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Back in the mid-80′s Falco came out with the catchy, but somewhat monotonous, track called “Rock Me Amadeus” as you can see below:
There was a DJ in Louisville KY, where I lived at the time, who got so sick of the song that he decided to play it nonstop and just kept asking if, we listeners, wanted him to keep going and going. It was fun for a while but got old fast!
Unlike dear Falco, the bounty from the December 90% off Restaurant.com deal just keeps on giving and never does get old! I always follow my own advice and whenever Lisa and I go anywhere I print out a few coupons near where we are staying in the hope we can use a few to save some cash along the way. Some places are so-so and others are home runs. Either way, I would not try these place’s unless I had the restaurant.com coupons. The trip I blogged about yesterday had just such a spot and wow was it a home run.
The place was called Degage Jazz Cafe in Maumee, Ohio. They had live jazz starting at 7 but we just enjoyed the restaurant side. The food is a bit pricey so I would consider printing both the $25 and the $50 coupons if you go and pick the one you need after you get the bill (some places want it pre-order and some after when they bring the bill; this place was after).
Lisa had the “asiago encrusted tilapia with garlic mashed potatoes and honey bacon brussel sprouts” and she said it was one of the best she had ever had in her life. I had a very good steak and a potato loaded with a TON of bacon and cheese. Nummy!
The balance of the bill I paid for with my Chase Freedom card (a great card to include in your next churn btw) as I am earning 5% Ultimate Rewards points as of the 1st of July and will continue for the next 3 months. That and the gas for the staycation all got me 5% toward my target goal of 400,000 for my 25th anniversary trip (it may be a cruise or it may be something else – we will see)!
Bottom line, the day the 90% Restaurant.com deal comes back, be ready to load up. I will blog it to death like “Rock Me Amadeus” when that time comes as it is so worth it! – René
▲Delta▲ SkyMiles® Credit Card
American Express – RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
Click here for more information
Airline food is never going to be as good as anything the Food Network’s “Iron Chef’s” could make (love that show btw). But airlines, Delta included, see food as a way to differentiate themselves from the other airlines. A recent NBC video showed what lengths United is going to.
Also, last month all the bloggers were talking about the news about how hard Delta Air Lines is working to make food taste good at altitude and is working with the vendors who ultimately deliver the product to the planes (aka Sky Chefs and others ).
For coach, I think, Delta should just stop serving the peanuts and pretzels. I mean who cares. It is much better to offer a-la-cart items like selling the snack boxes and other options on long transcontinental flights. These are good and make the airline money. Peanuts and pretzels don’t. Why? It costs a bunch and I would rather cut that than other frequent flyer benefits. Just how much does food cost? The DELTA 10-K lumps food in with a ton of other billion in costs from last year, so it is hard to know just how much it does cost plus the fuel cost in added weight (I did ask about a breakout cost but none was available).
End of rant about nuts. But back to food. Having arguably had some of the best 1st class food, or so many say, on the Lufthansa flight this year, I again say I prefer what Delta offers on international flights. I like the soups, the breads, the main course, the deserts and cheese. The wine is fine and the service by Delta FA’s is pleasant and warm and just all around good!
Now moving down to trans-con, work needs to be done. There are some choices that are good and now and then you may get a meal not so good as pictured in this Flyer Talk post, but the choices could overall be better I think.
For example, cheese is not on sandwiches many times ( welcome to Europe? ) And the quality of ingredients could use a boost. I find it a strange comparison that international can be so good and trans-con not so much.
What do you think. Am I out in left field on today’s post or do you agree with me on all of the above. I would love your feedback – René
I had a client (on my real job) ask me the other day where on the blog I show what credit card to use for what to get the maximum value. I sheepishly said, uhhh, I don’t have one. Time to fix that right now.
I not only churn a ton of cards but I also use a ton of cards. I rotate what I keep in my wallet. I always have my Delta AMEX Reserve card, also my Sapphire and Freedom card and then one I am fulfilling some kind of spend from my latest churn. Some cards, like my INK BOLD, I use mostly for specific things that are set for autopay. So let me show some ideas for you.
“wireless/telecommunications services (excluding equipment such as phones and fax machines), cable and satellite television and radio services, office supply stores and wholesale distributors of office supplies.”
So what I do is set my cell phone and cable bills to autobill to my INK BOLD card. Simple and max rewards. When I do order office supplies I also use this puppy.
