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PSA -Sapphire Reserve with 100K points bonus, LAST CHANCE is Saturday 3/11 at branch...

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Nov 8, 2012
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There's now limit of 2 additional guests at airport lounges with Priority Pass. So with family of 5, only 3 will get in free and 2 will be charged $27 each. Normally this is not a problem but I'm taking a group of four on a trip next month and won't be able to use the lounges because of this new rule.
I honestly have gotten sick of airport lounges. They are stingy with these new rules (understandably for point #2), they are crowded as fuck, and their food ultimately sucks.

Priority pass is doing this new stuff where you can go to restaurants at certain airports, and for each person they cover a certain amount of the bill. I fucking love that a lot better. Much better food - I get to choose better drinks, and I don't have to worry about enough lounge space, etc...

Just my 2 cents. I've traveled for business as well and I generally just don't care for the lounge game.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
17,629
1,520
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I honestly have gotten sick of airport lounges. They are stingy with these new rules (understandably for point #2), they are crowded as fuck, and their food ultimately sucks.

Priority pass is doing this new stuff where you can go to restaurants at certain airports, and for each person they cover a certain amount of the bill. I fucking love that a lot better. Much better food - I get to choose better drinks, and I don't have to worry about enough lounge space, etc...

Just my 2 cents. I've traveled for business as well and I generally just don't care for the lounge game.
I agree most lounges are not that great but I'll take mediocre/bad free food and drinks vs paying for mediocre overpriced airport food . And this particular trip will have couple really long layovers so it's going to suck not having lounge access.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
18,712
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I honestly have gotten sick of airport lounges. They are stingy with these new rules (understandably for point #2), they are crowded as fuck, and their food ultimately sucks.

Priority pass is doing this new stuff where you can go to restaurants at certain airports, and for each person they cover a certain amount of the bill. I fucking love that a lot better. Much better food - I get to choose better drinks, and I don't have to worry about enough lounge space, etc...

Just my 2 cents. I've traveled for business as well and I generally just don't care for the lounge game.
There are a lot of great lounges out there - just not a lot in the US. While the quality is a bit more restricted if we're just talking Priority Pass the food is usually good enough to save us $15-20 on airport food. Generally quieter, better wifi and cleaner bathrooms. It does vary a lot in the US though. I've not flown through an airport that has a participating restaurant yet but it is a nice addition, particularly for airports that had no option previously
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
17,629
1,520
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One nice thing about the Reserve card is that 3X travel and dining bonus works for purchases made outside the US. So it's truly global travel card as you'll get 3X credit for purchases made anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, Amex bonus multiplier only applies to purchases made in the US. I didn't know this at first as I didn't read the fine print when I had the Amex card. If you use and purchase outside the US with Amex, you'll only get the standard 1%. Another reason why I'm not fan of Amex cards.
 

manly

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
8,224
128
106
I'm in the same shoes as brianmanahan. I have a decent chunk of points accumulated (but not ATOT baller status), and hope that some day there will be some sick redemption for biz class travel to maximize my value. In reality, I guess I should just redeem them on my next international vacation flying economy class.

The Points Guy values Chase UR points at 2c per point, but that seems a bit optimistic.

Hopefully they don't devalue the CSR card further, as that could push me to do a product change to Chase Sapphire Preferred.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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I hate seeing this thread bumped because each time I'm hoping that they bring back the 100k point bonus for signing up...

At the time I was way over 5/24 - but now I'm below it and would definitely take advantage of it.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
102,016
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I hate seeing this thread bumped because each time I'm hoping that they bring back the 100k point bonus for signing up...

At the time I was way over 5/24 - but now I'm below it and would definitely take advantage of it.
I don't think it will ever happen.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
18,712
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I'm in the same shoes as brianmanahan. I have a decent chunk of points accumulated (but not ATOT baller status), and hope that some day there will be some sick redemption for biz class travel to maximize my value.
The United excursionist perk is a pretty great way to maximize your value depending on your travel. When booking a round trip ticket you get a free flight in between your outbound and inbound flight within a United defined geographical region in the same class of travel. For example: We flew from Detroit to the Seychelles and then Nairobi to Detroit. This is a "round trip" ticket with an "open jaw" (different return airport). Since I booked this in a way that qualifies as a Round Trip I was able to book Seychelles to Nairobi, in business class, for no additional points. That flight would have cost at least $500 in economy and $1500 in business. Each.

