AA shutdowns, how we cause devaluations, college credit cards, and an unfortunate glitch

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This week’s Frequent Miler on the Air broadcast is a bit unique: due to a technical glitch, our audio recording got cut off just over half way through. Therefore, if you download the podcast form this week, you’ll hear about 2/3 of the topics originally discussed. That is to say that in the podcast below, we talk about AA shut downs, the cause of program devaluations, and whether Greg is doing more harm than good in helping his son develop a portfolio of credit cards. If you want to also hear us discuss manufacturing Hyatt Globalist status, you’ll need to watch it on Youtube below (with our apologies for the blooper when we catch our goof in the middle).

FM on the Air Podcast

For those who would rather listen during the morning commute or while you’re working, the audio of our weekly broadcast is also available for download as a podcast on all of your favorite services:

You’ll also find us on Spotify and hopefully your other favorite platforms. If you’re not finding the podcast via your favorite source of good podcasts, send us a message and let us know what you’d like us to add.

On to our weekend recap of the week’s top stories:

In credit card earning and burning:

[Update: More accounts locked] American Airlines shutting down some accounts for churning

In a move that I think is unprecedented, American Airlines is shutting down some accounts (and cancelling ticketed awards) based on credit card activity that they view as having abused the program and/or skirted the rules. We talk about this situation in more depth in the Frequent Miler on the Air broadcast/podcast above. Those who have reason to be concerned know who they are on this one and this second wave has caught up additional members. Two key things to know: first, even ticketed awards are being canceled. Second, there is a private discussion happening on reddit (and surely also on other platforms) for people affected by this. It would be wise to connect with others affected to get the pulse of the situation if you are concerned about your miles / tickets.

195K more points for my college student son

Greg’s son continues on his path to mile-millionaire with a couple of big new bonuses.  Is Greg doing right by his son here? Or is he doing more harm than good in helping his son open credit cards and meet spending requirements? Find out why this is so beneficial for his son and the planning that has gone into it both in this post and in our FM on the Air broadcast above.

Doing Disney off-property? Magic Village is a great property.

Last week, I used Wyndham Rewards points to stay in a 4-bedroom townhouse near Disney World. While this is no longer a  great use of Wyndham points, it could be a nice option for a paid stay when you’re traveling with a family and want the comforts of home,

In elite status

Manufacturing Hyatt Globalist Status

Living room of a suite at the Grand Hyatt Kauai that I got thanks to a friend with Globalist status.

In the part of our FM on the Air broadcast that got cut out of this week’s podcast, we talked about why Greg thinks Hyatt has by far the best benefits for top-tier elite members among hotel loyalty programs. I’ll admit that I partially miss having Hyatt Globalist status. In this post, Greg shows that it’s something pretty accessible to those willing to put in a little leg work. While I jokingly argued a bit this week as to why this doesn’t make sense for Greg, the truth is that I think anyone with at least 20 or 30 nights of hotel stays per year should probably consider filling the gap to Globalist. The question is how — and Greg gives you the answers in this post.

Searching for cheap status with oneworld airlines

I’m not one to chase after airline elite status. That said, stacking some really cheap domestic economy class fares with the Ritz Visa Infinite Airfare discount has certainly made me think about how it may be possible to do so based on cheap segments. With a recent sale, I found round trip flights for two passengers for as little as seven US dollars total. If only I could find the right place to credit those, it seems like status could be awfully cheap.

In updated resources

This week, our complete guides to two ultra-premium credit cards have been refreshed, renewed, and updated with all of the key details. Whether you have one of these cards and you’re looking for the answer to a specific question or you want to know more about how a benefit works, see the table of contents at the beginning of either of these posts for quick links to everything you need to know:

Chase Sapphire Reserve Complete Guide

Amex Platinum Complete Guide


That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for our week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

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