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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. 🙂 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:
- Discover It Miles not as lucrative as I had hoped (The Frequent Miler). I don’t bother with pure cashback MS, I don’t have the scale to justify compared to credit card sign-up bonuses and annual big spend bonuses.
- Bank of America Alaska Airlines offer with $100 statement credit appears dead (Points with a Crew). So apply for a bunch, get the bonus on approval, and if you dare, cancel before the cards even arrive. Beware that a bunch of new accounts will show on your credit report regardless.
- FNBO Launches Four New Best Western Credit Cards – Up To 50,000 Points + 20,000 Point Anniversary Bonus For $10k Spend and Best Western Rewards Premium MasterCard From FNBO Review (both Doctor Of Credit). Best Western good for US national park visits and some luxury Asia locations, seems the new credit cards are not winners. Along with the La Quinta card, I have been tempted to get oddball hotel cards for the heck of it.
- 1,000 free Iberia Plus Avios points with Hailo (Head for Points). Need to spoof your location.
- 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.
- CashBackMonitor adds configurable point values (The Frequent Miler). Great tool.
- Beginner’s guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Setting up an account and Analyzing and Adding a New Product (Tagging Miles). I have a bunch of used books that need a better home. Not going to MS this way.
- Can You Churn Chase Checking & Savings Bonuses? (Doctor Of Credit). Yes. And people sell RSVP codes on eBay for the determined.