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TRAVEL: Points, Miles, Discounts, Tips, Advice & Questions


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6 hours ago, Jersey Man10 said:

I’m flying out of SAT next week and have to leave my car for a week. Should I leave it in the Long Term Parking garage or just do Economy? Never been to this airport.

The Business parking gives you a warm towel and pre-departure drink before shuttling to the airport

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On 12/1/2022 at 9:53 PM, midtown said:

The Amex plat absolutely does give you sky club access. But only when you are flying Delta

True but you get club access to Priority Pass clubs  There is one in New Orleans we used recently while flying AA to and from Austin

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27 minutes ago, DFWTexEx said:

Yes, but the worst priority pass club is better than sitting with the unwashed.

Some priority pass lounges have plenty of unwashed as well.   They give those memberships to pretty much everyone these days it seems 

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I am looking forward to the new guest policy for Centurion.  The clubs are nice, but man, they are overcrowded.  The DFW Centurion is just about unusable.  If I have time, I go over to Terminal E for the low end PP lounge and get a plate of pot roast if I need lunch.  Much better than fighting the crowds at Centurion.

$50 for guest (including spouse) + $30 per child should make a difference.

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17 hours ago, DFWTexEx said:

I am looking forward to the new guest policy for Centurion.  The clubs are nice, but man, they are overcrowded.  The DFW Centurion is just about unusable.  If I have time, I go over to Terminal E for the low end PP lounge and get a plate of pot roast if I need lunch.  Much better than fighting the crowds at Centurion.

$50 for guest (including spouse) + $30 per child should make a difference.

If I have Plat AND Business Plat can I get 2 people in?

 

What if I have 4 Business Plats and 2 Plats?

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I love the Alaska Lounge but nowadays it's totally full. Even the one in Anchorage at midnight is almost always waitlisted just to get in
Alaska is going to stop letting first class passengers into the lounge starting later this year. Seems like a bad move to me.
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2 hours ago, Ag with kids said:

If I have Plat AND Business Plat can I get 2 people in?

 

What if I have 4 Business Plats and 2 Plats?

No.  Number of cards you have doesn't matter.  The new rules are in effect to prevent what you want to do.  Club users are fed up with people brining families into the club and hanging out for hours on end.  American Express listened.  You'll have to pay $50 an adult for non-cardholders and $30 a visit for children (unless under 2).  You could also make them authorized users but that costs $175/year.  If you spend at least $75k on the card a year you can get a (singular) guest in for free with you.  Note: You cannot make a child under 13 an authorized user.

Edited by VABuckeye
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48 minutes ago, VABuckeye said:

No.  Number of cards you have doesn't matter.  The new rules are in effect to prevent what you want to do.  Club users are fed up with people brining families into the club and hanging out for hours on end.  American Express listened.  You'll have to pay $50 an adult for non-cardholders and $30 a visit for children (unless under 2).  You could also make them authorized users but that costs $175/year.  If you spend at least $75k on the card a year you can get a (singular) guest in for free with you.  Note: You cannot make a child under 13 an authorized user.

Well...shit.  At least 90% of my travel is work related so I hit the lounge solo (fuck my lolpoor coworkers).  But, it's nice for my Christmas trip to SXM to hit the DFW or MIA lounge for the layovers with my GF.  Don't think that's worth $175 for the AU since it's only once or twice a year and and $50/visit, it's cheaper to just pay at the door.

Just as well...I'm getting ready to cancel several of those Business Plats - just got them for the MR points.

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3 hours ago, Ag with kids said:

Well...shit.  At least 90% of my travel is work related so I hit the lounge solo (fuck my lolpoor coworkers).  But, it's nice for my Christmas trip to SXM to hit the DFW or MIA lounge for the layovers with my GF.  Don't think that's worth $175 for the AU since it's only once or twice a year and and $50/visit, it's cheaper to just pay at the door.

Just as well...I'm getting ready to cancel several of those Business Plats - just got them for the MR points.

The $50 per visit fee is reimbursable through Amex's $200 airline expense reimbursement credit on your personal card if you choose AA as your designated airline for the year.

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1 hour ago, Chopper said:

The $50 per visit fee is reimbursable through Amex's $200 airline expense reimbursement credit on your personal card if you choose AA as your designated airline for the year.

AHHH!!!!..Now THAT is good info to have.  But I thought it had to be charged through the airline.  Is that just a special perk?

I'm Platinum on AA so there's not much I get charged that qualifies anymore.  Used to get those 500 mile upgrades for $40 but they did away with them last year.

Even when I've been in a seat that "technically" doesn't get free booze, I've gotten free booze.  Probably because my fat ass is so dead sexy.

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5 hours ago, Chopper said:

The $50 per visit fee is reimbursable through Amex's $200 airline expense reimbursement credit on your personal card if you choose AA as your designated airline for the year.

I don't think this is accurate? Lounge in question is American Express's own lounges, not AA's. You could purchase American lounge passes and have that covered though.

