Well I went and did it. I paid £450 for an American Express Platinum Chargecard. Annual travel insurance (with obvious exclusions). Car hire excess waiver insurance. Free airport lounge access around the globe (except Reykjavik). Premium hotel loyalty membership at Hilton, Radisson, Hyatt, Marriott and others that will secured half a dozen cooked breakfasts in Massachusetts. Duplicate benefits for Chris. £38 from TopCashback. A few other frilly services which may also help me get out of a hole if I’m stuck overseas.
It’s not something I’d have gone for in normal circumstances, but I reckon the lounge access itself will provide £750 of benefit to me this year alone.
I’ve also managed to spend £2,000 to trigger 32,000 “Membership Reward Points”. These can be used to top up multiple airline and hotel loyalty schemes. I might “round off” my Hilton points to qualify for a free night. Avios will get the main boost though.
Redeemed badly via Avios (hotels and car hire) and the value is around £170. Redeemed well (business class flights) and the value is around £800. There’s also the potential to significantly increase the value.
It’s time to switch my spending to my British Airways AMEX card. Get to £10k spent by December (I’m up to £4K on it already) and I’ll trigger a BOGOF redemption voucher. If I pool my existing Avios with the 32,000, and add on the 60,000 I’ll earn from the Chile and Australia trips and add on the 50,000 or so that Chris has that’ll create around 160,000 points. That’s usually enough for a business class return flight to west coast USA or South Africa for one. Utilising the BOGOF redemption and suddenly two of us could be going on safari in the posh seats. And effectively get £6,000 of value from my normal spending.
This one’s not in the bag yet, but it’s very possible. Health permitting.