1) The sign-up offer on Amex SPG (personal and business) has been increased to 35,000 points, highest ever. See more details on the bonus at the top of this page. Looks like American Express is trying to get as many cardholders as possible before Marriott takeover.
This is an excellent bonus, and you should absolutely consider getting it because the card itself may be gone by the end of the year. Unfortunately, the sign-up bonus is only available to those who didn’t receive it in the past. This offer pays me commission if you apply via my affiliate link. You can also refer someone and get 5,000 SPG points per approval. This offer expires March 30th.
I wrote a post on SPG devaluation not too long ago. Even though many hotels in family-friendly destinations are now a bit expensive on points, there is plenty of value left. Plus, you can always transfer points to miles if that’s your preference. Last few summers, there was a special promo where you could get 30K AAdvantage miles for every 20K SPG points transfer. Also, see my post Is Amex SPG still worth renewing? You can find all SPG hotels and corresponding categories here Scroll all the way down. Feel free to ask me any questions on this or any other card via email or comments. (Hat tip to DoC)
2) The offer on Barclaycard Lufthansa Miles and More credit card has been increased to 50,000 miles. See details and link in my page Best credit card deals for family page. I debated on whether to add it there because minimum spending requirement is quite high at $5,000 in 3 months, and there are much better offers available. Plus, the annual fee of $89 is not waived. Still, for those who prefer to fly domestic routes via United Airlines, it’s worth a look.
If you can find lowest level “saver” flights on United, you can use Lufthansa miles for those same exact seats, very often at a discount. For example: one-way flight within Continental US costs only 12,000 Lufthansa miles. See this post on Travelisfree for best uses. (Hat tip to this Reddit thread via DoC)
3) By now, you’ve probably heard about new Chase product called Freedom Unlimited Visa. In case you haven’t, Dan’s Deals has a good overview of this card. One of the commenters mentioned that his personal banker said it will launch on March 13th. I’ll have my own post on it at some point. Short version: for most middle-class families it’s probably a non-event, but could be kosher for those who insist on earning transferrable UR points.
4) As I’ve predicted, 50K miles sign-up links for Citi AAdvantage co-branded cards are still available. Once again, check my “Best credit card deals for family” page. This is the first place I update when a new offer pops up.
Speaking of AA card, I saw a tip on Doctorofcredit to secure message Citi and ask for an additional 10K miles (there are targeted 60K offers out there). The request was approved! And it only took 1 minute of my time.
Rant from Cheapblackdad
Those of you who have been following my blog from the start, probably remember that I used to rant every Friday. Like clockwork. Some rants were pretty good (I think), some not so much. A few were downright moronic. #C’est la vie
Well, today I want to profile a rant from my reader Cheapblackdad who I’m sure, you are familiar with by now. Once he commented on my blog 9 times in one day, so I featured a post dedicated solely to his Cheap Black awesomeness
I’m still trying to get him to contribute regularly here and even offered to split my site in two sections : “Miles for white family” and “Miles for black family” I don’t know why no one came up with this idea before? It would be the first segregated blog in the history of internets! BTW, this is the only photo we have of Cheapblackdad so far:
Here is what he had to say about it: “I always knew my past as a “thumbs down” model would come back to haunt me.” He might be the only hobbyist who does NOT want you to share special tricks with him. Anyway, here is his latest rant on the state of The Game, with bullet points. TPG who? Enjoy!
“1. If it all ended today, right now, at this moment, I’d be perfectly fine. I’d shrug, and then go work on one of my other hobbies. A lot of the complaining reminds me of something that always causes such interesting human reactions: free food. I always say “If someone else is cooking it or paying for it, I can’t complain about the meal.” I’m always so disappointed when people complain about the free food at meetings at work. Dude, we are eating free food while people across the globe are struggling to feed their families! Don’t complain! I’ve taken more trips in the past 2.5 years than many of the people in the community I grew up in take in a lifetime.
2. I’m just as frustrated with some of the lost opportunities as others, but it feels like many others honestly can’t imagine a life without the Game. Don’t people have friends, families? Cool hobbies other than this? Lawns to mow, communities to engage in? My life is so full of wonderful people and things, I really do not need much more than that. This free(ish) travel stuff? It’s the gravy on my Thanksgiving stuffing. I’d like the gravy, but as long as it’s cornbread stuffing, it really doesn’t need the gravy. Ran out of whip cream? That’s fine, the sweet potato pie doesn’t need it. One’s life and relationships should be good enough that one doesn’t need free travel so badly that when one loses it one mourns as if having lost a dear friend.
3. People in this Game can be mean! See TPG’s AMA on Reddit! Yiiikes!
4. The Bloggers giveth, and the bloggers taketh away. So many great bloggers got many of us going. It’s only right that they and open forums like Flyer Talk and, even more so, Reddit Churning, are killing it. The very sources that gave us the Hobby are killing it.
5. I’m a believer in being “good stewards” of the hobby. I used to be a strong proponent of sharing as much as possible. No more. The things I don’t know? No need to tell me! Got a cool points earning trick that feels like it could be shut down? Don’t share it!
6. I am so, so glad I never started chasing points via MS, or abuses like what folks were doing to Citi cards or the Alaska Airlines cards. The wave of shut downs, bans, and law enforcement confrontations has proven that a risk averse strategy is the most sustainable.
7. I have learned that travel is valuable enough to be paid for. Our household is fortunate to have two full time earners. I plan on stretching our points by paying cash quite a bit more, and consciously saving for trips along with our other saving goals.”
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.