- Chase Sapphire. It is my card when in Sweden as there is no international transaction fee. I also use this when dining out as it pays 2x points in restaurants!
- Chase Freedom. This card rotates what it pays 5x UR points for every 3 months. There is a cap of $1500 each period but if you and spouse both have the card you are talking $3000 and a net win of 15,000 points! Another tip that is a YMMV but works for me is this. My local grocery store sells gas. They also sell their brand of gift cards. So, I buy $1500 in gift cards and then use them to pay for food and gas even after the 3 months from Chase is up!
- Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Earn triple points on airfare, double points on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, double points at U.S. stand-alone supermarkets, and single points on other purchases. So food and gas on this card but ONLY when Chase Freedom does not have specials going on.
- ANY Delta AMEX card. When it comes to buying things on a Delta flight:
“Card members will receive a 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases of food, alcoholic beverages, movies, television shows, video games and audio headsets on Delta Air Lines®-operated flights”
This is not instant credit but shows up as a credit back on your account a few weeks later. But still, 20% is not bad! I then use this for most other purchases to meet the spend to get MQM’s each year on my Reserve card.
- Hilton Honors card. When paying for a room at Hilton they pay you 6x points. This card is also an option for supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations as they pay 3 points per dollar on these places. For this card it depends on what Hilton points are worth to YOU or what you have on the way regarding a vacation at a Hilton property.
- SPG AMEX card personal and SPG OPEN Business cards. Like most hotel programs you get big bonus points for paying for your room etc. with the hotel’s card. The SPG card is the same way.
- Chase PC card. You can get 5x points for spend at hotels. You can get 2x points for gas, grocery and restaurants but I value PC points much less that UR points so I would stick with Sapphire other than paying for hotel stuff.
So there you have it. This is my basic list for maximizing points. Are there other things you do to eeek out a few more points on purchases with cards? Let your fellow DeltaPoints readers know. – Rene
It is EZ to sign up for a credit card bonus deal. You get the card and then buy what ever you want with the card. Not rocket science and not much to keep track of other than spend (X-$$$) inside of (X-months) = points.
But there are a bunch of other deals that take just a little more time and entering of you data and then following up and the Delta points rewards can be big. Look at some of the ongoing deals right now:
Marriott has a deal where you can earn up to 50,000 points. (note you can ONLY register if you pick skymiles as your rewards for stays).
Hilton has one where you can earn 2012 points per stay.
Hertz up to 3,400 with rentals
You gotta eat, so Skymiles Dining can earn you a lot and 1,200 bonus points.
There is a new survey site that many have already been e-Mailed about called Whiteboard.
Also you can still get points for Fedex Shipping
And all of these can be found on the official Delta.com web site.
So please take some time now and then to make sure you are maximizing your Skymiles earnings for all your activities you can and naturally pay for them with the card that get’s you the most points as well! – Rene
Us at DTW “prancing fluids”
As you can see from yesterday’s post my wife and I have made it home to SBN. We had a blast and the skiing was so much better than our last trip out to SLC. Last time some of the ski runs needed a mower not a snow groomer. This time all was white!
I used 25k Delta seats for me wife and I and used pay with points for a friend so he could end up on the same flights as us as he was connecting from another city. His cost 30k from SDF so not too bad. Our upgrades cleared 5 days out and my friend got to enjoy exit row at least. I did my normal thing with a pop in to see Jeff at the oraoxygen spa and the flights were uneventful and on time. All our luggage made it but two of my bags had BIG cuts. This is where my US AIR GS “hits” worked out great. One of the things I purchased was tiny rolls of duct tape.
They worked great until a permanent patch can be made. Who knew the GS points would help me so much when I travel. I will buy these each year GS or not as they are great to have I have found. Others in the TOPTIPS have said just use your big roll and wrap some around a pencil. That works too but I like simple.
The next big score was my rental car. I went with the Enterprise $9.99 a day weekend deal that BTW is good until MAY 23 if you need a car. If you have rental that spans more than the weekend you just book two reservations and then call and have them put into one afterwards by calling the local office where you will pickup. Now that worked really well for me as they gave me the $9.99 daily rate for the entire time!
Loved loved loved the little Dodge even though I only had 400 miles for the 4 days and went over by just 8 miles. All in it cost me $53 including TAX and was FREE with the last of my Capital One points from last year ( I will miss my C1 points so much )!
