Defending yourself against Amex’s war on gaming & more

Amex’s new incredible referral offers combined with some excellent big spend bonuses on a few Amex cards make it tempting to put the pedal to the metal and spend like a sailor. The problem? We know that when Amex says that you’ll earn an unlimited 3x on purchases, they really mean that they’ll earn an unlimited ~3x as long as you’re spending on things that they like (or more importantly, not spending in ways they deem “gamey”). On this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air, we discuss some ways to ramp up spend without running afoul of the rewards abuse team. Also read and listen this week for a lot of analysis on the latest credit card offers and this year’s unique opportunities to earn elite status.

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This week at Frequent Miler:

In events

Join Nick & Stephen at the Chicago Seminars this Saturday, 10/17

Nick and Stephen will speak during today’s Chicago Seminars variety show online. Proceeds from this event benefit charity and it will be available on replay even if you’re not free at the time the show airs. This should be a fun way to connect with many of the personalities you love in this sphere and you’ll probably pick up a tip or two along the way that’s worth more than the cost of admission. The show starts at 10am Central and I’m not sure when they’ll stop selling tickets, so you’ll want to get in on this sooner rather than later.

In the hunt for hotel elite status:

Rocking Hyatt’s overlapping promos: How to claim 2 years of top tier status.

Hyatt has two promotions running right now that make an epic mattress run worth considering for the first time in years. Here are the details you need to know about how to use these promotions to pull off elite status until 2023 — or at least start the next qualification year with a nice leg up on earning status for 2022.

Justifying the Hyatt Globalist mattress run: is it worth using points for a “cash”…

This suite of mine at the Park Hyatt Mallorca a few years ago was the type of amazing use of a Globalist suite upgrade award that has me booked for a 30-night mattress run.

Personally, I’m fairly sure that I’m going to go after Hyatt Globalist status with a long-term “mattress run”. Greg’s spreadsheet says I should book with cash, but it’s hard to part with dollars and cents. Here’s my plan to use “funny money” — though you can see Greg call me out on the true value during this week’s Frequent Miler on the Air.

Which enhanced Marriott bonus is best? 5 nights vs points & Platinum

In a normal world, the 5-free-nights offer on the Chase Marriott Boundless would be a pretty amazing welcome bonus. However, given the current state of travel, the breadth of hotels where you can use those certificates is more limited – and that’s to say nothing of the limit of time on those free night certificates. Stack on top of that the way that you can stack elite night credits with the Amex cards and I think Greg’s conclusion here is right: despite bonuses that I don’t find terribly exciting, the Amex cards are the way to go here for many and perhaps most readers.

In other credit card news

Which Amex Cards are Credit Cards? Which are Charge Cards? How many can you have?

The rules have changed quite a bit over the past few years in terms of how many and which types of Amex cards you can hold at one time. That makes for some potentially difficult choices in determining your ideal strategy – especially given that business and personal Amex cards get counted together. This post helps you make sense of which cards belong in which categories so you can figure out for yourself which it is that you’d like to pursue.

PayPal Key virtual “master” card: Unlock the power of all of your cards

PayPal’s Digital Key is an intriguing product that is easy to request and easy to use. I find the concept they are pulling off here to be quite interesting and I know that some readers will find it useful and downright cool. I think it would be a heck of a lot more fun if they’d produce some sort of magical physical card that could cut down on the plastic in your wallet. In the meantime, this is still a cool tool that’s worth a look.

Frequent Miler Live

Amex +3X Everywhere | Frequent Miler Live | Ep 18

We were live on Tuesday to take questions from readers in real time. If you missed it and would like to check it out, see this post for the video.

Bottom line

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Don’t forget to check…

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