Richard Kerr: You're going to be like the back corner of a tower looking at the street and a room that is 200 square feet.
Ed Pizza: It seems like, as in most things in life, you seem to have found the sour side of The Confidante. Don't make it sound like it was a rough day. I saw the pictures.
Richard Kerr: I sent Ed a lot of special pictures on my trips.
Ed Pizza: Check please.
Speaker 1: Climb aboard. This is the Miles to Go podcast, your source for the latest in travel news, reviews, and strategies you can't afford to miss. And now here's your host, travel expert and road warrior, Ed Pizza.
Ed Pizza: Hey, guys, welcome back to the Miles to Go podcast. It is a momentous day in the history of the podcast and we're going to get into that in just a minute. But we've had a big Milestone here at Miles to Go, even bigger than 200 episodes. And I got to say I'm pretty darn excited about it. But my partner in crime, Mr. Kerr, is back here with me.
It does not appear that he has a mustache, for those that have been following along on the old Twitter and Instagram stuff. Well, let me take that back. It does look like that you might have had a smudge of maybe Oreo cookie dust or something on the top of your lip, but definitely not what I would call a Ron Jeremy mustache.
Richard Kerr: Is it a Milestone? Is my mustache a Milestone?
Ed Pizza: No, it's definitely not. Ron Jeremy, I'm sure, is in a lot of Milestones, but we're going to take that to the family podcast. Well, you're probably too young for that. Anyway, bunch of listener questions to get through. I had a very interesting hotel stay this week that I want to get into.
Richard has got another Hyatt stay, which I hope was better than his last one since I think you figured the last one as nicely as I can put it, it was a dumpster fire, I think is what you said.
Richard Kerr: Got a lot of comments to that on the old social media, by the way.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. So we're going to talk through that. And like I said, we got listener questions just stacking up like crazy. And again, we definitely will get to all of them. We'll try to squeeze in as many as we can each week.
Before we dive in all that, a quick reminder that you guys can shoot us any questions you have and you can find us on email email@example.com. You can text or leave us a voicemail at (571)293-6659. And you can always hit us up on social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all at Pizza In Motion. There's a rumor that Mr. Kerr has his first TikTok out.
Richard Kerr: Oh, it's true I do. Shout out to... I work with a couple of incredible creators and editors at Bilt Rewards who have taken some of the YouTube content that we're doing. Check it over on Bilt Rewards' YouTube channel. Cut it down to a pretty funny TikTok with me talking about the Falcons and a mistake fair book. So go check it out. Man, we're going viral Day 1 maybe.
Ed Pizza: Okay. Well, anyway also too, if you guys would take just a second and leave us a review and a rating, there's a link in the show notes that makes it super easy to do that. And somebody from the old university of Michigan, Michigan Alum 10 left us a little review. Past week Ed Pizza, oh, five stars. By the way, Mr. Kerr, you earned five stars.
Richard Kerr: Out of 23, not bad.
Ed Pizza: I was going to say scale of one to five, no less. Ed Pizza and Richard Kerr make a great team with differing opinions, hell yeah, and experiences that combine and make each episode both informative and entertaining.
If you're looking to build your knowledge of the rapidly changing travel points in Miles world, while having a good laugh or two, look no further because these guys are experts and hilarious. I do not have crosstalk.
Richard Kerr: I like it when people call me expert. It's funny.
Ed Pizza: It's also clear they are committing it to "the people" since they regularly make time to accept and respond to in depth listener questions.
Richard Kerr: And we got one paragraph today that you're not going to read the whole thing. You're going to summarize the Disney question.
Ed Pizza: No, I'm going to summarize. Amanda wrote us a book. But it's translatable.
Richard Kerr: Well, thanks a lot for taking the time to do that. I appreciate it, but there you go.
Ed Pizza: So thanks again, Michigan Alum, for that great review. I love doing the show and so far it has absolutely been a labor of love. It's not like we're rocking in the cash over here. We're just having fun doing the show. Kerr tells me we keep needing to get out there and market it so we can line up all those people paying us tens of thousands of dollars an episode-
Richard Kerr: They could be.
Ed Pizza: ... to cash in all this great information.
Richard Kerr: We are the next Spotify pick Up.
Ed Pizza: Oh, we are. We are Joe Rogan II.
Richard Kerr: Oh, no.
Ed Pizza: So here we are. It's Milestone time and Mr. Kerr is giving me a couple of weird looks because I'm not sure he really realizes what the Milestone is.
Richard Kerr: You mentioned it, and just carried on without saying what the Milestone was. I was like, we're going to edit this together.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Well, hey, and you know what the Milestone is, you just don't realize it because we talked about it.
Richard Kerr: He throws surprises on me every single episode.
Ed Pizza: Ladies and gentlemen, the trailer, the RV is gone.
Richard Kerr: Oh, is that the Milestone we're celebrating?
Ed Pizza: That is the Milestone.
Richard Kerr: But I'm sad. Now I got to camp by myself, man.
Ed Pizza: You don't have to camp by yourself.
Richard Kerr: You're getting rid of the truck.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Well, we're not quite there yet. Maybe by the time on the episode goes live, the truck will be gone to. But I did sell the RV and look, I mean, when you and I first started, we looked at sites like RVshare and there's another one.
