Before you get too excited, no, Club Carlson program has no such offer going on at the moment. And I’m not trying to lure you in with a clickbait title (OK, maybe a little.) Unfortunately, unless you find a gullible relative or a friend who is not well versed in miles and points, you will not be able to replicate this transaction.
In reality, this wasn’t a business exchange, but more of a family “quid pro quo.” So, last week I wrote about redeeming Club Carlson points for my sister-in-law’s stay in Orlando. I got the points from Club Carlson promotion where you were able to receive 30K from just one hotel night paid with their co-branded credit card. I used all four of my family’s accounts for cheap stays in Warsaw we needed anyway, and voila, we ended up with 136K points. And the rest, as they say, is history. But just in case you were too lazy to read that post, I redeemed 114K of those points for 3 nights in Radisson Orlando. BTW, did you know that as long as you have elite status with Club Carlson (via credit card), you can transfer your points to anyone for free?
Of course, my sister-in-law was supposed to stay in Hyatt, and even bought a $500 gift card to cover her lodging expenses. Oops. That’s the thing with gift cards, you better be darn sure you will be be able to use them for their intended purpose. It’s usually a “one trick pony” kind of situation. Buy one for that small non-chain restaurant in Maui, and if you end up canceling the trip, you can say aloha to your gift card. No, I’m not an idiot. Aloha means hello and goodbye in Hawaiian. Yes, I speak fluent Hawaiian too.
Image courtesy of koratmember at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Anyway, because I have taken care of her accommodations, my sister-in-law insisted on giving me the Hyatt gift card as payment. After all, she would have spent that exact amount. Out of all people, for me to end up with a hotel gift card and a Hyatt kind at that? Me, a hotel points’ hoarder and alleged Hyatt hater, emphasis on “alleged.”
I honestly didn’t want to take it and tried hard to resist this incredibly generous gift. But she just wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, reluctantly, I became a proud owner of $500 Hyatt gift card. Now what to do with it? Well, I will probably try to resell a portion of the balance, but a good chunk will be spent on Hyatt stay we have planned next year via Chase Hyatt card certificates. There are resort fees to cover and probably some margarita drinks that will need to be purchased. Not probably, definitely. We may even splurge on some on-site breakfast and Hyatt kids club because why not? I’m going to rock that gift card.
But the story doesn’t end there. My sister-in-law also said she wanted to apply for a credit card and let me have the sign-up bonus. You see, I’ve redeemed 62,5K AA miles for my in-laws’ flights from Seattle and also helped her cover my BIL’s flights as well. I honestly never expected any payback, but she felt like she owed me. My in-laws do so much for us: Watching the kids, mowing our lawn (because we are lazy to do it ourselves) and the list goes on. We could never, ever repay them, so if I get a chance to use my miles and points, I’m more than happy to do it. But my sister-in-law insisted that I pick a credit card, so I went with the business version of Chase Mileage Plus Explorer card.
Here is why:
1. She wanted something with reasonable spending requirements. You have to spend $2,000 in 3 months in order to collect 50K miles. Link to offer, does not pay referral.
2. United Mileage Plus program does not impose fuel surcharges on Lufthansa redemptions. This is very useful to me, as I’m thinking about transferring 60K Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United. That’s enough for 2 one-way tickets from Minsk (capital of my country) to Orlando, Florida. Better yet, as long as it’s less than 24 hours, you can have a stopover in Frankfurt on the way to United States.
Side note: You can transfer points to United Mileage Plus 1:1 via premium cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus. You can also use the points you’ve earned from Chase Freedom as long as you have one of those two cards as well.
Since we have small kids, we will have to break up the trip to make it easier on them. That’s why non-stop flights are preferable. If you redeem United miles for a roundtrip award ticket, you can actually have a stopover that is more than 24 hours, but in our case, that’s all we need. Last time we flew via Frankfurt, we ended up spending a night in Regency Hyatt Mainz and enjoyed it. See, I don’t really hate Hyatt!
3. My sister-in-law has a legitimate business. Chase has been cracking down on business card applications, and I strongly recommend you have a “real deal” to back up your application so you don’t waste an inquiry. Thankfully, she was instantly approved, so we didn’t have to deal with the whole reconsideration process. Now, I just need to find a way to increase the balance to 60K miles since that’s the amount we need for two one-way tickets from Europe to USA. I’m sure I’ll figure something out, and if all else fails, I’ll just transfer (for a fee of about 2 cents per mile) what we need from other family accounts we have with United.
Well, clearly, I have very nice in-laws! Sure, our family is quite dysfunctional, but I’d like to think we put the “fun” in dysfunction. I believe that you CAN successfully involve family in The Hobby as long as you don’t overdo it. Give them realistic goals and most importantly, try to be generous with your points when it comes to relatives. They just might return the favor.
P.S. Today is the last day to apply for an increased offer on Amex SPG. Read this post for more details.
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