Ask Me (Almost) Anything Friday

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I am looking forward to my MLK Jr. 3 day weekend and hope you are too.  Travel with Grant has always been about writing blog posts that interest me and I write blog posts that I would want to read (hopefully readers want to read those posts too).  My inspiration to write comes from first hand experiences with travel and rewards credit cards, in addition to reading other miles & points blogs and listening to miles & points podcasts.  I don’t have any blog posts at the forefront of my mind right now, so I am looking to my readers for some inspiration.  What are you interested in right now?  Do you have any questions about traveling, miles and points, or credit card rewards?

If you do, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer them all.  I should be able to answer some of them in the comments section, but others may lead to full on blog posts of their own.  My only request is that you do not ask me any complicated award booking questions like, “I want to get 25 people to Australia for Christmas in first class.”  Trust me, I’m not sitting on the greatest award booking secrets ever known, so my short answer will be to reach out to an award booking service and pray that they can help you out.  That is my one and only request, but I welcome all other questions.

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and enjoy your long weekend!

19 thoughts on “Ask Me (Almost) Anything Friday

  1. E C

    Are there any regular patterns that you are aware of where specific credit cards that offer bank points have a promotion offering extra hotel/airline points for converting on a limited time basis? If so, what credit cards and what hotels/airlines?

    Reply
  2. maxwell1009a

    Hi, Grant! Here’s a question I’ve asked at a number of different sites without receiving a definitive answer. In February, I have an immediate (less than 2 hour) turnaround at SJU, flying from and returning to CLT on the same airplane (starting the status requalification merry-go-round). Do I need a COVID test to fly to PR as a U.S. territory and, more important given the requirement going into effect 1/26 requiring a negative COVID test to enter the U.S. from international locations, do I need this test if I am only transiting (never leaving the post-security, “sterile”) zone at SJU? Thanks, in advance, if you know or can find a definitive answer to this question!

    Reply
      1. maxwell1009a

        That would be wonderful, Grant! I want to make sure I’m prepared to comply with applicable restrictions requirements (if any). The key questions are two: (1) is anything special required to transit (connecting flight without leaving secure area/post-security) and (2) is anything special required to fly from PR back to the mainland in light of the new (1/26) CDC rule? Thanks, in advance, for anything you can find out!

        Reply
      2. Tonei Glavinic

        It looks like similar to Hawaii, a COVID-19 test is required only to avoid a quarantine, not to enter the territory. You can just say you will choose the option to quarantine for the duration of your trip, which will be very short if all goes well!

        As for the return flight, you shouldn’t have any issues. The CDC order applies to flights entering the United States; you’re flying between two destinations in the United States, so it wouldn’t apply.

        Reply
        1. maxwell1009a

          Thank you, Tonei! As long as my incoming aircraft doesn’t go mechanical, I’ll be on the ground @ SJU for less than 2 hours before returning on the same plane (and flight number) I arrived on…so I will never actually “enter” Puerto Rico. I’ll just go to the lounge to wait for my return flight to board.

          Reply
  3. d

    From the articles you posted, I see your MS numbers lower than I had anticipated. Are you mostly organic or were you not wanting to draw eyes of teh banks?

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi D, I really only do MS with my Citi ATTAM 3x, all my other spend is organic or going after new CC sign up bonuses. My MS numbers are definitely way down compared to the earlier days of Bluebird, Redbird, and Vanilla Reload Cards :(

      Reply
  4. Bannedinboston

    My Amex accts have been closed by Amex, & I’ve been banned for rewards abuse. I was notified by email indicating details would follow in a letter, but 2 months later, I’ve not received any letter. Are there anecdotal stories about appealing the closure? Any idea how long the ban lasts? Other than indicating that I didn’t use my acct “as intended,” Amex won’t tell me what I did wrong so I have to guess; I suspect it may be a combination of using PayPal Key and Plastiq with my Amex & then cancelling the trx. That resulted in Amex issuing a credit to PayPal instead of to my Amex acct which was not what I intended. Not only did they cancel my Amex accts, but they kept the annual fee they’d just charged & I’d paid within the last 30 days.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Banned in Boston, that is a rough story. I’m pretty sure AMEX banned you for the PayPal Key / Plastiq incident, unless it was a pretty small dollar amount. I’m not sure who you could appeal to, but maybe you could file a complaint with the CFPB and see if you can get a refund of your annual fee and the value of any points or cash back you had in your accounts at the time. I’ve heard that the AMEX ban can last 7-10 years, but I don’t have any first hand experience with that. I wish you good luck and please keep me posted as you go through the process.

      Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Rick, I’m not very familiar with spending your way toward airline status (I’ve never done it). My thought process is: Do you fly enough to earn the elite status? If not, you probably would not get enough value out of the elite status to justify the effort to earn the elite status.

      Reply
      1. Tonei Glavinic

        Certain United and American cards allow you to earn a handful of Premier Qualifying Points (for United) or Elite Qualifying Miles (for AA), but there are caps on how many you can earn that way. I’m not aware of a pathway to status (especially meaningful status) that can be obtained through credit card spend alone, though there may be edge cases with adjustments they’ve made for this year for COVID.

        Reply
  5. MM

    What are some easy ways to use chase ritz carlton’s annual travel credit. Do they reimburse regular travel? I typically don’t pay for baggage or upgrades and I already have access to lounges.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      During normal years, I used the credit for seat assignments. Last year, I used it for restaurants and grocery stores. This year, you can use the credit for seat upgrades and cancel the ticket and get a travel fund.

      Reply

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