r/churning Sep 06 '21

Weekly Off Topic Thread - Week of September 06, 2021 Anything Goes

This is the Weekly Off-Topic thread

There's more to this hobby than just credit cards - it spreads out into travel aspirations, what luggage or wallet you're using, or what flavor kombucha your local WeWork is serving. Please use this thread to talk about all things even tangentially related to churning. Memes, jokes, and off-topic content are allowed (and encouraged) here. Please use our regular threads to ask basic questions, ask questions about what card to get, or talk about MS. But if it's off-topic elsewhere, you're on-topic here.

Regular rules still apply.

Have fun!

Note: Posting and soliciting referrals are still not allowed.

30 Upvotes

1

u/Loyal_Quisling 7/24 Sep 12 '21

Received an email from PayPal about:

"The IRS will soon require anyone receiving $600 in payments for goods and services to confirm their taxpayer status. As someone who's received payments through PayPal, you'll need to confirm your taxpayer status by providing your Tax ID Number to meet the requirement and avoid any disruption to your account."

I don't want to be taxed for churning mypoints and swagbucks. Can I just ignore this? How likely is it that I'll be taxed? Received 2k from swagbucks and mypoints if it matters.

3

u/adgjl12 Sep 08 '21

Slight cooldown period until my card arrives and MSR is really easy to meet this month. So I pulled out my Chase Freedoms from my sock drawer for the 5x grocery. When I got there I decided to use my oldest one that hasn't had a transaction since early 2020. Turns out that was the only one that wasn't a CF, I accidentally took my debit card as well because they all looked so similar 🤦‍♂️not a big deal but man I was wondering why I needed my PIN 😂

3

u/URtheoneforme Sep 08 '21

I know exchange rate stuff gets brought up every once and a while, so I got an opportunity to compare the Schwab debit ATM conversion, Visa credit card conversion, and Mastercard credit card conversion.

On the same date:

  • Schwab debit gave me 1.18114286 for a cash withdrawal
  • Mastercard gave me 1.18484108 for a cc purchase
  • Visa gave me 1.18511905 for a cc purchase

I'll have to wait for the CSR statement to cut towards the end of the month to actually compare the exchange rate, because I've forgotten what some of the charged amounts in Euro were.

The Mastercard was slightly better, but 0.0003 difference doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. You are still much better with any no FTF card vs a 3% foreign transaction fee or doing the dreaded "Sure, charge me in USD"

2

u/kurter21 Sep 10 '21

Is it a set rate for the day or are you given the exchange rate at the exact time of purchase? Assuming purchases are throughout the day that could also account for some fluctuation.

2

u/tendie-dildo Sep 08 '21

Does wyndham diamond give you any other status match besides Caesar diamond?

6

u/OutofToiletPaper Sep 08 '21

No, but you can take Caesar Diamond and match it to Mlife Gold at the moment and from Mlife Gold, you can get Hyatt Explorist.

1

u/melball35 Sep 10 '21

I originally did the caesars diamond match back in early 2020, but then of course Covid so we haven’t been to Vegas to enjoy any aspects of that. But now we are heading there in November and I believe I’m reading 2020 Caesars perks got extended til the end of this year? But I can’t remember… is the Mlife matching done in person in Vegas?

3

u/OutofToiletPaper Sep 10 '21

The 2020 celebration dinner was extended an extra year so you'll have both 2020 and 2021 celebration dinner. If you plan on using both for the same meal, you'll have to check if the restaurant will allow using the credit from two different years, it will vary by restaurant. We had no problem stacking both at Guy Savoy but another user said Hell's Kitchen would only take 1.

Yes - Mlife match needs to be done in person - https://www.mgmresorts.com/en/mlife-rewards-program/tier-match.html

1

u/BruceFan707 Sep 08 '21

I want to covert Audible aax files in my laptop to MP3 files, so that I don't have to deal with future upgrade of Audible Download Manager. Is there any software better than OpenAudible, which costs $19 for the license?

1

u/churnate Sep 08 '21

Audacity may work for this.

1

u/BruceFan707 Sep 08 '21

Audacity looks quite promising. Thank you very much!

3

u/mglman LGA, 10/24 Sep 07 '21

Anyone with a current work visa on their to getting a green card dabbled in business credit cards?

Reasons I’m asking is I’m LOL/24 and want to do AMEX Biz cards to cool off but unsure how USCIS would look upon my “business”

3

u/12itsnotme12 Sep 08 '21

Where's your sweet American P2?

I call it (P) 2 birds, one stone - faster immigration and you can open up the biz cards in their name!

7

u/mglman LGA, 10/24 Sep 08 '21

my P2 is actually also on the path to immigration with me.

Maybe time to jump ship and get a new American P2? /s

1

u/12itsnotme12 Sep 08 '21

Swing and a miss lol.

