Denied, Recon, Approved for GOLD! (all in 1 hr)

sadCrestfallen, to log in here and to find this message of denial was all part of Barclay’s elaborate ploy to get you to call them at 866-408-4064. (credit analyst) 8am-5pm EST Monday to Friday. Turns out they do a really hard pull and will interview you on your motives of getting yet another card. So prepare yourself kids, its like a job interview meets tinder date! They asked for sources of income, your share of a combined income. They wanted to know your specific occupation. They asked about why would you need yet another Barclay card, also why there were 7 other cards that year. I told them the truth, I have been traveling a lot and have been seeking a perfect soulcard, one that will meet all of my needs. I attested that this gold card might finally be the one! A credit card that that would end my search for others forever!


After a few pregnant pauses (try not to blabber on and on) they agreed to not extend any more credit and reduce my other Barclay accounts to $500 each giving me a whopping $24,000 in credit. Hoping to use this to fund a citigold checking account. More to come on that once I get around to it.

Within 5 mins the barclay usa website reflected the new account and new credit limits:

gold cardocenjDon’t let fool you, its just the normal Barclay site! More to come are unboxing and macro photos of the fit and finish of the card. I tried to add $295 authorized users but they said I had to wait till the card arrived via USPS (they’re much smarter about APO/FPO than AmEx). I however they transfered me to the military departmentet and had them graciously waive the annual fee of $995 indefinitely due to my officer situation (no end to a commission). It was a very intrusive but pleasantly surprising situation. Excellent marketing here to play with your millennial tendencies of rejection. Proving my point of the target market of this card is not the same as AmEx Platnum but rather the DINK HENRYS who love shiny heavy objects.


(expired, no SCRA) Barclay offering $995 24k Gold Card free for Military Members, Why not?

***NOTE*** Barclays has shut down SCRA annual fee waivers for all cards as of 28 Nov 2016, This waiver was then revoked in March 2017 to everyone who got the card after they joined the military. No word on Barclays other products (AAdvantage Aviator and Arrival+)


Barclay has become less useful in my travels ever since dropping TripIT pro from the benefits of the arrivals plus card. It has sat in the back of my vast card archive along with its AAdvantage Silver card which I rarely use since getting it in place of my US airways card. However this post on reddit made the company relevant again!

Barclay has revamped its failed Chachi oriented Visa Black Card to an even more outrageous Thirty Thousand Dollar Millionaire MasterCard Gold Luxury Card. It is 24k gold plate with carbon fiber back. The best part is it weighs a hefty 0.8 oz for a great plunk factor. However as the boarding area article says it has questionable value for a card asking for $995 a year and another $295 for an additional card. This obscene price tag for essentially a 2% cashback card with no categories.

The mere existence of the card is disgusting, I feel they even flaunt the $995 as a feature of the card, as you get the global entry and $200 travel fee with a cheaper card like the AmEx Platinum for a mere $450 (it makes me sick to even say that). However DOC says the initial offer of 50,000 points worth $1,000 statement credit would justify the $995 annual fee. What caught my eye was the article mentioned Barclay will waive the annual fee of $995 for Military, so naturally I called in and it was confirmed by Barclay that all annual fees on this Gold card, Arrival Plus, and Aviator silver would be waived for Military Members.

So with this arrangement you get a 24k gold/carbon fiber slab that gives you $200 a year to spend on airfare (which you were going to do anyways via gift cards). Essentially they pay AD members $1000 balance credit with 50k points and $200 for anything travel related.


I found myself in a quagmire, do I get this card just to have something so curious and ironic just because its free for me?  Should I stand firmly against bad credit cards that are a waste of time and money? Was this soon becoming the Birkin bag of credit cards? Then I thought about how I’m freezing my ass off on this tiny Pacific Island today, and I went ahead and applied online as a personal thank you to myself. So on flyer talk the others before me have experienced that all applications go into manual review. I am checking here, and calling here in the near future to check on the application.

This card will be my dark secret, it will be buried deep in the collection, please punch me in the face if I ever use it to try to impress you, you have my permission.


Confirmed: Free GoGo WiFi on JAL from HND to OKA


Yup, 3x AmEx Platinum (Plain, MB and Business) would cost $1,375 a year but AmEx is the only company besides Barclay to waive annual fees for military regardless of when they get the card! With three platinum cards I get $600 a year incidental travel expenses reimbursed (I chooses United), three Global Entry applications waived every 5 years, and the best part is I get GoGo inflight wireless (10 flights for the business card). I was able to take advantage of this on my most recent flight from Tokyo Haneda to Okinawa Naha.IMG_2554


Although it was spotty at times, it appears there is quite the coverage over large routes over the ocean. It would of been nice to use for my flight from NRT to LAX for 9 hours, but the 777 with Magic V AVOD on JL062 did not let me use it, it only gave me an option to roam on T-Mobile. However this 767 from HND to OKA JL065 had a much easier menu where I clicked on use “JAL internet Certificate”


and then logged into my GoGo account. So you can always check r/churning on Reddit where ever you are in the world or even study your FMF notes!


