While I love my Delta cards and NEED them for my Diamond Medallion status efforts, there is some spend that I cannot ever send off to my Delta cards. One of them, as you see above, is my Comcast cable bill. 5x points, that I can PRE-PAY months ahead btw, are just the best.

Also, Lisa got her   50,000 BONUS points   after spending $5000 that is still going on for BOTH (yes you can have BOTH CARDS and get bonus for EACH CARD) the INK Bold and the INK Plus cards from Chase. If you have not got either of these cards yet (don’t try for both at once btw):

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

I will soon be at 300k total and have enough to book my return trip now to Grand Cayman this winter and cannot wait to get back there. For the first time EVER in my life, I’m planning to do a night dive and have been told they are out of this world kool (please tell me if you have been on one as I want some feedback divers).

What a week for deals after the 50,000 AMEX MR card and now, as you can see below, the 50,000 point SW Air card is back as well. So many good choices with huge rewards! – René

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The above clip from Modern Marvels is a great bit showing just how strong an airline’s “black box” is. They can take an amazing amount of punishment and survive to tell what happened to an airline before an accident.

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Well now Progressive Insurance has a “black box” you can install, willingly, in your car. They say it only records and requires a few bits of data like:

  • Are willing to plug the device in their vehicle for six months.
  • Drive their vehicle less than 15,000 miles per year.
  • Don’t frequently drive between midnight and 4 a.m.
  • Don’t frequently brake hard.

They also say that there is NO WAY this can be used to increase your rates, and if your little “black box” sends back good data to the mother insurance ship, you could get a nice discount on your auto policy.

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I have seen commercials for this little gadget a few times and it really bothers me. I mean a LOT! Being a computer geek I know how much/little control we already have of all of our data on the web. I even got my last passport early so I could avoid a few years with an RF ID chip in it (now I do have GOES / TSA Pre, but still).

This type of gadget, just makes my blood boil. No matter what the company says, they could always, when you do a 6 month upload, re-flash the unit to get MORE info and just how would you know? How would you know if they do decide to dump you or after a crash look at the data and say we are not going to cover you due to the fact that you were reckless!

We can go the other way too. Why not put them in ALL cars as well as a breathalyzer so no one who ever drinks and drives can start the car and anyone who the chip says drives bad just gets to stay home and we all save a TON of money?

What do you think? Does this creep you out? Do you like the idea? Would you put one in your car? – René

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Posted by Delta Points | 14 Comments

We were NOT supposed to be able to register for the Crossover promotion until the 1st. You can register at Delta.com (if you qualify) or at SPG.com HERE!

As you can see, it allowed me to put in my Skymiles Platinum number and register early. I then logged in to my SPG account and sure enough it shows I am registered

Then, just a few minuets later, I get a very nice e-mail from Delta saying I am registered also.

The reason you should JUMP on this is if you have a stay or flight on the 1st as it takes up to 48hrs AFTER registration before you get credit! Enjoy – René

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Last week, I went anti-Rookie covering advanced booking of Delta Skymiles tickets and attempted to bring it down to the rookie level. I think, even a rookie, with some time and patience, can find low level seats (even if you have to yell a bit until you find them)!

This week, I wanted to go basic again. To cover the Q&A a rookie is really afraid to ask or admit they do not know. I also want this to be an interactive rookie day. So, if there are questions I do not cover, fire away and I will try to touch on them too!

Q1) If I book a ticket with my Skymiles, since I have a Delta AMEX card, does my brother get a free bag? Or if I am Medallion can he get an upgrade?
A) Ya know this is NOT a dumb question as with some other airlines, things can carry over (many in fact). With Delta, oh, not so much. If you have a Delta AMEX the free bag perk ONLY works when you are flying with your brother. Same thing with medallion. Unless you are flying with them, nada!

Q2) Is stuff free in the Skyclub? If I fly 1st class do I get in? Can anyone use the showers?
A) In the old days, it was all free. Now, most things are free. Breakfast in the Skyclub is like a continental lite breakfast in a hotel. Drinks, wine, beer and std liquors are free too. They now charge, in some clubs, for “top shelf” drinks. You can NOT get in if flying 1st class inside the USA. Business class outside the USA and you get in both in the USA and outside the USA in the partner clubs. Yes, anyone can use the showers. All you do is request a shower when you check in. Sometimes they are open and you get right in. Other times it can be a LONG wait!

