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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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