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Reminder: Send Me Your Questions

by on September 10, 2011 · 22 comments

in General TPG Business

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Just a friendly reminder to send me your questions for my Reader Email Sundays. I try my best to answer every one, but even if you don’t get an answer right away, it may be considered for a future post. Just comment below or email me with your question with TPG Reader Question in the subject line – please try to be as brief as possible!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc September 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Do you know of any hotels in Bermuda that accept points? There are a few chains on the island as far as I can tell… Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental and Rosewood, but as far as I know, none take points. I live in the NY area and Bermuda is so close, but the hotels are generally very expensive. Last time I was there I stayed at the Elbow Beach and paid $695 a night for a room with average views. The best thing I could find was to use 64,500 Capital One points for a $900 gift card to Fairmont. Do you have any light you can shed on the subject for me?

Thanks

immiLawyer September 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Did your RebTel US Air points (from July 23) ever post?

ClayD333 September 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I own a company that buys a lot of electronic/computer parts ~$75k/mo. I currently use an Amex Business Platinum (they offer 4x points at buy, newegg, dell.. the places i buy 30-50% of the stuff from anyway) and a SWA visa. With the SWA visa @ $100k /yr i get the companion pass for my wife, which we have used for all of our domestic flights for the past few years. I recently got the starwood and AA American epress as well as the aa visa. My question is beyond the 25k on the Amex that gets 4x points and the $15k i put on the SWA, what is the next best place to put the remaining $40k/mo? Or more simply can you rank your favorite cards for high volume spending?

TIA,
Clay

Thegasguru September 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I’d like to see a post on how to “spend” your way to status in various programs. Can the very top tier status be obtained without ever stepping foot on the plane or in the hotel? If not, what’s the highest you can go via spend only?

Gpapadop September 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Many of us need your help in spending our BA miles before the Massacre day of November 15:-)

The problem is we are a family of four! We can fly out of ORD (getting there from DTW is easy) and we want to do two trips. One to South America and one to SE Asia. Would like to fly LAN/AA and Cathay Pacific respectively. The times for the two trips are: Leave Dec 23/24/25 return Dec 31 or Jan 7/8 and another time in early April. We would like to take advantage of stopovers. Bali and/or Hongkong before flying back from SIN for the SE Asian trip. Hitting Buenos Aires for sure for 3 or 4 days and then one more destination. I see many mention Easter Island, not sure if more than a day is enough there. Also would like to see those manginficent water falls in southern Argentina but not sure how to add it to the itinerary…

So many miles, so many choices, so few award seats, so little time to devote online, even less time to do it all on the phone…

Maybe a post on the different South America destinations that can be used with the BA miles? Some routes that NEVER have 4 award seats available?

Any comments are appreciated…after you get back alive from SMD3 trip:-)

Kay September 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Could you write more about using Quantas and BA to find AA partner availability. I’ve used those search engines to figure out availability, and then called AA and found the two didn’t match up. According to the AA agent, there is availability on my dates, but not on the exact routes I found on BA and Quantas. I’ve noticed the same phenomenon when using AirFrance to book a Delta Award ticket. Should I just hang up and call again? Or is this normal? You’ve been my main source for getting better at finding partner availability for international flights, but I’m still need more help fully getting the hang of it.

Genex September 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Hi,
Please let me know if 5050 Flying Blue miles are worth anything to be used before they expire on Oct 31, 2011. We do not plan to take any Skyteam alliance partner flight until then so as to extend their validity, but would like to use these miles, which we accumulated through skyteam flights in last 2-3 years.
We do not fly much on skyteam partners, so they seem to be quite orphaned now.

Thank you

Jwsky September 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I find your blog very informative. Thanks

Do you still recommend cancelling my continental credit card before the year end? We have only had it a few months now. My concern is being able to get full bonus for the new United/cont card next year.

Anuj September 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Thanks for great posts ! I daily come to TPG.
Next month I(along with family) will be staying in a hotel for two weeks, I can choose hotel and my company will pay for stay. I would like to collect as many points on AA…..what would be your approach? i.e. Hotel/Card etc…I have CO,AA, BA cards but no hotel card.

Fernando September 10, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I love reading your site! I do have a question that I hope you can answer. My brother recently got approved for an AMEX PLT card, I was wondering if he should add me as an authorized user or if I should just apply for my own? And if he does, will I get the same benefits as him? Also, I currently hold an AMEX PRG card.

