Between my wife and I, we have a least 7 Priority Pass Memberships. I think we actually have more, but some we throw away as they aren’t value added. With several premium travel cards, you can get a complimentary membership that includes yourself and 2-3 guests, some are only for yourself, and some are for yourself but at a fee still. Sometimes you hear stories of people using the wrong priority pass and they get into a lounge and then they get a bill on their credit card its enrolled through a few weeks later. AMEX and Citi card memberships seem to have 11 digit numbers and Chase card memberships seem to have 16 digit numbers. I have multiple chase and AMEX memberships so it can be hard to figure out the difference. I have written on some cards where it comes from, but sometimes I forget….


I keep the pass I receive from my Citi prestige card in my travel wallet so I use that often and know it gets my family of 4 in to Priority Pass Lounges. We have a trip with some extended family coming up so I needed to figure out how to get them in as well.

PP levels
Pricing from Priority Pass website. I don’t know who would pay $399 and not have any guest privileges. AMEX Platinum, Citi Prestige, Chase Ritz Carlton, and some of the premium Chase cards (which I don’t have because of 5/24) all include guest privileges.

So I called the number on the back of the cards (1 469 241 6807). After about and 8 minute wait, I got a live person. She asked me the name, number, exp date, and address of each card and was able to tell my what bank it was issued from as well as what membership level it was and what benefits were included. So this time I wrote them down and threw some away as well. Interesting though that I receive a membership from the Chase Ritz Carlton Card via JP Morgan, and they could not inform me what membership level it was.



We knew that our 2008 GMC Yukon was going to replaced sooner rather than later. We planned on driving it into the ground though, and that’s pretty much what we did. After spending a few thousand dollars earlier in 2017, we decided to use our Yukon to drive from OKC to Gulf Shores Alabama to meet some family where 8 of us rented a condo on the beach.

Kids getting together and crab hunting in Gulf Shores.

Well, on the way home in traffic on I-10 in Mobile Alabama our car starts losing power. Then as we are heading into the tunnel in Mobile, it completely dies and we coast as far as we can into the tunnel where we sit there for 20 minutes causing a huge traffic jam. Eventually our car starts and we are able to move it out of the tunnel to the shoulder where we get towed.


Bye Bye Yukon. We will never see you again.

Well when that happens, your wife pretty much gets to buy whatever car she wants….After doing all the research and test drives, we get down to pricing and start making serious offers which are written. We agree on the price and I make it very clear in writing that I plan on paying for the car with a credit card. I know they probably wouldn’t agree, but they didn’t really say anything to it and we started the paperwork. Well an hour later when we start going over the payment details they say I can only pay up to $3k on a credit card. I am ready to walk away, but we need a car and we are getting a good deal. I weighed the alternatives, looked at my glaring wife and knew that we would end up getting the car no matter what. However I made a big fuss and asked to talk to the finance manager. Eventually I talked to someone who explained some interesting details to me.


He told me payments under $3k just get run by their local office so no one pays attention to them. Over $3k goes to corporate who wont approve them unless they add a 2.5% fee on it.  I had originally planned on paying something around $50k of it on my AMEX Business Platinum card. This would yield me 75k points as this AMEX pays 1.5 points on transactions over $5k. (plus I was targeted for a bonus for a mid year spend bonus at that time, which I would meet no matter what). While $1,250 for 75k AMEX points isn’t bad, I wasn’t willing to pay that at this time.


I am balking but I am getting ready to leave and eventually the finance manager says I can use what credits cards I have in my wallet and they will run separate transactions at $3k each.  Usually I don’t carry my normal wallet but I had it today and I had 6 cards in there. He did a head slap but proceeded and it all worked out. I still getting over 18k points over 6 different cards. As I mentioned in this post, we have 21 current credit cards. I wish that I had all of them on me at that time. Next car I will!


I got the mailer below today for $70 back for staying at a Waldorf Astoria or a Conrad between now and Feb 28th 2018.  After missing our ski vacation last week, I thought maybe I could plan a quick 2-3 night getaway to somewhere nice in Park City.


I thought this was a special offer just for me, and then logged into my AMEX account and realized this was already an AMEX offer. Also in there was the buy a $50 gift card, get $10 back, which is available up to 4 times. So between these 2 offers you could save up to $110 at a nice Waldorf or Conrad.


I know that WA’s are expensive but was thinking it could be nice to stay a night there one night but use 2 full days of the benefits there while staying at a cheaper place the other nights. Well even with $110 off, its still outside of my price range from now until the promotion ends Feb 28th. I didn’t find any dates below $900 a night, and most dates are over $1k a night.


