Here are some of the quick-hitters from this past week in “rewards travel land.”
US Airways Downgrades
We all knew this was coming eventually. There’s no way that US Airways could keep letting us fly non-peak to Europe in business class for 60,000 miles (55k miles if you have the US Air card, and your itinerary is solely on US metal). Seth from Wandering Aramean blogged about this change a couple of days ago. A sad day indeed. You can see the new charts on his blog.
There is still some value to be found with US Airways Dividend miles (think South America), but this is a huge blow in my mind. I’ve blogged before about the goodness of US Airways and their off-peak chart.
The timing of the changes seem strange with all the merger talks, but this was a day that was already coming. The devaluing and changes of award charts is a normality, but it still doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. Deep breath.
SPG Crossover Awards with Delta
Starwood Preferred Guest and Delta have teamed together to bring you “Crossover Rewards.”
Starting March 1st, Starwood elites will earn Starpoints (worst named loyalty point) and extra benefits when flying Delta. Also, Delta Diamond and Platinum members will receive miles when they stay at Starwood properties. Now that’s a crossover, but I’m not sure it’s up to Allen Iverson standards.
Here are the details from the Starwood Preferred Guest website:
Benefits when you fly.
SPG Platinum and Gold members earn 1 Starpoint for every dollar spent on eligible Delta flights. Plus, SPG Platinum members enjoy elite benefits when traveling with Delta, such as priority check-in, Priority Boarding and first checked bag free.
Benefits when you stay.
SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion® members earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on eligible room rates at over 1,100 Starwood hotels and resorts globally. Plus, SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members receive additional SPG benefits at Starwood hotels and resorts — 4 p.m. late checkout, access to the SPG elite check-in line, complimentary in-room Internet access and an upgrade to an enhanced room at check-in, when available.
I’m SPG Gold, so that means I would earn some extra SPG points for Delta flights that I purchased with $$$. I don’t spend $$$ on Delta, so this is a moot promo for me. Delta barely flies out of Austin anymore, and I prefer to use miles & points when I fly.
However, it’s nice to see a hotel and airline working together to add benefits to their elite members. I respect that.
William Paid & Delta
I received an email from Noobtraveler reader, Ed, this past week about earning 500 Delta miles through William Paid. William Paid is a service that lets you use your rewards credit card to pay your rent. I blogged about it here.
I have never used William Paid, and would recommend paying your rent with Bluebird. But, if you’re already using WilliamPaid then you might as well earn an extra 500 Delta SkyMiles. Btw – 500 SkyMiles isn’t much at all.
— Noob MasterRead More
Last week I blogged about earning miles on your mortgage with ChargeSmart. And it was magical. Not wanting to leave all you renters out- here’s how you can earn precious miles on your Rent.
For the record, I don’t rent, so I haven’t used this service personally. Nor have I ever seen the musical or the movie. There you have it. It’s out there now.
Just like with ChargeSmart, there is a fee (2.95%) to use William Paid. Who is this William, anyway?
This means I wouldn’t use this service every month to just rack up the miles, but this is a very helpful tool to help achieve minimum spending requirements, so you can get the big sign-up bonuses on cards, and in some cases, get more cards.
Here’s how to use to William Paid to pay your Rent.
1. Sign Up
After entering your email address, you will be sent a link via email to confirm your email. After confirming, you will then proceed to fill out the rest of the basic enrollment info. This is where you choose a password, enter your rent amount, payment due date, and months left on your lease.
2. Schedule or Make Payment
3. Verify Identity
After entering in my personal info, I was prompted to answer 3 security questions. No hard pull on my credit was done. Don’t worry.
4. Schedule Payment
5. Enter Landlord’s Info or Sublease Info
6. Enter Credit Card Info
The great thing about William Paid is that you can use Amex. You can’t with ChargeSmart. Of course, you can still use Visa, Discover, and Mastercard.
7. Confirm and Fees
Throughout the process, you will see options for William Paid to report your payment to the credit bureaus. Not only do they want to charge you for this, but who knows if it will actually help your credit. I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt it, especially if you don’t have any credit history, but I’m guessing you do if you’re paying your rent with a rewards credit card.
A cool feature of William Paid is that you can split up your payments on two different rewards cards. Nice.
You can cancel anytime, but you must call in or email. Annoying.
I feel the same way about William Paid as I do about ChargeSmart. It’s a great tool to use when meeting minimum spends, but I wouldn’t do it every month just for the sake of miles. The 2.95% fee makes it a hard pill to swallow on a monthly basis for me.
However, by being able to acquire more miles through rewards cards sign-up bonuses, it’s a great benefit. That’s where the value is. I can now afford to sign up for more rewards cards, which means more miles, which means more TRAVEL.
— Noob MasterRead More