Mehul Sheth September 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

The general question is: How difficult is it to maintain top tier status on multiple airlines?

My particular situation is that I should be a Delta Diamond this year and have status matched on United/CO Premiere Exec (matched when I was Plat) completing the 17,5K requirement a business class flight to Europe.

I fly mostly domestic, 50% of the time I am able to book in Y/B/M with 2-3 international flights a year in business. Actual domestic miles flown is about 100k, although almost every trip I have a <500 mi connecting flight through DTW/ORD/MSP.

I was able to get to Diamond this year with the Amex Plat and Delta Premiere Skymiles providing 45,000 MQM.

Kay September 10, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Many thanks for your blog.
I have a very basic question:
How to book a travel award using BA miles for a one way and round trip from Bahrain to SFO?

if I use ba.com then I have to pay $600 to 700 just for taxes plus 80000 miles for economy class award ticket (one stop in London via BA for inbound and one stop in HKG via Cathay outbound). If I use quantum award booking, then I can’t find Bahrain in the city option from the drop down. Both didn’t work.
I need to book for my jn-laws and need your advise.
thanks.

Michael September 11, 2011 at 1:36 am

Here’s a question for you: with the merger of Continental OnePass and United Mileage Plus, I’m assuming an 18 month expiration date will apply to the combined account, correct? (OnePass miles don’t expire, but United’s do, so since the merged account is now part of United, I’m assuming the more restrictive rule applies, correct?)

So, when you join the accounts together, what expiration date is applied to the combined miles? Does the 18 month countdown begin when you merge them? Or does the current expiration date of United’s account apply to the newly merged miles?

I have just 2,500 miles in United (don’t fly them), but a lot more in OnePass (over 100K). My United miles are set to expire on 12/31/11. Should I merge the OnePass account to the United account? What expiration date will apply? Should I wait until the last possible minute to merge the accounts (to get the maximum expiration time)?

Many thanks!

Fernando September 11, 2011 at 2:35 am

Have you looked into getting the new United Mileage Explorer Card? If you get that card, your miles don’t expire. I don’t know if you’re an elite on CO or not, but if you are, I would do a status match over through their site and then apply of their card.

Jm September 11, 2011 at 5:20 am

I would like to know your suggestion for this as well. I spend quite a lot on biz cards each month, not a specific category though nor is it quite 75k. Either way this information is both valuable and hard to come by.

Thanks!

Hoop2 September 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I nvever received my points

Anonymous September 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Is it possible to chart actual $$ spent per year vs. typical achievable points-miles for self-employed spending:

a. $10K/yr
b. $15K/yr
c. $20K/yr
d. $30K/yr etc.

From my short time here, am getting sense this blog is more about spending what’s necessary to get “rewards desired” rather than getting the most rewards possible while spending frugally…? The Elite Points Guy…?

Anonymous September 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Not quite sure what you mean, but I have highlighted different ways to max out your category spend
http://thepointsguy.com/2011/08/maximizing-category-spend-bonuses-on-credit-card-spend/

As well as how you can get tons of points/miles with relatively low cash outlay for getting new cards:
http://thepointsguy.com/2011/08/my-year-to-date-credit-card-sign-up-haul-553500-pointsmiles/

hobo13 September 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm
Anonymous September 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm

6’7″.. give or take :-)

Morgan September 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Hi TPG,

I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts, ever since my wife turned me on to your site a few months ago. I also like how so many of them are Delta/Skyteam focused, as I myself am a Platinum Medallion.

At the end of October I will be around 10k miles short of achieving Diamond status. I am wondering whether you know of any ways to make up those miles without doing any mileage runs or opening up another credit card? I’ve already received my two 10k MQM boosts from my Platinum Delta AmEx.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Many thanks,

Morgan

Michael September 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Following up on this, in case anybody is curious: I linked my United and Continental accounts together, then transferred the miles from United to Continental (I left 1 mile in the United account just in case you need to keep something in there to keep the account alive or active).

Well, despite having “activity” on the United account (the miles transfer), the expiration date on the United account did NOT change, and remains at 12/31/11. My 1 mile will be eaten by United on that day.

So moral of the story… if you have United miles that will expire before the end of the year, and won’t be doing anything to reset the expiration date (ie, flying, etc.), I strongly recommend saving your miles by transferring them to Continental if you can (which don’t expire).

Come 1/1/12, when the two programs merge and your Continental miles become United miles, my understanding is that the expiration date will reset to 18 months later, or 7/1/13.

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