Archive for the American Express Category

Save as much as 8% on gas for life

Posted in American Express, Credit Cards, Deals, Promotion with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by getgowing
 
Let me preface this post by saying,I LOVE AMERICAN EXPRESS!

My relationship with Amex has brought me tons of benefits, and this one is just more icing on the cake.  Through 1/31/2012, American Express is offering 5% reimbursement on all purchases from BP (and also assuming Arco, though I personally haven’t tested it).  Only 3 days left, get in on it soon; register your Amex card here.

Now to lock in this savings for as long as you can afford to, up front, go to a BP gas station and ask to buy prepaid gas cards.  If you try to buy the gift cards online, you may not get the 5% reimbursed as it seems BP’s gift card purchases online are handled by a third party, and your purchase may not show up on your statement as a BP purchase.  The great part about these BP gift cards is that if you live in an area where they charge a different gas price for cash purchases and credit card purchases, these gift cards allow you to pay the cash price.  If you always purchase gas with a credit card (as I do, gotta rack up them points & miles), then this is a way to save up to 8% on your gas purchases, AND get the points for them too.

Double MR points if you are buying them with the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card.  If you don’t have one and want to get one, leave a comment below with an email to contact you (or email me at getgowing@gmail.com and I can give you a referral link that is better than the current public offer.  It is first $175 annual fee waived, and 25k MR points after only $2,000 spend in 3 months.

If you’re in a full service state, make sure your attendant charges you the cash price before they start pumping.  So if you’re willing to invest and pay in advance your gas for the rest of the month, year, or many years, this is a way to keep your gas prices a little lower.

For the math proof continue reading.  Otherwise, feel free to tell your friends about this post and save them money too!

Last week, a local BP station was charging $3.15 for cash, $3.25 for credit.  If I buy $1000 in gift cards, I will get a statement credit of $50 reimbursed from Amex.

$1,000 in gas at $3.259/gallon = 307.692 gallons

$1,000 in gas at $3.159/gallon = 317.460 gallons

But since I effectively only paid $950 for the 317.460 gallons, I paid $2.992/gallon.

($950/317.460 gallons = $2.992/gallon)

Since I usually pay the credit price, I just saved 26.7¢ per gallon.

($3.259 – $2.992 = $0.0267)

Saving 26.7¢ is approximately saving 8.2% per gallon off of the regular price of $3.259 per gallon.  Of course gas prices fluctuate, so the savings will vary as well.  But its still a significant enough of a savings that I’m definitely going in as much as I can to maximize this deal.

Recap of benefits from Amex Platinum

Posted in American Express, Credit Cards with tags , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by getgowing

In my first few posts of this blog I wrote about my first major credit card churn, the American Express Platinum Charge Card:

  1. American Express Platinum Charge Card
  2. American Express Platinum benefits 
  3. American Express Platinum benefits part 2
  4. American Express Platinum benefits update
  5. 300 Membership Reward points for Delta Skyclub visits
  6. 5,000 Membership rewards points for Extended Payment option signup
  7. 50,000 Membership rewards points for making a phone call

Again, this card carries a hefty annual fee.  $450 / year.  But even the average non-travel hacker cardholder should be able to reap more than $450 of value from its benefits.  Here’s what I got out of it in the first 10 months of having it:

  • 76,500 Delta Skymiles (cost =  51,000 Amex Membership Rewards points)
  • 25,000 Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles (cost = 0.  Stacked a promo from the 51k MR points transfer)
  • 50,000 Delta Skymiles (from a promo to requalify for Platinum Medallion)
  • 50,000 MR points (signup bonus after $1000 spend in 3 months)
  • 5,000 MR points (for a free signup for Extended Payment option signup)
  • 10,000 MR points (for downloading American Express inSite browser toolbar, see ThePointsGuy post here)
  • 50,000 MR points (for 3 easy phone calls to ask for a bigger bonus match)
  • 8,100 MR points (for visiting Delta Skyclubs)

Thank You Gold promotion

MR Get Away & Get More Skymiles promotion

This brings me to a net grand total of:

