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.
The above is an email you may be getting if you hold the US Bank FlexPerks card that just so happens to come with 12 one-time use Gogo passes per year that are good on ANY airline that is Gogo equipped (domestic). But should you or I click on this e-mail notice and as quick as possible claim our passes (hint see this tweet from a few days ago). You may think so, but not so fast! Here is why.
Unlike the Gogo passes that come with say the business non-Delta AMEX Platinum card that are simply issued on the 1st of each year to you with your airline of choice (unless you change that request beforehand) the ones from US Bank have a time clock built in and it starts the DAY you select them. This means, for example, if I pick them today I have until September the 7th of next year to spend them. This can be good or bad. Why is that?
Well maybe, like in my case, I have a boat load of other passes still waiting to be used up. I may not use them all before they expire and I cannot (unfortunately) gift them to someone else to use as they are tied to my Gogo log-in. So for me it is better to wait to claim these until I am in need of more as it delays my expiration date. But this is not always smart. Again, why?
Say you are going to cancel some card, like this one, that has a new pack of Gogo passes open to you as of today (i.e. before your new fee is billed). It may be good to claim them as after they are dumped into your Gogo account they are valid until they expire even if you later cancel the card.
Before we move on from the Gogo topic be sure to check AU or authorized user cards. Some may have some bonus passes for you to use (they don’t care if they go to your Gogo account or another one). This can be another way to have a bunch of passes and reduce your cost to Gogo in the air.
Timing again matters when it comes to elite Choice Benefits for Platinum and Diamond Medallions. Just because you CAN claim them does not mean you should because, just like the Gogo passes above, your expiration clock begins the DAY you select them and you have 12 months to fly and spend them (some have reported agents allowing you to use them many months past expiration date if you use them before the expiration date – YMMV on this one). Either way, the main point is the clock. Why start your clock until you need them? You could even, toward the end of the year if you are going to drop down in status the next year, select them and spend them when you are no longer a Platinum or Diamond elite. Yep, they do not go away and are still good to use.
Are there other things that are time sensitive. You bet and one of the big ones is mileage runs or so called “mistake fares” or super low sale fares or whatever you want to call them. They tend not to last. If you think you can call your loved ones or wait till tomorrow to talk to your boss or whatever – the deal will very likely be history. Timing, that is buying ASAP, matters. Just check that you can cancel if you cannot get the time off (i.e. most times you have 24 hours but not always so check first). Just yesterday I tweeted a few close friends about an amazing run I will be on in January. Within a few hours it was gone even before I could blog about it. Yeah, they can die just that fast! Timing is everything.
The last one is normally not an issue but it can become one. Most card offers have a set date, that is, apply by some date and you get the deal (if you are approved that is). However, when you look at how wildly popular the current Chase BANK CSR offer has been you never know if they will not pull an offer early. Either way, the fine print matters when it comes to cards. Some it is apply by date while with others it is approve by the final printed date. Again, time matters and we need to pay attention!
Any other travel time related issues you have questions (or answers) about? Let us know in the comments below! – René
VACATION NOTICE: I will be on vacation through the 10th and will have limited access to the blog and email.