I love Starbucks. More precisely, I love the Starbucks Rewards program. To quote my friend Dr. J, “I go there just to watch those stars fall on my phone.” It’s designed well to entice brand loyalty. More importantly, the program works quite similarly to frequent traveler programs – you earn stars, achieve elite statuses, and get free drinks. As a newly minted points enthusiast, I became excited about playing with a new rewards program and figuring out how to get the most out of it. I started drinking coffee and, a year later, now have two Gold cards.
A few months ago I was able to jump on a great deal for Business Class tickets aboard British Airways from San Francisco to Europe for just $1,700. Although it’s a little bit less of a great deal when you factor in the $250 that British Airways is asking for in order to select seats in advance. At the time, it was a no-brainer for me to credit this flight to Alaska Airlines, since I’d need the elite qualifying miles to re-qualify for status, and as an existing elite I’d receive a 100% bonus. But now things are a bit more complicated …
Like many of you, I spend a ton of time on Flyertalk and these forums contain a wealth of information about everything you could ever want to possibly know about anything travel-related. But with user-generated content comes a fair amount of complaining. It simply comes with the territory. I generally group the complaints and rants that I come across into 3 buckets:
If you read this blog and follow others in the Boarding Area, you’ve probably invested hundreds of hours optimizing your experience in the air. But, have you done the same with your daily commute at a lower altitude? Now that Citi Thankyou Premier has taken the lead to include gas in its “travel” bonus category, it’s time for someone in this hobby to write about America’s favorite mode of travel: cars.
t’s been fun being a featured blogger this week on BoardingArea! To wrap things up, in case you missed it here’s a summary of the top posts from the past week. Just a note that you can still find Hungry for Points on the Prior2Boarding site, and the best way to keep up-to-date on the latest updates by adding me on Twitter or Facebook (or by using the buttons on the right-hand side) and feel free to drop me an email anytime!
It’s a process that I go through every year for each of my credit cards – the annual retention call. I throw on my most innocent sounding voice, and call the number on the back of the card. “Hello, I just noticed that the annual fee was billed and I’d like to cancel my credit card.” That sentence usually triggers a “WAIT STOP!” type of response from the customer service representative, and a couple minutes later I’m walking away with some free points or a statement credit.