Now here is a tip you don’t want to forget. Ready? Every 3 months the Priority Club point breaks list comes out. The DAY it comes out, it does not show up in their system for a while. Sometimes as long 24 hours. Now, as soon as list is out, you can call and book rooms. What has to happen is this. They will first say rooms are sold out. You say no way in 1 hour? You will then ask for a supervisor to make an “AWARD NIGHT ADJUSTMENT” for the amount of points you need to book the room. For example: I booked my room at the Candlewood suites.
Normal rate was 15k/night. Point Breaks was 5k/night. I stayed 5 nights 2 rooms. So, I got 100k deposited and the rooms were booked. Here is the kool part. With my PC Visa card I get 10% rebate on all points spent. So, I will get 15,000 BACK.
Thus, my ALL IN cost in points for 5 nights 2 rooms will only be 35,000! I have done this several times and other readers have too so try it the day the next new list comes out sometime in mid-March!
The skiing was great! We had big fluffy flakes falling all day the 1st day at ALTA. The rest of the trip were “blue bird” days at Brighton, then Snowbasin and lastly Powder Mountain. PM is one of my favorite places to ski on the globe. If you go to Utah, please make the drive and go. You will love it. Plus, I had the chance to meet up with a blog reader, Steve, who is a ski patroller at PM as you can see below (before you say anything – yes I got some sun)!
If you go, look for him as he is a top notch guy and a great skier. It was good to make some turns with you Steve and hope to run into you next time at Powder Mountain!
I only used one Restaurant.com coupon on this trip as the other nights we HAD to go to some of my favorite “dinner stores”. Those are Red Rock and The Bohemian. The schnitzel at the Bohemian is so good – numm. The one coupon place we did try was Rinos (check your SOUND settings if you click link LOUD Italian singing on the way) and I would have never gone without the coupon.
It was great. Family run for 35 years. Food was WOW! Osso Buco in the photo was amazing! These people know food & for $2.10 cent cost I got $75 off my bill! I will be back to this place again.
The trip home I talked about yesterday and I hope you all saw the tip about thinking outside the box about how to score upgrades as a Medallion flyer. All-in-all a great trip and time to put the skis up for the season. Next up for us is my first ever 1st class trip on Lufthansa to Sweden that cost $220 + 270,000 miles. I can not wait. Then our summer trip on Delta in biz 200k and thanks to the mighty schedule change rules the flights are PERFECT and even biz class intra-Europe! Also my Award Wallet now shows 2.1 million points still to burn – where shall I go next?
My dear wife was nice enough to let me and the boys go play for a few days in Florida and for me to see my dad. Well it was her turn to warm up before our next ski trip.
A while back SW Air had a sale fare for DTW-FLL and Delta matched them and I had some $100 vouchers to burn. The little left over I put on my Capital One card to get the two tickets 100% free and will earn 9000 Skymiles. Since we are both Platinum Medallions our upgrades cleared both ways before our outbound departure. We drove to Detroit and I had my first trusted traveler screening. It took what 10 seconds with belt + shoes on and laptop inside backpack. I love it. Next, my wife and I made a quick visit to the OraOxygen spa ( Jeff is great btw) we went to relax in the Skyclub before boarding and dinner on the flight down to sunny Florida.
I also used the Delta mobile app for my phone this time and it worked! Check-in, security, skyclub, gate info – it all just worked fine. I do echo what others have said that it works better when you turn up the brightness on your screen to 100% just when using it for scans.
I found us a room at the Crown Plaza Hollywood beach Florida. I e-mailed the hotel and was given a mid-level upgrade from a standard king room to the executive floor king suite.
They have 3 top floor suites and I was offered an upgrade to the last one open for an extra $200 per night. I declined that generous offer. I was hoping for a 5000 point “points break” room but none showed up. I did have my 1 free night certificate from my Priority Club visa card and I used that plus 50,000 PC points as payment (I will get 5,000 rebate with my PC visa card btw). Not bad when you look at the retail price of this little stay:
This property was outstanding. From the pool, to the views from our room, to the staff, all were top notch and we so enjoyed ourselves and the warm temps for the week!
We spent the days walking the beach, laying out in the sand and by the pool. It was hard but we got used to it as you can see.
