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I Will Follow – Why I Like These Points and Travel Rules

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Points and Travel Rules

Points and Travel Rules

When someone brings up a rule, how does that make you feel?  Most of us probably don’t hold a positive connotation of that word.  Indeed, many in our hobby bend or flatly ignore many rules, all in the pursuit of “more.”  But I tend to view many points and travel rules positively, providing a path to what’s acceptable and not.  We can’t be as confident in our strategies without them.  Here are a few of my favorite points and travel rules and why I like them.

Lounge Access

Arguably no other perk has been more hotly debated the past few years than lounge access policies.  We saw it come up again most recently with Delta tightening (then loosening a bit) cardholder access to their stellar Sky Clubs.  As one who primarily visits lounges on solo travel, I support more stringent access policies.  In my view, the foundation of any lounge should be a level of exclusivity.  Of course, how exclusive a particular line of lounges should be is debatable.  But on a whole, I know that the lounges I end up enjoying are the ones that are tougher to access.  Does this make me a snob?  Regarding lounges, most definitely.

Points and Travel Rules

Bank of America Card Applications

Bank of America generally follows 3/12, 7/12, and 2/3/4 rules.  The first rule means it’s generally not possible to be approved for a BoA personal card if you’ve received three from them in the past 12 months.  For BoA bank account holders, that number shifts to seven in the past 12 months.  Now, let’s get to that last rule.  BoA seems to limit new personal card approvals to two every rolling two months, three per rolling 12 months, and four per rolling 24 months.  That’s a lot to follow!

But as a BoA bank account holder, I’ve had no problem going after whatever I want with any bank (except one, by choice) while simultaneously fitting within their application rules.  Even better, I’ve found that by following the 7/12 and 2/3/4 rules, I’ve been approved for each BoA card I’ve pursued.

Southwest Boarding

Many adults act like children, especially in airports.  Southwest knows this and wisely treats all travelers like children during the boarding process.  The boarding group letters and numbers are followed to a T, from what I’ve seen.  Not coincidentally, the Southwest boarding processes I’ve experienced have been more orderly than with other airlines.

Points and Travel Rules
A big case of fine print and opportunity.

Amex Fine Print

Amex has instituted a few new concerning family rules recently.  They’ve also had the “once per lifetime” rule for years.  Meanwhile, the rules in the fine print have been remarkably loose.  No lifetime language welcome offers on various cards routinely appear.  In my experience, I’ve received welcome offers and other rewards per the terms included and omitted within each application.  In my view, Amex clearly tells us what we can and can’t do, we just need to listen and read.


The rules aren’t all good, obviously.  Chase’s draconian 5/24 rule is one of the worst.  It’s why I gave up on picking up their new card welcome offers and have no regrets.  I’m interested to see how stringent Amex is with their new family rules; my gut tells me it won’t be as bad as many think.  In a world of points and travel rules, it’s useful to share data points with other enthusiasts.  Do it in person, in the comments below, or within the MtM Diamond Lounge!

What are your favorite points and travel rules?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. An airport lounge is intended to be a premium experience. As promoted, an airport lounge is a quiet place to relax and grab a bite before a flight. Appropriately, there should be a cost to any premium experience, including lounges. But, lounge operators have made the *effective* cost so low that the lounges are not always the quiet place to relax. Many present lack manners, decorum, and personal hygiene. Just visit any Amex lounge. But, once you start talking about restoring the premium experience, which means crowd reduction, all the entitled types who want everything for nothing, who as you say “go for more,” start crying. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

  2. “I’m interested to see how stringent Amex is with their new family rules; my gut tells me it won’t be as bad as many think.”

    The new rules are already in effect, and they are what they say they are. When I apply for a Gold Card now, it says I won’t be eligible for the sign up bonus because I have a Platinum Card. I actually expect the rules to get worse as the families “grow”. For instance, the Green Card isn’t currently included in the Gold/Platinum family, even though it should be.

    • Pat,
      Sorry you’re feeling this already! Less than good news sometimes comes, but I won’t be giving up. Things that don’t work one day sometimes work another. Hang in there!


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