The world of credit card rewards and award travel is full of hidden gems and sweet spots that can unlock incredible value if you know where to look and which tools to use. Sometimes those values are so strong that they seem too good to be true and we have often said that when it sounds too good to be true, it might be worth jumping in before the deal is dead. But do those opportunities die because we write about them? More importantly, should we just shut up about the best deals to preserve them as long as possible? This week on Frequent Miler on the Air, Greg and I discuss our take on what to publish and why (and what we leave between the lines) and also touch on the crazy thing that we did this week, whether you might want to wait on buying Wyndham points, and whether you should use points to cover the cost of vacation now or hold off for better value later. Watch, listen, or read on for even more from this week at Frequent Miler.
- 0:56 Giant Mailbag: Are Capital One’s partners good for a beginner?
- 05:28 What crazy thing….did Greg and Nick do this week?
- 08:03 Mattress running the numbers: Is it worth buying Wyndham points, or should you wait?
- 15:55 Main Event: Deals too good to be true. Should we shut up about them?
- 42:35 Post Roast
- 54:49 Question of the Week: Should I use points to pay for my trip or save them for something more valuable?
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This week at Frequent Miler
In Credit Cards
Some cards automagically make your points worth more. I know that I’m dying to get the Wyndham business card added to our household wallet so that we can get even more value out of the Vacasa vacation rentals via Wyndham since just holding one of the Wyndham cards gets you a 10% discount on award stays. That is far better than a rebate since you get the discount on the front end (needing fewer points to book an award). See this post for a full list of cards that can supercharge your rewards without leaving your wallet.
Dream until the dream comes true. In this post, Greg described an imaginary ultra-premium Capital One credit card that could rule his wallet, but many readers found it to be almost laughably unrealistic. On the contrary, I expect that if Capital One does indeed release an ultra-premium card that it will be an outlier. It likely won’t quite live up to the dream entirely but it certainly could be cut of this thread. I love that Greg set a high bar with some really smart suggestions (love the 1.5c hotel eraser idea!) as I think Capital One has shown an interest in adapting and competing. I look forward to seeing if some of this comes true!
[Valid through May 5] Awesome Delta offers: up to 125K miles, up to 20K MQMs, plus statement credits
If you thought that the Delta offers ended earlier this week and you missed out or if you heard that one site has exclusive links to the increased offers now, I’m glad to give you the good news that the increased offers live on via referral and that there is an even better targeted offer out now on the Delta Reserve card. I guess it’s true that you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.
It is important to know the difference between Amex “credit cards” and “pay over time” in order to understand how many and which Amex cards you can add to your collection. Until some recent redesigns, a shorthand way to dell was by the card art, but now this post is the type of resource you need if you’re not certain which cards count as credit and which count as “pay over time”. It is indeed possible to have more than 5 Amex cards, it just depends which type you have.
In award booking
If you’ve been sitting on certificates that expired unused last year, you’re in luck: those certificates that were originally set to expire in 2020 will be extended to early January 2022. I would have liked to have seen Marriott make this extension a little bit sooner, but I’m glad that they made this happen before the summer travel season begins.
In my opinion, ANA Mileage Club is the strongest Amex transfer partner and a leading reason why I think Membership Rewards is the king of transferable currencies. In some cases, ANA charges the same number of miles round trip that United would charge you one way. Sweet spots include 88K round trip in business class to Europe (with a stopover allowed!), 75K round trip in business class to Japan during low season, 104K round trip to Africa in business class, and Australia from 105K round trip in business class. There are some quirks, but this is a program worth getting to know.
In elite status
If you’ve ever been interested in Delta elite status and you are ready to get back up in the sky during the latter half of the year, 2021 may be the time to go after Delta elite status. In this post, Greg not only pulls together some of the shortcuts that we’ve discussed previously, but he adds some potential gems like picking up MQDs via Delta Vacations.
Now that Delta regional and global upgrade certificates are more flexible than ever before, it makes sense that they are also worth more. How much more should they be valued? In this post, Greg updates to address Delta’s positive changes.
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Be sure to keep an eye on this week’s last chance deals.