I forget the name of the other one that's real big in that space. But there's plenty of people that rent their RVs. And as you guys have listened in and have come to find, I am not well equipped to owning an RV.
Richard Kerr: I'm really equipped for a lot of things in life, but sure.
Ed Pizza: That's true. Podcasting is probably the only thing I'm well equipped for, and yet here we sit. So sold the RV recently. The guy who bought it loves it. Had a bunch of questions. And as Richard said, we're working on selling the pickup truck while the market is great and I'm going to trade it in for a lesser pickup truck.
So I don't have so much hunker metal sitting in the driveway. It is funny, as we're literally cleaning out the trailer, we're talking about a spring break trip where we were thinking about RVing and it's like, well, damn, how'd that happen? So I do think we'd be back to camping at some point.
Richard Kerr: I do not.
Ed Pizza: And I will say, it was actually a little bittersweet selling it. I thought it would be burn it down and party on like it is 1999.
Richard Kerr: Did you figure it almost burnt itself down a few times?
Ed Pizza: Yeah, exactly. You know what I mean? Looking back on it, I think we had a lot of fun with it when we could sit in one place for a while. And so I think when we get back into it, I'll be renting a trailer for a week and we will go park it somewhere and we will not try to do the four stops in 10 days sorts of things. So that's where I really just absolutely lost my bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep.
Richard Kerr: You can park it down a four wheel wonder with me sometime this year. Well, before my pass runs up, we're going to go do some time down there. That's my plan.
Ed Pizza: No, I think that's absolutely right. And I think the great thing about it is I would just drive the pickup truck down to Florida and I would rent an RV from someone in Florida. So I could just stay at a regular hotel on my way down and I wouldn't have to...
That was a tough thing for us is we're not really near a lot of the excursions where we'd want to camp. We want to camp a bunch of places out west, national park, stuff like that, South Dakota. Missouri and Arkansas were two places we looked at.
Loved Fort Wilderness with you in summer. But all those places I got to set up and break down a couple of times between here and there, or I got to boondock, all of which I just never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever want to do again in my life.
Richard Kerr: Mine, I went and checked on it this week at the storage lot. I really needed to bring it to my driveway and wash it up and get ready. But I go downstairs and my son has got all the jelly stone flyers that we get in the mail now out and studying the maps and I'm like, wait for it to be a little bit warmer, man.
We're ready to go. Because we caught all the really cool places. We went on shoulder season at the end of summer, beginning of fall. Sometimes it was too cold. It was literally the last weekend that most of the amenities were open.
So I'm looking forward to a full year, full season, I guess you say of everything open and warm weather and checking it out. So I'm excited to get back out there in addition to a few life last seats and beach front suites along the way.
Ed Pizza: Amen. And I will say absolutely the fact that you guys homeschool, it makes camping just such a clutch way of seeing the country. Absolutely. So our kids are at that age.
I think that the crowning decision for us, knock on wood, we were very lucky that my daughter has gotten really, really good at track. They made the districts last week for our area of the country and she won their district 4 x 800 relay.
Richard Kerr: Literally by a hair, right?
Ed Pizza: By 1/100th of a second. By literally-
Richard Kerr: And for those of you terrible at math, that's really close.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. My wife is a marathoner, but we sat down at the dinner table and I made sure that everybody at the table understood that the win was definitely due to me and not my wife because I am... You laugh, but listen.
Richard Kerr: I can't wait to hear this reasoning.
Ed Pizza: Wait for the logic. You've met me, right?
Richard Kerr: Because you're tiny and your daughter therefore has a tiny figure and can cut through the wind. So therefore it's Ed's victory.
Ed Pizza: I'm tiny except for this pop belly. No. I am a very freckled Italian. And dude, I really think she won by the freckle that is on the tip of her nose. That is literally 1/100th of a seconds. So I take credit for the freckles and that is why she won.
Richard Kerr: She won by a freckle. You're such a dork.
Ed Pizza: With 1/100th of a second, man. Come on. We're pretty geeked up for her to hit the regionals this weekend, but she's done a bunch of invitational terms and stuff like that. And once you take weekends out of the mix, man, it gets hard to camp.
Richard Kerr: My son is seven and this past Wednesday, he had his first golf tournament for a little... We live in a neighborhood with a golf course. It's a public course. Don't think by any means I'm talking about a grandiose public. It's just chill, everybody.
It's very middle of the road, subpar golf course. But they got a little neighborhood league and they're going to play these little mini tournaments with people on their skill level. So we had golf from 4:30 to 6:30 and a basketball game from 7:00 to 8:00.
And I was like, oh boy, this is the intro to dad life here. Some long days and weeks going on, man, with the sports stuff, which is great for him and I have tremendous memories of playing sports when I'm a kid, but man, it's going to be time consuming.
Ed Pizza: We went from track meet, to Pinewood Derby, to Boy Scout meeting, to track meet, to Pinewood Derby over the past week. That was essentially the week.
Richard Kerr: Super Bowl Sunday while we record this, I took my daughter in DC to Valentine's breakfast this morning and now I'm not doing a dead gum thing the rest of the day, but sitting and watching some football and hitting some 12, 16 house curls. I did do work out to be fair, everybody. So everybody can get your workout on before the Super Bowl
Ed Pizza: I have not done well yet. It's going to be three days after the Super Bowl when they hear this, brother. So good job. You understand how this podcast thing works?
