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December 21, 2005

My evil plan is working . . .

Progress report on the miles and points chase.

Asia Miles

Miles required: 60,000
Miles in account: 60,000

I transferred 2133 Starpoints to Asia Miles (A reason to accumulate Starpoints and use the Starwood Amex – Starwood points are valuable enough as hotel points, but can also be used to top off miles in almost every major airline but United.

To get travel dates on British Airways with Asia Miles, one has to call Asia Miles’ service center in Hong Kong, but it has a toll-free US number. Business class award flights on BA have limited inventory and two calls to Asia Miles yielded no inventory, until at the suggestion of (where else?) Flyertalk I ran the potential itinerary at BA’s website to find out open inventory. Asia Miles has access to the same, so they could find the flights and they will hold the ticket one month.


Miles required: 38,000 + 2 free night certificates
Miles in account: 16,000 + 1 free night certificate
Miles pending: 15,000 business card opening bonus
300 points for credit card spending
900 for shopping at the Marriott Rewards Mall.
1,000 Marriott Rewards Mall Holiday bonus:

I needed a new pair of boots and zappos.com offered 10 points per dollar, one of the best deals on the site. I also bought a series of gift certificates. This involves some audacious multiple dipping, which I hope works. Marriott offers the 1,000 point bonus for spending $150 or more in a single store at their online mall. I didn’t want to make $150 in purchases immediately or at a single store, but one of their stores is giftcertificates.com. I bought a $25 certificate to Barnes & Noble, $50 to drugstore.com and $75 as a “Supercertificate” that can be redeemed at another point. I got 3 points per dollar for the purchase, factored in above. To get more back, I used my Discover card because they are having a bonus offering of 5% cashback on online retail purchases, and I could liberate some money that had been lying there (you can only redeem at $20 intervals). To squeeze every last drop I could out of the purchase, after I earned points for buying the gift certificates at the Marriott portal and they were emailed to me the following day, I headed over to the Goldpoints portal to spend the Barnes & Noble certificate doing shopping at Mom’s request (a Christmas gift for my Uncle) and also spent the drugstore.com certificate stocking up on sundries. The Supercertificate will probably be redeemed for a Marriott gift certificate to be used on this trip!

Miles in account & pending: 33,200 + 2 free night certificates. We’re on our way to a suite in St. Petersburg. I’m 200 MyPoints away from redeeming those for another $100 Marriott gift certificate to help pay the $50/nightly upgrade fee from a standard room to a suite. If you join MyPoints, do it through this link and you'll get 500 Hilton Hhonors points as well if you give them your Hilton number.


Points required: 60,000
Points in account: 13,270
Points pending: 4,600 from the Goldpoints mall (see above)
500 for entering a sweepstakes
Points in account + pending: 18,370. I can convert American Airlines Miles and some other orphan miles to Goldpoints via points.com to top off anything I can’t earn.

I had no Marriott points or Goldpoints in October, so I think I’m doing pretty well.

Retail value of the flight - $3,700 (yes, business class is overpriced) – I earned the miles via Priceline bidding and using my eBay credit card (alas, eBay points are defunct).

Retail value, 4 nights suite, Renaissance St. Petersburg - $2,600 (yes, a suite at the Renaissance is overpriced). I haven’t bought anything I wouldn’t ordinarily to get these points except the $75 Supercertificate.

Retail value, 2 nights at the Radisson SAS Royal St. Petersburg - $760. Let’s face it – everything on this trip is overpriced. That’s why I’m going on this points chase. I did buy an “Entertainment Book” for $28 that was a dubious purchase; let’s hope I can put it to use.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at December 21, 2005 9:20 PM

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Leigh, you are wasting your time working. You ought to be doing this full time. Dad & I are truly impressed!

Posted by: your wicked stepmother at December 23, 2005 7:17 PM

This is a perfect example of why I am leaving all my frequent flier miles to Javi instead of you. She seems the more likely one to dole them out to you conservatively in exchange for kibble (it will be a win-win scenario for both of you). The idea of you with all those miles in a lump sum and the power that comes with them scares me a bit. Actually, I should hire you to invest my FF miles for me... maybe you could find a way to earn interest on them for me!

Posted by: Steve at December 24, 2005 12:47 AM

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