r/churning Nov 29 '21

Weekly Off Topic Thread - Week of November 29, 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.

27 Upvotes

1

u/TheSultan1 EWR, FTW Dec 05 '21

1

u/Viper3773 MSN, MKE Dec 07 '21

Yes...we took too much money from them in that Amex offer :(

2

u/olmsted EAT, BTY Dec 04 '21

Hyatt Biz vs another Ink card didn't make much of a difference for me, so pulled the trigger on the Hyatt card. Surprised that it's a metal card. Don't really care either way, but still holding out hope for an super premium Hyatt personal card.

1

u/435880Churnz Dec 05 '21

I just don't understand what a Hyatt super-premium card would reasonably give you. Freeloaders will want it to give you Globalist, but that is ridiculous. Someone will say they want it to give you Explorist, but I don't think that's gonna happen either. With Hyatt's Hyatt <-> MGM every year, you could get the card once and have Explorist forever. So that's not even a reasonable ask.

So what would a Hyatt premium card actually give you?

2

u/olmsted EAT, BTY Dec 05 '21

Another bonus. Beyond that, though, I'm not really sure what would make a good Hyatt super premium card. An annual unrestricted cert with the ability to spend up to another one maybe, similar to the Aspire, but maybe at a lower spend threshold to compensate for their smaller portfolio. I dunno.

I forgot all about the Hyatt MGM matching loop. So that still works?

3

u/435880Churnz Dec 05 '21

Yeah it's still a thing. Then effectively the only thing the card offers is a better free night that costs more. So basically the desire is to get a good deal on a hotel that you wouldn't normally pay cash for cause it's too expensive but something you would pay using the FNC for. I mean that's a fine wish. But that's basically what it is.

1

u/olmsted EAT, BTY Dec 05 '21

I imagine to keep it competitive with other high fee hotel cards there would have to be a statement credit of some sort, be it on hotel stays or flights. But yeah, I'm not sure what they'd do to set it apart from other similar cards.

Thanks for the tip on the MGM loop. I missed it initially but ended up getting explorist this year with reduced requirements. Nice to know it could last quite a while if they don't fix it

3

u/Clay_pigeon14 Dec 03 '21

Flew through DFW terminal D a few days ago. Noticed they are building a gameway video arcade next to the centurion. Also there is one of the Be Relax spas in terminal D. Not accepting PP yet but hopefully it will be soon. A visit to Terminal D is going to be quite the affair in the near future. So many options already between Centurion, Admirals Club, Cap 1 lounge, The Club, and Minutes Suites.

0

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Dec 05 '21

Have you ever been to an airport spa before?

3

u/jvolzer Dec 04 '21

Didn't there used to be a video arcade somewhere in DFW? Whatever happened to that one?

2

u/Clay_pigeon14 Dec 04 '21

Still there in Terminal B and E.

2

u/jvolzer Dec 04 '21

Oh. It's not in PP anymore? Edit: nevermind. Amex removed that along with the restaurants didn't they.

1

u/happilytravel Dec 03 '21

Sorry my question is not churning related, but you all are such experts and always so helpful so I thought I would try my luck. I am ready to file a charge back for $200 with Chase (on the CSR card) for a service that was not rendered. It was also charged by a family member without my authorization. I think I have 2 options here: file a claim for service not provided, or file an unauthorized charge claim.

I read that Chase is the least consumer friendly bank when it comes to charge backs. This makes me think I should choose to file an unauthorized charge claim, to ensure that I will get the refund. With the other option, I don't know what kind of documentation chase will ask for, and whether it's feasible to produce since how does one prove when a service was not provided? Is this thinking correct? Am I missing anything? What would you do?

2

u/rudebrew22 Dec 04 '21

If you are talking about the family member as the provider then it doesn't matter, dispute charges if you have an issue. I've done this twice via Chase in the past 10 years and everything when smooth.

If you are talking about a family member using your card to purchase services then this would be fraud. Might be worth trying to setting up directly.

1

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 04 '21

how does one prove when a service was not provided

It won't necessarily be on you to prove it. Chase will first ask the service provider to prove it was delivered, whether through documentation, approvals, something.

If you're going the other route, you should report the card as stolen to get a new number.

3

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 03 '21

Uber credit that should work for anyone in Colorado: HOLIDAYSAFE for $15, valid through Jan 3. Courtesy of CDOT.

1

u/newg33b Dec 03 '21

Does anyone have experience using Turo? We’re looking to book a rental car for a trip to AZ in a few months and will need a bigger car, thinking minivan, because we’ll be bringing golf clubs. The best I can do from Autoslash is about $700 for 4 days from Fox rental, where I’ve seen decently reviewed cars on Turo for maybe $350. Is it worth that price difference to go with Turo?

1

u/abhirupduttamit BOS, BDL Dec 04 '21

Fox at PHX is terrible. I say this from personal experience, you can also see their google reviews. Go with Turo, should be a better experience.

1

u/soopurdueper Dec 04 '21

I had a great first Turo experience in AZ and saved a ton. Easy process and airport pickup. Two other good Turo experiences in other states since. Go for it!

3

u/Parts_Unknown- Dec 03 '21

So I generally have a lot of downtime at my job, like hours & hours per week. Wondering if anyone in a similar situation has found a way to decently monetize that kind of downtime?

I'm behind a company firewall, can't install software, can use my phone but not for calls. I've thought about doing surveys, mechanical turk, etc but the ROI on the time spent seems pretty dismal. I don't need to maximize every minute, but something to do as a side gig when I'm really bored would be nice. There's only so much vacation planning and churning/bank related stuff one can do in a given day

And yes, a huge part of my job is really just sitting there doing nothing, so please no 'try doing your actual job'.

