Tag Archives: Travel Credit Cards

How Long Does the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Take to Post After Your First Purchase?

Good morning everyone, I have some exciting news.  My girlfriend just got her Southwest Airlines Companion Pass and I am her companion!  I’ve had the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass in the past, but never a travel companion.  I used to joke that getting the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass was easy, but finding a companion was the hard part.  Anyway, since we live in California, she was eligible to sign up for a Chase Southwest Airlines Plus Credit Card, make a single purchase, and get the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.  The way the promotion read sounded like after you made your first purchase, your Southwest Airlines account would immediately reflect the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  I checked her Southwest Airlines account every day, so I know exactly how long it took for the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass to post to her account.  In this post, I will share the timeline of events and show you how to set up your Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.

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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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Intro to Priority Pass Lounge Access

The Priority Pass program has been getting a lot of good press lately due to their expansion of both their lounges and airport restaurants. A fellow traveler recently asked me about the lounges and how to get access to them. I was boarding a plane so didn’t have time to explain it, so I sent them to our website to read up on the Priority Pass program. Well, the next email I got from them was rather surprising. There wasn’t anything recent on TWG for them to read about Priority Pass (Grant did write about using the Priority Pass app back in October 2015).  So here’s one for you, fellow traveler, and I’m sorry I sent you on a wild goose chase.

Priority Pass is a program with more than one thousand airport lounges all over the world. More often than not, people pay a yearly membership fee for unlimited Priority Pass lounge access. But there are credit cards that come with free Priority Pass lounge access as one of their benefits. And this benefit can be tricky because depending on which credit card you have, the rules and benefits are different. Costs (if not free) vary as do the number of guests you can bring into the lounge with you.

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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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Take a Point, Leave a Point! Share your Leftover FlexPoints to Help Other Travel Hackers

Good afternoon everyone.  As you probably know, beginning on January 1, 2018, FlexPoints will be worth a fixed 1.5 cents per point (CPP) down from their current value of up to 2.0 CPP.  This is definitely a big blow to the US Bank FlexPerks Rewards program.  I’ve been a long time fan of the US Bank FlexPerks Rewards program and first got into the program when US Bank ran their 2014 Winter Olympics promo with an increased sign up bonus for their US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card.  Since then, I’ve earned and redeemed 200,000+ FlexPoints over the last 3+ years.

Since I can get 1.5 CPP value with my new Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card and Chase Ultimate Reward Points are so much easier to rack up than US Bank FlexPoints, I have decided to liquidate my FlexPoints stash.  It is a sad day and an end to an era, but all good things must come to an end.  But there is good news!  I have decided to share my 4,793 leftover FlexPoints with my readers.

If you need between 1 and 4,793 FlexPoints to book a travel redemption (at the 20,000 or 30,000 FlexPoint threshold), please leave a comment with the number of FlexPoints you need.  After a few days, I will email each commenter, starting with the smallest FlexPoint request and ask for your FlexPerks account number.  I will then transfer the number of FlexPoints you need.  This is my small gift to my readers.

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