But good luck to both of you mglman!

5

u/thekingoftherodeo BOS, MAN Sep 08 '21

I would highly advise against that as, dependent on your visa terms, any work outside of that for your sponsoring employer may be illegal in the eyes of USCIS.

9

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Sep 08 '21

My understanding from friends who have gone through that process is that it is full of speedbumps, gotchas, delays, and surprises. I wouldn't think any SUB is worth the stress and risk of creating any more of those.

1

u/mglman LGA, 10/24 Sep 08 '21

But those juicy Biz Plat NLLs - jokes aside, I agree but so enticing

2

u/redditisonomatopoeic Sep 07 '21

Earlier this year I mentioned the State Farm credit/loans merger with US Bank and that I had my Rewards Visa migrated to a co-branded Rewards card, chatted with several others about the card and some were miffed about not getting the card that gets offered to the public, not a card that I would apply for and burn a slot while holding the Cash Rewards card.

For those interested and holding the red Rewards card, I was on the phone with USB for an unrelated matter and asked if I could PC the Cash Rewards card to the Premier Cash Rewards card, which adds 2% CB dining and pharmacy to the 3% CB for insurance charges. IDK if the PC will reset my $4k insurance charge limit before that reverts to 1% over that amount.

4

u/3third_eye Sep 07 '21

can someone please walk me through the best options for cheap wireless? We have verizon w/ unlimited data and pay ~$140/mo after a small work discount. I need a new phone (old samsung S7 that is dying). P2 is halfway done paying off an iphone 12 pro (included in that 140/mo). Feels like we can do better, and I would like to avoid getting into a mandatory verizon payment plan on a new phone.

Also have amex plat but can't take advantage of insurance coverage due to verizon not accepting CC with my discount.

What's the move here. pay off P2's phone, buy an unlocked phone for P1, and get mint mobile? see what t-mobile will offer to switch providers? Halp.

1

u/Tsarinax JFK, BDL Sep 10 '21

We use altice (optimum) mobile. It’s $20 a line if you’re a cable customer, or was when we signed up. It’s unlimited talk, text, data, and runs on the att and sprint/T-Mobile network so it’s okay. Not great service but it is worth it for $20 a line.

3

u/braclark BOS Sep 08 '21

We buy exclusively unlocked Moto phones from Amazon. You can get pretty good phones for under $200.

For phone service for my kids, we just started to use Red Pocket. 3GB/mo prepaid for the year comes out to $15/mo, and if they go over for data it just throttles them down to 2G speeds for the rest of the month.

3

u/Alqotastic JFK, DOG Sep 08 '21

If you want to stick w Verizon check out the BYOD prepaid options. I pay something like $25/m (from $40 originally) for a 6GB plan when including an autopay discount and loyalty (after 9m of service) discount.

You can just get a device at Swappa or wherever you like. No need to commingle that with your service plan.

1

u/3third_eye Sep 08 '21

good tip, i'll check it out

4

u/ilovetoyap OLD, DRT Sep 08 '21

The best cell phone service deals usually require a pre existing phone. If you can deal with Visible (Verizon but deprioritized) they have $25 per month service. They currently have the iphone 12 for $600 with $200 back in three months as a gift card, so that's not bad (but potentially will get even cheaper with the 13 coming out next week).

A lot of things depend on what network you need and how much data you use per month. I prefer nocontract myself but the postpaid services do offer discounted phones that may be worth the premium over the length of the defacto contract.

1

u/joefuf Sep 08 '21

If you can deal with Visible (Verizon but deprioritized) they have $25 per month service.

Any experience with how bad that regularly is? I know you're in a different area than us, but I've been pushing P2 to move from her 6gb MetroPCS plan to Visible.

1

u/TheJohnWickening Sep 08 '21

Highly recommend US Mobile. They use Verizon’s network. I switched from Verizon Unlimited to Verizon Prepaid to US Mobile. Nearly no difference in service in my area. USM actually seems less de prioritized than Verizon Prepaid.

1

u/ilovetoyap OLD, DRT Sep 08 '21

It depends. If you use a referral code you can get the first month service for $5 so just try it out yourself and see if it works for you on a throw away number (assuming you have phone already to use it on)

2

u/JoeTony6 Sep 08 '21

Solely dependent on how popular/congested Verizon is in your area, so no one can really tell you without knowing what city you're in.

/r/Visible and/or /r/NoContract would be better.

My area Verizon is by far the most popular carrier even though all have great coverage, so I didn't have the greatest experience with data deprioritization on Verizon Prepaid even (pre-Visible), so I've never bothered with Visible. I've been on AT&T Prepaid for the past 2 years on the $300/year plan - unlimited talk/text and 8 GB of month-to-month rollover data per month.