Richard Kerr: No, I don't. You tell me what to say.
Ed Pizza: So we both had interesting trips this week for different reasons. Since yours is probably more exciting than mine, you stayed at The Confidante, which for folks that aren't familiar was the original Thompson Hotel that Hyatt bought before they bought Thompson Hotels.
And if I remember correctly, I think it was called The Thompson. But anyway, it was a nice property down in Miami Beach. It seems like, as in most things in life, you seem to have found the sour side of The Confidante on your most recent trip.
Richard Kerr: Well, I should say I've had some tremendous experiences there in the past. And for sentimental reasons, my daughter and I's first daddy daughter trip was to The Confidante. I got pictures by the pool. It was awesome. Love it.
She actually has a picture of the umbrellas from the sky view down on the beach. Confidante has these stripes, retro art deco umbrellas is on her wall in her room with a little photo booth thing she and I did. So cool. We've got it. And it still is a tremendous value.
You can use a Category 1 to 4 certificate or 15,000 points a night. And it's routinely now because South Florida is so warm and popular right now and it never had coronavirus, $300, $400, or $500 a night. So great value. However, they seem to have a little bit of a branding problem over the last couple of years.
Now, everybody's been rough, but The Confidante has really been in pretty good business except maybe the first six months of COVID. And since then, the room rates have been the highest I've ever seen, weekends especially, sold out. Crazy. So they've re rented the restaurant once again.
I think every time I've gone there, it's been a different restaurant and a different breakfast set up. This time it was buffet only. Not really what I want. Still cool vibe sitting outside underneath this covered breakfast thing, which you kind of want.
Ed Pizza: I do like the outside breakfast there.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. But you kind of want a nice dish or something. You got to walk inside and get the buffet plate and you're like, ah. And the service there is still incredibly quiet. We just get a cup of coffee, it takes 20 minutes. And then no upgrades this time.
But the thing they did is they proactively reached out ahead of time. Usually when you get email from a property, it's like, hey, this is what we have going on. There's the amenities and everything. This email is very much designed to let you know that you're not going to get an upgrade. It's like upgrades are not going to happen.
It's like, I got it. And sure enough, upgrades weren't going to happen. And it just seems to not have that hospitable feel anymore. And after just talking to some folks since this day, still again, great value on the beach. We went with another couple.
Shout out to Michael McCue, Points with Q, and Ashley McCue. Cobalt Chronicles. They were this other lovely couple we had a great time chilling by the pool on the beach. We just missed having that welcome feeling. I had two separate reservations.
They wouldn't let me stay in the same room. Even though they moved me one room down, I had to take calls out by the pool because they wouldn't let me do... Anyways, it just got really messy there. And it's just not what it was. Still great value. Still beach front.
Still got the vibes that you want to go, art deco, you're on South Beach kind of deal. Go and use your points and have a great time chilling by the beach. It's just not what I remembered having been. That's kind of the way to sum it up.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. It's a tower property on the beach. You walk across the bike path to get to the beach itself. So I haven't had a bad stay there yet, but I also haven't been back since COVID.
Richard Kerr: It wasn't a bad stay. It just wasn't what it was. But let me be clear, there are bad rooms there. So if you just book the base king room, you're going to be like the back corner of a tower looking at the street, and a room that is 200 square feet. So don't get that room.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. I've had huge balconies. I think I've got an upgrade every time I've been there.
Richard Kerr: Yeah. There are really great rooms, really bad rooms.
Ed Pizza: There are really great rooms. There are big balconies a whole bit. I'd have to go back and just double check everything, but I think since the one SPG property that I used to stay at is out of the mix, I don't think there's anything better down there for points in that Miami Beach area, something that's beach front, that's easy and all that stuff. It's possible I'm missing a Marriott property that's exceptional.
Richard Kerr: I actually want to check out the Cadillac. Right next door is an autograph collection hotel. And it was only, I say only. As far as Marriott Beachfront properties go, I think it was 40,000 or 50,000 points a night. And the pool area was great, hot tub, little cool sand bar area there. It actually looked like something I might try out next time. Now, I didn't look and see what the resort fee was.
Ed Pizza: For those following along at home, the operative word at Mr. Kerr's sentence back there was, was. So it was 40,000 or 50,000 points. In the future it will not be-
Richard Kerr: But we went over and had drinks at this beachfront bar thing that they got going on there. And it was lovely. It was a cool place to check out. Love the pool area vibes. It was a little bit chiller than The Confidante. And I don't know, might check it out. I have to see what it is. So maybe that's a new spot.
I'll check out. If no good, then I go back to The Confidante. And then American canceled our flight home. Long story short, six hour trip delay protection, Amex Platinum car paid for another night in The Confidantes as well as our lunch, $500. So everybody look at your trip delay protection on your credit card that you used to pay for your trip.
Ed Pizza: And I'm glad you brought this up because I think that, I mean, you've known a couple things that I've seen on social media about how there's, I wouldn't say a lot of work, but there's some work in making sure that whatever you... So one of the things that you point out, which I had forgotten about, and I'm sure I would've screwed this up.
