Get Rid Of Your Priority Pass From AmEx NOW!

If you have played your cards right (pun intended) you should have at least one other fee waived: Citi Prestige, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ritz Carlton, or the U.S. Bank Altitude Card. Most likely you never thought about getting the Priority Pass for these cards as you already have the one with your AmEx Platinum, well as of 01 August 2019 that AmEx based Priority Pass is cursed!

I just departed from Terminal 8 at JFK and stopped by the Bobby Van’s grill to get my free $28 burger and beer:

The diner right next to me was throwing a fit that his priority pass did not work, and how he was a very important man since he has an AmEx Platinum card. Turns out he failed to read the several emails sent out as well as the clear signage at the restaurant:

My waitress was clearly annoyed by all of the recent bad noise from this change. Turns out there have been a lot of upset patrons in the last two weeks!

She asked me to explain the difference in coverage and I ended up showing off my collection of priority pass cards of which I had written their sources on the back. I assured her once the new Centurion lounge in JFK terminal 4 is built, then all those pesky rich assholes will be gone!

If you have any of the other priority pass issuing cards you should get a non AmEx Priority pass to continue to enjoy the $28 credit at non lounge outlets:

There really is no advantage to have the AmEx Priority Pass, just continue to carry the AmEx Platinum card to get access to Centurion, Escape, and Airspace lounges.


AmEx Phishing SCAM Email

Be warned, one reader (and AU) reported a spam email he just got from American Express Service Online <>

He was smart and called the number on the back of his card and they verified it was spam. A real email would have his full name and last four of his card. Also the email comes from a made up domain. The verify link is an attempt to gather personal information!

Be aware of this scam and don’t fall for it!


Capital One Wants In On $495 Annual Fees

Room for one more bank?

Two sources: Frequent Miler and Travel With Grant are reporting the possibility of a $495 annual fee Capital One Card. The card will give a $300 travel credit, but the real question I have been dying to know is if Capital One waives for military on new accounts per the MLA? The card should come to market in a Q2 2020 launch. Anyone out there with any datapoints on annual fee waivers for AD?


Martha Stewart Double Dip


I you haven’t bought wine from Martha Stewart (America’s Favorite Convicted Felon) then you can get $30 right now by using this link.

What is nice is AmEx will often do periodic deals like this:

  • Spend $75 or more, get $25 back
  • Spend $75+, get 2,500 Membership Rewards® Points
  • Spend $60+, get 2,000 Membership Rewards® Points
  • Spend $60 or more, get $20 back
  • Spend $100 or more, get $20 back. Up to 3x
  • Spend $100+, get 2,000 Membership Rewards Points. Up to 3x

Check here to see if offer has come back.

Hopefully you can get the $30 deal and then hit one of the AmEx offers when they come around again, Here is the fine print:

Minimum purchase of $50 required to redeem.  May not be applied toward tax, shipping or a prior purchase. May not be combined with any other offer or promotion. Must be 21 years of age or older to purchase and receive alcohol.  This promotion is non-transferable, has no cash value and may not be redeemed for cash.  One-time use only. Any portion of the $30 not redeemed on first use will be forfeited. May only be used at  For product returns, only the amount paid in excess of $30, excluding shipping, will be eligible for store credit or refund. All orders are reviewed, accepted and fulfilled by licensed retail entities in the industry. Void where prohibited by law.

Cat 4 Hyatt: Chicago Athletic Association Review


I am so buried in points and free nights now, that I almost let one expire! I had a cat 1-4 night cert that was to expire on Sunday! Lollapalooza is in town 01 to 04 August, and I thought it would be a moonshot to book a hotel right across the festival for some staycation people watching.

They wanted $382 a night for a tiny hotel room, but oddly it was only a category 4 hotel at 15,000 points a night. I get one of these free nights every year with my Legacy Chase Hyatt card (which I refuse to upgrade to World of Hyatt):

My annual fee is not waived since I got it before the MLA, but even for the $75 annual fee, this cards is still an excellent deal:

Since my wife is under 5/24 I am seriously considering closing the Legacy Hyatt and opening a World of Hyatt this card after her CSR application. This free night (and a second one for $15k spend) has the potential of being worth more than the $300 travel credit from a converted Chase Freedom card. Please see the links below if you are under 5/24, the annual $95 will be waived for military:

I booked online and called in to add a guest name. They reminded me on the phone that I needed to show my face some time during my stay if my wife was to check in first, or I would be charged the $382 room rate. This is to prevent third party bookings. My wife braved the crowds before me and checked in without an issue. Since I booked with a free night cert, and have Discoerist status with the Chase Hyatt card, I was not on the hook for the $25 destination fee:

Otherwise my $25 would be pre spent on these things:

In general the concept of resort fees is bogus, but that seems to be the way things are going until the FTC shuts down such disingenuous pricing practices. However I was motivated to hit everything up on the above list. You also have to ask about it at the front desk to be given a little card with all the amenities listed. I did take advantage of cutting the line to get coveted Saturday morning brunch at Cindy’s:

Hotel guests get a separate elevator entrance for Cindy’s
Rooftop seating at Cindy’s

The game room was a fun place to drink the glasses of complementary ($25 resort fee waived) champaign while playing chess:

The room was alright, but not for $385:

Overall our room was tiny with a Ace Hotel Hipster feel to them. Multiple pieces such as a pommel horse are used for furniture. The common spaces are pretty cool with the cherry circle room feeling right out of a set from Mad Men:

The gaming room is awesome with every form of old school entertainment you would find in a pub:

The bar of the game room brought me back to The Shining:

They even have bocce ball:

The lobby has actual working fireplaces:

Overall the stay has been excellent, and the people watching hilarious. If you got these certificates to burn then by all means consider the CAA! The waiver of the $25 resort fee was icing on the cake.


