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SPG AMEX 35K Limited Time Offer: Here Are The Ways You Can Use Your Starpoints For Starwood And Marriott Awards

Sunday, February 19th, 2017, 12:16 pm

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Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Read more about these limited time card offers offering 40% more points than normal in this post.

By signing up for both cards and meeting the spend thresholds you can earn at least 83K Starpoints that can be used for hotel stays, experiences, or transferred into over 100,000 airline miles.

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View all of the redemption possibilities after the jump:

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SPG-Uber Partnership Earnings Devalued; Which Card To Use For Uber.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 10:57 am

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-If you’re new to Uber you can signup via this referral link.
-$25 Off An UberBlack Ride In NYC!


In 2015 Uber started awarding Starpoints for Uber rides.

After staying in a Starwood hotel you could enroll here and earn 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Uber all year long and up to 4 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel.

The best part is that the program even pays out on free rides. A $65 ride from the airport still earned Starpoints despite the ride being free.

Effective 2/1/17 that will go down to 1 Starpoint per $2 spent on Uber all year long and 2 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel. For February only though they will offer 5 Starpoints per dollar spent on Uber while you stay at a Starwood hotel.

Of course these points are on top of points earned from credit card spending.

Which card should you use?

-The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card offers 1.5% cash back everywhere and offers $15 in Uber credit for every 9 rides that you take through 3/31/17

-Cards offering 2 points per dollar spent on Uber include Chase Sapphire PreferredPremier Rewards Gold Card from American ExpressPlatinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, and the The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

-The Amex EveryDay Credit Card earns 2.2 points per dollar spent on Uber if you make 20 transactions/month.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN normally offers 2.3 points per dollar spent on Uber, but if you signup with the current limited time signup offer you will earn 3.3 points per dollar spent.

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card earns 2.5 points per dollar spent on Uber if you make 30 transactions/month.

-The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per dollar spent and Uber qualifies for automatic travel refunds.

-The Chase Freedom card offers 5 points per dollar this quarter.

HT: eliteflyer, via DDF

United 25% Transfer Bonus: Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 31,250 United Miles, 75K SPG Into 152K Miles, Or 90K SPG Into 152K Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016, 10:54 am

Update: Today is the last day for the 25% United transfer bonus!

You can buy Starpoints on sale here.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.


Originally posted on 10/14:

You can register here for 25% bonus when you transfer hotel points to United miles.

United just massively devalued their miles by eliminating stopovers and eliminating the ability to select your own award routing. Either you like what United.com shows you or you’ll need to pay more. But that’s not to say there isn’t still value left in the program.

-The promotion runs through 11/30. It is run by United, so you won’t see any mention of it on the hotel’s points site or during the transfer process.

-United will add 25% bonus miles for all transfers from hotel programs made between 10/12-11/30. (Transfers from Club Carlson will be multiplied by 40%, and transfers from Choice Privileges will be multiplied by 50%, all other chains will be multiplied by 25%.)

-You can earn up to 20K bonus miles with this promotion per United account.

-United will add the bonus miles by 1/31/17.

You won’t want to transfer Starpoints directly to United. While 20K Starwood points can transfer into 25K airline miles with dozens of airlines it only transfers into 12.5K United miles.

However you can transfer 56K Marriott Rewards points into 25K United miles. United will add 25% more miles, leaving you with 31,250 miles.

You can transfer 19K Starwood points into 57K Marriott Rewards points, which will give you 25K United miles and you’ll have 1,000 Marriott Rewards leftover. You can convert those leftover points back into 333 Starpoints. Effectively you can transfer 18,667 Starpoints into 31,250 United miles, an effective 56.3% bonus compared Starwood’s normal 25% bonus!

The maximum you can earn is 20K bonus United miles. You can transfer 56K Starpoints into 168K Marriott points which will earn 75K United miles before the bonus and 93,750 miles after the 25% bonus.

-Don’t forget that if you have Starwood Platinum Status you can match it to Marriott Platinum which will also get you United Silver status!

-An even better deal is with Marriott’s miles+nights packages. 90K Starpoints transfers into 270K Marriott Rewards points. That can be used for 152K United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel with the 20K bonus miles from this United promotion. Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 90K Starpoints into 152K United miles is an effective 68.9% transfer bonus!

-Alternatively about 83,333 Starpoints becomes 250K Marriott points which is enough for 130,000 United miles and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel with the 20K bonus miles from this United promotion. Even if you don’t use the 7 night hotel certificate being able to transfer 83,333 Starpoints into 130K United miles is an effective 56% transfer bonus!

-The 7 night hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them. You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.

-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that. If you find an agent to do that you can effectively use 75K Starpoints for 152K United miles, an effective 102.7% transfer bonus.

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-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 152K United miles.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 152K United miles.

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-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.

Will you be transferring Starpoints to United with this promotion?

HT: yelped, via DDF

Save 35% On Select Starwood Resort Award Redemptions! Plus SPG Lowers Bora Bora Point Requirements By 33%!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016, 1:09 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Earn Starpoints on the Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX.
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Starwood is running a promotion that is discounting select ultra-premium resorts by 35%.

This recurring promotion is back and is now valid for stays through 2/28/17.

These resorts fall above the top end of normal SPG hotels and are normally prohibitively expensive. They’re still very pricey, but it’s somewhat more reasonable with this recurring promo.

Additionally the regular points rate for the base room at the Le Meridien Bora Bora has been lowered from 60K to 40K points per night and the regular points rate at the S. Regis Bora Bora has been lowered from 90K to 60K points per night. I haven’t made it to Bora Bora yet, but everyone who has comes back raving about its beauty.

Eligible SPG resorts:
Le Meridien Bora Bora. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
The S. Regis Bora Bora Resort Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
W Retreat and Spa Maldives. Normally 90K/night. Now 58,500/night or 46,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
W Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand. Normally 40K/night. Now 26K/night or 20,800/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Al Maha, Dubai, UAE. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.
Mystique, Santorini, Greece. Normally 60K/night. Now 39K/night or 31,200/night if you stay for 5 nights.

You’ll need to call SPG to book these at the promo rate.

-The Vana Belle is a 30 minute walk from Chabad of Koh Samui. A kosher restaurant is located in the Chabad House.

-The base Garden Pool Villa at the S. Regis Bora Bora is a massive 2,700 sq ft with an ocean view and includes a private pool and outdoor shower. It used to be 90K points before it dropped to 60K points. With this promotion it will be 39K points or just 31,200 points with a 5 night stay.

-You can read more about the overwater bungalow at the absolutely incredible W Retreat Maldives in my trip report here.

Bear in mind that the discounted rates are for the base room only, you’ll have to call/email the hotel directly if you want to arrange a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow in places like Bora Bora or the Maldives.

When I last checked the prices for a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow with a private plunge pool the W Maldives wanted $180/night.

The Le Meridien Bora Bora wanted $220/night when I last checked the price of a confirmed upgrade to an overwater bungalow. However they also said via email that as a Platinum member if there were any overwater bungalows for sale on the day of checkin they would refund the entire confirmed upgrade fee!

HT: Lucky

The S. Regis Maldives May Be The Best SPG Redemption Of All Time!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016, 12:19 pm

Update, 8/9: The price for the overwater villa is now 90K points per night and the price for the beach villa is now 120K points per night.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-You can earn Starpoints on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.
-Earn 2,500 Bonus Starpoints For Adding An Additional User Onto Your Starwood Consumer Card
Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2016 Edition
Starwood’s 35th Transfer Partner Increases The Value Of Your Starpoints; Fly Roundtrip JFK-Los Angeles For Less Than 10K Or JFK-Europe For Less Than 20K SPG!


The S. Regis Maldives is a Starwood category 7 that opens on November 1st. Their photo gallery can be found here:

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Overwater villas cost more than $2,000 each at the property and all rooms have plunge pools. They’re not walled in like the completely private pool we had at the Le Meridien Khao Lak in 2010 as people can swim or snorkel by your villa in the Maldives, but I did enjoy the plunge pool at the W Maldives. I just wish it was kid-free and had glass bottom floors like the W 🙂

Note that it typically takes more than 24 hours to fly from the USA until you reach a resort in Maldives as you need to connect somewhere to reach Male (MLE) and then you’ll need to wait for a seaplane to bring you from the Male airport to your resort. That seaplane will also set you back some $700 with tax per person on top of your tickets to Male. You’re also limited to just 50 pounds per person including carry-on and checkin items and will pay a whopping $5/pound for excess baggage. It’s an exhausting and expensive trip, but the water is truly stunning there and the isolation and relaxation is impossible to describe.

Airlines serving Male include Aeroflot (3 days/week from SVO), Austrian (2 days/week seasonally from VIE), British Airways (3 days/week seasonably from LGW), Cathay Pacific (4 days/week from HKG), Emirates (daily from DXB), Etihad (daily from AUH), Qatar (daily from DOH), Singapore (daily from SIN), and Turkish (daily from Istanbul).

DDF member beastieb points out that using points at the S. Regis Maldives are quite a bargain.

I chatted with SPG, confirmed their point rate structure, and booked a stay:
Garden villa: 31.5K/night or 25.2K/night on a 5 night stay.
Overwater villa: 32.5K/night or 26K/night on a 5 night stay.
Beach villa: 60K/night or 48K/night on a 5 night stay.
Sunset overwater villa: 75K/night or 60K/night on a 5 night stay.
Overwater St Regis Suite: 90K/night or 72K/night on a 5 night stay.
2BR Family villa: 120K/night or 96K/night on a 5 night stay.

That can easily be a value of over 9 cents per Starpoint depending on your dates!

This hotel must be booked over the phone or via SPG chat.

Rooms at other Starwood category 7 properties are typically many times those rates as SPG allows hotels that only have suites to charge far more points than the standard award chart. According to SPG those hotels include the “St. Regis Resort Bora Bora, and Le Méridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia; W Maldives, Maldives; Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, Key West, Florida; Mystique, Santorini, Greece; Pine Cliff Residences, Albuferia, Portugal; and Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Porto Cervo, Italy.”

I’d imagine that the S. Regis Maldives will eventually be added to that list, but perhaps we’ll get lucky and it will stay a bargain.

Of course this could all be a mistake and they might cancel reservations, so don’t book non-refundable airfare quite yet…

Starwood’s 35th Transfer Partner Increases The Value Of Your Starpoints; Fly Roundtrip JFK-Los Angeles For Less Than 10K Or JFK-Europe For Less Than 20K SPG!

Sunday, April 17th, 2016, 1:46 pm

Bear with me as I’m still catching on the news from last week while I was flying with my son on an incredible trip on the upper deck of a 747.
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Last week Starwood added its 35th airline transfer partner, Virgin America. Ironically both Starwood and Virgin America will cease to exist in a couple years from now having been snapped up by Marriott and Alaska, but there is value still to be had in the meantime.
It’s also great to see SPG still adding partners to its portfolio. Last December it added Aegean, which is excellent for awards to Israel.

Now it’s adding Virgin America as a partner at the standard 20K Starpoints=25K Virgin America points ratio. Click here to transfer Starpoints into airline miles.

You can earn Starpoints on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

Virgin America has hybrid award redemption system. You can redeem for flights on Virgin America based on the cost of the flight.

Here’s a look at what your points will be worth for various one-way Virgin flights (Prices were researched on 4/16 and will fluctuate). Note that Starpoint rates listed below are assuming that you maximize the 25% point bonus for transferring Starpoints in blocks of 20,000 points (which you may or may not be able to do depending on the number of passengers, so you may have leftover miles):
1. Los Angeles-Las Vegas on 5/11 is $43.10 or 1,417 Virgin points (about 1,134 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.65 cents per Virgin point (43.10-5.60/1,417) and 3.31 cents per Starpoint.
2. LGA to Dallas on 5/11 is $78.10 or 3,126 Virgin points (about 2,500 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.32 cents per Virgin point and 2.9 cents per Starpoint.
3. JFK to Maui on 5/11 is $244.50 or 10,762 Virgin points (about 8,610 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.22 cents per Virgin point and 2.78 cents per Starpoint.
4. JFK to Los Angeles on 5/11 is $138.10 or 6,056 Virgin points (about 4,844 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.19 cents per Virgin point and 2.74 cents per Starpoint.
5. Los Angeles-Orlando on 5/11 is $93.10 or 3,859 Virgin points (about 3,087 SPG)+$5.60. That’s a value of 2.27 cents per Virgin point and 2.84 cents per Starpoint.

The exact point requirements will vary based on the price of the Virgin flights, but those are some pretty sweet values!

You can also redeem points on partner airlines.
Those include Hawaiian, Singapore, and Virgin Australia with low or no fuel surcharges and Emirates or Virgin Atlantic with high fuel surcharges.

For example:
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to Frankfurt on Singapore is just 20K Virgin miles (about 16K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to Honolulu on Hawaiian is 35K Virgin miles (about 28K SPG) in coach or 80K Virgin miles (about 64K SPG) in business.
-A roundtrip from JFK nonstop to London on Virgin Atlantic is 15K Virgin miles+$475 (about 12K SPG) in coach, 25K Virgin miles+$790 (20K SPG) in premium economy, or 35K Virgin miles+$1,150 (about 28K SPG) in upper class, Virgin’s version of business class with an on-board bar with access to their highly-rated clubhouse lounges.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles nonstop to London on Virgin Atlantic is 25K Virgin miles+$475 (20K SPG) in coach, 30K Virgin miles+$790 (about 24K SPG) in premium economy, or 50K Virgin miles+$1,150 (40K SPG) in upper class.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles or San Francisco nonstop to any of the Hawaiian islands on Hawaiian is 20K Virgin miles (about 16K SPG) in coach or 50K Virgin miles (40K SPG) in business.
-A roundtrip from San Francisco to Hong Kong or Seoul on Singapore is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles to Tokyo on Singapore is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach.
-A roundtrip from Los Angeles to Sydney on Virgin Australia is just 40K Virgin miles (about 32K SPG) in coach, 60K Virgin miles (about 48K SPG) in premium economy, or 80K Virgin miles (about 64K SPG) in business class.

Starwood To Offer Free In-Room Internet To All SPG Members; A Roundup Of Current Starwood Elite Status Benefits And How To Earn Status

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014, 10:52 am

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Effective 02/02/15 all SPG members will receive free WiFi in their Starwood hotel rooms.

Non-elite members will get standard level internet access for free, while SPG Gold and Platinum members will get premium level internet access for free.  Delta and Emirates elites will also get premium level internet access for free via Crossover rewards.

Only stays booked via SPG.com will qualify for free internet access.

Currently Fairmont and IHG give all members free in-room internet access and Marriott will as well as of 01/15/15.

So what are the benefits of each Starwood elite status level?

1. Starwood Preferred (base) members get free standard internet. Anyone can signup free on SPG.com

2. Starwood Preferred Plus status is an unpublished elite status level that is given for free to anyone with a Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express. It’s also offered to AAA and AARP members.

Preferred Plus members get 4pm confirmed late checkout and room upgrades when available.

3. Starwood Gold status is given for free if you have Platinum Card® from American Express or if you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the Starwood AMEX or if you spend 25 paid or award nights or have 10 stays in Starwood hotels in a calendar year. You can get lifetime gold status by accumulating 5 years of Starwood elite status and 250 nights in Starwood hotels.  Some people have been able to get free Gold status for a year by calling up and telling a rep that they want to start staying in more Starwood hotels, but YMMV on that one.

