People often ask whether the Bilt card has a use case if you’re not a renter. A year ago, I’d have said “not really” for most people. But that has changed: last week, we added the card to my household and Greg is spending toward Bilt’s top elite tier. On this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air, we talk about what has changed and who should be giving this card more attention (as well as who shouldn’t).
Elsewhere on the blog this week, we discuss major Delta card changes, divergent viewpoints on Necker Island, whether I should upgrade to the Aviator Silver and an Andaz you might want to visit. Watch, listen, or read on for more from this week at Frequent Miler.
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This week on the Frequent Miler blog…
One of the biggest complaints about the Bilt card is the lack of a welcome bonus. When Bilt announced a one-day-only (February 1st only!) Rent Day promotion to get a 75-150% transfer bonus to Air Canada Aeroplan, I couldn’t sit on the sidelines. I referred my wife, she got the widely targeted offer for 5x for the first 5 days after receiving the card, and in the space of just 6 days she turned an $11K tax payment into 110,000 Air Canada Aeroplan points (and I turned the 2,500 points for referring her into 4,375 points when I transferred my Bilt points at a 75% bonus). When I wrote this post, I had totally forgotten about Aeroplan Family Sharing, so the real kicker is that we both took advantage of the transfer bonus and now our Aeroplan points are pooled for easy shared redemption.
The Delta cards underwent huge changes on the first of the month. While annual fees increase, those changes manage to look largely positive (ya know, apart from the fact that the annual fee on the Reserve card has now increased by almost 50% over the past couple of years). I’m sure that a lot of people will be more excited about the companion certificates on the Platinum and Reserve cards since those will now be able to be used for travel to Hawaii (for newly issued certificates after 2/1). And the couponizing of the cards will probably work out for a lot of people. I still probably won’t get a Delta credit card myself, but I think the trade here is mostly decent for Delta fans.
My wife and I have been American Airlines AAdvantage Aviator Red cardholders for all of about 4 months and both of us have been offered the opportunity to upgrade to the Aviator Silver. Given the Silver card’s big spend benefits and the fact that we’re both about halfway to a 5K Loyalty Point boost and a $99 Companion Certificate that’s good for two companions each, I wondered aloud whether it might be worth upgrading now — especially since it wouldn’t cost anything to upgrade until my anniversary date.
Greg went to Necker Island. Some guy named Tom also went to Necker Island. The experience starts to diverge from there. In this post, Greg tells a tale of two mostly different experiences at Richard Branson’s private island in the Caribbean. As you’ll recall, Greg had a fabulous experience there a few years ago, but a poor review by another guest prompted Greg to compare where they agree, where they disagree, and where a difference of opinion may just be a difference of perspective.
Tim recently stayed at the Andaz Scottsdale and reviews his experience in this post. I also traveled to Phoenix last year and considered this property but ultimately stayed at the Tempe Mission Palms. The Tempe Mission Palms was nice enough (especially for the 9K or 12K per night!), but the Andaz does look considerably nicer when you consider the entire property grounds. In my case, I wasn’t there for a relaxing getaway, so the Andaz didn’t seem like the vibe I wanted. I think that was probably the right answer for my situation after reading Tim’s review, but if I had cause to go back I’d probably try out the Andaz based on his experience there.
I’m including this post as a timely reminder for those with Wyndham Diamond status to match back to Caesars Diamond as the Caesars membership year ended on January 31st. If you’re a Wyndham Business Earner cardholder, this match should be business as usual. If you earned your Wyndham status by matching from Caesars Diamond last year, things are iffier. Either way, it takes at least a week (sometimes two) for status to update, so you want to match sooner rather than later. If your status doesn’t update, rather than submitting again (which I think just sends you to the back of the processing line), try sending an email to support (see this post for how to do that).
That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler, but don’t forget to keep an eye on this week’s last chance deals.