Unlocking secrets together


Whether you want to know how to book a suite at the saver level or just how to make sure you don’t end up in a basic economy middle seat with no carry-on, this week brought some inside tips — and readers continue to share the keys to more of them in our newly formed group. The truth is that there are probably fewer “secrets” than you imagine — building a network to share discoveries is the real secret to maximization. And on that note, we recap some of this week’s discoveries in this week in review at Frequent Miler.

How to book Delta One Suite saver awards

The new Delta One Suite on the A350 looks nice. I haven’t flown Delta since circa 1986, but these Delta One Suites are calling my name. With a steady stream of Amex Offers to earn additional Membership Rewards points, earning Delta miles (or at least points that can transfer to Delta) has been getting easier lately. Using the trick Greg has found to potentially snag multiple seats at the saver level, I could see myself flying Delta sometime in 2018 or 2019 if this trick continues to work.

How to avoid United Basic Economy

If you’re reading this blog, I’m betting you came here for tips on how to fly for as little money as possible. But I’m betting you didn’t come here for our tips on how to fly as cheaply as possible by booking basic economy tickets. No secret here: basic economy stinks. It’s not even the lack of a checked bag or inability to select seats at booking that bother me about basic economy — it’s the inability to even check in online and choose your seat 24hrs in advance that kills me. In 2017, you shouldn’t have to wait to check in at the airport. The good news is that you don’t — read on for how to avoid United’s Basic Economy.

Venmo: Amex gift cards no longer an option

Not all discoveries are big wins. In the world of spending without spending, methods are always changing. The latest such change came when Amex gift cards stopped working to send money fee-free via Venmo (and in fact stopped working through Venmo altogether). RIP.

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Should you Fly Now Earn Later? A caution and advice.

Delta SkyPeso

When I saw articles pop up about the ability to “borrow” Delta SkyMiles, my initial reaction was strong skepticism. Still, I could see some scenarios where it might make sense — perhaps there is a family emergency, funeral, or other major unforeseen event and Delta has the best saver availability to get you there. Maybe a unicorn partner redemption becomes available and you’re willing to do the spend necessary but hadn’t hoarded Delta miles beforehand. It’s not impossible to envision scenarios where this might not work our poorly — but you’ll want to read Greg’s advice before considering it so you know what to watch out for and how to maximize your return when “paying the miles back”.

United creeps towards revenue-based awards

Raise your hand if you like a devaluation. Anyone? Me neither. But, as devaluations go, this one was mostly mild. If you’re someone who prefers to redeem your United miles to fly on the premium transcon routes, you’re getting hit with another 10K, but most other routes are going up by 5K max. The ability to easily earn 5X Ultimate Rewards on Freedom and Ink cards mitigates most of the pain of a 5K-10K increase in price. On a number of these routes, you’d be better off redeeming miles with other partners as-is (and most people would earn more redeemable miles by crediting paid United flights to a program like Singapore), so this devaluation doesn’t hurt too much. I’d argue that the $125 no-show fee is a net positive for most of us as it may increase award availability by providing a disincentive for people to book flights they don’t intend to take. Read on for more details of the changes coming in November.

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Keep your eye out for our week in review around the web and this week’s Last Chance Deals to follow.

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I think the term used to be called “killing deals” but I guess the enhancement is “unlocking secrets together”