Musings on miles, points, and travel from members of the Saverocity network

Episode 57 – A New Game Appears!

Episode Description

We borrow a game from one of Joe Cheung’s favorite podcasts. What would we get rid of, keep, or ask for more of in the following areas: travel credit card benefits, transferable point currency partners, and airline security. We had a blast and hope you do too! Recorded 1 Jun, 2017.

Episode Notes

First things first, Michael from Free Travel Guys has gotten his Global Entry reinstated. Huzzah for common sense prevailing! But you can check out how he got it revoked here and how he got it back here. Basically he was carrying some medications in a bottle that said they were expired, and they came down pretty hard on him. Yada yada yada, no global entry. Then after the post went viral they called back and reinstated. Bottom line, be careful how you pack your meds.

We borrowed a game from one of my favorite Disney podcasts, Mighty Men of Mouse. The game is called “Get rid of it, keep it, more of it.” Basically, we take a topic and then discuss something re: that topic that we want to get rid of, something we want to keep as is, and something we’d like to see more of.

We tackle travel credit card benefits, transferable point currency partners, and airport security policies.

In terms of travel credit card benefits, AMEX got a lot of discussion – and not really in a good way! They got some love returned to them for point currencies, but not much. There was a lot of great discussion about airport security – we really just want to be safe without all of the theater. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.

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Music: “She” by Still Pluto

0:00 – Cortez Delta rant
3:50 – Description of get rid of it, keep it, more of it

5:57 – Travel credit card benefits, get rid of it!

12:37 – Travel credit card benefits, keep it!

17:29 – Travel credit card benefits, more of it!

21:45 – Transferable point currency partners, get rid of it!

25:52 – Transferable point currency partners, keep it!

28:26 – Transferable point currency partners, more of it!

30:35 – Airport security policies, get rid of it!

38:41 – Airport security policies, keep it!

43:29 – Airport security policies, more of it!

Transcript

Joe Cheung: Hello and welcome to Savorocity Observation Deck where you will always feel secure. It is episode fifty-seven. It is the first of June. We’re recording here in this new month Trevor’s here Joe Cortez is here using a screen name that is not safe for work. How are you two doing today?

Joe Cortez: You know before we begin I got a bone to pick with you dude. You get on this podcast talking all about how great Delta is how fun Delta is how they got great award redemptions No there’s nothing good about Delta there’s nothing redeeming about Delta one on the record by saying Delta is not a good good place to do business with.

Joe Cheung: OK first of all I have started heavily copycatting my Delta love for Boston flyers on the East Coast flyers in general I still think they’re pretty good out of J.F.K. decent out of Detroit and M.S.P. and OK out of Atlanta and I was going to you think out of one but tell me your troubles Joe Cortez. what is wrong what is going on?

Joe Cortez: I’m really just offended by one of their policies about customer service which actually feeds into this episode long story short I real I found out today that I forgot my password is to get my Delta account so I can add a couple things into my counsel get ready to book a book some trips here for the upcoming days and weeks and I’ve found out I’m not a lot I have to wait twenty four hours after locking my campsite don’t know my password by security questions in order to I password reset that is arguably the most inconvenient customer service policy I’ve ever heard in my life.

Joe Cheung: yeah, I actually do remember running up against that policy like for five years ago you know I remember your security questions though

Joe Cortez: No, I never remember memory security questions.

Joe Cheung: Like the questions or the answers?

Joe Cortez: I don’t remember either. I arbitrarily put them in so no one else can hack into my I can’t improve things up a little delta back to more tomorrow and wait another forty five minutes to talk to some other Starkey’s person who can hopefully reset my password for me by this point things will pass I will get over it and my time’s podcast is out hopefully I’ll have a new sky pesos password but the best part of it if you can follow me on Twitter a joke Cortez was the interaction I had with a customer service agent where he tried to explain to me how valuable Delta models were and this is a measure a security measure for my benefit because do you know Delta miles or so so so valuable and I told him Dude they’re called Sky pieces for a reason I was immediately sent to the one question survey at the end of the call.

Joe Cheung: Trevor are you having such troubles as Joe Cortez is?

Trevor: I’m doing wonderfully I just have to say I have got my popcorn ready problem I’ve got is I’m trying to I’m split screening between Cortez’s Twitter rants and in our podcast but but by golly I’ve got plenty of popcorn so I’m going to have fun tonight I hope everybody else will will enjoy this podcast too.