Gold members get free premium level internet access, a 250 Starpoint amenity on paid and award stays, 4pm confirmed late checkout, and room upgrades when available. They also get 3 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays and 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Delta flights.

4. Starwood Platinum requires 50 paid or award nights or 25 stays in Starwood hotels in a calendar year. Having the Starwood credit card gives you 5 nights and 2 stays towards meeting that and having 2 Starwood credit cards gives you 10 nights and 4 stays towards meeting that. You can get lifetime Platinum status by accumulating 10 years of Starwood Platinum elite status and 500 nights in Starwood hotels.

Platinum members get free premium level internet access, a 500 Starpoint amenity on paid and award stays, 4pm confirmed late checkout, and suite upgrades when available. They also get 3 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays, 1 Starpoint per dollar spent on Delta flights, and Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades, and first checked bag free when flying Delta.

Platinums who stay 50 nights also get 10 confirmed suite upgrade awards. Platinums who stay 75 nights get 4 Starpoints per dollar spent on paid stays and the ability to stay for a full 24 hours in a hotel room regardless of when they checkin.

HT: chucksterace, via DDF

Update Your SPG.com Stay Preferences And Get 500 Free Starpoints

Sunday, November 30th, 2014, 2:02 pm

Update: Today is the final day to register for this promotion!  Once registered you’ll have until 12/15 to update your stay preferences.

I updated my preferences on 11/10 and the points posted for my birthday on 11/26.

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Originally posted on 11/10:

Register for Starwood’s latest promotion (double or triple points on paid stays) here and you’ll also be registered for 500 free Starpoints just for updating your stay preferences.

After registering, just click here to update any of your stay preferences.

Starwood points officially expire after 12 months of inactivity, though it’s actually only enforced after 18 months. So 500 points will extend the validity of your account for 18 months.  Though Starwood is one of the best about reactivating expired points when you ask nicely (British Airways is surprisingly nice as well).

HT: Marco Polo, via DDF

Trip Notes Hodgepodge: United Upgrade Quirks, Infant Travel Drama, Farewell CLE D, Wrigley SPG Suite, And Chicago BBQ Competition

Sunday, June 8th, 2014, 6:38 pm

-Find dozens of trip notes like this one by clicking on the “Trip Notes” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.

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I flew to Kansas City once and to Chicago twice in the past 3 weeks, here are some of my trip notes:

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More after the jump:

Click here to keep reading this post!

SPG Spin To Win Game

Friday, September 13th, 2013, 10:25 am

SPG Spin To Win Game

This has been around for a couple weeks but I never got around to posting it.

You can play daily through 10/10.

I’ve played many times and have yet to win a thing but DDF members have reported winning 500 Starpoints, 1,000 Starpoints, 5,000 Starpoints, and even a free night at any (excluding category 7) Starwood hotel. One DDF member notes that he has successfully employed the multiple browser method to get even more daily spins but that’s more effort than it’s worth considering my luck so far.

By playing you’ll also be entered to win 250K Starpoints (which can transferred into 312.5K airline miles) though that will come with a tax bill of course as it’s worth more than $600.

Post a comment if you get anything!

HT: Feivish, via DDF

Starwood Advertises Just How Bad A Deal SPG Flights Is

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012, 9:42 pm

Back in 2008 Starwood made a big deal about the introduction of SPG Flights.  I panned it as a poor value.

Apparently not everyone got the memo though.  SPG is bragging how someone spent a whopping 870,000 Starwood points to fly from Los Angeles to Rome in business class.

With that many Starpoints he could have transferred them into nearly 1.1 million airline miles on dozens of different airlines.  A business class ticket to Europe using Flying Blue starts at 50,000 miles, using USAirways miles starts at 60,000 miles, or using AAdvantage miles is 100,000 miles.  A first class ticket to Europe using AAdvantage miles is 125,000 miles.  Or a round-the-world first class award on American or any OneWorld partners that allows for 16 flights runs between 180K-330K miles. Heck you can fly to Dubai in an A380 suite on Emirates with your own shower onboard for 217,500 miles, so he could have booked 5 such tickets with 870K Starpoints.

Or you can get even better deals at Starwood hotels.  It’s very easy to get a value of 2.5 cents per Starpoint with hotel redemptions, in fact you can even get a value of 10 times that.

Instead someone burned it all on 2 business class tickets.  What a shame.

HT: Chaikel, via DDF

SPG Hot Shows: Use Your Starpoints For Premium Seats To Hot Concerts!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009, 12:00 am

Update: Round 2 starts at 11am eastern today (07/08)! You must be a Starwood AMEX cardholder or a Starwood Platinum member to book tickets!

Originally posted on 06/29:

Related: Starwood AMEX Linky

www.spg.com/hotshows

Offer Details Linky

Redeem 5,000 or 10,000 Starpoints for a pair of premium concert seats.

The sale starts at noon 11am eastern.

Why do I get the feeling that ebay is going to see a whole bunch of new concert listings later today?

SPG You Choose Promo!

Thursday, September 18th, 2008, 1:14 am

Starwood Consumer AMEX

Starwood Business AMEX

www.spg.com/youchoose

-Starwood’s Q4 promo is now up and there are a lot of options to choose from,but you can only pick one!
-Registration is required by 11/15. Valid for stays in any Starwood hotel between 10/01/08-12/31/08
-Important: All rewards are retroactive except the double stays toward elite status. So you can wait until 11/15 to decide which reward suits you best before registering and being locked to your decision as long as you dont want to go for the elite status reward.

Available rewards:
-Double stay credits towards Starwood Elite status. (No limit)
-Double Starpoints on all stays. (No limit)
-Every 2 stays=2,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 10,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 2 stays=$25 Amazon GC. (Limit $125 in free Amazon GC’s)
-Every 4 nights=2,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 10,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 4 nights=$25 Amazon GC. (Limit $125 in free Amazon GC’s)
-Every 4 stays=free weekend night. (Limit 2 free weekend nights at up to a Category 5 hotel)
-Every 6 stays=9,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 36,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 8 nights=free weekend night. (Limit 2 free weekend nights at up to a Category 5 hotel)
-Every 10 stays=25,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 100,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 12 nights=9,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 36,000 bonus Starpoints)
-Every 20 nights=25,000 bonus Starpoints. (Limit 100,000 bonus Starpoints)

Curious to see what other people are picking? Just click on the question mark by each reward to find out what percentage of people picked that promo!

Get 250 Starpoints For Telling Starwood What You Think Of SPG Flights!

Thursday, September 4th, 2008, 12:37 am

Survey Linky

SPG Flights: Yawwwwn…

Thursday, September 4th, 2008, 12:23 am

www.spgflights.com

So the big news this week is that Starwood has added a 7th primary method of using Starpoints: SPG flights.

The problem is that Starpoints are already so valuable due to the other 6 methods that SPG flights is simply unattractive.

The premise of SPG flights is that you can search for any flight directly from spgflights.com and book it with Starpoints. Starwood then pays the airline for the flight and therefore you will earn miles for the flight.

Sample award prices:

Ticket Price Starpoints
up to $150 10,000
$150-$215 15,000
$215-$280 20,000
$280-$345 25,000
$345-$410 30,000
$410-$475 35,000
$475-$540 40,000
$540-$605 45,000
$605-$670 50,000
$670-$735 55,000
$735-$800 60,000
$800-$865 65,000
$865-$930 70,000
$930-$995 75,000
$995-$1060 80,000
Higher prices (examples)
$2,880-$3,140 235,000
$4,960-$5,220 395,000
$9,900-$10,160 775,000



Fatal flaw? SPG flights values starpoints between 1.2-1.5 cents.
Using the other primary Starpoint redemption methods (Unrestricted Hotel Stays, Restricted Cash And Points Hotel Stays, Hotel Room Upgrades, Nights and Flights, 5th Night Free, and of course transferring Starpoints into miles on dozens of airlines with a with an unbeatable 25%-250% bonus) you should be able to do far better than that.

Launching Friday: A Revamped SPG.com!

Thursday, July 19th, 2007, 1:37 am

Starwood is revamping their website, and if all goes well it will go live on Friday!

I have confirmed that the new website will integrate the new Cash & Points option!

5 Weeks Left Until Southwest’s Companion Pass Becomes Much Harder To Obtain, Here’s How You Can Take Advantage Before It’s Too Late!

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017, 10:00 pm

On 1/1/17 Southwest stealthily changed their program rules without advance warning, removing hotel point transfers as a method to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

After an apparently controversial campaign to write to Southwest, file DoT complaints, and raise awareness of the change on social media, Southwest agreed to give a 3 month grace period to transfer hotel points and have them qualify to earn Companion Pass status. Southwest has posted about their change of heart here.

You can read Southwest’s response to people who filed DoT complaints here.

If you earn 110K Southwest points by 12/31/17 you’ll earn Southwest Companion Pass status that will be valid until 12/31/18. 

With a Southwest Companion Pass you’ll get to bring a companion with you for free on all Southwest paid tickets, Southwest award tickets, and Southwest tickets booked with AMEX or Chase points, though you need to call AMEX or Chase to actually book travel on Southwest. There is no limit to how many times you can use the companion pass.

Southwest still offers 2 free checked bags. Plus you can cancel revenue tickets with no charge and use the funds for a future flight. Point reservations can be cancelled for free with the points redeposited back to your account!

Until 3/31/17 Southwest will count hotel point transfers towards companion pass status. After that date they will no longer count.


It’s worth noting that points earned from Southwest credit cards will continue to count towards companion pass status, even after 3/31.

You can currently earn 50K points from both the Southwest Consumer Plus and Southwest Consumer Premier cards. You can also earn 60K points from the Southwest Business Premier card. However all are those cards fall under Chase’s 5/24 guidelines which makes them hard to get if you have been approved for 5 consumer cards within the past 24 months.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

After clicking on the Southwest Consumer Plus 50K card offer you can scroll down to find the offers for Southwest Consumer and Business Premier cards as well.


Hotel transfers made by 3/31 will combine with points earned from Southwest credit cards and paid flights to earn companion pass status by earning 110K points by 12/31/17.

In other words if you earn 60K points from hotel transfers by 3/31 and earn 50K points from opening a credit card in April you will still earn Companion Pass status.

Notes about transfers:
-Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards don’t count towards Companion Pass.
-You can’t transfer Starwood points directly to Southwest, but you can transfer Starwood points to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio and then transfer Marriott points to Southwest.
-You can transfer 50K Chase points to 50K Hyatt and 50K Hyatt points into 30K Southwest points and those points will count for Companion Pass status.
-You can transfer Chase points to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio.
-You can transfer points to another Marriott member to complete an award.
-You can transfer points to another Starwood member living at your address.

If you use the regular Marriott Rewards transfer chart you would need 310K Marriott Rewards points to transfer 110K Southwest points.

However you can get a much better deal with Marriott’s miles+nights. 270K Marriott Rewards points would give you 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award!

A transfer of 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott Rewards points will make that happen.

You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

-It will take 2-3 days for the points to reach Southwest and your Southwest account will be updated to Companion Pass status within a few days of the transfer.
-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-The 120K Southwest points transfer is the best value, but you can save points with a lower package if you don’t need 110K points for the Companion Pass.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.
-Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that.

You can view hotels by category and tier via the “find” button on this page.

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-120K Southwest points will net between $1,800-$2,400 of free flights. Thanks to the companion pass you can bring someone along for free, which will mean you can use those points for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights. Plus of course you’ll get a 7 night category 1-5 hotel stay. Not a bad deal for 90K Starpoints!

-If you wanted 7 nights at the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya you would need 420K Marriott or 140K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

-If you wanted 7 nights at the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel you would need 330K Marriott or 110K Starpoints for that stay and 120K Southwest points with Southwest Companion Pass Status.

There is also a 5 night hotel+points option that can save you some Marriott points, but officially that’s only available for Marriott timeshare owners. 5 nights and 120K Southwest points would cost 235K Marriott points. That’s 35K fewer Marriott points than are required for the 7 night package. On rare occasions some reps will book the 5 night packages for non-timeshare owners.


Still short on points?

You can buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year here. Points cost 3.5 cents each. You may be able to buy points for less than that on the grey market.

30K Starpoints would set you back $1,050. If you have a Starwood AMEX you would earn 2.1K Starpoints for the purchase, so effectively you’ll have paid $1,050 for 32.1K Starpoints or 3.27 cents per Starpoint.

32K Starpoints converts into 96K Marriott points.

If you already have most of the Starpoints and will utilize the companion pass then buying some points is a no-brainer.

If you need more than 30K Starpoints you’ll have to buy them with additional Starwood accounts. You can freely transfer Starpoints between Starwood accounts that are located at the same address. Note that you need to wait 14 days from when you open a new Starwood account until you can buy Starpoints.

You can buy 84,500 Starpoints using 3 accounts for $2,957.50. With the Starwood AMEX you’ll also earn 5,916 Starpoints for the purchase, leaving you with 90,416 Starpoints.

Of course you won’t need to spend that much if you already have some Starpoints or Marriott points.

You can convert 90K Starpoints into 270K Marriott points.

Those 270K Marriott points can then be converted into 120K Southwest points and 7 nights in a Marriott category 1-5 hotel.

You’ll also earn Southwest Companion Pass status with that award and that will make your 120K Southwest points good for $3,600-$4,800 of free flights when you bring along a free companion.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-Until 4/5 only, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers a 35K point signup bonus.

-If you have the Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN you can call to have your Starwood account upgraded to Gold status which will then be matched to Marriott Gold as well!

-The Chase Marriott card offers 87,500 Rewards points (also transferable to 29,167 Starpoints) for spending $3,000 and adding an additional user card. After hitting the signup bonus it’s not worth spending on this card. You’ll get 3 Marriott Rewards points per dollar by spending on a Starwood card instead!
You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site.


Will you try to obtain Companion Pass status before the hotel point transfer opportunity ends?

Highest Public Offer: Earn 35,000 Starpoints Signup Bonus On Both The Starwood Consumer And Business AMEX Cards!

Thursday, February 16th, 2017, 5:00 pm

Related posts:
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered
The Ultimate Israel Mileage Award Chart

Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints, 2016 Edition
Starwood Adds A 34th Airline Transfer Partner And It’s Excellent For Awards To Israel!
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Consumer 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Business 35K Limited Time Offer:
-Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

This is a limited time offer scheduled to run until 4/5/17.  It offers 40% more points than the standard offer!

Typically there is only one limited time offer on the SPG card per calendar year, so there’s no better time to apply than now.

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year on both cards.

For the consumer card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $3,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $2,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 40K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the consumer card before you will not get the bonus for the consumer card again.

For the business card you will get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5,000 within 3 months. Plus you’ll earn an additional 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending another $3,000 within 6 months, for a total of 35,000 bonus Starpoints and at least 43K total Starpoints. The terms state that if you have had the business card before you will not get the bonus for the business card again.

You can apply for and get the bonus for each of these cards if you haven’t had them before.

If you have only had a consumer card you can get the points for business card and if you have only had the business card you can get the points for the consumer card.


Spending on the Starwood card:

The Starwood card remains a very good card for general spending.

While there are other cards with better bonus categories, the Starwood card is strong for general spending as Starpoints continue to be the most valuable mileage currency thanks to excellent uses at hotels and the 25% bonus for transfers into dozens of airlines.

There are no foreign transaction fees on the Starwood cards.

Starwood also allows members at the same address to transfer points between their accounts for free. Best of all making a transfer like that extends the life of your points by another 18 months.

