United Airlines Doesn’t Like Ted Cruz, Either. And Minimum Spend for Elite Status is Spreading.

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hey Gary, off topic question here,

    Car rental booked with points from CSP & CSR gives you primary collision coverage? I don’t find any official language that mentions this and not in the “benefit guide’. I am AU on wife’s card and wanted to book rental from her CSR UR account. Please confirm!

  2. As LATAM Chile already announced the minimum speding requirement, LATAM Brazil should present this very soon also, 11.000 usd for a black card is a lot, specially if you consider that economy tickets only earn 25% or 50% dolar miles, so if i spend 1000 dollars on a ticket only 500 will count for the 11.000 minimun spend.
    So long LATAM Pass.

  3. It’s fitting that Ted Cruz sat in the first row of the main cabin. He is the bulkhead seat of politicians; most people hate it but some people claim it’s the best.

  4. “[E]conomist from Bahrain, Omar Al-Ubaydli, scratches his head at the complaints by Delta et al about Etihad, Emirates and Qatar. Since when are government-backed airlines harder to compete against? ”

    Um, when they get TENS OF BILLIONS in subsidies, perhaps?

    That’s what you seem unable to wrap your head around. There are many, many examples of wasteful state-subsidization of airlines. Such actions tend to be fairly benign; however — bad for the taxpayers footing the bill, but not enough subsidy to actually change basic market dynamics. Prior to the current Middle East nonsense, no countries have been willing to pony up tens of billions in subsidies in a quixotic effort for “world airline domination” (and, in many ways, to irrationally compete against themselves, too). This is a wholly new animal. If not for the fact that their hubs are pretty remote, the impact on the world aviation industry would be shocking.

  5. @Jim: CSP Guide to Benefits seems pretty clear to me. At pg. 2, under “What is Auto Rental CDW?”:

    “The Auto Rental CDW benefit provides reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles. It is primary coverage which means you do not have to file a claim with any other source of insurance before you can receive coverage under this benefit.”

    At page 2, under “What steps do I need to take to ensure that Auto Rental CDW is in effect when I rent a vehicle?”

    “Here’s what you need to do:
    1) Initiate and complete the entire rental transaction using your card that is eligible for the benefit.
    2) Decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver or similar provision if it is offered to you. The company may refer to the collision damage waiver as CDW or LDW in their contract or when speaking to you. If you accept the collision damage waiver offered by the rental company, you will not be eligible for Auto Rental CDW.”

    The card eligible for the benefit would be your CSP or CSR card, regardless of how you pay for the transaction ultimately. The rental company will want it at the start of your rental, regardless of how you ultimately pay for the rental, and may not rent without it. But you can (and should) contact the Benefit Administrator at the number on the bottom of each page of your booklet if you want to completely assure yourself.

  6. LANPass has screwed me repeatedly. There are some serious wins on their chart, but I’d rather work a job (or go MS) than sit on the phone with another one of their agents. It seems they’re also not savvy enough to realize they could have benefited from stealing loyalty away from AA.

  7. On the car rental topic, I learned recently that for US residents LIABILITY coverage is NOT provided by credit cards when renting a car *outside USA* (at least the cards I have checked). And my US auto insurance company (State Farm) also does NOT provide Liability coverage for these overseas rentals — not from my auto insurance and not even from the separate Umbrella Personal Liability policy I have with them.
    Is anyone else aware of this gap and/or have any cost-effective solutions?
    Of course, we can buy the liability insurance from the rental car company but it seems like an odd coverage gap considering that many credit card companies do cover the CDW/car damage insurance.

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