This week you can bookmark a resource for knowing which services trigger Amex’s short-term statement credits, a remote grocer generating big spend at Costco, the debate about near-term leisure travel, and more in our Frequent Miler Week in Review Around the Web.
Amex Benefits Workshop – Which Merchants Code For Streaming, Wireless, Shipping Credits? (Sortable Table)
Wondering which merchants will trigger the shipping, streaming, and wireless credits on Amex cards? Doctor of Credit is maintaining an awesome new resource to track which can be used where. This post is actually a good reminder for me to get the shipping and cell credits going on the Business Platinum in my house. I intended to check out my local post office this week to see if they carried anything of interest other than stamps but didn’t end up needing to go inside when I had to mail something, so I’d forgotten to follow up. I’m very surprised that FedEx Office isn’t triggering this, but I see some things in the USPS gift shop that’ll actually work for gifts (my son loves trucks and checking the mail), so it looks like I won’t load up on just postage stamps and shipping for resale items.
When and where it will be OK to travel again will surely be a hot topic for debate in the coming months and I certainly don’t have the definitive answer on that. In this post at View from the Wing, Gary Leff shares his perspective on whether or not Ben of One Mile at a Time should take a previously-planned trip to Iceland next month. Gary makes the argument for travel, in summary saying that thanks to Iceland testing all travelers on arrival and the combination of low population density and low rate of infection, it is likely not any riskier than going to the grocery store. I disagree with Gary’s logic if only because the virus is so relatively new and everything that we think we know about it is based on a very short period of study time and a sample size of cases that have been intentionally and artificially limited in scope (and yet still spread in the millions worldwide) by an unprecedented global lockdown. Comparing what we know about this virus with what we know about car accidents and eating fatty foods is a non sequitur. While I won’t wait decades until we know an equivalent amount about COVID-19, I’ll hold off on making any declarations about the relative safety of travel before we’ve had some more months to see the effects of a return to “business as usual”. My opinion is surely biased by having a young son, a pregnant wife, and a parent who went through chemotherapy last year, but my perspective is that even as someone who loves to travel I just don’t feel a sense of urgency in putting myself and those around me at increased risk yet. The time will come. I don’t need to be at the leading edge on that.
Digital check-in, limited buffets and lots of sanitizer: What a hotel stay looks like amid coronavirus
Greg and I have wondered aloud in recent weeks during online discussions about the ways travel will change in the coming months. During our Youtube Live broadcast this week, a reader asked about the value of Priority Pass given that most of them serve buffet-style food. I added that I wondered what hotel lounges will look like and Greg in turn noted that the key benefit of Hyatt Explorist status is the club lounge upgrades, but the club lounge might not be so exciting in the new world order. This article from USA Today explores a little bit of what a stay may look like in the coming weeks and months.
All I can say is that I hope the man has an Altitude Reserve and a Samsung phone. Or that he’s going after some good welcome bonuses. Or both.
Craig at Middle Age Miles has set up an experiment that on the surface does not appear particularly useful given the cost of admission to make a second cluster of Thank You cards worthwhile. However, if you’re eligible for a new welcome bonus and you have some big redemptions on the horizon, it could be worthwhile. We won’t know the results of his experiment for quite a while, but that’s OK since most of us likely won’t need this technique in 2020. Still, it could be a useful nugget to keep in mind for the future.
That’s it for this week around the web. Check back soon for this week’s last chance deals.
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