A free flight in the middle of a trip is a really nice benefit. The huge kicker is that it doesn't have to be in the same region as your round trip tickets AND "round trip" in United's view only has to end in the same region your travel originated which opens up a lot of weird opportunities. Theoretically a "Round Trip" flight from Newark to Barcelona and then IAD to Chicago would qualify for a free one way from Dakkar to Cape Town. You can book up to ~330 days out so you could stack parts of trips together to get a huge benefit.
 

repoman0

Platinum Member
Jun 17, 2010
2,914
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GF and I are both really glad I saw this thread. 2 x 100k point bonuses and we have a really fun time in airport lounges and love the free precheck/global entry. Heading to New Zealand tomorrow fo free!
 

repoman0

Platinum Member
Jun 17, 2010
2,914
1,114
136
Oh man, that's my favorite country we've visited. Where in NZ are you headed?
Road trip around the southern island with a whole bunch of hiking stops. Good to hear that, if I'm not mistaken you've been all over the place! Can't wait but I'm not looking forward to 24 straight hours of travel. Got my brand new noise canceling headphones, hoping that makes it more bearable.
 

PlanetJosh

Golden Member
May 6, 2013
1,356
41
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Is this card as good as the one the guy gets at the end of the movie Up In The Air? Sorry if that dumb comparison got mentioned already. And with the posts lately it seems some of you can afford Titan V or Titan RTX for your PCs.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Oh man, that's my favorite country we've visited. Where in NZ are you headed?
What do you reccomend? (specifically what cities, restaurants, beers, things to see, things to do)

I went to the Cook Islands (nearby tiny islands) and saw a ton of people from NZ. Thought it would be a great place to visit sometime in the future.

After hitting up Europe, Japan, Russia, and a few others in my life I wouldn't mind something a bit different. Hands down my favorite trip was Japan.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
18,712
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Road trip around the southern island with a whole bunch of hiking stops. Good to hear that, if I'm not mistaken you've been all over the place! Can't wait but I'm not looking forward to 24 straight hours of travel. Got my brand new noise canceling headphones, hoping that makes it more bearable.
Awesome - the Southern Island was amazing and the hiking was fantastic. Hope you guys have a blast! The flight is long but you get to skip a whole day because of the international date line. And coming back you'll probably land in the US a few hours 'before you leave' on the same calendar date - which is a bit of a trip

Edit: Oh - since you're driving - hopefully you brought\can bring a credit\debit card with a PIN. We ran into some fully automated gas stations that didn't take NZ cash, non-PIN credit cards, apple pay\samsung pay\chase pay. Fortunately we had our debit card otherwise we'd have to offer cash to a friendly NZ to fill up our tank

Gas station:


What do you reccomend? (specifically what cities, restaurants, beers, things to see, things to do)

I went to the Cook Islands (nearby tiny islands) and saw a ton of people from NZ. Thought it would be a great place to visit sometime in the future.
I mean just about anything there. It wouldn't be great for people who are really into cities or shopping but the whole damn place is gorgeous with natural beauty. Oh whats that over there? Just another amazing mountain\ocean view\stupidly blue lake\waterfall\landscape\geothermal spring. No big deal.

As for top things (With the caveat we didn't have time to do the glaciers or the Nelson area):
Orakei Korako was our favorite geothermal spring although most are in a line from Rotorua to Taupo so its easy to hit several
Glow worm caves: Do a private tour to a private cave. We used Spellbound and they lived up to their reviews.
Hikes from Aoraki Mount Cook Village were some of the best of the trip
Lots of great wineries around Queenstown. Town itself was a bit packed when we went. Good place for hang-gliding, parasailing or bungie jumping. High winds can make that a bit unpredictable. My hang gliding got cancelled due to high winds so I ended up parasailing with a later group instead.
Milford sound was fantastic (Didn't have time to do Doubtful sound)
Te Anau was a great place to stay to do a short\early morning drive to Milford Sound
You can (likely) swim with wild dolphins in Kaikoura. Sadly ours ended up being cancelled due to bad weather. We were able to get ridiculously close to some seals though

Food is average. Nothing was bad but we didn't have any meals that really stood out as excellent. One of the things to keep in mind is that a lot of the towns are very small so your variety won't be great. For example: the one meal that does stick out was the Fish and Chips we got from a place that was a Convenience store\Chinese food\Fish&Chips\Ice Cream shop in Te Anau. It was good but doesn't stand out when compared to F&C in Australia\Ireland\Belgium. Another example was Aoraki. Basically you had to buy your food from the town an hour away and bring it with you to self-cater. I think there was a single restaurant there but it was expensive. Internet was limited to 1GB of data per stay but we had full LTE coverage

What really stands out to me though is how untouched it still feels. We were there peak season and, while the towns were packed, once you got outside of them it all melted away (for the most part). I think Lake Pukaki sums it up for me. It's a large, brilliant blue lake with Mt Cook and Co. as the backdrop. Gorgeous scenery. In the US and many other countries it would be completely lined by houses and mobbed with boats. But we saw only a few kayaks and I think a couple of houses and a camp ground at the extreme southern end. So the rest of it looked like this:


