Semi-Monthly Update (May 15, 2018)

Another update, another busy month!  Along with my household points and miles updates, there’s a [non]travel update and some important credit card news, including an offer expiring in the next 24 hours.  To say it’s busy season a work for me is an understatement, so please excuse the delay in getting this update published.

Household Points and Miles Activity for March and April

Here is two months’ worth of points and miles activity for us. Starting with March:

  • earned 4,035 airline miles
  • earned 3,850 hotel points
  • earned 7,598 Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • earned 1,099 Citi Thank-You points

And April:

  • earned 246 airline miles
  • earned 879 hotel points
  • earned 3,200 Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • earned 1,897 Citi Thank-You points
  • earned 64 “other” points

Credit Card News

Just like my previous update last month, there is far too much going on with credit cards right now to fully detail here.  I’ll list a few highlights that you can research further if desired.

  • The American Express Delta cards (Gold and Platinum) are still available at elevated sign-up bonuses but only through a referral link.  The gold’s bonus is at 50k (not its highest ever) and the Platinum’s is 70k with a $100 statement credit (the highest I’ve seen this card).  The public offers are long gone and the referral offer ends tomorrow.  (Whether that means it is valid through tomorrow or that it expires tomorrow, I do not know.)
  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred now has a second option for the sign-up bonus.  The new option offers the regular 50,000 Ultimate Reward bonus after $4,000 in spending in the first 3 months, but also offers an additional 30,000 points after spending $20,000 in the first year.  This seems like a huge spend for the additional points, but might be feasible for some people, especially if it’s your only card.  This second option does not, however, offer the 5k UR bonus for adding an autorized user that the original option comes with.
  • On top of the 5/24 rule and other restrictions, Chase now appears to be stepping up their game when it comes to actively going after churners.  These reports come around from time to time and the reporting bias is very evident, but the comments on this Doctor of Credit post are worth looking into if you’re the burn-and-churn type.  Chase has some of the most valuable credit cards out there in terms of sign-up bonus and other benefits.  My advice is to stay under the radar and try to not bite the hand that feeds.

Delta PlatApply for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you’re approved!  This is the 70k offer referred to in the first bullet point above.  The Delta Platinum comes with a 70,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.  The card has a $175 annual fee due up-front, but it’s partially offset by a $100 statement credit after a Delta purchase of any amount (baggage fee, award booking taxes and fees, gift card purchase – all count).  The referral offer ends tomorrow and the bonus goes back down.

Travel News


A total black hole.  That’s what Nicoleen’s and my vacation planning has become in the past couple months.  We can’t seem to get a coherent plan together.  We’re considering a family road trip; this fall or next spring might be time for another adults-only trip; and I’m not completely ruling out a summer Europe visit.  It’s all just ideas at this point, and that really bothers me!

Others, however, are not so inept:  ValueTactics guest stars Derek and Danie are leaving soon for a value packed week in Europe.  My parents have a few bucket list destinations in mind and I’ve been coaching them on which cards to get / points to go after to best serve their plans.

Free Travel Photo

In honor of Mother's Day on Sunday, I thought I'd post this photo of my mom and me in Europe in 1996, on my first trip out of the country. It isn't exactly an example of free travel (well, for 14 year old Ross it was!) but it definitely fueled my passion for travel. Thanks, Mom!

In honor of Mother’s Day on Sunday, I thought I’d post this photo of my mom and me in Europe in 1996, on my first trip out of the country. It isn’t exactly an example of free travel (well, for 14 year old Ross it was!) but it definitely fueled my passion for travel. Thanks, Mom!

Now you’re updated. Go employ some Value Tactics!

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