1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Dec 05 '21

Amazon FBA

3

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 03 '21

so please no 'try doing your actual job'.

Heh. Is there an option to do some training or learning that could help lead to whatever you think might be your next job? Like something on Udemy or Coursera, or getting some certification? Should have a much higher payoff than that /r/beermoney stuff, and if someone looks over your shoulder or corporate IT sees where you spend time, it looks a lot better.

1

u/Parts_Unknown- Dec 03 '21

I make about $80k & get 4 weeks of PTO /yr, I see my supervisor once every month or two. I'm rarely bothered by anyone in management and while not irreplaceable I'm unlikely to be let go due to the skills and licensure I have. Zero interest in career advancement, more responsibility for basically the same pay.

I have thought about brushing up on my Spanish or German but ehhh, not sure if those online courses are worthwhile.

2

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 03 '21

Understood. Several years ago, I used Rosetta Stone to brush up on my Russian since I was spending a few months there, I'd recommend it as worthwhile in terms of skills. But not necessarily a financial ROI on that.

3

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Dec 02 '21

Damn I love my credit union. Called yesterday to refi a $70k vehicle I bought in May at their advertised 1.79% rate. I was politely informed they already had an open pre-screened approval for me up to $75k, so no credit pull or any other documentation was necessary, just email them the registration, payoff quote from Chase, and miles on the vehicle. They called me back today with the final approval, and after a 3 minute phone call sent me a docusign. Refi done. If you don't have a relationship with a good local CU, take the time aside from churning and do that. I don't even use them as my primary bank.

1

u/Parts_Unknown- Dec 03 '21

What was the original rate?

1

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Dec 03 '21

2.4%, still pretty good. I primarily did the refi for convenience of having both my auto loans at the same place, and also I prefer to give my local CU the business. Does save a few bucks a month.

1

u/POINTSmetotheMILES Dec 02 '21

a $70k vehicle

What vehicle?

2

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Dec 02 '21

GMC Sierra

3

u/POINTSmetotheMILES Dec 02 '21

2 of them? lol

2

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Dec 02 '21

I know, right? Trucks are getting pretty pricey.

2

u/Eurynom0s LAX Dec 02 '21 edited Dec 02 '21

If you type in, say, LAX to JFK into Google and hit the Flights button you will be taken to a list of flights. LAX to EWR used to do the same. Except now anything to EWR->Flights will bring you to the explore travel page because maybe you'd rather fly into Atlantic City (which I didn't even realize has an airport)? You have to then hit the Flights button (this time on the left) and then type in EWR again; I've been keeping my eye on some flights involving EWR recently and just why. Why not ask me to the explore travel page in case I really meant that I wanted to fly into fucking Islip instead of JFK? Why specifically EWR?

1

u/jerseyguy195 Dec 03 '21

I've flown out of ACY for a weekend flight to Florida. Definitely is a small airport but in a good way. I still stick to PHL or EWR for longer flights.

2

u/rohanr0302 Dec 01 '21

Accidentally stumbled upon hidden city AA award ticket. Have booked it one-way and I plan to ghost the last leg of the journey.

Question: What can be the possible repercussions of this? I am returning by AA after a couple of days. The return leg was booked separately. I just want to be sure that AA doesnt cancel my return leg as well.

2

u/nebulousboy Dec 08 '21

One of my friends' return leg was canceled due to this. Can you not book a separate award ticket for return?

1

u/rohanr0302 Dec 08 '21

Oh I did mention that the return leg is booked as a separate award ticket.

1

u/nebulousboy Dec 08 '21

I am sorry, I somehow missed that.

3

u/jfchops2 MSP Dec 02 '21

Don't forget that you cannot check a bag doing this - it's going through to your destination whether you do or not.

1

u/rohanr0302 Dec 02 '21

Yep, thought about that. Will keep a reminder too!!

6

u/thekingoftherodeo BOS, MAN Dec 02 '21

You'd need to be doing it somewhat frequently to get closed. Once or twice a year and you'll be alright.

3

u/URtheoneforme Dec 02 '21

You'll be fine

3

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 01 '21 Silver

Got an email from Hertz to gift President's Circle status to one person by 12/15/21. Gifted status good through 6/30/22. If anyone wants it, comment here and DM me your first name, last name, email, and state -- you need to already have a Hertz membership created that matches that info, Churner McChurnface won't work.

2

u/joe-movie SLC Dec 01 '21

Lenin wants my personal info. Think I'll stick to my Nissan Versa's when renting.

That's cool though. Hopefully someone who can use it sees this.

2

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 01 '21

Yeah, that's why I was clear about what's required. If anyone wants to create a reddit alt to send me the info in a way that I can't track to their normal username, go for it.

7

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 01 '21

For those who enjoy daily sweepstakes, it's day 1 of Accor's 31 Thank Yous. I won a decent prize from it last year.

I will not post daily reminders to enter.

3

u/thekingoftherodeo BOS, MAN Dec 01 '21

Per VFTW, the Frontier status match returns this year again and now they're even matching hotel programs. Should be easy for most to have Hilton Gold/Diamond from the Platinum/Aspire so at least 50K is achievable (free carry on + seat assignment). It does cost $49 but you'd easily save that if you took even 1 flight. Of course that does mean you have to fly Frontier, but they really aren't any worse than any European/Asian LCC, I did a good few BWI-MCO hops this year and for that distance (~2hrs) its perfectly fine. Also, sadly if you did it last year you can't get it again unless targeted.

1

u/abhirupduttamit BOS, BDL Dec 01 '21

Wyndham Diamond matches to Elite 100k, definitely a good option for those holding a Wyndham Biz card.

1

u/Tsarinax JFK, BDL Dec 01 '21

So those with a lot of extra Uber Eats credits this month, do you plan to do anything different with them? I may take it as an opportunity to try a few restaurants I may not have otherwise.

2

u/dimm0k JAA, PAN Dec 01 '21

don't feel it's any different than any other month since the amount each month, even for December is less than what is spent for the family

1

u/Tsarinax JFK, BDL Dec 01 '21

Well, if you have multiple platinums it can add up this month. shrug. I was just curious if anyone had any interesting ideas.

5

u/435880Churnz Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

Not to get political here but rules made my politicians heavily affect many of us and our travel plans. I heard on the radio today on my evening commute that new covid restrictions on international travel are imminent on the horizon.

  1. Covid test will be required within 24 hours of departure rather than 72 hours for all regardless of vaccination status and citizenship.

  2. A second Covid test will be required 3-5 days after arriving in the USA regardless of vaccination status.

  3. They mentioned there will be the possibility of enhanced screening at JFK, EWR, ATL, and SFO for international arrivals. I don't know what the hell that means, but the radio said that could include quarantines.

1 and 2 are being reported on this Reuters article here. They may be announced on Thursday.

3

u/rudebrew22 Dec 02 '21

The US is super relaxed in comparison... Many other countries require PCR to even enter the airport or transit through and do temp screenings upon deplaning and boarding. Rapid tests are free and readily available in the US. You can also purchase BinaxNow-AG test kits that take 15 minutes and can be done from the convenience of your own home. Screenings means that they might actually start taking temperatures at the airport. They currently state passengers are subject to random checks... haven't seen a single person checked on any of my recent international trips.

Politics aside its relatively easy to plan for in comparison to an international trip.

Random tidbit, if your flight is delayed the test is still good for the original time of departure unless it gets bumped more than 24 hours.

7

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

Good to stay on top of, but shouldn't interfere with anyone's plans.

Number 1 can be easily satisfied with antigen testing. Readily available and cheap throughout Europe, and cheap & doable via video call anywhere.

Number 2 is easy & free to anyone anywhere in the US.

Not seeing number 3 reported, enhanced screening could be as simple as targeted rapid testing like parts of Hawaii did for a while...

EDIT: Also, note that the current US order for testing is not "72 hours" but rather 3 days -- if your flight departs at 4pm, you might test 80 hours before the flight and be in compliance. Coverage so far indicates the update would similarly be 1 day, allowing more than 24 hours.

2

u/435880Churnz Dec 01 '21

Number 3: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/cdc-omicron-us-airports-surveillance/index.html

Regarding the expanded surveillance, "this program allows for increased Covid testing for specific international arrivals," Walensky said, "increasing our capacity to identify those with Covid-19 on arrival to the United States and enhancing our surveillance for the Omicron variant."

It doesn't say exactly what this program is going to entail. But it's going to be some sort of enhanced something for international arrivals to certain airports. What are they going to do if you test positive?

2

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 01 '21

What are they going to do if you test positive?

As that article mentions, it's an expansion of a program already in place. The purpose is to identify disease and variants, with pooled testing being a main mechanism. The current program has no quarantine or any sort of follow up monitoring, and I don't see a scenario where the government brings the huge resources to bear to do so.

15

u/Swastik496 Dec 01 '21

Honestly they need to just mandate vaccines and remove this bs.

7

u/normalinternetperson Dec 02 '21

For the love of god, this. I promise you that vaccinated international travelers are not the ones filling the ICU's. Obviously we here are all a little bias based on our propensity to travel, but the idea of limiting my access back into my own country because I visited a another country instead of growing a pair and not allowing the unvaccinated/untested dude who just finished his 40 person Thanksgiving celebration onto a domestic airplane is dumb. We came back from France Sunday and somehow the government is willing to say that visiting a country with a higher vaccination rate than ours, which made me scan a QR code every time we went into a restaurant or public place, makes me more of a risk so we can all pretend like a variant isn't already here by the time someone has detected it.

4

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 01 '21

Without getting into politics or shoulds...there's limited evidence yet on what impact omicron has on vaccine efficacy, mandating that and removing testing may not be an effective control.

1

u/Swastik496 Dec 02 '21

Understood. Hopefully these are temporary until we get that data then.

2

u/coole106 YUM, MMY Nov 30 '21

Anyone have any issues booking a THC or FHR stay across multiple plat cards to get multiple credits? So book the first night on one card and the second night on another card?

6

u/thisfits DSN, YYY Dec 01 '21 edited Dec 01 '21

Did this earlier in the month at the Westin Anaheim. After booking, called the hotel front desk to see if they could ensure we'd stay in the same room. They said it's fine, but they'd only only allow the $100 dining credit to be used once since it's technically "once per stay". That was fine by me.

5

u/coole106 YUM, MMY Dec 01 '21

Yeah I don’t care about that cause it’s all inclusive where I want to stay. I’m gonna try to do 4 nights, 2 booked before year end and 2 jan 1. That way I can get $800 back

2

u/joimintz Dec 01 '21

If I understand correctly, the calendar-year timeframe for the $200 credit applies for when you book the prepaid reservation (i.e. when the charge from AMEX FHR hits). So this would only work if you book the second half of your trip ON January 1, 2022, which could be tricky to pull off especially if you want to keep the same room.