3

u/thekingoftherodeo BOS, MAN Sep 07 '21

Air Wireless $40 unlimited plan - you're on T-Mobiles network so you get the Tuesday deals and the hour free wifi on any aircraft with a Gogo system.

If $40 was my work's reimbursement limit I'd probably do Mint, but the Air Wireless plan is excellent.

5

u/redditisonomatopoeic Sep 07 '21

Follow the T-Mobile reddit. Plenty of activity there and chatter about deals. I switched from VZW in February to Magenta 55+, about a month later they upped the data per line to 100GB full speed - went from $160+ with VZW to $70 including taxes with the plan for oldsters like me, only one person in the plan needs to be 55+.

Still using my XS Max, it picks up the lower frequency that TMo deployed, better reception than TMo. I swapped at a Costco, BYOD deal for $300 per line and not sure if I'm going to upgrade. Costco's kiosk was plastered with carrier deals when I was in there late last week.

2

u/Lower-Kangaroo6032 Sep 07 '21

I think it probably depends on location as to whether or not the prepay plans get good enough speed/priority - I wanted to switch but postpay Verizon speed/congestion is already bad enough where I am in la

-10

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

Anyone else waiting for vaccine passports to phase out before they start traveling again?

Good thing in FL I don’t need one.

HI, NY, etc… brutal.

Anyone in central FL wanna visit, I’ll take you to Disney and we can go MS for a day.

1

u/jfchops2 MSP Sep 11 '21

I want to have a drink with you. Clearly you're a good time

Can we hit the Toasted Monkey in SPB in Feb? I'll be down there then, my parents live in the area

7

u/[deleted] Sep 07 '21

[deleted]

-4

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

I'll give you $X amount of my MS profit.

-8

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

I'll give you a bit of my MS profit. Deal?

-1

u/Loyal_Quisling 7/24 Sep 08 '21

Deal! I'm free early dec though

1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 08 '21

Bet

5

u/wearytraveler44 Sep 07 '21

I have a lot of friends visiting Mexico and European countries but I'm not yet at that comfort level. Anyone else waiting patiently for vaccine passports?

10

u/sjb0387 Sep 08 '21

No, get in the air now.

7

u/[deleted] Sep 07 '21

[deleted]

8

u/joe-movie SLC Sep 07 '21

Not OP, but my wife doesn't want to get stranded - that's her number one reason. So for her, it's not about safety, but rather from having to deal with the headache of not being able to reenter the country (at least easily).

edit: No idea if vaccine passports would necessarily help with this, but it's the reason we're currently not flying internationally.

-11

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

No sadly you must test to re-enter the US. I wish the US would allow vaccinated people to enter (heck, even Canada did this faster that us).

Would be a good enough reason for me to get vaccinated.

4

u/boilerpl8 BLR, PLT Sep 08 '21

Are you.... not vaccinated but traveling? You should get vaccinated. It's in everyone's best interest, including your own.

0

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 08 '21

I threw that last line it to see if there would be any nasty responses. I am likely vaccinated

3

u/beer68 Sep 09 '21

Likely vaccinated? I don't understand being uncertain about this. Do you mean, likely immune because of a prior likely infection?

1

u/boilerpl8 BLR, PLT Sep 08 '21

Compared to a few months ago, I think a lot of people have given up on trying to convince people who aren't vaccinated, because most who haven't are probably extremely stubborn and won't change their mind until a family member dies. A stranger on the internet isn't going to do it. So downvote and move on I suppose.

0

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 08 '21

Yup

-3

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

The government is telling OP its safe, duh!

7

u/435880Churnz Sep 07 '21 edited Sep 07 '21

I’m waiting for vaccinated American citizens to not need a negative Covid test to return to the country. I can’t afford to get stuck abroad and use two weeks of vacation because I got a positivr after being vaccinated. It’s absolutely ridiculous this policy is still in place, yet anyone can walk or drive across a land border.

Edit: I can’t believe this is an unpopular opinion here.

2

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

You don’t need a covid test to enter the country. Just walk across the southern border ;)

5

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

I’m not sure why you are being downvoted (welcome to the club).

What the fuck has happened to following the science? No one has answered this when I asked it last week too.

10

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Sep 07 '21

Pretty sure the science says it's not a good idea for someone who is COVID positive to be in a metal tube with 300 other people for 8 hours. Regardless of vaccination status.

3

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

I agree. So why are there not similar restrictions for domestic flights?

6

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Sep 07 '21

Yeah, I would be all for that, as cheap and obtainable as tests are...not sure why no one asked me...

9

u/[deleted] Sep 07 '21

[deleted]

3

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

Good point. So why doesn’t the southern border required a covid test?

2

u/joe-movie SLC Sep 07 '21

I don't know anything about the requirement, but can you fly in from Mexico without the test? Or just cross the border without one? Those seem a bit different to me as in one case you're not boarding a plane and exposing a bunch of other people. Anyways, not saying it's right, but I could at least understand the reasoning there.

