My Week in Points: Sapphire’s narcotic fails and China Eastern to Wuhan for burning SkyMiles

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So I missed the flash Amex 75k offer while flying back from China, which reminds me that it is possible to be a traveler, possible to be a blogger, darn hard to do both and I tip my hat at those that do. It is 1:25 am in NY, just in from Denver and I refuse to go to sleep until I put this post out.


Gary at View from the Wing scared the crap out of me potential further Delta devaluations, yeah yeah, cue the jokes about how that can be possible. I have been working down my stash with an upcoming trip with my wife on Saudia, and some North America weekends sprinkled around the summer. They have temporarily bribed me to not move to United with targeted double miles to Asia plus targeted 5k JFK-NRT per segement bonuses, just when I have back to back business trips to Shanghai. All those years studying Mandarin and working in China sometimes pays off. Darn hard to get anywhere near competitive pricing on JRK-NRT, Delta seems desperate to direct people to DTW-PVG, but I never connect in the US if I can avoid it, especially returning from an international trip. So, Mr. Economy Leisure Flyer has now experienced his first lie-flat airplane seat, on Delta’s 747-400’s, in the upper deck in proper snob style. Maybe I will post on it if I remember to take pictures this time.

Some Delta award ideas that might, occasionally have decent pricing:

  • JFK or ATL to Dominican Republic or Haiti, even a backdoor to Europe by connecting to Air France.
  • Delta relaunched seasonal JFK-Shannon, Ireland (SNN) service on May 11, if they ever release low award seats, a big IF, maybe others will not think to search for them. Of course they are so many cheap ways to get to Ireland from the US.
  • China Eastern has launched San Francisco – Shanghai (PVG) – Wuhan (WUH) service. Wuahn is commonly called the ‘Chicago of China,’ and has great connections for travelers heading westward to places like Sichuan and Xinjiang for pandas and Silk Road, respectively, two of my dear favorites in China. It is an A330 which I hope is better than the miserable A340 they use for JFK.
  • And my special favorite that I am tempted to keep to myself, JFK’s seasonal service to Prince Edward Island, Canada (YYG).

IHG/Priority Club:

I had my first stay at one of their hotels this year, prior to which I went to the FlyerTalk sticky promotion thread to test some codes. I earned 7,500 bonus points from those codes alone. Interestingly, I did not receive any points for the actual spend, I will give it a few more days before contacting them. The Intercontinental Shanghai Pudong is nice but unremarkable and surrounded by shopping malls.

Credit Cards:

  • My wife got the first Chase Sapphire PreferredSM Card in the household. The narcotic ego-enhancing effect experienced my so many did not seem to work on her. We had never been in a hurry to get them because we like Chase’s hotel cards better.
  • Chase has relaunched the AARP Card, and Personal Finance Digest tells the story of why that was exciting last time around.


  • UPGRD is adding new bloggers and new features, check it out. Matthew is the most widely known of their blogger but take a look at the full stable, there are quite the characters over there that generally do not rehash what dozens of other bloggers are posting about.
  • As an example, UPGRD Mike has the most clear ITA how-to that I have read.

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission if you use my link and are approved for the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM Card. Thank you.

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Nick @ PFDigest
9 years ago

Hi Stefan–thanks for the mention!

Kay @ Travel Bug Diary blog

So sorry to hear about your continued Delta addiction. I understand your reasoning, but I’m still sorry. I’ve now completely given up on high value redemptions and fully embraced pay with miles.

As for missing the 75K Amex offer. Good for you. I just spent a week on the beach, without internet, eating rice and beans, and chatting with lovely locals. Sometimes you just need to travel.