1

u/coole106 YUM, MMY Dec 01 '21

Yep understood. I was planning on doing the first half of the reservation towards the end of December and then the second half on Jan 1. I was actually gonna do a FHR property and so use 4 credits for 4 nights. Alas, the property I was gonna do has a 5 night minimum so it’s not possible there. As it is, I’m gonna split a THC stay over 2 reservations and use both my and P2’s credit

1

u/OccamsVirus MSY, EWR Dec 01 '21

Which AI? The new Hilton in Cancun?

2

u/coole106 YUM, MMY Dec 01 '21

I checked and for that time of year they require a 5 night minimum. I wouldn't necessarily mind a 5th night if I could use 4 $200 credits, but there's no way for me to make that work splitting it across 4 separate bookings

2

u/coole106 YUM, MMY Dec 01 '21

There are a few under THC or FHR. I’m looking at Unico Hotel Riviera Maya right now in playa del Carmen

6

u/mvc22 LAX, BUR Nov 30 '21

Now that most people are in the gift-giving season, what are some of the best (if any) churning/travel-related gifts people have received?

1

u/CreditDogo TRN, LFT Dec 01 '21

This one is rather simple, but P2 gave me a binder for my sock-drawered cards and I think its one of the most on-point gifts I've received.

6

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Dec 01 '21

Kind of obvious, but noise canceling headphones. I thought that was an unnecessary feature, I'm not a big audiophile, I was fine with my Sony MDRs which were big & solid enough to offer good isolation...but a friend gave a set to me a few years ago, hot damn it's like I'm flying in a cone of silence.

2

u/eminem30982 MMM, BBQ Dec 02 '21

I was also skeptical about ANC until my friend let me borrow his extra set during a flight (a pair that his gf normally uses), and yeah, I was completely sold after that and bought my own pair.

4

u/OccamsVirus MSY, EWR Dec 01 '21

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds are a revelation. Makes flight so much better and helps you tune out the craziness of an airport. Plus they have a decent mic for phone calls/zoom

3

u/eminem30982 MMM, BBQ Dec 02 '21

I just wish that the case wasn't so crazy big compared to other comparable earbuds. It's comically large. I was hoping to be able to use them as my daily drivers but the case is just too large to fit into my pockets when I already have stuff in my pockets (phone, wallet, etc).

1

u/OccamsVirus MSY, EWR Dec 03 '21

Yeah that's a definite drawback. It's hard to just pop them into your pocket if you're going somewhere and I'm always paranoid of keeping them in a shirt/hoodie pocket in case they get lost. Thanks for including the comparison. These are my first wireless earbuds and I just assumed that size was industry standard

2

u/eminem30982 MMM, BBQ Dec 03 '21

Yeah, the Bose case is in a completely different class of its own in terms of size. I can understand if the earbuds themselves need to be bigger to hold the active noise cancellation stuff, but the case is inexcusably big considering it doesn't do anything special. I'm only going to be using them when I'm traveling, when I have a bag to put the case in.

4

u/rudebrew22 Nov 30 '21

P2 got me a silky eye mask using Saks credit. It's amazing for travel and home.

1

u/Parts_Unknown- Dec 03 '21

link?

1

u/rudebrew22 Dec 03 '21

1

u/Parts_Unknown- Dec 03 '21

Oh yeah thats definitely silky looking.
I've used this guy for awhile
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MT7N35R
Comfortable, very good at light blocking & for some reason I lose it every time I go to Miraval so I know the quality has been consistent.

1

u/rudebrew22 Dec 03 '21

Remind me of my old ostrich. I don't care if my coworkers thought I looked silly, this was one of the best travel accessories. Covers your eyes and built in pillow that moves with you. Got it originally on kickstarter for $25 and replaced when P2 left it at a hotel.

https://ostrichpillow.com/products/light-versatile-pillow

1

u/dimm0k JAA, PAN Dec 01 '21

ooh, this sounds like a great idea for the credit and for P2

12

u/435880Churnz Nov 30 '21

After seeing the deals this year on cyber Monday, can anyone really be surprised sales dropped for the first time ever? Deals were pretty bad. I didn't buy anything and P2 bought very little.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/30/cyber-monday-online-sales-drop-1point4percent-from-last-year-to-10point7-billion-falling-for-the-first-time-ever.html

15

u/[deleted] Dec 01 '21

[deleted]

1

u/435880Churnz Dec 01 '21

Doesnt change that good deals were basically non-existent.

3

u/forthelurkin AAA, MCO Nov 30 '21

Agreed, the deals were uninspiring. But I guess when so much is in short supply, there's no point in putting it on sale.

Only deal I found worth biting on Black Friday or Cyber Monday was an uninterruptable power supply. Truly boring indeed.

1

u/ZDDP1273 Dec 04 '21

What do you keep on your UPS? Haven't gotten around to picking one up yet.

2

u/435880Churnz Nov 30 '21

Yeah most of what I was interested in getting never even went on sale over the entire last week.

3

u/adgjl12 Nov 30 '21

Cool, got some gifts out of the way from Saks credit/cyber monday promo/Rakuten.

