Monday Musings – First Class Hawaii Awards, IHG Promo Hack & More

As a reminder, Monday Musings is a new 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. I am not at all surprised to see Discover enforcing the “no gift cards” as part of their lucrative Apple Pay promotion. They added it after the start of the promotion so I took that as a sign that they had figured out what each purchase contained (maybe with Level 3 data?). I don’t have a Discover card but those affected are asking to submit receipts if they want to contest it. Good luck to all those affected.

2. I’m sure some of you have seen the hack with IHG’s Surprise Promo but if you have not, instead of staying at an IHG hotel to be eligible, you can mail in entries with very specific instructions such as hand writing an entry on 3 x 5 index cards and mailing them individually. I first saw it here and it looks like you could net ~47,000 IHG points for a few hours of work + ~$46 in postage. I have no intention of participating as hand writing 94! 3 x 5 index cards seems like a punishment to me…I’ll save my time for something more valuable.


3. I’m already sick of all the posts about the rumored upcoming AA changes. I get posting about the rumor especially since it is coming from a legitimate source but any more posts after that is pure speculation. Let’s wait for the real announcement shall we? As for my take on the rumored changes?  – Eh, I don’t care about them. I’ll care when the award chart is devalued which will happen sometime in the next year.

4. I’ve been working on an first class award to Hawaii from the East coast and it is tough to find anything halfway decent for next spring. The focus was on lie-flat seats on United from either IAD or EWR but that was a miss. Next was focusing on AA and trying to fly on AA’s 321T that flies JFK – LAX (or SFO) but also a dead end. There is plenty of time to go before this trip so I’m not concerned yet.

5. I didn’t mention it above because it is not a viable option but Delta has obscene rates for a first class flight home from Hawaii. Here is a search for a one way flight from HNL to NYC for 1 passenger next April. 65,000 miles is the lowest over a whole month! Skypesos indeed.