Tag Archives: Travel

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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Work from Home Diary 12: Eating in Restaurants & Sunburns at the Beach (SoCal Update)

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  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.  I apologize that it’s been more than a month since my last update in early May titled Work from Home Diary 11: My Thoughts on TWG Turning 7 Years Old Today.  For today’s update, it’s not about work, but about my roadtrip from Northern California down to Southern California to visit my parents.  I haven’t seen my parents since the end of February and I had to cancel my last trip down to visit for Mother’s Day Weekend (read PSA: Don’t Cancel Airline Reservations through Citi ThankYou Portal; Cancel Directly with the Airline).  Laura and I have been staying safe the last few months and so have my parents, so we felt like now was a good time to visit.

I’m not sure about the state you live in, but in California, every county has different rules regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic and which businesses can open.  In Sonoma County (where we live), restaurants have only been open for takeout and delivery, but in Orange County (where my parents live), restaurants are open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.  It’s probably been 3+ months since I last sat in a restaurant and I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much (I got used to eating every meal at home and cooking dinner most nights of the week), but boy was I wrong.

Image source: https://atlanta.eater.com/2020/4/23/21232907/atlanta-georgia-restaurants-opening-dining-room-april27-2020-covid019

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American Express Hilton Aspire Resort Credit Applied Toward Restaurant Purchase in 3 Days

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday.  From June 1 through August 31, American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Card members can now use their $250 resort credit toward restaurant purchases.  To test this out, I made a small restaurant purchase at Panera Bread (through their app) on June 1.  On June 4, the statement credit posted as HILTON RESORT CREDIT.  A 3 day turnaround time for statement credits is pretty standard for American Express.  The one downside with the $250 Hilton Resort Credit is that there is no tracker that shows how much you have spent or redeemed toward the $250 cap.

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Anatomy & Timeline of a Cancelled American Airlines Award Ticket (LGA-DFW-SNA)

Good morning everyone.  A long time ago (February 2020), I purchased 2 American Airlines award tickets to fly from LaGuardia, New York (LGA) to Dallas, Texas (DFW) to Orange County, California (SNA).  Laura and I were going to be in NYC in early July and then fly to Orange County for Fourth of July weekend.  I picked this route because I wanted to check out the American Express Centurion Lounges at LGA and DFW.  I used 20,000 American Airlines miles per ticket (40k total), paid the taxes with my Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, and paid for upgraded seat assignments with my American Express Gold Card and JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite.  Then the Coronavirus Pandemic hit and we cancelled our entire NYC trip.

This was my first time cancelling an American Airlines award ticket, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of refunds and redeposited miles.  In this post, I will walk you through the timeline of events.  I cancelled our American Airlines award tickets on May 7 and received the following Trip Cancellation email immediately.  In the email, it said, “If you booked with AAdvantage miles, and your trip is eligible, we’ll automatically reinstate your miles within 48 hours.”  Unfortunately, 48 hours came and went, but nothing happened…

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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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