I learned a few lessons today in the miles and points world that I wanted to share so you can avoid the mistakes I made. I guess in truth they weren’t really lessons learned so much as just good reminders for things I already knew. Also, I will announce the winner of the $100 United credit!
1. If you think you might want extremely inexpensive airport lounge access via the Executive Privileges Club, then don’t wait until the day you want access to purchase the membership (if you want the cheapest package). My husband is traveling home from a work trip today and found himself at the airport in Atlanta with time to kill and no lounge access. Most of the time when he travels I am there and he gets in the United Club with me via my club membership, but we hadn’t added him on officially because, well, we are still kinda cheap. However, I guess once you get used to lounge access, “free” internet, comfy chairs, salty snacks, and “free” drinks, it is hard to turn back. So, we have now spent the $19.99 to get him lounge access at a rate we can afford for the next year. I’ll post more about this process once we actually use it, but until then this post by Million Mile Secrets is very helpful. Lesson learned.
2. When you get a new rewards credit card don’t forget to register it with the Rewards Dining Network program of your choice. I earn thousands of miles per year via these dining programs, usually through United MileagePlus Dining. I am a “VIP” diner with them, so I now earn 5 miles per dollar from that program when I eat out at a participating restaurant and pay with a registered card (in addition to whatever I am earning via my credit card). I almost always use my Sapphire Preferred card for dining to earn double points, so since that card is already linked to the program, I don’t have to think about it. However, while at the Frequent Traveler University this weekend I joined a dozen or so other folks for dinner at Steak Frites in Manhattan. It’s hard for me to turn down any reason to go into my favorite American city.
I had a chance to buy a round of drinks for a few folks and put that on my New Ink Bold card so I could inch closer to my minimum spending requirement. However, I’m sure you have already guessed where this is going at this point – I had not yet added that card to the dining program. So today when Deals We Like (who was also at the dinner) messaged me to say “Yay we earned miles at Steak Frites!” I said…….well poop (or maybe it was another word I said). My bill that night wasn’t cheap, so I left a chunk of miles on the table for being a procrastinator. Lesson learned and card registered. If you have not yet enrolled in the United MileagePlus Dining program, you can get 1,000 bonus miles by registering and having one $50 dining purchase at an eligible restaurant in the next 30 days. However, even without the extra miles it was a really fun night!
3. The more you think about the points packages from the Daily Getaways, the more likely you are to purchase them. When I posted last night about the Choice Privileges points packages that were for sale today, I really didn’t think I was going to purchase any. I have already spent a good amount on these Daily Getaway deals, and thought I would sit this one out. However, the more I thought about it, the more I saw how valuable the points were for my family, and then I went from not thinking I wouldn’t make a purchase to buying 80,000 points. I realized that for less than $300 I can have three nights in Nassau to take Little C to Atlantis (which was already on our to-do list) and I should still have enough left over for a potential Grand Slam hit. It certainly doesn’t hurt that for only 20,000 British Airways Avios each we can go round-trip from DFW to Nassau on American. Even better is that with the current 50% transfer bonus it will only cost me 40,000 Membership Reward points for all three of us to go round-trip! Grand total of 40,000 Membership Reward points and less than $300 in purchased Choice points and our family of three can have a long weekend in Nassau. Crazy. I love points. More on planning that trip soon.
4. Earlier this week I tried to give away a couple “first year free” codes for the United Club card that I had picked up at the United Clubs in Houston and Newark. However, I was subsequently informed that I was not able to give those away on this site which really stinks, but life goes on. However, there is no chance that I would have people spend time commenting to enter the contest only to have no “prize” at all to offer, so instead I decided to purchase a $100 United travel credit for the winner. Thanks to the ever handy random.org, the winner of the $100 United credit is………….comment #23 Kris Ziel who was actually helping answer a question from another commenter, so I think that is pretty cool that he/she ended up winning the credit as a result of helping! Kris, congrats and please shoot me an email mommypoints at hotmail.com so I can send you your United credit.
Tomorrow brings us a very solid deal for Hertz points via the Daily Getaways Deals. I’ll post more details in the morning, but mark your calendars for Noon Eastern if you want a chance at buying those points. Quantities are very limited.