Pajama spending, a tool to find keepers, and more [Week in Review]


This week on Frequent Miler, Greg writes about how he prefers to meet welcome bonus spending requirements in his pajamas, Tim and Stephen review Hyatt properties to put on your map, I share my mad dash to status gone astray, Greg shares a tool to find your keeper cards and a lot more. Read on for more from this week at Frequent Miler.

a pair of feet in slippers by a fireplace
Hyatt points

This week on the Frequent Miler blog…

Why welcome bonus spend is not my everyday spend

I’m glad that Greg wrote this post because I think it sheds a lot of light on both earn strategy and simplification. As my life in general has become more complicated over the years — and I mean that in the sense of having kids, juggling travel plans, events, finances, etc — I crave simplicity more and more. I like not having to dedicate the mental bandwidth to figuring out where I am with spending requirements — and I further like avoiding purchases where there is a risk of a return that might dip me under the spending threshold. I’m not saying that I never use credit card welcome bonus spending in an otherwise unbonused spend situation, but I definitely don’t carry those cards in my wallet daily but rather focus on quick big spend opportunities I can do in my pajamas and then focus on maxing out category bonuses on everyday purchases.

Which Premium Cards are Keepers?

Some cards are worth a long-term spot in your wallet, but you have to be careful not to overvalue coupon book benefits. Greg has built a powerful spreadsheet to help you decide which cards are keepers and which ones aren’t based on whether they provide more value than the cost of the annual fee. He’s updated for recent changes to some popular cards, so this spreadsheet is worth a new look for many.

Greg’s top 10 picks (best of the best card offers)

a man standing in front of a stack of credit cards

I have to say that I don’t think I’d have predicted the strength of pandemic-era credit card offers continuing beyond the first year or two of the pandemic, but it’s been awesome to see the effect that those pandemic-era offers have had on what makes for a compelling new credit card welcome offer. Just the welcome bonuses in this list total more than a million miles and points. That’s insane. And while Greg cheated and included six personal card offers, I might argue that he should have also cheated and included an extra business card offer because the Spark Cash Plus offer is nearly as good as the Venture X Business offer (the key difference being that the Venture X card offers the travel credits and anniversary miles that can make it a long-term keeper card.

Which Delta card is best? | Ep242 | 2-16-24

Which Delta Card is Best - Ep242

Which Delta credit card is the best one if you mostly value free checked bags? How about for someone who can put a companion certificate to good use or someone looking for elite status benefits? This week on Frequent Miler on the Air, we discuss who should have and hold which of the Delta cards long-term. Elsewhere on the show, we discuss the Turkish devaluation, why West Coasters shouldn’t sleep on Iberia, Greg’s experience trying to apply Move to Mint certificates on JetBlue and a lot more. See the post linked above or your favorite podcast platform for more.

Nick’s experience cruising MSC Seaside in the Caribbean: Very good overall

Last week, I cruised the Caribbean on MSC in a more modern ship than I took for my previous MSC cruise experience. I was pleasantly surprised — the ship was nice, the food was much better, and the experience left me appreciating MSC’s strengths. It wasn’t perfect and MSC won’t win over luxury travelers any time soon, but this reinforced yet again that the Atlantic City matching is worth the effort.

How to find and book JetBlue Mint flights to the Caribbean using Qatar Avios [Video]

How to find and book JetBlue Mint to the Caribbean with Qatar Avios

Greg and I made a video to show how to find JetBlue Mint flights that are bookable with Qatar Avios. Availability on flights to the Caribbean probably hasn’t been great over the past week since we published our post about this, but as availability opens up on flights that weren’t available before, I imagine that using the techniques in this video will be helpful in finding options moving forward.

Nick’s mad dash for American Airlines elite status

I made a last-minute mad dash for American Airlines elite status in the hopes of meeting my Instant Status Pass challenge before the deadline (mostly in the hopes of then matching American Airlines status to Star Alliance Gold for an upcoming trip). Unfortunately, I fell short because of offers that look like they may take quite a long time to post. That’s a big bummer since Turkish wouldn’t match AA Platinum status — I really needed to finish off that Platinum Pro challenge. The word on the street from readers in the comments is that my status probably will update once the miles post….in 45 or 60 days.

Hyatt Regency Aqaba, Jordan: Bottom Line Review

Wow, this looks like a great place to spend a couple of days if you’re ever in the region! Tim and his wife loved their stay at the Hyatt Regency Aqaba and at a Category 2 property it was an excellent value. That may be somewhat less true as a Category 3 depending on the cash rates, but if the cash rates are cheap enough to make it a better deal with cash I don’t think I’d be disappointed to pay those rates for what looks like a great place to stay.

Hyatt House Charleston/Historic District: Bottom Line Review

Hotel Review Hyatt House Charleston Historic District

I was excited to see Stephen’s review of this Hyatt House because I’ve considered a trip to Charleston the last several times that we’ve visited family in Myrtle Beach and I’ve wondered about this property. I often find Hyatt House to be hit or miss — newer ones are often great and older ones can be downright rough (Exhibit A is the Hyatt House Mt Laurel NJ). This one looks great, so we might have to make a run down for a dinner in Charleston the next time we’re in South Carolina.

Citi Premier Credit Card Review (2024)

a credit card with arrows and numbersT

Tim’s review of the Citi Premier card rounds up what he dubs a “moderately-priced workhorse” that he suggests is a great “Player 2” card — and it’s hard to argue with his logic there. For a reasonable annual fee, this card offers a respectable return in a number of categories where average users are likely to be spending. I have a hard time getting excited about ThankYou points in a world where all of the other major transferable currencies exist, but that says more about the strength of some other transfer program partnerships than it does about the weakness of Thank You points. Maybe Tim is right and this should be the card in my Player 2’s wallet, though I can’t decide whether Player 1 spends enough on 3x categories to outweigh the 1x spend she’d do with this in her wallet, so I might still err on the side of a Venture / Venture X / Bank of America Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors for P2.

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Keep an eye on this week’s last chance deals to make sure you don’t miss any expiring this week.

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Simplicity indeed. SUBs aside, the average person can earn the vast majority of potential points with only four cards.


which are they for you?