I consider this whole process of obtaining points and miles a game. So when a loyalty program decides to make a game out of it, I certainly get interested. The US Airways Grand Slam game is all about getting “hits” (completing a task) and in return you get bonus miles. Just like baseball, four hits (or singles) gets you a run (bonus points).
I don’t fly US Airways and US Airways isn’t a part of my chosen airline alliance. Based on my travel plans, current promotions I’ve signed up for, and goals I’m trying to hit this year, I won’t be participating in this promo. At most I’d probably to get five or six “hits” while sacrificing activity that would otherwise benefit me in different promotions (SPG Triple Up and National One Two Free). Three thousand miles for the effort associated just doesn’t cut it for me. I’d rather do 2500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (that I can use across any number of programs) for a Stamps.com trial sign-up.
For those of you who are loyal to US Airways and Star Alliance, this promotion is absolutely for you. US Airways has great promotions on purchasing its miles. And being a part of Star, you’ve got great redemption capabilities. So the details:
Promotion Dates: September 14, 2011 – November 14, 2011. vCalendar and iCalendar events.
Registration: US Airways Grand Slam Registration
Rules: US Airways Grand Slam Rules
FAQ: US Airways Grand Slam FAQ
This promotion has lots of possibility and lots of options. My biggest recommendation would be to print out the rules along with printing out a receipt or acknowledgement of every “hit” you complete. Missing a single hit could cost you thousands!
Last Weeks Travel Debacle and a Week at Home
If you take one thing and only one thing away from the blog today please make it this: Listen to your spouse. Let me explain.
One of the wheels broke on my suitcase, and I missed two flights due to traffic at JFK on Friday. Both of them were completely out of my control and additionally frustrating as I was going to be able to hop on my first A330-200 but missed the flight. These problems paled in comparison to me just being a fool.
The debacle was that I didn’t listen to my wife regarding what I should pack. She suggested I take along dress pants and shirts, etc., “just in case.” My plan was to be in the office all week and have no meetings with customers. And I work in a relatively casual office where khaki pants and a tucked-in polo is almost considered dressy. Come in with a tie and everyone thinks you’re going on an interview. I packed shorts (the weather looked nice) and polo shirts. Then Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. I found out I’d need to be at a customer meeting Thursday morning at 4:45 p.m. I had a Friday meeting in New York scheduled.
So: two customer meetings I had not planned for and two days of clothes I didn’t have. I proceeded to call my wife, accepted the “I told you so,” and then listened to her advice to head to Marshall’s. I picked up two dress shirts, two pairs of slacks, a belt, and socks all for less than $100. I then went to DSW and picked up a pair of shoes (I was able to get her some bonus points on her DSW Rewards account, too). Lucky for me, both of these places were within a mile of my office. I picked up a quick dinner then drove back to the hotel to iron. My suggestion last week to roll your clothes when packing is because I really hate ironing. I spent an hour ironing two shirts and two pair of slacks. Yeah, it was bad. My wife had a laugh at my expense and I had a laugh at my foolishness.
For this week I’m home. I think my dog is happy, but I’m pretty sure my wife is already sick of me. Perhaps making dinner will change that…
Travel Tip: Ask Your Friends and Family
My honeymoon was in St. Lucia and we had an amazing time. But before that trip, neither my wife-to-be nor I had an idea where we wanted to go. One afternoon we were visiting New York and spent some time with my grandparents. My grandmother spoke about vacations they had taken from Hawaii, to Mexico, and all over the Caribbean. Over a cup of coffee and some of her tasty pastries she convinced us that St. Lucia was the place for us. She knew us, she knew what we enjoyed, and why we enjoyed it. Who better to make a suggestion on where to spend some time than someone that actually knows you?
Packing Tip: Listen To Your Spouse / Significant Other
I hope my packing faux pas (not listening to my wife) resonated with everyone. When you travel every week and you get into a routine, you sometimes get a little too comfortable. Enter reality check. I got mine this week and, rest assured, I’ll be taking a pair of dress clothes regardless of where my business trip is taking me.
50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – No Fee 1st Year, Transferable to Many Programs. Now offering two points on Dining, Airfare and Hotels.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49