More Verizon Miles Shopping Mistakes? Now it is with Delta

14 August, 2011

Well this seems to be the story (or the mistake saga) that won’t end.  Instead of 83,000 miles for a pair of headphones like the AA version, now it is 2,300 Delta miles for a $5 phone charger.  Gary over at A View from the Wing is covering this in much more depth than I will be but it is interesting to see what will happen with it all.  In addition to Gary, the Points Guy has his own commentary on it.  I am not really a huge Delta flyer so I am not going to hop on for the miles even if it is only $5 or so to get in on it.

As I do find it interesting that it is 2,300 miles offered after some people from the AA mistake supposedly received an email offering 2,500 miles as a consolation.  To date I have not received any email at all about this from Cartera so I really do not know if it is even true.  Gary had discussed a few days ago about the level of trust in mileage shopping malls.  Since it is not always immediately clear who is providing the miles, the vendor, the mileage shopping manager or the airline directly.  Also, the impression given either intentionally or not is that the offers are made by the airline.

He goes on further to address the issue of which offers can really be trusted and which ones cannot be.  Especially after Cartera seemed to give the impression that they are not really obligated to give miles for anything according to their terms and conditions.  While this is likely there to protect themselves from unintentional mistakes, it could be used to justify a deliberate posting of high mileage offers only to later deny them as an effort to increase sales.  I am not saying that this is definitely what happened but it is a possibility worth thinking about.  The fact that Cartera is quite slow/stingy with posting miles (if they even post at all) even when it is only $1 or $3 per mile through their toolbar or their shopping links does not really inspire confidence in the offers they make.  In contrast, I must say that every promotion or mileage offer I ever received through AA directly has always been honoured and been honoured rather quickly.

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Followup on the AAdvantage E Shopping Mistake

11 August, 2011

It did not take long for the guys over at Cartera to address the issue of what would happen.  Over at View from the Wing, Gary is reporting that at first Cartera posted in Mile Point that they are not liable to award any miles at all due to Verizon’s Terms and Conditions.

Gary goes on about how it is a bit odd how Verizon’s Terms relieve Cartera of honouring the miles.  In the end he says that some of the people over at MilePoint and FlyerTalk are receiving email messages stating that they will be receiving 2,500 miles as goodwill in the end.  I will leave it to you to read the details from Gary’s blog which I linked at the beginning and the forum threads which he linked in his.


Audience Rewards

9 August, 2011

Okay, okay… this is about miles and other travel related points and such… so who cares about points for Broadway shows and other theatre stuff?  You do!

Let me explain why you care… because in addition to gaining showpoints… you also have the ability to earn USAir or Delta miles or Starwood Starpoints.  This can be done two ways… either by actually buying show tickets in certain cities (currently only; New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Charlotte and Durham participate) or through answering trivia questions.  Granted the trivia questions will get you maybe 10 points or miles a week but it is is good way to prevent your miles from expiring.  Also if you are into theatre shows in those cities you could also use the show points for tickets and discounts instead of miles if you prefer.

Here are the links:

USAir

Delta

Starwood


What are some good free ways to get miles?

14 January, 2011

Many people know about getting miles from credit cards and of course from actually flying but there are other ways to get miles for free as well. 

Online Shopping

One of the most common is through online shopping.  Many airlines have online shopping malls where you enter in your flyer number and use their special link in order to earn miles per $ you spend.  For example you can earn 2 miles per $ you spend at Walmart.com if you do it through the AAdvantage e shopping link.  Air Canada, Continental, USAir, United, Delta, Cathay Pacific and many others also have shopping portals like this.  The miles are essentially free (assuming you were going to spend the money on the stuff you order anyway)

Toolbars

So far, AA and US have released toolbars to download which offer miles for using their search feature.  For every 3 searches you earn 1 mile up to a maximum of 100 miles per month.  The two toolbars mentioned here (also linked on this page) also help with online shopping so that you do not always have to use a link but the toolbar itself will help you get mileage credit.  Not every merchant allows this though, so sometimes you must still use the links.  In addition to the airline toolbars, the Bing Rewards toolbar gives Bing points for searches and various other things.  While these do not help with earning miles for shopping, the points can be exchanged for American miles at present.  For all of you thinking that you can just get the toolbar and make 300 searches in about an hour to get all the miles… think again, the toolbar uses some formula to determine if you are actually using it for searching or trying to game the system.  It will not award miles if you have an irregular search pattern.