  1. 126,500 Delta Skymiles

  2. 25,000 Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles

  3. 73,100 Membership Rewards points

Now those points & miles alone are definitely worth the cost of the $450 annual fee, an inquiry on my credit report, and temporarily lowering my credit score a couple points.  Assuming there is another 50% transfer bonus from American Express and I make use of it, this card could possibly net me 236,000 Delta Skymiles!  That’s 4,000 miles away from TWO business class tickets to anywhere in Asia!  At a very minimum, those two tickets could be worth $8,000.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

One of the card’s benefits, the $200 airline fee reimbursement.  The Platinum card gives you up to $200 reimbursed in fees such as checked bags fees, change/cancellation fees, on-board purchases, etc.  But they can’t be used for the purchase of tickets.  While it’s not a published qualifying transaction, I have had success getting award ticket taxes/fees getting reimbursed.  AND as a Platinum Medallion, you don’t get charged a fee to return award tickets.  You guys are smart, I’m sure you can put two and two together…….

You need to select one airline, and you’re locked in to that airline for the calendar year.  The other good thing is that the $200 runs by calendar year, not anniversary year date.  SO, if I were to get rid of my card before my next annual fee is up in March (but I have no intention of doing so), I would have been able to harvest $400 in reimbursement, bringing down the card’s cost to $50!

The last major benefit I love is the free Global Entry.  This has definitely saved me loads of time instead of waiting in line at Immigrations and Customs.  Now I just bypass the lines and go from the plane to curbside in less than 10 minutes.  I only returned back into the US 3 times in 2011, so it hasn’t saved me that much time.  But for people who travel internationally at least once a month, this can be a real lifesaver.

I know that to replicate these results, certain planets need to be aligned at the right time, but for the most part, great value can be still be achieved for almost no cost.

Stay tuned to read about how to save upwards of 8% on gas, possibly forever!

Stacking deals to increase your miles / cash-back bonus

Posted in American Express, Big Crumbs, Credit Cards, Deals, Evrewards, Miles, Promotion, Travel Tips, Websites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by getgowing

In 13 days, I will be arriving in Tokyo for my trip to Japan.  And after Japan, I’ll be heading to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands.  Since there will be a decent amount of non-flying travel involved here, I want to use this trip to try out backpacking through these areas instead of lugging a suitcase around everywhere.  Last time I went to Japan, I was lugging two suitcases through the Tokyo subway during rush hour.  First and LAST time I ever do that again.  So I did my comparing, shopping, test-fitting, and was ready to purchase, what I think, is the perfect backpack for me.

Whenever I buy anything online, I’m not trying to just find the best price….I’m also looking to maximize my mileage earning potential (or cash-back bonus potential) while paying the best price I can find.

I first use Google, Yahoo, or Amazon to find what site has the best price.  In this case, Campmor.com was the cheapest, by about $39.  Next I take note of the other sites that were more expensive.  Many businesses will match, or even beat, a price a competitor offers for the same item.  Even if a business doesn’t advertise price matching, many times if you call them, they will do it for you anyway for the possibility of repeat business from you.

Now I have a pool of a few sites where I can buy my item for around the same cheaper price.  I next check to see if my credit cards have them as a vendor in their online shopping malls (like: ShopDiscover or Membership Rewards Shopping) where I can get extra points/cashback/miles just for shopping through their online mall.  Also I will check if any hotel or airline programs offer deals like 4 points/$ or 3 miles/$ for spending through their link of a site.  A GREAT site to compare all of these at once is evreward.com!  It’s still in beta, but it compares all these deals so you can see how much bonus you can earn on your purchase, and handpick what you want to use.

Evreward.com search for eBags

Lets say in this exercise, you are trying to maximize your mileage earning (instead of cash back).  Recapping:

  • Negotiated a cheaper price through price matching
  • Earning miles by making a standard purchase on your mileage earning credit card
  • Earn BONUS miles by making the same purchase through the airline’s website

So instead of buying in a brick-and-mortar store, you buy online, hopefully save yourself from paying sales tax, probably get free shipping, and earn a handful more miles doing so.

