Miles and Points, Blob

1. The increased offer for Chase United MileagePlus card will expire on September 2nd. Read more on it in my list of bonuses and in  this post. My husband and my brother-in-law both got approved for this offer.

2. Through November 15th, earn 1,200 Rapid Rewards per reservation at Choice hotels in USA. Could be worth it for cheap one-night stays. (h/t LoyaltyLobby)

3. I debated on whether to even mention this offer, but it could be useful to some. There is a potential to get 90,000 Virgin Atlantic miles from BOA Virgin atlantic Mastercard, but the spend would have to be $25,000. Or spend $15,000 and get 97,500 miles total.

Remember, Virgin Atlantic levies fuel surcharges on their own flights, though economy redemption from USA to London (not back) is somewhat reasonable in that respect. You can get an amazing value on Virgin America flights, but they have to be roundtrip. View From The Wing blog has a good post on this offer with  links to additional articles.

4. A promotion from SPG called Tap Into Luxury. You can enter to win different prizes through September 30th.

5. A good post on a credit card offer of 140,000 Ritz Carlton points, and why it may be a good fit for your family.

See a comment below from my reader Cheapblackdad on why this could be a spectacular deal for some.

6. The winner (chosen by random number generator) of my Southwest drink coupons was commenter Denise.  I tried to send  an email to confirm the address, but the delivery failed. Please, email it to me at

On my mind

Today I want to address a very serious, though not deadly condition, otherwise known as “Blob.” It occurs when a blog and  author   morph into one entity. Basically, it’s hard to distinguish where one starts and the other one begins. Here are the symptoms:

1. Your life revolves around your site. You spend most of your  non-job related  hours either writing posts, thinking about new ideas for your blog, or interacting with other Blobs on Twitter, Facebook etc. Oh, and don’t forget FourSquare, so everyone knows where you are at all times, day or night.

2. You can’t wait till tomorrow, so you can finally publish that one amazing post which is sure to double your traffic permanently. Except, it doesn’t.

3. You constantly check your email to see if you’ve got a new comment from a reader, and get a little depressed when you don’t find one.

Sounds familiar? Hey, this isn’t meant to  be mocking  in any way. In fact, I admit, I suffer from a mild case of Blob myself. However, I am determined to beat it, hopefully without quitting this site altogether.

The blogging world is akin to a  reality television. Everyone knows, it’s  not real, but it sure feels like it at times. There is drama, suspense and intrigue, and a good guy vs. villain. Of course, things are never quite as simple as they appear on TV. Blogging is a form of escapism, but it’s easy to get completely sucked in and forget about your real life.

Another pitfall to avoid is tying your self-esteem to the success of the blog. It’s a double-edged sword. If the site takes off, suddenly you may feel like a rockstar, when in reality,  it could have been partially due to very favorable market conditions. I want to be clear: I’m not trying to take away from anyone’s hard work, and it did take a lot of talent and hard work for all of these guys to get where they are.

On the other hand, if the blog can’t seem to find readers,  you may end up feeling like a loser. The truth is, you have probably entered a very saturated niche (hint: miles and points related), and there is virtually no chance of breaking through and gaining a significant audience. But even if blogging isn’t your   gift, and it is indeed due to lack of talent, so what?  Does it make you any less of a human being?

It’s very easy to get caught up in numbers: Twitter followers, Facebook Likes and so on. At the end of the day, remember, those people are strangers. Don’t measure your success based on  what they think they know about you. Take comfort in the fact that your kids want to follow you around the house and your spouse still likes you.

Don’t have a family? Spend time with your friends. What are friends, you may ask… Well, it’s people who share your interests and goals. NO, I’m not talking about “miles and points” Blobs, with whom you can go on MS hunt together. I mean normal people you used to hang out with before you got into this crazy hobby.  Go see a movie, or eat out even if it’s not the first Friday of the month (gasp!)

Never had friends before turning into a Blob? There is no hope for you. Get out while you still can!