Then by night my windfall from Restaurant.com last month did score a home run for me. Both of the restaurants attached to the hotel were included so dinners ended up near or less than ½ price and were very good. Check out my math from dinner the first night when we ate poolside and you will see why I was yelling last month what a great deal it was:
I paid 70 cents for my Restaurant.com coupon. The bill for food was $38. Now they add the 18% tip to the total but you pay LESS TAX as they do not apply the tax until after coupon is subtracted. So, it was $38-25+$0.70+$6.84= $20.54 for our dinner all-in. Now I am not done. I have my Priority Club Visa and had the balance go to my room. So, I will get 10x points at PC and 5x PC points from Chase on the card when that charges. At 1 cent per point that is another $3.08 off in value. Net dinner cost (including the coupon purchase price) to me was just $18.16 and that is more than ½ off!
Dinner night number two worked out this way. Bill for food was $60. Thus $60-25+2.10+11.18= $48.28. 10x points at PC + 5x Chase PC points $7.24 value. Thus net-net on this one $ $41.74. Not ½ off but a great deal for two 12 oz steak dinners.
So my Florida swing is done for now. We will be back to Utah soon for our 2nd ski trip and then a spring trip to Sweden to see mom. I continue to be amazed how 1st class trips that would cost thousands can be had for a hundred dollars all-in! – Rene
[how I got to the statement above - the math] – More Math and what you can do with points. The breakdown of my trip.
Gas SBN-DTW round trip also earned 5x UR points Freedom card $60
Shuttle Go Airport paid for with C1 points no cost $60
Parking DTW $24 but 20% rebate shopathome C1 points no cost $24
Massage at OraOxygen spa with tip $60
Air 1st class EVT + C1 points + plat upgrade no cost $1094
Hotel Chase Visa voucher + 50,000 points no cost $835
Food at hotel was $120-$50 restaurant.com get 15x PC points $70
Misc breakfasts $45 other misc costs $35 $80
All in cost what it would have cost me $2283
What it cost me in my money $265
I earned 15,848 points from Delta, PC rebate etc -$158
So net-net cost for this trip was just $107
Not bad value for 3 days high season on the beach $2283 vs $107
PS – We got bumped on the flight home. They would not give us one $800 voucher but instead gave us two $400 ones. So, we did not have to pay for this vacation after all. We ended up getting paid almost $700!
Just a short post today as I am returning from my Florida golf trip and will have much to post in the coming week with information and giveaways you will not want to miss. Also, there seems to have been another server issue at BoardingArea as the Friday post was re-posted again on Saturday and the Saturday post was posted with Fridays date. So, if you missed Saturday, go back a day and you will see it.
For now, if you have not logged in to your SKYMILES account as of late, please be sure and do so as it would seem that the medallion qualifying rollover has occurred for almost everyone at this point. Either way, you can be 100% assured that if you were any level of medallion in 2011 and flew a single mile over 25, 50, 75 or 125k you now have them applied towards your re-qualification levels for 2012.
If you are looking for ways to build up your accounts be sure to peak at the post from the first of the year for how to add as much 20k in no time. – Rene
(NOTE -if you have not got eBates credit yet for your $25 spend at restaurant.com from last months promo please, email them here your info so you do not miss out! They will give you immediate credit)
No one ever wants to think or talk about death. Maybe that is why most do not have a “Will”. Do you have one? I have had one since my early 20′s. I do not update it as much as I should but I have one. Today I have updated my Will with some important information. I have given instructions to my executor to log into my Award Wallet account. I have included my user name and password
in my Will (per readers Amar idea in a letter with my Will), as with this my executor will have access to all my accounts on one page as well as any trips I have booked for the next year. Have you ever thought of the advantage of this use for Award Wallet? If you have 1+ million miles they are worth a ton but only if someone knows you have them!
EDIT: The new rule is when you die so do your Skymiles in yet another customer unfriendly move by Delta. Plus, Delta has blocked tracking of daily Skymiles with Award Wallet making this old post no longer relevant!
We are Delta flyers. Can you ( the dead person going into the hole above btw ) have your points sent for free to someone living? YES! As you can see here in this PDF from Delta, at least for now with Delta, there is no charge to send your points to who you want to – you just have to die to do this (click below for PDF – pg 26 of members guide).
Other airlines have different rules that may or may not make transferring your points to someone else financially worthwhile since the fees can add up to equal value of your miles. You can read more about this here at flyertalk as well.