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15 hours ago, Ag with kids said:

AHHH!!!!..Now THAT is good info to have.  But I thought it had to be charged through the airline.  Is that just a special perk?

 

 

11 hours ago, gmr548 said:

I don't think this is accurate? Lounge in question is American Express's own lounges, not AA's. You could purchase American lounge passes and have that covered though.

Ah. Sorry. Yeah. May bad. It wouldn't work for the Centurion lounge since you have to pick an airline to get reimbursements from for the year. But it would work for any airline-owned lounge to which you can buy entry.

Edited by Chopper
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  • 2 weeks later...

Anyone seeing any really good sign up bonuses?  I have two slots available. 

Anyone have the Capital 1 Venture X?  75000 bonus.  10x on travel. 5x on flights. 2x on everything else.  Lounge access is limited and I am covered on lounges through United and AMEX

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3 hours ago, midtown said:

Anyone seeing any really good sign up bonuses?  I have two slots available.

The 2 best I think I've seen lately are Chase Ink business preferred, 100k points at $95 annual fee. And the Alaska personal visa has upped their bonus to 70k points, also charges $95 per year, and comes with a companion fare ticket after a minimum spend, free checked bag, priority boarding, etc.

 

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ok - need advice.  I want to review my best Credit Card option. 

My situation: 

I do travel for work but I have to put everything on a company Pcard and there are no rewards on the PCard.  I live in San Antonio and mostly fly SWA with an occasional United flight to SFO mixed in.  Hilton is my main hotel chain.  All of my current travel is domestic except for a random Mexico vacation.  

 

Most of my spending on my personal card is typical life stuff.  Gas , groceries, dining out etc.  Probably $3k-$4k per month on it.  

I currently have a SWA Rapid Rewards Chase Visa that I use for most things.  I went with that because before Covid I was flying 3 round trips per month and between that and the credit card, it was fairly easy to keep Companion Pass and use my Rapid Rewards points for family vacation flights. 

 

I also have a regular old Capital One Venture Visa that I have had forever.   It is just a backup card.  I know I can use my points to cover the cost of any travel. Looks like it is 100 pts for every $1 of travel.  

 

I don't mind keeping the SWA card, but I am not flying as much for work and will not keep Companion Pass status.  

 

We are planning a couple's trip to Italy in Summer of 2024.  Obviously can't use SWA to get there.  I am not sure what airline I would use yet to book air travel yet.  There are several couples going and we are not that far down the road obviously.  

 

Is there a better card option that I should make my #1 option to maximize the benefits for my Italy trip and/or family trips in general? 

 

Thanks for your expertise.  

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23 hours ago, midtown said:

Anyone seeing any really good sign up bonuses?  I have two slots available. 

Anyone have the Capital 1 Venture X?  75000 bonus.  10x on travel. 5x on flights. 2x on everything else.  Lounge access is limited and I am covered on lounges through United and AMEX

I just got 80k in points from Chase in December. Chase Sapphire 

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I would definitely add a Hilton card.  You will get shit tons of Hilton pts with even moderate daily spending and 12x on Hilton.  

Figure out what airline you are planning to fly to Italy and get their card hopefully with a pretty big bonus.  

SWA card is terrible at spending.   The only reason to have on IMO is for the bonus.  Get bonus. Use miles.  Close. Reopen in two years with bonus.

If you travel enough on non-SWA you might look at some kind of travel card but if you are using Hilton and an airline card that's probably going to suck up most of your day to day expenses.   If the travel card you pick has a transfer relationship with your chosen airline you could use that bonus as well. 

Both of these are not great bonuses based on past number but for example get the Delta Amex Gold with 60k and the AXP Plat with 80k and transfer those to Delta. Now you have 140k delta points.  Which won't get you very far bout you get the point. 

Edited by midtown
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If you have status with SW try a status match with Delta, and AA and see if you can get one to bite. If so, use one of their cards and then use the miles to book said trip to Europe or whatever. Combined w/a Hilton card and your trip(s) are going to be much more enjoyable especially when giu reach certain levels/tiers of status.

I have Hilton, Delta Reserve, and AA cards and was able to stack them in a sense for status. Depending on your spending habits the card has perks that parent too bad.

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I'd tend to steer you toward Chase Sapphire Preferred (60k bonus), or an Amex card that lets you transfer points to any airline. Or the Capital One Venture (75k bonus right now) or Venture X. That way you aren't locked in to one airline and the card points have so many transfer partners that you have a lot more flexibility than if you're locked in to one airline's program. A nice thing about Chase points is that they give you a 25% bonus on points if you spend them within their own travel portal.

If you know you're going to fly a particular airline, that perhaps changes things. Or if you're willing to fly economy instead of biz.

I think maintaining flexibility is the best answer but ymmv.

The public offer for chase sapph pref is a 60k bonus and $95 per year fee. I can send you a referral link that'll up your bonus to 75k points if you want it. The card gets you free walmart+, walmart/murphy fuel discount, free paramount tv streaming and some other things so the $95 should pay for itself.