.

.

.

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BUT WAIT, there’s more!

If you know in advance you will be making a big purchase, or if you don’t but are a habitual shopper, you should go through another site to reap some cashback rewards from a certain site, as well as all the bonuses from above.  That sentence was a little vague, sorry.  Big Crumbs (link is one paragraph later), offers cash back on purchases made through vendors on its site, even on purchases on eBay, and signup is FREE!  But where you can get a triple dip from this site is that they offer cash back on gift cards!  SO….

  • Using your mileage earning credit card, buy an American Express gift card from Big Crumbs(1.6% cashback)
  • Negotiate that price match to a cheaper price
  • Shop through your airline’s online shopping mall to earn bonus miles
  • Use the gift card to purchase the item
If you like what you have been reading on this blog, or even if you don’t, please help me out and use my referral link to sign up for Big Crumbs.  Just use my link or click on the banner below.  Besides gift cards, they have some crazy awesome rates for other vendors, like 36% return on fees from eBay, or other stores/services that give upwards of 40% back!  And as your cash back builds up, payouts occur monthly.  (Original post continues beyond the banner)

Lets make some assumptions to give you real world numbers.  Be forewarned – math intensive from here to the end.
You are buying a $1,100 TV.  You are able to price match it on a competitor’s website for $1,000.  Your mileage earning card earns 1 mile/dollar.  Your airline’s online shopping portal gives 5 miles/dollar for shopping through them.

Scenario 1 (buying with no regard to what I have talked about here):

  • Investment:  Spend $1,100
  • Return:  Gain 1,100 miles for using your mileage earning credit card
Scenario 2 (using these techniques to maximize return):
  • Investment:  Spend $1,000 + an hour of time for research
  • Return:  Gain 1,000 miles for buying a gift card on Big Crumbs.  Gain $16 (1.6% cashback) on  your $1000 gift card from Big Crumbs.  Gain 5,000 miles for buying through your airline’s online shopping mall.  In total = (1,000mi + 5,000mi) + $16 cashback = 6,000mi + $16 !!!
Scenario 1 vs. Scenario 2:
Scenario 1 you gain one hour of work.  Scenario 2 you lose one hour of work.  But you gain $116 and 4,900 extra miles.  Is an hour worth $116 and 4,900 miles to you?  I’d take a job that pays ~$116/hour in a heartbeat.

However, this is not what I did when I bought my backpack.  I chose a slightly different route.  Because of the recent British Airways Chase Visa credit card signup bonus I wrote about, I now have 100,000 miles with British Airways.  And I also have a plethora of miles with Delta.  Now, one of my new adventures that I want to take is a true long-haul First Class experience.  Delta doesn’t have any real first class in their fleet, and therefore doesn’t allow any first class redemptions on any partner airlines either.  That is not the case with my British Airways miles, however.  I plan on flying First Class on Cathay Pacific to Asia, which will cost me 150,000 British Airways miles.  That is in addition to the backpacking trip through South America that I want to take in Business Class on LAN Airlines which will cost 80,000 British Airways miles.  So I need to get to 230,000 miles on British Airways somehow.  (Let’s not forget the extra 50,000 Membership Reward Points I was given just for making a phone call!)  My options are:

  1. Spend on my British Airways Chase Visa credit card which earns 1.25mi/dollar
  2. Spend on my American Express Platinum card which earns 1 Membership Reward point/dollar
I can transfer my AmEx points to British Airways, 1 point = 1 dollar.  This would be a no brainer, since with my Amex I’m essentially only getting 1 mi/dollar vs. BA Chase getting 1.25 mi/dollar.  BUT American Express is running a promotion, now through July 31, 2011, where you will get a 50% bonus on any transfers to British Airways.  Now the AmEx gets 1.5 mi/dollar if I transfer before July 31.  So I’m going to be using my AmEx to buy my backpack.

