I unfortunately didn’t get around to posting this earlier, but as has been reported in several places, United recent announced layoffs in the Houston area because the city approved allowing Southwest to build an international terminal at Houston’s Hobby airport, and being international service. Now, for those of you who follow Southwest, their international destinations are likely going to be Mexico and the Caribbean. They won’t be flying to Australia or Asia or any of that, most likely. However, United made this sound like the end of the world, and in addition to the layoffs, they even cancelled their proposed upcoming Houston-Auckland (New Zealand) service on 787s.
I agree with Cranky Flier on this one (who award United his “Cranky Jackass” award). These were probably planned or needed layoffs, which are typical after a merger, and United is trying to win some points by blaming these layoffs on what the city of Houston has decided to do. Sure they will face some more competition as a result of the vote, but I highly doubt thinks like Houston to Auckland would be affected by that (plus Southwest will not even be flying out of Hobby internationally for several years). I think United overplayed their hand on this one…
There’s been a plethora of posts by various people over the past few days. This seems like a natural time to assess the past year if you’ve been in the game, and to plan out next year’s strategy (or in some of your cases, first plunge). Generally, everyone has focused on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card, and the AMEX SPG card as part of their past and future strategies. Enjoy the links below, they all contain very useful and valuable information! As always, with any of these promotions and/or credit cards, do your research, and feel free to send me questions or post on flyertalk/milepoint in the appropriate places.
Wow I think that’s it…I didn’t quite realize how many links there would be to post. I think with all the information being generated, the main message is to review all of the credit cards and spending strategies that are popular now, and then to start applying and get in the game! It’s a New Year’s resolution for all of you without one thus far 🙂
I decided to start reading blogs instead, and then I was inspired into posting some links for all to see.
Check out Mommy Points scoring $3000 worth of travel! The article’s a bit long, but she’s planned next Christmas vacation on Hyatt points. This article as well as View from the Wing’s post about Hyatt hotels in New York has inspired me to start working on my Hyatt account in the new year (although I indirectly have Hyatt points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program). While the Hyatt chain has very few locations compared to say, Hilton or Starwood, they tend to be very nice hotels, and it’s always fun to get to stay in those. Especially in a place like New York, where hotels tend to be quite pricy anyway!
Also, Lucky talks about his love for Apple products. I fully endorse Apple products as well. Additionally, I ran across this post saying the iPad 3 will be out next spring! Looking forward to that one 🙂 All right everyone, enjoy the reading!
I’ve had a couple of long days at work, so I haven’t had time to post. However, I am still keeping tabs on my blogs 🙂 Mommy Points wrote a through primer post about the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program. Acknowledgements to her for creating this resource for us all. I’ll summarize the main points below:
- Ultimate Rewards points are the points earned by certain Chase credit cards. These points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, or travel at a value of about $.01 per point (more on certain things, less on certain things). However, the maximal value of these points lies in their ability to be transferred at a 1:1 ratio into Continenal OnePass/United Mileage Plus, British Airways, Korean Air, Amtrak, Hyatt, Marriott, and Priority Club miles/points. The best values in that list are generally considered to be transfers to United or Hyatt…but it’s nice to have the flexibility of transferring to any of those programs, depending on your particular needs at a given time. Transfers are instant into the award program of your choice.
- The cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points are the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold (business card), and the Chase Freedom. Get one of these cards! I have links for the Chase Sapphire Preferred on the Credit Card Offers page.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold both currently offer a 50k Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus, while the Chase Freedom offers a 30k bonus. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points per dollar on dining and travel (their definition of travel is very broad, including but not limited to airlines, hotels, rental cars, taxis, buses, and subways). The Ink Bold earns five points per dollar at office supply stores, on cable and wireless service, and landline communications. It also earns 2 points on hotel and gas expenses. The Chase Freedom has quarterly rotating 5x points categories (limited to $1500). On all other purchases, these cards earn 1 point per $.
- When buying stuff online, check if the store you’re buying from is on the Ultimate Rewards Mall. if it is, you can generally earn an extra 2 to 20 points per dollar by using the Ultimate Reward Mall’s link.
- Do click on the link above to Mommy Points’ post and read it through when you have a chance!