Joe Cortez: And another thing I’m still waiting on for Columbus are now Java strengthen international to get a carrier that’s not one of the Big Four yes we know you ran that Jet Blue for the failed sky bus experiment yes we know consolidation and search you but there is a demand for quality carriers like Alaska like Virgin America like Jet Blue to come back and bring back quality flying to John Glenn International Airport make field ME I’M PROUD make flying great again Columbus airport if you’re listening bring us a new airline already.

Joe Cheung: OK, So I think that’s enough ranting for one day so we’re going to try something so I’m not sure what the copyright situation is on podcasts actually I think I remember reading an article way back when when I don’t know podcast or it was super mad a podcast would be for stealing their idea or something like that but I don’t know how exactly that works however I am going to take a idea that I heard on the mighty men of mouse podcast which is an excellent Disney podcast that I highly recommend for you Disney fans out there they have a cool little thing that they do that’s called Get rid of it keep it or more of it and so basically I mean as it relates with Disney they were talking about restaurants and they’d be like in Epcot what restaurant would you get rid of what restaurant would you keep exactly the way it is and what restaurant or aspect of a restaurant would you want to see more of so we are going to take that idea again by the men of mouse podcast you can find them anywhere podcasts are sold also leave us an iTunes rating and review if you would like. We’re going to take that idea and we’re going to apply that to the world of miles points and travel so guys we went over this in pre-show and etc etc. But any final thoughts or questions about how this little exercise will work?

Trevor: So, all I want to offer though well I don’t have any questions about the game I would just say that imitation is the highest form of flattery so you know our Disney podcast colleagues hopefully they will still take this as flattery and not any other way.

Joe Cheung: I guarantee you they’re not listening they once had this episode about for some reason they talked a little bit about travel hacking and anyway they’re not into they’re not they’re not for this life I’m not sure why but that’s how it is but if you are listening thank you so much for the idea I do know that we have at least one listener of our podcast who listens to both our pockets and mighty men of Else All right so let’s get this kicked off so our first category four get rid of it keep it more of it is travel credit card benefits so what would you guys get rid of or do you guys keep What do you guys want to see more of let’s start with get rid of it. Joe Cortez and what would you get rid of when it comes to travel credit card benefits?

Joe Cortez: When it comes to travel credit card benefits the biggest thing that annoys me about them is an everyone is loose a premium cards and ways to tell the whole global in tree pre-check waiver as a benefit yes, you’ll only get one three five years yes you surely get one through five years but that rate I really don’t consider it a benefit because I only get to continue to use that as part of my annual fee once every five years. Trevor I remember you and I tell talking a long time ago and you mentioned something where you actually allowed other people to get your credit when it was offered every single year the problem that I’m facing now is if you’re going to call it a benefit make sure it’s something that actually benefits me year after year after year and not just once every five years at that point it’s just something that’s nice and OK I get it it’s really cool but it doesn’t value it doesn’t offer any value to me as a customer in the end of the day so let’s start there let’s just let’s start there that’s not of that’s not a benefit get rid of it replace it with something else something better.

Trevor: So I have to agree with you when when you could get that benefit every single year I mean I was offering it to my neighbors my colleagues I’ve probably got probably half a dozen people that have global entry because of one of my credit cards but when you start having to track down is it you know it’s been five years that sort of thing I think it just gets gets to be a pain the thing I would offer is the new American Express Platinum card personal that one that’s going for five hundred fifty dollars with an annual fee now. Metering out benefits on me on a quarter or month by month basis. It makes it too hard on the customer and I think a lot of these things you know while they’re calling them benefits when you make your customer track a lot of this stuff there’s just no value there get rid of it.

Joe Cheung: Yeah, I agree too I mean I don’t like that but Trevor what would be your get rid of it or is that exactly what you get rid of?

Trevor: It is oh the uber benefit where they the metered out what is it either a monthly or quarterly basis to me that seems just like a pain I mean I’m going to get what two hundred dollars or two hundred fifty dollars of credits However I’ve got only I only get what twenty five or fifty dollars of benefit per quarter I don’t want to keep track of that I’m either going to use your card for all of my over or I’m not and the idea of of making me think of whether or not I should be getting a statement credit I shouldn’t have to track E.U. know what the credit card company is saying is a benefit.