There are thousands of uses for Starpoints, some of which have been over 50 cents each for me at hotels, but I aim for a minimum value of about 2.2 cents per point and am happy when I’m able to exceed that level. It’s not hard to reach a value of that level at hotels and you can transfer 20K miles into 25K valuable miles from airlines like Aegean, Alaska, American, and dozens of other programs. If you are able to obtain a value of 1.75 cents from those airlines then that imputes a 2.2 cent value for Starpoints as well. The miles won’t sell on the grey market for that price, but miles are always more valuable when you use them yourself for travel.

The Starwood card earns 2 Starpoints per dollar at Starwood hotels, or a 4.4% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint. It also earns double points on SPG hotel bedding and when you buy Starpoints. It earns 1 Starpoint per dollar everywhere else, or a 2.2% rebate at a value of 2.2 cents per Starpoint.


More valuable than ever thanks to the Marriott merger:

Marriott completed their purchase of Starwood last year and they treated Starwood members better than anyone could have hoped for thanks to a transfer ratio of 1 Starpoints:3 Marriott points.

I’ll write more about the best Marriott uses in a separate post.


American Express benefits and the annual fee:

There’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Aside from the valuable points you’ll earn from signing up and spending you’ll also have access to awesome AMEX benefits:

The card also carries American Express’ awesome top-notch protections that are light-years better than any other banks. Most other banks always look for a way to get out, but that’s not the case with American Express.

-If you need to return an item up to $300 and a store won’t take it back due to a time limited or final sale policy, AMEX will gladly refund you thanks to return protection. The vast majority of the time you’ll even be able to keep the item, but if you do need to send it back the return shipping will be free. That’s a far more generous policy than any other bank offers. This benefit is valid for $1,000 of returns per card per calendar year.
–If a store charged a restocking fee to return an item then AMEX will cover it, up to $300/item, as part of their return protection coverage.
-You get an additional year of warranty coverage and if you have any issue in the extended warranty year they’ll pay to have it fixed or refund your entire purchase price without a hassle. This benefit is far more valuable than warranty benefits offered by other banks.
-If you need to dispute a charge there’s nobody who makes it easier or as pain-free as American Express does. It’s the easiest dispute resolution process in the industry by leaps and bounds and you can do it all online.
-If your item is stolen or broken within 90 days you’ll be covered.

See this post to see just how amazing AMEX benefits can be.


Spend Threshold

You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.87% fee. The Starpoints are worth more than 1.87 cents each, so that’s a no-brainer if you’re trying to meet a spend threshold to earn the signup bonus points.

If you overpay your taxes you can request a refund or apply it to your next year’s taxes.

My local gas company allows me to prepay up to $1,000 on a credit card for a $1.65 flat fee. That’s a great way to earn miles and help meet a spend threshold. My electricity supplier allows me to pay with a credit card for free as long as I am enrolled in autopay. I used to prepay 5 months of rent on a my credit card (it’s easier in Cleveland where that’s just $800/month) for a $19 flat fee. You’d be surprised to see what you can charge to your credit card!


Sheraton Club Lounge Access:

The Starwood business card gives free club lounge access when staying at Sheraton hotels.

There have been rave reviews of the Sheraton Club lounge in Tel Aviv for example.  If you have a Starwood business card you’ll get free access to it and its free food, beverages, and sweeping view of the Mediterranean Sea. A free night at the Sheraton Tel Aviv is 12K points, 6K points+$110, or 9.6K points per night on a 5 night stay.


Premium Internet Access:

With either Starwood card you now get free premium in-room internet at Starwood hotels. All SPG guests get free internet, but cardholders will now get the faster version for free.


Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Starwood card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.


Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

In addition to the Starwood business card offering Sheraton Lounge access, the business card also offers Starpoints plus Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field


Elite Status and Crossover benefits with Delta and Uber:

Just by having a Starwood card you earn Preferred Plus status.  This status earns you the right to checkout at 4pm at Starwood hotels and get upgraded to preferred rooms.

If you spend $30,000 in a year on either Starwood card you earn Gold status.  Gold status gets you more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points.  You can also get gold status for free with no spending requirement by opening The Platinum Card® from American Express or the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

When you have the Starwood card you also get 5 elite qualifying nights and 2 stays for each Starwood card that you have that count towards earning Gold or Platinum status!

Starwood Gold and Platinum elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

And all members can earn bonus Starpoints for Uber rides as well after making a single SPG stay.


There are also Marriott elite benefits, stay tuned for another post on that, the best ways to use your Starpoints, and more about the best ways to use the Marriott program!

Where do you like using your Starpoints? Hit the comments!

Marriott 2017 Annual Category Changes; Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Chart

Thursday, February 9th, 2017, 12:41 pm

Marriott 2017 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes

Book stays before 3/7 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/7 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

23% of Marriott hotels will changes categories. Of those 60% will become more expensive and 40% will become less expensive.

This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.

For example if you have a 7 night category 1-5 hotel certificate and want to go to Curaçao, you’ll want to reserve that before 3/7 when the Renaissance moves to a category 6.

View sample hotels changing in category and more on the Marriott/SPG program after the jump:

 

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Starwood 2017 Annual Category Changes

Thursday, February 9th, 2017, 10:52 am

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Read about previous category changes:
Starwood 2016 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2015 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2014 Annual Category Changes
Starwood 2013 Category Changes
Starwood 2012 Category Changes
2011 Starwood Category Adjustments
-2010 had no Starwood category changes
2009 Starwood Category Adjustments
2008 Starwood Category Adjustments
Starwood 2007 Changes: Launch Of Worldwide Cash+Points Awards (The good old days of Starwood in Israel)
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

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Starwood 2017 Complete List Of Annual Category Changes (Click all to view all hotel changes)

Earn Starpoints on the Starwood Consumer American Express and on the Starwood Business American Express.

Book stays before 3/7 local hotel time to lock in current rates for future stays at hotels that are going up.  Almost all hotel stays are cancellable for free until a certain amount of time before the stay (read the fine print).  If you have a reservation at a hotel that is going down then just cancel and rebook the stay on 3/7 when this year’s category changes go into effect.

325 SPG hotels are changing category this year. 63% of those will go down in category.

This list is subject to change and other hotels can still be added to it.

View the key hotels changing in category after the jump:

 

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Transfer Hotel Points To British Airways And Get A 35% Bonus

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Catching up on deals from this past week while I was on the road…

BA is offering a 35% bonus on hotel points transferred into Avios through 3/8/17.

-Bonus Avios can take 4-6 weeks to show on your account from the date of conversion.

For example:

-20K Starpoints normally transfers into 25K airline miles. With the additional 35% bonus you’ll get a total of 33,750 Avios.

-270K Marriott points (90K Starpoints) normally transfers into 7 free hotel nights and 120K Avios. With the additional 35% bonus you’ll get a total of 162K Avios. Read more about this redemption option in this post.

The value of Avios has been hampered over the past year due to the elimination of 4.5K short-haul awards within North America and scarce saver award availability on American.

However award availability has finally started improving on American of late.

Additionally the cost of a domestic first class award has gone down from 4 times the price of coach to 2-3 times the price of coach. For example a one-way flight from NYC to Chicago or Miami is 7.5K in coach or 15K in first class instead of the previous rate of 30K in first class.

Plus you can cancel Avios awards for just $5.60 each way up to 24 hours before the flight.

Of course there are dozens of airlines that you can transfer your Starpoints into and you can use them for hotel stays, so don’t transfer unless you have a need for the Avios.

HT: CZ60, via DDF and DoC

Maximizing The Incredible Sam’s Club AMEX Offer!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, 1:13 pm

Update, 1/31: Today is the last day to take advantage of this offer. It’s no longer available if you haven’t already saved it to your account.

My local Sam’s Club closed a lane for me and stayed open for an extra hour to complete the spending on all of my additional user cards! All of those cards now have a $250 statement credit.

A few tips:
-Stay organized by keeping every 2 AMEX cards with 5 of the $500 Mastercard gift cards. Each $500 Mastercard gift card requires a separate transaction, so make 2 $500 transactions on your 1st AMEX, split the 3rd transaction with $250 on the first AMEX and the remainder on the 2nd AMEX, and then make 2 $500 transactions on your 2nd AMEX.

-Don’t insert your AMEX until after you click OK to confirm the $500 load amount or else the payment will be cancelled.

-Make sure to check your credit limit. You can request a temporarily higher credit limit by logging onto your AMEX account, locating the available credit on your card, and clicking on “Check spending power.”
Alternatively if you prepay funds from your bank account to a credit card it will be added to your credit limit.

-If a transaction is declined then the $500 Mastercard might no longer be able to be activated. After calling AMEX to clear my account from a fraud alert, the Sam’s Club point of sale system continued to reject the transaction until I told the cashier to try another $500 Mastercard gift card. You may want to bring an extra gift card to the checkout line just in case this happens to you.


Update, 1/19: This offer is now full if you haven’t saved it to your account already.


Update, 1/12: 5 of the $500 Mastercards split among 2 targeted cards for $2,024.70 after $500 off:

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Originally posted on 1/10:

AMEX Offers are a great way to save money.

There is currently an offer on primary and secondary AMEX Business cards to get 20% back from Sam’s Club. You can get up to $250 back with this offer per targeted card! The offer runs through 1/31 and is only valid in-club.

If you aren’t a member you can join here for $45 and get a free $25 Sam’s Club gift card.

Previously many of my cards were not targeted, but yesterday dozens more of my secondary AMEX business cards were targeted for the offer.

To see if you have this offer in your account just login to your AMEX account, click on any of your cards to go the activity page, click on “AMEX Offers For You,” and save the offer to your account.

If you also have multiple cards with the offer don’t rush to save the offer to your account!  Open up the Offers page for each card in a separate tab in the same browser.  Then go between the tabs to save the offer to each of your targeted cards.  Otherwise once you save the offer to one card it disappears from your other cards.

You can use this link to access the old AMEX Offers interface, which some people find easier to save multiple offers with the multi-tab method.

Always check all primary and secondary card offers, as secondary cards will often have offers that the primary card does not. You can add secondary cards in your own name to your primary login or you can create a new login for other secondary cards.

Note that you only have to worry about an offer disappearing from other cards when they are registered to the same account. Saving an offer won’t affect cards that have their own login.

If you mess up and don’t save the offer to a card you can always remove a card from one login and make a dedicated login for it to register it. Alternatively you can remove the card that has an offer saved to it and the offer will reappear for the rest of the cards registered to that account. Once you properly save the offer to all cards on that account you can re-register the deleted card back to the same account.

There are many ways to maximize this offer:

Officially the 20% back offer is only valid for one transaction per card, but many DDF users report receiving 20% back on all transactions made on the same day. Of course this is a YMMV (Your mileage may vary) situation and you might only get 20% back on the first transaction made on a targeted card.

-If you shop at WalMart or Sam’s Club you can buy Sam’s Club gift cards that also work at WalMart. $1,250 of gift cards will effectively cost you $1,000. You can also sell the gift cards to sites like CardPool or CardCash.

-You can buy Disney gift cards that can be used for Disney theme park tickets, resorts, water parks, cruises, adventure vacations, hotels, annual passes, merchandise, dining, shows like Cirque du Soleil, activities, and more.. Sam’s Club sells $150 of these gift cards for $143.88. You can buy 9 of these for $1,294.92 less $250. That’s $1,350 of Disney credit for $1,044.92, an effective 22.6% discount.

-You can buy Southwest gift cards. Sam’s Club sells $150 of these gift cards for $142.98. You can buy 9 of these for $1,286.82 less $250. That’s $1,350 of Southwest credit for $1,036.82, an effective 23.2% discount.

-Other discounted gift cards include iTunes, Regal Cinemas, and more.

-A variable load $500 Mastercard costs $504.94 with fees. You can only buy 1 variable card per transaction. If you have 2 targeted cards you purchase 5 Mastercards in 5 transactions. Charge 2 of the Mastercards to each card. On the 5th transaction ask to split the payment between your 2 targeted cards. In total you’ll get $2,500 of Mastercards for $2,524.70 less $500=$2,024.70. Effectively you’re buying $2,500 of gift cards with a 19% discount. You can use the Vanilla branded $500 Mastercard to buy money orders from select post offices and grocery stores, though that is always YMMV. You can use any 4 numbers as the PIN for the card. Or you can always use the card for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation with an effective 19% discount. I used this method yesterday and will update the post with the results.

-A fixed $200 Mastercard costs $206.48 with fees. You can buy multiple of these per transaction. If you buy 6 of the $200 cards you’ll pay $1,238.88 for $1,200 of Mastercards and you’ll get 20% back, or $247.78, for a total of $991.10. Effectively you’re buying $1,200 of gift cards with a 17.4% discount. You’ll have some leftover rebate with this method, so you can also purchase a Sams Club/WalMart gift card of $11.12 in the same transaction for $8.90 to finish off the $250 maximum cash back per card.

You can split a transaction with up to 5 targeted AMEX cards, so you can buy more than 6 of the $200 Mastercards at a time if you want.

You can use the Vanilla branded $200 Mastercard to buy money orders from select post offices and grocery stores. You can use any 4 numbers as the PIN for the card. Or you can always use the card for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation with an effective 17.4% discount.

-A variable load $500 AMEX costs $504.48 with fees. I haven’t tested these yet, but I’d assume that these are also only 1 card per transaction. If you have 2 targeted cards you purchase 5 AMEX gift cards in 5 transactions. Charge 2 of the AMEX gift cards to each targeted card. On the 5th transaction ask to split the payment between your 2 targeted cards. In total you’ll get $2,500 of AMEX gift cards for $2,522.40 less $500=$2,022.40. Effectively you’re buying $2,500 of gift cards with a 19.1% discount. Note that these cards have no PIN, so your only option with these will be to sell them or use them for everyday spending, as a gift, or as a donation.

Are you targeted for the Sam’s Club offer? Which strategy will you use? Hit the comments!


Join the 79.1K+ people who follow @DansDeals on twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Don’t want to miss out on AMEX Offers?

Consumer cards include:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (25K Starpoints for spending $3K in 3 months, free Boingo worldwide hotspot access, free premium wifi in SPG hotels, 25% point bonus for transfers to airlines in 20K increments. No foreign transaction fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express (10K AMEX MR points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.  20% point bonus for making 20 transactions per month for an effective 2.4 points per dollar on groceries, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar elsewhere. No annual fee.)

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express (15K AMEX MR points for spending $1,000 in 3 months.  50% point bonus for making 30 transactions per month for an effective 4.5 points per dollar on groceries, 3 points per dollar on gas, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar elsewhere. $95 annual fee.)

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (25K AMEX MR points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. 3 points per dollar on airfare and 2 points per dollar on restaurants, US gas stations, US supermarkets, and Uber. $100 annual airline fee credit. No foreign transaction fees. $195 annual fee waived for first year.)

