Author Archives: Grant

About Grant

Grant is an expert in frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, credit card rewards, and cash back deals. He also has a pretty cool travel blog. Find him on Twitter @travelwithgrant.

Great First Experience Calling American Express Platinum Concierge for Restaurant Reservations

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your Memorial Day Weekend is going well.  I have the American Express Business Platinum Charge Card and some of the card benefits get a lot of attention: Centurion Lounge access, Priority Pass membership, $200 airline reimbursement annually, Global Entry fee reimbursement, and the 50% Pay with Points rebate on flights.

Surprisingly, there are several other less talked about benefits of the American Express Business Platinum Charge Card too.  One such benefit that I just used for the first time was the American Express Business Platinum Charge Card Concierge (I believe the various versions of the American Express Platinum Charge Card also have this benefit).  I wanted to make a dinner reservation for a special occasion and I wasn’t having any luck with OpenTable (unless I wanted a 5pm or 10pm reservation – no thank you!).  I decided to call the Concierge (1-800-492-8468) and see if they could help me out.  If you have a personal American Express Platinum Charge Card, just call the number on the back of your card and you can navigate to the Concierge Department.

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Front Range Travel Hacker’s June Meetup with Several Boarding Area Bloggers (Sunday, June 4 @ 12-2PM in Denver, CO)

Good evening everyone, happy Friday!  If you are in the Denver area on Sunday, June 4, you are in luck.  I will be heading to Denver that weekend and spending some time with a few of my fellow Boarding Area bloggers.  My friends Nigel and Bill run the Front Range Travel Hackers Meetup Group and they have organized a great meetup for that Sunday afternoon.  There will be a few Boarding Area bloggers in attendance and maybe a few last minute additions as well.  The meetup is free to attend, but please join the Meetup group and RSVP to the event so they know how many people to expect at the restaurant.

  • Where: Breck on Blake, 2220 Blake St, Denver, CO (Google Map)
  • When: Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 12-2PM

I will post a reminder post a day before the Meetup.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great Memorial Day Weekend everyone!

Double Dip on Lyft Rides to/from the Airport with JetBlue & Delta Promotions

Good morning everyone, happy Friday.  Last weekend, I took 3 Lyft rides to/from various airports and have some data points on the recent JetBlue & Lyft promotion and Delta & Lyft promotion. Here are the 3 different rides:

  • Miami International Airport (MIA) to Miami Beach for some Cuban food
  • Cuban restaurant to Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to my apartment in San Francisco and my brother’s apartment in Larkspur

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Best Credit Card for Restaurants: US Bank Cash Plus or FlexPerks Gold AMEX?

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you are having a great weekend. I am currently in Miami on my way back home to San Francisco after my week-long vacation to Saint Kitts and Nevis and my stay at the Marriott Saint Kitts Beach Club timeshare property (2 trip reports coming later this week, or next week, or never – let’s see if I can get these posted before I forget). Enough about me, let’s talk about credit card rewards.

A long time ago, my go to credit card for all restaurant purchases was my beloved Citi Forward Credit Card. I used to earn 5x Citi Thank You Points for all restaurant purchases, from fast food to fine dining. Unfortunately, Citi changed the card earnings on restaurant purchases from 5x to 2x, so I looked for a suitable replacement. The obvious choice was Chase Sapphire Preferred with 2x on restaurants, then along came the Chase Sapphire Reserve with 3x on restaurants. I tried to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve (twice!), and got declined (twice!) due to 5/24.  I don’t have any other Chase credit cards that I want to convert / product change to a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve either.  With those sad facts, my search for a suitable restaurant credit card continued.

I was pretty happy using my US Bank Cash Plus Credit Card for restaurant purchases – earning 2% cash back at restaurants and 5% cash back at fast food restaurants.  That was good enough for a few months until I got an email from US Bank that changed everything…

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My 4 Favorite Airfare Deal Websites: The Flight Deal, Fare Deal Alert, Exit Fares & GTFO Flights

Good afternoon everyone.  When I first meet people who love to travel but are not into travel hacking, they usually ask me what website I use to find the best airfare deals.  I usually recommend subscribing to a few airfare deal websites.  These sites find the best airfare deals and send out daily emails to their subscribers.  The 4 airfare deal websites I use are:

Each airfare deal website tracks different departure cities and no website tracks every city.  To begin, find your nearest city in the table to see which website you should use.  If you live near a large international airport, you will have several options.  Unfortunately, if you live near a regional airport or a smaller international airport, your options are limited or nonexistent.

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