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Little Evil

Long Haul Business Class for under $2K (Long Post)

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skink
5 hours ago, Luv2Phuket said:

Yes - my assessment:
 - I don't know that it had a huge impact on my room.  They upgraded me to a Exec floor room, but I was frequently (but not always) upgraded to the same room when I was Hilton Gold (through another credit card that I have since dropped)
 - same free breakfast as when I was Gold
 - BUT the $250 credit on the Aspire (Hilton Pattaya is one of the properties where you get it) is a NICE kicker and makes the card worthwhile in my opinion.

Bloggers make it sounds like Diamond is head and shoulders above Gold, but I haven't noticed a huge change.  I think that you have a BETTER chance of getting an upgrade, but it's not guaranteed (like IHG Ambassador). 

That said, it paid off on  my business trip to Omaha this weekend, when I got upgraded to Exec floor when I am 100% certain that the hotel was fully booked.  Organization whose employee who booked rooms for everyone was at the front desk when I was checking in said that there was really no chance for an upgrade, but the desk clerk said "yes, Mr. L2P, we have upgraded you to our Executive floor."

Thanks. I decided to give the upgrade a try for a year. Shouldn't be a hard pull with Amex for that. HH points aren't worth much but 150k will go a long way at cheaper properties such as the Double tree Medellin. They say they will prorate the $450 annual fee based on the time remaining until my next anniversary date with my Ascend card. It looks like the $250 resort credit is card membership year, but the $250 flight credit is calendar year (so should be able to use that twice even if I only keep it a year).

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Little Evil

Guys, is the Hilton Pattaya worth it? I've come close to booking on several occasions, but it starts at over 3 times as expensive as the places I tend to book (Page 10, Acqua, etc). I have the plat perk with Hilton

I don't spend much time in the room, so I just can't seem to get my head in paying that much. Then again, it is still half as expensive as most major US cities, so I don't really know why I have a hard time justifying it. What is the lady policy like?

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Luv2Phuket
8 minutes ago, Little Evil said:

Guys, is the Hilton Pattaya worth it? I've come close to booking on several occasions, but it starts at over 3 times as expensive as the places I tend to book (Page 10, Acqua, etc). I have the plat perk with Hilton

I don't spend much time in the room, so I just can't seem to get my head in paying that much. Then again, it is still half as expensive as most major US cities, so I don't really know why I have a hard time justifying it. What is the lady policy like?

I stay there to use and to earn points.  Whenever possible, I like to earn points on my non-redemption stays.  I also cash out a free night certificate in connection with paid stays there (which saves me from changing hotels).

I like the free breakfast buffet (which is decent, but rarely varies), and lounge access is nice.  Lounge has breakfast (but buffet offers more options) and sometimes some decent food options during their happy hours.  I am a little embarrassed to admit that the happy hour snacks have proven to be my "dinner" on more than one occasion! 555

LOVE the location - can't beat being in Central Festival without even going outside.

That said, I don't think it necessarily merits the price increase for everyone.  The rooms are getting a little worn, and I think the pool area is too small for a hotel that size.

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skink

I usually avoid Pattaya during Songkran. It looks like I might be there for part of it next year. If so I was going to try the Hilton during those dates. Primarily for the location benefit of being in Central Festival without going outside.

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wash747
7 hours ago, Luv2Phuket said:

Yes - my assessment:
 - I don't know that it had a huge impact on my room.  They upgraded me to a Exec floor room, but I was frequently (but not always) upgraded to the same room when I was Hilton Gold (through another credit card that I have since dropped)
 - same free breakfast as when I was Gold
 - BUT the $250 credit on the Aspire (Hilton Pattaya is one of the properties where you get it) is a NICE kicker and makes the card worthwhile in my opinion.

Bloggers make it sounds like Diamond is head and shoulders above Gold, but I haven't noticed a huge change.  I think that you have a BETTER chance of getting an upgrade, but it's not guaranteed (like IHG Ambassador). 

That said, it paid off on  my business trip to Omaha this weekend, when I got upgraded to Exec floor when I am 100% certain that the hotel was fully booked.  Organization whose employee who booked rooms for everyone was at the front desk when I was checking in said that there was really no chance for an upgrade, but the desk clerk said "yes, Mr. L2P, we have upgraded you to our Executive floor."

How timing is perfect for you to post your thoughts. It’s obvious that I won’t find positive opinions or reviews from bloggers or flyertalk on Hilton pattaya (typical disdain on world’s adult capital)..

i decide to hold Conrad Koh Samui till next year. 3 days to Samui feel silly especially expensive either UTP/BKK-USM Bangkok air flight. 

