3 Things Customers Should Know From This Week’s American Airlines Earnings Call

Oct 22 2016

American held their third quarter earnings call on Thursday. Most of the discussion centers around financial results and projections, of course, but then you get into the drivers of future performance — and that includes product strategy. So there are things that are of interest to American’s customers on these calls as well.

In that context, we learned three things.

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Simple Example How You Can Save $130 a Night on a Hotel

Oct 22 2016

Book wholesale rather than retail.

Club1 Hotels is a membership site, and that lets them sell rooms at a discount, offering lower rates to consumers instead of taking their booking commission. They report that they make money on membership fees rather than individual bookings. (Since they’re a membership site hotel best rate guarantees for direct booking on a hotel chain’s website don’t apply.)

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Here’s What’s Going on With Plastiq Visa Bill Payments and Cash Advances and How to Avoid the Problem

Oct 22 2016

Plastiq is a great way to turn bills you have to pay (even rent or mortgage) into miles, albeit for a fee. Right now there’s a promotion with discount rates for paying rent or mortgage with a MasterCard or American Express.

This week there was a bit of a stir when bill payment service Plastiq — which charges your credit card and mails checks for you — started warning customers that Visa may classify charges with them as a cash advance.

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The Best Advice About Chase Credit Cards and the Surprising 5 Best Ones

Oct 21 2016

The ‘best’ Chase cards have changed over the past several months since I last looked at this. There are two new products — the Sapphire Reserve Card and the Ritz-Carlton card that has a bigger bonus, new benefits, and is now a Visa Infinite.

One card on the list changes as well based on my own reconsideration (and behavior change — I swapped one card for another in my own wallet.

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Delta Opens a New Club Today in Seattle and It’s GORGEOUS

Oct 21 2016

Delta opened their new SkyClub in Seattle minutes ago. I couldn’t make it to the preview event yesterday (believe me, I was shocked to be invited to a Delta event!) but I asked for photos and the lounge’s food menu. And I’m really impressed.

The club is near gate A1 at the intersection of the A and B concourses. This is one of Delta’s largest clubs at 21,000 square feet and with seating for over 400. And it’s stunning.

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Airline Employee Investigated for Going Too Far to Please Diamond Elite Member

Oct 20 2016

The basics of loyalty programs are recognize and reward. Earn and burn are the reward part, but the recognition you get — the ‘VIP status’ — for focusing on the goal of staying with a single chain 25 times or 50 nights, or flying an airline 50,000 or 100,000 miles a year gets you treatment orders of magnitude better than the average person walking through the doors or onto the plane.

But there are limits that the marketing sometimes makes it easy to forget. And sometimes employees take elite status too far, also.

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