Great Travel Savings & Bonus Gift Cards With Upside


I’ve written previously about Upside, a new travel tool that aims to disrupt the business travel market by incentivizing travelers to choose options that save their companies money.

Now that the public version is live, I figured I’d test a few itineraries and see what kind of deals Upside can offer. My husband has a couple of work trips coming up, and since his trips fit the more “typical” style of business travel than mine, it seemed like a great real-life test.

As a reminder, OMAAT readers will get a guaranteed $200 in gift cards on all purchases until February 28th of this year, which is a pretty fantastic deal. You don’t have to travel by then, but the 28th will be the last day to book with the $200 guarantee. Just use the promo code “OMAAT” when making your booking.

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NEW 100,000 Point Bonus On Amex Platinum Business Card!


Earlier this week American Express confirmed new earnings structures for both the The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

• The Personal Platinum Card will earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly with airlines
• The Business Platinum Card will offer 1.5x Membership Rewards points on purchases of at least $5,000
• The Business Platinum Card will offer 50% points back when using Membership Rewards Pay with Points to book a flight with your selected airline, or when booking a flight in first or business class on any airline

While the 5x points on airfare for the personal card is exciting, the potential for a 50% rebate with the Business Platinum card means you can get two cents per point out of all your Membership Rewards points towards a travel purchase. That’s a fantastic return, and one that makes the business card particularly compelling.

Even better, there is a new limited time offer to earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points on the Business Platinum card.

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9 Answers To Upside Travel Questions


Last week I introduced Upside, a new travel app that aims to disrupt the business travel market by incentivizing travelers to choose options that save their companies money.

As a reminder, One Mile at a Time readers who register this week receive a guaranteed $150 in gift cards on any trips booked in 2016, which is potentially a very good deal!

The app itself is simple, but as with anything new, there have been quite a few questions, so I figured I’d go through some of the most common.

**Will I still earn frequent flyer miles with Upside?**

Yes! Upside is trading gift cards for flexibility, so while the app might steer you towards a less expensive flight, you won’t be buying a consolidator fare. You can still earn miles on your ticket, just like you normally would.

On top of that, you can still leverage your airline elite status — including potential upgrades.

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Getting Approved For SPG Business Amex As A Sole Proprietorship?


As I’ve mentioned many times before, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express are two of my favorite cards for everyday spend.

Both cards are worth it for the fantastic sign-up bonus, return on everyday spend, and bonus elite qualifying stays & nights towards status annually. But between the two cards, the SPG Business Amex is the most compelling, given that it offers Sheraton club lounge access, which is a huge perk.

One question I’ve received over and over is whether you can be approved for the SPG Business Amex without having a corporation? If you’ve tried applying for a Chase business credit card lately, you’re probably well aware that they ask an endless number of questions and aren’t especially open to those just starting their business. Unless you’ve been incorporated for years, you’re unlikely to get approved.

I figured I’d share a firsthand experience from today.

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Maximizing The Value Of The Blue For Business Amex Card


Early last week I wrote about the no annual fee Blue for Business Amex Card, which is offering an increased sign-up bonus, as follows:

— 10,000 Membership Rewards points after making your first purchase on the card within your first three months of card membership
— For a limited time, an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership

So that’s a total of 20,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within six months. While that might not sound like a huge sign-up bonus, it’s actually pretty substantial for a no annual fee card. Furthermore, in general American Express cards don’t offer huge sign-up bonuses nowadays. This is the highest publicly available sign-up bonus I’ve seen on the card, for what it’s worth.

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Is The Amex Business Platinum Card Worth It?

Amex-Centurion-Lounge-SFO - 7

Reader Carl emailed me the following question:

“I’m looking for a business credit card, and was pondering the Amex Business Platinum Card for the perks? Is the card worth it, or is there another card I should get instead?”

Now, that’s not much information to work with, but I figured I’d answer the question in general — who should consider the Amex Business Platinum Card?

As the name suggests, this is the business version of The Platinum Card® from American Express, so it has a $450 annual fee.

What are the benefits of the card? In very broad terms:

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Most Rewarding Business Credit Cards


Reader Rossco posted the following on the Ask Lucky forum:

“I avg. 100k a year in spending on my current business card (Amex Gold Card)
I don’t travel at all. Is there a better card that I should be using?”

The most precious response is from a fellow reader asking “Dude, why don’t you travel? thats the bigger question, right?” But we’ll set that aside for a moment.

