Update: Southwest decided to extend this opportunity till March 31st.
I just got back from our Hyatt mini-vacation. Scratch that, a trip with kids is no vacation, am I right? Anyway, I’ll have a post on that later on. Two words: Presidential suite. #Unpresidented
So, some major news to share with those of you who only follow my blog. I’m sure that grizzled miles and points hobbyists are already aware that SPG/Marriott/Southwest Companion Pass arbitrage opportunity has gone the way of the dodo. I saw it reported on Loyalty Lobby, though it’s possible that another blog has written about it first. It’s tough to keep track of hat tips in this industry.
My thoughts? Southwest has definitely outsmarted our brethren, but it played this one in a dirty manner. No advance notice whatsoever. Very unusual for this customer-friendly company. I can’t say I blame them for closing this deal ( I don’t think it’s fair to call it a loophole). Southwest was fully aware that points transferred from hotel programs counted towards Companion Pass. It’s just that they got flooded with transfer requests due to Marriott/SPG merger.
I’ve mentioned that waiting till January 1st 2017 would be risky, but I can see why so many went this route. I probably would too. Well, you win some, you lose some when it comes to miles and points. But please, for the love of the hobby, quit blaming bloggers for this one! Whiners, I’m calling you out because I’ve had enough. #Can’thaveitbothways Cool it with your vitriol and move on to the next deal.
Major changes on CSR’s sign-up bonus
This is a big deal. According to The Points Guy, the sign-up bonus on Chase Sapphire Reserve will drop to 50K points on January 12th (online applications), March 12th if you do it in-branch. Obviously, this is a huge drop. I’m surprised that Chase plans to cut the bonus in half. I realize that the card comes with many benefits, but still. Good luck convincing folks to fork over $450 upfront!
What should you do? Well, it’s obvious, apply for CSR if you are under 5/24 Sure, it might be a bit difficult to double dip on $300 travel credit, but you should be able to pull it off. Beggars can’t be choosers. See what you can do with 100k points and I think you’ll agree that it’s a no-brainer even with $450 fee. We do make commission on CSR if you apply through site’s affiliate link. Email me if you are not sure how to find it. Thanks in advance if you decide to go this route.
If you are over 5/24, definitely stop by Chase branch and see if you are pre-approved for Chase Sapphire Reserve. I did just that, and walked away with a shiny new CSR. Well, technically, I got the card in the mail a week later, but you get the point. I already got my $600 worth of travel credits and 100K Ultimate Rewards deposited in the account. It’s a spectacular deal and I’m off to email a few of my friends who have been procrastinating on pulling the trigger. Last call, folks. This deal may come back at some point, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
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.