More Bonvoy fun while United goes off the charts and everything else credit cards


Nick usually writes these weekend posts, but he’s been vacationing in Japan all week.  Via emails and Facebook, it looks like Nick and family have been having an incredible time.  I’m sure he’ll write up a few posts about their fantastic ANA flight, their amazing experience at a Japanese Courtyard Hotel (yes, Courtyard), and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a snow monkey photo or two.

In the meantime, you’re stuck with me.  That’s a shame because each weekend I love reading Nick’s perspective about the posts I had written during the week.  Seeing my posts through another’s eyes is… eye-opening.

So, let’s try something different here.  I’m going to pretend to be Nick.  What follows are my guesses as to Nick’s thoughts about my posts.  Enjoy.


Marriott’s 2019 Elite Thank You Gift initiative

Thanks to a reader who supplied photos, Greg broke the news about Marriott’s attempt to appease high level elite members.  Greg thinks that this effort is just as likely to backfire and make members even more pissed off.  I disagree.  I think it will 100% backfire.  Greg also giggled over the suggestion that hotels check with their “in-continent Food and Beverage and Operations leaders”.  Sure, I laughed too, but let’s face it — as a father to 15 month old, I understand deferring to the incontinent one.

@Amex: What’s the deal with your Marriott spend offer?

A Bonvoy experience that many of us have “enjoyed” recently was when we tried to register to earn extra Marriott points on our old SPG cards (now called Marriott Bonvoy American Express).  The deal is that we can earn 25,000 extra points for each $25K spend, up to $100K.  But, many of us were unable to register.

A PR representative reached out to us to let us know that the registration date had been extended until May 31 and gave us a new direct registration link. So Greg re-published this post with that new info on top.

Unfortunately, many readers report still being unable to register.  Bonvoy!  So, we’re back to asking Amex: What’s the deal?

United is off the charts

United Eliminating Award Charts: From MileagePlus To MileageMinus?

Here Stephen Pepper detailed the news that United plans to eliminate award charts by November 15.  While this probably is really bad in the long run, we can at least hope that this leads to hidden gems as with the LifeMiles program (see: The Secret LifeMiles Award Chart).

Fallout from the United award chart obliteration

Greg looks beyond the obvious downsides of United’s lost award chart to reveal additional collateral damage.  The worst part is where he wrote that it meant more work for him: He’s my boss, so I think that it means more work for me.

The bright sides of the United award chart purge

Greg looked at the other side of United’s lost award chart to dig up the positives.  Since he also referenced a post I previously wrote for Frequent Miler (Leveraging the United Excursionist Perk to save miles), I’m gonna say that Greg’s bright side post is worth a read.

Everything Else Credit Cards

Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards. Everything you need to know.

Ever since Greg wrote “In one fell swoop, Ebates shakes up portal and credit card rewards,” I’ve wanted to get the Ebates Visa with Membership Rewards, but I’ve been preoccupied with flying in luxury, enjoying Japanese hot springs and awesome food, and basically not signing up for credit cards.  When I’m back home, I’ll definitely take another look at this opportunity and I’ll return to this post for everything I need to know.

How to get targeted for the best Amex welcome bonuses.

My Uncle Angel always used to say, “Marriage means a $0.50 hot dog costs you a dollar because you’ve gotta buy one for her, too.”  I’m not sure what that has to do with this post about getting targeted for the best Amex welcome bonuses, but honestly Greg is running out of ideas and guesses as to what I would write about his posts so he copied this quote from another post I wrote.

Bank of America cards: awesome if you’ve got $100K lying around

I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t happy that Greg basically copied what I wrote in December about the Cash Rewards Card (“A product change that’s better than expected“) without linking back to my post.  I mean, come on, a hat tip would have been nice!  But seriously, if you’re into cash back (and you should at least consider it — here’s why), give this post a read.

Chase Ink

Still waiting for the Chase Ink Business Reserve

Greg makes a compelling case that Chase appears to be planning a new ultra-premium business card.  While it makes logical sense that this would complete the mirrored portfolio, I question the wisdom in creating a new product that mirrors a product losing its relevance. I imagine Chase will question that as well. Further, Chase can’t really compete with what Amex offers for the group I imagine is the core customers on the Business Platinum card: people who spend six figures per month on their business. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy to see a new 100K bonus come along, I’m just not sure I see a business version of the Sapphire Reserve being as successful as either the CSR or the Business Platinum. I’d love to be wrong.

Chase Ink Cash Deep Dive

The Ink Cash is one of Greg’s favorite cards, and mine too.  Here’s everything you need to know.

Light reading

Sweet new lie-flat rides to London

Greg wrapped up the week with a look at several coming-soon sweet (and often suite) business class options for flying to London.  He likes the look of the new Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Suite.  I’m not gonna lie, I’d love to try that one out too, but as someone who likes to penny pinch miles, I’m more likely to fly coach on the relatively short flight from New York to London.  I can’t imagine that Virgin Atlantic’s new business class is any better than ANA’s old business class (I’ll write about that soon), and so I’d much rather save up miles for longer distance luxury trips like the one I’m enjoying as you’re reading this.

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Parts Unknown

You’ve been the same person all along…


Nothing says fun like Bonvoy!


So, first encounter with the new United dynamic awards. Looking for three Y tix to Bonaire over Thanksgiving.

XN only available. Old chart: 35K per ticket. New “chart”: 76K per ticket.

Cash price: $828.

Oh, and there’s $70 in fees on those award tix. So its a penny a point, basically.


Just booked Maui in Feb with United points (22.5k) will book FRANCE with Kris points for 5/2020 as soon as I’m back from Italy .Hope they don’t devalue more But maybe Time to Move points people .


Now that we have passed another March madness it’s time to talk about how you became famous and what you need to do to continue being a legend in your own mind. Your quest for 1 million miles will always be at the top of the all time lists and gives you frequent flyer immortality!
Now that you young man has come of age you need to solidify your legend with a month of burning frequent flyer miles and points with the goal of spending as many as possible and as over the top as you can fathom. On the beginning you would be allowed to have one one way flight booked and one hotel reservation but absolutely nothing else. Upon arrival at your first stay (4 night maximum) you would start working on your next flight and hotel while simultaneously enjoying where you were. So all total you would have at least 9 flights (we would hope all First Class and disqualification if you flew coach) and 8 hotel stays (we would hope all suites and disqualification if no upgrade was given). The force is with you Frequent Miler!


Clever post!


Great review by Greg pretending to be Nick.