If you're going to use trip delay, in this case, you had to charge the things that you wanted waived on the same card. So for example, you booked an extra night at the hotel, or you booked a rental car or whatever, if you were using say the American Express, you use the American Express platinum, right?
Richard Kerr: Yeah.
Ed Pizza: Right. And so if you had booked those extras on a card other than the American Express platinum, they would've denied the claim.
Richard Kerr: Possibly. I mean, the language in the claim says submit receipts for additional expenses paid for with the card you're claiming. And actually when I was booking, this is why I carry the card with me that I used to book the trip, because I wasn't sure.
And if you look in the benefits guide, it does not say specifically, it's only when you get the claim form that it says these expenses better be on the card that you use.
So just dot your Is and cross your T, folks. And if anything seems like maybe you should do it like paying for the additional expenses with the card you're going to make the claim for, even though you're going to get reimbursed into check, just go ahead and do that. But treated to $500. It looks like it's going to get approved.
Key with American Express round trip travel says that three or four times. So make sure you're going to be walking around trip. I don't know if anybody else is that way like Chase or Capital One, but American Express specifically calls out, you need to be on a round trip travel.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And this is why I'm in the market for a travel insurance policy, which we'll probably go into in a future episode once I actually decide on something. We booked a home rental for spring break and that got me thinking about it was a big enough sum of money.
I wasn't comfortable just hanging out with no backup plan. And then I started thinking, I had a annual travel insurance policy prior to COVID and I wonder if I should grab another one. And you brought up that whole round trip thing and I never book round trips anymore.
And quite frankly, I mean, just based on how different the schedules are today versus a couple years ago, I would say probably not the majority of the time, but I'd say probably 30% of the time, I'm flying somewhere on United and then my return flight is on Delta or vice versa.
Richard Kerr: Some nuance here. Actually my trip to get to Miami was after a New York trip. So Atlanta, LaGuardia, JFK, Miami, Miami, Atlanta, and this was booked on three separate PNRs because I used certificates to pay for the first two legs and then my Amex Platinum to pay for the third.
And according to the claims adjuster that I spoke with, he said, because the term specifically say use a combination of certificates in the Amex Platinum that they will honor this.
Ed Pizza: Would that have been the case it was different airlines, I wonder?
Richard Kerr: Probably not.
Ed Pizza: It's an interesting question. If anybody knows the answer to that, if they have experience getting a claim processed on the Amex Platinum like Delta out and American back or something like that, I think that'd be great information for listeners to know, because I think a lot of people don't even realize they have the coverage, let alone how to use it. So hopefully, we can help demystify that a bit.
Richard Kerr: Can be tricky. But I have a simple call, they email me claim forms, read through them, made sure you kept receipts, made sure you paid for the stuff that is Platinum. My trip was delayed at least six hours, which is the cutoff or for the start time in order to qualify for coverage. And it looks like they will email me a check for $500.
Ed Pizza: And a free day at the beach.
Richard Kerr: Well, yeah. It was just, we needed to get home. So it was a long day. Took a 9:30 PM flight home. They get home until midnight, 12:30, blah, blah, blah.
Ed Pizza: Quit your crying, long day at the beach. Good Lord.
Richard Kerr: I'm old. But we had to get back to the kids. That was the thing. If we didn't have kids, then sure, whatever. The kids weren't with us. So that was the whole-
Ed Pizza: Oh, I agree with the whole get back to the kids. But don't make it sound like it was a rough day. I saw the pictures. I saw the-
Richard Kerr: I send Ed a lot of special pictures on my trips.
Ed Pizza: Check, please. So I had traveled this week as well. And as we get into the meat of February, I have continued my undefeated streak of every single trip has at least one delay. And this week's delay was great.
And it had to have been a United pilot without a lot of seniority. Either that or one with a whole lot of arrogance because we land in Chicago. And, of course, every road warrior that's listening is now nodding their head because it's Chicago.
Richard Kerr: You just land in Chicago.
Ed Pizza: In winter time. Very different.
Richard Kerr: In the winter.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, and the pilot makes the fatal error of all pilot fatal error in O'Hare. We've landed early and we're on schedule to be at the gate, call it 10 or 15 minutes early. And he lands and he comes over the PA and says, folks, we're here early on such and such a night. Happy to have brought you to Chicago early. Just stay seated. We'll have you at the gate shortly.
Richard Kerr: That's got to 45 minutes.
Ed Pizza: That was our full on jinks. And you're absolutely right, we showed up at the gate 30 minutes late. So we sat on the tarmac. We sat twice. We sat in a bullpen for a while and then we got closer and it's like, sorry, there's a plane blocking the alleyway.
The alleys in some of the concourse at O'Hare are tight. If you look at your gate, you start to get into the nerdy stuff. But if you look at your gate and you have a C Concourse or a B Concourse gate where the C and the B sides that face each other.
So it would be odd numbered on the Charlie side and even number on the Bravo side, that alleyway is always backed up. We waited another 10 minutes to get into that alleyway and get to our gate. And I didn't care anywhere to go, but we were a solid 30 minutes late. And it's like, well, all right then.