Club Bing

Club Bing is a game website which awards tickets for playing various games.  The whole thing seems to be a huge excuse for Microsoft to increase its search traffic because you must search in order to complete many of the games but the games can be quite fun and the tickets can be exchanged for miles on American, Delta, USAir, Alaska Airlines, Frontier and Hawaiian.  You can earn a maximum of 11,100 miles this way to be all on one airline or split up between them in various denominations.  If you are really obsessed you could play the games and get the required tickets in about a month but for the rest of us it will take a while.  If you search on the internet there are various ways to cheat and bot the website but I cannot recommend this because if Microsoft figures this out you will never get the prizes you redeem the tickets for.  In addition to miles, the tickets can be used for all sorts of things such as books, jackets, digital cameras and netbooks.

Dining Programmes

This has had various names over time including Rewards Network and iDine.  I not think the name matters much but the programme itself is quite useful.  After registering your credit or debit card you will earn miles (or points, or cash back or various things) for every dollar you spend at participating restaurants.  This is offered by AA, USAir, Delta, Alaska, United and Southwest.  You can also earn PC or Hilton Points if you wish or even college loan savings contributions.  They all work on the same basic system, you sign up, register the card(s) and earn 3 miles per $ for the first 10 dines and then 5 miles per $ after.  From time to time they have bonuses as well which help miles rack up.

Thanks Again

Thanks Again is a bit like the dining programme but it works with dry cleaning, golfing and a few other places as well as an online shopping mall like the airlines have.  This is available for United, Delta, USAir, Continental and Alaska Airlines.  Instead of miles you can also decide to earn American Express gift cards.  For a while, if you “like” them in Facebook you would get 100 miles for free.  I am not sure if this is still happening though.

Opinion Place

For those interested in American AAdvantage miles, Opinion Place allows you to earn between 50 and 150 miles for surveys.  Qualifying is not always easy so you could go months without getting anything but you never know.  If you have too many miles you can also opt for Paypal credits or AOL credits.

E-Rewards

This is somewhat like Opinion Place except you must be invited to participate.  Getting an E-Rewards invite is not terribly difficult if you are signed up for one of the participating programmes.  After getting invited you answer a bunch of questions about your preferences and such so it can find surveys to match your interests.  Unlike Opinion Place, if you do not qualify you still get some bit of reward, it is not huge but it is nice.  I will not list them all here but some of the partners include Priority Club, USAir, Hilton, Continental, La Quinta and Virgin Atlantic.

E-Miles

E-Miles is sort of a survey site but also gives miles for buying or doing certain things.  For example you may answer some questions for how soon you plan to buy a car for 5 miles but if you buy something from company A or donate to charity B you can earn extra miles.  I suppose if you are really into it you could earn quite a few miles but for the totally free ones you will probably get about 1,000 miles per year.  It is available for Frontier, USAir, Continental, Delta, Hilton, AirTran and Alaska Airlines.  You can sign up for multiple programmes if you use a different email address for each one.

This is all for the intro for now.  As I find other ways I will add some new descriptions


Last Day of 2010, What New Plans for 2011

31 December, 2010

As 2010 comes to an end it might be good to review what bonuses I was able to get over the course of the year and what might help all of you in the next year.  Before I get emails and such telling me about all the stuff I missed, let me say this is a blog for the beginner.  I know I missed many things and I am getting better at it but I am not a pro yet so give it time.  We have to be patient before we can all get tonnes of miles.

American Airlines

Nothing huge, only the normal miles from flying, using my Mastercard and the dining programme.  in addition to these I have done almost all of my shopping through the AAdvantage shopping mall to gain miles that way too.  I do expect more in the next year when I get to take advantage of the 100,000 mile bonus from the business visa card.  With the travel to Brazil I will be doing next year this should also bring in loads of miles here since AA is my main airline now.

Continental

25,000 miles from the Chase bank account offer.  Mileathon is also coming back next year.  I skipped it last year because I figured Continental miles were useless to me but now that they are combining with United that is no longer so.  If anyone wants to get the new Continental Mastercard from Chase, it may be a good idea to wait for Mileathon to begin before doing that.

USAir

Yes I know, they have been US Airways for years now but that just takes too long to write.  The Grand Slam promotion netted about 98,000 miles in bonus and in the miles that came with the activities.  Not sure if it will happen again next year but if it does I will be on board for sure.

