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Messages - TC610

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Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Chase Reconsideration
« on: October 19, 2014, 02:13:29 PM »
A payment I made to chase was declined by my bank. (Some kind of security freeze)
The payment was not due yet. Will this have any affect on my relationship with chase?

Not sure, but cross-posting will have an effect on your relationship with DDF.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Chase Freedom Master Thread
« on: October 19, 2014, 02:02:51 PM »
"Woodbury common" just redid (actually still in middle) and as part of a bigger project they redid their information center actually very nicely done and they put down a nice big rack of gift cards would these qualify for the quaterly 5%?

Trip Reports / Re: TC610's Honeymoon / France, Maldives
« on: October 12, 2014, 11:00:40 PM »
Thanks for sharing, this is my dream HM.
 can I Message\ inbox you about this? I also have TONS of points  :)
Sounds nice!Am I missing something?  ???

My first year was just before AMEX stopped matching offers, before the 1-bonus-every-365-days rule, and also when MR points transferred to CO.  No real secrets here - built up a ton of points by churning AMEX MR cards, found a reputable broker, and then bought real estate in a suburb of CLE.  Unfortunately, things changed a bit with AMEX over the years.

Pics? It always makes a TR look so much cooler...
Coming later this week, along with parts II and III of the TR.

Didnt you already have something like that?
"Parts of this post have been compiled from previous posts."

Clearly Dan is trying to inflate his post count. :)

Trip Reports / TC610's Honeymoon / France, Maldives
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:26:12 AM »
First, before I begin, a special thanks to all of the contributing members of the DDF community.  Without the information I learned here, I would've never been able to experience the honeymoon of a lifetime.  I earned a ton of UR/MR/UA my first year at DDF which paid for the entire down payment on my new house.  The next couple of years I earned a ton more points - enough for me and my significant other to fly to and stay in Hawaii, different parts of California a few times, and Mexico twice, ->all in style<-, all on points and free nights.  In addition, it paid for almost all my honeymoon!  I just wish I was able to attend the DDS in CLE, it probably would've helped.


USA -> France -> Maldives -> USA

Part I - Planning

The soon-to-be wife and I wanted to have an unforgettable, once in a lifetime trip for our honeymoon - a trip that if we don't take now, we won't be able to take until ~18 years after we have kids.  Most of the people we know in the Midwest go to places like Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico, and Hawaii for their honeymoons.  We wanted to do something different.  Europe + the Maldives was *very* different.  98% of the people I talked to never even heard of the Maldives.  100% of them thought our trip plan was a great idea and they were excited for us!  The fiancee was hesitant about doing the Maldives due to the long travel from the US and long layover in IST, but I mentioned we could have a free stopover somewhere in Europe (I've always wanted to go to France!) to break up the trip and then she was more than OK with it.

Being a true DDFer (and part time FTer), going to the PH Paris and PH Maldives were no-brainer aspirational awards.  My goal was to book everything pre-devaulation (Hyatt, UA) back in January 2014 for a September honeymoon.  Getting points availability dates for both Hyatts in order, along with finding *A saver business awards through UA, was not working out.  Availability at PH Paris was easier to find than PH Maldives.  The Gold Passport desk was able to find points nights for the PH Paris that the website did not show, and after making a 3 night reservation online, the PH Maldives was able to extend my points reservation to 5 nights.  All nights were 22k each.  I reserved an upgrade to OWB for the last 3 nights at $365/nt.  I had 100k in TYP burning a hole in my pocket, so I confirmed ahead of time that charges could be settled with Hyatt Gift Checks and spent my TYP on $1,000 worth of those to help pay for the upgrade.

Flights. I used Diamond KVS membership and the free AwardNexus route builder to assist in finding flights.
My original routing was:

MUC -> CDG (I) LH  Stopover for 3 nights

CDG -> IST (I) TK  (7.5 hour Layover)
IST -> MLE (I) TK  Destination for 5 nights

EDI -> EWR (X) UA  (Plan B for I class)

Flight was ticketed by UA at 120k/pp +tax.  Why route through CLT?  At the time it was the only way to get Transatlantic saver business on *A.  Ticket had to be manually priced and approved by a supervisor since I had 5 total segments on a transatlantic flight (a LOT of HUCA to find an agent willing to it - the "Have United Call You" post was invaluable here).

During our 7.5 hour layover in IST, we planned on freshening up in the IST lounge and then touring Istanbul for the day.