 

 

Edited by Chopper
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1 hour ago, Chopper said:

or an Amex card that lets you transfer points to any airline.

Not any but a lot.  For instance you can't transfer to American.

I'd play the sign up bonus game if I were the poster in question and rack up some nice points/miles but be focused on cards that can get you the flights you want on the airline you want them on.

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4 hours ago, VABuckeye said:

Not any but a lot.  For instance you can't transfer to American.

I'd play the sign up bonus game if I were the poster in question and rack up some nice points/miles but be focused on cards that can get you the flights you want on the airline you want them on.

That's true. You can transfer to BA or Iberia though and book a One World flight using avios, whereas if you put them all with AA you're basically stuck with AA miles and will be stuck with them should they devalue award tickets, as is rumored once again. You can also buy an AA flight using points from the credit card point travel portal.

I guess never say never but the chance that OP is going to score 1 or 2 business class seats (if that's what he's even after) to Italy during peak travel season for 50k or even 70k AA points is close to zero, and the odds are even worse if he's after specific flights on that specific airline. That's another reason to go for credit card points. Not only will you have flexibility to try get a desirable flight but if you can't score that flight, which will be in high demand, the points will be there for another time. Also the credit card portals often have bonuses for transferring points to one of their travel partners, such as BA or Iberia. 

 

 

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Gary Leff's newsletter isn't great for much anymore but you can rely on him to knock on AA if an opportunity arises. Basically it sounds like AA is morphing into SWA (domestic flights and short haul international) but with seat assignments and a few hubs, while dropping most long haul international routes.

Quote

 

Following American’s fourth quarter earnings call, Vice President of Network Planning Brian Znotins explained the choice to focus on new domestic routes over new international ones during an employee meeting, a recording of which was reviewed by View From The Wing.

At American, given our history and our results, the next new destination – that sexy dot on the map isn’t sexy to us unless it’s going to make a lot of money. Sexy for us is profitability. And so for us, in our network, we have a lot of strength in our domestic network.

…There are 200 cities where we have a schedule advantage versus the competition. And ultimately that’s what many customers are willing to pay a little extra for, not have to take a connection on American when on the competitors they would, or being able to get to their business meeting the morning of the meeting instead of having to go the night before.

…Our biggest strength is in domestic. So just like any company, if you’re making a lot of money on product line A, and you’re not making as much money on product line B, what are you going to make more of? ..For us, product line A is our domestic and short haul international network, that’s where we make the most money in our network right now.

 

Quote

 

Znotins offered, “The airline bloggers…won’t be as excited about that sixth trip from DFW to Indy, that sixth trip from DFW to Indy is what we’re going to be earning a profit on instead of going to some speculative destination in Europe or Asia where you don’t have as many people wanting to go there and we’re not as successful on those routes.”

I guess it wouldn't be AA if their executives weren't arrogant pricks. But aside from what bloggers may think it sounds like their rewards program -- the only reason they make money -- is going to become even less of a draw.

Leff's parting shot is incredibly understated from his norm.

Quote

Indeed, American really isn’t in a position to experiment with new European routes since they retired their Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft. Instead, they have a limited number of more expensive Boeing 787s to deploy. And those have to be deployed on denser leisure routes, unaided by large business class cabins, because American made the strategic error to equip their 787-8 aircraft with just 20 business class seats.

 

Edited by Chopper
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Indeed, American really isn’t in a position to experiment with new European routes since they retired their Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft. Instead, they have a limited number of more expensive Boeing 787s to deploy. And those have to be deployed on denser leisure routes, unaided by large business class cabins, because American made the strategic error to equip their 787-8 aircraft with just 20 business class seats.
 

Christ, what a fall from grace.

There was a lot of incompetence in the 90s/2000s but that was tempered by some very strong executives. The MBA push really fucked American, especially once they all rose to prominence.

Ya kinda need some airline people to run your… airline.
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I signed up for the Amex I think Platinum a few weeks ago. I believe it was a 50k bonus if you spend $X in Y months. My question is, I see they are now offering a 90k bonus for the same card. If I call them up any chance I can get them to upgrade me to the better bonus?
Hahaha, good luck with that. Hopefully, you got a referral, so someone else gets hooked up too.
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I signed up for the Amex I think Platinum a few weeks ago. I believe it was a 50k bonus if you spend $X in Y months. My question is, I see they are now offering a 90k bonus for the same card. If I call them up any chance I can get them to upgrade me to the better bonus?
50 is terrible. Unfortunately you are learning the hard way to hold off on any SUB until the bonus is much larger.
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2 hours ago, Baboontyme said:

I signed up for the Amex I think Platinum a few weeks ago. I believe it was a 50k bonus if you spend $X in Y months. My question is, I see they are now offering a 90k bonus for the same card. If I call them up any chance I can get them to upgrade me to the better bonus?

Bummer. Never hurts to ask. But the largest current public offer I see is 80k (for platinum).

 

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