Caveat Emptor: Using Credit Card Points For Travel

I accumulate a large number of points on a major credit card. Sally and I use those points to travel and have learned some interesting lessons along the way.

  • Points work well for airline tickets. You even earn frequent flyer miles with the airline you choose using your credit card points.
  • Problems can start when redeeming points for hotel rooms. Major credit card companies use discount travel houses to fulfill purchases and we’ve had our fair share of problems.

At first, I thought it was odd that upon checking in at a 5-star resort in Key West, a desk clerk said, “Because you used a “discount travel house” to book your room, we have upgraded you.” The bellman began walking us to our room that could not have been further from the ocean if we had been staying in Des Moines. We had a beautiful view overlooking the trash pile and the employee parking lot.

Once was odd, but twice?  The next experience was at another historic 5-star property in beautiful Carmel, California. Beware of room #2 at a historic property. The cars parked outside were closer to the bed than the bathroom and it was small!

I have other stories to tell that are equally consistent but will not bore you. The moral is… Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware: NCSU 1979 Business Law Class) on the usage of credit card points. I think the best use of credit card points is for purchasing airline tickets and asking an Aladdin advisor to assist you with hotel and resort planning. Our advisors can offer complimentary amenities through our preferred hotel program.  Upon arrival, instead of being treated like you used a “discount travel house” to book your stay, you will be treated like the special client you are.

March 2018 Compass

About Ricky Shore

Richard E. Shore, Jr. (Ricky) is the President & CEO of Aladdin Travel. “I joined the company in April 2004 with responsibilities for corporate sales and marketing and completed the purchase of Aladdin Travel in November 2012. I enjoy volunteering in the community and have served as president of the Winston-Salem Rotary Club and as a board member and president (2012-13) of the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem. Finally, serving on the Vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church as Junior and Senior Warden was a rewarding experience. Sally and I enjoy traveling, with and without family! Memories of crepes in Paris, the Cotswolds outside of London, golf in Scotland, the Great Wall of China, biking in Holland, Italy and the Salzkammergut (Lake District) of Austria and sightseeing in Spain abound. An occasional trip to the beach or the mountains is also welcome!

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