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Delta, Hilton, IHG, freshly-baked cookies at the airport, and a half-baked mystery meat business idea so he’ll qualify for more travel credit cards…
I asked Million Mile Secrets team member Scott to share (unfiltered!) what’s on his mind in the world of Big Travel with Small Money in a column we call…The Friday Five.
Scott: Thanks, Daraius!
1. So, So, Sooooo Very Tempted
I’ve flown on Delta in coach and domestic First Class — it’s generally a pleasant experience. Daraius feels the same. He says their service is better than United Airlines and American Airlines.
And that’s why I’m feeling seduced by these greatly-increased, limited-time, about-to-be-pulled-from-the-market, Delta card offers.
I also like that Delta miles don’t expire…like REALLY don’t expire. I hate when airlines or hotels say, “Our miles don’t expire… as long as you use them within 24 months!” That means they DO expire.
Because while I try to “earn and burn” (use miles as soon as I have a chance rather than hoard them), sometimes I don’t have a need or time to travel with those particular points.
My favorite airlines for flying within the US or to Mexico and the Caribbean are JetBlue, Southwest, and, yes, Delta.
I aggressively avoid United Airlines.
That said, I love United Airlines miles! I use them on their partner airlines who don’t seem to actively disdain customers.
2. What’s Responsible for 80% of New Small Business Creation?
Conservative Tax Cuts? Liberal Government Programs?
It’s Credit Card Company Minimum Spending Requirements.
Before the credit card companies will let you open and dive into their treasure chest of glistening golden miles and shiny silver points, they insist you spend a certain amount of money using their cards.
When I first got into this wonderful travel obsession, er, hobby, I opened a new card every so often and it was no problem to line it up my minimum spending with a large upcoming expense.
I’m planning to get a new laptop — cool. Now’s a great time to apply for card.
Getting painful dental work? Ease the pain with a new card’s sign-up bonus!
But I’m no longer satisfied with just 2 cards per year or waiting until my teeth rot from excessive consumption of Cheez-Its. I want (need!) more miles and points for flights, hotels, and Airbnb.
The problem is…I’m not a big spender. I wait until Tuesday to buy my tacos because that’s when they’re on sale.
When I drive my car around town, the ladies can’t help but swoon, “Oooh, that’s a practical vehicle perfect for running errands.”
So like many of you I’ve had no option but to contribute to capitalism and start a small business to generate enough worthwhile spending to unlock these big credit card sign-up bonuses.
I did my research.
And because everyone is already re-selling stuff on Amazon that they bought on sale at Staples through a portal with a 5X points card and coupon, I decided to instead open a food truck in Austin.
It serves non-organic, foreign-sourced meat, loaded in gluten-heavy buns. Ya know, to keep Austin weird.
3. Hilton Is Hot Hot Hot!
I’m excited about the perks that come with the 4 new Hilton cards!
With the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card, you’ll even get automatic Diamond status, which is Hilton’s highest tier.
And what might be more exciting is that NOT ONE of these 4 new card names includes the words “preferred, platinum, or reserve!”
Ya know, like the
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card
- Citi ThankYou Preferred
- AMEX EveryDay Preferred
Personally, I don’t chase hotel status. Put me in a Hilton Hampton Inn with free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and a gym and I’m good.
That said, Hilton is basically everywhere. And that alone makes Hilton points super useful.
4. Priority Pass Saved My Sanity (And Lots of Money)
You all had A LOT to say about Priority Pass earlier this week!
This summer, my parents and I were stranded at London – Heathrow with a zillion hour delay (that’s an exaggeration, it was nearer to a billion hours). And the Priority Pass was CLUTCH!
I chauffeured my parents into the lounge. No extra charge!
So instead of wasting money on overpriced airport meals while reveling in the soothing sounds of screaming babies and blaring announcements, we relaxed in big comfy chairs, sipped adult beverages, and snacked on delicious free food.
I even had a chance to lay down on a bed in a quiet room while surfing the complimentary Wi-Fi.
My parents had never been to an airport lounge. And for the first time, I could tell I had won their approval. Thank you, Million Mile Secrets.
5. The New IHG PointBreaks Selections Stink!
OK, maybe they’re good for some of you. I’m just salty because I have no plans to go visit the Candlewood Suites Wichita-Northeast or the Holiday Inn Guadalajara Expo.
These are always a fantastic deal if you can make use of them though. Because it’s a good hotel room for ~$30.
IHG points are pretty awesome. I have a crush on IHG’s Staybridge Suites for their free breakfasts, Happy Hours, in-suite kitchen, and gym. And just this past weekend I found it ridiculously simple to cash in my points for a great IHG Holiday Inn in the center of Helsinki.
I’ve stayed at some swanky hotels. But at this “regular folks” Holiday Inn, I experienced great service.
It was raining pretty hard. And the kind woman at the desk offered us a couple of huge umbrellas. It wasn’t because of my middle-tier Platinum status either. It’s just something they do. They keep umbrellas next to the foosball table. Oh yeah, foosball table. My kind of place!
That’s the Friday Five! I hope you enjoyed it! If not, oh well, you’ve got the weekend to look forward to!
Comment what’s been on YOUR mind regarding the world of miles & points this week…