$54 for a hand lotion set and a lip balm set. Basically a net positive for me after $50 credit and about $8 in MR

1

u/Thelement ELF, KNG Nov 30 '21

Here's something tangentially on topic: What's your preferred card for everyday spend in foreign currencies? Most daily drivers for me (when not hitting an MSR) are cards that have FTF, things like the BB+, Citi DC, Chase Freedom, etc. Some cards have no AF and no FTF but will only net you 1x (amazon card, for example) on out-of-category purchases. Personally I have a USAA 1.5x flat cashback card which I like to use for those purchases. It's no AF and no category spend. When traveling I use my citi premier a lot since it covers a lot of 3x categories, but for everyday foreign purchases online/souvenirs, that USAA card earns its place.

3

u/ipod123432 Dec 01 '21

Where’s the love for the BoA Premium Rewards? With plat honors status, 2.62% cash back on all purchases, 3.5% on dining and travel, no foreign transaction fee, effective $0 af after the travel credit. Best single card to bring.

5

u/Swastik496 Dec 01 '21

Amex gold on general and restaurants to avoid dynamic currency conversion.

Amex will ban it by default and I’ll happily earn 1x MR instead of 1x UR to avoid that headache and know I’m always getting a good exchange rate and not one with 5-8% fee.

Otherwise CSR(no Amex and for travel categories) and check the receipts immediately& my card statements when PDF is generated and file dispute with chase if DCC is applied.

1

u/OccamsVirus MSY, EWR Dec 01 '21

Amex Gold for dining. Otherwise Costco Visa - saved my ass in Ukraine this summer.

1

u/liquor_in_the_front CIP, PPK Nov 30 '21

CAP1 venture

3

u/TheSultan1 EWR, FTW Nov 30 '21

When I used to spend more on gas & groceries abroad, I would use the Premier. Now that the large expenses are limited to travel and dining, CSR.

4

u/CheetoBeeto Nov 30 '21

Now, the Venture X. It's probably going to be a keeper card (still need to see if the travel portal is bad or not), so no FTF with 2x miles makes it an easy one to default to.

8

u/BOS_George Nov 30 '21

I’m going to echo CSR although I currently only have a CSP after downgrading to a no-fee card. The vast majority of my foreign ccy spend is in hotel, dining or travel (regional flights, rail, etc). I imagine that’s the case for many US based spenders.

3

u/Teaquilla Nov 30 '21

I usually go with the currency I need to top up the most even if it's just 1x. Last time I used the Ritz card for non bonus spend abroad. I know that 2x marriott is not great return on spend but I knew I needed to top up on Bonvoy points.

2

u/GiraffeGlove SFO, 3/24 Nov 30 '21

When I'm traveling i probably have a luxury card like the csr because it's an ok earner on most things or an Amex platinum for the lounges. If I need to put spend on a card I'll probably use one of those to avoid the ftfs.

12

u/TProphet69 Nov 30 '21

So, anyone have a good play for "Caterina?"

https://imgur.com/a/J1YDT6W

1

u/ig226 Nov 30 '21

Reminder for Washington residents to register for 12status.

1

u/thejontorrweno Nov 30 '21

Gonna need Russ to step it up to get those pesos

29

u/JDBAZ SJC, SFO Nov 29 '21 edited Nov 29 '21

TL;DR: Bought 5,000 Hyatt Points for $84 instead of paying $250/night for upcoming Hyatt stay.

Traveling this upcoming weekend and staying at a Hyatt for one night. Was initially going to be paying cash ($200+/night) but found that it was in fact a Category 1 hotel that costs 5,000 points/night. I do not currently have enough Hyatt Points/UR to spare but Hyatt is currently selling points at 30% off through the end of the year. Purchased 5,000 points for $84, cancelled original booking, and rebooked with points.

It also works out well as I am Globalist so will get the additional perks that come with award stays.

6

u/TheSultan1 EWR, FTW Nov 30 '21

Was looking at some Hyatt properties myself, and they were $800-$1k or 25k points.

3

u/JDBAZ SJC, SFO Nov 30 '21

Well there you go! 25k points for $420! There is a limit of 55K points/year though.

3

u/TheSultan1 EWR, FTW Nov 30 '21

I'd be transferring in that case, with an opportunity cost of $375. Haven't booked, though, as I'm still trying to decide whether I want that or a trip costing fewer hotel points and more miles.

10

u/thekingoftherodeo BOS, MAN Nov 30 '21

Great advice and a reminder to also go through cashback portal for points.com and save another 1-2%.

4

u/unepoire BOS Nov 29 '21

anyone ever have a company try to re-bill you after a credit card dispute?

12

u/Churnernewb Nov 29 '21

I had this issue with Fedex. Disputed with amex, they countered, amex ruled in my favor and fedex sent me a bill. A stern letter to corporate got the issue handled and my balance zero’d

13

u/TheJohnWickening Nov 29 '21

“Whatever lower middle manager thought it was a good idea to bill me after all this does not understand the financial and regulatory headache I could cause you.”

3

u/BOS_George Nov 30 '21

What avenue would you have for recourse against FedEx other than litigation/arbitration? It seems unlikely to be worth it, particularly with the potential for a credit score hit.

3

u/OccamsVirus MSY, EWR Dec 01 '21

It depends on what happened. If they just sent you a bill you can ignore/fight it for a while - it's on them to send it to collections.

If they charge your card you can pay it off and then fight it.

But you certainly wouldn't just carry the balance so unlikely to affect credit score

2

u/rep-swe Nov 29 '21

Planning a multi month Europe trip while working remotely next year. I'd like to bring a fairly compact camera for pictures/videos, any recs? Do people like Away luggage?

Really excited for this. I'll be using a combination of United, UR, C1, and maybe MR points, and I've got EU citizenship so I'm thinking a month or so in different countries.

3

u/rudebrew22 Nov 30 '21

Picked up a bigger carryon when my Tumi was finally on its last legs. I've travelled probably 500-600 days with it so far and it is still holding up well. Make sure you get a very visible and unique luggage tag, people love to walk off with the wrong bags.

The other bag I would recommend is Timbuk2. Solid bag with a lifetime warranty. They also use these skateboard like wheel that are super smooth, sturdy, and good over rough surfaces. Only drawback for me was that it was a 2 wheel bag instead of a 4 wheel, I personally prefer the 4 wheel for getting on/off planes even if you lose a bit of storage space.

3

u/TheSultan1 EWR, FTW Nov 30 '21

I travel with a smartphone and GoPro. I'll sometimes bring my old dSLR for long exposures and low DoF shots, but the closest thing to a compact version of that would be a mirrorless, which is pricey.

2

u/eminem30982 MMM, BBQ Nov 30 '21

As far as cameras go, if you're looking for a point & shoot camera, you should just use a good smartphone camera instead. High end smartphone cameras are really good nowadays, and you have to be willing to do a lot of manual editing to recreate what smartphones will do automatically.

4

u/bigheadsoftbody BOI, SEA Nov 30 '21

Unrelated, but have you let your company know you are planning to work while outside of the country your employer is in? Idk why exactly, but my employer has a hard "do not bring your laptop with you on international vacations," i am guessing it is a tax related thing. Hopefully it doesn't apply for you but just wanted to share my experience in case it does.

3

u/OccamsVirus MSY, EWR Dec 01 '21

do not bring your laptop with you on international vacations

Could be an industry thing. In healthcare (my field) I cannot even imagine how much more of a clusterfuck losing a laptop with sensitive information (in my case HPI) would be abroad.

3

u/rudebrew22 Nov 30 '21

Well taxes. Besides a security concern many countries have import/export laws on certain technology (e.g., encryption, DLP/Monitoring) that you might be violating.

3

u/rep-swe Nov 30 '21

I've worked on international vacations twice and there were no issues. We have contractors working in Europe on my team, so I might ask to be rehired as a contractor. I also am not particularly drawn to this company, so I might just try to get a new remote job based in Europe since I have EU citizenship. I might also just try to get a new (probably remote) job in the US during this vacation and quit and have some extra weeks, all is up in the air. I'm in tech and while I didn't particularly care about remote vs. in person work until my company moved the return to office date some 8 times (can't wait for time #9 this week), I feel as if engineers everywhere and at my company are very forceful about having long term remote options. As for taxes, I'll have a US based address this whole time (with the parents).

8

u/Atyri SLC Nov 30 '21

Could be a security thing too. In my company we never expected anyone to work outside the country, so a lot of stuff was blocked outside the US.

5

u/zooey67 SJC Nov 30 '21

A Sony RX100 VI or VII camera will perform better than a smartphone, but whether it's worth ~$1000 is up to you. It's not much larger than a traditional point-and-shoot digital camera, and avoids the need for extra lenses / flash / etc.

3

u/perseidmeteorbath LAX Nov 30 '21

I like my Away bag (The Bigger Carry-On without battery). The "features" are smartly designed and work well. I haven't taken it on a ton of trips yet but it's held up very well. The only real annoying thing is the lack of handle on the bottom.

That said, I know a lot of people say they're overpriced or overrated and I think that's fair. I got it when it was part of the Amex Green SUB so I'm very satisfied but if I were dropping $250 on a new piece I would definitely consider other options.

11

u/POINTSmetotheMILES Nov 30 '21

I'd like to bring a fairly compact camera for pictures/videos, any recs?

An iPhone should do the trick

3

u/DCJoe1 Nov 30 '21

Don't understand the interest in Away, at that price point it doesn't seem worth it. Get TravelPro MaxLite 5 if you want rolling luggage.

The Peak Travel 45L bag looks pretty amazing for a full size carry-on backpack.

https://www.peakdesign.com/products/travel-backpack?variant=11530908172332

2

u/ProfessorKnobhead AVN, PBR Nov 29 '21

Really liking my Canon M50. An additional lens wouldn't hurt. I also haven't done a whole lot of video but you can see reviews for yourself on YouTube. Enjoy the trip! Sounds like a great time.

-11

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '21

What are the downsides of churning?

5

u/churnandlurk DOY, ERS Nov 29 '21

6

u/TheJohnWickening Nov 30 '21

Not listed there, but habitually spending more because you “need to hit this SUB”.

I need to work on my spending habits. Luckily the SUBs are paying for a lot of this increased spending.

11

u/joe-movie SLC Nov 29 '21

Too much wasted time trying to optimize the use of the points after you have them.

5

u/isaacides JOK, STR Nov 29 '21

Applied for the BOA Premium Travel Rewards card on 10/28. Got a letter dated 10/29 asking for income verification documents. Mailed those ~1 week later. They were not received by BOA until 11/26. I confirmed this morning the docs and application were approved. A few hours later I received a notification of another HP from BOA. I called back and they're claiming they because it was outside the 30 day window for the app, they needed to do another HP to approve my app. Thing is, not once was I asked or informed this would be the case. Do I have grounds to fight the HP?

1

u/Hippo387 Nov 30 '21

This is why you freeze. Always

10

u/the_fit_hit_the_shan DEN, ESB Nov 29 '21

No, and this is SOP for any BoA app. If you're not approved within thirty days of your original app they will do another HP.

Also this is very on-topic.

1

u/isaacides JOK, STR Nov 29 '21

I thought it was more churning-adjacent than explicitly 'on-topic' and veered on the side of caution.

But yeesh that sucks having to be penalized for their incompetence at doing anything other than at a snail's pace.

2

u/Krischurn Nov 29 '21

That is BoA for you. I had the same thing happen when it took 3 weeks to be “approved” for a CD so I could get a secured card. No other bank I am aware of takes that long to decide whether they want to hold your money or not.

10

u/toru85 Nov 29 '21

Have twice now planned detailed itinerary for South Africa safari trips only to be railroaded by Covid. Thankful I hadn’t booked anything on this second attempt.

20

u/garage_cleaner Nov 29 '21

It seems an infamous serial poster has been banned. I noticed when I didn’t see his weekly 7 posts (which could have easily been consolidated into one) were missing from the weekly trip success thread.

TBH I actually liked reading his meaningful trip reports, but hated how he would post 2 paragraphs and then add some bullshit blurb on waiting on his next post. I spied and it seems he’s not totally banned from Reddit. I wonder if it’s a temporary ban?

-1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Dec 05 '21

Looking forward to sharing more trip reports -- check out my recent. Thanks for the kind words.

-2

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Dec 05 '21

Not banned. :)

1

u/garage_cleaner Dec 06 '21

You actually posted a response to the same post…twice, that had to be intentional? If so, you’re truly a mad lad, but I will be on the lookout for your travel update post. A long planesurf post is usually an interesting read!

-12

u/tendie-dildo Nov 29 '21

Very sad. He is genuinely helpful. Forever living rent free in so many people head here

-1

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Dec 05 '21

Thanks brother!

-5

u/tendie-dildo Dec 05 '21

Glad you are back!

-2

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Dec 05 '21

Thank you. The downvotes got to me -- nothing to do with a permanent ban which I do not want. Hopefully blocking the trolls and haters will keep things sane.

-6

u/tendie-dildo Dec 05 '21

I figured you probably had negative karma. People on this sub don't like when others actually use their miles I guess

0

u/planesurf MIA, HNL Dec 05 '21

I hate saying this and I hope it's wrong, but I think it might be a jealousy thing. I hope its not tho

15

u/garage_cleaner Nov 30 '21

Questionable? He was very active in /r/awardtravel and 90% of his posts were a silver spoon.

Even on this sub half the time he was a griefer seeking out down votes, and just added to the clutter of the threads. When he posted meaningful or relevant things,he’d certainly get an upvote from me. It is unfortunate he became a see user, automatically downvote, but for many of his posts it was deserved.

12

u/bananaboat2569 Nov 29 '21

The help he provided was basic knowledge that anyone else here could provide. Commenting “sidebar, Google, and 🥄” isn’t “genuinely helpful”. Plus, this smells like your alt account.

11

u/BOS_George Nov 30 '21

Don’t forget all the deep-thread OKs and Sures.

20

u/suiris Nov 29 '21

From the sub rules:

Additionally, posts from accounts that have a negative comment karma count are also automatically removed.

It looks like he's sitting at -55 right now so all of his posts are probably being removed by automod.

13

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Nov 29 '21

This seems correct: you can see in his user history he posted 3 hours ago, but going to that thread, the comment isn't there.

3

u/garage_cleaner Nov 29 '21

If he is able to post but it is hidden, isn’t that consistent with a shadow ban? I always thought with bans you’re prevented from posting at all.

It would be befitting if so, as he would be able to post and see his own posts, but no one else could. He seemed to relish downvotes.

2

u/lenin1991 HOT, DOG Nov 29 '21

I'm imagining it works like if you post to churningreferrals with a link in the wrong format: it gets deleted, you get notification that it's been deleted, but it is still in your post history. But I suppose automod could be setup to notify or just eat silently.

20

u/shinebock IAH, HOU Nov 29 '21

Yeah, the see planesurf comment, downvote people finally got him to negative karma.

Once a couple years ago the rankt bot also had negative comment karma for a while and was caught by the same rule.

12

u/Pandamonium98 Nov 29 '21

Sounds like we know how to overthrow the mods if the need should ever arise

11

u/Matthewtheswift Nov 30 '21

should ever arise

You must be new here..

-1

u/ne0ven0m OMG, BOO Nov 29 '21

I wonder what finally did him in.

-5

u/trilogy-09 Nov 29 '21

Real question is why do you care?

7

u/kit_kat_jam KIT, KAT Nov 29 '21

Why do you care?

-1

u/JPWRana Nov 30 '21

Why do you care?

2

u/kit_kat_jam KIT, KAT Nov 30 '21

I don’t know

-7

u/Memotome Nov 29 '21

Like Melania says, I really don't care do u?

7

u/rudebrew22 Nov 29 '21

Just stumbled upon the Amex miles headstart program. Wow, those are practically loan shark rates. For those that aren't familiar, Amex will loan you the miles you need but then charge you 2.5 cents per mile if you don't earn them back in 6 months via spent. It's great if you need a few but I feel like they are making a lot of money on this.

2

u/BOS_George Nov 30 '21

It’s a great feature, just make up the spend. If someone is churning successfully I don’t see how they’d lack the discipline or organization to ensure they do so.

3

u/darniforgotmypwd Nov 29 '21

So you can borrow a remaining 5k miles and you just need to earn that many in 6 months? But you are automatically billed the 2.5 cents per mile for the difference if you don't have that many after the 6 months?

