Tag Archives: American Airlines

Hilton Grand Vacations (Timeshare) Package Extended Expiration Date & Free Change to Other US Resorts

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  This summer, Laura and I were supposed to go to Boston and New York City for a week.  Then the Coronavirus Pandemic hit.  We recently cancelled our entire trip, including our JetBlue award flight from SFO-BOS, our Hilton free night stay in Boston, our Amtrak trip from Boston to NYC, our hotel stays in NYC, and our American Airlines award flight from LGA-DFW-SNA.  Part of our stay in NYC was at a Hilton Grand Vacations resort with the purchase of a timeshare package (and mandatory timeshare presentation).  Fun read: Profiting from 2 Timeshare Presentations in Hawaii (Secret: Attend, but do not Buy!)

Long story short, I originally bought the timeshare package in November 2018 and have extended / renewed it a few times over the years.  After cancelling my NYC timeshare package, I learned about the extended expiration date and the ability to change to another Hilton resort in the US for free.  More details at the bottom of the post.  My original timeshare package was $286 and gave us 2 nights in NYC (choice of 4-5 properties), $100 Spend a Night on Us voucher (hopefully no headaches like last time), $100 Elevated Rewards Dollars (Hilton resort credit during our stay), and 5,000 Hilton Honors Points (worth ~$25).  The original timeshare package expiration date was November 15, 2019.

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Work from Home Diary 3: Upcoming Travel Plans (Cancel Now or Wait it Out?)

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to discuss upcoming travel plans and my plans for those trips.  As of today, I have 4 trips on the books.  These trips are not set in stone and could be cancelled by myself or the airlines before departure depending upon how things are going in the world.  We are taking things slowly and focusing on 1 day at a time.

Trip 1 – Mother’s Day Weekend

My next trip is in mid-May for Mother’s Day Weekend.  I was planning on flying down from San Francisco (SFO) to Orange County (SNA) to visit my parents and grandparents.  I have flown down for Mother’s Day weekend for the last few years and enjoy seeing my family.  This trip was booked with Citi Thank You Points for basic economy travel on Alaska Airlines.  If the situation in California remains the same (all Californias are told to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus), I will probably cancel my trip and hold onto travel funds for a future trip.

Mother’s Day dinner in St Kitts (2017)

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I Downgraded my JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton to Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless ($450 AF to $95 AF)

Good afternoon everyone.  A few months ago, I upgraded my Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature to JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite.  Fast forward to March 1 and the $450 annual fee posted to my Ritz Carlton credit card.  Over the last few weeks, I was trying to decide if I should keep this credit card and pay the $450 annual fee or downgrade to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card which only has a $95 annual fee (but comes with a 35K Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate).

The biggest reason for me to downgrade this credit card was the loss of the Visa Infinite Discount Air Benefit which allowed me to save $100 on roundtrip domestic flights for 2 or more passengers.  I used that benefit a few times last year and was looking forward to using it a few times this year to offset the $450 annual fee.  Unfortunately, that benefit abruptly disappeared in early January 2020.

With that benefit gone, the remaining 2 benefits worthwhile to me were the $300 annual travel credit and the 50K Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate.  As of today, I already redeemed the free night certificate for a hotel in New York City in June and used ~$85 of the $300 annual travel credit.

I called the JPMorgan Chase customer service number to see if they could waive the annual fee, but that was not possible, so I suggested downgrading to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card.  After a few minutes, the downgrade process was completed.  I will receive the new credit cards in the next week and the $450 annual fee would be refunded back to my account in the next few days ($450 annual fee was refunded the following day).  Here is what my Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card looks like in my Chase online account.

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2020 Datapoint: AMEX Airline Fee Credit for American Airlines Posted in 7 Days

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well (despite the daylight saving time change).  Last week, I wrote Use American Express Chat to Change Airline Fee Credit Airline Choice (Almost 100% Automated).  In that post, I showed you how you could easily change your airline choice for the American Express airline fee credit by using the AMEX chat feature.  In today’s post, I will share my experience getting the airline fee credit for a few American Airlines seat upgrades.  As you can see by this email from American Express, my airline choice was changed to American Airlines on 10:16am on February 29, 2020.

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My Travel Philosophy for Redeeming Miles vs. Paying Cash for Flights (w/ Account Balances as of March 2020)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I just finished listening to the Miles to Memories podcast (latest episode) and enjoyed listening to them talk about Disney when they redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights.  I don’t have a hard and fast rule that I live by, so I thought it would be fun to share my travel philosophy of when I redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights.  I specifically mention flights because I plan to write a similar article about hotels and didn’t want to make this article too long.  Lastly, when I use the word cash, that could mean paying for the flight with a credit card, or paying with an airline gift card, or using credit card rewards to pay for the flight – basically anything other than booking an award ticket with airline miles.

I also think it is important to share how many credit card reward points I have, since my thinking would be much different if I had 1,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points vs. 1 million Chase Ultimate Reward Points.  With that said, here are my transferable points balances, as of March 2020, from smallest to largest:

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