Rookie

Rookie Wednesday: Why deals die & this is why we cannot have nice things!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


RenesPoints Rookie

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.

dumb brain

I hope the photo above says it all as it just about sums up this post. Now I am not yelling at new-bees as we were all new at some point. I LOVE folks who ask questions – because you are trying to learn and not be, well, un-smart! What am I talking about? Let me sum up one example.

I am not “huge” into MS or manufactured spending (tip – learn short code, need help – see E15 post and then read the rest of the Essentials posts too). However, as I have talked about year after year, many of the techniques used, like buying VDGCs and loading to BB can quickly help you reach your “whatever” point goal each year. But we should be smart about it i.e. don’t be un-smart. Like what?

personal gift cards

If you do decide to start at say TopCashBack and order personalized AMEX gift card with your name on then, once you get them sign the blank back part of the card with a marker as this will VERY much look the part of a normal every day card . Thus, when you go to use it wherever, to buy whatever, and the rep asks to see it the signature matches the ID you have presented. You are clearly trying to un-emphasize that this is a gift card.

gift card packaging

There is another example floating around the web and this one REALLY goes to show why we cannot have nice things. An older couple both brought in to Wallyworld VDGCs still in the paper packaging they came in from the store where they got them. They then, with a line behind them, proceeded to open them up one by one and hand over to the clerk to run the transaction. They were requesting money orders and then asked the clerk to throw away the gift card “trash”. Talk about un-smart to the extreme! Oy – it makes my head hurt just thinking bout it.

So this latest example is just one of the many reasons why deals die and we cannot have nice things! What else? Calling the airline or company. If you don’t get it – don’t ruin it for the rest of us. Rather than destroy what the rest of us understand, ask a blogger or someone rather than call the company and put an end to what has been working so far.

What else? Many times the T&C say – NO! OK, once again, don’t call and kill the deal that the company let go. Ask a blogger or a fellow points enthusiast what has been their experience with this or that deal. Let me repeat this – calling the company and saying something like:

I see your terms and conditions say this is not eligible to earn points but I was reading on XYZ travel blog and it says you can earn points if you do this – so is this OK and can you confirm I will earn points for that transaction?

If you have ever done this, please, stop reading blogs and cut up all your travel cards. You are doing more harm than good and should not take part in earning points. Sorry, truth hurts.

“But what if…”?

NO – there are no “what if’s”. You either learn or don’t play. Those of us who get it plan for what if’s! We also know that there will be times deals go wonkie, but a majority work just fine and we enjoy the rewards. Nothing in life is 100%.

I could do this all day long. The key is to please, folks, use the amazing part of the body that separates us from animals with only instinct. Use your brain & think, read, learn and by all mean reach out if you have questions! – René
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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

1 Comment

  1. Nice post.
    My motto is that “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission” and “if the miles/points don’t post follow up to get them”

    How about: “Yes I was calling to ask about this $12 airfare from JFK-HGK in First Class. Will I still earn miles on this if I book 10 of these trips?” Yikes.

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