Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
I had a very interesting e-mail exchange with a new reader the other day and without sounding like a broken record (yeah I know what is a record), it is hard to not get stuck thinking everyone knows everything you know and has read all of the thousands of posts you have created. This may sound like a DUH moment but I bet if you quiz any blogger they will say something like:
“Well sure I said that in a post last month and again a year ago”!
The problem + reality is that in any given month about 20-30% of all DeltaPoints reader have “just found the blog, and I love it“. Sadly, very few take the time to go back and read years worth of old posts. This also is why we often mention some offers again and again btw.
Back to the topic of this post. Should I (you) do what blogger does (i.e. monkey see monkey do). My answer is sometimes yes – but sometimes NO! I always want everyone to know YMMV or your miles may very or that is your results may not be the same as mine or some other bloggers’. Why is that?
One of the big reasons to always think about is your own situations compared to why a blogger is writing about a topic. If you look at the now dozens of Fireside chats with your Boarding Area bloggers you will find, in general terms, the following information:
- Why blog: Others asked me to share my thoughts
- What to blog about: The things already in my head i.e. my thoughts
- Why are you doing what you do: I would do this even if not blogging
- Why some offer / promotion: I see value for me
- Why some hotel: I like them
- Why some airline: I like them
- Why stay small: Got burned in past / risk cancel
- Why go big: Greedy for points / think we clean up
So, much of what we blog about is from our personal viewpoint and what is best for us, that is a promotion will earn us points by taking part. We share what we are doing ourselves to earn whatever deal. We do this because for our flying or lodging or trip this is the best call for us. We often book amazing award trips due to availability or in my case buy a mileage run in coach or 1st class because the value, again to me, is worth it. I know I will keep flying Delta and so I am willing to invest a bit to keep my elite status, save up Skymiles and on and on.
Thus, when it comes to [insert whatever is the deal of the moment/day/week / year] you need to look to yourself. Ask these questions:
- Will I fly enough to make this worthwhile
- Is the perk earned worth the price to me
- Do I have the free time to burn the points earned
- Am I flexible in travel times / dates
- Is my credit score strong enough for travel cards
- Am I disciplined enough to NEVER carry a balance on cards
- How many nights will I stay in hotels next year
- Am I AOK flying coach
- Am I NOT OK EVER flying coach
- What is the impact of whatever deal on my family!
I really could go on and on with this list forever as your personal situation will be as diverse as the questions you should be asking yourself.
I will give you a quick example of my PRE-blogging days. I have had my computer business for almost two decades. I have had for a very long time my Delta AMEX Reserve card for my business. I have paid for YEARS the hefty $450 fee. Worth it? Back in the day I asked myself that question each time the fee billed. It was good I did this. There were years AMEX gave me some points to not cancel the card but I would have kept it anyway as the perks to be at least Platinum Medallion with Delta and the free changes to award tickets and elite service made the card worth it to me, that is the MQMs I could earn each year from spending on the card. But that is me. You need to ask what is best for you.
So rookie, by all means, when deals are good, and when they are good for you too, jump in a little or a lot. If the deal is not right for you and yours, wait for the next one. It really is that simple! – René
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