Award travel for a family of 4 | Ask Us Anything Ep 45

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Everyone’s got family-vacation on the brain and the whole team is here to help brainstorm. For episode 45 of Frequent Miler’s “Ask Us Anything”, the whole team showed up to field questions from our Frequent Miler Insider’s Facebook Group. Watch the full episode below or click the timestamps next to each question to navigate directly to it in YouTube.

2:13 – What would you do differently if you were just getting into the hobby now?

4:28 – Nick mentioned the Amex Biz Platinum as a keeper for the 35% rebate on flights. In what situations are you buying flights with your Ritz or CSR for the travel protections? Secondly, what travel/life protections do you use from your credit cards?

6:23 – My wife and I each had US Bank Radisson Rewards cards. One of us had the Business version which has now converted to a Triple Cash Rewards card while the personal changed to a US Bank Altitude Go card. Are either of these cards worth keeping? Also, we still have never received any notice from US Bank that the Radisson cards were being replaced. Can we still cancel the cards; get a refund and possibly apply for them for a sign up bonus in the future?

8:57 – I got the business platinum and I remember Amex had a spend counter for the signup bonus. Do they still have it? And does the spending from the credits count towards the signup bonus?

10:16 – How many AmEx cards can you safely cancel after a year without landing in pop up prison?

11:17 – Any plans to have a live meet up for drinks and points chat this summer?

13:12 – Any clue how long a bank keeps you on their black list after closing all your accounts? IE US Bank

15:05 – Is it tempting to get the Aeroplan card to produce status and then match it to another airline (big 3 domestic)?

16:55 – What are the risks to booking two award tickets separately when the overall cost would be less than booking them together, due to fare buckets?

18:18 – Do you think any of the branded AMEX platinums will increase the sign up bonuses to match the vanilla to stay competitive with the crazy deals on the vanillas?

19:57 – Which AMEX transfer partners charge award booking fees? I know Air Canada & Avianca do – any other airlines?

23:24 – Does the points and miles game still make sense for the economy flyer who is just looking for free flights & modest 4 star accommodations they would be paying for otherwise? Do the outsized welcome bonuses offered on points and miles cards still make the points and miles game more lucrative than the cash back game? Or is cash back the way to go?

27:24 – With things constantly changing, which airline transfer partner(s) [non domestic legacy carrier] have the most generous cancellation policy for getting back miles and taxes & fees without an additional change fee?

29:56 – With a family of 4, international business class seems out of reach…. both for cost and availability. what are some strategies that I should be pursuing now that they aren’t lap infants anymore? Besides just earning and burning loads of amex points

34:44 – I heard on an old podcast that Vacasa redemptions might be capped at $350 for a one bedroom when booking with points. Is this true? I don’t see any language on Wyndham or Vacasa’s site stating this….

36:18 – Does the 35% rebate on the AMEX Business Platinum economy flights on your chosen airline apply only to flights booked on that airlines metal for the entire itinerary? or does it also work on code share flights?

37:40 – Do you think the proliferation of fb miles and points groups have made the average miles and points person lack fundamentals?

40:26 – What’s a good card for someone who knows how to maximize points but has been out of the game for awhile and is under 5/24?

43:20 – Can you downgrade premier to DC and keep the points alive since now it earns thank you points? If not can you first downgrade to rewards plus and PC to DC to keep the points alive?

45:18 – Which of you have had the craziest experience this year on an airplane?

51:13 – For a family of 5 wanting lounge access would you rather have a Chase Ritz Carlton or a Cap One Venture X?

52:25 – I just book oneway Japan airlines business class from JFK to jakarta for march 2023, $1361 and after the $300 off Amex offer, its only $1061. How do i calculate the AA miles i’ll be earning ?

54:16 – Any Chance AMEX will offer a retention bonus if I threaten to cancel my EveryDay Preffered or is a downgrade to the fee free EveryDay the only realistic option?

56:08 – Any recommendations or comments, what is the gateway to getting into some of the private groups? Meet-ups?

57:50 – Any guesses on if Chase will have any all time high sign up bonuses now that Amex is kicking up their game ? Does Chase ever follow suite with Amex on all time high sign up bonuses ?

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Jeff

I wanted to add my experience with the Venture X and authorized users / priority pass. We successfully added our 8 and 14 year olds and they have their own cards. Issue arose with priority pass. They have to be 18 to get their own priority pass.

I know this came up on the show (which was great!)

Facebook Sucks Use YouTube

I thought Ask Us Anything was moved to Facebook. If the archive is now saved on YouTube, why not broadcast the stream live to YouTube like you did in the past?

bmann

I agree, having the videos only on Facebook are a pain. At least with YouTube, I can use the Vinegar app on my iphone, and just listen to the audio. There is really no reason to view the video. It’s nice to see your faces, but the video adds nothing to the content. YouTube all the way!

Cavedweller

UTUBE is great listen to audio on one while watching another .Always works no hassles too.

joremero

Make it a family of 5 and the complexity grows exponentially, ask mw how i know 🙁

Farnorthtrader

Or, even better, a family of 8! We just got back from Italy and Morocco flying all in business class. Even more fun when one of your flights delays for 7 hours, then cancels (thanks Air Canada). Rebooking 8 people is even more fun than booking them in the first place. What was already a 22 hour journey, turned into a 64 hour trip. Same thing happened a few years ago (with 6 of us) when we had cancellation in Beijing. What was supposed to be 18 hours ended up being 72 hours.

Cavedweller

What do u do IF they Cancel or Change 1 to 3 of them only ??
64 hours Ins. pick that up ???

Farnorthtrader

In both cases, we had to split up to get rebooked and one adult went with each group.
In Beijing, the airline picked up our hotel and meals during the delay and I used points for a hotel in Los Angeles so no insurance involved.
On the most recent trip, we were stuck in Montreal. According to Canadian law, Air Canada should be picking up the tab for hotel, meals, transportation to and from the hotel as well as $1000/person. I have filed a claim with them, but they have been squirming out of claims, so no idea if I will ever see anything from them. I also paid the fees and taxes with my sapphire preferred card, so I have also filed a claim through their trip delay insurance. If AC denies my claim, I will continue with the Chase claim

Cavedweller

I use to do NASCAR big time the races with 10 to 20 people..I had a Timeshare on Daytona beach on race week and tickets ect. My PT lady has a few kids like u do after 7 years I STOPPED. I just traveled with my GF, way more cost but the week was a HASSLE..
I know u travel a lot but my friends are looking into annual travel ins like I always had.AIG got me home from HNL and paid the $8100 bill..I’m looking to upgrade on the next trip but TPG got a free $1100 airport hotel by Travel ins.
This Stuff can really turn into a nightmare Fast.

Good Luck