APPLIED AND APPROVED: DELTA BUSINESS AMEX FOR 70K MILES

I just referred my wife to this card as this is not a current public offer.

In March of 2018, I applied and was approved for Delta Business Platinum American Express card. The offer was 70k points, plus $100 credit on Delta in the first 3 months, for a $195 annual fee. Just recently there was the same public offer, but that expired a few weeks ago. However I have a referral for the same 70k points after meeting $3k spend in the first 3 months (no $100 credit though). Plus I get 10k bonus points. So if course I referred my wife. There are a whole bunch of benefits with this card like 10k MQMs, companion certificate, and free checked bags. Of course the 70k points is what draws people in though.

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The application took a whole 2 minutes and my wife was put in pending stage with a request to call AMEX to verify business information. We have had a small personal business we pay taxes on since 2010. My wife hates having to call in to verify information though. The next day I wrote down some of the general company information like revenue, income, why she needs another card, etc. Then we made the call to AMEX. After confirming her identity, she was instantly approved without having to talk to a live person! We have both have had several business cards in the past few years, and it seems like AMEX just wants to quickly verify your information and phone number to approve.(I have had to call AMEX on my business cards as well in the past)

Think you don’t have a business- well have you sold something on eBay this year? or held a garage sale? You don’t need millions of dollars in revenue to have a business. You don’t need a Tax ID number either, just your social security number is fine.

After using the card we will easily have 75k Delta miles. These miles can be used for 3 round trip economy tickets in the US, or a one way business class ticket to London, Paris or other destinations in Europe.

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JFK-LHR openings in Business Class

In 2016, our family took  our vacation together using Delta Miles to fly on Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class to London. Our kids have been spoiled since then.

 

If you are interested in this non-public offer, here is the link!

http://refer.amex.us/DAVIDT2yiK?xl=cpce

 

REVIEW : FORT LAUDERDALE FLL DELTA LOUNGE- WELL GRAB N GO

Our family of 4 are currently at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. Its currently raining right now in Atlanta, so there is  just a rolling wave of delays on flights headed there.

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Well Delta is currently upgrading their lounge here. Which means its closed for the next few months. They have a temporary space which is about 15ft by 20ft next to D2. Delta still scans your credentials and can help you rebook flights. Then they have bags of snacks to go. This includes sandwiches, fruit, and cheese. As well as water and chips. They also have Starbucks Coffee and Biscotti chocolate chip cookies as well.

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No wine or beer though, but this is better than nothing. They mentioned they will have a mini lounge reopened in October of 2018, but the new lounge wont be complete until 2020.

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Delta plane delays, running through airports, and baggage delay. When you make it to the beach, that’s the only thing that matters.

Our vacation this past week to Turks and Caicos started off with a bang. Our Delta flight was scheduled to depart OKC at 6am, and everyone was boarded and doors closed by 5:45. That was a good thing because we only had a 50 minute scheduled connection in ATL. Well, 6:15 comes and we are still on the ground in OKC. Finally the pilot announces that there is an APU problem and they don’t know if they will be able to troubleshoot it or have to swap it out which would require everyone deplaning.

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I immediately start looking for other paths after we arrive in ATL and start reviewing Delta’s Contract of Carriage. We are already on the latest flight to Turks of the day on Delta. There is a later American Airlines flight as well, but they appeared to have been sold out. So I start getting the family prepared to spend a night in Atlanta.

About 630am, the pilot comes back on board and says everything is fixed and we will be up in the air shortly. He announces we will have a lil tail wind to push us and should be arriving in ATL around 9:35. Our connecting flight is at 9:59 That would give us 9 minutes to taxi, get off the plane, and get to our connecting gate as they can close the door 15 minutes before departure time.  I look online one last time at my Delta account, and they already booked us for a next morning flight. I tell my wife that and she says “no, we are gonna make it to paradise today!”

