SkyClub Hopping for Amex Points

May 7, 2011

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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.

Paper Certificate

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
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Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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