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Why you should add cardholders to your American Express Platinum card?

by on Jul.08, 2014, under Business Tools, Business Travel

If you’re an American Express Platinum (AMEX Platinum) cardholder, you can add up to three (3) cardholders to your account for $175. It will cost you another $175 for each card afterwards (5th, 6th, etc.).  The additional cardholders will receive the same benefits as the primary cardholders except for acquiring American Express points as that goes to primary cardholders (benefit #1).

Spending the additional $175 to add your three family members and/or close friends pays for itself with Amex’s credit for your global entry application. Each global entry application costs $100 per application, so the combined savings is $125.  You can even pay for anyones Global Entry cost, it is a one time credit and the name on the card does NOT need to match the applicant.  Note, when applying, it will charge your card before you setup your interview.

Furthermore, the additional cardholders also gets:

1. Access to Centurion, Delta, and Airspace lounges at major airports.  You only need to show your credit card, ID and an airline ticket. You can also bring in two guests.

2. Complimentary access to Priority Pass Select (mostly international lounges).  This is a good gap for airport lounges when flying without airline status. You will have to call customer service to enroll.

3. Free SPG Gold status. We’ve found sometimes SPG may reject you because you are not the primary cardholder but keep trying.

4.  Free BOINGO account for wireless access around the world. BOINGO has many Wi-Fi hotspots in Europe which can be costly when you travel.

5.  Access to ShopRunner, a free 2 day shipping and returns at many stores across the country.

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SPG updates membership benefits & introduce Lifetime Platinum + Gold status

by on Feb.01, 2012, under Hotels

Starwood (SPG) just announced new benefits including SPG Lifetime Platinum and Gold members. If you have 500 eligible nights within the past 10 years, you will be made Platinum for life. With 250 eligible nights within the past five years, you will be made Gold for life. Lifetime Membership begins March 1, 2012.

In addition, SPG Platinum Members who reach 75 Eligible Nights during a calendar year will qualify for the Your24 benefit through the following subsequent calendar year. With Your24, you can check-in as early as 9AM as long as you give the hotel a 48 hour advanced notice. SPG 75 Platinum members will also receive 4 points for every $1 spent at a SPG hotel.

SPG Gold Members with 50 Eligible nights during a calendar year will get 10 Suite Night Awards which is used for upgrades.

SPG Platinum members are given continental breakfast as a complimentary gift. That’s in addition to the free WiFi platinum members get today. SPG continues to wow us with great perks which makes them a the best loyalty program on earth.

For more details, click on this link to the SPG Lifetime Benefits site.

For the record, I have 284 stays and 805 nights since 2000 😉

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Tips for your extended hotel stays

by on Feb.16, 2011, under Business Travel, Hotels

Furthering my previous post regarding hotel best practices when you’re staying at a hotel for an extended period of time, here are a few more tips:

Bell Hop1.  Feel free to leave a bag at the bell desk or concierge. If you don’t want to carry your toiletry going through TSA, just bring an extra duffle bag and leave the bag with the front desk or bell hop when you check out. Not only should you leave your toiletry, you should look to leave your workout gear, or any outfit for the climate. This works well if you are traveling to a different climate, you should always leave a jacket, sweater, fleece, etc. that you may not need at home.  You’ll be lighten your load on your weekly commute and the people behind you at the security checkpoints will thank you for it!

2.  Always tip the bell hop or concierge if you’re asking them for a favor like holding your bag over the weekend. A good suggestion is $2-5 per bag (adjusting to locale and inflation), depending on your relationship. This goes along way with the staff – these guys are the heart and soul of the hotel. I typically tip on drop off and pick up.

Sometimes a souvenir from your home has more mileage. For example, bring the hotel staff “I Love NY” t-shirts if you’re from NYC or some Ghirardelli chocolate if you’re from San Francisco.

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