We start approaching the ATL airport, and we land around 930. We had a plan to jump up right away and run to the front of the plane, but so did everyone else so we were all stuck where our seats were. We were about 1/3 back in rows 17 and 18. We get out bags and get off the plane and start running towards the train for terminal E. Of course we were at gate C55, which is the farthest gate from the train. While the kids and myself had their running shoes on, my wife had her finest “running” flip flops on. We run down the escalators to the train and the doors are shutting. I’m willing to lose a limb and stick my arm in to pry it back open and we make that train to get to terminal E. It’s about 940 now. We make it to terminal E, run up the escalators and towards gate E40, which of course is at the end as well. We make it there as Delta is calling our names on the loudspeaker. We catch our breath and causally walk on the plane. WE MADE IT!

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Now I figured our bags would not make it. Delta’s app is pretty darn handy for tracking your bags and you can see where they are at in the process due to their RFID tagging. We could tell they made it off the plane in ATL, but never on our plane. We were OK with that as we would rather be in Turks without our checked bag, than in ATL with our checked bag. We almost didn’t even check in a bag, but we were taking our snorkeling gear and that’s pretty bulky. So then if we are checking a bag, might as well throw some shoes and toiletries in there and other stuff.

Once we arrive in Turks, I turn on my Delta app, and see our bag is on the way to JFK, to make the earliest flight out to Turks the next morning. After waiting a few minutes for the Delta rep at Turks baggage claim to file a missing bag claim, we find her and she takes care of it pretty quickly giving us a claim number and saying our bag will show up at our resort the next day. She didn’t have any overnight kits with her, so she walks us through the fast track immigration line and up to her office where she gives us 4 overnight kits. The kit contained just enough for a few days- deodorant, toothbrush and paste, lotion, razor and cream, brush and comb, lip balm, and a few other things.

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Finally the next day we checked on our room at 3pm, and there was our bag waiting inn our room now with more miles than us. It meant we didn’t have to buy any more expensive bottles of sunscreen, and we didn’t have to wear our shoes to the beach as we now have our sandals.

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I have only had a baggage delay one other time, and it was over 10 years ago and don’t remember much as it was coming home where its not as big of a deal. I have been with others who have lost luggage on other airlines and it seems like half the time, they don’t even know where the luggage is it. Delta’s system make it very easy to see what airport and what flight your bags are at.

All in all, if that’s the biggest of our vacation problems, it’s not too bad.

USING MY DELTA COMPANION TICKET FROM AMEX WITHOUT PAYING AN ANNUAL FEE

I just accidentally found a little loophole with obtaining and using the free Delta companion ticket offered on Delta’s Platinum American Express Credit Cards.

In July 2016 I applied and was approved for the Delta Personal Platinum Card. At the time it had and offer for 60k bonus miles with 10k MQMs and a $100 Delta credit after meeting the $3k min spend with a $195 annual fee.  (The current offer is only about 35k miles, they increase every few months though). One of the perks is a free companion certificate each year upon renewal of the card.

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Who likes annual fees? I sure don’t! Even though a companion certificate for $195 isn’t bad, there are some restrictions on it so I was not planning on obtaining it.

When my annual fee hit I had planned on calling and cancelling my credit card. I had automatic payments setup though for like the 15th of the month even though my payment wasn’t due till like the 25. I had already paid the annual fee from the automatic payment and then called a few days later to cancel the card and get the annual fee refunded. I got my refund and everything was good. Off to the next credit card as usual for spending.

Well then a few weeks later I noticed I have a companion certificate in the Delta Wallet. I guess my paying the annual fee triggered the certificate, yet I still got the fee refunded. I have been wanting to use it but there are some restrictions, specifically it can only be used on L,U,T,X, and V fares and you cant use it with any other discounts or vouchers. (So I cant use it with my large Voucher I received from here.) It was expiring at the end of August so I finally decided to use it. Found some okay flights on those fare codes ((not my ideal ones but they work) to LA when my favorite baseball team will be in town (STL Cardinals) and decided to book for myself and a friend.