3Q) I am not a medallion but love so many of the ideas you talk about. Will Delta even give me any of these perks as a general Skymiles member?
A) Oh you bet. For example, I have missed many bumps lingering in the Skyclub too long. Others get there 1+ hr before flight, when the gate 1st opens up, and they are #1 on the list. Sometimes they get an upgrade for helping out over all the rest of us (as it is at gate control now). Also, with @DeltaAssit, you can get such good service you will feel like a medallion many times.

Q4) Is it considered “bad form” to use the attendant call button and what can I ask for when they offer snacks?
A) Wow, why not ask if there’s champagne and caviar? The call button is there for a reason. It is hard to move around a narrow plane. But, having said that, an FA is happy to EMPTY the cart the 1st time they are there. So, if you want a CAN of coke please ask for that. If you want TWO to THREE cans of coke just ask. If you want 10 packs of peanuts just ASK. Want 5 biscoff cookies, ask for 5 please and you will get them! Same for drinks, want to get 2 drinks, and drink one now and one later, pay for BOTH now and just ask for the extra coke later to save the FA time!

Q5) Does Delta ever offer a “soft landing” that is if I am close to making medallion will they let me “slide”?
A) 99% no way. Ever since Delta started doing rollover MQM’s, they have said no to soft landings. NWA was big on this but less so Delta. Either way, now, many of us get just as close to the edge as we can so we CAN rollover as much as possible and would be MOST upset if we were in fact “soft landed” to the next level. Having said that, Delta loves MONEY! So, if you spent a bunch of money with Delta last year, send a letter to them and BEG ASK PLEAD as such a valued customer to be awarded the next level. I have seen results where those who spend BIG but did not make it were gifted VERY high medallion levels!

Q6) Can I use other points to fly on Delta?
A) For the most part no. Not to say you can not do it, just that the exchange rate is horrible so don’t do it. But, keep in mind, redeeming Chase Ultimate rewards is a great use as you get 1.25 cents per point when buying a Delta ticket and you will earn Skymiles and MQM’s when you spend them. Also there are many other types of points that you can spend on Delta like FlexPerks, some Barclays and Capital One but again don’t use United, Hilton, etc. due to bad exchange rates.

Q7) Let’s say I give up my seat and take a bump. Do I earn Skymiles when I spend a voucher with Delta?
A) For now, you bet ya! “Delta Dollars” spend just like cash and you will earn both Skymiles, MQM’s, and still qualify for upgrades – everything! Just like paying cash! This is one of the few good perks of taking a bump!

Q8) Is Delta firm on zone boarding? Can I just get in line with 1st class and board anyway?
A) Sometimes. It is very embarrassing to be at the front of the line and be told stand over there and wait (while everyone looks “funny” at you). But, if you are say a DM or PM, there are few times a GA will stop you from boarding with 1st class.

Q9) Can I bring food on a Delta Jet (from home)?
A) Sure. I many times will grab a sub (it will have to be x-rayed) so I can have lunch if I do not get an upgrade. Another tip, bring an empty water bottle that you can fill up later on.

Q10) A woman always travels with a purse. Can a man bring a “purse”?
A) You bet (I like a good “man bag”). I kid but per Delta rules, all of us can have a bag and a “personal item” like a purse, or a laptop bag or the like!

