Buy Points At Cheapest Price We’ve Seen In A Year? [Roundup]

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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, 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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  1. Lots of signs that airlines and mileage programs are gearing up for a severe recession next year. Increasingly generous point buying offers and transfer bonsuses are one such sign.

  2. @Gary — as I cannot leave a comment at the link to the article, let me comment here re: “Can experts really tell the difference between cheap and expensive wine”. With over 50 years in the international and domestic (California & Washington State) wine trade, I will claim the title of someone who — if not an expert (and I honestly see myself as still learning) knows something about the topic, I would say that price *does* play a role TO A CERTAIN EXTENT, beyond which the price is not connected to quality but rather to ego.

    In other words, new French oak barrels are north of $2k each, and many wineries on both sides of the Atlantic use new French oak for ever vintage. Vineyard land today in the Napa Valley starts at $500,000 per acre and goes up from there. To stick with Napa just for a second, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes regularly sell for between $20-25,000 per ton. And the prices for Pinot Noir from Burgundy are even higher.

    So some of costs of a bottle of wine are fully understandable and justifiable. But some of the prices for wine are outrageous. $500…$1,000…$3,000 per bottle and more??? Ego, and ofter merely a marketing ploy to increase demand while keeping supple deliberately low.

    Are there great wines on the maker for under $20-25? Absolutely! Are there crappy wines with price tags of $100+? Of course there are! But there’s also a lot of mediocre wines <$20, and a lot of magnificent wines over $100.

    Just remember that the best wine in the world is the one you LIKE the most, not what someone else pontificates about — that's just his/her opinion, when it's only YOUR opinion that counts!

  3. The issue of buying points is the question of how useful they are in redemption. I find Lifemiles very difficult to use (also Delta and Aeroplan) and so don’t buy them.

  4. If you learn a little/lot about wine, follow you instincts, try to get value for your dollar, and find some wine merchants and vintners you can trust, you’ll do just fine on whatever budget you have, from budget bulk Australians to some pretty good classic French wines. Start label chasing and listening to someone’s palate other than you’re own, you’re going to get taken.

    Like anything else that starts to involves “taste”, like art or politics, the minute you start virtue signaling, both high and low, is the minute you go off the rails.

  5. It appears that existing Lifemiles accounts are only allowed a bonus up to 160%, it would be new “subscriptions” (whatever THAT means) which get he 170% bonus.

  6. Lifemiles should be avoided at all costs. Nearly impossible to change flights and putting points back in for canceled flights really expensive fees . Plus deep Spanish language barriers talking to agents. Hundreds of $ per person.

  7. Agreed. Lifemiles should be avoided at all costs. Avianca’s website has gotten progressively worse over the last couple of years. I never thought I’d be able to get rid of my 100k+ but somehow I managed six months ago to find biz award space returning from Asia to LAX. It required us to get to Kuala Lumpur and got us onto the lovely EVA flights home through TPE last week. However, I will never use Lifemiles again.

  8. I like the Alaska tablet holders. My main airline is Alaska, and the alternative is no IFE at all (save for those ex-Virgin Airbuses). I prefer using my own iPad because I find those IFEs age so quickly. Plus with a Macbook, I can use the iPad as a second monitor, which is awesome.

  9. Singapore Changi is run by SATS, which is a third party in name only, and runs far better than any of the airports on the link.

    Corruption is the problem, not whether it’s a private company or a public one running it. Private companies trying to get lucrative contracts are manufacturing a narrative that’s fake and you fell for it.

  10. I’ve purchased hundreds of thousands of Lifemiles over the years but will likely stop doing so. It’s been excrutiatingly difficult to find award space on the routes I travel and I just found out Lifemiles just quietly increased their redemption prices as I was checking for BKK-JFK biz yesterday. Used to be 78,000 miles, now it’s 90,000 miles.

    Also, although EVA offers a wonderful biz class experience, if you book too far in advance, they have a tendency to cancel flights without telling you until it’s too late for you to make alternate arrangements

    One more thing — if they cancel your flight and can’t book you on another one, when you ask for miles to be redeposited they will only refund taxes but NOT the $25 “booking fee”.

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