From the desk of the Devil's Advocate… There's been an upheaval in the miles and points community over the last few months because Chase has drastically tightened up on the endless churning of their Ultimate Rewards credit cards. The new rules, according to multiple sources, appears to be some variation on what's being referred to as the 5/24 rule, which means if you've had more than 5 new cards overall (not just … [Read more...]
Posts about "Ultimate Rewards"
These are the posts I've written about Ultimate Rewards, a program used by several Chase credit cards. Points can be transferred to a variety of other loyalty programs.
For the infrequent traveler -- and even some of the most frequent travelers -- it makes sense to accumulate points with a generic bank rewards program rather than a specific loyalty program affiliated with an airline or hotel. What I'm referring to are programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. Yes, they do say that you can redeem them for any flight at any time -- they … [Read more...]
Diversification is an important tool when making any kind of investment. Frequent flyer miles are a horrible investment because they are almost universally devalued with time, but the description remains accurate. Miles and points and acquired today with the hope that they may be used for future travel worth more than their original cost. Accumulating miles in more than one program reduces the risk that you'll suffer … [Read more...]
This is a basic question, but one asked often enough that it deserves a public answer. Hopefully some of you beginners will find it helpful. If you’re interested, you can also learn my by coming to hear others and me speak at Frequent Traveler University this December, in Washington, DC. Tom wrote in last month asking more about “points,” I.e., the loyalty currencies you can earn other than frequent flyer miles. … [Read more...]
From the desk of the Devil's Advocate... This week we finish up our three-part series on the downsides of the major flexible miles currencies -- Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints. The wonderful features of these programs are frequently touted by the Conventional Wisdomers, and with good reason. But no loyalty program is ever perfect, and … [Read more...]
Author note: This is a long post, but it's designed to generate discussion on how transferable points (Ultimate Rewards, Starpoints, Amex Membership Rewards and now Citi ThankYou points) are going to change how airlines set mileage redemption prices and compete with each other on price, quality and value. The views here are my own, but having spent some years doing M&A valuations, airlines have a long way to go … [Read more...]
UPDATE: Since there appears to be some confusion about my intentions with this post, allow me to clarify that it is not meant primarily as a criticism of Chase or Ultimate Rewards. I find their advertising language amusing, but I find lots of things amusing and it's only meant as a personal comment by way of introduction to the main topic: the results of the poll. I could edit out the first half of the post, which is … [Read more...]
I seem to be one of the only people who believes that Ultimate Rewards points don't deserve a premium value for their flexibility. Don't get me wrong, I think they are worth at least as much as United's miles, which is usually the most valuable transfer option. But I'm not willing to say they are worth anything more than that. Food Wine and Miles gave me a good idea for how to test this reasoning in the comments … [Read more...]