SkyClub Hopping for Amex Points
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Platinum Card from American Express
As I wrote about earlier this week, you can collect coupons worth 300 American Express Membership Rewards points every time you visit a SkyClub and show your American Express Platinum Card (not the Delta Platinum Card). It looks like this promotion will run through May and June, or until points obsessed TPG readers clean out every SkyClub of their supply!
I had my first experience yesterday when I was flying JFK-LAX, but I made a few rookie mistakes that I hope you can all learn from. I got to JFK at 8am for my 9am flight and I entered the airport through Terminal 2 (Medallion entrance), but that was a mistake because my flight was leaving from T2, so it would have saved me more time to enter through Terminal 3 - hit up those SkyClubs and then continue to T2 - hit that SkyClub and then board my flights.
So instead I had to walk all the way T2-T3 and my second rookie mistake was that both T3 SkyClubs were closed! Doh! If I would have checked this handy listing of all SkyClubs, I would have known that they didn't open until 1pm. At least I got some exercise!
When I finally got to the T2 club, I showed my Amex Platinum card and boarding pass (which was unnecessary since I have SkyClub access as a Diamond Medallion) and the agent waved me through and asked if I wanted to make a donation to a charity. I felt a little callous saying "No, but can I have a 300 point coupon?" She nodded and handed me a paper coupon from a huge stack and I was on my way. For the record, as a rule of thumb I don't donate to charities on a whim (like in grocery stories or airline lounges), because I actually research charities before deciding which ones should get my donation.
I then boarded my BusinessElite flight to LAX (which was fantastic as usual) and when I landed at LAX, I figured I'd snag another coupon by swinging into the SkyClub. I showed my Platinum card and boarding pass and he waved me through, so I asked for the coupon, which he gave me without any hesitation. Once again, they had a huge stack - my mouth started watering thinking that collectively, those little 300 point certificates could probably equal a nice international first class seat.
So the moral of the story is that you should have a plan of attack, know which clubs are open and always ask for the certificate. While 300 points doesn't sound like a whole lot, you'd only need 210 of these certificates to get an Upper Class Virgin Atlantic flight from NYC-London!
Redeeming these certificates is simple, you just go to this link, enter the certificate number and then your card information and the will points post with 24 hours. Overall, I've been very happy with my Platinum card membership, while the $450 fee seems like a lot at first, the benefits far outweigh that cost and the valuable Membership Rewards points I earn can be redeemed for flights on all three major alliances. For more information, check out my Maximizing Amex series, which I am still in the process of completing. The first four posts are: Post 1: Understanding the Card Offering Post 2: Understanding Membership Rewards Post 3: Understanding Transfer Bonuses. Post 4: Platinum Card Review. Post 5: SkyTeam Transfer Partners Post 6: Oneworld Transfer Partners.