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express (30K Delta miles for spending $1,000 in 3 months. $50 cash back for making a purchase with Delta within 3 months. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express 50K points for spending $750 within 3 months. Earn 7 points per dollar for spending at Hilton, 5 points per dollar at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar elsewhere. Silver elite status for as long as you are a cardmember that gets you the ability to get the 5th night free on Hilton award stays. If you spend $20K on the card you’ll also get Hilton Gold status. No annual fee)

Platinum Card® from American Express (40K AMEX MR points for spending $3,000 in 3 months. 5 points per dollar on airfare. Free Starwood and Hilton gold elite status for discounted paid and award stays. As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply. Free Centurion lounge access, Delta lounge access, Airspace lounge access, and Priority Club lounge access. $200 in airline fee refunds per calendar year ($400 in refunds during first cardmembership year). Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership.  Free insurance for any items bought on credit card and lost within 90 days. No foreign exchange fees. $450 annual fee. 3 additional cardholders for a flat $175 fee ($58.33/year each) which includes full lounge access and free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership)

Business cards:

All business cards give automatic OPEN Savings rebates on top of points.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express (25K Starpoints for spending $5K in 3 months, free Sheraton lounge access, free Boingo worldwide hotspot access, free premium wifi in SPG hotels, 25% point bonus for transfers to airlines in 20K increments. No foreign transaction fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN(Limited time offer: 50K AMEX MR points for spending $5,000 in 3 months. 3 points per dollar in your choice of one of the following categories and 2 points in the other categories: Airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or hardware+software+cloud computing. 2 points per dollar on Uber. $175 annual fee waived for first year.)

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express (30K Delta miles for spending $1,000 in 3 months. $50 cash back for making a purchase with Delta within 3 months. Free checked bag and zone 1 priority boarding. No foreign exchange fees. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN (Limited time offer: 10K MR points after making any purchase within 3 months. 10 points per dollar at restaurants (up to $2,000) within 6 months. 2 points per dollar everywhere (up to $50,000) within 12 months. 30% annual points bonus based on the past year’s purchases. No annual fee.)

Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (5K AMEX MR points for spending $1 in 3 months. $95 annual fee waived for first year.)

HT: Mountain Man, via DDF

$25 Off An UberBlack Ride In NYC!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, 11:00 am

Update: This offer expires tonight at 11:59pm!


Related:
-Existing Uber Users: Request An Uber Via Google Maps And Get $15 Off A Ride!
-SPG-Uber Partnership Earnings Devalued; Which Card To Use For Uber.


Originally posted on 1/17/17:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

If you’re new to Uber you can signup via this referral link.

Existing users can go to the promotion field in the Uber app or they can click here and enter the following code: AMEXBLACK

You will get $25 off your next UberBlack ride in NYC through 1/31/17.

“NYC” includes rides that begin and end in one of the five NYC boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx. For those keeping score at home, that includes JFK and LGA.

You must use an AMEX to pay for the Uber.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN normally offers 2.3 points per dollar spent on Uber, but if you signup with the current limited time signup offer you will earn 3.3 points per dollar spent.

-The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card earns 2.5 points per dollar on Uber if you make 30 transactions/month.

-The Amex EveryDay Credit Card earns 2.2 points per dollar on Uber if you make 20 transactions/month.


Join the 79,300+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

Last Chance To Earn 100,000 Points With The Game-Changing Business Platinum Card

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017, 12:00 am

Update: Offer expired!


-Find more posts like this by clicking on the Credit Card+Mileage Posts tab above of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
-American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Signup bonus:

Until 1/25/17 the Business Platinum card is offering 50K bonus points for spending $5K and another 50K bonus points for spending another $10K within 3 months.

A tax payment can help you reach those spend thresholds and you can earn 50% bonus points with this card, read more here.

Airline fee credits:

In your first cardmembership you can get a $200 credit in 2017 and a $200 credit in 2018.

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you should be able to change it by calling or chatting with AMEX.

You can view sample items that qualify for a airline fee refund here.

Note that the airline you choose will also be the airline that you get back 50% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 50% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline. It takes about a day to get the 50% points rebate.

“Hybrid Points”

A couple months ago I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like AMEX Business Platinum and Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Business Platinum card is truly game changing thanks to the ability to choose whether to transfer points into airline miles when tickets are expensive.

You can transfer points to airlines like ANA, Air Canada, or Singapore for Star Alliance travel. Points transfer to Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France/KLM, or Delta for Skyteam travel. Transfer to BA, Cathay Pacific, or Iberia for OneWorld travel. Other transfer options include El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin America, or Virgin Atlantic. This can make sense for one-way, last-minute, or premium class travel. The value with airline miles can be under a cent each if used poorly, but properly used the points can be worth 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, or even more per point, the sky is the limit.

Otherwise you can choose to use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive at an whopping 2 cents (or higher) value per point. When you use them for paid tickets you don’t pay any taxes and you still earn miles for the flight!

AMEX also offers insider fares on select routes that can make your points be worth as much as 2.5 cents toward paid airfare!

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here. If you want to redeem for travel on Southwest then you’ll need to call AMEX to book.

This hybrid redemption ability makes your points very valuable.

When you combine the card with other AMEX cards you can make your spending even more lucrative.

Supercharge your spending:

-If you spend more than $5,000 on the Business Platinum card you’ll also get 1.5 points per dollar, worth at least 3% back.

However other purchases only earn 1 point each. Rather than doing that you can spend on these other AMEX cards that will supercharge your earnings. And you can then redeem points earned on other AMEX cards with your Business Platinum card so that the points can be transferred into miles or used at a value of at least 2 cents each towards paid tickets!

You can apply for other AMEX cards on the same day and only have 1 credit pull.

-If you have the $95/year AMEX Everyday Preferred and make 30 transactions per month you will earn 4.5 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 3 points per dollar at US gas stations, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 9% back at US supermarkets, 6% back at US gas stations, 5% back on Uber, and 3% back everywhere else.

-If you have the no annual fee AMEX Everyday card and make 20 transactions per month you will earn 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4.8% back at US supermarkets, 4.4% back on Uber, and 2.4% back everywhere else.

Offer expired! -If you apply for the no annual fee AMEX Blue for Business card during its current limited time promotion you will earn 10.3 points per dollar at US restaurants within 6 months ($2K cap), 3.3 points per dollar on Uber within 12 months, 2.3 points per dollar everywhere for 12 months ($50K cap), and 1.3 points per dollar everywhere (2.3 for Uber) afterward thanks to the 30% annual points dividend. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 20.6% back at US restaurants for 6 months, 4.6% back everywhere for 12 months, and 2.6% back everywhere afterward.

-If you have the consumer Platinum Card you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on airfare. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 10% back

-If you have the Premier Rewards Gold card you will earn 3 points per dollar on airfare, 2 points per dollar at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 6% back on airfare, and 4% back at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants.

-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you will earn 3 points per dollar on your choice of 1 category and 2 points per dollar in the other categories consisting of: airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or computer hardware+software+cloud computing. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4-6% back. Plus with Open Savings you’ll get an additional 5% cash back on Fedex, Hertz, or HP, for a total of up to 11% back from Fedex or HP.

Annual fee:

The Business Platinum card costs $450/year. But AMEX has now made that fee a very good value thanks to the ability to make all of your AMEX points worth at least 2 cents each.

The airline fee refunds also help take the sting out of the fee.

Plus there are a plethora of other benefits:

Charge card benefits:

Rather than being limited to a fixed credit line, these cards offer flexibility to spend far more, with the caveat that it needs to be paid back in full on the due date.

Gold elite status with 3 hotel chains:

Both Platinum cards offer Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, and Marriott Gold elite status.

You can enroll online here for Hilton Gold status. You can also enroll additional cardholders for Gold status, but that needs to be done over the phone.

You need to call 800-525-3355 and select option 3 for Starwood Gold status.

Once you have Starwood Gold status you can match that online instantly to Marriott Gold status.

Hilton Gold status gets you upgrades, bonus points, 5th night free on awards, late checkout, breakfast, and bottled water. Free breakfast doesn’t usually do much for me as a kosher traveler, but we had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year where we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well.

Starwood Gold status gets you late checkout, more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels, and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points. Starwood elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

-Centurion lounge access:

American Express has operated Centurion lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico for some time.  Now they are expanding in the US market with lounges operating in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, LaGuardia, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and more to come such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

Originally the US lounges were designed for free access only for Centurion cardholders, you know them as those black cards that cost a ridiculous $2,500 per year with a $7,500 initiation fee that used to give elite status on airlines like Continental and USAirways but now is down to just Delta.

But once the Platinum card started losing airline lounges due to exclusivity with other banks AMEX opened it up to Platinum cardholders for free as well.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

The lounges offer varying amenities like premium drinks, showers, and massages. And as they are staffed by AMEX you can even get help with account issues and access the lounge even if you forget your Platinum card.

-Priority Pass membership.

You can enroll here for a Priority Pass membership.

Unfortunately this membership doesn’t include any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can get their own free Priority Pass membership.

Lounges include the Art & Lounge in Newark which is the lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It’s located before security and doesn’t require a boarding pass, so you can stop in for free kosher food and wine at any time! In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.

See the Priority Pass site for their complete list of lounges.

Priority Pass gives access to the full network of “The Club” with 8 domestic lounges and growing.

Airspace lounges:

Currently there are Airspace lounges in Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue T5 terminal), and San Diego.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottles water, and self service soft drinks.  Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.

Delta SkyClub:

You can access Delta lounges for free with a Platinum card when flying on Delta.  You don’t get any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can access Delta lounges for free as well.

The Delta SkyClub in JFK even sells kosher meals if you need one!

Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund

It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope.  If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

You can read more more about the differences in this post.

Additional cardholders qualify for a Pre-Check or Global Entry fee refund as well.

My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!

Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Platinum card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.

Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:

With the Business Platinum card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet.

You can enroll here for your free passes.

Lost Item Protection:

If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered. Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often has a cap of just $1,000.

Car Rental Perks:

A 4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz and fee-waived Gold Plus membership and National Executive guarantee upgrades and faster free award rentals.

The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign exchange fees.  And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.

Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

-The consumer card’s advantages are now the 5 points per dollar on airfare and the bargain additional Platinum user fees.

-The business card’s advantages are now the 50% bonus points for spending $5,000+, the GoGo WiFi passes, Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more. But the main advantage is the 50% rebate for using points for airfare.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field

 

Will you be signing up for a Business Platinum card?

Is It Worth Paying 1.87% To Pay Your Taxes Via Credit Card?

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017, 2:42 pm

On the IRS website you can find a processor that charges 1.87% to process your tax payment via credit card.

It can definitely make sense to pay your taxes via credit card if you are signing up for a card and are trying to reach a spend threshold that you won’t be able to reach without some help.

But what about if you don’t have any spend thresholds to meet?

-If you pay at least $5,000 in taxes on your Business Platinum card you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent. Those points are “hybrid” points. You can transfer them into real airline miles from any alliance. Or you can redeem them for paid travel. Thanks to the 50% points rebate those points will be worth at least 2% each, meaning you’ll be earning at least 3% back for the spending.

The $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points worth at least $152.82.

Update: 100K Offer Expired! If you open the Business Platinum card during the 100K limited time offer that’s ending on 1/25 and spend $15,000 on taxes you will pay $280.50 in fees. You will earn the 100K signup bonus plus 22,922 points for spending, for a total of 122,922 points that are worth at least $2,458.44 towards airfare.

That tax payment fee may be tax-deductible, you should speak to your tax preparer about that. If you can deduct the fee that changes the math based on your marginal tax rate.

You can also request a refund for any overpayment when you file your taxes and the IRS will cut cut you a check or a direct deposit into your checking account.

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card offers 1.5 points per dollar everywhere if you have 30 total transactions that billing period. The card also offers up to 4.5 points per dollar in categories like groceries, gas, and Uber. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles. If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN has no annual fee and offers 2.3 points per dollar during the first year the card is open on up to $50,000 in purchases.  A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 11,716 points. After the first year you’ll earn 1.3 points per dollar or 6,623 points. You’ll need an AMEX Everyday, Gold, or Platinum card to transfer those points into miles. If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

The Amex EveryDay Credit Card is the only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into airline miles.  It offers 1.2 miles per dollar spent. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 6,112 points transferable to airline miles.  If you have a Business Platinum card you can also use them with the 50% points rebate on paid airfare.

-The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. If you have a Sapphire Preferred/Reserve or Ink Bold/Plus/Preferred you can transfer those points into airline miles or hotel points. If you have a Sapphire Reserve you can also redeem those points for 1.5 cents each towards travel. A $5,000 tax payment will cost you $93.50, but you will earn 7,641 points transferable to airline miles if you or an additional user have one of the aforementioned card or useable for $114.62 towards travel with a Sapphire Reserve.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX have the ability to transfer points into dozens of different airlines at a 20K:25K ratio, effectively 1.25 miles per dollar spent everywhere. If you owe $20,000 in taxes and pay for it on your Starwood card you’ll pay $374 and you’ll get 20,374 Starpoints which can be transferred into 25,374 miles. If you spend $30K/year you qualify for SPG and Marriott Gold status.

-The Discover it Miles card gives 3 “miles” per dollar everywhere for the first year that you have the card.  They’re worth 1 cent each, so you’ll come out 1.13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus gives 2 points per dollar plus a 5% rebate on redemptions, so you’ll come out .18% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

-The Citi Double Cash card gives 2% cash back, so you’ll come out .13% ahead of the 1.87% tax processing fee.

Other cards offer benefits for hitting annual spend thresholds.

-The JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard offers mosaic status for spending $50K annually. Mosaic status includes free changes and cancellations on JetBlue tickets for the Mosaic member and for everyone on their itinerary, 2 free checked bags, 15K bonus points for earning Mosaic status every year, free even more speed checkin and security access, early boarding, 3 additional points per dollar spent, free alcoholic beverages onboard, and a dedicated Mosaic 24/7 customer service line.

-The Delta Platinum and Reserve consumer cards and Delta Platinum and Reserve business cards offer elite qualifying miles for meeting annual spend thresholds. If you spend $25K/year you’ll also waive the requirement to spend a minimum amount on Delta flights to earn elite status.

-Spending $25K/year on the United Explorer card earns 10K bonus miles and waives the requirement to spend a minimum amount on United flights to earn Silver, Gold, or Platinum elite status. The United Club card offers 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere. Both United cards give access to expanded saver award availability, priority boarding, and keep your miles from expiring for as long as you’re a cardholder.

-Lots of other cards have threshold bonuses. The Chase Hyatt card gives elite night credits if you spend $20K or $40K, though that ends in February. The Chase Ritz Carlton card gives Marriott and SPG Gold status for spend $10K/year and Platinum status for spending $75K/year. The Chase Marriott gives an elite credit for every $3,000 spent. The AMEX Hilton and Citi Hilton cards award Gold status for spending $20K/yead and the AMEX Hilton Surpass and Citi Hilton Reserve award diamond status for spending $40K/year. The Citi Hilton Reserve also gives a free hotel night for spending $10K/year. The Chase Southwest cards give companion pass status if you earn 110K points in a year. The Chase Fairmont gives a free night for $12K/year. The Citi AA Executive card awards 10K elite qualifying miles for spending $40K/year. My grandfathered Ink Bold Exclusives card gives 167,500 miles if you spend $100K/year, etc, etc.

Is it worth it? It all depends on what you do with your miles.

Mimi and I flew to NYC last month on a last-minute ticket that would have cost $1,100. Not a bad deal for 15K Avios.

The value of airline miles is huge if you fly last-minute, one-way, or in business or first class internationally.

57.3K points transferred to Singapore is enough for a ticket in a private couples suite on an A380 one-way from JFK to Frankfurt.

With hybrid points you can always get a great value by using the points directly for paid tickets or you can transfer them into airline miles so that you are always be a step ahead of the airline’s game. Transfer points when outsized award values are available or redeem directly for paid flights when they are not.

Of course there are much cheaper ways of manufacturing spend to buy miles for less, but considering that this takes zero effort, it’s not a bad deal.

You can make 2 payments per credit card processor for each quarterly estimate or for your year end bill. You can make another 2 payments each time by using a spouses name to pay.