Throughout 2013 and 2014, LH had been rolling out their new business product with lie-flat beds.  I wanted to snag two of those seats, but there was no guarantee that the CLT -> MUC route would have them in time.  In June, I did find 2 seats on the EWR -> DUS route that had the new business, so I switched my outbound itin to:

CLE -> EWR (X) UA  (Plan B for I class)

UA was going to charge a change fee, but since they changed times on my itinerary many times over the course of those 6 months, I asked them to waive the change fee for me and they did.

My flight departing MLE was 11:40pm, and I knew that the PH Maldives would give us reasonable accommodations the day of departure, so we would be able to squeeze out an extra day in the Maldives.

Planning done.  We had to sit and wait for the wedding day, so now you get to sit and wait while I write Part II.  Any questions in the meantime?

You checked the upgrade list AFTER you checked in at the airport?

Correct, I neglected to mention that.

My outbound journey was CLE-EWR-....  When I checked in at CLE I was not on the upgrade list.
My return journey was MLE-IST-EDI-EWR-CLE.  I was checked in and given boarding passes at MLE.  I checked the upgrade list while in the arrivals hall and was not on it.

Back in January before the devaluation, I had successfully set up a Plan B award for EDI-EWR, flying last week.  It said "I class requested".  A couple of days before the flight I got an e-mail stating that my upgrade was not yet processed and that I'd be placed on the upgrade standby list.  At T-24 I checked the upgrade standby list.  There were a few people on it, but my name was missing.  Also, my reservation had changed to "R class requested".  We had a delay getting to EDI and then got stuck in the international arrivals hallway for ~45 minutes because an international departure just started boarding.  By the time we got to the gate, the flight was departing in 20 minutes (too late to even try to get PR1 status) and all first class seats were occupied.  The upgrade list showed 2 people had been upgraded.  My name still was not on the list. 

FWIW, the same thing happened in CLE the week prior for a short haul flight (I class switched to R, not added to standby list automatically).

Just Shmooze / Re: My 1yr of DDF!!
« on: October 07, 2014, 08:18:50 PM »
Really nice! TR?

Thanks!  Thought about it, but there's nothing special about my trip (PH Maldives, PH Paris, the new Lufthansa Biz product, TK Biz, TK Lounge in IST, LH Lounge in EWR) that hasn't already been covered here ad nausem.

Just Shmooze / Re: My 1yr of DDF!!
« on: October 07, 2014, 05:24:20 PM »
Congrats @Yehuda and everyone else!  I just posted my story on the DDM site comments, and it pales in comparison to yours.  I just got back from my 2 week honeymoon to Paris and the Maldives at Park Hyatts ($1,200/nt!!), and it too was almost all free and almost all biz class flights just for opening some credit cards and doing some smart spending.  Unfortunately our day jobs wouldn't let us take more than 2 weeks off.  Would've loved to have seen more of Europe.

And yeah, everyone I tell that all I paid was taxes & transfers, and they were in awe.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Chase Freedom Master Thread
« on: October 01, 2014, 10:36:46 PM »
Sorry, was referring to gas cards. Kohl's has them.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Chase Freedom Master Thread
« on: October 01, 2014, 10:16:03 PM »
Do any of these 4th quarter dept stores(Sears, Kohls, macy's etcc) sell visa gift cards or gas cards?


Deals/Deal Requests / Free AT&T U-Verse Movie on Demand
« on: September 30, 2014, 08:48:46 AM »
Expires 10/31.

On your set-top box:
On Demand -> My Offers -> Enter new Offers on Demand coupon -> Code: QUIZ

So where does one find a "Knowledgeable looking agent"?  I tried in the United Club and the Customer Service desk in Concourse C at CLE and and every agent looked at me like I had 3 heads. Didn't even bother to consult Shares. I'm now at T-1 and First is now checked in full for CLE-EWR so I won't even bother the gate agent. Good thing it is a short flight...

Can anyone give me a hint as to where to find one in EDI? I only have a 90 minute layover there so I will need to make every minute count. I'll be arriving from IST so I will not be able to finish the Plan B anywhere else.

he also advised me to board & sit in my coach seat rather than wait at the gate until he gets further news (which in hindsight is something I wouldn't advise as it's a real PITA to get up, incovieniance passengers & move my bags to the front)

But if you decide to wait at the gate and you don't clear in to F/J, then you're in coach with the possibility of no room for your carry-on.

Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Chase Freedom Master Thread
« on: September 08, 2014, 02:32:35 PM »
That's what I did this quarter :)

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