|Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City from our visit here in Sept 2011|
As a reminder, no buzz posts on Sunday. But please check tomorrow for a contest! TBB will never give away luggage tags or drink coupons, you have my word on it! 🙂
Yesterday Friday was one of those very bad days in the miles/points world. While the Delta “bombshell” and the new AA logo were digested (not too well!), we had repeated back stabbings (aka devaluations) from Starwood AND Priority Club! Expect devaluations in this hobby but sometimes they happen so close together that it really…hurts! All is not lost however, hold on for the positive news: “American Cruise Lines revamped loyalty program” and added extra perks, woohoo!
MVP POST OF THE DAY
Readers know I am a bit anti credit card debt, shoot…I am just anti debt period! My father always said “Never pay the bank interest, have the banks pay you instead!” It stuck with me forever; it is amazing how much our money habits are formed while growing up! A few days ago I posted a link in the Oddz & Endz section about young people and credit card debt. It struck a cord with blogger Do It For the Points who wrote “Young People and the Chains of Credit Card Debt“. I think this happens a lot more often than we care to sit and think about. Especially the bloggers pushing credit card links do not think about this stuff at all, the greater good! I wish there were more warning signs that giving some people credit cards with certain minimum spends is like giving them a rope to hang themselves. And the pain that is inflicted is REAL. Many of you will say “I don’t care, I am responsible with my money and credit”. I understand, I am with you. BUT the fact is people get hurt falling into this addictive hobby and their despair DOES affect others, it may be your coworker or, heaven forbid, your relative or (oh my god) spouse (this will likely not end well!!) And please don’t get me started about bailouts and things of that sort! That is why I cringe seeing bloggers bombard their readers indiscriminately with repeated pitches to get even more credit cards! Anyways, this is a subject dear to my heart as I see evidence of the despair very often in my professional life, it is NOT a pretty sight! Off my soap box now.
BEST OF MILES/POINTS
Ok, Starwood devalued the Cash & Points, points go up by 25% across the board and cash goes up anywhere from 17% to 25%. Ouch. Loyalty Lobby has some nice tables & analysis on this. View from the Wing‘s Gary Leff also had an interesting, a bit more upbeat, take on the Starwood changes.
Loyalty Traveler wrote “California is Big Loser in new Priority Club Rewards“. Louder ouch! Sometimes in this hobby I feel like we are under fierce carpet bombing!!
Loyalty Lobby prepared a list of all the Priority Club properties and their respective 2012 and 2013 Point Requirements. Wow, great job! Looks like major metropolitan cities took a pounding! Members have until March 18 to book at lower award levels!
I asked a few days ago about having a Current Quarterly Hotel Bonus page. Frequent Flyer Bonuses delivered. I like it, especially the dates! How about making a permanent button or tab on the top of your page & maintain it so we can bookmark it so we don’t have to click around to find what promos are valid when we have a stay coming up! The KEY is to keep it concise, just give us the latest main promos & links only to smaller promos. I think including Red Lion and Voila is not necessary. Keep it simple! And make it easy to find this on top of your page.Thanks!
An excellent post by new blogger Travel Bug Diary “Financing Travel with Frequent Flier Miles“. Maybe this should be required reading for all newbies getting infected with this virus before they hurt themselves with plastic! I like the warning in red font! Travel bloggers writing about frequent flier credit cards receive a commission (reportedly $50-$250) for each application initiated through their site. Most “top 5 credit cards” lists are biased. [ I agree:-) I think it is approved application, no?]And I chuckled with the disclosure at the end: “I’m random nut on the internet and not a financial adviser. Only you know what’s best for your wallet.” [ I could rewrite this about me and say “I am a nut on the internet, happen to be a financial adviser and let me tell you it is another thing to know what is best for someone’s wallet and a whole different subject to act accordingly, lol!]
There has been a lot written about the Delta changes yesterday. For a great analysis please read Wandering Aramean‘s “Delta ties elite status to spend” blog post. (Seth is traveling somewhere in Slovakia right now and getting pummeled with snow and still found the time to provide his always interesting airline commentary!). There are some big shooters commenting there and one (Oliver2002) reveals *Alliance is already working on a related move for more than 6 months! Like I said, the flood gates have opened folks! Redeem your aspirational awards. It’s all downhill from here, no smiley!
AA is matching Delta Diamonds to Executive Platinum status (HT: Darren at Frequently Flying)
Frequent Miler thinking out loud about “Cash to miles” tradeoff decisions. Maybe it is time for me to have a cash back card, I just never bothered with them as the mileage credit cards merry go round keeps me busy enough! And thanks for treating your readers with respect & protecting our eye sockets from a senseless number of affiliate links in our faces! [Full disclosure: I accepted a free meal voucher at Culvers from Frequent Miler who received it from a kind reader. Thank you to both. I enjoyed the meal and the conversation. I told FM “I will not think twice to get you into my Not So Best Of category”. No blogger is above my wrath, NO ONE…so behave, lol]
Funniest comment about the new American livery I read at Cranky Flier, LOVE it:
“Colgan had sex with CSA and Cubana on a Greyhound bus in the same weekend and got pregnant. We know Colgan is the mother but we can’t tell who the father is. Nor do we care because the baby is still ugly either way.”
Some useful info about TSA PreCheck at Hack My Trip. I learned some new things there!
Kathy at Will Run for Miles goes off on a leisure Delta flyer rant against the changes announced yesterday. Kathy, I am sorry but Delta does not care about you, only about your wallet. Either get a Delta amex card, waste $25k on it for miles you can probably not use easily or open your wallet and pay for Delta tickets (no partners!) to earn more miles you can not use easily. And for what? Silver or Gold? Not worth it imho. Do what you say in your last sentence, that is what I am doing! Hey Delta, Bite me!
Very interesting piece about loyalty programs by Nancy Trejos of USA Today “Travelers get stingier with their loyalty“. Hmm, not looking good out there. Quotes such as “There’s been a real erosion in loyalty…” and “The world has changed…What worked 20 years ago, 15 years ago, five years ago isn’t going to work now.” should make us all wonder where this game is going!
BEST OF TRAVEL
Miles to the Wild wrote “Ecotourism through the ages“. Very nice general summary with specific destination suggestions by age group.
Johnny Jet has a touching story on how American Airlines treats US military veterans. Very well done AA!
USA Today’s Barbara Delollis is THE hotel guru. She wrote “AAA’s Five Diamond hotels for 2013“. Very informative, especially the hotels that lost the rating!
This is a public service announcement: “Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly Spirit” from Justin Does…Come to think of it, I won’t be surprised if these guys come out with a promo about Manti Teo’s girlfriend, it’s been a while!
NOT SO BEST OF
Miles Momma leads with a sensational headline in all caps “FREE TRAVEL MONEY FROM CAPITAL ONE – $300 CHECKING BONUS” and then promptly goes on to push the crappy Capital One credit cards. Shaking my head so uncontrollably that it may fly off!
ODDZ & ENDZ