You can also pay with a debit card for a $2.25 or $2.59 flat fee in case you have a mileage earning debit card or gift cards to cash out.

Do you pay your taxes with a credit or debit card? Or is it too pricey of a method to buy miles? Sound off in the comments!

JetBlue Honoring (Most) Free Vacation Reservations; A History Of Past Free Vacation Glitches

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, 11:32 am

On Sunday I covered a JetBlue vacations deal that offered $150 off domestic vacation packages and $250 off international vacation packages with no minimum purchase requirement. I also wrote about how to use it for free airfare, hotels, and car rentals even if you only needed one of those.

Before I made those posts I booked a dummy booking to confirm that it would give a confirmation number with a $0 purchase. I called back to cancel that booking as I had no intention of using it and the rep confirmed that ticketed vacations for adults would be honored. However vacations booked for those under 18 have been cancelled.

Some DD readers have already flown and stayed in hotels for free with the deal!

4 hours after I posted the deal JetBlue added a $2,000 or $2,500 minimum purchase to the deal’s terms.

JetBlue has to be commended for honoring their glitches though. In December a glitch lowered the price of transcontinental flights to $64 and their website remained jammed for a day. They even honored the fare for people who called about not being able to access their website.

In June they announced a promotion targeting Virgin America flyers due to JetBlue losing the bid to buy them out to Alaska. They had intended to target people that had Virgin America miles but forgot to exclude people transferring in points from SPG with a 25% bonus. In the end, Alaska Airlines even bumped up the Virgin America points by another 30% and JetBlue decided to honor the promotion despite high-level talks about whether to try to bail. We flew to Boston and got over 300,000 points for our mileage run.

But this was far from the first vacation package glitch:

-In 2006 I posted a deal for a flight+hotel package to Hawaii for $87 thanks to a $400 off Northwest Airlines vacation package that didn’t set a minimum purchase. I was in a Smicha program then in LA and went with my chavrusa to Oahu for Purim. In 48 hours we brought a suitcase of food for the local shluchim, bought Hawaiian print Kipot, paid our respects at Pearl Harbor, climbed Diamond Head, hiked to Manoa Falls, snorkeled in Hanauma Bay, and drove around the island.

I fell in love with the state and have been back 6 times since, including a month-long honeymoon spanning 4 islands.

-In March 2010 Expedia offered $400 off vacations packages to the Bahamas, resulting in hundreds of DansDeals readers getting free airfare+hotels there.

-On a Saturday in November 2010 Expedia once again offered $300 off vacation packages to Las Vegas and other cities. A friend had asked me if we wanted to shoot some pool that night. I’m not much of a pool guy, but agreed when Mimi said she was in. When I logged onto my laptop after Shabbos, I saw the deal on DDF and got involved with posting it and writing about its potential.

In the meantime, I told Mimi that the Expedia deal would keep me busy all night. At that time there were only 1,100 @DansDeals followers on Twitter and the deal lasted until 3:40AM the next day.

Eventually, Mimi told me what was really going on that night, there were dozens of people waiting for a surprise birthday party for me. Oops. That wouldn’t be the only birthday party I nearly missed due to a glitch, United’s 4 Mile Island glitch happened just before Rafi’s 1st birthday party.

Meanwhile, once at the party everyone wanted to book all-expense paid vacations to Las Vegas. Just about everyone in attendance wound up booking Vegas vacations with free airfare, Bellagio stays, airport limo transfers, Cirque du Soleil tickets, etc. Due to issues with our room the Bellagio even wound up buying us kosher steak and lamb chops for dinner.

While watching the Pats-Texans game this past Saturday night with a group of friends we got into a discussion of the free Vegas vacation deal and when something like that would return. Less than 24 hours later JetBlue delivered!

-Just a week after the Vegas deal, JetBlue had transcontinental airfares with hotel packages for just $99

-In 2011 JetBlue Vacations offered $100 vacations with no minimum purchase.

-Don’t want to miss a glitch like one of these or $50 first class Delta tickets to Hawaii or LA, $440 business class AA tickets to Asia250 mile Delta flights, $148 Delta tickets from down under$150 Delta Transatlantic fares, $250 AA Transatlantic fares$187 Etihad tickets$336 El Al tickets to Israel, $372 Delta tickets to Israel$281 Air Canada tickets to Israel, $461 USAirways tickets to Israel, or $287 United tickets to Israel?

Join the 79,400+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com! Click here to learn how to setup text message alerts (and choose which hours of the night not to bother you) and you’ll be the first to know about every deal!

Cathay/United: Fly Nonstop From Chicago To Hong Kong For $505 (Or 25K Hybrid Points) Round-Trip

Monday, January 16th, 2017, 5:20 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-Earn 5 points per dollar on the AMEX Platinum Card or 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.
-Earn 3 points per dollar and get $300 in airfare automatically refunded every calendar year with Chase Sapphire Reserve.


Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm EST tomorrow. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-You can credit the United K class fare to Singapore Airlines to earn 16,130 miles instead of earning just 2,035 United miles.
-United has a 7 night minimum stay requirement.

-You can credit the Cathay Pacific O class fare to Alaska Airlines to earn 3,897 miles instead of earning 0 Asia miles.
-Cathay Pacific has no minimum stay requirement.

United Chicago-Hong Kong valid dates:
February 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28
March 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 27, 28, 29, 30
April 4, 5, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 27

United Hong Kong-Chicago valid dates:
February: Entire month
March 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30,
April 3, 4, 5, 6, 13, 17, 18, 19
May 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 18

Cathay Pacific Chicago-Hong Kong valid dates:
February 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28
March 1, 2, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 28, 29, 30
April 17, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26, 27

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong-Chicago valid dates:
February 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22,
March 1, 7, 8, 9, 21, 22,
April 4, 5, 26
May 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15

Hong Kong is a fascinating East meets West city and is home to several great kosher restaurants and shuls. Mul Hayam restaurant, located next to the Kehilat Zion shul in the Kowloon section of Hong Kong, is excellent. The JCC located on Hong Kong Island has very good dairy and meat restaurants as well as an awesome Sunday night all you can eat buffet, just don’t forget to bring your passport to get in! Chabad of Lantau also offers meals with delivery options.

We spent a Shabbos with Chabad of Hong Kong Island where the food was excellent and the atmosphere is awesome. People have rave reviews about Shabbos at Chabad and Kehilat Zion in Kowloon as well.

After Shabbos we moved the W in Kowloon, which is one of my favorite SPG hotels in the world. We got an amazing upgrade and there’s a very cool rooftop infinity pool and hot tub. Plus the bellhop picked up our bags from our room and checked them straight home to Cleveland without us ever having to touch them thanks to the airport express station located in the W’s basement.

There are lots of other great hotels where you can spend your points at as well.

Most hotels even give you a free cell phone to use while in Hong Kong.

Americans do not need a visa to travel to Hong Kong or to take the ferry from Hong Kong to nearby Macau.


These fares are not on sale with miles, but you can pay for the ticket with “hybrid points” if you have AMEX or Chase points and a Business Platinum or Sapphire Reserve card.

Using AMEX points:

If you have The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN you can get a 50% rebate on the airline of your choice in coach and on all airlines in business/first class

The 50% rebate will go back into your account the day after redeeming points.

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here.

A $505.26 flight will be 50,526 points and you would get a 50% rebate making the effective cost just 25,263 points, a value of 2 cents per point:

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Using Chase points:

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem points for 1.5 cents each towards travel.

A $505.26 coach flight will be 33,684 points. That includes all taxes and you still earn miles for flying!

You can login to your account and redeem Chase points for travel here.

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Join the 79,300+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

HT: Yaalili, via DDF

No, Starwood Hasn’t Eliminated Transfers To Virgin America; Should You Transfer Your Starpoints Now?

Friday, January 6th, 2017, 10:05 am

Update, 1/6: Today is final day to make transfers from Starwood to Virgin America. Those points transfer at a 20K:25K ratio. Starting on 1/9 you can transfer points from Virgin America to Alaska at a 1:1.3 ratio, making the effective SPG: Alaska ratio 20K:32.5K.

Update, 12/28: SPG has announced that 1/6/17 will be the last day to transfer points to Virgin America. Will you transfer points from SPG to Alaska via Virgin America at a 1:1.625 ratio before then?


Originally posted on 12/21:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.


On Monday I wrote about an incredible use of Starpoints. You can transfer 20K SPG points into 25K Virgin America Elevate points. Effective 1/9/17 you’ll be able to transfer Virgin America points into Alaska miles at a 1:1.3 ratio, so those 20K Starpoints will become 32,500 Alaska miles.

That’s an effective 1.625 Alaska miles per Starpoint, an awesome transfer option considering:
The breadth of partners that Alaska has. They include American, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Korean, JAL, and Qantas.

-The very generous stopover and routing policies that Alaska has. You can get a free stopover on a one-way award. You can route from the US to Israel via Asia or from Hawaii to Asia via the US48, etc.

-The very generous award change and cancel policies. You can redeposit an award 60 days before a flight without any fees.

The very generous award charts that Alaska has.

A one-way flight to Europe or South America on American is just 20K coach off-peak, 30K coach peak, 50K business, or 62.5K first with no fuel surcharges.

One-way Flights to Asia on award-winning Cathay Pacific are just 30K coach, 35K premium economy, 50K business, or 70K first with no fuel surcharges.

One-way Flights to Israel on Cathay Pacific are 50K coach, 55K premium economy, 62.5K business, or 70K first with no fuel surcharges and a free stopover in Hong Kong if you want one. Cathay starts flying to Israel on March 26. You must call Alaska to book travel on Cathay Pacific.

You’ll effectively get 1.625 Alaska miles for each Starpoints, so just divide Alaska’s award rates by 1.625 to see how many effective Starpoints those routes will cost.

In other words a one-way business class flight to Israel would cost 62,500/1.625=about 38,461 Starpoints thanks to the 25% transfer bonus from Starwood to Virgin America and 30% transfer bonus from Virgin America to Alaska! A 40K Starpoints transfer would net 65K Alaska miles via Virgin America, more than enough for that award.

The big winners were those who already transferred Starpoints to Virgin America for the JetBlue Pointsmatch promo.

Several bloggers and DD readers have noted that Virgin America no longer appears on the SPG transfer page.

I reached out to Starwood and they confirmed that it’s merely a glitch and it will be restored:

 

I chatted with SPG and the agent confirmed that he would be able to transfer my Starpoints to Virgin America, despite the website glitch.

Of course eventually the transfer option will be eliminated as the Virgin America program is merged into Alaska’s. But until then, you can funnel Starpoints into Alaska miles at a great rate.

The only reason I haven’t done so yet is that I’m not sure how much I trust Alaska. They devalued their Emirates award chart without notice. They say they’ll never do that again, but if their American or Cathay Pacific redemption costs grow too high, do I really expect them to give fair notice?

It’s hard to say.

Alaska is also notorious for having a nasty audit department that heavily frowns on booking awards for others and credit card churning.

So I won’t proactively transfer Starpoints at this rate. But if you’re ready to book an award in the near future, it’s an awesome transfer ratio.

Then again, with new opportunities made possible by the Marriott merger such as new hotels, Southwest companion pass, and the recent United transfer bonus, there are more amazing uses for Starpoints than ever.

Will you transfer Starpoints into Alaska miles at a 1:1.625 ratio while the opportunity lasts?

Check To See Your Targeted Offer To Buy Starpoints

Saturday, December 31st, 2016, 10:15 pm

Update: Commenter “mw” notes that you are now able to purchase more Starpoints even if you already purchased the maximum 30K Starpoints for your account earlier this year.

If your account is targeted for a discount you can also purchase Starpoints for other accounts with the same discount, just select “Give Starpoints.”

The discounted point offer ends tonight!


Originally posted on 11/3:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months


Starwood allows you to buy up to 30,000 Starpoints per year. They are normally 3.5 cents each, but through 12/31 you can save between 25%-50% off Starpoints here.

Just login to your SPG account to find your offer. With the discount you can pay as little as 1.75 cents per Starpoint, a record low price for Starpoints if you have that offer. If you pay with a Starwood AMEX you’ll also get 2 points per dollar, so if you buy 30K points for $525 you’ll also be earning 1,050 Starpoints for the credit card purchase. In total you will have paid $525 for 31,050 Starpoints or 1.69 cents per Starpoint.

As Starpoints can convert to airline miles at a 20K:25K ratio, the cost per mile can be as low as 1.4 cents.  Starpoints can also convert to Marriott points at a 1K:3K ratio, so the cost per Marriott points can be as low as 0.58 cents each.

If you use your Starwood AMEX you’ll also get 2 Starpoints per dollar spent, so you’re effective cost per points will be just 1.69 cents as you’ll get an extra 1,050 Starpoints for a $525 purchase of 30,000 Starpoints.

Your account needs to be 14 days old to buy Starpoints. While there is a limit of 30K Starpoints per person, people living in the same household can transfer Starpoints between each other for free. It even extends the life of their Starpoints by another 18 months.

There are tons of great uses for Starpoints:

You can use them to stay in Starwood or Marriott hotels.

-You can transfer Starpoints to Alaska via Virgin America with a 62.5% bonus through 1/6/17. A flight from the US to Europe or South America will start at 12.3K Starpoints, business class on Cathay to Asia will be 30.7K Starpoints, and business class on Cathay to Israel will be 38.4K Starpoints after an effective 38.5% transfer discount.

90K Starpoints is currently enough for 132K United miles and a 7 night hotel stay via Marriott.

90K Starpoints is also enough for 7 nights in a Marriott hotel, 120K Southwest points, and a Southwest companion pass via Marriott that is valid for the remainder of the year and the entire following year. You can make the transfer in January of 2017 and you would be able to fly with a companion for free through December of 2018!

-Or you can start saving up to play softball in Wrigley, cruise to Antarctica, or throw out the first pitch of the 2017 World Series with SPG Moments.

What offer are you targeted for and will you be buying Starpoints?

HT: davidmal, via DDF

Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your AMEX Airline Fee Credit

Friday, December 30th, 2016, 9:20 am

Update: AMEX will credit you for 2016 spend as long as you make the charge during 2016, even if it doesn’t post in 2016.

You can now use this link to check how much of your AMEX airline fee credit has been used. Just login and click on your eligible card.

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Originally posted on 12/6:


Related:
-Here Are The Ways You Can Spend Your Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit; Plus: Timing The Spending And A 2017 Spend Report
-Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds
Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Sapphire Reserve Or Business Platinum “Hybrid Card”
-Building Credit And Credit Card FAQs: Your Questions Answered


American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers a $100 annual airline fee credit. You can register for an airline here.

-The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN each offer a $200 annual airline fee credit. You can register for an airline here.

The AMEX airline fee credit works on a calendar basis. If you apply for a card now you can use the 2016 credit by 12/31/16, the 2017 credit anytime in 2017 and the 2018 credit all in your first cardmembership year.

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you should be able to change it by calling or chatting with AMEX.

Note that if you have a Business Platinum card the airline you choose will also be the airline that you can 50% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 50% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline. It takes about a day to get the 50% points rebate.