Let me know what luck you have on other JAL flights!


Best MR Redemption in San Diego

Hello from sunny and soggy San Diego. Been real nice to see all my old friends from Okinawa! Allen asked me the best way to dump all his MR points, and he was going to take the cash back! After giving him a verbal lashing I ran the numbers and there is great redemption flying out of the one runway wonder known as San Diego International Airport, AKA Lindbergh Field. Which is awesome place for planespotting, because they built a huge parking garage known as the Laurel Airport Parking right at the runway end safety area (RESA) where if you can feel plans zipping right over your head. They hate people going up there, but they should really monetize it like Cubs rooftop viewing.

Anyways heres the best calculations I found:

From SAN to Avios MR $ out of pocket $/Avios $/MR
LAX 4500 5625 382 $0.085 $0.068
DFW 10000 12500 117 $0.012 $0.009
ORD 40000 50000 240 $0.006 $0.005
PHX 4500 5625 211 $0.047 $0.038

So even with the devaluation of 250 MR points for 200 Avios you can still get awesome 7 cents redemption per point flying on American Airlines while using British Airways! So there is my answer, take your 40,000 MR bonus from AmEx Platinum and use it for 7 one way segments to LAX. You can transfer 250 points at a time on the AmEx Website:

amex transfer

At 6.8 cents per point the initial offer of 50,000 for AmEx MB Plat would be worth $3,400 in plane tickets, a hell of a lot more than the $500 in cash back! PHX isn’t a bad redemption either.


JAL rips off ANA with “Japan Explorer Pass”

pic_mapI’ve become a bit fascinated with these mini horses found on Yonaguni Island which is halfway between Ishigaki and Taiwan.

A126_3Anyways there is a new direct flight from Naha to Yonaguni but its on JAL, Lucky I stumbled upon this new program called Japan Explorer Pass. Looks identical to ANA’s Experience Japan Fare. However there are some important differences. For one None of the Japan Transocean flights operated by Ryukyu Air Commuter, and Jetstar Japan count, and the bummer is they ask for both a incoming and outgoing ticket number.

jal japan fareIt is still a good deal though at $89 a segment. I just have to use for example my return flight from San Diego and then my outgoing flight to another adventure in Hong Kong! You could also do the fully refundable ticket thing as well. Looks like the competition is on between One World and Star Alliance for you sweet gajin $$$$!!! Time time to milk these benifits while the yen hits another low!


Free Go-Go Wifi on JAL, United (as incidental), and American Airline Flights


Well happy New Year! We just has our local Okinawa churning summit and had some info exchange. I have a new buddy that suggested I look into the Business AmEx platinum, and sure enough it was one of the biggest oversights I have made going out of 2015! I would of had another $200 credit towards United if I had only met him a week earlier.



Better late than never, Amex is offering Go-Go wireless internet onboard JAL and American Airline flights  up to 10 times per year as a benefit of the card.  This is in addition to Boingo Wireless you get with the normie and MB platinum card. So right now AmEx is offering 40K MB points for a staggering $5,000 spend in 3 months. I am still working on $20,000 spend to get my 100k Avios points so that would be hard to do in a 3 month time frame. However I already have the Business Gold which I only use for Apple and iTunes for the sweet 2x points on a 99 cent song. I was putting flights on there for 3x points that I choses as my category, but have been booking on whatever card I was churning at the moment.

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$3,398 JAL flight for 25,000 points and $81.80

jal price ba points

I don’t know why JAL wants to charge $1,699 a seat to fly on this 2 am redeye from Haneda to Ho Chi Minh City on a Boeing 787, but the 2691.13 mile flight will only cost 12,500 Avios Miles. I’m still only halfway thru spending $20,000 on my Chase BA Card for 100,000 Avios Miles. so at this redemption rate of 13.6 cents per mile, this deal is worth potentially $13,600 in travel on JAL. Thats not bad on $20k spend.

So I decided to fly with a buddy to Tokyo using Experience Japan on ANA, then this flight, and then return on China Eastern to Oki making full use of lounge food and showers on our hotel free transit days. More to come on sleeping at airports and saving money by using the airport as a hostel and the lounges as mess halls.