if the conversion from Cash rewards to bbr will happen. does this usually mean success? thanks again!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @mike – yes, my experience has been on the 4 week end of the range.