Priority Club

With all of the promotions this year I ended up getting nearly 100,000 points and that does not count the Crack the Case promotion which is not over yet.  PC points are incredibly easy to come by by both staying and not staying.  I have not found them to be a good deal though unless they are used for PointsBreak rewards in which case they are invaluable.


Tips for Getting Started in Collecting Miles

22 December, 2010

Instead of coming up with my own list of these, I can just steal and footnote someone else’s hard work on this.  Gary over at A View from the Wing put together a good set of beginner tips for those just starting out.  I have linked to him here.


Wall Street Journal Article on Travel Cards

16 December, 2010

For the pros out there, this is probably not going to bring to light anything you do not already know but for the beginners, it outlines some of the basics of miles earning cards.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704098304576021433500516472.html?mod=WSJ_hp_editorsPicks_3


Air Miles in Canada

14 December, 2010

This is not a programme which receives very much attention in the blogs from what I see.  For my Canadian readers who may not know much about Air Miles, the general idea is that you earn miles which you can use for travelling.  At first glance this seems to be just like any other.  However, after looking closer, you will notice it is nothing like a regular frequent flyer programme.  First of all… it is not associated with an airline, also it is focused on spending with partners rather than flying.

So if it is not based on flying, how do you earn these things?  Well it is both simple and complicated…  The simple part is this, you sign up for the programme (for free) and you get a little blue card in the mail with your member number.  This card is then used when you go to shops which participate and you are awarded miles based on how much you spend.  It is not as simple as most programmes in this regard though.  It is not 1 mile per dollar, each store is different, some are 1 mile per 20 CAD spent, some are 1 mile per 5 and others are one mile per 100 spent.  Of course the key here is to remember to bring the card with you.  As with most other programmes, you can also earn through credit card spending.  Bank of Montréal offers credit and debit cards which earn Air Miles.  BMO has a regular and a gold MasterCard which earn miles.  The main difference is that the gold card earns 1 mile per 15 CAD for a 99 CAD fee as opposed to the free one which earns 1 mile per 20 CAD spent.  Like AAdvantage, there is also a toolbar which earns miles for searching and when shopping with online partners.  Earning the most miles per transaction would likely be the same as with a purely airline based programme which is using the miles earning credit card while shopping at participating shops.  The toolbar can also help with that online so that you do not have to use the special links all the time.

So why would anyone care about this complicated system to earn miles to travel with?  The short answer is that if they are primarily motivated to travel, they would not care to use this system.  Air Miles has already thought of that though.  Which is why they offer many other options for redeeming your miles.  In fact, I am not sure why it even retains the name Air Miles since travelling is not the main focus of redemption either.  Aéroplan may find this a threat to their programme which is why they have been offering rewards other than travel as well.  The Air Miles programme would appeal to those who do not earn loads of points and do not plan to use then quickly.  The reason for for this thought it that unlike Aéroplan miles which disappear after 7 years, Air Miles never expire.  This gives the ability to save over a long period of time.


Who said the Pre-Flight Talk has to be Boring?

13 December, 2010

 


More Student Travelling Tips

13 December, 2010

Other than getting the great airfares and discounts and all… there is also a more practical aspect of travelling.  This is planning where to go and what to do and what you are going to bring with you.

Library Card – Before you can go anywhere you need to know where you want to go in the first place.  While this can be done by ordering guidebooks and downloading apps to your iphone or itouch, or e-books through Barnes and Noble, etc… one of the best (and free) ways is to go to your local library with your handy library card and do your research the old fashioned way.  If you do not have a library card, get one! They are free as long as you are a resident or a student in the town or city (and sometimes if you are a resident of the state) and they take at most about 5 minutes to issue one to you.  Aside from being free, the other benefit to using the library is that you can photocopy the sections of the books or magazines you need (unfortunately, this part is not free).  While this may not be as high tech or cool as the gps location and talking personal guide assistant of the iphone guide, you will be quite happy to have the paper version in the event your iphone, kindle or fancy electronic whatever is lost, stolen, confiscated by customs inspectors or the batteries run out while you are on a jungle safari in the middle of the Amazon.

AAA and CAA – If you (or your parents) are members of an automobile club it is highly likely you will be able to take advantage of their free maps and travel books.  As I said before, not as flashy but the paper map could be a life saver so it does not hurt to take one with you.


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