PRG

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Booking BAP: A $5,000 Trip to Europe for $238 & Points!

My free digs in Amsterdam

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In a few weeks, I’ll be in Brussels, Amsterdam, and Prague for the first time. I am calling this trip “BAP” (after the 3 cities).

This is the trip I booked waaay back in August 2016 for biz class seats with Etihad miles. At the time, I paid ~37,000 miles for round-trip seats from New York to Brussels on Brussels Airlines. Etihad has since raised the price to 88,000 miles – which can still be a good deal to Europe in Business.

That was about 9 months ago – the furthest out I’ve ever planned a trip. At the time, I figured I’d fill it in when the time came. Which is now.

brussels amsterdam prague

I’m coming for ya, Brussy

Here’s how I put together a $5,00+ week-long trip to Europe for $238 out of pocket.

Booking BAP (Brussels, Amsterdam, Prague)

1. To New York and back

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Canceled the PRG card and Amex let me switch credit allocations

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I just reviewed my latest post and I’ve written about Amex a LOT recently. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Chase’s products are functioning smoothly and as they should; I still love the Arrival card; still jammin’ on my Club Carlson Visa. The only anomaly recently has been with Amex.

Smell ya later, PRG

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“Secret” Benefit of Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card is Gone

I wrote yesterday about the new ability to see category bonuses on the Amex website. I also wrote previously about a secret/hidden benefit of the PRG card – that online transactions were posting at 3 points per dollar. In introducing this new category bonus transparency, Amex revealed two things: 1) the unpublished 3x bonus was long-lived and 2) it is now gone.

Screenshot 2014-04-28 12.19.08

3 points per dollar for Amazon Payments? Yes, please!

 

Screenshot 2014-04-28 12.23.29

 

In the first photo, from May 2013, you can see that I had luck getting 3 Membership Rewards per dollar for all online transactions, including Amazon Payments. As you can imagine, this was a boon for my manufactured spending. I also got the 3x bonus for Birchbox, an online subscription service.

In the second photo, from March 2014, I got the standard 1 point per dollar – but it is coded as an internet purchase, NOT a cash advance, which is good to know – and it did earn me Membership Rewards points.

Bottom line

I was hanging on to the PRG card for this unpublished benefit. Now that it’s gone, and I have the EveryDay Preferred card, I have no use for this card any mre. And at $175 per year, it screams “cancel me.”

Going forward, I recommend the EveryDay Preferred card unless you know you’ll meet the $30,000 spending threshold to get the 15K Membership Rewards bonus. In all other cases, default to the EveryDay Preferred. You can read more of my analysis of these two cards in this post.

Having that bonus for online transactions was a good benefit. Now that category bonuses are visible on the website, it seems that this benefit has been removed.

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 per day!) or in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!