This would be a great redemption on points though at over 1 cent per point. As TPG reported , AMEX has increased the transfer ratio to 1-2 so these rooms could be had for 40k AMEX points as well. Throwing in the Honors 5th night free on points, this is a great redemption for 5 nights at over 2 cents per Hilton point or 4 cents per AMEX point!!!  (320k Hilton points or 160k AMEX points) Now that Gold and Diamond members get free breakfast, you can use those gift cards for tips you put on your room, or for any drinks from the bar as well.

waldor priced


Anyone planning on taking advantage of these offers?


Just some quick stats on 2017 credit cards for Mr. and Mrs. Trup

Currently this is what we have and why.

Mr. Trup

Capital One Visa Platinum– no annual fee card I have had since 2013 when I downgraded after the initial Venture 100k offer from back then. I keep this just because its no annual fee and is an older card.

Marriott Chase Premier- Annual fee card with free night. Will have to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due

AMEX Business Platinum- I use this card quite a bit and just paid the annual fee as I get benefits from it as I explained here. This is probably the card I use the most

AMEX Delta Gold- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due.

Merrill Lynch Visa- No annual fee card so might just keep open for a while.

AMEX SPG Personal Card- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due based on the good transfer partners.

AMEX SPG Business Card– Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due based on the good transfer partners.

Chase British Airways Card- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due.

Chase IHG Card- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due as you get a free night for a low annual fee.

Barclays American Airlines Aviator Red Card- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due.

Citi Prestige– have some points in there and I like the 4th night free benefit. I have renewed this card once and will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due.

Used Citi Prestige card for 4th night free at Atlantis in Dubai for a suite with concierge lounge access which included breakfast in your room.

Mrs. Trup’s cards.

Chase Ink Plus Business Card- Low annual fee with good points back on office suppliers (gift cards). Have had this card for a few years and will probably keep open. This is our only ultimate rewards card so Mrs. Trup uses this a lot.

AMEX Personal Platinum Card- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due and what we need to do with our AMEX points.

AMEX Delta Personal Platinum Card– Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due.

Merrill Lynch Visa– No annual fee card so might just keep open for a while.

AMEX SPG Personal Card– Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due based on the good transfer partners.

AMEX SPG Business Card- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due based on the good transfer partners.

AMEX Hilton Surpass- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due.

Chase IHG Card- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due as you get a free night for a low annual fee.

Capital One Venture card– applied for and pending at end of 2017. Will wait to call re-consideration line.

Chase British Airways Card– was initially denied in 2017- need to call back to move account limits around.

Barclays American Airlines Aviator Red Card- Will need to re-evaluate when annual fee comes due.

Citi Business Platinum Select American Airlines Card- Just approved at end of 2017.

Who doesn’t love using AA miles for redemption in Etihad’s First Class?!?!


What cards did we say goodbye to in 2017?

Mr. Trup

Chase Hyatt Card-

Citi AA Business Platinum card-

AMEX Delta Platinum Personal card

Chase Marriott Business Card

Chase Ritz Carlton

Mrs. Trup

Chase Hyatt Card-

Citi Prestige

AMEX Delta Gold Personal

Chase Ritz Carlton

Using our Chase Ritz cards for free nights at the Ritz Carlton in Osaka Japan.


What cards I am looking forward to in 2018?

There are not too many cards that we haven’t had. We are looking forward to the new AMEX Hilton cards coming out to see if we will be eligible or not. As well as plan on Mrs. Trup applying for the regular Citi AA Card, as well as the Delta AMEX Business Platinum and Business Gold cards when they have better sign up bonuses. Mr. Trup is also eligible for the AMEX Delta Business Platinum Card as well as the Regular AMEX Platinum card. (holding out for a 75k-100k bonus.) Also waiting for both on the AMEX Mercedes Benz Platinum card to get a higher bonus on. And finally will probably apply for the  the Hawaiian Airlines Barclays card after we have had our Barclays AA cards for 6 months.

Will we see a better offer on this card in 2018?


What about you- do you have your cards picked out yet?


I applied and was approved for a 100k AMEX Platinum Business card last November. Well the annual fee appeared on my statement so I thought today would be a good day to see what they could do to entice me to keep it.


I have always liked AMEX cards. I got my first Blue card when they were introduced 17 years ago and I was a college student drawn in by like 0% APR for 6 months. I still have that card today.

