How one of my new credit card perks helps me avoid rush hour traffic
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I live in downtown Austin, where electric scooters litter the sidewalks, sloppily leaning against a skinny tree or shamelessly sprawled along the side of the road like discarded children’s toys. I eye them and their riders with suspicion, giving them a wide berth as they wobble down poorly paved roads next to my car.
I’ve been pretty disdainful of scooters until now, but they’ve slowly grown on me for short commutes across town. They’re extremely useful for getting through the downtown gridlock in a city like Austin, where it can take almost an hour to go three miles during rush hour and where parking is pretty much non-existent.
I’m a big fan of walking, which is why I live downtown in the first place. But sometimes walking just doesn’t work out, like when it’s more than 100 degrees outside and I don’t want to show up to an event sweating like I just ran a marathon. Other times, scooters help me get from Point A to Point B when I’m a few minutes behind schedule and don’t want to power walk. Finally, electric scooters are a bit more eco-friendly than driving.
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I still think scooters are dangerous, especially when I see people whizzing down the street after a drink (or two, or three). They can go up to 20 miles per hour, which can spell disaster when paired with a crack in the street or an unsteady hand (scooters technically count as vehicles and are required to stay off of the sidewalk). And while users are strongly encouraged to wear helmets, the vast majority of people don’t have them on hand — myself included. I do my best to be super vigilant, keep a close eye on traffic regulations and oblivious drivers alike, and make sure I never mix drinking and scooting.
Of late, I’ve found myself gravitating toward Lyft scooters for two reasons:
- I always have the app on my phone, since I use Lyft for ride-hailing. I often delete apps that aren’t in frequent use, and most of my scooter-specific apps have fallen by the wayside.
- I get three Lyft rides per month now, thanks to my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
I used to be scooter brand-agnostic. With several competitors in Austin, I could take my pick between Lime, Lyft, Spin, Uber, Bird, Jump and likely at least one other company with a trendy startup name.
While Lime scooters are a bit on the large side for my 5′ 2″ frame, the rest are essentially indistinguishable from each other from an operational standpoint. So those three free rides each month have made all the difference in tipping me toward Lyft for my tiny-wheeled adventures, since none of the scooter brands cost all that much to operate, especially compared to ride-hailing cars.
I don’t have a good solution to the valid safety concerns, or for the clutter of scooters galore clustered around downtown. But at least in Austin, electric scooters are here to stay for the time being. And now that I get three rides for free each month, I have one more reason to use them.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
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- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees