Blogs Baffle Me

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Blogs Baffle Me

Postby MB131174 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:29 pm

So I was reading some other blogs about best use of points. Hands down I think this particular blog, CCF, takes a fair and reasonable approach to awards vs many of the other blogs. Why? I'm glad you asked.
So many other ones will tell you to use your free hotel nights or get the best value for your hotel points at these exotic, aspirational locations. The Maldives? Really? You get 2 free nights. Yay. Now how are you going to pay the airfare and remainder of your nights there? Now, I understand that there are exceptions (i.e.: honeymoons, wealthy individuals, etc) but for the most part, your average day to day American is not going to be going to this type of location. What's wrong with using them for the weekend getaway in Toronto, or the family reunion you really would rather not go to?
With airline miles, it could take the average individual 4 or 5 years to save up enough points for a business class ticket. What's wrong with once a year cashing in 25,000 or so miles for a trip to Florida to escape the winter cold?
Again, I get it that there are people who can and will cash in their rewards (hotel, air) for these grand ideas the other guys always talk about. But for once it would be refreshing to see a blog devoted to the average American who can't afford to travel to aspiration locations but would like to get the best use out of what points they do have. Me, I'm no rich person but I took a good hard look at what I want and decided to use my Hyatt Visa for literally everything. Granted, I may only get 4 free nights a year at a category 1 hotel; but hey, that's perfectly fine with me. It's what fits me. Yes, I do travel to various places on the earth (just got back from Israel & Europe the other week) but I travel on a budget. Cattle class airfare. Cheap, shady hotels. It gets the job done.
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Postby cashback » Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:10 pm

What's more likely to get readers? A trip recap of the Maldives or a trip recap of Toronto?
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Postby wiivile » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:31 am

Most of these points people are the types of frequent flyers who can be reimbursed for their business and travel expenses and as a result have far more points available than the average American. They have more points than they know what to do with and as a result are able to shell out for business class tickets even if it doesn't make any sense to spend twice as much points for a little extra legroom.

I just used 13,000 Chase UR points for a roundtrip to Florida via Southwest. I prefer to be economical with my points.
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Postby takeshi » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:02 am

MB131174 wrote:Hands down I think this particular blog, CCF, takes a fair and reasonable approach to awards vs many of the other blogs.

"Fits my situation" != "fair and reasonable" (subjective words anyway). As with anything, consider the source and use whatever works for you.

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Postby djrez4 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:23 am

Hopping around the States, I'm fine in cattle class.

However, I'm willing to pony up for business class internationally because an 8-12 hour stint in economy is a completely miserable experience for me. We have over 19,000 miles and 42 hours of flight time over three weeks scheduled for our trip in June. Ain't no way I'm spending almost 2 days strapped to a 17-inch-wide torture device, unable to sleep. The direct, 12-hour flight to Tokyo in March is pushing it, but at least we have bulkhead, Economy-Plus seats. (I've discovered that entering my father's MileagePlus number into our reservations gets us his perks - he's lifetime Gold, so instant Econ+ availability).

For hotels, as long as the room is clean, I don't need ridiculous luxury. That's not to say it isn't nice to have, sometimes, but we did $50 hotels for Spain and had no problems. That said, if I can redeem points for a stupid-expensive hotel, I'm not opposed to it. If I'm low on points, I'll pay for cheap accommodations for most of the trip and redeem points for a nice place at the end. It's always pleasant to relax on the last few days of the trip, and I've discovered that a really nice hotel room tamps down my wife's desire to run around whatever city we're in, trying to see as much as possible. If they have a spa, it's pretty easy to convince her not to leave the hotel at all.
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Postby DavidNY » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:27 pm

wiivile wrote:I just used 13,000 Chase UR points for a roundtrip to Florida via Southwest.

Sounds like a pretty good value.

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