About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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The X1 Credit Card: Game Changer?

Sep 19 2020

We don’t know enough about this product yet to have a real idea of its value – if you can actually generate a 4% return through spend and referrals that’s going to be really strong, but most people won’t be able to successfully refer someone every month. 

Referrals aside then we’re talking about 2% back on the first $15,000 of spend each year. This card is only interesting for spend above $15,000 to get to 3% back. But you’re going to have to spend substantially more than $15,000 on the card before you’re really getting enough value to make the higher rate of return worthwhile.

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A $2.5 Billion Airline Payroll Support Plan Makes More Sense Than What The Airlines Asked For

Sep 19 2020

Airlines have somehow connect the President, the Speaker of the House and myriad members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to sign onto the idea of a $25 billion ‘clean extension’ of CARES Act payroll support. That’s a second $25 billion injection of cash in exchange for not furloughing workers or eliminating service to most cities through March 31, 2021.

Except that the math here is truly insane. No one seems to be doing the math. So let’s talk about what a $2.5 billion package might look like instead.

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Chase Has 8 Different 100,000 Point Initial Bonus Offers Right Now

Sep 19 2020

Chase was the most aggressive card issuer coming out of the Great Recession. They were the first to bring us a 100,000 point signup bonus, back in 2009. They’ve been aggressively introducing big offers for their card products again.

It’s striking to me that there are actually (8) different initial bonus offers of 100,000 points or more I’m aware of that Chase currently has available. That’s incredible.

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Police Meet Flight After Passenger And Flight Attendant Can’t Agree On What A “Mask” Is

Sep 19 2020

A passenger and flight attendant on Spirit Airlines got into an argument over whether the passenger’s mask constituted a ‘mask’. The flight attendant offered the passenger a ‘real mask’- instead of an American flag gaiter – which they refused to wear. Police were contacted to meet the plane.

The most 2020 thing ever is a debate over what the word ‘mask’ means on a commercial aircraft.

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New York City Will Allow Restaurant Covid Surcharges, Defrauding Customers And Employees

Sep 18 2020

New York City’s council passed a law allowing restaurants to add up to a 10% ‘Covid surcharge’ for eat-in dining. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign it. It is stupid. Restaurants can already raise their prices.

This accomplishes two things: it lets restaurants charge a higher price than they advertise on their menus, and since customers are willing to pay a certain amount for their meal the surcharge reduces tips. It shifts income from restaurant workers to owners.

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Mideast Peace: Emirates Airlines Sets Up Kosher Food Facility

Sep 18 2020

Kosher Arabia should be up and running in January, and will serve Emirates as well as other airlines operating from Dubai. The Dubai-based carrier will no longer have to use a contract caterer to source Kosher meals. Emirates is even exploring opening Kosher restaurants both in Dubai and throughout the region.

For anyone not dedicated to the destruction of Israel, I think, this seems unambiguously a good thing – at least as long as Emirates doesn’t displace some of its fine wines with Manischewitz.

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Capital One Lets Venture Customers Redeem Miles At Full Value For Food Delivery [Extended]

hamburger and fries in box
Sep 18 2020

Capital One has temporarily introduced redemption of Venture and VentureOne Miles for restaurant delivery, takeout, and streaming service spend. You can apply statement credits with your points at full value, as you would have for travel purchases. That’s great strategy to encourage cardmember retention and spending, to help customers conserve cash, and to benefit local restaurants that are struggling.

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Commerce Secretary: Not Giving Airlines Another $25 Billion In Taxpayer Money Is “Punishing Them”

Sep 18 2020

You wouldn’t buy the basic economy tickets airlines were selling, but they’re going to take your money anyway.

President Trump’s Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said on Friday that not giving airlines another $25 billion, after providing $25 billion in payroll support and another $25 billion in subsidized loans, is akin to punishing them:

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