Tag Archives: Delta Airlines

American Express Waiving Membership Rewards Points Transfer Excise Tax Through 12/31 & Refunding Previous 2020 Charges

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  I was checking my American Express online account and I saw a credit balance of $1.80 on my American Express Everyday Credit Card.  I never use this card, so I was surprised to see that the credit was a Membership Rewards Airline Tax Offset Fee Credit.  I did some digging and learned that this refund is related to a $1.80 charge from February that I paid to transfer 3,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points to my Delta account to book an award ticket.  I also learned that American Express is waiving the excise tax fee for domestic airlines through December 31, 2020 (including Delta, JetBlue, and Hawaiian).

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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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Keep, Cancel or Convert? American Express Business Platinum Charge Card ($595 Annual Fee)

Good afternoon everyone.  As part of my “Keep, Cancel or Convert?” series, I like to evaluate and reevaluate credit (and charge) cards to make sure they still deserve a spot in my wallet.  Last month, the $595 annual fee posted on my American Express Business Platinum Charge Card.  I have read a few recent blog posts about whether to keep or cancel the AMEX Platinum Card (from Frequent Miler and Your Mileage May Vary), so I wanted to share my view on this card.

First things first, I added my brother as an authorized user so he could access the Centurion Lounges, Escape Lounges, and Priority Pass Lounges (no more restaurants).  He used the card a few times, but he decided that the $300 annual fee was not worth it to him.  My statement closed on December 2, I called AMEX on December 2 or 3, and said I would like to downgrade my brother’s AMEX Business Platinum to a no annual fee AMEX Business Green (which comes with no perks, other than the $100 Global Entry credit).  AMEX processed the downgrade request right away, but did not provide a full refund (I was charged $1.64 for those 2 days).  Seems kind of petty to me, but let’s see if I decided to keep, cancel, or convert my AMEX Business Platinum.

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My Wildly Ambitious 2020 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions

Good afternoon everyone.  Generally, at the end of the year, I like to review my travel predictions for the past year and make new predictions for the coming year.  After a long streak of poor prediction performance (2018 prediction results, 2017 prediction results, and 2016 prediction results), I decided not to make any travel predictions for 2019.  But my predictions are coming our of retirement / hibernation today.  I really recommend reading the travel predictions that Stephen at Frequent Miler made, especially his top 5 predictions:

  1. Capital One To Add Virgin Atlantic As Travel Partner
  2. Amex Membership Rewards To Transfer To JetBlue On A 1:1 Basis
  3. Free Breakfast For IHG Spire Elite Members
  4. Citi To Allow Card Referrals
  5. Chase And/Or Amex To Increase Referral Limits

I am going to piggy back on his predictions and add a few of my own.  So without further ado, here are my travel predictions for 2020

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.
  • Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Sun Country will announce a merger, but I’m not sure who will merge with who.

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I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it?

Good morning everyone.  As we approach the end of the year, I decided to take a look at my credit card spreadsheet and see how much my wife and I paid in annual fees this year.  I removed all the no annual fee credit cards and here are the 26 credit cards that have annual fees (sorted alphabetically).  I will break down this list into cards that I am 99% sure that I will cancel, 99% sure that I will keep, and the 50/50 cards that I might keep or cancel.  Read through this post and let me know if you agree or disagree with my thinking.

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