Happy Wednesday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.
Not too long ago I had to make a decision, upgrade Sharon’s old SPG American Express card to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant for 100,000 points, or sign up for the CNB Crystal Visa card at a branch in New York.
As I wrote at the time, I decided to go with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card. As it turned out, I timed it perfectly!
What do I mean? Let me explain.
One of the benefits of having a premium American Express charge card is a yearly Air Travel Credit. If you have an American Express Gold card you get a $100 credit and cardholders of either the Personal or Business Platinum card you get a $200 credit. These credits have often been touted as an easy to way to offset the high annual fees of these cards but I’ve been leery of doing that as I never felt these credits were the same as cash.
Since for as long as I can remember, it’s been possible to skate around the rules of these credits and find ways to use them as cash, most often by buying airline gift cards or gift certificates. Slowly but surely, American Express has been shutting down those loopholes. Who knows if this is the work of the RAT team or not but there’s been a constant push to make you use these credits as intended.
The first thing to go was the trick to use the credits for United flights (but this might as much been United’s doing as AMEX). Just this year the easiest way to cash these credits out for American went away. At that point, I didn’t want to say I told you so but the writing was on the wall. That day has now come as apparently the gift card workaround is now dead for the remaining two airlines, Delta and Southwest.
So if these methods to use credits are gone, what are they good for and which airlines would those benefits be the best for. Turns out, not the airlines you’d think.
Much has been speculated of what intent American Express had for LoungeBuddy. AMEX announced the acquisition on March 11, 2019 and the deal was finalized on April 1st. It didn’t take long for the first casualty of the purchase to materialize.
As of April 15, 2019, the $25 LoungeBuddy credit for TripIt Pro users will disappear.
I’d imagine this perk needed to go away since American Express is now only allowing the purchase of lounge passes to American Express cardholders.
Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.