Tag Archives: Radisson Rewards

My Wild and Crazy 2022 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions

Good morning everyone, happy New Year’s Eve Eve (emphasis on the extra Eve).  Yesterday, I wrote about my dismal prediction performance (I didn’t predict I would do so poorly – another wrong prediction of mine) in my post How Right (or Wrong) were my 2021 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions?  My new crystal ball just arrived from Amazon, so I am going to put it to the ultimate test and I’ll provide my 2022 airline, hotel, and credit card predictions.  I’m guaranteed to get between 0% and 100% correct, but only time will tell…

My 2022 Airline Predictions

  • Alaska Airlines or Southwest Airlines will bring back their “convert travel funds to airline miles” feature.
  • American Airlines will return as a Citi ThankYou Points airline transfer partner.
  • Avianca will give Turkish Airlines a run for their money for domestic Star Alliance awards.
  • British Airways will let you use Avios to pay the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharge portion of award tickets.
  • Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, or United Airlines will introduce a “Miles and Cash” payment option for award tickets (pay 10,000 miles or pay 8,000 miles + $40).
  • JetBlue will partner with another US airline for award bookings.
  • United Airlines will be a transfer partner with Brex, Citi, or American Express.

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How Right (or Wrong) were my 2021 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions?

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  A year ago, I wrote My Rock Solid 2021 Airline, Hotel & Credit Card Predictions.  It is now time to review my 2021 predictions and see how right (or wrong) I was.  My original predictions are in black, I will comment in green if my prediction was right, and comment in red if my prediction was wrong.  Let’s see how I did…

My 2021 Airline Predictions (1 for 3)

  • Alaska Airlines or Southwest Airlines will make their “convert travel funds to airline miles” feature a permanent feature on their site.  Wrong – sadly this was a temporary feature that each airline introduced in 2020 but they did not make this a permanent feature in 2021.
  • American Airlines will finally become a Citi ThankYou Points airline transfer partner.  Right – but only for a few months.  I hope American Airlines comes back as a Citi ThankYou Point airline transfer partner in 2022.
  • 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).  Wrong – neither Delta nor United introduced a “Cash and Miles” payment option.

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I Paid $3,009 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2021 – Was it Worth it?

Updated at 1pm PT on 12/16/21: I forgot to include the value of my Hilton Free Night Certificate from my American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card.  That increased the total another $200 and the info is updated below.


Good morning everyone.  If you haven’t already, please read my post from yesterday (How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2021?).  In today’s post, I will share how much value I received from each credit card in 2021.  Today’s post is also a sequel to my 2020 post (I Paid $3,820 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020 – Was it Worth it?) and my 2019 post (I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it?).

These 26 credit cards were opened before January 1, 2021, with the exception of my Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card which I opened in July 2021.  For simplicity, I did not include the value of miles or points earned from credit card spend, since that is somewhat subjective.  I counted all credits, reimbursements, retention offers, and referral bonuses at dollar face value (with airline miles and hotel points at conservative values between 0.5 CPP and 1 CPP).  For hotel free night certificates, I used a standard value of $100, with the exception of the Marriott 50K Free Night Certificate which I valued at $200.

I went through all of my credit card statements and online accounts to see which Credit Card Benefits I used in 2021 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 fees 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 grouped the credit cards by issuer, sorted them by highest profit at the top, and then split them up into 3 smaller groups (LT = Laura’s card).  Here are my thoughts from the first group:

  • The retention offer on my American Express Business Platinum Card propelled that card to the top of the charts.  It was already a money maker, but the retention offer was the icing on the cake.
  • I was very diligent about using all Airline, CLEAR, Dell, Hilton Resort, Restaurant, Uber, and Wireless credits on all my AMEX cards this year.
  • I can easily get more than $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fares with trips to Hawaii or New York, or expensive last minute travel.
  • I’ve gotten so much value out of the Barclays Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Credit Card thanks to Vacasa vacation rentals.
  • Laura loves her Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card so much, I don’t think she could ever give it up (even though I tell her the card is not worth the $59 annual fee).
Credit Card Name Credit Card Benefits CCB $ RO $ AF $ P / L
AMEX Business Platinum $300 Dell credit, $200 Airline Fee credit, $169 CLEAR credit, $30 Wireless credit, and $25 Staples AMEX Offer $724 $595 $595 $724
AMEX Hilton Honors Aspire $250 Hilton Resort credit, $250 Airline Fee credit, $200 Restaurant credit, and $200 value from Hilton Free Night Certificate $900 $0 $450 $450
AMEX Delta Gold Business $90 Wireless credit and I closed this credit card to avoid paying the $99 annual fee $90 $0 $99 $90
AMEX Gold $100 Airline Fee credit, $100 Dining credit, $100 Uber credit, and $25 1-800-FLOWERS AMEX Offer $325 $0 $250 $75
Bank of America Alaska Airlines (LT) $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare $100 $0 $75 $25
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare $100 $0 $75 $25
Barclays Wyndham Rewards Earner Business 15,000 Wyndham Rewards anniversary points ($150) and 13,500 points from the 10% cardmember discount on award stays ($135) $285 $0 $95 $190
Capital One Venture Rewards (LT) None (Laura’s go to credit card for everyday spending) $0 $0 $59 -$59

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Travel with Grant Turns 8 Years Old & My Top 8 Travel & Blogging Moments

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is off to a great start.  8 years ago today (back on May 1, 2013), Travel with Grant was born!  Even though I am not a full time blogger and writing this post from a secluded beach, I’m still very happy and grateful to still be writing and sharing my thoughts with my readers.  Every year (when I remember), I like to write a birthday / blogiversary post about TWG.  If you want to reminisce through the years, check out these old posts: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, and I forgot about year 7 during the Coronavirus Pandemic (oops).

Before I share my top 8 blogging moments, I wanted to share some advice I learned about blogging:

  • I feel like the traditional advice and reason for starting a travel blog is to “help friends and family travel.”  That couldn’t be further from the truth for me.  I was tired of telling my friends and family about all the cool credit card sign up bonuses, cool airline alliances, cool sweet spots, and having them not care at all.  I started my blog because I wanted to help people that actually wanted to travel!
  • Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme either.  Most of the time (at least for the first few years), you will be working for free or working for less than minimum wage.  Don’t start a blog for the money because you will run out of steam and enthusiasm very quickly.
  • Anyone can start a blog, but keeping a blog going week after week, month after month, and year after year takes a lot of dedication.  Which leads to my next point – write about the things that interest you.  If you are not excited about a topic, chances are your writing will come off boring and your readers will be bored too.

Without further ado, here are my top 8 travel & blogging moments (in chronological order):

May 1, 2013 – Travel with Grant is born.  I was between jobs at the time and thought that having a blog would help me get a job.  A few months later, I started working at Panasonic Avionics (in-flight entertainment and global Wifi provider), so maybe my plan worked out.  I had never started a blog, so I brainstormed blog names and chose Travel with Grant over Grant’s Trips because when you type out the URL, it looked like www . grant strips . com and I didn’t want people to be dissapointed when they clicked the link.  Looking back at the first few months of blogging is like looking at your work from kindergarten now that you are in college.  Thankfully, my writing, logo, and blog layout improved over time. Continue reading

I Paid $3,820 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020 – Was it Worth it?

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 $250 $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

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