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Now I still get luckier. I get to the payment field and I am trying to pay with my Citi Prestige card as they have the best trip protection benefit. That payment wouldn’t go through. It shows only AMEX cards are accepted. Well I have a few so I tried my AMEX Platinum card that gives me 5x points on airfare. Well that card won’t work either and that’s when I realize it has to be a Delta Platinum card that’s used for payment when using the companion certificate. Well I look at my credit card spreadsheet and my safe that has all my credit cards and realize in March of 2018 I obtained a Delta AMEX Business Platinum Card when they had an offer for 70k miles, 10k MQMs, $100 credit for $195 annual fee. (and I do have a small business since 2010) I hadn’t used that card for a while but it was still active so I was able to use that and it worked!

Now I anticipated that the only fees I would have to pay would be the $5.60 security fees. However i had about another $40 in taxes I had to pay for. Not too bad though!

 

2 AMEX CARDS APPLIED AND APPROVED TODAY IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES

A few days ago our family met all the min spend requirements from credit cards we opened in my wife’s name in January. So that meant it was time to apply for some new cards! Always a fun day. Since we have had numerous cards before, the list of good cards out there is getting smaller and smaller available to my wife and I. I decided to apply for 2 AMEX Business cards- the Delta Platinum Business Card and the Hilton Business Card.

I applied for the Delta Platinum Business Card first. It comes with 70k miles after spending $3k in the first 3 months. Plus 10k MQMs after hitting the min spend. I am Delta Gold, but last year I received about 200k miles from flying Delta, but only about 60k MQMs. I really need the MQMs to try to hit Platinum this year. It also comes with a $100 statement credit after a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. As well as a $195 annual fee. I was able to login to my AMEX account in which it already had most of my information filled out. I hit submit and 10 seconds later it said Congrats, you are approved!

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The Hilton Business Card because it has a pretty high 100k bonus after meeting $3k in 3 months and another $1k in 6 months. Plus it comes with a free annual night after hitting $15k in a calendar year. (haven’t decided if i am going to try to hit that or not.) It also gives you 12x points at Hilton hotels and 6x at restaurants and gas stations. It comes with a Hilton Gold status, but I am already Diamond through March 2020 so thats not too useful to me. I used a different browser to apply for this one and again logged into my AMEX account, hit submit and this time about 30 seconds later I got the approval!

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I already have 3 current AMEX cards, and 2 of them are business cards. I was a little surprised that I was instantly approved for both of these new ones. I have been a AMEX cardmember since 2000, and I do have a very small online business that I have paid taxes for the past 8 years.

One of the best parts of this is that the last time I applied for new cards was in Sept 2017. (in Jan of 18, it was just my wife’s turn) Since these are both new AMEX Bus cards that don’t count against Chase 5/24, I am getting closer to getting under the 5/24 limit. I never really thought I would see that day. The next round of applications will be for my wife so unless there are some new large irresistible bonuses that come out, I may be eligible for more Chase cards soon!

REVIEW: LHR-FCO ON ALITALIA

My flight from LHR to FCO was on Alitalia out of Terminal 2. It was a short 2 hour flight and booking economy was just fine. There was a Priority Pass Skyteam lounge in terminal 2 that I decided to check out.  I was able to checkin online get through security very quick and go up to the lounge. Now this is a Priority Pass lounge and I was planning on using my card. However they took my boarding pass and even though I was on economy my Delta Gold status got me in on this international flight. Now the lounge was great. Very large, not crowded, and a decent food selection. They actually had several different foods throughout the 2 hours I was there. I will let the pictures below just show the lounge. It was one of the nicest Skyteam lounges I have been in.

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This was a roped off section for first class passengers.

I left the lounge about 40 minutes before my departure time. As so often on international flights, boarding was somewhat chaotic. As soon as one person lined up, 100 people were in line in less than 2 minutes. With Delta Gold status, I had elite benefits so I sat in my seat for another 20 minutes before they started to board.  They call my name over teh intercom to check my documentation, then i went back to my seat. Alitalia started a second line for premium and elite passengers and I was able to use that line. Boarding ended up being quick and efficient.

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Now this was a standard 737 with normal legroom. No extra amenities or anything, but they did have free soda and cookies. It was a short flight and with an empty middle seat next to me I was able to get some work done.

Overall the flight was just fine for a short hop from London to Rome. With the lounge access beforehand, it made it very easy to spend some extra time in LHR.

REVIEW: LOUNGE HOPPING AT THE ATL AIRPORT. 3 Skyclubs and 1 Priority Pass

A business trip in Late February had me going to London and then a few days later to Rome.After a normal flight from OKC to ATL, I had over 4 hours to relax. So I decided to do 2 things, walk everywhere since I usually eat too much while on travel, and check out a few different lounges.

I flew into terminal D so I decided to first check out the terminal D Skyclub lounge. You walk in and go down a story to get checked in. The desk person took my boarding pass and informed me I had a while till my next flight and that there was also a Skyclub in terminal F next to my gate. I told him I know but have 4 hours to kill.

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There was two things I first noticed about the lounge, one that it was small, and the second that it was pretty empty. When you can find 8 seats next to each other, its end up being very peaceful. Also with it being empty, getting a drink was not a problem They mostly had snack food which you can see in the pictures. I only spent about 45 minutes here, got some work done, and had a snack and a drink. There were some small windows, but not a lot of natural light here. The bathrooms were individual bathrooms and small but clean.

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After this I decided to walk down to Terminal E and up to the Skyclub there. I could tell before walking it that it would be crowded here as there were several people all walking in at the same time. While they had several more hot options of food here, there was no place to sit down to eat. The bar was crowded and there was a line to just get a drink. I decided to walk through here and leave to the next lounge.

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I figured there would be some priority pass lounges in the international terminal F. I looked online and see that have a “Club” in F but that there was also a Minutes Suites in terminal B. So I decided to get some more steps in and walk back down to Terminal B.

With a priority pass you only get one hour of time per cardholder. I have several memberships, so I don’t know if I could have combined them or not since I was planning on going to other lounges. I had to put a credit card down for incidentals and she led me to my room and told me that she would come knock on the door in about 75 minutes. (thanks for being a lil generous)  There was about 8 suites total in this little space. No food or drink is included, but you can bring it in and they have some water, snacks, and other drug store type items at the front desk or in the room to purchase.

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The room was about 8 ft by 8 ft. It had a couch with a trundle bed and a small desk with a TV above it. The best thing is it was nice and quit. While you could hear some noise from the terminal, it was more peaceful that what I was expecting. I was able to get an hour of work done while watching the Olympics. With only an hour, I didn’t want to try to take a nap and then wake up groggy, but they did provide some blankets and pillows. There was also an Alexa in there. Just having your own personal space where you can kick off your shoes and relax in an airport was amazing. I could see taking kids here and playing a game, or even getting a lil yoga or other type of workout in.

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After my time was up here, I decided to walk from Terminal B to Terminal F. Wow, that walk was a longer than I expected. It took more time to go form E-F than it did to go from B-E.

So now that I am in terminal F I walked up to the Skyclub Lounge. Now after the crowds at E, I expected F to be crowded as well. It wasn’t though. As you can see there are lots of spots open to each other. There was also numerous open chairs in the quit lounge area. They had several hot and cold food options similar to E. The best part of the F lounge is the outside terrace. It was about 75 degrees, sun was setting and beer was cold. The main downside is the bar area smelled like somebody mopped the floor with and old mop. This lounge is their main lounge and is very large. I didn’t see a kids area which I was a little surprised of.

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If I had 4 hours again, I would definitely hit up the minute suites and the Terminal F lounge. D lounge was nice if you are in that terminal already, but I would avoid the E lounge.

CHANGE OF PLANS. 5 STARS TO DELTA CUSTOMER SERVICE REP

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.)

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

REVIEW DELTAONE 767 LHR-DTW

After several days in Cambridge and London, I was glad to get on my way back home. Especially since on my way to the UK, I had the pleasure if spending 8 hours in economy. I enjoyed the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and I left about an hour before boarding to do a little duty free shopping and then get to Boarding about 40 minutes before take off.

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I have flown on the 767-300 several times before in DeltaOne. While I have never been anxious to do it, its a solid product that suffices. On this flight I had seat 6a which was a window seat that is staggered closer to the aisle. The seats fully recline into a flat bed. While I usually prefer a true window seat, this seat does allow you a little extra storage to throw item on the armrest storage next to ya.

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At my seat was a very plush pillow and blanket. Delta actually has very nice bedding in their DeltaOne class. While the seat doesn’t really have much storage for bags, I was able to put my backpack in the foot well and it was fine there for takeoff and landing.  Delta came around with pre-departure drinks, and I had a glass of wine which was served in a unique glass.

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Also waiting at my seat was the Tumi amenity Kit and Delta own headphones. This is my first time using this style of headphones. I have heard other people not like them, but they were comfortable and good sounding enough for me. The amenity kit had everything you need and expect including mouthwash and hand sanitizer.

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The Purser named Joey came around and handed out the menu’s and introduced himself. He appeared very young and i told him congratulations on being such a young Purser. He mentioned that 2 years ago he was the youngest at Delta. He actually ended up being the main person for our side of the aisle and he was great.

The menu is below and you can see what Delta has to offer.

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Shortly after take-off they came around with hot towels and then drinks and mixed nuts. I had their signature cocktail which is a Delta Sunrise. They even made it a double for me and then I remembered that I liked vodka more than I like gin….

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The appetizer was served all on one tray. It was good but not great.  The smoked duck breast was just ok, and the baby spinach salad was not that appealing. I don’t even know what parsnip is, but the parsnip soup was quite tasty. I am not a soup fan, but I don’t know why I like their pretzel bread and soup combinations. No matter what flight or what soup they serve, its always a good combination.

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For the main course I had the grilled tenderloin, and like most steaks on a plane, it was not that good.  I probably only ate half of it as it wasn’t worth wasting calories on it.

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Now since I didn’t eat the entire main course, I decided for 2 desserts. I didn’t know what a pecan sizzler was, but I ordered it. It resembled a brownie with pecans on the bottom. I also got a sundae. These two combined where a perfect combination.

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They came around several times with bottles throughout the flight as well.

I then made my bed flat and watched a few moves while dozing in and out. The bed in this position is ok, but not too comfortable. The foot wells are extremely small and narrow and you can’t really flip over without completely adjusting yourself. There are individual air nozzles which i turned on full blast to keep the temperature down.

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Sometime during the flight, Joey left personal thank you cards. This is a nice touch at 35k feet.

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I was able to get a little bit of work done. I used a GoGo pass from my AMEX card for the internet.

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With about 90 minutes left in the flight, they came around with lunch service. I got a chicken sandwich that was served with a fruit salad and a chocolate. While the chicken was just OK, the bread and cheese were delicious on it.

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We touched down on time, had a short taxi, and Global Entry was a breeze. I had just downloaded mobile passport to see how that compared, but DTW is not on board with that yet. I spent about 2 hours at the DTW Skylounge before going to my boarding to OKC and getting the plane delayed for 20 minutes, every 20 minutes…. We eventually made it about 2 hours later.

Overall I would take this flight again. The Purser was great, staff was good, seat was average, and food was well good enough as I didn’t go hungry. It was about what is expected from DeltaOne.