The backpack costs $279 full retail.  And I found that most stores are charging that much.  I did find one store Campmor.com, that sells it for $239.98.  Sweet.  Now I have a significant price difference to get it matched to.  After contacting several stores, the best price I could work out is either from Eastern Mountain Sports, or eBags.  Both offer free shipping.  EMS has physical stores in my state and all the nearby surrounding states, so I’d have to pay sales tax on my bag.  eBags is online only, so free shipping and no sales tax.  I was able to negotiate EMS’s price match lower, so that after sales tax, I would be paying the same, about $239.  I went with eBags because you get a 5% rebate on all purchases which you can redeem on a later purchase with them.  Not sure if I will ever use them again, but at least its something more than EMS offers.

At this point, I have all I need to come out ahead of the curve with this purchase.  BUT, if I shop through American Express’s Membership Rewards shopping mall (but also requires the use of my card attached to my account, not a gift card) I can earn 4x bonus Membership Reward points!

So I could earn 4 MR points/dollar, with a transfer bonus of 1.5 mi/point, comes to a whopping 6 MILES / DOLLAR!  I already feel like a million bucks.  BUT…..I actually will get even more points than that.

The price match guarantee policy for eBags is that you buy your item first, then if you find the same exact item in stock from another site within 10 days of purchase, they will reimburse your credit card the difference.  So I will still get the 6 mi/dollar for the original purchase, then get back $39.02 for the price difference.  Here’s the math:
Investment = $279.00-$39.02 = $239.98
Return = ($279.00 x 4 MR shopping mall bonus) x 1.5 AmEx/British Airways transfer promo = 1,674 British Airways Miles
Overall miles per dollar = (1,674 / $239.98) = 6.975 Miles / Dollar

I think I did pretty well compared to just using the British Airways Chase card at only 1.25 Miles / Dollar.  Now in actuality, American Express will probably take away 39 Membership Reward Points ($39.02 rounded down) because it thinks that the $39.02 reimbursement is a return.  In that case, I will only earn:

($279 x 4) – 39 = 1,077 points
(1,077 x 1.5) = 1,615.5 miles = ~1,616 miles
which would bring my overall to 6.73 miles / dollar.  Still a good deal.

Impulse trip to Atlanta

Posted in Airline Lounge, Airlines, American Express, Credit Cards, Delta, Miles, Travel Tips, Trip Report with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by getgowing

Prologue to this trip:

In the Delta domain of the frequent flyer world, the single biggest complaint is the ability to redeem miles for a low mileage award.  For a domestic roundtrip, that means finding an itinerary for 25,000 miles.  Many times its 32,500 miles and up.  The main two ways to possibly score a “low” award is to:

  1. be a Medallion member (elite status)
  2. book relatively last minute

Neither way guarantees you low pricing, but they both certainly do help; last minute booking being more successful than the former.  Heavy traffic routes like JFK-LAX can be extremely difficult for everybody at anytime.  Lucky for me, I had both going on my side.

One of the best benefits of making Gold Medallion status is waived fees for Same Day Confirmed travel (usually $50).  That benefit allows you to change your flight for free within 3 hours of your desired new flight, assuming its on the same calendar day.

For example, I have a flight departing at 2pm, but I want to get to my destination earlier.  There is a flight at 11:30am I want to take.  At 8:30am, I can either call in to Delta to change my flight, or get it changed at the airport.  As long as there is ONE seat available in the same cabin I originally purchased (or lower, but why would I do that?) I can get on that flight.

The good thing is that this also applies to award tickets, as well as revenue (or paid) tickets.  So I just redeemed for a flight that was later than my ideal flight, AND for only 25,000.  My ideal flight was for 32,500.  I get to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and painlessly switch to my new flight at 2:15pm.  There are a few downfalls to changing flights the day of.

  • If you are a Medallion and already had a confirmed upgrade to First class, you are back in Economy and up to the luck of the gate upgrade gods.
  • If you were able to snag the last couple seats on a flight, they are probably middle seats.  Depending on the length of the flight, rough trade-off if you turned down your upgraded seat.
  • If you checked a bag (depending on when your new flight is) you run the risk of your bag not being there when you arrive.
  • If you want a flight after your original flight, you run the risk of having no seats available on all succeeding flights for the rest of the day, being stuck and SOL.

