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A packed week at CES in Las Vegas told me when to ‘hold ’em’ and not chase miles and points. 2 Las Vegas observations:
- ATM fees like $6.99. Kept my Amex for Targets holstered, will finish unloading next week.
- The SPG-Caesars (Total Rewards) partnership is kind of lame. Great to earn points and elite stay credits, and redeem points, but no reciprocal elite benefits at all? When United copies a competitor, it really copies. This is an insufficient ripoff of the Hyatt-MGM (M life) partnership. Register for both, though!
A few things I did:
- I had a car rental over New Year’s and realized the Discover Q1 5% cashback category also includes ‘Ground Transportation’ which includes rental cars, taxis and buses. Switched the rental to charge that upon return. I had no idea of what rental car CDW comes with Discover, and I don’t believe I ever received a hardcopy of card benefits. There is a handy Discover Member Benefits website with the details. A modest $25,000 secondary coverage, worldwide (no country exclusions). Lots of rental cars cost more than $25,000. I would not put rentals on this card except upon return when there has been no damage.
- AwardMapper is coming in really handy for my trip next week to Lebanon and Egypt. The maps and direct hotel links are great. Hotels so cheap on points I will even use them on myself instead of staying at $40 guesthouses.
- Upon return to NYC I did another batch of REDbird loads. Put $200 each on the AA Exec cards I have that have a statement closing next week, maybe I will get the mysterious $200 credit? (Miles4More) I am not a, AA high flyer like Gary Leff, no 2,000-mile Christmas present.
Here are the miles and points articles I bookmarked this week:
- PFDigest’s humorous predictions for 2015. He also explains Why Bother Writing About Retailer Credit Cards? And continues with posts on Comenity and Synchrony.
- Credit Karma’s free service has added Equifax (Miles to Memories). Most free services only provide the least useful bureau, TransUnion. I have consistently had wide gaps with these services and my FICO score as reported when I am approved or denied credit.
- So much for hitting another Citi AA card this month, what with all my AA Exex’s last year (Miles to Memories).
- I was thinking of going for an ‘Old Amex Blue’ until FrequentMiler’s analysis noted that Amex does not categorize Target as a grocery store. Until I move somewhere else, I’m not going to have a use for the grocery category. Go for an EveryDay now or buy and hold Old Blue?
- SP in the comments to FrequentMiler’s case for keeping the Ritz-Carlton card reminds us that the Lounge Access membership allows theoretically unlimited guests. Same company as Priority Pass, smaller selection of lounges, most of the missing ones are in obscure airports like in Eastern Europe.
- TravelBloggerBuzz starts 2015 with the kind of ruminations only TBB can do.
- The WSJ reports Wells Fargo Charges into Cards, while some, but not all, of its recent new customers have charged into headaches with its 5% card.
- View Your Pre-Approved & Pre-Qualified Credit Offers, another comprehensive guide from Doctor of Credit.
- Chasing the Points finds the First Bankcard Rakuten Rewards Card is a MS dream for those nimble enough to play in new categories each month.
- I have new hope on getting a 3rd Barclaycard US Airways card (Julian at FrequentMiler).
- I have not gotten approved for my first Barclaycard Arrival, however Rom’s Deals found it is possible, upon reconsideration, to get a 2nd after downgrading the first to the no annual fee version.
- Cyprus Air has stopped flying (Miles from Blighty). There was a Dan’s Deals flight to Israel tie-in with Virgin Atlantic.
- The exclusive JPMorgan Palladium card has new benefits that are quite pedestrian, reports cardholder Hungry for Points.