Geezer Travel is about discounted travel. As a financially responsible adventurer you know the value of a loyalty point and you covet your loyalty points and spend them wisely. You DO NOT spend 650,000 American Express Loyalty Points on a motel room for 3 days. Ouch!!!
In a recent article by the Economist they describe how Robert Menendez, a senator from New Jersey, is facing charges for allegedly doing favours for a friend.
Just one of the many favors done was to “loan” the “friend” 650,000 Am Ex points so he could stay at a motel for 3 days. The article says that this “friend” would have paid $5000.00 dollars for the three day stay.
No wonder the U.S. is a little financially shaky it’s Senator’s are financially shaky.
In the past we have spent a lot of time talking about the value of loyalty points but now it’s time to have a good laugh or cry and examine just how poorly Senator Menendez spent his travel assets.
First. there is the $5000 room for three days. I’m a card carrying, tax paying, American and I have never in my life paid $1,666 a night for a room. Most Americans use a room to sleep in! I know the supper wealthy waste money like this but this guy is a Senator and we elected him, hopefully, because he is smart enough to do the right thing, and wasting $1666 a night on a place to sleep is not the right thing.
OK, deep breath, that’s done. I’ve quit shaking and it’s time to further explore this act of fiscal foolishness.
Not only does this United States Senator buy his “friend a $1666.00 ($5000 / 3) a night room but he pays with loyalty points that are conservatively worth $12,090.00. Yes my fellow American’s you read that right $12,090.00. Let me explain, I use the web site RewardStock.com to value points and as of today RewardStock valued Am Ex loyalty points at 1.86 cents each. So 650,000 Am Ex points multiplied by 1.86 cents adds up to $12,090.00 for a place to sleep for 3 nights. I’m just an old geezer but I’d be willing to bet this motel doesn’t even offer a free hot breakfast and free parking.
So here we are my fellow American Geezers we have worked our whole lives and stay in hotels with our loved ones for less then $100 a night and get free breakfast and this guy who is in charge of spending our tax money is buying his “friend” rooms that cost over $4,000.00 a night in “real loyalty point assets” ($12,090.00 / 3 nights).
I could quit right here and I’m sure you would have gotten my point, but I’m mad now, and I want to continue to expose this Am Ex Point insanity. In many of the article’s that we have written in this blog we have explained that although the value of a point can be approximated by web sites like RewardStock.com these values are averages and a smart Geezer will look for deals that stretch the value of their points as far as possible.
A few months ago Am Ex had a deal where you could get 350 British Airlines loyalty points for 250 Am Ex loyalty points. The good Senators 650,000 Am Ex points would have netted him 910,000 British Airline Loyalty Miles.
Because I like to spice pain with as much fun as possible let’s explore what the good Senator could have done with those 910,000 converted BA Loyalty Miles. Notice I capitalize Loyalty Miles, that’s not because of my poor grasp on the english language, it’s because I want to emphasis that Loyalty Miles have value!
The best use of British miles in my opinion is to use them to fly domestically in the U.S. or Caribbean on American Airlines flights. So let me give you an example. Let’s say, the good Senator out of concern for his brothers and sisters in Florida, that just got hammered by hurricane Irma, decides to fly down to Miami and check out the horror of that natural calamity. If he were to have wisely converted his 650,000 Am Ex Loyalty Points (notice the capitals) into 910,000 BA Loyalty Points he could have flown business class from Washing DC to Miami for 30,000 BA loyalty Points.
I flew the good Senator Business class because he is an important guy and I want to make sure he gets a free lunch.
I think you see where this is going, but I want to make it clear for all my fellow Geezers. Unlike our government I want you to understand the full picture. Because, BA is partnered with American Airlines the actual flight will be with AA. The standard cost of an AA flight from Washington to Miami round trip in business class is ~ $675.00. For 30,000 BA loyalty miles the good Senator would be getting a valued at $675.00 to hurricane ravaged Miami.
Back to the math. if the esteemed Senator from the great State of New Jersey was frugal and exchanged his 650,000 Am Ex points for 910,000 BA miles he could have now flown to Miami to check out the horror of Irma first hand around 30 times round trip on a business class American Airlines flight. Of course because he was flying business class he could have comfortably worked the whole time and got a free lunch or dinner, and free booze on each leg of the flight (that’s 60 free meals, and a lot of free booze for you Geezers that care).
If the good Senator does the flight to Miami 30 times over the next year to monitor the recovery of Florida his 650,000 Am Ex miles will have saved the tax payers ~ $20,250.00 (30 X $675 = $20,250).
I said OUCH when I named this article for a reason. As I have explained above the good Senator used as much as $20,250 worth of Loyalty assets to give his “friend” a 3 day stay in a hotel. Again I say OUCH!
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