So you need a Will. Here is a link for some sample ones you could look at. Why not pull one up if don’t have one or get out your old one, update it, and add your Award Wallet info to it! ( and be sure at have your beneficiary read DELTAPOINTS.com once they have all your miles ) – René
OK now that you are all depressed thinking about dying on Tuesday, back to work day, how about I cheer you up a bit. I am going to try to have great giveaways all month long to start 2012. So, post a comment YES or NO if you have a WILL for a chance to win these NEW SONY headphones!
Neither answer will increase your chance to win btw!
(PS – if you have not got eBates credit yet for your $25 spend at restaurant.com, email them here your info as they are swamped )
▲Delta▲ SkyMiles® Credit Card
American Express – RESERVE/PLATINUM/GOLD
Click here for more information
From this very second onward, everything you do counts toward your status that will last until FEBRUARY of 2014! Just crazy when you think about it.
Also think about this, if you get the personal DELTA AMEX Reserve card, you get 10,000 MQM’s with your first dollar spent. If you get two of them, one personal and one business card, you will only need to fly 5000 “butt in seat” miles to have Silver status for 2+ years locked in! Plus, in addition to moving up the upgrade list, you will get free access to skyclubs for you and 2 more friends. Everything you buy with this card gets you AMEX’s up to 1 year warranty extension and it works!
Now I can tell you, without reservation, this is my GO TO card until I reach $60,000 in spend and the MQM earnings end for one card. As of today I only have the business card but since it has been 24 months since I had the personal card I will go for it again soon! This will mean I only need 65,000 MQM’s for Platinum Medallion again with Delta. With spend, and I have my own ways to do this, I will get 60,000 MQM’s on the two cards combined. Thus, I will only need to fly 5000 butt in seat miles this year for Platinum Medallion status! How sweet is that?
Now your goals may be different and that is fine. But if you want Delta Medallion status at any level and all the benefits that come along with it, and it is churn time, please look at one or two of these cards to be included in your mix. My personal churn date is not until March but that is fine for me as I have my biz card spending to work on until then.
So what trips do I have booked and or am planning for this year? I have booked a golf trip to Florida soon on points for me and 2 friends (I know I am a generous friend) , a trip with my bride to Hollywood beach Florida on ETV’s including Crown Plaza on PC points right on the beach plus will use restaurant.com coupons for food (both hotel restaurants are part of restaurant.com!), a ski trip number two to SLC, my first ever 1st class Lufthansa trip to Sweden to see Mom. Then a Delta 100k x2 business class summer trip to Sweden. Next flying my mom and cousin over for a month in the fall on Delta in business class 100k x2 ( OK these last two from SkyMall TABS cost a little bit). I will be at the DO Frugal Travel Guy has planned in Chicago in October. I may have to try to book a cruise in late fall early winter. Then look at a warm-up ski trip in late December again. All these trips are or will be either FREE on points or at a fraction of “retail” price. Are we all listening and learning?
Why am I including the above? So many today are complaining about bloggers “hawking” credit cards. While it is true I do get a commission when you use my links (and I thank you so much for supporting the blog), I also PERSONALLY churn, use, and have these cards myself! I get a TON of points this way when I RESPONSIBLY churn cards. If you do likewise, and take advantage of all the other deals that come along, you can have a year on the way like me! – Rene
And if you did not win the other day, I have one more of these!
A BRAND NEW Samsung WEP460 Bluetooth for your phone!
Tell me if you have a Delta Reserve card for for a chance to win one FREE!
It is a ton of fun building a blog from scratch. Much of the changes have been thanks to you my readers. I have seen this at the “DO’s” and I see it clearly here running the blog (what the heck does DO mean? – simply a get-together of frequent flyers).
So if you are new to the blog let me show you around. If you are not new, are you using this site to the fullest? There is already so much good information that can help you travel better.
So let’s look at the top of the blog. You see all the title words. Each is a link to a new page.
This link is where I put all the best credit card deals.
Next how to contact me and to learn more about me and the site
The LINKS tab has some GREAT shortcuts I use every time I travel
Q&A teaches you all about Delta. Great questions from readers
Top Tips are ideas to make travel better from me and readers
Last we have the search. All blogs have this. Please use it with key words to find what you are looking for before you e-mail as many times it is a much faster way of getting an answer to the question you have.
So there you are. I hope you are using the blog to benefit you as much as possible in your travels – René
And how about another fun giveaway?
I have a BRAND NEW Samsung WEP460 Bluetooth for your phone!