Why SkyMiles 2015 Will Be GREAT For (Almost) Everyone


From the desk of the Devil's Advocate... Yesterday there was an exchange of posts between René of Delta Points and our old friend (P)lucky over at One Mile at a Time. Check them out here and here if you didn't catch them before. What were they arguing about? Delta SkyMiles, of … [Read more...]

Is Christopher Elliott Right about Airline Alliances?


From the desk of the Devil's Advocate... This might be the most challenging column I've written to date. I'm taking on a Herculean task that may very well prove impossible. I'm going to argue a position that's more controversial and may cause more reader angst than any stance I've taken … [Read more...]

Marriott’s Tip Envelopes Are Tacky

Marriott Envelope

Marriott announced new tip envelopes for its housekeeping staff this week, and the response was covered well in an NPR story on Tuesday. I think it was a bad idea, and I certainly won't be using them on any future stays. They create a bad name for the brand. I also think they may … [Read more...]

Is It Ever Worth Paying The Second Year Annual Fee?


From the desk of the Devil's Advocate... When opening a new credit card, a big selling point is the waived first year annual fee. The banks hope you'll like the card well enough to hang onto it for the second year and beyond, paying an annual fee over and over again for the privilege … [Read more...]

How Does CVS Make Money Selling Visa Gift Cards?


From the desk of the Devil's Advocate... There's been extensive discussion in the points and miles community over exactly why CVS ended credit card sales of Vanilla Reloads and most of their other prepaid and reloadable products back in April. Much of the Conventional Wisdom has held … [Read more...]

I Got It! It’s Chase Ultimate Rewards Points That Are Awful!


From the desk of the Devil's Advocate... This week we finish up our three-part series on the downsides of the major flexible miles currencies -- Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints. The wonderful features of these … [Read more...]