Lesson 2

Learn the rules of the game

The first rule of flight club

CEOs and other high-ranking managers have to be discerning in how they provide feedback, otherwise an off-hand remark can have unintended consequences.

Jeff Weiner, Executive Chairman of LinkedIn, created a shared vernacular for his teams to better understand the severity of his feedback, through a ratings system:

There are a few mandates when it comes to credit card rewards, once you understand them you’ll be able to best determine which combination of cards (aka stack) is right for you.

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San Sebastian, Spain

Lesson 1 Recap

We covered the value of a point, key takeaways being:

Èze, France

Lesson 2: Rules of the Game

We can break down card mandates into two categories:

Card-issuing bank rules

Each bank has their own variations of the first rule you need to consider before applying for a new card. How many credit card accounts have you opened in the past X days or months?

Note that a * denotes all cards, not just the specific bank.

Financial well-being best practices

The rules above can feel overwhelming. You may be asking yourself how you can navigate all the complexity, but don’t worry about that. The most important rule to keep in mind above is the Chase 5/24 rule since it entails all new account openings. We’ll readdress that in the next section, but let’s create a foundation through some financial best-practices.

Fenix Beach Cartagena, Columbia

Building your Stack

Now that we understand the rules, it’s time to build our stack. By now you should know:

Each of us will differ when it comes to existing cards, baseline spend and desired rewards partners, but we should all look for the following traits in a credit card offer:

A great example of a card with a lot to offer for those who take advantage of it, is the AMEX Platinum, read more in the review below.

🍬 Sweet Spotlight: Hyatt

Yesterday’s sweet spot to Japan was a great example of very high value, yet very difficult to book. Today, I wanted to detail a sweet spot that’s not as extraordinary, but super easy to book making it approachable for someone who’s just getting started. That sweet spot is the World of Hyatt rewards program.

Hyatt is on the smaller side of the multinational hotel chains, with roughly 1100 properties in 69 countries across six continents. Whereas Wyndham, Marriott, Hilton & IHG have multiples of that, here is a full breakdown for the nerds. Despite having a smaller footprint, their rewards program is easy to navigate and my experiences at their properties have been top-notch.

Hotel chains categorize properties via a leveling system, Hyatt uses a 1-8 scale, with Category 8 implying luxurious and very well located. Here’s a look at the rewards chart:

Hyatt Rewards Chart

If you consider the cost of a point being a penny each, you can quickly see how valuable these rewards are. Starting at 3,500 points for a room that retails around $80, netting you over 2 cents per point. To the higher end, like the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme category 7 which retails for roughly $1,300 per night, yielding 4.5 cents per point.

Another joy of Hyatt is that they cover resort fees when redeeming points for a free night. This is particularly valuable at all-inclusive resorts and travel destinations like Hawaii, Fiji, the Maldives. If you’re looking to stretch your points, I’d recommend saving your luxury stays for Sunday - Wednesday when redemptions can be significantly less and the hotel is less crowded giving you more space to enjoy it.

Milos, Greece

When we talk about outsized value, this is a prime example of a card that offers a lot but unlike the Venture X, it’s a little more difficult to quickly see the value. That said, the Platinum card has the best lounge access, fantastic customer service via chat bot, and the only concierge that has consistently been able to get me reservations at Carbone NYC (obviously your results may vary).

What else does this card offer?

* = requires enrollment

The card has a $695 annual fee (The Platinum Card® from American Express - Rates & Fees), but it’s easy to see how that fee would either make up for itself or simply be worthwhile to elevate your travel. Don’t get me wrong, these credits are not as easy to utilize as yesterday's Venture X, but there’s so many of them that there’s bound to be something you’d enjoy.

Learn more.

📚 Drop some Knowledge

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🐰 Continue Down the Rabbit Hole?

Lessons 1 and 2 completed, make your way to the final lesson here

AWA | Lesson 3/3

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