Before boarding, I pass by the Newark Delta Skyclub and check in using my American Express Platinum to get the free 300 Membership Reward Points.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this post where I discussed this promotion.  After a quick visit, I board the plane and take my middle seat on the McDonnell Douglas DC9-50.  At least I’m in the 5th row of coach and not in the back.  After my recent fligths all over the world, this 2 hour flight was cake.  Despite waiting about 20 minutes after landing to get to our gate, we still arrive 2 minutes early.  This happens to me alot, where I think “oh good, we’re here early.”  Air Traffic Control usually knows what they’re doing, at least when they’re awake.

As soon as I deplane in the B terminal, I immediately begin my tour of every lounge in ATL (Atlanta) to collect more free points; there are 8 total.  Just in case, I buy a ticket departing ATL to an arbitrary location so it seems I’m a departing passenger, and not an arrival passenger.  There are plenty of self service kiosks in the terminals which allow me to print the boarding pass.  I told Patrick this, and estimated to be done in about 30 minutes.  Man was I so wrong.  I felt bad checking in to a lounge, getting my 300 point certificate, and immediately leaving.  So I at least pretended I use the lounge for some business then left.  I spent an average of about 3-4 minutes in each lounge, which already adds up to 24-32 minutes, and doesn’t include travel time.  Oops.  If you are planning on doing this lounge run, allot at least 60-70 minutes.  I took a little longer because I started in the B terminal.  If you start in the T terminal, then go in order from A to E terminals, you probably save 5 minutes by not back-tracking.

The B terminal SkyClubs, especially the one near B10 used to look especially drab.  But since the renovation, it’s a much nicer place to relax, get some work done, and wait for your flight.  It has the same white/red design similar to the lounges in Philadelphia or Los Angeles…contemporary, sheik, but a little institutional.

ATL B Terminal Delta Skyclub near B10

Restrooms. I thought the hallway kept going and almost walked into the mirror.

Updated bathrooms

Even though there is a a new decor, I would still rather to go to C erminal Skyclub above the Chili’s (they also have 6 beers on tap, vs. only 3 in the B terminal), or one of the larger E Terminal lounges.

Second club in the E Terminal near gate E15. The one farther from TGI Fridays.

View from the E15 lounge. The Air France B777 was so close I could almost touch it.

Not that I needed a vacation, but spontaneity makes life more fun.  It was a lot of fun just hanging out with Patrick and his friends & family in his neck of the woods.  The most eye opening experience was going to the Harrison Wind Ensemble benefit concert.  My main trade is teaching music, and I was absolutely floored at how good this ensemble was.  I found myself constantly comparing it to my college wind ensemble (I went to school for music performance at a fairly well known music conservatory).  What a group, what a job that director does.  I did also enjoy time in the pool along with a few beers, playing some tennis, and capped the stay with the company of several friends, family, and neighbors drinking and having a great time around a fire.

Harrison HS Wind Ensemble. David Vandewalker, director

A gift from Patrick from his Bahama trip

Life is good

Unfortunately, all good times must come to an end.  Fortunately for both of us, that time was not now.  On Saturday, Patrick was flying to teach the Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps, touring all around the country, and not coming home until mid-August.  And I had a great chance at one of the best domestic upgrades Delta offers, in addition to making another lounge run.

We had a really late night partying, and we weren’t about to leave the house at 6:30am to go to the airport for Patrick’s 8:45am flight.  Same day confirmed saves the day!  I check in in the Sky Priority lanes, and also get Patrick (currently no airline status) to check in here too.  I like to think that I helped save him $140 ($50 for same day confirmation onto a later flight, and $90 for being a few pounds overweight) by using the Priority lanes.  But maybe he could’ve had the same results with a similar nice agent in the regular lines.