I called the number on the back of my AMEX Business Platinum Card, and after a automated questions, I was to the prompts for cancelling my card. I knew I wanted to talked to a customer service rep though. The automatic prompts asked me to confirm the last 5 digits of my card, and then it says to please confirm cancellation of my Delta AMEX card. I didn’t even realize my last 5 digits of both cards are the same. So I responded no and I get to a live CSR. It was about 3 minutes until I was to a live person. This CSR informs me he cant cancel a card and transfers me to another department. this took another 5 minutes.

The new CSR asks me why I want to cancel and I tell him because I don’t get enough value from the high annual fee. He reads off all the benefits that I am already aware of to try to get me to stay. I say to please cancel and then he offers a $100 statement credit or 10k points because I am such a valued customer… I ask him to get both, and he says no so I  respond to cancel just to see what his next step is. He reads off some disclosure stuff and asks me to confirm that I want to close the account. I then tell him that I will take the 10k points.

This has been a great card to me for the past year so that is why I decided to keep it. Besides the large signup bonus, I used the Centurion lounges and Delta lounges quite often. (Priority pass is nice as well, but I get that on other cards too.) Also, I had 3 large purchases over $5k last year and this gives you 1.5 points on those transaction. (this is also great for large monetary donations.) I have another one coming in in January as well. I also used several AMEX offers for either cash back or for some type of bonus points.


Plus I was targeted last year for a 50k bonus after spending $10k dollars.

If 2018 is as good as 2017 for this card, then I would probably keep it again going into 2019. If there are not as many bonus offers or good AMEX offers, I probably won’t keep it another year.


My family of 4 was supposed to fly to Salt Lake City tonight and go skiing for a few days. I have the large Delta voucher that I was using, as well as Marriott points to stay in a Residence Inn. So it was going to be a nice minimal expenses trip. (we were planning on skiing some of the smaller resorts to save on lift ticket prices.)

park city 2017
Park City March 2017

Unfortunately, our 9 month hold puppy broke off her leash on Dec 23rd and got hit by a car. After a hospital stay and surgery, she is coming home today! This means we are moving our SLC trip to March over Spring Break.


Changing the Marriott Reservation was quite easy online. We actually used a 7 night certificate we received from doing a points plus hotel package to get the Southwest Companion Pass back when this was still an option. (120,000 southwest points, and 7 night cat 1-5 Marriott stay)  Our certificate was immediately put back into my account. (note this was not a great redemption value, but expiring in March and needed to use it.)

marriott cancel 3paint

I tried to change our Delta flight online and knew I would be responsible for a $200 per person change fee. It would not allow me to do it online as all the new flights for March that came up online were basic economy.  I priced out my ticket online with Main Cabin X and L fares and knew that my new flight was cheaper than my current flights, but after the $200 change fee I would still be responsible for about $30 per person. Not too bad though as that would be my only expense for moving this trip.


I called the Delta Gold line, and it was a 30 minute wait so I opted for them to call me back. 30 minutes later a CSR called me back (I believe Heidi) and was very helpful in getting my new reservation and I told her the reason why we are postponing. I informed her I tried to do it online but only Basic Economy seats were coming up and she said that sometimes happens. She looked and could not find the same main cabin seats that I found online on the return flight but said Delta Comfort seats were open and that I would receive $110 voucher per person back.


Say what- refund? I did a double take and reconfirmed this, and she said she would waive the change fee! This really made my day as I went form thinking I would have to pay about $120, to getting $440 in vouchers back. I didn’t understand why she couldn’t see the main cabin seats on the return flight, but I didn’t care at this point.


Now the hard part is figuring out how to use these vouchers as we have another $110 in 4 peoples names. Even if they are thrown away, its still better than what was planned.

Thank You Delta!

I am about 15k miles short of getting Platinum status and was originally looking at doing a 14k mileage run and then using this trip to push me over the edge. Thank goodness I just said I would be fine with Gold next year.


I had a late flight home on Southwest Airlines departing out of Terminal 2. I am originally from St. Louis, and am excited that they finally have a priority pass lounge here. This is my first time ever using one of the restaurant “lounges” so I was excited to see how it works.


I was traveling with to co-workers. We had already eaten dinner that night, so we weren’t really hungry. The priority lounge in Terminal 2 is The Past House / Schlafly Beer Restaurant. This is towards the end of the terminal, but Terminal 2 is pretty small so its probably less than a 10 minute walk to the farthest gate.


We went to the hostess and she seated us and took my priority pass card. I have several different memberships from credit cards. This one was from my Citi prestige card which should give access to 2 guests or family.  The hostess came back and told us we had $58 dollars to spend. I am not sure how she came up with that much, or if she was including all 3 people, but $58 was plenty for our 30 minutes there. We had some toasted ravioli and local Schafly beer.


Overall, its nice to see a lounge at the STL airport. However its not very relaxing or a place I would want to spend more time than needed at. Its a cheap busy airport restaurant that I would rather just have some food and beers and get on my way.


After getting denied access at the Alaska Airlines lounge, I headed on over the the Centurion Lounge in the B terminal at about 11am.  I was able to gain access with my Platinum Business Card.


Surprisingly it was not too busy yet.  There was still several areas of seating to select, a least for a lone business traveler.  Now they did recently expand this lounge and added the bar section, but its still not a very large lounge.


The food was still appealing as well and did not look like it had been ravaged yet by a mob of hungry travelers.


I just decided to hang out around the bar area. This is where the centurion lounge sets itself apart. So often I feel like a cheapskate at most lounges as I have to make sure I ask if my requested drink is included/free or if my drink is an additional cost. Not here, whatever they make taken care of when you get in the door.


The bar wasn’t very crowded being 11am, and the young bartender was willing to make me whatever I asked for.  They had a menu of suggested cocktails as well, and I started off with the Housemade IP Yay.



After that, I just told the bartender to make me some interesting Vodka drinks. I have no idea what she was making me, but they were all tasty.

Overall this is a very solid lounge. I could see it easily getting crowded though. The best part was that my gate was in the C terminal, and the Lounge is in the B terminal, but it was only a 5 minute walk.


I was in Seattle for business and needed a hotel for 2 nights. I am 2 nights short of the 50 nights needed for Marriott Gold status so I decided to pick a Marriott chain for these 2 nights. I wanted to stay close to where my work was and there are several hotel options to choose from, some of which I have stayed before at. I decided this time to stay at the Residence inn to see how it compared.


I got there at about 9pm, and I was the only person in the Lobby. Check in was efficient and I was given a bottle of water and package of Milano Cookies for being a Gold Member. IMG_20171214_074540

I looked online and they had some of their larger units available so I asked about an upgrade but was denied. When I am on business I just let it go and only bring out the guns when its on leisure with my family and we need the extra room. I drove my car around to building 4 where I would be on the 1st floor. Of course it was raining in Seattle so I had to hurry to get out of the rain.


I had a 1 King Studio which was decently furnished. You walk into the living area which had a queen size sofa sleeper. The kitchen was on the right and bed straight ahead. The bed also had charging stations in the lamps which is greatly appreciated.IMG_20171214_154033IMG_20171214_154110IMG_20171214_154131

There was a small desk next to the front door.  I like to be able to turn the TV and watch some news when I am at a desk, so I did not use it.


There was also a fireplace. However it was not gas and you had to buy specific logs from the front desk.

IMG_20171214_154025IMG_20171214_154041This is an extended stay type hotel and they had a nice kitchen. There was actually adequate pots and pans and table settings. While the kitchen wasn’t large, it had a regular size oven and electric stove, dishwasher, and a good sized fridge. This would be very beneficial if having to provide ones own meals or having a lot of leftovers.


The bathroom was around the corner from the bed. It was nothing special, but it was clean. I just replaced the caulk in my personal bathroom and this caulk was just as clean as what I just put in mine. There was only 1 sink, but had plenty of counter space.IMG_20171214_154210IMG_20171214_154200IMG_20171214_154218

They also provide a hot breakfast that’s included each morning. It was good enough for a few days. I could see this getting redundant after a few days. They always had eggs and some type of breakfast meat, cereal, yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, breads/danishes, waffle station, hard boiled eggs, and some drinks. I did appreciate that they had a lot of items to put into the oatmeal, as that is one of my favorite things in the morning. The bad part of Residence Inns is you have to walk outside to get to the lobby. It was cold and rainy each morning… I would prefer just to wake up, put on some shorts and a t-shirt and walk down the hall to get breakfast.


The breakfast lounge shared area with the front desk as well. They also had to go coffee’s ready each morning.


The most disappointing aspect was the weight or exercise room. I have ran 2 half marathons in the past month. Working from 7-5 or so, I don’t really like running in new areas in the dark, and was really looking forward to using some weights. Unfortunately this room was horrible. I guess when they say a weight room, that’s because they literally only have 1 weight.


Overall this is a decent option if needing an extended stay. It was clean, and easy to get to. Since i didn’t use the kitchen at all, I probably would not stay here again though. There are several other options in the same area that I would go to first next time like the Embassy Suites.