Founderscard Status Challange Overload

Right now you can get United Gold, Marriott Platinum, Cesar Rewards Diamond (Match to Wyndham Diamond) for $295 a year (when paying for two years). Please use my link here to apply (no waiver of fees for military). I don’t have the time (or leave days) available to hit all three, but for all you road warriors out there this may be easy challenges to complete

United MileagePlus® Premier® Gold Status

United Gold will get you access to partner lounges when flying overseas, I already get it with the United Club card. You can use gold status to book the economy plus seat at the time of booking and make yourself more eligible for first class upgrades on the day of your flight.

The fine print: Receive MileagePlus® Premier® Gold status from September 1 – November 30, 2019, and keep it through January 31, 2021 by:

Enrolling in this Challenge by August 26, 2019 and Being enrolled in the MileagePlus® and PerksPlus programs (enrollment links provided) or Earning 15,000 Premier qualifying miles (PQM)2 or 20 Premier qualifying segments (PQS)2, and Earning $2,500 Premier qualifying dollars (PQD)2 during the challenge period.

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite gives you upgrades to higher level rooms and free breakfast. I was able to get lounge access at the M lounge located in the Lincolnshire Marriott. I was also able to get unlimited food and beverage anytime at the Frankfurt Sheraton Airport:

The Fine Print:
To participate in this promotion, you are required to use your email address listed in the instructions above.
Existing Marriott Bonvoy members with base membership, Silver Elite or Gold Elite status are eligible for this promotion; members at Platinum Elite tier are ineligible for this offer.
Enrollment in Marriott Bonvoy (new members) or registration in Marriott Bonvoy (existing members) is required to be eligible for this offer.
Upon making 15 paid nights within 3 months of enrollment, participant will receive Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status for up to one year. After the first year, Platinum Elite status will be retained by staying the required number of nights under the terms of the Marriott Bonvoy program.
If new member does not make 15 paid nights within 3 months of enrollment, member will be downgraded to membership level which corresponds to number of nights stayed: Member tier for 0-9 nights stayed, and Silver Elite status for 10-24 nights stayed. Existing members who do not make 15 paid nights within 3 months of enrollment, will revert to their member level prior to this promotion.Nights stayed prior to enrollment are not eligible for this offer.
Credit toward this promotion is given for night stays with participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels which occur within the earning period. For a list of current Marriott Bonvoy participating brands, visit
Only one room per hotel is counted toward a member’s nights or stays. Paid nights at a qualifying rate count towards the promotion. Nights spent while redeeming an award are ineligible and do not count towards the promotion.
Offer is non-transferable. Offer is valid for one-time use. This promotion is subject to modification, cancellation, or limitation at Marriott’s discretion, with or without notice.
Note that it may take up to 48 hours for your account to reflect the promotion.
For full offer terms and conditions, click here.
For questions regarding this program, please contact the Marriott Elite Member Guest Services team at 1-800-321-7396

The Caesars Diamond pays for the FoundersCard itself since the status waives the resort fees at all Cesars Resorts. The resort fee is $39 before tax per night at the Vegas Cesars, and since Las Vegas Strip hotels now have a 13.38% tax rate, your nightly resort fee will be $44.22 after tax. If you even stay 5 nights a year the Founders Card membership is worth it!

Best use in my opinion is getting the matching Diamond status with Wyndham. This gives me mandatory suite upgrades at Wyndham Grand Hotels, as well as a local amenity like a food tour when booking with points. I just stayed at the Grand Wyndham in downtown Chicago and they gave me fruit and Voss Water waiting for me in my suite on top of a food tour:

The food tour was amazing and had a value of $60 a person. These come free when booking a room with points as a go free option, many examples here.

If you got the time and the points, look into Founderscard. Please use my link to toss me some points:

10% Military Discount on Outdoor Pantry Freeze Dried Food

I was seriously looking at one of these Harvest Right food dehydrators:

In the end it turns out I just like astronaut ice cream, so the better solution was a place called Outdoor Pantry. I asked online, and they do give a military discount of 10% when you use code “military” on checkout.

I ended up getting $131.44 worth of food for hiking and camping. If you are in the market for emergency food (good for up to 25 years), then please use my affiliate link here:


75K on Delta Reserve Personal Ends 31 July 2019

Last chance for 75k SkyMiles, 10k MQM and $100 on $5k spend. I just used Delta Skymiles to fly my wife and I from ORD to Frankfurt in Delta One last month. A trip report is coming soon. The outbound trip came with a mini Tumi toiletry case that I got customized at the Tumi store on Michigan avenue. SOmething to always remember that trip!

I am planning on flying to Amsterdam from DET next for 105K in Delta One Suites:

Sky miles are worth it (you just got to find it), and the annual companion cert that comes with the Reserve means a free first class ticket every year! If you haven’t gotten the Delta Reserve this is time to consider it while the bonus is 75K.


Reject Chase’s Binding Arbitration? Update: No One Cares

Edit: TDWise covered all the details in an amusing and sarcastic article!

Reader Mason asks:

How will Chase’s recent notice of revision to their MLA and binding arbitration agreements affect us?

I went to the article link:

I could not understand half of it, and I am not a lawyer, and the site gives no advice. If you want to reject this then you need to send this letter:

Chase Customer Service,
RE: Rejection of Chase’s Binding Arbitration Agreement
I am writing to inform you that I REJECT Chase’s binding arbitration agreement set to go into effect August 11,2019. Please confirm receipt of this communication and update my account appropriately.


Chase Customer Service
P.O. Box 15298, Wilmington, DE 19850-5298

Thanks to a loyal reader for his insight on his own personal blog here. Turns out part of being part of the MLA, we are already opted out.