Instead of flying direct ATL-EWR, I chose to change my flights ATL-DTW(Detroit)-EWR.  Specifically, the 11:00am Delta flight #505 that is on a Boeing 777-200LR.  This plane is usually for international routes.  After Detroit, it continues on to Hong Kong.  It is a wide-body plane with two aisles, 3-3-3 seating in economy, 3 or 4 rows of the new Economy Comfort seats, and 14 rows of the Business Elite lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 Herringbone configuration all with direct aisle access!  AND Detroit has 2nd most number of SkyClubs (4 lounges) so more 300 point certificates for me!  Another great benefit of being Gold Medallion or higher is that you also get free upgrades on award tickets too!  I was on my way to sampling one of the lie-flat seats for almost nothing.  SCORE.

We may have slept a little longer than planned, and only got to the airport with only about 25 minutes before our flights, so we barely had any time to enjoy a lounge, and I only had time to visit 2 lounges.  Or what should have been two lounges, except one of the lounges in the E terminal didn’t open until 2pm.  So only one Skyclub American Express certificate for me from ATL.  😦

I inquired from the Skyclub what my chances were for the upgrade.  I was first on the list with 12 seats open, with only 50 minutes until my flight.  Doesn’t get much better than that.  Much to my surprise when I went to board, as I expected the machine to spit out my new upgraded seat, nothing happened.  I begrudgingly walked to the back of the plane, seat 56E, and aisle seat in the second to last row of the plane.

Delta Boeing 777-200LR

The new Economy Comfort seats with more recline and more legroom. Keep walking. Your seat is all the way in steerage.

That was like the anti-upgrade.  I lobbied my case to a flight attendant in the back galley area.  She said she couldn’t do anything with upgrades….if there any seats left, the gate agent will come on board and give you the upgrade.  At this point, I start chatting it up with all the pilots sitting around me beginning to accept my fate in the very back of the bus.  After about 10 minutes, I spy my saving grace.  A flight attendant with a few boarding passes in his hand.  He gave one to a passenger about 15 rows in front of me, then that passenger got up and walked forward.  “HERE WE GO!”, I thought.  The attendant was down to his last boarding pass….he kept walking back and hesitated next to me.

“Mr. Gow?”

“That’s me!”

I took my boarding pass, grabbed my things, and took my new seat in 14A.

🙂

Herringbone configuration where all seats have aisle access

View from 14A

14A

Seat controls

In bed mode

In Flight Entertainment screen. Its a good size, though I've had bigger.

This is premier seat Delta offers among its entire fleet.  But honestly, I wasn’t that impressed.  Having direct aisle access at every seat is really nice, but the operation of the seat was really difficult.  The controls are simple, but they don’t exactly control the seat in a manner you expect.  This kind of turned me off.  I also didn’t have a window I could look out of when the seat was in its chair position.  The only window I had was behind the seat, and could be looked out of when it was a bed.  Don’t get me wrong, these were still great seats.

First time ever having this kind of seat belt latch on an airplane

Pretty decent legroom. 🙂

The mini ottoman is pretty nice, though it can’t support much weight so you can’t have an in-air meeting with somebody else.  And they have an adjustable headrest that can tilt forward to give a little higher headrest when sleeping, a cool feature I’ve never encountered before.  It was nice to take a nap on my back & side on a usually upright journey.  14A has a little more privacy than most (and reciprocally 14D on the other side of the plane).  There is a wall that has some storage in it so if somebody was in the aisle near the back half of your seat, they couldn’t peer down onto you.  One odd thing, maybe due to the fact that this crew does not usually work on a B777, but many of the window shades in BusinessElite were down during takeoff/landing and there was no enforcement of opening these on the flight.

As we were sitting at the gate in DTW, I was also granted a viewing of the pilot rest area.  Unfortunately, they said I couldn’t take any pictures for security reasons.  But on a B777, its located just behind the front lavatories, and the door opens to a mini staircase where there are 2 recliner seats, and behind them are 2 capsule-like areas where they can lie down and sleep.  There was also a sink and mirror halfway up built into the stairs.

