Lifestyle creep, analyzing the AA shutdown response, cashing out Dell credits and more


This week around the web, read the cautions of avoiding the inevitable lifestyle creep that can come with the miles & points hobby, temptation to transfer points to Iberia, an interesting perspective on the AA DOT response, and more.

Points, Miles & Avoiding The Dangerous Lifestyle Creep

a man drinking from a glass in a plane
Is that guy the Lifestyle Creep?

I’ve noted before that I’m not a FIRE guy. Financial independence sounds nice, but I’m not looking to retire early (easy for a guy who won the employment lottery to say) – but for some reason I enjoy reading the FIREy bloggers. This morning, reader Nun admonished the fact that Greg and I keep complaining that Chase is taking away our joy of free with the fantastic ability to redeem points at 1.5c each. Of course, it’s a tongue-in-cheek complaint as it is definitely a win for many readers. In this post, Benjy makes the case for flying economy and considering investing the money you’ll save by cashing out the difference you would have spent to fly first. To some degree, it’s hard to argue with his logic — when I saw $65 economy class tickets to Paris from New York for next spring the other day, it certainly made me ask myself how much business class is worth to me in the long run.

Awesomeness and Dysfunctions of Iberia Plus: How to Use the First and Skirt the Second | Iberia Peak Dates, Award Space and Prices, Fuel Surcharges and More!

a seat in an airplane
As much as I like the idea of socking away some money in investments for retirement, I am totally OK with spending 34K points for this.

Lest you think I’ve gone full out on the personal finance thing, I’m including this post from Andy at The Lazy Traveler’s Handbook to balance out against Benjy’s opinion. This sweet spot is very sweet indeed and is one that had me itching to pull the trigger on a transfer and award booking for late next spring or early next summer – until I came to my senses and realized that I don’t want to be stuck with Avios if the trip can’t happen. On the other hand, if I had Avios on hand right now, I would surely be booking some of this space. This is going to be much harder to ignore if Amex does indeed bring back a 40% bonus to Avios this year.

You Can Search For Comments

a cartoon character sitting at a desk with a microscope

This is probably the shortest post I’ve ever included in week in review around the web, but it may be the most useful for those who have missed it. I’ve long loved DoC and I appreciate the fact that you can often access years worth of comments for ongoing resources, but that has at times made it difficult to find the DPs you’re looking for. The fact that you can now search comments there should be very helpful for many.

AA Shutdowns – Observations on AA’s Response to the Borges v. AA DoT Complaint

a red sign with a white circle and a hand in the middle

I’m including this post from Middle Age Miles a week late. Those who have followed AA shutdowns surely know that Middle Age Miles got caught up in those shutdowns and if you’ve read their posts thoroughly, you might find their story more sympathetic than the one you’ve recently read about in the referenced AA DOT complaint response. That made this post from Craig an interesting read as he unpacks the response from Citi to a case that AA will pretty clearly win, why they chose this particular complaint to respond to now, and what consequences there may be ahead both for AA and members.

How I am maximising the Amex Business £150 Dell cashback offer

a man looking at a laptop

This post comes from British blog Head for Points, but it is nonetheless a great example of how you may approach the increased Dell statement credits being offered on the Amex Business Platinum card. There are even easier resale options here in the US given some of the things that Dell sells if you’re willing to take something like a 10% loss, but if you have your eye toward buying a profitable item, many of the Head for Points strategy points will apply.

That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.

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I think the whole F.I.R.E. movement is unimaginative. So rather than trying to innovate and create new businesses with huge paydays while enjoying life, those people would rather forego enjoyment at a younger age (where you probably get more enjoyment). Also, I don’t understand the whole idea of retiring, I’d rather working doing something I enjoy till the day I die as it keeps your mind sharp.



The Miles to Memories post adds an extra layer of consideration to your post on earning points vs. cash back: the value of points is also dependent on the travel lifestyle you want to maintain. Premium cabin flights and luxury hotels – points are probably the way to go; collect points. If it costs $900 worth of points but it would be cost $2000 cash, you still saved $1100 regardless.

On the budget travel side though, I think there’s a chance that cash back wins out vs. points. In Benjy’s case, if he says that he’s been happy to redeem points for less than 1cent/point in some instances, it feels like his conclusion should be that he’ll just stick to cash back.

John Panser

The problem with points and miles is it locks you into to situations, locations, properties, and airlines, and availability. You can have 300K Marriott points but they do no good if you want to stay at the four seasons at a particular destination. There are risks with award flights and splitting reservations with award and paying cash for family. I rather have cash back and pay outright.


So that’s what the lifestyle creep looks like! You know, Benjy had some great points though. At one point in this miles/points hobby, I had the belief of redeeming miles/points only for First Class or economy. I just felt business class was meh especially when F was available; and if F wasn’t available I’m perfectly fine flying in economy since as I always say, the only way to truly appreciate premium cabins is to fly in coach. 😉