Richard Kerr: Since you landed at O'Hare, you start taxing and you go not towards the building, but you go over to those obscure aprons where you know you're going to park the little diagonal part. And you're like, oh boy, we're going to be sitting here to until we can get to a gate for a long time.
Ed Pizza: But I think the upside was it was a very short trip. I had a meeting for work. And I say I really wish I had a little bit more time to write because I would've already written this story, but hopefully I'll be writing it soon.
I'm really liking being a hotel free agent. And the reason why I'm a hotel free agent is because I've already locked up top tier lifetime status on Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton. I'm done there.
Richard Kerr: Well, then I would love to be a free agent too if I had lifetime status with all of them.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. So I normally, there's a couple Hyatts that I would stay at. There were not far from where I had my meeting. It was Downtown Chicago on the river, but I wanted to test out the Cap One portal a little bit. We've been trying to figure stuff out with that.
And so I started poking around. And oddly enough, I found a property that was near where I needed to go, but it disappeared from the Cap One portal. It was there and I looked at it and the couple of the folks I was booking with were looking at booking other property that was just around the corner, the JW Marriott.
And so I'm going to stay at this canopy by Hilton because the pictures looked really interesting. And so then it disappeared from the portal and it never popped back up. I ended up booking it direct through Hilton.
But the interesting thing is, you know this, Richard, and again, the road warriors that are listening in are nodding their heads when I say this, this property had all the trappings of a property where I look at the pictures and I'm saying, this right here is somebody who's really good at photography.
Richard Kerr: It's going to be really bad.
Ed Pizza: And these rooms are going to be nowhere near as nice as these pictures. And I got to the rooms and, boy, they were super. I also got upgraded automatically. Got an email from Hilton automatically upgrading the reservation. Got a update in the app of, I got upgraded from a regular room to a one bedroom service.
Richard Kerr: So they just rolled that out, right?
Ed Pizza: They did. And I already got upgraded. I have another stay this week coming up where I got upgraded as well and I already got the email. I got the email yesterday. So we're recording Sunday and Saturday for a stay that starts next Tuesday or Wednesday. So now I got two upgrades in a row automatically. Don't have to request it or anything like that.
And the room upgrade at the canopy was awesome. The thing I liked about the hotel, kudos to Hilton on this. So the property sits on a corner and so it's a canopy by Hilton. And then there's a hallway that connects to the other side of the corner where there's a Hilton Garden Inn.
And you'd never even know the two were connected because of just a little hallway past the elevators. You can't even really tell. Separate elevators for the Hilton Garden Inn and for the canopy. But the canopy is historic.
I need to go do some research on it, but there's a train theme and the lobby has character to it. It's got a really cool bar. The rooms have character. The setting was awesome. The amenities were super high end. I had an espresso machine in my room, robes. It was like holy cow, this is happening?
Richard Kerr: Booked through the Capital One portal?
Ed Pizza: No, I couldn't because remember it dropped off.
Richard Kerr: It disappeared.
Ed Pizza: It disappeared, which is a bummer. I would've loved to have gotten 10X on this.
Richard Kerr: I wonder what you would've gotten if you'd booked through the Capital One portal.
Ed Pizza: I don't know. So again, these are all things that we're learning about the portal. I did book my first airline ticket through the portal and it popped up in my United account just fine.
Richard Kerr: I have done that a few times to get the five X points.
Ed Pizza: Yes. The thing I'm curious about which I'll report on next week is I assume that you've gotten TSA pre-check when you book your ticket through because I didn't realize it at first, but I didn't have my known traveler number in there.
It's a little bit of a quirky thing with the Capital One travel portal. I couldn't find a place in there where you set up your travel profile. The button up the top says welcome Edward, and when you click on it, the only option is log out. There's no account or profile.
You have to set your profile in a flight reservation. And that was where I was able add my known traveler number. So knock on wood, I think, because it appears in my United account, I should have TSA pre-check, but that'd be the only other thing that would give me a little bit.
Richard Kerr: No, it was no problem. It populated in my Delta and American accounts. And because my known travel number is saved there, I had pre-check. No problem.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. That was the only thing I was a little leery of. I think it'll be fine, but otherwise, again, I am trying to use Capital One as sort of my starting point for bookings. And it's been interesting to look at rental cars are a bit back and forth on pricing. But so far, the hotel side of things for the most part is cool.
I wish this canopy stay hadn't disappeared. But that's our travel for the week. We got a couple of travel questions that we want to try and crank through and then we're going to kick Mr. Kerr out and go watch a little Super Bowl. So first question up was one that I didn't know the answer to and Richard was nice enough to confirm for me.
This is from Dan, and he says that his wife and him both got the Venture X card. And so he wants to know that after they complete their spend and get the points, he's wondering if they can combine their account into one instead of having two cards going forward. And Mr. Kerr says...
Richard Kerr: Yes, you can, but there's some unique terminology you need to be aware of as far as Capital One Miles. So yes, you can transfer to somebody else's account, combine would be what you say there.
If you actually log in to your rewards, which I'm looking at now, I'm looking at my wife's accounts, it says move rewards, transfer rewards from one Capital One account to another. You would think that's where you go. You go there. If you have two credit cards.
If you have a Spark Miles and you got a Venture X, you can move rewards there. If you want to move it to an external account, you got a call is the way to do it. So you might be a little bit confused with how they have that set up, but you can combine them.