26

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Nov 29 '21

Nine and a half months after filing, my tax return is showing as processed. It's a Christmas fucking miracle.

9

u/HereToFixDeineCable Nov 29 '21 edited Nov 29 '21

Bizarre. I've been putting off trying to contact them for like 3 months because of how painful the process is (call, wade through menus only to find they are too busy and then disconnect you). I finally decided to call this morning at like 8AM and while pushing through the menus, logged in and saw mine had been processed.

Normally I wouldn't even check this particular thread. I haven't even checked this subreddit in some time. Matrix doing matrix things.

3

u/goose_hat ICY, HOT Nov 29 '21

They received my 1040-X on March 1st. Called in 10 days ago to check on it and they said that they just haven't gotten around to it, and to give it up to 20 weeks.

3

u/darniforgotmypwd Nov 29 '21

1040-x seems to be a hit or miss this year. I had one and it only took 8 weeks to process. I know others who have been waiting 6 months.

1

u/goose_hat ICY, HOT Nov 29 '21

Lucky you. It's so all over the place. Unlike OP, I was lucky enough to get my 1040 processed pretty quickly. A week or so probably makes all the difference.

2

u/darniforgotmypwd Nov 29 '21

The phone lines are less obnoxious interestingly. I was on hold less than an hour the two times I called this summer on weekday afternoons.

2

u/goose_hat ICY, HOT Nov 29 '21

Oh yeah. And they've been super nice to talk to.

5

u/I_live_there Nov 29 '21

got my hopes up. Filed in February, didn't even overpay just normal taxes, a single 1040, and still not processed.

3

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Nov 29 '21

I don't think it actually made any difference, but back in August I contacted my congressman's office about it, and they have had a "tax advocate" asking about it every two or three weeks on my behalf.

5

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '21

It very likely did. Mine was going nowhere until I got that process going. Got a refund about 8 weeks later.

3

u/nadogm1 JAX Nov 29 '21

I am in almost exactly the same situation. Multiple calls to IRS did nothing. 8 weeks after the congressional complaint I got notification it was being refunded. Did you get a paper check?

2

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '21

Paper check. Refund did not come with interest. I asked for an update about the interest and they worked on that for another few weeks and then I get a check for the interest.

1

u/nadogm1 JAX Nov 30 '21

I have something from IRS showing up on informed delivery today after transcript says refund was printed 11/24 so fingers crossed it is a check in the right amount.

2

u/stillwaters23 LAX, SFO Nov 29 '21

Certainly is nice having them check up regularly than having to call and sit on hold trying to reach a human myself.

4

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '21

That helped as much as anything, I agree. The person from my congresswoman's office gave me regular updates. It was great service. Apparently the tax advocate people are short staffed as well and they also have trouble getting updates from the IRS but it was clear they were making progress which I certainly wasn't. And all along they seemed confident they would get it resolved for me.

5

u/wichita-brothers Nov 29 '21

AA saying flights to Japan are still operating as normal even though Japan has banned foreign nationals from visiting due to the new variant. Flight booked this week not looking good.

5

u/BOS_George Nov 30 '21

They haven’t been admitting non-residents for a year and a half with very limited exceptions. This new order doesn’t change anything for most.

4

u/Jacob0050 Nov 30 '21

Haven't foreign nationals been banned since the start though?

8

u/darniforgotmypwd Nov 29 '21

AA when asked about refunds: "well the flight was technically still operational, we flew the plane even though no one showed up at the gate for some reason."

8

u/wichita-brothers Nov 29 '21

you're almost spot on. this is what they currently are saying

Hi! We've looked at your reservation and your flights are scheduled to operate. We don't have a Travel Notice issued for what you've shared with us, but we'll continue to check on this to be better able to assist.

3

u/darniforgotmypwd Nov 30 '21 edited Nov 30 '21

They definitely know about it since they likely have a whole team in charge of following these notices by now. You can test it by going there and trying to board. They will obviously not let you board because it would result in the airline getting fined and having to transport you back after being denied entry.

They are still going to be running the flight for logistical reasons, the Japanese nationals who retain the right to travel to Japan, and people transiting through Japan assuming they still allow it. I doubt it would be canceled. The response they gave just sounds less mean than them saying you won't be able to board or get a refund either since the flight isn't canceled.

I had basic economy on a domestic AA flight that I changed the dates for without penalty. Have you tried asking for a date change or destination change? They may be more willing to do one of those things instead of giving a cash refund because they won't be losing that revenue.

Another option assuming you can transit Japan is to book a round trip from whatever airport you are flying into to a country with less travel restrictions. That way you would stay airside in Japan. But you would have to make sure this is a plan that AA would let you board with and carry proof of a connecting flight when you check-in with them.

-2

u/[deleted] Nov 29 '21

[deleted]

1

u/takeitslowinnyc Nov 29 '21

I'd post your info on the What Card thread for personalized help.

2

u/peteoneillbassnyc Nov 29 '21

Cool, thanks I just found that and did it. Happy Holidays!

4

u/trogdor_churninator BRN, NAT Nov 29 '21

Lifemiles says that new bookings are no longer going to have change/cancel fee waivers. They had been good about cancellations all through covid up to now.

2

u/Thelement ELF, KNG Nov 30 '21

That's very disappointing because they're already hard enough to reach for those changes and there is a new variant cropping up which may impact travel availability again.

0

u/darniforgotmypwd Nov 29 '21

I have been booking a few weeks out at most for all my stuff just to minimize the chance of travel restrictions changing.