Tag Archives: Membership Rewards

Planes, Trains, and More Planes, 2017 Edition: Asia for the Holidays

Buenos dias everyone,

Like last year, I just left Mexico City for a long international trip over the holidays – this time to Asia instead of Europe. This time the trip wasn’t built around a mistake fare, but rather a desire to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha and the Chengdu Panda Base, both in western China.

I started planning the trip in mid-September, and found that Asiana Airlines had pretty good business class availability across the Pacific for the dates we were looking at. I tacked on United economy flights between Mexico City and LAX (though this resulted in an overnight layover in each direction, since United only has one flight per day between those two cities), and added a domestic Air China economy flight from Shanghai to Chengdu after a one-week stopover.

A world map centered over the Pacific Ocean showing the following flight routing in red: MEX-LAX-ICN-PVG, SHA-CTU

Map generated by gcmap.com

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My Credit Card Retention Calls for AMEX Business Platinum, Chase IHG & Chase Hyatt

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I apologize for not writing much lately, but I do have a few posts in the pipeline, they just take a while to get all the necessary details and dates.  Anyway, my December credit card statements just closed and a few of my credit cards had annual fees that posted.  Most of the time, I have already mentally decided if I will keep a credit card or cancel way before the annual fee posts, but even if I mentally decide to keep a credit card, I still call and see if there are any retention offers available.  It never hurts to call, the worst that can happen is that they say there are no offers, and if you never ask, you will never receive.  During this round of retention calls, I called regarding my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card, Chase IHG Rewards Credit Card, and Chase Hyatt Credit Card.  Here is how those retention offer calls went…

Retention Call 1 and 2: American Express Business Platinum Charge Card

I called American Express on Wednesday afternoon and told the rep that the $450 annual fee just posted on my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card and I wanted to close the card, but before I close the card, I wanted to see if there were any retention offers available.  She put me on hold for a few minutes, but then said that the department that was responsible for retention offers was really busy and that I should call back at a later time.

I then called back Thursday morning and told the second rep the same spiel.  He put me on hold for a few minutes to check my offers and came back with no offers.  I told him I put a lot of spend on my no annual fee American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card (true) and earned lots of Membership Reward Points on that card and put very little spend on my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card (true), so why did I need both cards?  I told him I get good value out of the $200 airline incidental credit and occasionally visit the Centurion Lounges, but that did not justify paying the $450 annual fee.  He asked me what type of offer I was looking for and I said statement credits to offset the annual fee.  He didn’t have any statement credit retention offers and said that I could redeem my Membership Reward Points for statement credits.  No… that was not what I wanted.  He said he would transfer me to that department and then I hung up in annoyance.  Ugg, I will hold on to this card until get another AMEX Plat.  I’m currently eyeing the 60,000 point signup bonus on the American Express Platinum Charge Card from Charles Schwab.

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1,500 Membership Reward Points Posted Fast for $100 Grocery Store AMEX Offer

Good evening everyone.  A few weeks ago, American Express released an AMEX Offer where you could earn 1,500 Membership Reward Points after you spent $100 at grocery stores before November 30.  This offer is really good, but unfortunately I only had this AMEX Offer on my American Express Everyday Credit Card.  The nice thing about this AMEX Offer is that you didn’t have to complete the spending requirement in 1 transaction, so you could make several grocery store purchases that added up to $100.  If this AMEX Offer did require a single grocery store purchase of $100, I would have just bought a $100 grocery store gift card to Safeway, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.  Here are the complete terms and conditions of the AMEX Offer:

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10,000 AMEX Membership Reward Points for Enrolling in Extended Payment Option

Some miles and points take a lot of time and effort to earn. So it’s great when earning miles and points take no time or effort at all! It’s rare, but opportunity does knock from time to time. Here’s one that came knocking recently, and it reminded me to make sure you’re aware of it as well. American Express cards come with an option to enroll in their Extended Payment Option. This allows you to pay off purchases over time. Now, we all pay off our credit cards every month, right? So we don’t need to USE this option, but I’ve noticed over the years that from time to time, American Express offers Membership Reward points JUST for enrolling your card.

Every now and again, I’ve looked to see if my cards were targeted for these offers. Nope, no luck, until recently, that is. I got this offer on my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card, which I keep for the Centurioun Lounge benefits. I’ll take 10,000 American Express Membership Reward points earned this easily any day of the week. So I enrolled my card.

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Find the Perfect Routing for your Next Award Flight

Do you have all the time in the world to keep track of all the airlines, the alliances, which airlines are adding flights and routes, and which routes are being canceled? I certainly don’t. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when United announced its new non-stops to Europe for Summer 2018. Sure, these are seasonal routes, but still, for those of us who work hard accumulating miles and points, this is exactly the kind of knowledge we need to book those award tickets, and book them early. Knowing when award charts open, and seasonal route award seats are bookable, is just not something I’m good about keeping track of. In addition to United’s new Summer routes, United also started daily service between LAX and Singapore and between New York and Buenos Aires. See what I mean? That’s a lot of news to follow. And that’s just United.

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