Well sort of. Pod-cast is the proper term. If you’re into this frequent flyer madness- then you’ve probably already heard of UPGRD. They record a new episode every week discussing airline travel, frequent flyer/stay programs and airline news among other things.
This past Thursday I spent an enjoyable evening discussing US Airways and Dividend Miles along with Mike, Fozz, Hunter and Ben.
Aside from US Airways, we also spoke about Delta’s over-fly incident, personal choices on which airline to fly out of Boston Logan, and a nasty incident that involved me, a flight attendant, Iceland and a London to Charlotte US Airways flight.
I remember the moment distinctly- I was at the gym. It’s that email ding on the iTouch, that makes me pause for a moment and check my email. Usually, it’s the regular, ie newsletters or updates or sales or spam. This one was different. It’s subject? – “Worldwide access- over 250 clubs“. Very catchy!
Basically, US Airways has improved their already decent Club product by getting rid of pricier membership tiers and offering a single, “all-inclusive” membership. A simple US Airways Club membership will now include:
Unlimited access to Continental Airlines President’s Clubs with any Star Alliance flight (does not have to be CO)
Unlimited access to all Star Alliance lounges when on a Star Alliance member flight
Unlimited access to United Red Carpet Clubs (you must however be flying on United which is what the old rule stated and frankly, I think it’s horrible they kept this requirement since I avoid UA like the plague, among other things :] )
FREE alcohol! Unlimited beer and house wines. You still have to pay for the premium drinks, but US Airways Clubs are now ahead of United and American lounges. I know this benefit doesn’t do me any good until October 17, 2010, but the benefit is there!
On the other hand membership prices are changing and rising up slightly. Let’s take a look at the new cost structure.
Chairman’s- OLD: $315; NEW: $325
Platinum/Gold/Silver- OLD: $315; NEW: $375
Non-elite member: OLD: $450; NEW: $450 (correct if this comparison is incorrect).
While the new membership fees are higher, they are still cheaper than United’s membership option. What is neat is there is no application/activation fee. Also, the fact they now offer free alcohol and access to all partner lounges is definitely worth the $10 or $60 increase.
I just wish that they would drop the requirement for the same-day United flights, since I could really use the United RCC at O’Hare’s T2, but I’m always flying out on good ‘ol US Airways.
Just so you know, benefits kick-in on October 30, 2009 and the new Club cards with United’s, Continental’s and Star Alliance’s logo will be sent out in December 2009.
Yes, I know. It’s an odd post compared to what I usually blog about. At the same time, I wanted to share that I just upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium and I only paid $30. Students and educators (and anyone else whose email ends with an ‘.edu’) can take advantage of the $29.99 price. More information can be found here. For the first time ever, I think the upgraded OS is actually faster than it’s predecessor- and get this- on the exact same computer. Maybe I’m overreacting since I’ve only used the new operating system for roughly 29 minutes, but I’m really enjoying the new experience. The taskbar is truly pheonomenal and everything looks so good with the Aero experience. No Windows 7 review here, so don’t even ask, but I told myself, a blog post from the new OS is on the short list.
Many of you already know about reaping the rewards of frequent flyer/ stay/ rental programs. But how about squeezing out just a little bit more? This time, squeezing out some cold, hard cash or (ca$h) as I like to call it?
While it may not be a lot, but things like $4 for every airline ticket purchased, or 1% money back on Marriott stays does add up! You know the frequent flyer miles add up- you’re glowing with joy, because you earned a free 100 Priority Club points or 500 Delta miles. Why not allow the same thing with cash?
I’ve posted a banner on the top right side of this blog about a program called Mr. Rebates. You basically click through the page and you have a list of popular merchants that earn you cash back on every purchase/ticket/stay/rental. The site actually links you with the original web page you would book on anyway and awards you money for the purchase, because they earn commission themselves. Upon joining and completing one transaction with any merchant, you also earn a $5.00 welcome bonus.