1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

You can walk/drive without a test. I see your point, but airlines are flying domestically right now with no requirement of testing (outside of HI to avoid quarantine), with the same exposure as a int. flight (and heck, prob even more. LH and SAS would not allow non-medical grade mask. Even my single use had to be replaced with a KN95 mask).

Still salty I spent $6 at MUC to buy 3 KN95 masks.

3

u/braclark BOS Sep 07 '21

Me too. We have 3 kids in school who play soccer, 2 cats, and a dog. The amount of favors we have to pull to get away for a few days is so high that the risk of 2 weeks getting added is not worth it.

1

u/melball35 Sep 10 '21

Yes, this exactly!

2

u/URtheoneforme Sep 07 '21

Unfortunately, I don't see this policy ending any time soon even though it's pointless.

-16

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

Just go to NY?

Vaccine passports are a violation of human rights.

3

u/kevlarlover DAA, ANG Sep 07 '21

I'm just waiting not-so-patiently for my kids to be eligible for vaccination ....

1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

Flair checks out

2

u/JJA6782 Sep 07 '21 edited Sep 07 '21

If I have two flights with a layover that wasn’t booked together do I have to go back through security to check into the second flight? If I only do I carry on will I be ok? It is international too btw.

1

u/URtheoneforme Sep 07 '21

What city/country are you connecting through? That matters a lot.

3

u/JJA6782 Sep 07 '21

Flying from the US to ATH, then plan on flying to santorini

1

u/TheSultan1 EWR, FTW Sep 08 '21

Looks like you do have to clear security again (I think even if you're not self-connecting): https://en.aegeanair.com/travel-information/at-the-airport/connecting-passengers/

1

u/JJA6782 Sep 08 '21

Wow perfect thank you

1

u/GorgeousOrHandsome Sep 07 '21

If they are booked together on a single itinerary like you said, you should get both boarding passes at your first check-in location. No need to go through security again. There may be a 'transfer' gate that you walk through after you get off the first plane with a mini security check, definitely do not leave airside and re-do security from groundside.

3

u/JJA6782 Sep 07 '21

Had a typo, they weren’t booked together and two completely different airlines

3

u/GorgeousOrHandsome Sep 07 '21

Ah, on a separate ticket you need to go groundside then to check-in and go through security again. You will likely need to go through immigration/passport checks from groundside again. And you are likely already aware but if your first flight is delayed you may miss the second one and lose it altogether. Good luck!

2

u/Very_Sadly_True PIE, BOI Sep 07 '21

Any recommendation for good Audible books? I'm racking up credits faster than I can spend/listen to them!

1

u/ProverbialFunk Sep 09 '21

My personal faves: Killing Commendatore by Haruku Murakami or 1Q84 or the Wind Up Bird if you want to get a lot of bang for you buck. Such a unique style of writing, which is more fascinating to me because its translated from Japanese.

The Russo Brothers adapted Cherry into a movie that was pretty good. I'm biased because the author robbed banks near my home town (Cleveland Heights) . The book was written while he was in prison and is pretty gritty. Deals with a vet's post Iraq return, PTSD, drug addiction, love/relationship, and is pretty visceral.

My 1st Audible book wasBorn a Crimeby Trevor Noah. I'm never read an autobiography before and this opened me up to audiobooks because of his humor and stellar narration.

Blake Crouch is pretty sweet too.

2

u/GiraffeGlove SFO, 3/24 Sep 07 '21

Shantaram is great.

1

u/CasinoAccountant Sep 07 '21

Wheel of Time drops on Amazon November 19th, so you could pick up The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (first book in series) and get ahead of it!

8

u/OnTheUtilityOfPants Sep 07 '21

What're your interests?

Fantasy: Anything by Brandon Sanderson if prose quality isn't necessarily a priority, NK Jemisin if it is. If you want something less serious, you can burn a lot of credits on Pratchett.

Scifi: Dune. I've heard good things about Andy Weir's new one, and same for Liu's Three-Body Problem. Haven't had the chance to get to those two myself yet.

General Fiction: anything by Kurt Vonnegut

Popular Nonfiction: Anything that interests you from Michael Lewis, Bill Bryson, or Malcolm Gladwell

If you have kids, there's tons of Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary.

Maximum CPP redemption: Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is 126 hours for 1 credit.

1

u/Very_Sadly_True PIE, BOI Sep 07 '21

I've actually read Dune/Pratchett/Vonnegut and have Jemisin on my (quite long) Goodreads list! I do tend towards fiction but don't have a particular genre - Steinbeck is one of my favorites but also Jim Butcher's (kinda-sorta-trashy) Dresden Files.

/u/stillwaters23 recommended Weir's Project Hail Mary if that's what you're referencing so I already have that (and I'm currently going through Billy Summers by Stephen King that they also recommended).

