American Express

Monthly Points Update June 2017

June!

Can’t believe we’re half way through the year.  It’s flown by…even though I (sadly) haven’t done that much flying.  Luckily, the summer has a lot of travel coming up:  Austin this month, Denver/South Dakota the next, and Nashville in August.  Meanwhile, I’ve been socking away points and waiting for the time to travel!

As always, you can check out my cumulative points at the Keeping Score page on the top banner.

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Flexible Points for the Win!

I keep meaning to diversify my points.

I have a whole pile of American Airlines miles (thanks Citi), plenty of American Express Membership Rewards, United MileagePlus miles, and a smattering of points with Alaska and Virgin America (soon to be combined anyway).  I had a healthy balance of Southwest Rapid Rewards, but I’ve been burning through those before my Companion Pass expires at the end of the year.  As for hotels, I have decent stash of SPG and IHG, but I’d like to snag some Hilton and Hyatt points, and maybe even some Wyndham, Club Carlson, or Best Western points to round things out.

Luckily, I continue to build my portfolio of points slowly but surely.  With the cards I have, I can easily get Membership Rewards points and Citi ThankYou Points in a pinch, while my girlfriend has a good balance of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points.

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Investing with Rewards

Hey everyone!

You know what I find really interesting?

All the stats on this blog, any blog, really.  Come to think of it, I guess I just like statistics!  (Hey, anyone that tells you travel hacking doesn’t attract folks with a geek side…is lying.)

It’s not a big blog over here in my corner of the internet, by any means, but there are enough people stopping by every month that I’m starting to see some trends.  One of the more interesting trends is seeing which posts are the most popular.

My write-up and first impressions on the American Express Platinum Card for Charles Schwab is still holding down third place for all time popularity!

I wrote that one when I opened up the card in July of 2016, and it continues to bring in an audience.  Last year, it was in 4th place for total views, even though it was only up for less than half the year!  Given the popularity, I thought I’d do some experiments with the Schwab card.

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The First Time I bought Points…

First time for everything, right?

This hobby has taught me a lot.  First, I was appalled by paying annual fees on credit cards.  I mean, I had my trusty Discover card.  Who needs a card that’s going to charge you just to use it?  Plus, way before all of that, I thought all credit cards were evil!

Then, I thought people chasing status were crazy.  I’m too tough for premium level service anyway, that’s for sissies.  That may have changed too.

And up until recently, I thought buying your miles was nuts.

Well, that’s all changed.

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Thoughts on the Airline Reimbursement Perk from American Express

American Express just isn’t what it used to be.  (Ask your grandfather.)  Sure, there’s this lingering air of prestige* when you pull out the Platinum card, but there are plenty of cards licking at its’ heels.  You can make (and probably win) the case that a card like the Citi Prestige or the Chase Sapphire Reserve has already surpassed the Platinum.

Whether you win that argument with yourself or not, I find myself with an American Express Platinum card, so we might as well see how it works, right?

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Just another ride home from the airport: Triple stacking an Uber promotion

No, unfortunately, it wasn’t me heading home from the airport.  Full disclosure…I haven’t gotten time to travel since exploring Chicago this past October.

I know!  I’m getting restless, but don’t worry.  I do have a few travel ideas coming up in the next couple of months.

I happened to have friend flying into Boston last week though, and that flight just happened to land after the public transportation system had shut down for the night.

Hey, did you know you could request an Uber ride for a friend?

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First Impressions: American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

Last week, I added a new horse to the stable.

The American Express Platinum, Charles Schwab edition.

I’ll admit, this one was a bit of an impulse.  I’ve been shifting my focus from credit cards to bank bonuses, giving my credit report a bit of time to recover from the inquiries in the last year.  I’ve opened up more than 10 cards since I started travel hacking about 9 months ago.

Hey, go big or go home, right?

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First Impressions: American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business

My first business card!

And shipped overnight, no less.  Long story.

At any rate, I’ve very much enjoyed the opportunity to get started on some business credit history, and have access to some of the benefits of a business card.  I do plenty of little “side-gigs,” and with a dedicated business card, I’ll actually be able to keep them on the side.  When mixing business and personal expenses, things can get a bit tricky, so this is a great addition to my wallet.  Not only for the valuable SPG points, but to help differentiate between business and personal expenses.

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