It seems like there’s a reality TV show focusing on just about every topic, from the mundane to the extreme. Just tune into TLC a Discovery Company, and you can find shows about hoarders, toddler pageant queens, extreme crafters, cupcakes, families with dozens of children, bridezillas, bride maids and even extreme couponers. Now, you can check out BoardingArea for the latest reality twist, BlogFight featuring Gary of View from the Wing and Lucky from One Mile at a Time. So it got me thinking, why not a show about points hoarders? I think this could be the perfect show for Greg, the FrequentMiler with all his gift cards!
Here’s what would be in my episode of Confessions of a Points Hoarder:
For months, Bank of America has been warning me that the US Airways Bank of America Debit Card would be discontinued, I tried to put it out of my mind, pretend it wasn’t going to happen…but sure enough, as I opened the mail today, I got my new, unbranded, debit card. My debit card certainly wasn’t my primary means of making purchases, but it was really nice to earn miles for the purchase that I did use the card for. On average, I would earn about 12,000 miles a year on the debit card. That’s a lot to give up. I pay taxes with my debit card, I pay certain bills online with my debit card since they have low convenience fees associated with them.
So now, I have to decide, should I keep the unbranded card or should I switch to an Alaska Airlines branded card. I could earn 3,000 miles after first use of the card and then 1 mile for every $2 spent on everything except air travel on Alaska. For travel on Alaska Airlines, the earning rate is 1 mile for $1 spent. I can’t imagine that I’d be flying Alaska Airlines in the foreseeable future, so that’s not a benefit. What to do… I must decide as I can only use my US Airways Debit Card for a few more weeks.
Last week, my suitcase broke. While I will send it in to be repaired, I can’t go without a suitcase since I’m constantly on the road. Tumi was having a great sale. A suitcase that was originally sold for $645 was on sale for $328. That’s just over 50% off the original price. I really wanted to order the suitcase, but you can’t earn points for shopping on the Tumi website through US Airways or any of the other “malls” I happen to earn miles through. So I went to look for the same suitcase on the sites I can earn miles with. I found the suitcase on LuggageOnline.com where I could earn 8 miles per dollar from the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall. LuggageOnline had the bag for $450 and so I asked them to match the Tumi.com price. They wouldn’t match it because they said, they don’t match sale prices. So there it was, buy the Tumi I really wanted for $328 and earn 1 point per dollar by using my Chase Sapphire Preferred card, find another bag on a site where I could earn miles or pay $450 for the Tumi on LuggageOnline. After doing the math, it didn’t seem to make sense to pay more for the bag just to earn some extra miles. I didn’t really want to settle on another bag, so I went ahead and got the Tumi, on Tumi.com, and earned a mere 1 mile per dollar. Then, I had the brilliant idea to call Tumi and ask if there was anything they could do. The CSR gave me another 10% off the purchase for the trouble. So that was worth it because the savings were so great.
US Airways lured me in with an offer to buy miles with a 100% match. So for $1750 I could buy 50k miles and get 50k miles. Since I burned a lot of miles upgrading on my recent trip to Hong Kong this was a great deal.
I also happened to notice that Starwood was having a 20% off the purchase of miles sale. Now, I wouldn’t typically buy Starwood miles, but I needed 500 extra miles so this was the perfect time to just buy them. And I did.
It’s back to school shopping time – except I don’t go to school and I don’t have kids…so it’s really just an excuse to shop! Several stores were having great sales and I took advantage of the discounts while using either the Ultimate Rewards Mall or the US Air Mall to get up to 10x points earnings! That was fun and I will have several packages heading my way.
I wrote yesterday about needing a reasonable hotel in London. I found a post about fast track to Hilton Gold on Points, Miles & Martinis and took advantage of that offer. Now I have Hilton Gold status and will have enough nights in London to maintain Gold through 2014. So, here is the big dilemma – should I switch my secondary hotel from Marriott to Hilton? I have Gold currently with Marriott, but won’t likely make Gold this year unless some huge trips pops up between now and year end. I will have enough nights to maintain Hilton and it would be easy enough to switch. Thoughts?
So, that’s what my first episode of points hoarders would look like. What would yours look like?