Now, what I don't know, and I'm sure if I do a quick Google, I can find out, but it's can you combine with somebody at your same address like Chase, or can you combine with absolutely anybody? I don't know. While you ask the next question, I will Google this.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Well obviously, if somebody else can confirm that for us. I guess the other thing I'd say too, and everybody has their own decisions on what they're going to keep in their wallet.
Don't get me wrong, free second cards, maybe it doesn't make sense to have two in your family, but I mean, this card to me is a $395 annual fee, but gosh, it sounds like I'm hawking this card and getting commission for it for how much we're talking about it, but it seems like it's just an insanely good value.
So you're going to get a $300 travel credit against that $395 annual fee. And when I say that you're going to get travel credit, I mean the first time I booked something on the card that was travel, it just took $300 off. It was the easiest travel credit I've ever used in my entire life. Didn't have to ask for anything.
So now you're down to $95 for an annual fee. And maybe there literally is nothing else that you need to keep two cards around. But I don't know, maybe president circle status or something like that. But I mean, it's definitely a pretty low annual fee card.
And typically in the past, though different now, typically in the past, we've seen it's a little tough to get Capital One cards. So if you got it, Dan, I'd give a little bit of pause to whether or not you should both keep it in case you might want it in the future because it might be a little hard to get back just based on some history that we've seen with Cap One.
Richard Kerr: True that. My Google say that it is not restricted to family members, that you can share Capital one Miles with anybody.
Ed Pizza: So to all the people out there that are rubbing their hands together and grinning gleefully, don't ruin it for the rest of us. Be good. Be nice. All right. Let's not be jerks here. All right. Next up. This is a question more for Richard than for me.
He says, hi Ed and Richard, it's Brad from Ed's neck of the woods in Northern Virginia. Sorry man, traffic and weather up here really sucks. He loves listening to the podcast every week. He has a question more for, wait for it, the king of fuel rewards, Richard.
He wants to know if you would choose to take two American Miles, two American Airline Advantage Miles for every gallon of gas at Shell to help boost your American status and those good old loyalty points that we don't know how many were earning until March. Or would you keep your fuel rewards gold status and get a minimum of five cents for every gallon of gas? What's your say, Kerr?
Richard Kerr: Before I answer this, some recent news about Capital One, not Capital One, about American Airlines clawing back a lot of Miles from shopping portal offers over the last couple days. Nick over at Frequent Miler had his Verizon offers, which he thinks he adequately redeemed according to the terms and conditions. He had those Miles clawed back.
I had 1000 Miles clawed back for that baby listing that didn't require purchase even though the terms of conditions did not require a purchase to get the 1000 Miles got on rewarded clawed back. So we got some problem. We got some concerning things going off that shopping portal.
So just as an FYI to everybody, follow closely, make sure you follow those terms and conditions, screenshot everything and be wary. As far as this question goes, absolutely not. No way I would take two miles per gallon. I would definitely still take the sense savings.
If you do the simple math, value in America Mile at 1.40, 1.50 cents per mile, of course, possibly you can get higher than that. So that's 3 cents per gallon savings rather than the easy ways that there are to get 10 cents per gallon savings plus gold status and everything else you can do with fewer rewards. So no.
I saw this offer and I was like per gallon. If you fill up 20 gallons, you get 40 American Miles. No, it's inconsequential is what it is. So I think it's bum offer. I initially thought that when I saw the offer, oh great, we get two American Miles on top of 10 cents per gallon savings. Now we're talking. It was like, no, you got to pick one or the other.
And I was like, no, not a chance. So definitely sticking to cash savings for me, especially seeing as what gas prices have done just even the last week. I continue to do everything I can to save on gas, even though I really don't drive that much, just to the airport and back.
Ed Pizza: Well, and that whole camping thing
Richard Kerr: Until the camping starts again, which is why I have the diesel because I get the much higher miles per gallon. So we'll see.
Ed Pizza: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Richard Kerr: I can't talk camping anymore. I don't have a trailer.
Ed Pizza: No, I would've said the same thing when I owned a gas engine. You and your diesel that you never drive anywhere that never get the full use of the diesel that you need to.
Richard Kerr: I do. I save the environment with my diesel.
Ed Pizza: You keep believing that. So we want to dig into Amanda's Disney question here, but before we do, I want to make sure we don't forget and run out of time. There's a post that we'll link to in the show notes that Richard apparently has some firsthand knowledge of.
And just a real quick hit on this, Hilton has a pretty cool time share offer out there now. If you're looking for a way to take a cheap vacation and you're willing to sit through a time share presentation, and as far as I know, I've never heard of anybody being able to skip these in person timeshare presentations.
So if you're going to do this, just know that you're probably in for, I don't know what, 90 minutes to two hours is probably a good assumption. Anyway though, this is a fairly solid offer that Doctor of Credit wrote about this morning, five nights in Hawaii and 25,000 Hilton points, which is like nothing.
But the five nights is significant. Five nights in Honolulu for 699. Which I think is screaming. Even if you had to sit through a couple hour timeshare presentation. And you noted that you actually had this offer served up to you recently.
