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If you’ve been following my blog routinely, you have probably seen how into and excited I was with the recent US Airways Grand Slam Promotion. I ended up with 28 hits, getting me 60,000 miles. I could have done more with some unnecessary car rentals and point transfers, but I was satisfied with my 60K. This will get me a free round-trip flight to Europe. Out of pocket I ended up spending $316.51 – some where purchases I would have had anyways (i.e., flowers, restaurant.com, network solutions). I also earned about another 12,000 miles with just the partner activity posts. I am pretty happy with my result, but I know I could have spent less. Next year I will do much better – less spend and more “hits.”
Top Lessons Learned:
- Start Early! I started the promotion midway and saved some of my hits to the very end of the promotion. This was not smart for so many reasons:
- Some of the partner activity terms changed during the promotion for the worse. For example, some of the flower companies started excluding sale items from earning miles. Since I acted on this partner activity too late, I had to pay more for an item that qualified.
- Not all of my partner activity has hit my account yet. This prolongs the time to get my bonus points. It also puts uncertainty if I will get the hits and when the actually activity date will be.
- Some free quotes actually counted as a hit for some folks. Starting late meant that they posted after the end of the promotion and did not allow me to see if they would actually count as a hit or not. Due to the uncertainty, I wanted to ensure I had 28 legit hits and could not depend on some potential hits.
- ShareBuilder partner, for example, has been reported to have its activity date post as the last day of the month. If you opened up and funded an account after November 1st, the activity date might end up not qualifying for the promotion. US Airways takes no responsibility for partner activity posts, so will result in a phone call to the partner (where they still might not be able backdate it). I did have the 2,000 points post to my account just for opening up account – so this might count as a hit.
- Register, register, register! Do not make the same mistake I did for my husband’s account. Make sure to register immediately prior to any partner activity. I was so focused on my own account and ended up completing half of the “hits” for his account before realizing that he was never registered! My husband actually has a featured guest blog post this past weekend describing this situation. For those that have husbands/wives that have to deal our obsession with points/miles, it is pretty funny and I would recommend reading.
- E-miles & E-Rewards – Start NOW! Both partners require you to take a million surveys (it felt like at least!) to get enough points to transfer to US Airways. Start acting on the surveys now so you are not stuck at the end of the promotion praying that a survey will appear in your account that you will qualify for. E-miles is not too bad, but E-Rewards can literally take forever. Also, if you are not currently a member of E-Rewards, it is an invitation only survey program so keep an eye out in your email for an invitation.
- Start saving hotel points. There are many partner hotels that transfer to US Airways resulting in a hit each. The transfer rate is pretty poor, but if you are able to get enough free points in a program it will be worth your while. For example, during the promotion I was able to get 10,000 Club Carlson points for free by “liking” a hotels Facebook page. I have no other Club Carlson points and probably would never done anything with these 10K points. Transferring them for a hit was worth it. Keep your eyes out during the year for those random hotel free points. You might not think about acting on it as they will not provide enough points for a free hotel room, but you never know where else they can come in handy!
If you have any other lessons learned, please share! I actually cannot wait till next year as I will be sure to be much more strategic with my hits and obtaining the most amount of points possible.