The following items have been reported to work for airline fee credit:
-Alaska Airlines gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for Alaska.
-American Airlines gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for American (AA gift cards not available with NJ billing address).
-Award redeposit and change fees from airline of your choice.
-Baggage fees from airline of your choice.
-Delta gift cards of $50 per transaction if registered for Delta
-Flight change fees from airline of your choice.
-Food and drinks from airline of your choice.
Hawaiian Airlines gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for Hawaiian
-Lounge access fees from airline of your choice.
-Phone reservation fees from airline of your choice.
-Seat selection or upgrade fees from airline of your choice.
-Standby fees from airline of your choice.
-Southwest gift cards of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for Southwest
United gift registry of $100 or less per transaction, if registered for United: Register for a gift registry and create a goal in order to contribute travel funds to your United account for future ticket purchases

Note that gift cards purchases from United’s MileagePlusX app have not been working for fee refunds for the past couple of weeks.

-The Premier Rewards Gold Card offers triple points on airfare and double points on restaurants. gas stations, and supermarkets in addition to the $100 annual airline fee credit. The card’s $195 annual fee is waived for the first year.

-The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 5 points per dollar on airfare and allows you to add 3 cardmembers for $175/year ($58.33/each) that each get full lounge memberships and Global Entry memberships.

-The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN offers 10 annual GoGo in-flight WiFi passes, a 50% rebate on points used for coach tickets on the airline of your choice, a 50% rebate on points used for business/first class tickets on all airlines, and 50% bonus points on $5K+ purchases. Plus it won’t count against your Chase 5/24 count.


Last month I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum.

Signup bonus:

Until 1/25/17 the Business Platinum card is offering 50K bonus points for spending $5K and another 50K bonus points for spending another $10K within 3 months.

Airline fee credits:

AMEX gives you until 12/31 each year to get spend and get refunded for airline fee refunds.

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you should be able to change it by calling or chatting with AMEX.

Note that the airline you choose will also be the airline that you get back 50% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 50% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline. It takes about a day to get the 50% points rebate.

“Hybrid Points”

The card is truly game changing thanks to the ability to choose whether to transfer points into airline miles when tickets are expensive.

You can transfer points to airlines like ANA, Air Canada, or Singapore for Star Alliance travel. Points transfer to Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France/KLM, or Delta for Skyteam travel. Transfer to BA, Cathay Pacific, or Iberia for OneWorld travel. Other transfer options include El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin America, or Virgin Atlantic. This can make sense for one-way, last-minute, or premium class travel. The value with airline miles can be under a cent each if used poorly, but properly used the points can be worth 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, or even more per point, the sky is the limit.

Otherwise you can choose to use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive at an whopping 2 cents (or higher) value per point. When you use them for paid tickets you don’t pay any taxes and you still earn miles for the flight!

AMEX also offers insider fares on select routes that can make your points be worth as much as 2.5 cents toward paid airfare!

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here. If you want to redeem for travel on Southwest then you’ll need to call AMEX to book.

This hybrid redemption ability makes your points very valuable.

When you combine the card with other AMEX cards you can make your spending even more lucrative.

Supercharge your spending:

-If you spend more than $5,000 on the Business Platinum card you’ll also get 1.5 points per dollar, worth at least 3% back.

However other purchases only earn 1 point each. Rather than doing that you can spend on these other AMEX cards that will supercharge your earnings. And you can then redeem points earned on other AMEX cards with your Business Platinum card so that the points can be transferred into miles or used at a value of at least 2 cents each towards paid tickets!

You can apply for other AMEX cards on the same day and only have 1 credit pull.

-If you have the $95/year AMEX Everyday Preferred and make 30 transactions per month you will earn 4.5 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 3 points per dollar at US gas stations, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 9% back at US supermarkets, 6% back at US gas stations, 5% back on Uber, and 3% back everywhere else.

-If you have the no annual fee AMEX Everyday card and make 20 transactions per month you will earn 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4.8% back at US supermarkets, 4.4% back on Uber, and 2.4% back everywhere else.

-If you have the no annual fee AMEX Blue for Business card you will earn 10.3 points per dollar at US restaurants within 6 months ($2K cap), 2.3 points per dollar everywhere for 12 months ($50K cap), and 1.3 points per dollar everywhere afterward thanks to the 30% annual points dividend. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 20.6% back at US restaurants for 6 months, 4.6% back everywhere for 12 months, and 2.6% back everywhere afterward.

-If you have the consumer Platinum Card you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on airfare. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 10% back

-If you have the Premier Rewards Gold card you will earn 3 points per dollar on airfare, 2 points per dollar at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 6% back on airfare, and 4% back at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants.

-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you will earn 3 points per dollar on your choice of 1 category and 2 points per dollar in the other categories consisting of: airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or computer hardware+software+cloud computing. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4-6% back. Plus with Open Savings you’ll get an additional 5% cash back on Fedex, Hertz, or HP, for a total of up to 11% back from Fedex or HP.

Annual fee:

The Business Platinum card costs $450/year. But AMEX has now made that fee a very good value thanks to the ability to make all of your AMEX points worth at least 2 cents each.

The airline fee refunds also help take the sting out of the fee.

Plus there are a plethora of other benefits:

Charge card benefits:

Rather than being limited to a fixed credit line, these cards offer flexibility to spend far more, with the caveat that it needs to be paid back in full on the due date.

Gold elite status with 3 hotel chains:

Both Platinum cards offer Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, and Marriott Gold elite status.

You can enroll online here for Hilton Gold status. You can also enroll additional cardholders for Gold status, but that needs to be done over the phone.

You need to call 800-525-3355 and select option 3 for Starwood Gold status.

Once you have Starwood Gold status you can match that online instantly to Marriott Gold status.

Hilton Gold status gets you upgrades, bonus points, 5th night free on awards, late checkout, breakfast, and bottled water. Free breakfast doesn’t usually do much for me as a kosher traveler, but we had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year where we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well.

Starwood Gold status gets you late checkout, more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels, and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points. Starwood elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

-Centurion lounge access:

American Express has operated Centurion lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico for some time.  Now they are expanding in the US market with lounges operating in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, LaGuardia, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and more to come such as Chicago and Los Angeles.

Originally the US lounges were designed for free access only for Centurion cardholders, you know them as those black cards that cost a ridiculous $2,500 per year with a $7,500 initiation fee that used to give elite status on airlines like Continental and USAirways but now is down to just Delta.

But once the Platinum card started losing airline lounges due to exclusivity with other banks AMEX opened it up to Platinum cardholders for free as well.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

The lounges offer varying amenities like premium drinks, showers, and massages. And as they are staffed by AMEX you can even get help with account issues and access the lounge even if you forget your Platinum card.

-Priority Pass membership.

You can enroll here for a Priority Pass membership.

Unfortunately this membership doesn’t include any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can get their own free Priority Pass membership.

Lounges include the Art & Lounge in Newark which is the lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It offers kosher food, wine, and Israeli art. In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.

See the Priority Pass site for their complete list of lounges.

Priority Pass gives access to the full network of “The Club” with 8 domestic lounges and growing.

Airspace lounges:

Currently there are Airspace lounges in Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue T5 terminal), and San Diego.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottles water, and self service soft drinks.  Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.

Delta SkyClub:

You can access Delta lounges for free with a Platinum card when flying on Delta.  You don’t get any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can access Delta lounges for free as well.

The Delta SkyClub in JFK even sells kosher meals if you need one!

Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund

It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope.  If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

You can read more more about the differences in this post.

Additional cardholders qualify for a Pre-Check or Global Entry fee refund as well.

My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!

Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Platinum card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.

Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:

With the Business Platinum card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet.

You can enroll here for your free passes.

Lost Item Protection:

If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered. Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often has a cap of just $1,000.

Car Rental Perks:

A 4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz and fee-waived Gold Plus membership and National Executive guarantee upgrades and faster free award rentals.

The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign exchange fees.  And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.

Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

-The consumer card’s advantages are now the 5 points per dollar on airfare and the inexpensive additional user fees.

-The business card’s advantages are now the 50% bonus points for spending $5,000+, the GoGo WiFi passes, Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more. But the main advantage is the 50% rebate for using points for airfare.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field

Will you be signing up for a Business Platinum card?

Now Is The Best Time To Apply For A Game-Changing AMEX Business Platinum Card; Which Cards To Use To Supercharge Your Earnings!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016, 2:10 pm

Update: Now is the last chance to apply and get your card on time to get a 2016 airline credit. You will also be able to get the 2017 and 2018 airline credit in your first cardmembership year.


Originally posted on 12/18:

-Find more posts like this by clicking on the Credit Card+Mileage Posts tab above of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
-American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.


Last month I explained the extreme value offered by “hybrid cards” like Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum.

Due to how Chase calculates the annual spend credit, it’s likely too late to apply for a Sapphire Reserve now and take advantage of 3 travel refunds in your first cardmembership year.

Signup bonus: 100K Offer Expired

Airline fee credits:

AMEX gives you until 12/31 each year to get spend and get refunded for airline fee refunds, so it’s an excellent time to apply for the Business Platinum card. If you apply for a card now you can use the 2016 credit by 12/31/16, the 2017 credit anytime in 2017, and the 2018 credit all in your first cardmembership year. That’s $600 in airline fee refunds!

You need to register with a specific airline before spending. After you register for an airline you can officially only change your airline in January. However if you haven’t yet used your credit that year you should be able to change it by calling or chatting with AMEX.

Note that the airline you choose will also be the airline that you get back 50% of your points back when redeeming for coach travel. You may want to hold off on spending the $200 until the end of the year if you want to be able to change the airline more easily during the year. You also get back 50% of your points on all airlines in business and first class redemptions without having to register for an airline. It takes about a day to get the 50% points rebate.

You can view sample items that qualify for a airline fee refund here.

“Hybrid Points”

The card is truly game changing thanks to the ability to choose whether to transfer points into airline miles when tickets are expensive.

You can transfer points to airlines like ANA, Air Canada, or Singapore for Star Alliance travel. Points transfer to Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France/KLM, or Delta for Skyteam travel. Transfer to BA, Cathay Pacific, or Iberia for OneWorld travel. Other transfer options include El Al, Emirates, Etihad, Hawaiian, Virgin America, or Virgin Atlantic. This can make sense for one-way, last-minute, or premium class travel. The value with airline miles can be under a cent each if used poorly, but properly used the points can be worth 5 cents, 10 cents, 15 cents, or even more per point, the sky is the limit.

Otherwise you can choose to use them for paid tickets when tickets are less expensive at an whopping 2 cents (or higher) value per point. When you use them for paid tickets you don’t pay any taxes and you still earn miles for the flight!

AMEX also offers insider fares on select routes that can make your points be worth as much as 2.5 cents toward paid airfare!

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here. If you want to redeem for travel on Southwest then you’ll need to call AMEX to book.

This hybrid redemption ability makes your points very valuable.

When you combine the card with other AMEX cards you can make your spending even more lucrative.

Supercharge your spending:

-If you spend more than $5,000 on the Business Platinum card you’ll also get 1.5 points per dollar, worth at least 3% back.

However other purchases only earn 1 point each. Rather than doing that you can spend on these other AMEX cards that will supercharge your earnings. And you can then redeem points earned on other AMEX cards with your Business Platinum card so that the points can be transferred into miles or used at a value of at least 2 cents each towards paid tickets!

You can apply for other AMEX cards on the same day and only have 1 credit pull.

-If you have the $95/year AMEX Everyday Preferred and make 30 transactions per month you will earn 4.5 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 3 points per dollar at US gas stations, 2.5 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 9% back at US supermarkets, 6% back at US gas stations, 5% back on Uber, and 3% back everywhere else.

-If you have the no annual fee AMEX Everyday card and make 20 transactions per month you will earn 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets, 2.2 points per dollar on Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar everywhere else. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4.8% back at US supermarkets, 4.4% back on Uber, and 2.4% back everywhere else.

Offer expired! -If you have the no annual fee AMEX Blue for Business card you will earn 10.3 points per dollar at US restaurants within 6 months ($2K cap), 2.3 points per dollar everywhere for 12 months ($50K cap), and 1.3 points per dollar everywhere afterward thanks to the 30% annual points dividend. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 20.6% back at US restaurants for 6 months, 4.6% back everywhere for 12 months, and 2.6% back everywhere afterward.

-If you have the consumer Platinum Card you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on airfare. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 10% back

-If you have the Premier Rewards Gold card you will earn 3 points per dollar on airfare, 2 points per dollar at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 6% back on airfare, and 4% back at US supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants.

-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you will earn 3 points per dollar on your choice of 1 category and 2 points per dollar in the other categories consisting of: airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, or computer hardware+software+cloud computing. With a Business Platinum card that’s a minimum of 4-6% back. Plus with Open Savings you’ll get an additional 5% cash back on Fedex, Hertz, or HP, for a total of up to 11% back from Fedex or HP.

Annual fee:

The Business Platinum card costs $450/year. But AMEX has now made that fee a very good value thanks to the ability to make all of your AMEX points worth at least 2 cents each.

The airline fee refunds also help take the sting out of the fee.

Plus there are a plethora of other benefits:

Charge card benefits:

Rather than being limited to a fixed credit line, these cards offer flexibility to spend far more, with the caveat that it needs to be paid back in full on the due date.

Gold elite status with 3 hotel chains:

Both Platinum cards offer Starwood Gold, Hilton Gold, and Marriott Gold elite status.

You can enroll online here for Hilton Gold status. You can also enroll additional cardholders for Gold status, but that needs to be done over the phone.

You need to call 800-525-3355 and select option 3 for Starwood Gold status.

Once you have Starwood Gold status you can match that online instantly to Marriott Gold status.

Hilton Gold status gets you upgrades, bonus points, 5th night free on awards, late checkout, breakfast, and bottled water. Free breakfast doesn’t usually do much for me as a kosher traveler, but we had the pleasure of staying at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem last year where we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well.

Starwood Gold status gets you late checkout, more points per dollar spent at SPG hotels, and a 250 point amenity on stays, even when redeeming points. Starwood elites can also register here to earn Starpoints on Delta flights on top of the regular Delta miles in addition to other benefits while Delta elites can get benefits at SPG hotels.

-Centurion lounge access:

American Express has operated Centurion lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico for some time.  Now they are expanding in the US market with lounges operating in Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, LaGuardia, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and more to come such as Chicago and Los Angeles.

Originally the US lounges were designed for free access only for Centurion cardholders, you know them as those black cards that cost a ridiculous $2,500 per year with a $7,500 initiation fee that used to give elite status on airlines like Continental and USAirways but now is down to just Delta.

But once the Platinum card started losing airline lounges due to exclusivity with other banks AMEX opened it up to Platinum cardholders for free as well.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

The lounges offer varying amenities like premium drinks, showers, and massages. And as they are staffed by AMEX you can even get help with account issues and access the lounge even if you forget your Platinum card.

-Priority Pass membership.

You can enroll here for a Priority Pass membership.

Unfortunately this membership doesn’t include any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can get their own free Priority Pass membership.

Lounges include the Art & Lounge in Newark which is the lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It offers kosher food, wine, and Israeli art. In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.

See the Priority Pass site for their complete list of lounges.

Priority Pass gives access to the full network of “The Club” with 8 domestic lounges and growing.

Airspace lounges:

Currently there are Airspace lounges in Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue T5 terminal), and San Diego.

Primary and additional cardholders can access the lounge and they can each bring their spouse and kids into the lounge for free. Or they can bring in any 2 other people with them for free.

These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottles water, and self service soft drinks.  Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.

Delta SkyClub:

You can access Delta lounges for free with a Platinum card when flying on Delta.  You don’t get any free guests, but additional Platinum cardholders can access Delta lounges for free as well.

The Delta SkyClub in JFK even sells kosher meals if you need one!

Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee Refund

It costs $85 to apply for a 5 year TSA Pre-Check membership which makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope.  If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

It costs $100 to apply for a 5 year Global Entry membership which lets you bypass the customs line. If you have Global Entry you also get TSA Pre-Check. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.

You can read more more about the differences in this post.

Additional cardholders qualify for a Pre-Check or Global Entry fee refund as well.

My whole family has Global Entry and it sure makes traveling a whole lot easier!

Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi:

With either Platinum card you now get free unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi worldwide, perfect for avoiding confiscatory rates at airports when traveling.  Search from over 1 million hot-spots here.

Enroll for free Boingo access here.

Gogo In-Flight Wi-Fi:

With the Business Platinum card only, you get 10 annual Gogo flight passes to use on any flight with Gogo internet.

You can enroll here for your free passes.

Lost Item Protection:

If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered. Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often has a cap of just $1,000.

Car Rental Perks:

A 4 hour late return fee-free grace period at Hertz and fee-waived Gold Plus membership and National Executive guarantee upgrades and faster free award rentals.

The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign exchange fees.  And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.

Business vs Consumer Platinum card:

-The consumer card’s advantages are now the 5 points per dollar on airfare and the inexpensive additional user fees.

-The business card’s advantages are now the 50% bonus points for spending $5,000+, the GoGo WiFi passes, Open Savings rebates on purchases from Fedex, HP, Hertz, and more. But the main advantage is the 50% rebate for using points for airfare.

AMEX business cards don’t appear on your credit report. That’s good for several reasons.

First of all they won’t count against your 5/24 count for opening new Chase cards. Only cards on your report that have been opened within the past 24 months count for that.

Second, when you spend money on personal cards your credit score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. A whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization. You can pay off your card bill before your statement is generated to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On an AMEX business card it’s just not reported, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score.

Third, if you close a business card it won’t ever have an effect on your score.

You may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can just open a business credit card for “Joe Smith Sole Proprietorship” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that.
Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field

 

Will you be signing up for a Business Platinum card?

United: Fly Nonstop From Newark To Hong Kong For $571 (Or 28.5K Hybrid Points) Round-Trip

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016, 1:17 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-Earn 5 points per dollar on the AMEX Platinum Card or 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.
-Earn 3 points per dollar and get $300 in airfare automatically refunded every calendar year with Chase Sapphire Reserve.


Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm EST tomorrow. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

Newark to Hong Kong valid dates:
January 23, 24, 30, 31

Hong Kong to Newark valid dates:
February 1, 2, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21

You can credit this K class fare to Singapore Airlines to earn 16,130 miles instead of earning just 2,360 United miles.

Hong Kong is a fascinating East meets West city and is home to several great kosher restaurants and shuls. Mul Hayam restaurant, located next to the Kehilat Zion shul in the Kowloon section of Hong Kong, is excellent. The JCC located on Hong Kong Island has very good dairy and meat restaurants as well as an awesome Sunday night all you can eat buffet, just don’t forget to bring your passport to get in! Chabad of Lantau also offers meals with delivery options.

We spent a Shabbos with Chabad of Hong Kong Island where the food was excellent and the atmosphere is awesome. People have rave reviews about Shabbos at Chabad and Kehilat Zion in Kowloon as well.

After Shabbos we moved the W in Kowloon, which is one of my favorite SPG hotels in the world. We got an amazing upgrade and there’s a very cool rooftop infinity pool and hot tub. Plus the bellhop picked up our bags from our room and checked them straight home to Cleveland without us ever having to touch them thanks to the airport express station located in the W’s basement.

There are lots of other great hotels where you can spend your points at as well.

Most hotels even give you a free cell phone to use while in Hong Kong.

Americans do not need a visa to travel to Hong Kong or to take the ferry from Hong Kong to nearby Macau.


These fares are not on sale with United miles, but you can pay for the ticket with “hybrid points” if you have AMEX or Chase points and a Business Platinum or Sapphire Reserve card.

Using AMEX points:

If you have The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN you can get a 50% rebate on the airline of your choice

The 50% rebate will go back into your account the day after redeeming points.

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here.

A $571.86 flight will be 57,186 points and you would get a 50% rebate making the effective cost just 28,593 points, a value of 2 cents per point:

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Using Chase points:

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem points for 1.5 cents each towards travel. The card comes with 100,000 signup points and $600 in travel spending in your first cardmembership year!

A $571.86 flight will be 38,124 points. That includes all taxes and you still earn miles for flying!

You can login to your account and redeem Chase points for travel here.

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HT: TFD


Join the 78,300+ people who follow @DansDeals on twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

Don’t Make This Mistake When Transferring Starpoints To Marriott Points

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016, 8:14 pm

Related posts (Read these first!):
-Roundup Of Combined Marriott And Starwood Award Charts With Sample Hotels, Extend Your Points Expiration, And More
-Redeem 90K Starpoints For 120K Southwest Points, Southwest Companion Pass Status, And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Transfer 18,667 Starpoints Into 25K United Miles Or 90K Starpoints Into 132K United Miles And 7 Nights In A Marriott Hotel!
-Marriott Completes Starwood Buyout; Link Your Accounts To Transfer Points, Match Elite Status, And Take Advantage Of Each Program’s Strengths!
-Mileage Expiration And Points Transfer Chart For 54 Loyalty Programs, How To Keep Your Points From Expiring, And How To Bring Them Back To Life After They’ve Expired


A few months ago Marriott completed their buyout of Starwood and starting allowing members to transfer points back and forth at a surprisingly fair ratio of 1 Starpoint to 3 Marriott Rewards Points.

I noted in this post that transferring Marriott points to Starwood extends the life of your Starpoints, but transferring Starpoints to Marriott points does not extend the life of your Marriott points.

Marriott has a 24 month expiration policy. Here is a list of activity that Marriott considers as qualifying to extend the life of your points.
FT member “Astrophsx” notes that his last qualifying Marriott activity was on 10/6/14. He transferred Starpoints to Marriott on 10/15/16. On 11/23/16 Marriott expired those points.

After several hours of work he was able to get those points reinstated, but there are lessons worth learning here. If you have a Marriott account that had points expire, don’t transfer Starpoints there and let them sit or else they will be lost. In fact there’s no reason to leave any points sitting in a Marriott account as Starwood’s expiration extension policy is far friendlier.

There are plenty of good reasons to transfer Starpoints to Marriott such as during the recent lucrative United+7 nights transfer promo or for a Southwest companion pass, though you should wait until 2017 to transfer points to Southwest. But I don’t recommend keeping any points in the Marriott program until you’re ready to redeem them.

Roundup Of New Targeted And Non-Targeted AMEX Offers; Save On Broadway Tickets, Lowes, Sams Club, Sears, And More

Friday, December 2nd, 2016, 2:19 pm

AMEX has lots of great new AMEX offers available.

1. Double points promotions:

Enroll in Double AMEX points for spending at small businesses here.

Enroll In Double AMEX Points At Select Stores here

2. AMEX Twitter (non-targeted) offers:

Signup for Twitter and you can save money with AMEX.

All you have to do is sync your American Express card with your twitter account to save money at rotating stores.

Then tweet the codes listed below to enroll, so for example just write #AmexSears and then click tweet. Then wait a minute and you should have a message in your notifications bar that you have successfully enrolled along with the offer terms.

In the image below you can see where to write the tweet and where to check for the confirmation.

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View all the offers after the jump:

(more…)

Are Bank Points Overtaking The Value Of Airline Miles? 2 Hybrid Cards Allow You To Lock In The Best Of Both Worlds

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, 7:05 pm

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

I’ve always been an advocate of using airline miles over proprietary points from banks.

However the hits keep coming for airlines and the value of their miles.

After gobbling up airlines like Airtran, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways, the remaining airlines have made it increasingly expensive to earn elite status, while reducing benefits at the same time. They have reduced hub service and capacity in order to raise airfares. They have stopped awarding miles for flights based on distance flown. Their cheapest fares will no longer include free carry-ons.

They have all devalued their award charts, nearly doubling the cost of many awards:

-United massively devalued their award chart in February 2014.
-Delta removed their award charts from public view in February 2015. They have been stealthily making monthly devaluations since then, though their award availability has improved somewhat.
-Southwest has made a number of devaluations to their points value, despite having a fixed value that shouldn’t need devaluation like traditional award charts do when airline tickets get more expensive.
-American forced British Airways to charge 7.5K for their awards on AA instead of 4.5K in February of this year.
-American made huge devaluations to their own award chart in March of this year.

American, which once had the best saver award availability, has made it nearly impossible to redeem for saver awards. They have also increased the cost of their anytime award to eye-watering levels.

That’s not to say you can’t get some amazing values from airline miles. But it’s become increasingly difficult.

In the meantime there is still healthy competition in the credit card industry.

Non-convertible point cards:

-A 2% cash back card, like Citi Double Cash becomes increasingly compelling in the face of mileage devaluations, though that card has no signup bonus.

-The Capital One Spark Cash for Business offers a $500 bonus for spending $4,500 and 2% cash back.

-The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard is offering 50K points for signing up for a limited time. It offers 2 miles per dollar everywhere and a 5% refund when you redeem points for travel.

The problem with non-convertible cards is that they can’t transfer points into real miles. There are hundreds of times that I’ve redeemed points for tickets that would have been prohibitively expensive without miles. Accumulating straight cash back or points that can’t be converted into miles leaves you at risk when airfare is expensive.

Convertible point cards:

Convertible cards traditionally offer a poor value for paid airfare. They allow you to transfer points into miles, but when tickets are inexpensive it’s not worth using miles. Devaluations and increasingly tight capacity controls have also hurt the value of miles.

But just in the past few months we now have 2 credit cards that offer the best of both worlds.

Let’s call them Hybrid cards.

Hybrid card #1: Chase Sapphire Reserve:

Chase launched the Sapphire Reserve in August and it has been wildly successful. It costs $450/year, but there are many intriguing benefits that make up for that including:
-100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend threshold.
-$300 in travel spending per calendar year that is refunded back automatically
-Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests
-3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining
-Global Entry+TSA Pre-Check fee refund

But often times overlooked is that cardholders can use all of their Chase points at a value of 1.5 cents each towards airfare, hotels, car rentals, and vacation activities.
That means you can use 44K points today for a round-trip to Israel that would cost 80-170K miles from the airlines. Plus when you use the credit card points it covers the tax and you earn miles for the flight as if you had paid for it.

You can login to your account and redeem Chase points for travel here.

The same United flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 170K United miles+$46:

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The same Delta flight that is 49.9K Chase points…

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…would cost 140K Delta miles+$46:

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That means you effectively get back 4.5% on travel and dining spending on the Sapphire Reserve card.

You can earn even more by spending on other Chase cards
-If you have a Freedom Unlimited card you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 2.25% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have a Freedom card you earn 5 points per dollar on rotating categories that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.
-If you have Ink Plus or Ink Cash card you earn 5 points per dollar on office supplies, gift cards from office supply stores to hundreds of other stores, and telecom that are worth 7.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve. Gas, hotel, and dining purchases also have double point bonuses worth 3% towards travel.
-If you have Ink Business Preferred card you earn 3 points per dollar on travel, shipping, internet, cable, and telecom, and advertising on social media and search engines.that are worth 4.5% towards travel when you transfer them to Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can be earning between 2.25%-7.5% back everywhere.

The great thing about a Hybrid card like Sapphire Reserve is that if you need a one-way ticket, a last minute ticket, or a business/first class ticket you can transfer them instantly into real airline miles, assuming the value is better there. But if it’s not you can still get a great value from your points by redeeming them directly for a ticket without transferring them into miles.

That means you can use 53,375 Singapore miles (transferable from AMEX or Chase) to fly in Singapore Suites class:

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Instead of paying $5.3K or using 353K Chase points:

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Hybrid card #2: AMEX Business Platinum:

In October, AMEX responded to Sapphire Reserve by greatly increasing the value of The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

It also has nice benefits that also make its $450 annual fee worthwile:
-Up to 100,000 points for signing up and meeting the spend threshold.
-10 annual GoGo in-flight WiFi passes
-Unlimited worldwide Boingo WiFi access
-$200 in airline fee credits per calendar year to spend on the airline of your choice.
-Lost item insurance
-Priority Pass lounge membership
-Centurion lounge access
-Delta lounge access
-Airspace lounge access
-Global Entry+TSA Pre-Check fee refund
-Hilton, SPG, and Marriott elite status

AMEX then added:
-A 50% rebate on points used for coach tickets on the airline of your choice
-A 50% rebate on points used for business/first class tickets on all airlines
-50% bonus points on $5K+ purchases

Thanks to the 50% rebate your points are worth at least 2 cents each. The rebate typically posts the day after redeeming points.

Having other AMEX cards increases the value proposition further:
-If you have The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express you earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere that are worth 3% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. You’ll also earn 4.5 points per dollar on groceries that are worth 9% towards travel and 3 points per dollar on gas that are worth 6% towards travel.
-If you have the consumer AMEX Platinum card you earn 5 points per dollar on airfare that are worth 10% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.
-If you have the AMEX Blue for Business card you earn 1.3 points per dollar after the 30% annual dividend that are worth 2.6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. Plus you’ll earn double points everywhere and 10 points per dollar at restaurants for a limited time that are worth more than 20% towards travel after the annual dividend when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.
-If you have the consumer Premier Rewards Gold card you earn 3 points per dollar on airfare that are worth 6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum. Groceries and gas will earn 2 points per dollar worth 4% towards airfare.
-If you have the AMEX Business Gold you earn 2 or 3 points per dollar on categories of your choice that are worth 4-6% towards travel when you transfer them to AMEX Business Platinum.

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here.

If you redeem 74,879 points for a ticket you’ll get 37,440 of them refunded back to you within a couple days. That’s a value of 2 cents per point.

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That’s an amazing value per point, though it comes with the annoyances of having to lock in one airline per year for coach travel and it requires waiting for the 50% rebate to come. You may have luck switching your airline of choice online via chat or over the phone, especially if you haven’t yet used your $200 in annual fee credit on that airline.

The 50% rebate for business or first class is for all airlines.

Instead of using 450K Delta miles plus $52 for business class…

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…you can use 113,319 AMEX points for business class after the 50% rebate. You’ll pay no tax and you’ll even earn miles for the flight!
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Of course having these hybrid cards gives you the flexibility to use your points at a 1.5-2 cent fixed value or to transfer into airline miles when they prove more valuable:

For example this flight tomorrow would cost just 10K United miles (which can be transferred instantly from Chase)…

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…instead of paying $573 or using 38K Chase points:

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The flexibility that hybrid cards like Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Business Platinum offer put you one step ahead of the airlines. And it hinders their ability to devalue your points in the future.

Have you taken advantage of the benefits of these hybrid cards? Share your experience in the comments!

W Chicago Lakeshore For $67/Night!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016, 12:24 pm

You can book the W Chicago Lakeshore on TripAdvisor for just $57+tax=$67 per night!

This is valid on many nights in November and December . Rooms are non-refundable.

Cheap rates are also available throuhgout the winter.

You can also book this directly from SPG where you’ll get SPG benefits for the stay, but the rate is a bit higher and it may go away before you can file a best rate guarantee.

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Post what dates you find and book!

HT: davidmal, via DDF and EHD

HOT! JetBlue: JFK To/From Palm Springs, CA Nonstop For $65 (Or 2,850-3,230 Points) Each Way

Saturday, November 12th, 2016, 8:16 pm

Update: This fare can now be booked for 2017 dates on Priceline (refundable until Monday night) or with AMEX/Chase points.