While we generally focus on consumer travel rewards cards, there are plenty of options for small business owners as well. And just like with personal cards, there are several things to consider when comparing cards. I think it’s especially interesting to think about what cards are rewarding in their own right, without factoring in the added value you can get by leveraging sweet spots in travel reward programs and so forth.

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Free Hilton Gold Status From American Express Platinum


Hotel elite status can provide numerous benefits for frequent travelers, and sometimes those perks can be even more valuable for those who don’t travel quite as often. Some chains, for example, will offer free breakfast or club access to elite guests, or an upgrade to a nicer room.

Even better, there are assorted credit cards that can provide those statuses outright, or at least give a nice boost towards elite qualification, so you don’t have to be a road warrior to earn elite status.

Hotel chains will also run promos on occasion whereby you can earn status more quickly by having a certain number of stays in a given time period, but for most of us the credit card status is the easier and more consistent route.

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Sam’s Club Now Accepts American Express


In March we learned that American Express and Costco would be cutting ties, which was a pretty big loss for American Express. The loss of Costco threatens roughly 8% of the annual worldwide spending on American Express cards. But American Express was losing money on the agreement, and it just didn’t make sense to sustain it.

Instead, as of April 2016, Costco’s co-branded credit card will be a Visa issued by Citi.

It seems like American Express wasn’t going to just take the loss without a fight, as they’ve now worked out an agreement with Costco’s biggest competitor, Sam’s Club (which is the eighth largest retailer in the US).

As of October 1, 2015 (today), American Express cards are accepted at more than 650 Sam’s Club locations in the US.

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Amex Small Business Saturday Won’t Offer Statement Credits in 2015


American Express has been championing Small Business Saturday for the past several years, which is intended to promote small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving (given that there’s also Black Friday and Cyber Monday around those dates).

It’s a great concept, and in past years American Express has made it especially lucrative by offering cardmembers statement credits when they shop at small businesses on those dates. After all, nothing gets people shopping that time of year quite like saving money!

As I wrote about in August, American Express confirmed that Small Business Saturday will be returning this year, on Saturday, November 28, 2015.

That being said, they haven’t unveiled all the details yet, as they typically only do that within about a month of Small Business Saturday. As mentioned above, in past years Amex has incentivized consumers by offering statement credits for shopping at small businesses on that date. Just for some context:

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SAS All Business Class Flights Between Newark And Copenhagen


SAS has just announced that they’ll be discontinuing their all business class flight between Houston and Stavanger, and instead will be adding an additional flight between Newark and Copenhagen.

Last August, SAS launched an all business class flight between Houston and Stavanger, Norway. The flight operates 6x weekly using a wet leased PrivatAir Boeing 737-700, featuring an all business class configuration. The aircraft features just 44 seats spread across 11 rows.

As the world’s longest 737 route, it was a unique one, of course, intended to capture the oil business between the two cities.

Here’s the explanation which is given for the route being cut as of October 24, 2015, which I think is pretty self explanatory:

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3 Myths About SPG Business Amex Lounge Access


In mid-August Starwood and American Express announced a host of new benefits for their Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express cards. Some features (like the removal of foreign transaction fees) were a long time coming, in my opinion, while others are pretty innovative.

Namely, those with the SPG Business AmEx will receive complimentary executive lounge access at Sheraton properties worldwide. This is a benefit which is usually reserved for SPG Platinum members (which requires 25 stays or 50 nights), or those paying for Club Level rooms.

Ben has gone through the basics of how Sheraton lounge access works with the SPG Business Amex, so I won’t recap that here, but there are three common access issues that people seem to be having that I’d like to address.

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$50 Rebate On Uber For Business


Uber is pretty popular here at OMAAT, primarily due to the convenience factor. While there are other great ridesharing apps as well, Uber is my go-to.

In addition to the normal system that we all use and love, Uber launched Uber Business last year. I’m surprised that we haven’t written about the service previously, and as there’s currently an opportunity for a $50 rebate from American Express OPEN, this seemed like a good time.

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Top 2 Reasons To Get The SPG Business AmEx


Earlier in the week I wrote about American Express offering increased sign-up bonuses on both the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express.

• For the SPG Personal AmEx, receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints upon spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership
• For the SPG Business AmEx, receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints upon spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of card membership

What’s especially exciting this year is that the cards also underwent a major refresh as of August 11, 2015.

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