/r/bookscirclejerk (which oddly enough seems to be one of the most well-read subreddits I've found) makes a lot of fun of Brandon Sanderson but I'm assuming that's just because he's popular... I lost the Way of Kings to an ex so I never got into him but I suppose you can't lose an audiobook lol. Any recommendation between Mistborn or Stormlight Archive?

1

u/OnTheUtilityOfPants Sep 07 '21

For Sanderson, there's definitely a pushback because he's popular. There's also a reasonable criticism of his literary style, which is to focus much more on the plot and mechanics than the language. You aren't getting Faulkner or Nabokov, and it's a good read as long as that's not what you're expecting.

I would recommend the original Mistborn trilogy (The Final Empire, Well of Ascension, Hero of Ages) as a starter. The first book is strong, second book has some pacing issues, and the third is pretty good with a very satisfying ending.

Way of Kings is a bit more of a slog in the first half, mostly because a main character is not in a good place at the start.

Warbreaker is a standalone book that's very good. I might even suggest that over Mistborn as a start.

Elantris is also a stand-alone, but it's rough. First published book, and it shows.

Arcanum Unbounded has several short stories/novellas, some of which are standalone and can be read before other books. They all have spoiler warnings where necessary. Among them, The Emperor's Soul is a gem.

6

u/bestmanstuffz Sep 07 '21 edited Sep 07 '21

I'm at 4/24 and had been planning to get a SW biz + personal at the end of this year so I can obtain CP for 2022-2023.

Unfortunately, things between P2 and I have been rocky lately and now I'm a little hesitant to use my final 5/24 slot for a CP that may not get much use.

If I don't go for the CP, I would probably go for the Plat 125k + 15x resy offer.

What would my fellow churners do?

Edit: Why the downvotes? The off-topic thread seems like the right place to post this.

3

u/boilerpl8 BLR, PLT Sep 08 '21

Even if you don't get to use the CP for most of the year, the 125k SW points might be worth the MSRs and slot. Plus, you have nearly 2 years of CP, and it only takes like 3-4 flights to make the CP a net positive (less if you MS and can do so cheaply), so you have plenty of time.

2

u/12itsnotme12 Sep 07 '21

She gon question ya when you book one RT and one OW. But jk, hope stuff gets better

7

u/OnTheUtilityOfPants Sep 07 '21

You can always change your SW companion if you churn your P2.

Grab just the SW Biz in Oct and wait and see. If you want the CP in Jan/whenever, grab the SW and another Chase personal.

2

u/Hippo387 Sep 07 '21

Do 2 chase personals then resy plat.

1

u/BleedBlue__ Sep 07 '21

What’s the shortest layover you’re willing to do?

My fiancée and I are flying to Antigua in December. Our options are:

Direct from JFK - gets in at 2pm

Or

Home airport with a layover in MIA (45 min) - gets in at 2:30PM. If we miss our connection there isn’t another flight until the next day.

Flying out of JFK will cost roughly $450 due to hotel/parking or a car service (both the same price) and is 2 hours away

Flying out of our home airport would be roughly $40 in parking fees and is 20 minutes away.

Obviously I’d prefer to fly out of our home airport, but not sure if it is worth the risk

1

u/nxlinc TUS Sep 07 '21

Have only transited MIA once with a longer layover, so not sure what's reasonable there, but for shorter layovers I usually try to check flyertalk reports if it's at an airport I'm not very familiar with. Also depends on the airline, AA I would not trust these days.

It looks like MCT for AA D to I is 45 min, so there is basically no room for error.

1

u/manageroftheyear BAS, BAL Sep 07 '21

There are tons of flights from MIA-JFK (or LGA and EWR). Why not try to fly to your home airport and if not just talk to a customer service agent day-of and get re-booked to one of those airports?

9

u/bananaboat2569 Sep 07 '21 edited Sep 08 '21

Which one of you was at the JFK AA lounge earlier today? Accidentally caught a glimpse of your phone as you were switching between Flyertalk and Reddit.

1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

Should’ve said hi! I wasnt kicked out this time LOL.

2

u/MobileMagician5487 Sep 07 '21

Why dont you say hello to that person? Lol

37

u/[deleted] Sep 07 '21

[deleted]

3

u/Very_Sadly_True PIE, BOI Sep 07 '21

Funniest thing I've seen on this sub lately, take my free shitty award!

10

u/OutofToiletPaper Sep 07 '21

The literally dozens of us. Dozens!

2

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 07 '21

There should be a meet up. I would totally coordinate and be down to meet everyone.

11

u/Gregcc123 Sep 07 '21

Received an email about the Hilton stipend for an upcoming stay, so I thought to call and inquire about breakfast. The credit is $12 and breakfast is $14.95. I tried not to laugh out loud on the phone.