So I want to use up $250 resort credit so I think I’ll go ahead to use free night from ascend card and burn up 50k point on 2nd night (no way I’m paying 14000 THB for 2 nights. 

Look like I should accept that they are only upgrade diamonds to next better room instead of upgrade to best available room. I’m debating to stay only Sunday night (Bangkok crowds should go back home) or Sat-Mon at Hilton... 

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Luv2Phuket
4 minutes ago, wash747 said:

How timing is perfect for you to post your thoughts. It’s obvious that I won’t find positive opinions or reviews from bloggers or flyertalk on Hilton pattaya (typical disdain on world’s adult capital)..

i decide to hold Conrad Koh Samui till next year. 3 days to Samui feel silly especially expensive either UTP/BKK-USM Bangkok air flight. 

So I want to use up $250 resort credit so I think I’ll go ahead to use free night from ascend card and burn up 50k point on 2nd night (no way I’m paying 14000 THB for 2 nights. 

Look like I should accept that they are only upgrade diamonds to next better room instead of upgrade to best available room. I’m debating to stay only Sunday night (Bangkok crowds should go back home) or Sat-Mon at Hilton... 

Keep in mind, the $250 credit is applicable to room charges, too.  It's like the annual airline credit -- you get charged, but they "rebate" the $250 on your statement, so it's open to any/all charges, including room charges.

I try not to burn HHonors points for less than 5 nights, given their "5th night free" option (which takes the Pattaya Hilton down to 40,000 per night, possibly less)

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wash747

Yeah. I want to use up ascend free night certificate then cancel annual fee 555. My friend told me others done that. 

It’s long day for me but I assume $250 credit will still kick in even I’m using free night certificate?  

Hilton Pattaya have no issue with girls? I can imagine they shouldn’t. 

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Luv2Phuket
4 hours ago, wash747 said:

Yeah. I want to use up ascend free night certificate then cancel annual fee 555. My friend told me others done that. 

It’s long day for me but I assume $250 credit will still kick in even I’m using free night certificate?  

Hilton Pattaya have no issue with girls? I can imagine they shouldn’t. 

No issues with girls at Hilton - I have had multiple threesomes there with no hassle

The $250 credit should be good even with a free room certificate, but that's a lot of food/drink charges!  Think you'd be better booking a 2nd night and using the $250 credit to pay for it.

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Luv2Phuket

A little off-topic, but I think that this thread has morphed into a general frequent flier/credit card/travel advice thread....

Do any of you have any suggested entrees on Singapore's "Book the Cook" options?

My return flight from BKK (sadly!) is open for Book the Cook now, and I'm trying to figure out my order.

Right now, going with Lobster Thermidor for dinner and the 6 oz. ribeye for lunch.

Some other options caught my eye, but these looked the best (and safest) to me.

Going back to my prior whining about how spoiled I have becomes, I was very disappointed that Cathay does not offer the ability to select my meals pre-flight (I'm right at 30 days out from my flight).  I know that I'll get some great options since I'm in first, but I always like to pick my meals in advance where possible.

Already thinking of my free PF Changs pre-flight snack with my Priority Pass card!  5555

I'm also thinking of going to LAX early on Thursday, since my AA flight to Las Vegas leaves from Terminal 4 -- I can easily sneak over to Bradley to cash that perk out again!


Is it any wonder that I always gain weight when I travel?  5555

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Little Evil
31 minutes ago, Luv2Phuket said:

A little off-topic, but I think that this thread has morphed into a general frequent flier/credit card/travel advice thread....

Do any of you have any suggested entrees on Singapore's "Book the Cook" options?

My return flight from BKK (sadly!) is open for Book the Cook now, and I'm trying to figure out my order.

Right now, going with Lobster Thermidor for dinner and the 6 oz. ribeye for lunch.

Some other options caught my eye, but these looked the best (and safest) to me.

Going back to my prior whining about how spoiled I have becomes, I was very disappointed that Cathay does not offer the ability to select my meals pre-flight (I'm right at 30 days out from my flight).  I know that I'll get some great options since I'm in first, but I always like to pick my meals in advance where possible.

Already thinking of my free PF Changs pre-flight snack with my Priority Pass card!  5555

I'm also thinking of going to LAX early on Thursday, since my AA flight to Las Vegas leaves from Terminal 4 -- I can easily sneak over to Bradley to cash that perk out again!


