My Week in Points: My Lone, Abandoned United Upgrade, Heads Not Exploding and more

I went home to Minnesota for the week and the only break in family time was a visit to a US Bank branch to get the $125 checking bonus (apply by 8/10 online or in branch, see the Doctor of Credit post for more). My online application got stuck because some of my credit reports were frozen. A banker called me that I needed to “unfreeze them all” because he wouldn’t disclose which one they attempted. Eventually, while he was on vacation, his fill-in told me it was IDA (SageStream) and I didn’t want to deal with the process. The branch knew nothing of the offer so it was good that I brought in printouts of everything. I have US Bank credit cards so the monthly fee on Gold Checking is waived. I am less interested in the bonus than to see if it helps me get credit card approvals. No similar offer for small business checking, of which their Silver plan has no monthly fees. Added savings to the package to get into S.T.A.R.T.

Flying back I had a cheapo cash ticket MSP-ORD-LGA on United. The first leg was running late, my connection may still have worked, so I am appreciative that the agent at MSP offered to get me on the nonstop MSP-EWR and I got back to my apartment 2 or more hours earlier than planned. I only had to give up my first United upgrade (ORD-LGA only) of the year.

I am deep in Scandinavia trip planning. Have not found a way to cushion the cost of Atlantic Air and Greenland Air. SAS has really cheap cash rates intra-region while Finnair’s domestic flights are startlingly expensive with little award availability. I love assembling complex trips. One of the few times points has driven a trip for me as the Club Carlson credit card devaluation got my attention. Is there a point where a country is so expensive that it is ok to be the guy with plastic bag-lined pockets stuffed from the breakfast buffet?

Airlines:

Hotels:

Credit Cards:

Manufactured Spend:

  • How to Prevent Your Brain from Exploding (FrequentMiler). Issues I have thought about a lot recently. Every time Dan’s Deals shouts, “Hurry!” and it is another Amex offer I am tempted to get 99 AUs on each account and turn my life over to this madness. My current limits include no Walmart, because of location inconvenience, and mostly no Amex offers because of endless hamster wheel time suck.

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  • Andrew

    “My leisure days to Southeast Asia are past …”

    Brings back good memories. We didn’t get kidnapped, and the crepes were delicious.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Andrew – a great memory, I believe the last big trip I took with anyone due to schedules the rest of life’s interferences. Happy birthday this week.