These credits make it hard not to feel nickel and dimed.

Naw, I’ll just use the money for a drink at the bar.

Someone in marketing must’ve cited how Amex is doing such a bang up job with their coupon book of offers that they thought Hilton’s highest tiers of loyalty would enjoy the same. From the same people who give you water as a welcome gift…

9

u/Jacob0050 Sep 07 '21

Honestly, if you have trouble finding something to buy with your Saks plat credit a new cologne is really solid for a memories flashback. The colognes I have worn on trips when I wear them out at home/USA I instantly feel like I am back on one of those trips I wore the cologne on and is a nice way to get a rush of memories from the trip. Just something to think about if yall struggle to get something and smaller 1.7 bottles can be had for $50 after the credit for the better men's colognes.

0

u/blackfishfilet Sep 08 '21

Just buy a $150 gc online and sell to raise for a net $132 payment. $32 profit.

1

u/12itsnotme12 Sep 06 '21

What's everyone's play on Marriott?

Specifically on getting lots of points, as there's a few JW properties I'd like to stay at...but SUBs seem just so luster, and transfer values per point are just bad... so spoon feed me ...what's the play here? Just tons of MS? Or do most who stay at Marriotts earn the points organically?

5

u/Gregcc123 Sep 07 '21

I’ve had an issue with Marriott lately. For three different trips, their redemptions just plain old stink. I’m getting .3-.5cpp redemption rates, so I can’t justify burning them on a stay.

2

u/jfchops2 MSP Sep 07 '21

Waiting for a 100k Chase Marriott bonus which would put me over the line needed for a 5-night cat 6 booking. I'll just sit on any leftovers for a possible low cat overseas redemption someday. Beyond that, not interested in trying to fit their application rules in my plans anymore so I'll be done earning them unless I were to take a job that had my staying in them.

5

u/TacticoolRaygun Sep 06 '21

I can tell ya I’ve picked Marriott over other chains for their mattress quality. While some chains have it bad, there are some chains within other brands that I do like staying at as well. The footprint is also a deciding factor. I like their luxury hotels and their deal with United are lesser factors.

I have MB Biz and Boundless card that are keeper cards with the FNC certs will help with hotel stays that I get about 30-70 a year depending on travel/work. MB Biz had a great SUB and they are not nearly on point right now.

While I am about being married to a hotel over an airline, I am looking at a secondary for a cheaper option. I feel Marriott has jacked up their prices when summer rolled around and that is looking past that hotels were relatively cheap during the height of the pandemic.

1

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Sep 07 '21

Yeah I stayed at a brand new Springhill over the weekend and the mattress and pillows were excellent. Hilton brands at similar tiers are not even close ime.

6

u/eminem30982 MMM, BBQ Sep 06 '21

I don't think there are many people who try to generate Marriott points in the long run without either staying there or using the occasional spending bonuses that they offer. As you said, transfer values are poor, and the opportunity cost to MS Marriott points instead of another currency is very high since Marriott cards don't have great spending multipliers in categories that are conducive to MS. The best way to pay for Marriott stays without Marriott points might be to book through the Chase travel portal at 1.25x/1.5x if you have a CSP/CSR, but of course you don't get elite benefits.

6

u/chrumbles Sep 06 '21 edited Sep 07 '21

everyone's going to have a different opinion and answer on this.

we go for the aspirational properties. get points through SUBs and stay spends. FNCs + easier titanium status through credit cards. we keep points within the Bonvoy system for redemptions, don't transfer out, since it's getting harder to earn loads of Bonvoy points relative to others like MR.

the SUBs suck right now, yes, but so does Hyatt's card, and arguably other hotel chains' cards.

5

u/daloman Sep 06 '21

Unless I missed something Marriott are the only points that can transfer to Alaska. Also can transfer Marriott points to United, currently at an improved ratio. The transfers are not great but, you can benefit with strategy. I also know where there is a really nice Marriott Resort at a beach and since we have six annual free nights to redeem we'll spend a week or two there this winter.

5

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 06 '21

Hyatt instead or cash.

1

u/[deleted] Sep 07 '21

[deleted]

1

u/nadogm1 JAX Sep 07 '21

I feel that if Marriott wants to really compete in the CC points earning space, they should payout at 2x points per $ on basic spend, but they dont.

The Chase Boundless card, Amex brilliant, and Amex business all earn 2x per $ spent with no limit or categories.

9

u/435880Churnz Sep 06 '21

Hyatt is great if it works for you.

2

u/KafkaExploring Sep 07 '21

This. Of my last eight trips, there was a Hyatt close enough to consider once, and even with every perk and credit I could come up with it was still $48 more than a nearby Marriott 5* Autograph. They're great hotels, with a great loyalty program, so I really wish they'd work out, they just never do.

