As a Platinum member with Starwood Preferred Guest, I receive four “Thank You” certificates annually that I can give to staff members who have, in some way, gone above and beyond to make my experience excellent. As a Diamond Medallion with Delta, I receive four “A Job Well Done” certificates that I use to recognize their efforts. These programs provide a way for loyalty programs to allow high-value customers to acknowledge and reward their employees who provide exceptional service.
Realizing that saying thank you isn’t always the easiest thing to do for some folks, these certificates are a simple way to do it — to thank loyalty program employees with points they can use to redeem in an internal award program (and you thought they didn’t care about points/miles). These certificates sit in an envelope that always stay in my laptop bag / under seat carry-on. As of today I currently have two of each left. In previous year, I’d run out and replace them with $5 Starbucks gift cards. It isn’t a lot to spend, but it is a simple way to say “Thanks” and it’s always easy to use at an airport.
Sometimes I forget I have the certificates/gift cards, remember afterwards, and then yell at myself. That said, there are always mechanisms to thank an employee after the fact and I’d recommend spending five minutes to do just that when it is warranted. Do the same for Customer Service Representatives you speak to over the phone / through chat / via email!
Saying “Thank You” is simple and requires just three things:
- Be Sincere – Sincerity is the key. Mean it.
- Be Specific – What exactly did this person do to deserve thanks?
- Be Brief – Unless someone risked his or her job / life for you, you don’t need to write a novel.
Keep in mind that when you send in a compliment (or a complaint) it is possible that the note will end up with the permanent record of said employee.
Here’s a letter I wrote about a gate agent last year:
Hi – I wanted to send over a big thank you and appreciation for Ann Marie (I hope I remembered her name correctly), the gate agent working flight 1373, which left out of gate A2 in Boston. I approached the gate two minutes prior to closing the door and asked if she could same-day confirm me on this flight. She asked for my boarding pass, looked at it quickly, said “absolutely,” tore off part of the boarding pass, and indicated to go ahead with a smile. Three minutes later she came onto the plane and made sure I was sitting in first class. I love visiting Boston as it will always be my first true “home” airport; the staff at Boston is consistently wonderful and make me always feel at home. Please make sure she gets an extra thank you (and I apologize if I misremembered her name) but I ran by quickly. Howie
While Ann Marie may have just been doing her job by allowing me to same-day confirm on to the flight, the situation could have gone completely different. Keeping in mind that everyone wants to get a flight out on time, I could have been the source for a delay. Her positive attitude and the follow-up when she checked on me after I had boarded was simple but something I remembered, and it made that travel day just a bit more memorable.
Travel Tip: How to remember where you parked
I constantly forget where I park my car when I leave it at Savannah Airport. As a part of their iPhone App, Delta lets you write a note about where you parked. As much of a geek as I am, this doesn’t work for me. Instead, I write on my parking ticket where I parked. I always carry a pen, and I’ll never forget my parking ticket (it stays in my wallet).
Packing Tip: Weigh it at home
This past weekend my brother, sister-in-law, and niece visited us in Savannah from New York. They checked a single bag and paid $90 in fees! While I rarely check a bag, I know it is a necessity at times. They thought they could fit everything into a single bag, and they did. They just went over by 10 pounds and got whacked with an overweight fee. For their trip back to New York, I sent them home with a spare suitcase and saved them $40.
I’ve found the easiest way to know the weight of your bag is to get on a scale, weigh yourself, and then grab the suitcase and weigh yourself with the bag. Tip: If you can’t pick up the suitcase it might be too big!
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