Originally posted on 11/11:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-Earn 5 points per dollar on the AMEX Platinum Card or 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.
-Earn 3 points per dollar and get $300 in airfare automatically refunded every calendar year with Chase Sapphire Reserve.

-Get free checked baggage, 10% rebates on point redemptions, 50% off in-flight purchases, and much more if you have the JetBlue Plus World Elite MastercardYou don’t need to use the card to get those benefits.


Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm EST on Monday, 11/14. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-Also Bookable on JetBlue.com

-Limited seats are available on each date. Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can.

-A $65.10 ticket will cost 3,800 points+$5.60 or 3,420 points for JetBlue Plus cardholders.

If you register here and travel by 1/14 you’ll also get a 15% points rebate, making the effective cost just 3,230 points, a value of 1.84 cents per point (65.10-5.60/3,230). JetBlue Plus cardholders get a 25% rebate, making the effective cost just 2,850 points, a value of 2.09 cents per point (65.10-5.60/2,850).

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem points here at 1.5 cents each towards travel, making the one-way just 4,340 Chase points including tax. The card comes with 100,000 signup points and $600 in travel spending in your first cardmembership year!

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers.

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If you have The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN you can get a 50% rebate on the airline of your choice. A $65.10 ticket would cost 6,510 points and you would get a 50% rebate making the effective cost just 3,255 points, a value of 2 cents per point:

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JFK-Palm Springs $65 dates:
December: 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
January: 7, 10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 30, 31
February: 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 21, 22, 27
March: 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 29

Palm Springs-JFK $65 dates:
December: 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
January: 7, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 31
February: 1, 4, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22
March: 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Palm Springs is a 90 minute drive to Disneyland, a 2 hour drive from Los Angeles or San Diego, a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas, or a 6 hour drive from the Grand Canyon.

There are wonderful homes you can rent in Palm Springs with private pools on sites like Airbnb and VRBO, including many within walking distance of Chabad in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage. There are also several great Hyatt, SPG, and other point hotels.

In 2010 and in 2012 I reviewed renting a house and making Pesach in Palm Springs. Rabbi Denebeim runs a wonderful Chabad House and Palm Springs is surrounded by beautiful mountains and has lots of activities including a Thursday evening street fair, an aerial tramway, an air museum, Joshua Tree National Park, casinos, and a large outlet mall.

You can read more about Palm Springs on DDF.


Join the 76,200+ people who follow @DansDeals on twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
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HT: aarony, via DDF

Video And The Experience Of Throwing Out The First Pitch In Game 7 Of The World Series

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 2:56 pm

Continued from:
8 Years Ago Was The Biggest Night Of My Life, Tonight Will Try To Come Close As I Toss A Ceremonial First Pitch At Game 7 Of The World Series
On The “Value Proposition” Of Spending A Million Starpoints For The Experience Of A Lifetime


It seemed like the bidding would go on forever. Starwood extends their auctions by 5 minutes every time a new bid is placed. But then it was finally over, I had won the auction for the experience of a lifetime! And on our 8th anniversary no less!

Just one not so minor detail, I’m just a spectator. A die-hard Indians fan, sure. But I’d rather watch the pros do it. I’ve never pitched a baseball in my life! Well, if you’ve never thrown a baseball, learning how to throw a ball 60 feet in just a day is no easy task.

So I turned to Adam Levine. Not that Adam Levine, just the one who davens at my local Chabad House and organizes local Sunday morning softball games. He worked with me on fielding and hitting before I played a game in Wrigley and I even wound up with a run scored and some RBIs. This time he graciously spent a lot of time making my pitch look halfway respectable. With a few more days I probably could have thrown a perfect strike, but there was just 8 hours from when the auction ended until the time of the pitch.

At first it seemed certain that I would Baba Booey or 50 Cent it:

 

But eventually I was able to throw the ball over the plate. But what would happen when I was pitching in front of 40,000 fans without even a single warmup pitch?

Meanwhile Indians fans from around the world wanted to see Charlie Sheen toss out the first pitch thanks to his Major League fame. “Get me Vaughn,” is part of Indians sports lore. They took to Twitter demanding that he throw out the first pitch.

Thanks to a Tweet and a DDF member I did get in touch with Charlie’s people. It would be cool to get up on the mound and yell “Get me Vaughn.” But MLB made it clear that they did not want Charlie Sheen on the field, period. The story somehow landed me as the top story on TMZ last night. I did help them find a suite for Charlie though after they were not able to secure one.

MLB reps met with us at the Jake’s press entrance and took Mimi, JJ, my grandfather, and me down to the field level. It’s like another world walking around the field.

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What an amazing way to spend your 8th anniversary:

 

 

 

I said hey to Tito and Mike Hargrove:

 

 

 

My grandfather loved it and told Tito about the ’48 and ’54 series he went to:

 

 

 

And then it was time for the big moment. I don’t even know how to possibly describe it. Surreal doesn’t nearly do it justice, but everything around me just froze. The announcer saying my name felt a million miles away. Through the hundreds of Indians games I’ve attended since I was a child I’ve been watching pitchers go up to that mound.

Never in my wildest childhood fantasies could I ever imagine walking up there during a game. And not just any game, but the final game of the World Series.

Mind. Blown.

It was truly an awesome experience and worth every Starpoint that I spent.

 

Via DansDeals Facebook #FirstPitch #Game7 #WorldSeries #Jumbotron

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

 

The pitch went as good as I could have hoped for considering that I had never pitched a ball and didn’t have any chance to warmup beforehand. It went over the plate with a single bounce. It didn’t go wide right or left. It didn’t dribble to the plate. And I didn’t get boos from the crowd.

That’s a win in my book!

JJ screams his head off in the video, so um, turn down your volume. But here’s the video.

 

 

And a video of the Jumbotron:

 

 

 

Is this real life?

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Cloud 9:

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And yes, I did have the first pitch. So technically Jim Thome threw out the 2nd pitch 🙂

 

The seats that came with the auction were fantastic:

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Well these aren't bad seats. Not bad at all. #SPGMoments #WorldSeries #Game7

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

The game itself was an emotional roller coaster. No doubt it will be considered one of the top World Series games of all time. The crowd was raucous and on their feet. The stadium probably had 30-40% Cubbies fans, which made for an interesting experience. After the Indians tied the game at 6, it just felt like it was bound to happen in the bottom of the 9th. They had come back from too far to not go all the way.

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It’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but at the end of the day this Indians team surprised everyone. Even their own beat writer. The whole county felt like it was rooting for the Cubs as they hadn’t won for 108 years, as if the Indians 68 year drought was nothing. Even my 5 year old son Rafi told me before I went to the game that the Cubbies were going to win.

#ClevelandAgainstTheWorld #RallyTogether #LetsGoTribe #WorldSeries #Game2 #Windians

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

For the Tribe to make it so far without their best hitter and their #2 and #3 starting pitchers is mind-boggling. And for them to do it on a salary that was $100MM less than the Cubbies is a testament to great management. However the Indians heavily overworked pitching staff simply ran out of steam at the end. Sure it would have been icing on the cake had the Indians won and the loss was bitterly disappointing, but it didn’t take from the whole experience.

Right now it feels like when the Cavs lost in 2015 when they didn’t have Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love for the finals. But hey, they came back to win it earlier this year. And odds are they’ll play the rubber match next year in the Finals.

Congrats to Cubbies fans on winning it all though.

Hopefully the Indians can stay healthy next year and have an awesome rematch with the Cubbies in 2017. And may the team with the longer drought come out on top 😉

And hopefully another sports obsessed mileage junkie will have the once in a lifetime experience that I had before game 7.

 

The first pitched ball of Game 7:

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I’ve flown around the world in first class countless times, stolen 2nd base in middle of an Indians game, swam with normally poisonous Jellyfish in Palau, seen the Polar Bears near the North Pole, and thrown out the first pitch of a World Series game. But better than all that I have an awesome loving wife and an amazing little son and daughter. I thank G-d every day for those blessings and the life that I live.

The only real question is where should my next adventure be?


-Bid on your own SPG Moments packages with your Starpoints or Marriott points.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months


Join the 75,900 people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

Follow my travel and sports obsession on Instagram @DansDeals.

8 Years Ago Was The Biggest Night Of My Life, Tonight Will Try To Come Close As I Toss A Ceremonial First Pitch At Game 7 Of The World Series

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016, 3:16 pm

DD sports posts:
Trip Notes: An Indians Fan Playing Ball In Wrigley
October Redemption Time In Believeland
But What Would They Do If An Indians Fan Took The Mound?
Trip Notes: The Redemption, The Comeback, The Renaissance, The Chasedown, The Block, The Shot Part 2, The Tearjerker; Call It What You Want But This Was A Night To Remember
Can The Cavs End Cleveland’s Curse?
Better Than Any First Class Suite…Taking My Son To His First Ballgame
Trip Notes: Hall Of Fame Trifecta And Fenway Park In 72 Hours
Trip Notes: A Father & Son Day Trip To Chicago For A Ballgame And A DO
Stealing 2nd Base: My Coolest Use Of Miles Ever?
My First Non-Travel Mileage Redemption
Take Me Out To The Ballgame…Buy Me Some Kosher Chili And Ribs.
Manny Being Manny…


Follow my travel and sports obsession on Instagram @DansDeals.

On November 2nd, 2008 I married Mimi in Overland Park, Kansas. We were young and naive at 23 and 21 years old, but we were ready to take on the world and life’s adventures.

Since then we’ve had 2 amazing kids that have brightened our life as we explore the world together. I couldn’t possibly ask for a better wife or mother for our children.

From our August mileage run to Boston that earned us more than 300,000 miles:

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We’ve traveled from Argentina to Tasmania.  From Banff to Phuket. From Paris to the Whitsunday Islands. From the Maldives to Zurich.  From Sydney to Venice.  From the spiritual hills of Jerusalem to the awe inspiring Mauna Kea and Na Pali cliffs.

All in first class.

All on points.

Sometimes it’s been crazy, like when I took advantage of a glitch for free first class tickets to Buenos Aires that required leaving the house in less than an hour. Other times it’s worked out better, like when I used miles to buy out an entire first class cabin to Brazil.

Our kids have flown on over 100 flights thanks to the mileage game!

 

But travel is just one of my passions.

The other big one is sports.

 

As a 5th generation Clevelander on both my mother’s and father’s side I’m a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.

As a 90s kid I sent in hundreds of postcards and won tickets to watch the ’95 World Series. Earlier that year I got nearly whole team’s autograph (Belle and Murray were the holdouts) when we stayed in the Westin Harbour Castle Toronto where the Tribe was staying.

I cried when they lost it in game 7 in 1997 despite there being no crying in baseball.

I had World Series tickets in 2007 that lay unused thanks to Boston coming back from being down 3-1.

I was there when when the Cavs got swept out of the Finals in 2007, though my grandfather and I left a few minutes early when he told me how his dad and him left just before watching the Giants sweep the Indians in 1954.

But he went to World Series games in 1948 as a 9 year old, the last time the Indians won it all. Nobody younger than him can even remember it.

In 2013 I drove with my brother JJ and my grandfather to the NFL, MLB, and NBA hall of fame and then finished the trip by watching Tito’s Indians beat up on the Red Sox from the front row of the Green Monster. Enough memories to last a lifetime.

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Later that year I got to steal 2nd base in middle of an Indians game thanks to 25K United miles. It was by far my coolest use of miles ever.

 

Running onto the field in the top of the 7th…

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…and stealing second base!

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 Making off with my loot.

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I called to get winning pitcher Justin Masterson’s attention after the game by saying that I had stolen second base from the game.  When he looked up and saw the base he was shocked and exclaimed, “I thought you were kidding, you really do have second base!!!”

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Later that year I watched Salazar try to win the Wild Card game, but the Indians bats didn’t show up that night. The Jake was on fire that night, the atmosphere was just like the 90s again.

 

In 2014 I took my son to his first ballgame. It was an amazing moment for me. By 2015 I was already bringing him to Indians away games. At 5 years old today he knows every airplane type and the Indians starting lineup. His favorite airplane is the 747 and his favorite Indians player is Jason Kipnis.

 

In June I flew to Oakland and finally got to witness a Cleveland team win it all. The nonstop United flights to and from Cleveland that day were like party buses.

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I went to the parade with my grandfather and my son. Another bucket lister checked off.

 

But the Tribe was always where my heart was. When would their turn be?

 

Earlier this year I got to play Softball in Wrigley Field thanks to Starwood Starpoints.

#RBISingle #SPGMoments @ #WrigleyField #TeamDansDeals takes #Game1 14 to 5!

A photo posted by @dansdeals on

 

 

Some people didn’t like that I put on my Indians hat at a Cubs event. I told them all and wrote online at the time that I was just previewing the 2016 World Series.

Before this series I wrote my prediction on the DansDeals Forums:

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And here we are, game 7!

I’m excited beyond anything I can describe in writing.

But just one more thing:

I won a Starwood auction to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game tonight!

I’ll be pitching just before Jim Thome, who has a statue just outside of the ballpark.

It’s a lifelong dream come true.

Now, I’m no athlete. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s entirely possible that it will wind up like this, just a bit outside:

 

But I can take it. Being a meme doesn’t faze me. Just the experience to be on the field before game 7 in the World Series will be incredible. And having my wife by my side on our anniversary only makes it that much more sweet.

The only way it could possibly get any better is if the Indians win it all tonight!

Go Tribe!


-Bid on your own SPG Moments packages with your Starpoints or Marriott points.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months


Join the 75,900 people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

Israel Hotel News: Goodbye To A Points Hotel, Welcome To Another, And A Points Anomaly

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016, 11:48 am

-Effective 12/31/16 the category 6 Hilton Eilat Queen of Sheba will leave Hilton.

You can use 40K points per night or 32K points per night on a 5 night stay until the end of the year.

That leaves the category 8 Hilton Tel Aviv and the category 10 Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem as the remaining Israeli hotels in the portfolio. The David Citadel opened as a Hilton in 1998 but left in 2001.

Speaking about the Waldorf, it’s worth noting that despite going up to a category 10, their pricing is unchanged at 80K points per night or 64K points per night on a 5 night stay for Hilton cardholders or elites. That still falls within the range of pricing for Hilton category 10, but I’d expect it to still go up to 95K per night at any time.

Not long ago Starwood had 13 properties that were all bargains with Starpoints. I stayed in many of them on a month-long trek across the holy land in August of 2007 spending just a couple thousand Starpoints per night to stay in Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat, Tiberias, and the Dead Sea.

SPG was down to just the category 5 Sheraton Tel Aviv, but they have now added the category 5 Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel located in Zichron Yaakov between Caesarea and Haifa. SPG category 5 hotels cost 12-16K points per night or 9.6K-12.8K per night on a 5 night stay.

Starwood will also open the W Tel Aviv-Jaffa on 5/1/17. The category for that hotel has yet to be determined, but hopefully it will be a 6 (20K-25K points per night) and not a 7 (30-35K points per night)

You can also transfer Starpoints to Marriott to book the category 7 Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel for 11.6K points per night or 9.3K points per night on a 5 night stay. Or 110K Starpoints can get you 152K United miles and 7 nights there.

Or you can transfer Starpoints to Marriott to book the tier 3 Ritz-Carlton Herzliya for 16.6K points per night or 13.3K points per night on a 5 night stay. Or 140K Starpoints can get you 152K United miles and 7 nights there.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 25K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months

You can view other credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers from all banks.

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