Here are some of the cash back percentages on merchants I buy from, just by being a member (free to join) of Mr. Rebates. There are 100′s more in addition to:
eBay- I get 3% cash back on all eBay purchases
Orbitz- $4.00 for every ticket I purchase, so I often split into one way segments to earn more cash back
Holiday Inn- (along with other members of Priority Club brand hotels)- 5% cash back on all stays. I really see the cash back pouring in after a longer vacation!
Marriott hotels- 1% cash back. Used to be 2%, but it changes from time to time
AVIS car rentals- 3% cash back
Dont’ worry! The links on Mr. Rebates will take you to the direct company sites (Avis.com, Orbitz.com, Marriott.com…), so you earn the cash back in addition to your points and miles. In the end, your flight/stay becomes that much more valuable. Of course, there are hundreds of non-travel partners that I did not list since I’m trying to make this post travel related.
All you have to do to join for free is visit Mr. Rebates or click the banner on the top/right of the blog page menu. They pay your cash back earnings via check or PayPal at the end of each month, whichever you prefer to receive. I prefer PayPal since I get my money the next day. I’ve received over $200 dollars since joining in 2008 and I don’t even shop that much! If you have any questions about this amazing program, you can post a comment about this post, or the most popular way people have gotten in touch with me, Kinglobjaw.com/contact.
On my way towards 28 hits for the Grand Slam Promo. Am looking forward to those 50,000 bonus miles! What I’m not looking forward to is sitting on this by accident:
That’s actually something I’ll be buying from US Airways- SkyMall to earn a ‘hit’ for the Grand Slam promo. Using promotion code ‘RESTEASY’ will deduct $10 from your order and still let you earn miles, according to various FlyerTalk reports.
Someone is definitely painfully in love with his miles!
Can I refer you to join the Priority Club program? If you join with me as the person referring you, we will each get 5,000 bonus points. That’s actually enough for a free night if you’re staying at a Points Break hotel!
Here’s the link, but don’t join yet! You need my Priority Club member number to input so you and I can get 5,000 points each! Visit Kinglobjaw.com/contact to have me refer you. I think it’s Win-Win-Win!
One thing for you to keep in mind. You will get the 5,000 bonus points after your first stay at any Priority Club family of hotels within the next 90 days after joining. Please read the entire rules of the promotion at the promotion site. (Link provided above)
Over the past few years I’ve supported Marriott, but things like failed hotel projects and too much focus on the vacation club division has pushed me away. I find Priority Club very rewarding and it’s so easy to earn and redeem points. And when it comes to locations- they’re everywhere. Just what I like!
Double connections are getting harder to work with in terms of price, when it comes to US Airways domestic! This is not a complaint, nor a legit one, even if I tried, but it seems that when I force a double connect, US really bumps up the price. I mean really! I can’t do Chicago to San Diego via Vegas and Phoenix. I can’t do Seattle to Miami via Phoenix and Philadelphia. I can’t even do Boston to Ft. Myers via DC and Charlotte! It does change when I put in San Juan or international destinations- I can suddenly do up to 4 per direction keeping the same price!
Another exception is a flying from a “West” city to an “East” city. For example, a flight from Portland, Oregon (an America West only city) to Miami, FL (a US Airways only city). I have to route via both Phoenix and an eastern hub.
I’m planning to visit another friend in San Diego in November or December. I wonder how I can work a simple Chicago to San Diego trip to my advantage, or should I say to my DM account’s advantage. Hehe…
One final tidbit. I just realized the 757 I’m flying from Philly to Phoenix later this month actually an Envoy configuration! Must clear the upgrade on this one!
Have you checked out my new bonus miles/promotions section on Kinglobjaw.com? It’s all bits and pieces of a bigger project I’ve been working, hopefully which you will all see by the end of the year.
On to the newest promo which is also listed at the promos section. 2,500 bonus miles to winter cities, and 5% off. With the mileage running going around, if there’s a decent fare to Salt Lake City or Denver, you can make it 5% sweeter (think cheaper) with promo code MC5. Plus, you get a 2,500 bonus redeemable miles. Of course, you do need the US MasterCard.