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Points Baby! Points!

by Kevin Greene on June 16th, 2014

I’m honored to have a special guest contributor to Vendor Alley, Kevin Greene. Kevin is a “road warrior” in more ways than one. I’ve asked him to share his thoughts on making the best use of “points” for travel expenses (a topic he would gladly bend your ear on over several drinks). Kevin is a master at this and I’m hoping other will contribute to the conversation….

So heeeeeeere’s Kevin!

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We all spend a great deal of time (and our company’s dollars) on the road away from family and friends. If you are not taking advantage of the Hotel, Airline and Credit Card point’s deals, you are missing out on a big perk. As well as making you look like a rock star to your kids when you get that upgrade to the Presidential Suite on your all-expense paid (by points!) vacation to the Florida Keys. Here are a few tips:
Pick a Hotel Brand and try to stick with it. Double down and get a Credit Card with the hotel that will double your points when you use it. You will quickly gain status and points. Status will help you book or upgrade to that suite you need for the convention, at a price your company will be happy with. Points will make your family happy when it comes to vacation time. Hotels also treat Nights and Stays differently. So if you are doing that week trip, try to check-in and out each day. 4 Stays is awarded much more than 4 Nights. Plus Stays are what gets you to that Diamond/Platinum status much quicker.

The big thing with any points program – only use points for their products. You will get more bang for the buck staying in the Keys for 4 nights than that iPad or Ruth’s Chris gift certificate. Use your Credit Card points for these items.

Speaking of Credit Cards – I have 3. I have one low/no interest one I use only when necessary. I have a Hotel Visa and I have an American Express. I highly recommend an AMEX, charge everything on it – gas, groceries, electronics, Car Payments – EVERYTHING. AMEX gives extended warranties on everything you buy. Drop that 60” LED TV you just bought getting it out of the car? They will replace it! They also have a generous points program. If you get a Platinum it also gives you Airport/Airline Club Access for free (other AMEX’s you have to pay a fee each time). When you do have that layover or delay, the Clubs are a great place to work. I’ve done many a conference call from Airport Clubs around the country. I have a friend who owns a couple of restaurants. He charges all his company supplies, cars, etc. on his Black AMEX. He uses the points each year to take his managers on a weeklong trip. Last year was Europe – all on points!

We all know you need to stay at the Host Hotel (walking back from the lobby bar is much easier/safer), or it just isn’t feasible to take the one you usually use. It is okay. Sign-up for their loyalty program. It will take you a little longer, but you will get points as well!

-KG

From → Pro Tip

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