Welcome to this week’s Monday Musings. As a reminder, Monday Musings is a weekly series where I rattle off a few thoughts I have that mostly relate to points/miles, travel and I might highlight other posts/news/nuggets I found interesting from the past week. For those that are football fans and read Peter King’s MMQB, think of this as similar to his “A Few Things I Think I Think” section.
1. Today is the first day you can earn 10 points per dollar spent at Amazon (and some other online retailers) if you use your Chase Freedom. Speaking of the Freedom, the signup bonus is up to 17,500 points (or $175 cash back as advertised). Chase Sapphire Preferred is up to 55,000 points but if you have applied for more than 5 lines of credit in the past 2 years, forget about applying for these cards.
2. If you have either of one of those cards above, you should be able to refer others via Chase’s Refer a Friend program for some bonus points. I have both cards but for whatever reason, I cannot refer others (and it has been this way for over a year now). If you are interested in signing up, find a friend who has the card and let them refer you for the bonus points.
3. Last week was pretty rough for “The Hobby”. I’m talking of course about the American Airlines devaluation and the SPG-Marriott merger. With the AA devaluation, rates are drastically increasing for first class and business class awards which I can’t say is too surprising. If you don’t mind flying coach overseas, than this devaluation has only a minimal impact. Instead of rehashing everything, I thought this post showed some nice charts with the changes.
It is too early to speculate on the changes coming to SPG but based on prior mergers and consolidations, it most likely won’t be good news for us with sizable SPG balances. It also probably will be painful for SPG elites but I could care less about that since I don’t chase status. I am not going out of my way to spend down my SPG balance but if I had to wager, I will make sure I use or transfer my SPG points before they turn into Marriott points. I think Marriott’s reward program is garbage as its the only major hotel program I’ve never cared for. Lack of inspirational properties combined with high award rates (e.g. Courtyard Marriott for 50,000 points in the middle of nowhere)
4. Speaking of the AA devaluation, I found it strange to see bloggers claim how terrible the changes are but then try to sell a bunch of AA credit cards in the same post. Kind of two different messages, no?
5. In this week’s sign that credit card pumping bloggers make way too much money, The Points Guy paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $25k-$30k (update: he confirmed he did pay $32k) for a one way flight from JFK to Abu Dhabi to check out Etihad’s new First Residence (which contains a bedroom, living room, ensuite bathroom and private butler) on their A380. It looks amazing for sure but to drop that much cash for a one way, 12 hour flight is quite telling to how well he is doing. #PumpingPays
6. Hyatt offering a status match to Diamons turned into a giant clusterf**k as emails/tweets when unaswered for days until most people received an offer for Platinum status, myself included. Thanks but if you spent 2 seconds looking atmy account Hyatt, you know I already have Platinum status. It seems unless if you contacted them when this first was announced, you might have received Diamond status before Hyatt changed the promotion. Timing is everything in this game but boo on Hyatt for the selective change of terms.
M6. Lastly, here are 100 free Aeroplan miles.