So there you are. These are some common questions rookies tend to ask. But, why not do this, have more rookie questions? Ask away and I will cover them in a post Friday. Also, always remember you can e-mail me any time you want to ask me any question (about Delta) that you want. – René

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Considering how lousy the Midwest weather is and hitting Delta hubs, I am sure many of us have some extra time to read some of the latest Delta news goings on. So let’s get to it:

  • AF lost “less” money last year. Maybe if they can make money, they will start opening up more Skymiles seats for us again. Anyway, check it out HERE
  • Delta Senior Vice President and Controller Mike Randolfi has left Delta for a new job as CFO at Orbitz is HERE
  • Delta’s oil refinery is looking to North Dakota’s Bakken crude oil to try to make money. Check it out HERE.
  • Good news, for us, that most air fare hikes, including from Delta, are not holding this year is HERE
  • Good news for N.D. to MSP, bad news, you get 50 seat CRJ’s is HERE
  • OK this one is not from Delta, but you know, I guess we need to get used to stinky planes is HERE
  • Lastly, for those who say SkyMall never has anything good for sale to earn 5x Skymiles? Then check this one out HERE! :-)

Travel safe everyone as I get ready for my mileage run to IST (snow snow go away)! – René

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Is is spring yet? I am flying soon and want these storms gone! If you are flying the next two days in the Midwest, you had better think twice!- René

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Think about this, we are 10 month away from 2014 and the start of MQD’s (I know it is Monday and I just made it much worse sorry)! So what are some things to think about before Friday? As my fellow BA blogger Pointmetotheplane touched on Sunday, you need to make sure if you are a PM+ you have picked your 2012 choice benefits.

Just to make your head hurt, so you get this, let me explain it. Back in the “day” you could get a perk the year you earned your status and for the NEXT YEAR when you flew your status. So, you got a double. That is no longer the case. Now the rules are this (and please hang with me).

During in 2011, if you earned PM or DM status, you earned your status for the REST of 2011 plus you also earned your medallion benefit for 2012. Clear so far? You have until the last day of FEB2013 to redeem your 2012 choice benefit that is BEFORE the 01MARCH2013. Think about what you take. If you gift someone status, they will have it, for uh, a few days! So please DO NOT pick that one at this point. Pick one of the others like Skymiles etc.

Now, if you earned your status last year, in 2012, for the 2013 Skymiles year, you have until NEXT FEB2014 to spend it. Clear?

Next, if you are about to LOSE your status and drop to NOTHING, please be sure to check all your seats. Exit row, EC, you name it, even if PAST 01MARCH, they “should” hold if there is no equipment change in say March or April etc. You will NOT get any upgrades or priority boarding but your seat should be OK. Worst case, if it does change, plead the case to DeltaAssist and hope. Better to try to lock in NOW.

Other bits. Some may have American Airlines points that are about to expire 01MARCH. Procrastination will cost you, so worst case, buy 1000 points as they post fast and you will keep them from expiring! $30 is a HUGE cost for 1000 points but better than the cost and the fight to get them back AT THIS POINT!

There may be other programs that expire soon and this would be a good time to check. From shopping portals to other ways there are so many ways to make sure this does not affect you. As Delta flyers, we all love the fact that our points NEVER expire (keep in mind Skybonus points DO expire so check them too) – René

 

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Kevin W who says: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


Congratulations Kevin you WON the bluetooth speaker. I will contact you soon via e-Mail.

I did find it fun that so MANY love the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Next, the INK cards were big winners and I love mine with 5x points so many ways! Then, even though it would keep you from winning, many said Delta AMEX cards. Funny and I love the dedication to Delta – René

 

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My stack of cards is getting a bit silly but as a big time 91+ day card point enthusiast who tries not to cancel cards if I can be persuaded to keep them, they do tend to build up a bit. I have my current credit score and chart up and where my number is after my last round!

Now on to why, what & results of this latest round. Everyone should have their own goals when they get cards. My goals should not be your goals. I have so many points right now that I am having a hard time spending them and while having millions of points sounds great, with all the devaluations of points going on, this is NOT smart. So I am trying to burn as much as I can at a good redemption rate.

Clearly I am all about Delta. Delta Points, Delta status, Delta Delta Delta! In that regard, one of my current goals is getting cards that will let me get to mileage run start cites, that is, to be able to reposition AND to earn Delta RDM’s & MQM’s for the reposition flights, but at the same time not pay or pay full price for these (I am up to 60,000 FlexPerks points now for just this reason). Another goal is to go for cards I have not had as I have almost ALL of them! I also wanted to avoid AMEX and CHASE this round as I have way too many of their cards for right now. So goal two was avoid these two banks and that’s hard since most of the best deals are from them. I also am working on HUGE spend totals on my personal and business AMEX Reserve cards for this year trying to get to $90,000 total; so I just can not do any cards that require say $5000 in spend to get the points this round. Last goal was experimentation and testing. This should NOT be a goal for you (unless you too run a blog).