2

u/435880Churnz Sep 07 '21

Yeah I strongly feel this way. My next trip may have me stay by PHL airport, goes to Hyatt.com to look for hotels, they don't have a hotel by the airport but Marriott has like half a dozen.

-1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 06 '21

Yup

6

u/OutofToiletPaper Sep 06 '21

Long game play with either with Chase or Amex initially - whichever offers higher bonuses, then after 24 months you can get the cards with the other issuer. Transfer points from Chase/Amex if you need to top off for a redemption.

2

u/apeconguy Sep 06 '21

Has anyone used the cell phone protection benefit from the CIP or USB Altitude? Was it a hassle or were their unnecessary roadblocks? What was the process?

I canceled my other phone insurance, but I am worried it may be difficult to collect the benefit.

2

u/chowfuntime ASL Sep 07 '21

I used MC cell phone protection because deductible is lower than ink. Complete trash. Still pending decision after 1 month.

5

u/rohanr0302 Sep 06 '21

Used CIP for cell phone insurance and the entire process was smooth. Followed the steps on their website and payout was within 7-10 days.

You can find my report here -- https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/nysbvt/comment/h369pn7/?context=3

19

u/TheWinStore LGB, LAX Sep 06 '21

Priority Pass really needs to add a $28 slot machine credit at LAS.

This idea may or may not have anything to do with the fact that my layover there is too short to check out The Club lounge…

6

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 06 '21

If it is anything like the MCO, SEA, or ATL, then you aren't missing out on much.

6

u/nickohrn Sep 06 '21

The Club at LAS is actually pretty nice after they renovated it. It used to be a tiny hole in the wall and now is a good option for those who don't have access to the Centurion (and it stays open later).

2

u/Saxopwn IAH, HOU Sep 06 '21

Similar to the DFW one but larger. Definitely a decent option after the Centurion closes and you’re on a red-eye.

-2

u/[deleted] Sep 06 '21

[deleted]

0

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 06 '21

reply button

8

u/Dullbozer240 Sep 06 '21

Oops, little hung over today, need to get myself blacklisted from the centurion, any pointers? (Question thread)

1

u/onlyAlcibiades Sep 06 '21

Lurk near entrance and solicit the unwashed masses an opportunity to check out Centurion

8

u/TacticoolRaygun Sep 06 '21

I’ll get things kicked off with this thread. I am curious on how everyone picks their hotel chain they like to stay at. I’ve always enjoyed staying at Marriott properties. I do enjoy staying at other branded hotels like Embassy Suites for Hilton or Intercontinental for IHG. I stayed more at Marriott than every this year after getting a credit card with a great SUB. Why do you pick your specific brand of hotels? What about them makes them appealing to you?

I ask because I’ve thought about getting another hotel card to not be deadlocked with Marriott. I am looking for experiences that make you pick that hotel company. TIA.

3

u/TheSultan1 EWR, FTW Sep 08 '21

I stayed mostly at Marriotts up to a year or so ago, as it was the only hotel card I had and we used to travel with my in-laws quite a bit (Marriott has a good selection of 1- and 2-bedroom properties). P2 and I have felt more "welcome" at almost every Hilton than at almost every Marriott.

2

u/435880Churnz Sep 07 '21

I prioritize Marriott and Hyatt, but oftentimes find myself staying at Marriotts. There just aren't enough Hyatts and they have no presence in so many places that have 5 or 6 Marriotts to choose from. I have credit cards for both.

4

u/shinebock IAH, HOU Sep 07 '21

I'm fortunate to be able to be a free agent, but in the way that I have points and status at all the big chains. Marriott Plat/Hilton Diamond/Hyatt Glob. I just stay where value meets what I want.

I'm on vacation in Colombia this week and I stayed at the Hyatt Place in Bogota. Hilton in Cartagena. Why? I wanted the Hyatt qualifying nights and the price was cheap. Hilton because it's on the beach, it was cheap, and since it's not a US hotel - actual diamond benefits.

No one chain will be the end all be all. Something lots of people don't consider is that unless you're spending lots of time in hotels, think 30, 45+ nights a year I'd argue it's not worth the hassle and investment in trying to figure out and get hotel status. See lots of those questions on /r/awardtravel

1

u/davidloveasarson Sep 08 '21

Nice, we were at the Hilton Cartagena last week of Aug! Great hotel and cheapppp 👌🏼

2

u/Eurynom0s LAX Sep 07 '21

Marriott Plat/Hilton Diamond/Hyatt Glob

Do you just organically stay in hotels a lot?

2

u/shinebock IAH, HOU Sep 07 '21

A fair bit. I probably do 40ish nights a year on personal travel in normal times, plus whatever I do for work, which isn't much right now. I'm an Aspire diamond (used to be organic years ago), and Glob just this and next year thanks to the generous promos and lower requirement. Reminds me that I need to update my spreadsheet for this year...

