It is obvious to those of us that have been playing this travel game for years “the times they are a changing“. Some may lament we are past our glory days of huge hotel promos, constant mistake fares and credit card sign ups that are just through the roof. I’d rather take a the glass is half full approach than the glass is half empty. Look at some of these realities:
Prior to 2010 almost all airline credit cards offered sign up bonuses equal to one free round trip or typically 25,000 miles. Today we still have:
50K – British Airways for most of us
50 – 60K United (on the blog or in your United.com account)
and our old standby SPG is still at 25K with a reduced minimum spend requirement.
We have picked up a solid new partner with Chase and their outstanding Ultimate Rewards program and several good card products from them including:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards at 40K
Ink Bold at 25K up front and some great opportunities for 5X earnings.
Agreed, we are not in the glory days of 100K “La La land” but we are still infinitely ahead of early 2010 in the credit card market.
I got sent a beauty last week that I would gladly have flown had I been a United flyer. It was sent to me in confidence so I didn’t post it as I never will if sent to me off the record. The game has changed. Networking is now more critical than ever. With a community of over 400,000 members you cant just spill the beans to the entire group with sensitive info all the time. Sometimes you gotta work for it and that is done by putting in some effort and networking. Here’s a pitch for Seminars and Community Events. Participate. I’d love for you to fill the Chicago Seminars and meet some of those on the inside track, build a relationship with them and contribute back to the group.
Mileage Runs for Status
I was talking to an AA pilot last week who reminded me that airfares are still close in price to years ago. Yes routing rules have been tightened but if you want to achieve status with Mileage Runs, they are still out there at under 3.5 cents per EQM.
Its not the same game but you just need to follow some of the new faces in that space like Mommy Points and The Frequent Miler. There are new opportunities for multi-point extravaganzas found and uploaded everyday.
OK, I have to admit they are not like they used to be in this category but we still have ways to generate significant hotel redemptions. Look to Ultimate Rewards to increase your hotel points through transfers and the Radisson Giveaways offer significant value as well. And a note to Hyatt and Starwood … we miss you in this space. FFN and Resort Nights generate new stays for you. Come on guys. Come back to the party.
Its time to Buck up, Shape up and get to work. Our glass is still more than half full, we just need to change with the landscape. Those of you looking for deals on a silver platter will find it harder to navigate in this environment. If I find or hear about a deal that can’t accommodate 400,000 of you, it will get spread first to those that have contributed to the space. Back when we were 10K to 20K in numbers it was much easier to spread the wealth. We are too big for our own britches now and those that hear the most are those that contribute the most.
We can still see the world at prices we all can afford, but Dylan was right:
“The times, they are a changing”
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day American Airlines AAdvantage® has provided 2500 AAdvantage® miles for the best deals, fares, promotions, anything related to American Airlines, their oneworld partners or AAdvantage® partners. Add it to the comments section of this post or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post (with your first name, last initial, and home airport) to be eligible to win.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases