Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Jul 28

Tidbits I Learned Yesterday

I picked up a few different bits and pieces over the past 24 hours which might just be fun to pass along. That’s all.

The “Secret” JetBlue Phone Number

Shh! Although a Google search gets you the number.                  Photo Credit: Creative Commons

I’m a big fan of JetBlue’s Mint product and, one day, will actually write the review of the product that I keep talking about. Mint is their attempt to push into the business class market and has been more of a success than anyone anticipated. Some of the benefits are really useful, such as the lie-flat seats, while others are kind of goofy, such as the massage function on your chair.

Best as I can tell, however, JetBlue is the only US carrier that gives you a private number to call if you book their premium class service (I know that BA did it at one time, but it may have disappeared with every other BA amenity, as they focus on becoming the worst carrier in the world.). Every airline has special numbers for their elite members, but Flying Mint and got any questions? No problem, you have an exclusive outlet.

Not as cool as the old 800-RENOAIR, which allowed you to skip the queue at American and speak to the first available agent, but secrets are fun.

The Ride Share Company with A Loyalty Program

There are two national ride sharing programs, Uber and Lyft, along with local ones in most major cities.

Fasten, though, is the only one that I know of with its own rewards program (Other programs, such as Uber, allow you to earn points with partners.). Fasten’s differentiating factor is that it’s driver-focused, since it only charges its drivers a dollar per ride, but they’re struggled to generate traction.

Their program is simple: Take ten rides and they’ll give you $5 off the next one. That’s not huge. For example, if you average $15 per ride, your $5 reward is only about 3% back. But that’s on top of anything you earn with your credit card.

The service is good and the prices are competitive. It’s worth a shot.

BankDirect Caution

RASM

American was the first to go positive

The easiest way to generate American miles without flying is through BankDirect. Instead of paying you interest, they give you American Airlines miles based on your balances with them. The downside is that they charge a $12 per month fee for their checking account, regardless of your account size.

Several months ago, I realized that they weren’t charging me the $12 monthly fee. At first, I thought it was because of my good looks, but they’re an internet bank, so that wasn’t it.

Last night I found out the reason: If you have no customer-generated activity for six months, the account goes dormant. You still get your miles, but you have to call to have the account reactivated. Sounds great, right?

Turns out that it’s only great for a little while. If you go three years without activity, they’ll escheat your money to the state of Texas. Yes, that word sounds like what it means. Bottom line: Keep an eye on your account.

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