Again, in Detroit, there were two of the lounges that were closed, so I only scooped up two more certificates.  One please surprise in the center DTW A Terminal lounge was the service of hot food.  Ok, only soup, but its still more than the normal offerings in a SkyClub.

Cream of broccoli and Monterrey Jack cheese soup

And my flight DTW-EWR was already upgraded so I took my First Class seat, and slept.  An uneventful flight, the standard domestic First Class non-meal service was given.  Free alcohol, snack basket/fruit basket passed around.  We arrived about 15 minutes early, and I swung by the EWR lounge to pick up my last 300 Membership Reward point certificate.

This trip may have cost me 25,000 miles and $7.50 in taxes, but I got to:

  • hang out with Patrick before he leaves for tour
  • enjoy the warmer Atlanta weather
  • hear a performance of the Harrison Wind Ensemble
  • experience a lie-flat seat in BusinessElite
  • view the pilot rest area on a B777
  • 3,900 free American Express Membership Reward points

baller

I think it was a well worth tradeoff.

Possible additional 50,000 American Express Points just for calling

Posted in American Express, Credit Cards, Deals, Miles with tags , , , on May 6, 2011 by getgowing

For anybody who recently applied for an American Express Platinum card….There is a hot thread on FlyerTalk about people getting a bonus of 100,000 Membership Reward points (or 50,000 points, the difference from their initial signup bonus) for calling in.  Apparently there was another promotion running at the same time where they were giving out 100,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.  Here is the FlyerTalk thread.  As per that thread, I sent a secure message yesterday, and later that day, I got a denial message back.  So, like any other person in the “game,”  I refused that as answer.  I called today and asked (very nicely, praising the card, stating my flawless history with them) if they could, on a gesture of good faith, award me the extra 50,000 Membership Reward points for that signup bonus since my bonus was only 50,000 points.  I stated that I knew the Promotion Offer ID: 3882.  After stating that, and after the agent did some digging, he did in fact find a promotion that matched what I was talking about.  After putting me on hold, talking to his supervisor, said that I should be awarded the points.  However, the catch was that I needed to call back after I spent the $1000.  (Currently I already passed it, but the spend is on the current statement, and the statement needs to close and be paid for).  So now I have to wait a few weeks for it to close, then pay for it, then I should be able to see the full, glorious 100,000 Membership Reward points in my account.

If you recently signed up for one, take the 10 minutes, call the number on the back of your card, and try to get those extra points.  After you enter your card number, say “Membership Rewards”, then say “Representative.”  Then praise them and ask nicely for those extra points stating the Promo Offer ID: 3882.  Good Luck.  Hope it works out for you.

5,000 Membership Reward points for signing up for Extended Payment option

Posted in American Express, Credit Cards, Deals with tags , , , , on May 5, 2011 by getgowing

This promotion is targeted, as I got a rock when I tried registering, but it may work for you.  It takes only 1 minute of your time, is free to enroll, has no obligations, and could be some of the easiest 5,000 Membership Reward points.

Extended Payment option signup and 5,000 MR Points

300 FREE AmEx Membership Reward points for visiting a Delta Skyclub

Posted in Airline Lounge, Airlines, American Express, Credit Cards with tags , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by getgowing

There is a current promotion run by American Express that if you visit a Delta Skyclub via your American Express Platinum card, you get a coupon redeemable online for 300 Membership Reward points.  It seems you can really rake some serious points in if you have some time and transit through Atlanta (ATL).  There are 8 locations there.  So if you had an itinerary that went something like JFK-ATL-DTW-SFO (New York JFK, Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco), you could rake in 17 coupons, or 5100 points just for visiting every lounge.  This is also assuming you visit the lounge in SFO upon arrival.  Granted, you wouldn’t be able to visit ALL the lounges on the way back home in JFK since they are split up between two terminals.  But still, even 9000 Membership Reward points just for doing something you were going to do anyway is pretty nice.  Leverage that with bonus promotions on transfers and that could really be worth some dough at the end.

This promotion from AmEx ends at the end of June 2011.

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