Richard Kerr: Yeah, when I booked our New Year's trip down to the Signia at Bonnet Creek after I got done booking it and I had to call because of connecting rooms and half cash and half point thing. Otherwise, you could do it all online. I got transferred afterwards like, hey, if you have a few minutes, we'd love to hear some offers.
And I figured it's going to be the timeshare. And sure enough, it's the same offers that I see here from Doctor of Credit. And not bad. On top of Hawaii, I got Myrtle Beach, Orlando, and I think either Scott, Sailor Phoenix as well. The other ones were like $199 for four nights.
And based on my recent experience of doing the virtual time share with Mary, I can get 50,000 points. I don't know if they all worked that way and I've heard stories if they don't, but pretty painless and just legit up front with the dude.
I was like, there's no way I'm buying this. We can either sit here and talk about nothing or wrap it up. But if you want to go to Hawaii for cheap, tear it up. My one question I did have for the lady who offered it, I was like, hey, what kind of room am I going to get?
if there's four of us, are we going to get a one bedroom, a two bedroom? Are we just going to get a studio? And she did say that you just get the base room at whatever property you're going to stay at, but then they would offer paid upgrades on top of that. So it just kind of depends on what you're willing to risk.
And again, my other question was what are the blackout dates and everything? And she was like, there are no blackout dates. And I was like, but subject to availability, of course. So who really knows? But if it works out for a couple hours of your time and you're really paying that much for four nights in Maui, then pretty good deal.
Ed Pizza: Yeah, I agree. And for folks who want to take advantage of this sort of thing, you really don't even need to be booking a reservation. If you call Hilton and just ask them for status on Lifetime Diamond, and then say, hey, by the way, are you guys still doing that time share thing?
I'm pretty sure that the agents get commissioned on getting you to take the warm transfer. So they're always going to be willing to transfer you if you ask to be transferred over to the time share thing. And I mean, I wouldn't say that these are the most rewarding deals in the world.
I have had bad experience when I used to do these with SPG back in the day, once or twice that they do offer paid room upgrades. So I definitely think that's a possibility, unless you're going at a really peak time and everything sells out.
So last thing up for this week, Amanda's question, well, long comment on Disney. And as Richard said, I'm not going to read the whole thing, but I am going to shortcut it because she's very right. She talks about how the new Genie Plus is system is sort of a hot mess.
And this is one of those things. She talks about a lot of the different glitches that there are with the system. And I'll say the only thing that I think is a true glitch right now, or a true bug thing I don't like is that you do have to be up at 7:00 AM if you want to book anything for that day. You can't book anything the day before.
There's no advanced reservation. So that's a little bit of a bug because as what happened to Amanda, she had a problem with the network right at 7:00. And so by 7:01 Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios was already poof gone, which is everything that we've heard.
That's been my personal experience. When I grabbed Slinky Dog with my son a couple months ago when we were down there, I wasn't right at 7:00 AM. And by the time I clicked refresh, I got a 1:30 in the afternoon in Slinky. So that's all accurate. And Richard, I've heard you complain about it. I've heard our buddy, Glitter Mike, complain about it.
I still feel like this is why you want to tune into podcasts like this, it's why you want to listen to Disney Deciphered, it's why you want to read the Disney blogs because it's a pain in the ass, but because it's a pain in the ass, it's causing friction for a lot of folks who just stand in line or give up or hit the wrong button or any of those things.
So if you spend a few hours getting to know this before you go and know what the weak points are, you can totally take advantage of the system. You just have to stay on your phone, you have to murder your battery, and you can crush Genie Plus. Tell me I'm wrong.
Richard Kerr: Amanda had a few things working against her. First, she had a glitch there at 7:00. So she couldn't get Slinky Dog. Second is she had party of six, three grandparents in their 70s and a toddler who doesn't want to sit in their strollers.
So they couldn't have the ability to crisscross the parks to maximize the reservations. That right there is a killer. You got to be able to go where the lightning links tell you to go. You cannot try and stay in a certain area. So that right there is going to torpedo your day, if you can't.
Ed Pizza: I also wonder though, when I read that she was saying that she was having trouble splitting parties. And I was actually able to do that. And in fact, I split parties when I bought your Genie Plus as well.
Richard Kerr: She said split the party and only her on the app. So nobody else was on the app trying to work the system with them and grabbing the other three while you grabs through or however they want to split it up. So if you're trying to do split parties with only one app, that's...
And to her point, then you got to be on the phone the entire time. So I think her frustrations are valid. I think she had a couple things working against her that meant that you weren't going to be able to have a successful day anyways.
And actually, man, in our text with Glitter Mike in the summer, in the Disney Nerd group text, I had points of Miles people who are not Disney people and points of Miles group this week, since some of them said I bought G Plus and I could only do four rides in Magic Kingdom.
I saw pictures of the Jungle Cruise line going way back out to the entrance to Adventure Land. Overarching comment from people is there are no non peak days right now.
You're going to go on crowded days regardless of what the crowd calendars say, and you really got to be on your game, or you have to have the attitude of the group we're going with doesn't care what we do. We can sit and chill and watch shows and praise and eat food and have a great time. And we're happy standing a couple hour long plus lines.