4

u/jfchops2 MSP Sep 07 '21

I picked Hyatt as my preferred hotel brand because I didn't know anything about hotel loyalty/rewards outside of Marriott when I started churning and based on my learnings with that concluded they'd be my best bet for getting the most free nights due to the UR transfer option.

After 5 or so different stays with them that all went great I decided to leverage a good mattress run opportunity to get Globalist for some upcoming aspirational stays and that ended with Hyatt earning my first look for a hotel every time until they give me a reason not to. They treat me great, program for program nobody else comes close to the benefits they offer.

6

u/Saxopwn IAH, HOU Sep 06 '21

Strong affinity for Four Seasons but obviously not a great churning redemption. FHR perks are decent at least.

5

u/b0b0thecl0wn Sep 06 '21

My travel style is a few leisure trips a year, mostly with a little kid in tow. I grabbed the IHG card last year during a high SUB.

I felt more confident about using the free night than with Hyatt due to relative footprints, it's easier to get a 4th night free on points than 5th with Hilton or Marriott, points go on sale all the time, and I usually care more about the destination than upscale accommodation.

10

u/apeconguy Sep 06 '21

I have zero brand loyalty. Lately I've been staying mostly at Hilton properties because of my two Hilton Amex SUB's. But I'm only as loyal as the free stays I get, so when the points are gone, so am I.

5

u/D14DFF0B Sep 06 '21

COVID kinda wrecked it, but having the right status to get free breakfast can save a lot of money and time for certain trips. Even Courtyards in Japan have a lavish spread for instance.

10

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Sep 06 '21

The best hotel for the best price closest to where I want to stay. Order of preference is probably Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt, but we have a major preference for a suite with a bedroom door for our family, and with the places we like to go, we do end up in a fair share on Best Western, HI Express, and La Quinta to get those kind of rooms.

1

u/KafkaExploring Sep 07 '21

Agreed. Search order is now:

  1. Award Mapper to see if there's anything I can afford. Unless I have a big mass of points approaching 5th night free (typically from a SUB), I try to burn on any decent redemption.
  2. Hotwire (with Prestige 5x). This is the price I use to see if #1 is a good value.
  3. TYP portal only if I'm staying 4 nights. Terrible interface, great value.
  4. Before booking any of these, I'll call the hotel I want and see if they'll price match. Three of the last five have even matched a 4th night free rate. Two of the last four matched Hotwire based on the pictures.
  5. Chase Travel (with CSR 10x).

I find that hotels nearly always give you status-based free breakfast even though you booked via a portal.

Rarer trips would add redeeming points for 5 nights, or Amex FHR/HC if it's the kind of trip where I'm interested in using a credit.

4

u/Loyal_Quisling 7/24 Sep 06 '21

Availability of hotel of destination.

If they have a promo. Right now Hyatt has the healthcare promo and the rooms have been cheap. We've been using it for almost all our trips.

Then its cpp value.

We really like Hyatt. They are clean and have friendly staff. Unlike marriot and hilton.

7

u/spiritualplague Sep 06 '21

IHG works well for road trips. They are available, cheap and generally clean.

1

u/Tsarinax JFK, BDL Sep 06 '21

Can second this and had to kick myself for not at least opening a IHG account first… but I was recently traveling and every Marriott and Hilton nearby were booked and at first everything else was too sketchy for P2. We found a holiday inn express nearby that was nicer than the comparable Hilton (Hampton inn?). I was really happy with it for the family as a last second option.

1

u/KafkaExploring Sep 07 '21

IHG also usually has a promo (e.g. 2x points on your second stay, 3x on third, 4x on fourth in a quarter). Doesn't cost anything to opt in.

1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 06 '21

Many people here have Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton cards and they choose on what is best for their location and dates. Diversification is key to this hobby. It is always nice to have options.

9

u/Hammerhead87 Sep 06 '21

I'll preface my comments with I have a family of 5 and don't get to enjoy high end properties very often. I stay mainly at Hyatt properties since it's so easy/cheap to transfer UR and get great value out of it. With the 5 nights from the credit card, a partnership with AA (only airline at my home airport) and ability to MS to status are all wins in my opinion. They had some amazing promos this year as well to attain status easily.

Trying to book any other program for a night or two on points just seems so expensive. Between P2 and I we have been amassing Hilton and Marriott points for an aspirational international trip when travel restrictions become a little clearer and we don't have to worry about trip cancelations.

With all that being said, I am in a Kimpton right now for the week because the Hyatt near here doesn't have 2 queen beds :(

14

u/drunken_man_whore Sep 06 '21

I'm a free agent. Wherever I have a FNC or points, that's where I stay. As for which card to get, get the one that has the elevated offer at the moment.

-2

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Sep 06 '21

Yup