Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend. Long story short, I booked an Alaska Airlines flight using my Citi ThankYou Points (1.25 cents per TYP value until April 10). A few weeks later, I decided to cancel the flight. Since I didn’t book the flight directly with Alaska Airlines, I wasn’t able to cancel the flight online. When I called Alaska Airlines, the recording said that I could text Alaska Airlines instead. Alaska Airlines then sent me a text (820-08) and I responded directly to the text. The agent was very helpful and was able to cancel my flight and apply the travel funds to my Alaska Airlines wallet. The whole process took less than 10 minutes and couldn’t have been easier. If you’ve never texted Alaska Airlines before, I recommend saving the text number (820-08) to your phone.
Good morning everyone, happy Friday! After I published How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020?, several readers asked if I could share how much value I received from each credit card in 2020. Today’s post is also a sequel to my 2019 post (I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it?). All 24 of these credit cards were opened before January 1, 2020, and no sign up bonus is included. For simplicity, I did not include the value of miles or points earned from credit card spend, since that is somewhat subjective (and most of the miles and points were not spent in 2020). I counted all credits, reimbursements, retention offers, and referral bonuses at dollar face value. For hotel free night certificates, I have several from 2020 that expire in 2021 and 2022, so I am using a standard value of $100 for each hotel free night certificate.
I went through all of my credit card statements and online accounts to see which Credit Card Benefits I used in 2020 and those values are summed up in the CCB $ column. If I received a retention offer, that is listed in the RO $ column. I listed the credit card annual fee in the AF $ column. Lastly, I used this formula to calculate the Profit or Loss (P / L column) for each credit card: CCB $ + RO $ – AF $ = P / L
I sorted the credit cards alphabetically and split them up into 3 smaller groups. Here are some thoughts from the first group:
- The first 3 AMEX cards were big money makers due to the standard card benefit credits and the temporary pandemic benefits. It will be hard to beat these numbers in 2021.
- I never planned on keeping the American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card long term and only signed up for the 70,000 Delta SkyMiles sign up bonus in 2019.
- In most years, we are easily able to use the $99 Alaska Airlines Companion Fare, but due to the pandemic and very cheap Alaska Airlines flight, we did not use the Companion Fare in 2020. I am hoping to use the Companion Fare this year.
- I’m glad Laura (LT) was able to get a $59 retention offer on her Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and a $100 referral bonus.
|Credit Card Name||Credit Card Benefits||CCB $||RO $||AF $||P / L|
|AMEX Business Platinum||$400 Dell credit; $198 airline reimbursement; $160 wireless phone credit; $158 shipping credit; $96 AMEX Offers for Dell & AT&T||$1,012||$200||$595||$617|
|AMEX Gold||$120 dining credit; $100 airline reimbursement; $60 AMEX Offer for Shop Small||$280||$0||$250||$30|
|AMEX Hilton Honors Aspire||$250 airline reimbursement; $250 resort credit (used at restaurants); 1 Free Night Certificate (expires 7/2/22) (worth $100)||$600||$0||$450||$150|
|AMEX Platinum Delta SkyMiles||Downgraded to no annual fee American Express Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card to avoid paying annual fee||$0||$0||$0|
|Bank of America Alaska Airlines (LT)||Alaska Airlines $99 Companion Fare expired in 2020||$0||$0||$75||-$75|
|Capital One Venture Rewards (LT)||$100 referral bonus||$100||$59||$59||$100|
Good morning everyone, I hope you got a good laugh out of my post from yesterday: Reviewing my Embarrassingly Wrong 2020 Travel Predictions. Long story short, my 2020 predictions were terrible (I had 3 correct and 12 wrong predictions). I am hoping to redeem myself today with my super-solid, 100% guaranteed-to-happen predictions for 2021. My crystal ball just got back from the crystal ball repair store and here are my airline, hotel, and credit card predictions for 2021.
My 2021 Airline Predictions
- Alaska Airlines or Southwest Airlines will make their “convert travel funds to airline miles” feature a permanent feature on their site.
- American Airlines will finally become a Citi ThankYou Points airline transfer partner.
- Delta Airlines or United Airlines will introduce a “Cash and Miles” payment option for award tickets (pay 10,000 miles or pay 8,000 miles + $40).
Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a great weekend and a Merry Christmas (if you celebrated the holiday). Since 2020 is almost over (thank goodness!), let’s review My Wildly Ambitious 2020 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions. To be honest, I totally forgot that I wrote this post and I haven’t looked at it since it was published on December 30, 2019. Here is what I wrote last year for my predictions and my thoughts on each prediction (correct in green and wrong in red):
My 2020 Airline Predictions
- Alaska, American, Delta, or United will introduce a “Cash and Miles” payment option for award tickets. Clarification: This is not to be confused with Delta’s “Pay with Points” option where you get 1 CPP for each Delta SkyMiles for paid flights. I’m thinking more along the lines of the way British Airways and Avianca do it for award tickets. No? I haven’t booked any airline tickets in 9+ months, but I don’t think this prediction came true.
- Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Sun Country will announce a merger, but I’m not sure who will merge with who. No, there were no airline mergers in 2020 among these airlines, but I expect to see some mergers of domestic and international airlines next year.
Good morning everyone, Merry Christmas Eve! As 2020 winds to a close, I wanted to share 10 things I am thankful for this year. I hope you can relate to some of these things and have other things you are thankful for as well. If you want, please share what you are thankful for in the comments. Without further ado, here is what I am thankful for in 2020:
It goes without saying, but I am very thankful for my wife, Laura. She has been my constant stay at home companion and has made this year special. I don’t know what I would do without her. I’ve enjoyed watching TV shows, Hallmark movies, BBQing and making dinner, baking cookies, going for walks around our neighborhood, helping me with puzzles, and much more. I am also very proud that she finished her Masters Degree this year. She is incredible and I love her so much. Continue reading