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11 thoughts on “Miles and Points, Blob

    • Holly, I totally believe you! You know, it’s funny, I really wish I could treat this blog as more of a business. That way I could disconnect, and go “home”, like I used to with my job. Unfortunately, this thing tends to take over your thoughts, at least for me, since I truly enjoy this crazy blogging thing. I’m working on the right balance.


  1. I may pull the trigger on the Ritz Carlton so that I can get the Southwest companion pass and take asvantage of our annual pass to disney that we used points to subsidize. Here’s my thinking. Curious to know if you think I’m crazy.
    1. My wife has 70k mariott points from the marriott sign up bonus.
    2. Ritz Carlton gets her to 210.
    3. I have 30k points. I believe when we call to book the below we can combine them to get 240k.
    4. Find a way to get 10k more marriott points.
    5. Book a category 5 marriott flights and hotels package for 7 nights in a category 5 marriott and also receive 110,000 Southwest points.

    So, 110,000 southwest points, a 2 year SW companion pass, and a 7 night stay at a category 5 Marriott, All for 395$.

    No brainier ?


    • @Cheapblackdad No, you are not crazy at all! That sounds like a good plan. In fact, I really debated on getting this card for my husband and myself. But we need United miles at the moment, so I had to pass. Plus, I don’t like staying in one hotel for 7 nights at a time. I travel fast… and you know the rest! 😉
      To answer your questions;
      1. You can convert your wife’s Marriott account to Ritz Carlton, the benefits are the same. Technically, you are supposed to have one or the other.
      2. Yes, you can combine the points between spouses at the time of redemption.
      3. Marriott (or Ritz Carlton) points transfer from Ultimate Rewards 1:1. Worst case scenario, you can buy them.
      Here is a post on The Miles Professor that answers more questions specific to this deal
      If your plans match up, it’s a total no-brainer.


      • The 7 night stay is definitely the hardest part. Hard to find a category 5 Marriott in a location/hotel I want to be in for 8 days. Otherwise I could try to move up to another category, but then I’d have to put a lot of spend towards Marriott points, either via UR or one of our Marriott/Ritz cards. Though I guess I could apply for one of the Ritz cards myself and that would make life easy? But do I want to waste a hard pull or credit with Chase? The options! So much fun!

        My hope is that with this Ritz Carlton option out there, and the fact that we have yet to do any of the Southwest personal/business cards, we can have, between the two of us, a Southwest companion pass for the next 10 years. Think about it.


    • @Cheapblackdad My opinion, and it’s just that, is that you both should apply for this card if you don’t have any other bonuses from Chase in mind. This is an excellent offer, and could get you a ton of Rapid Rewards points, plus a Companion pass. There are quite a few nice Cat. 5 hotels near Disney, not to mention near beaches in Florida.
      Yes, $395 X 2 is a lot, but consider it an investment in your future vacations. Marriott is unlikely to gut their chart or mileage transfer options to the point, that you wouldn’t at least get that amount in value out of your bonuses.


  2. Quick question about Marriott/Ritz & the requirement to only have one or the other rewards number?

    I made a mistake during my last Marriott AOR for my wife and I by not putting in her Marriott Rewards number on the application. It waa really no problem though because Marriott just issued her a new Marriott Rewards number.

    Fast forward past the minimum spend and awarding of 70k points.

    I did NOT get the accompanying 1 night free stay because I have previously received the free 1 night certificate under my Marriott Rewards account number. BUT my wife did get a free 1 night certificate on her “new” Marriott Rewards number.

    My take is that in the future, I will not include my existing Marriott Rewards number when applying for new accounts. I’ve read other bligs where you can always call Marriott Rewards and request they combine accounts.

    I also now wonder. Would this work to get past the two year time period on say a United card!!!



    • @BB As far as Marriott/Ritz number goes, I don’t have any experience, so can’t really say anything definitively. From that link I included in my answer to Cheapblackdad, it sounds like you may need to pick one or the other, though some have gotten both. Once again, I’m not a 100% sure.
      As far as United card goes, I don’t think it would work to get the bonus if it hasn’t been 24 months, because it’s Chase who keeps track of it. They would have it on record that you already got the miles in that time period. Hope it answered your question.


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