So there is the background. As mentioned, I only got ONE approval instantly. The other 3 cards I had to call each bank’s reconsideration / application status line and talk to a person to see about approvals. I never, ever wait. I apply on a weekday and then call the next weekday to find out what is up. I want approvals as fast as I can get them. I have no fear in calling as all my info is correct and in front of me. I recommend you do the same. If something is wrong on the app you can fix it right away and get the card on the way to you. I have all the phone numbers you need at the bottom of the Best Points Cards tab. So what cards did I get:

  • Card one was Citi Business AA 30,000 point card. I have almost 200k AA now and 140k USAIR so another 30k works and the key on this one is just $1000 spend to get the points. There is a 50,000 point business VISA link out in the wild, but I don’t have $5000 in spend to get that one!

  • Card two was the Barclays 20,000 point Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard. For 18,000 points (after 10% point credit back) I will get $200 off a Delta ticket to fly to a reposition city and I only have to spend $1000 (now $3000) to get the points. I will earn RDM’s & MQM’s on the flight I would otherwise have to spend Skymiles to get done. I currently have 2 US Air cards so I had to have them close the one, move the $6000 in credit from that old card, and was approved for a new card with $10,000 credit. Plus, I have never used TripIT Pro and readers are saying it is great. I get it free for a year. OK that works.

  • Card three was the 25,000 Bank of American Alaska Airlines card (not my link btw) and the points are after approval so ZERO spend but I will spend something on the card. I have several BofA cards right now. One of my oldest is an NCL card (hate to admit that, but I got it a LONG time ago). I got an Alaska card when they had the 35k offer but that one has not been out for a while now so this one worked. I had them move $10,000 in credit line from my NCL that I will never ever use to approve this new Alaska card. But, approved also!

  • Card four was a Capital One Venture One card via their card finder tool. This is by no means a great bonus. I like and have the standard Venture card and do use it now and then but this one was a test for me and not an AMEX or CHASE card; the funny thing is it was the only one with instant approval. I will get $100 after spending just $1000 to apply to a Delta repositioning flight to earn RDM’s & MQM’s. I would like to see Capital One bump these bonus deal up to 20-40,000 points to make them a good value card to apply for.

So there is my latest round and results. I am still 100% approvals for ALL MY CARDS I have ever applied for. Some of the fun things the reps said along the way during the status calls were ( again did not say was just thinking this – CLEAR):

“Why have you requested so much credit over the past year”
Cuz I want all the points you are willing to give me!

“You have done an excellent job managing your credit”
Y-Yes I have to earn millions of points and 1st class travel!

“Allow me to put you on a brief hold while I conduct a review of your credit”
Oh would I love to see them notice just how many cards I have open :-)

Happy points seeking weekend everyone and hope to see you on a Delta flight soon!

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Posted by Delta Points | 28 Comments

I am a total tech geek (well sure with my line of work I should be right?)! I love gadgets. Now not just any gadget (well…) but only gadgets that I can use. I am not about the most expensive gadget unless it does something so much better like my NOTE2 phone that I really do love and it is a perfect “phablet” (combo-phone-tablet) for me to run the blog when mobile. I have also talked about the other toys I travel with and they are all very useful and they come out of my computer bag at each hotel stop I make.

I also have a bunch of tunes in my phone and on my “real” tablet but the speakers in the devices are not the greatest. If I watch a movie the sound quality is disappointing. Enter the gadget above that you have a chance to win this week (plus qualify for the medallion status giveaway). The terms are the same they are EACH week and you can look at them HERE. So this is not an uber-high end sound speaker but being blue tooth is nice to put it anywhere in the room and enjoy my tunes! Very kool geek gadget!

To win this week, you have to pick what you favorite Chase card is. You can pick one of these or another one not listed just name it!

Have a great weekend everyone! – René

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