Joe Cheung: All right so you just took mine and so I feel bad. Because I’m also going to dump on Amex might get rid of it I think it would be the travel statement credit that only applies to fees you know I think the tech is obviously easy enough right Citi and Chase both just automatically offer travel credit regardless of whether it’s for a fee and for a ticket or for anything else you know I think for American Express their Platinum cards they offer the twenty dollars a year airline credit but it can only be used on fees or ancillary purchases like food on the plane things like that I think that’s just way too confusing we don’t like you said about that uber we don’t need to jump through these hoops just make it simple if I spent two hundred dollars on Delta or American or whoever I choose give me a twenty dollars statement credit get rid of these complicated you know rules about how to get the statement credit. What do you guys think?

Trevor: I hate to say it but I think that I think that the fact that we all jumped on American Express. For lack of better ways saying it I mean I think I think they might have been the first one is that said once every five years for Joe Cortez is concerned but I mean American Express is really you know one of the first premium cards and they’re they’re the ones that are making it so incredibly hard for us I mean you look at the way that chase the Chase Sapphire Reserve does I mean the first three hundred dollars to travel you just get it back you don’t even have to call Yeah with the Ritz he got a call but I mean still it’s not nearly as hard as trying to trying to game the system with American Express it’s only a couple hundred bucks.

Joe Cortez: I think you got a point there Trevor and you are absolutely right the thing number one I feel bad I feel bad for Amex I’d like to feel bad I guess are safer and it’s because they did kick the brunt of all of our discussions real quick and I agree with you I think is much easier way there’s a much easier way to to serve the customer at the end of the day with benefits they can actually use it will actually enhanced their credit card holding experience for without a whole lot of hoops and and what not I think another thing that we could all use less of in the credit card group and this is not just jam it’s related I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts on this is the idea of bonus categories every category every every quarter bonus quarterly bonus categories is something I would like to see got rid of as we move forward if this process OK I do like the fact like the chase the Chase Freedom card does allow you to earn extra dollars or you alter or it’s point per forever every quarter based on categories but keeping track of those it’s inconvenient it’s a pain and you have to kind of be on top of it no. You know what gets what where so if I me I’m consumer and I just want to be able to use my points make a flat think make it a flat opportunity you know where you’re not going court changing quarter by quarter but just say you know every year flat here flat here flat here boom you’re done get rid of all the confusion get rid of all of the double talk I know it’s all a shell game to get the credit card companies more money via the day but by but by simplifying it I think there’s a way we can actually once again get the customer to be loyal to their credit cards I could be wrong but I think there’s also a possibility.

Joe Cheung: All right so that’s perfect segue because moving on to keep it honestly, I’m going to have to disagree with you Joe like I really like the five X. rotating categories and I would say that something that I would be happy for them to keep the weight is the reason why I say that is because yes, you’re right we are jumping through hoops a little bit and it can be tough to keep track of all that. But that benefits the credit card companies obviously because there could be breakage we could miss and things like that however they’re offering us five X which is really hard to get these days on these various categories so you know in my mind we benefit from the five X for that quarter the credit card benefits from you know mixing it up just enough to keep us guessing so in terms of my keep it it would be the five X for rotating categories but what do you think have are you can respond to that and then let me know what would be your keep it for travel card benefits.

Trevor: So, so I feel like it’s a little bit of a tough tough tough sell on the five X. I mean for all intents and purposes what the credit card company is is doing is trying to convince you to keep their card in your wallet regularly and if you’re if the cards in your wallet you’re more likely to use I totally get it. I’m not I’m not at the point of saying get rid of it. I’m not a point of saying that I love. Either I utilize it probably about midway. I probably only maximize about fifty percent I probably could do a little bit more but in some cases I mean gas stations there’s just not a lot you can do other than well like gas and who spends fifteen hundred dollars at gas when you’ve got all these gas points? Moving on to my keep it I think Joe Cortez struck on a very important point. The key of the five acts is to try to convince people to keep the card in your wallet well to turn things around on American Express what they do with the everyday card where they rewards you based on how many unique transactions you’ve got I think that’s a really good idea I think I think that’s a keep it and very well might even excel a little bit higher because it’s rewarding the card user for things that they don’t necessarily want to have to keep track of hey if I’m going to buy a coffee I just want an easy card.

[End of 15 min]

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