Just set the attitude and expectations because it's going to be crowded. So unless you're getting those 30,000 steps and pushing the stroller and crisscrossing the park eight times and going where the light links tell you, you're not going to skip the line because it's crowded.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. And I will say there's definitely work here. A friend of ours, Shannon, messaged me the other day because they're getting ready for a Disney trip. And I was telling her you got to make sure you buy your Genie Plus ahead of time.
That way you're ready right at 7:00 AM. And she writes back, I figured it out. Wow, this was complicated. And then the obvious, if you've been through buying Genie Plus. If that was an intelligence test, I barely passed.
Richard Kerr: It's true, man. Some of the smartest people I know are like, what the heck fire is going on with this thing?
Ed Pizza: Well, actually, I mean, to your point, you had to use me in Vegas to buy your Genie Plus so you didn't have to get up early.
Richard Kerr: I mean, because there was no way to do it even if I did want.
Ed Pizza: Because your stuff was broken.
Richard Kerr: Because this thing was broken and even guest relations in the park couldn't fix it. Wouldn't fix all that. But this is kind of the deal, ladies and gents. And of course, it's now my son's turn for daddy son.
Buddy, where do you want to go? He wants to where go to the Disney World. He's like, let's go in April. And I'm like, we got to get past pre break season dude before we're going to pull off one of those. So you got to be able to chill.
Ed Pizza: Yeah. So Genie Plus is a bit of a hot mess. And if you work at it, you can use that hot mess to your advantage. That's my thought on that.
Richard Kerr: You can't because there is not nobody else in the park doing it. I was thinking about that. I was kind of looking around and usually, if we're standing in line, I kind of chit chat with some folks and everybody sees the cute daughter traveling solo with the dad and they got questions anyways.
Oh, where's mom? Where's your wife? So it happens every time. Just us. And I'm always asking like, hey, by the way, are you guys using this Genie Plus thing? They're like, no, we saw it and we're not going to spend the extra money or the people that were like, we are, we got two rides today.
And I was like, oh, well did you guys know this and this and this? And they're like, what the heck? I mean, it's just mass confusion out there. I would wager to guess that the day that we were in the park in Magic Kingdom with who knows how many thousands of people the same day, there might have been maybe 20 of us maximizing Genie Plus to the true potential.
I just did not see it, I didn't hear it, I didn't see people on their phone in the lines looking for the next thing. I was looking at the people scanning in lightning lanes to see if they were pulling up the next thing.
And they just weren't doing it, man. So they've made it that complicated that I really don't think folks are out there doing it. Which means if you can do it, more power to you. You get all the rides.
Ed Pizza: No, I agree. Last little bit before we run out, when this goes live, the Freddie Awards will also be live for 2022. And we are hoping for a return to an in-person voting awards ceremony coming up a little bit further down the road. But until then go vote freddieawards.com, F-R-E-D-D-I-E awards.com. And especially there's a new entry in the credit card category this year.
Richard Kerr: There is. Ladies gentlemen, Bilt Rewards is officially on the ballots this year. So would love your support if you think that having Hyatt and American in the same transferable points program is worthy of your vote, which I think it is. So would love everybody go check out their website in inaudible.
Ed Pizza: I can verify that it actually is on the ballot because I was reviewing the translation this weekend. And let me tell you, B-I-L-T does not translate well into Mandarin. So find yourself somebody who speaks Mandarin and ask them if we actually translated it correctly because I have no idea. You made up words.
Richard Kerr: This is Best Loyalty Credit Card is the category that we're in. Let's go vote for Bilt Rewards.
Ed Pizza: And vote for all the categories, freddieawards.com. This is the people's choice of the travel Miles and points.
Richard Kerr: How many million ballots do you guys...
Ed Pizza: Yeah. Last year... Well, not last year because we didn't do it last year, but the year before, we had 4 million people vote.
Richard Kerr: And if you go and check your emails during this time and you go to homepages of airline hotels, you'll see vote for Freddie's. People take this serious it's
Ed Pizza: Yeah. There's no expert panels. Richard and I get... Even though I know everything and he knows nothing, we get the same amount of votes. I get one and he gets one too.
Richard Kerr: Even though I'm really good looking, Ed is not, we still only get one vote each.
Ed Pizza: And I now have proof that you don't have a mustache. There you go. What a way to end it this week? Anyway, folks, thanks for tuning in. We went a little bit long today. I know he and I both need to get ready for Super Bowl Sunday, even though neither of our teams is anywhere near sniffing the playoffs anytime soon.
I'm convinced NY Giants are doing everything they can to run the ship for ground again. Anyway, guys, can be an interesting week. I am out in the road. You out in the road this week?
Richard Kerr: Yes, I am. Tuesday to Thursday back to New York City.
Ed Pizza: Uh-huh (affirmative). All right. Well, I'll be out in Nevada so we can compare. See if I can keep my streak alive. I'm hoping to keep this two month streak of delays alive.
Richard Kerr: Oh, good luck, man.
Ed Pizza: All right, guys. Well, we've got a bunch more listener questions. I've got a couple of family vacations we're planning. So I want to dig into that with Richard and get his opinion on a couple of things. I got a big Delta voucher I got to use up for hopefully an Iceland trip. Lots more stuff to get to. But until we upload again, we've got Miles to Go.
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