…but for us, everyday is Free Flight Day (on points)! My wonderful wife texted me to let me know that there is yet another made up national holiday to make us consume more. It turns out this is the time between summer vacation and winter holidays that people don’t go anywhere. I used Google flights to figure out if there is in fact cheaper flights today.
Good afternoon from Europe Derp Report readers! Excited to be on the team and providing you all with what I hope will be valuable information.
Recently the AMEX Hilton Ascend card was reverted back to its old name: Hilton Surpass. With this roll back came a welcome offer with the card that can be supremely valuable:
The 130k points would be solid by itself, but the free weekend night is the icing on the cake (and of course we are exempt from the $95 annual fee). This eliminates the one year Aspire upgrade wait for those of us racking up 2, 3, or even 4 Hilton cards. On top of this, you have an extra month added to the typical 3 month offer meet timeline! This kind of extra time can be key for the military churners who live overseas and have to wait 2-4 weeks for their cards to arrive in the mail. I’ve found over the last 8 months that I usually only have 2-2.5 months to meet minimum spend times due to the slow mail receipt out here. More on how I overcome the odds to track progress and meet spend on 2-3 overlapping card timelines in a future article.
In addition to the Surpass card, the AMEX Hilton Business card has the same welcome offer with the same timeline for minimum spend. The plain AMEX Hilton Honors card has an elevated welcome offer of 90k points for $2k spend in 3 months. Remember these all expire in less than a week on 8/28, so choose wisely! Even if you have zero AMEX Hilton cards, it would be wise to snag the Surpass now prior to the Aspire just due to this appetizing welcome offer.
Snag yourself an extra free night to use on amazing properties whether you’re stateside or Europe. I’m personally racking up three of the free nights this year (one with the Aspire, two from Surpass – one mine, one my wife’s) to use at this gem:
Remember your weekend nights work for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. If you want to do a week-long getaway, you’d be wise to start on a Friday or Saturday night, use 2 or 3 weekend night certificates and book the remaining 5 days with points (buy 4 nights with points, get the 5th free).
I was blown away with the fact that reader wedstuntpuller is a fellow Sailor! He reached out to me and said this:
I know you are a busy dude especially being mil-mil with kids. Your website single-handedly launched me to my current churning level, so I wanted to offer to give back by writing guest posts on big news or updates to cards/welcome bonus offers/etc. I have entirely too much free time at work on shore duty out here some days. Totally up to you to accept or reject, feelings wont be hurt either way. I don’t want/need any credit or anything in return, just wanted to help give back since you have been so instrumental in my voyage to see and visit so many places in Europe already for next to nothing while racking up points!
It warms my heart to hear such success stories like this! It’s funny because we have a mutual friend that never got on board and continues to travel using his own post taxed money! The message must be spread so I decided to make him an editor. Looking forward to seeing his articles in the future.
If you would like to be a contributor to the site, send me a message below.
Citi 1/8: Submit one application every eight days Citi 2/65: 2 applications every 65 days
Application #1 = Day 1 (not impacted by any rules) Application #2 = Day 9 ( to account for 1/8 rule) Application #3 = Day 66 ( to account for 2/65 rule) Application #4 = Day 74 (to account for 1/8 AND 2/65 rules)
Business cards: Citi 1/90: For business cards, one business card application every 90 days. Business cards count towards the 1/8 AND 2/65 rules. Business and personal cards are separate applications, unlike other banks.
I will have to wait 90 days after June 24, 2019 (September 22, 2019) since that is when I last got my Citi Business Card. The last card I got was my third Personal AA Platinum on April 28, 2019 which I am well past the 65 and 8 day limits.
I checked the application and it made no mention of the 24 month language. Looks like I will be getting my second Executive card! In the meantime look out for these mailers!
Reader wedstunt puller says:
I also get e-mails from them. Last one was on 16 July but with a 10-digit code. Here’s the text in the e-mail: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World EliteTM Mastercard®.
And my other friend got a business one that says:
Subject:XXXXX, you’re invited to our highest bonus mile offer – earn 65,000 bonus miles
Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus milesafter $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select®World Mastercard®. The annual fee of $99 is waived for the first 12 months.†
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.
Unfortunately it’s the Apple version! Reader (and Blogger) Dave writes about it here. I for one am trying to lay low and already got the USB Altitude for a sweet 4.5% back for flights. Dave’s article is a funny read, and I love the sarcasm! Looking forward to some possible collaboration in the future with him.
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!
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?
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 www.marthastewartwine.com. 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.
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:
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.