Hands down my favorite trip was Japan.
Japan is high on my list. Now if Amex would just run a bonus conversion to ANA so I could book my tickets...

that's awesome! i wonder if their public transportation is good enough that someone could get around without driving...
It would be pretty tough as a lot of the stuff is pretty remote. You could hit the big towns but you'd miss out on a lot. And driving on the left was pretty easy there. But don't pass up gas stations if you're low as there are some really long stretches without any options
 
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repoman0

Platinum Member
Jun 17, 2010
2,914
1,114
136
Awesome - the Southern Island was amazing and the hiking was fantastic. Hope you guys have a blast! The flight is long but you get to skip a whole day because of the international date line. And coming back you'll probably land in the US a few hours 'before you leave' on the same calendar date - which is a bit of a trip

Edit: Oh - since you're driving - hopefully you brought\can bring a credit\debit card with a PIN. We ran into some fully automated gas stations that didn't take NZ cash, non-PIN credit cards, apple pay\samsung pay\chase pay. Fortunately we had our debit card otherwise we'd have to offer cash to a friendly NZ to fill up our tank

Gas station:
Good info here, thanks! I don't have any credit/debit cards with a pin but luckily I'll be there with a local who I presume will be familiar with these dinky gas stations. It would make a lot of sense for the card that this very thread is about to have chip/pin in addition to chip/signature ...
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
49,719
2,718
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Hi, Andrew 118,644 points
Welp got another companion pass until the end of 2020. That took all of 2 months to get lol. And I am my wife's companion until the end of this year, although she's out of Southwest points on her account.
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
49,719
2,718
126
Be glad for that.

Conserving points under the prospect of "they will be worth more later" is a lose-lose situation.
What? I'd rather get her flight for free with points and use my companion pass for my flight, rather than pay out of pocket for her ticket and then use the companion pass.

I'm not following your logic of how having no points is better than having points.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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What? I'd rather get her flight for free with points and use my companion pass for my flight, rather than pay out of pocket for her ticket and then use the companion pass.

I'm not following your logic of how having no points is better than having points.
Not sure you're following what I'm saying:

If you conserve points under the prospect that they will be worth more later - you're going to lose. Simple as that. Points will only lose value, never gain value. That's my underlying point.... So my main emphasis here: Use the points ASAP is a the best means of utilizing the most profit from points.

My ultimate point is this: Use your points as soon as possible (unless there is an OBVIOUS difference between cash price vs. points price)... because the point being is that your points price will never be better. They will only shit on their points more.
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
49,719
2,718
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I'm not sure how got out of what I said that I was talking about conserving anything. We're out of the points because we used them all last year and for a flight next month to Grand Cayman, which that one also included points I transferred from CUR.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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I'm not sure how got out of what I said that I was talking about conserving anything. We're out of the points because we used them all last year and for a flight next month to Grand Cayman, which that one also included points I transferred from CUR.
Right, that's why I said "Be glad for that"... being out of points is overall a GOOD thing is what I'm saying. You used your points effectively.

That's all I'm saying - well done. Instead in my credit card farming game I have points all over the place that I am trying to preserve to make that they... don't expire... and that I use them effectively... and overall I've found it's a lose lose. I'd rather just be a straight shooter with the game instead of trying to play like there is some magical winning formula.
 

purbeast0

Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
49,719
2,718
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Well I don't know what the point of having points would be if you aren't going to use them. That's like the guys at work who always have like 4 weeks of vacation banked up and don't use it. I'm constantly in the negative at work.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Well I don't know what the point of having points would be if you aren't going to use them. That's like the guys at work who always have like 4 weeks of vacation banked up and don't use it. I'm constantly in the negative at work.
Yeah to each their own - honestly I consider that a good thing. But when I was single without a wife and had more time to play the credit card churning game - I had plenty that I just wanted to rotate through.... every airline... every hotel company... etc... Now I just have points with multiples that I want to get rid of.

All I'm saying is the ideal position to be in is that you have utilized/burned through all of them instead of sitting on them.
 

Jeeebus

Diamond Member
Aug 29, 2006
9,011
632
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best points to have are Chase and Amex (and to some extent Citi) as you don't have to worry about expiring points and you can generally convert them instantaneously to fly/stay just about anywhere (between the two). I still have a metric shit ton of Chase points (around 600,000) after spending 200,000 on our upcoming trip to St. Kitts but the large amount is mostly due to the law firm. We blew around 600,000 points a couple years ago for our Hawaii trip. I think I only have around 70,000 AmEx points and I only use that for non-Chase transfer partners (like Emirates).
 

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