Is it any wonder that I always gain weight when I travel?  5555

I'm so jealous. I've been saying this a while now, but Singapore is my unicorn. Still need to try them. I looked over the menu. The veal or the lamb rack would be on my short list, but I've never had the pleasure. People tend to like the lobster thermadore on Singapore though. That would be an excellent way to mix it up. The only airline I've tried "Book the cook' was on EVA, but was kind of disappointed by their lamb chops.

CX really doesn't have a whole lot of variety anymore. I always just go beef in F. They used to have bone-in cuts, but more often than not now I see filets. I think they must use some type of mechanical tenderization on them too, as the interior meat appears patterned sometimes. The caviar is still nice though! 

 

 

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skink
4 hours ago, Luv2Phuket said:

Do any of you have any suggested entrees on Singapore's "Book the Cook" options?

The last time I flew them was back in April and I really liked their Lobster Thermidor and Wagyu beef (and Macallan Lumina). Their Private Room at SIN has good food as well. 

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wash747
On 10/16/2018 at 02:19, Luv2Phuket said:

No issues with girls at Hilton - I have had multiple threesomes there with no hassle

The $250 credit should be good even with a free room certificate, but that's a lot of food/drink charges!  Think you'd be better booking a 2nd night and using the $250 credit to pay for it.

Went ahead to book free night on Saturday, and decide to splurge myself by using cash + point for executive plus room which have hot tub in balcony area (def look forward to buy 1L dutyfree moet at HKG and find a girl (probably best to pick non-shy regular to join me!).  Hilton pattaya say they will try to put me in executive plus room on Saturday night if it’s available so I don’t need move on 2nd night.  It won’t be hard to get other 20k to hit 380k HH points for 5 nights at Conrad Koh Samui in October 2019. 

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wash747
18 hours ago, skink said:

The last time I flew them was back in April and I really liked their Lobster Thermidor and Wagyu beef (and Macallan Lumina). Their Private Room at SIN has good food as well. 

My friend (non monger) and I’m discussing about SQ’s excellent J deal from Ahmedabad (AMD) in India. It’s around $1300 for one way to EWR or LAX but $2400-2500 if you want to add return (I’m purposefully plan to skip SIN-AMD leg). I check reposition cost from BKK, only $130ish direct flight to AMD. Gotta factor Indian visa cost (I might get 10 year one to get over with it and it’s not much more than single entry e-visa).  Maybe useful for cash rich but points poor situations. 

For SQ BTC, I recall pig in beer something like that. Was pretty good. Can’t go wrong with lobster too. 

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bouncewithme

Has anyone got the rebranded Amex gold card with the 4x MR on dining and groceries? If so, how do you like it? Seems like a solid bonus category where you could quickly accumulate MRs. Only thing holding me back is the 25k bonus. Wish it was 40-50k. I’m not seeing any targeted offers so I may have to bite the bullet with a 25k bonus. I currently have a gap in my card portfolio where I don’t have any card that gets me more than 1x point on grocery, this would fit nicely and also replace my chase Sapphire reserve for dining spend. 

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Little Evil
7 hours ago, bouncewithme said:

Has anyone got the rebranded Amex gold card with the 4x MR on dining and groceries? If so, how do you like it? Seems like a solid bonus category where you could quickly accumulate MRs. Only thing holding me back is the 25k bonus. Wish it was 40-50k. I’m not seeing any targeted offers so I may have to bite the bullet with a 25k bonus. I currently have a gap in my card portfolio where I don’t have any card that gets me more than 1x point on grocery, this would fit nicely and also replace my chase Sapphire reserve for dining spend. 

Find a referral link, if they still exist. I pulled the trigger on the referral link for a 50k bonus. I'd tell you how the card is working if they would actually give it to me. I got approved on 10/11.  Still don't have the card.  You'd think they would want to get this in my hands as fast as possible so I could spend.  I'd guess they are having a hard time keeping up with demand on the new metal cards. 

Still keeping the Platinum for now. I like the louge perks, but I'll have to really think about that value in the year to come, as it is almost the only reason I'm holding on to the Platinum for now. 

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bouncewithme
On 24/10/2018 at 06:03, Little Evil said:

Thanks! I went through the app process and got a message I was not eligible for the introductory offer because of the number of cards I’ve opened or closed. Damn! Was giddy thinking I’d score 50k MR from this. Guessing it’s because I closed my platinum card last year after securing a 100k bonus. 

Edited by bouncewithme

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Little Evil
1 hour ago, bouncewithme said:

Thanks! I went through the app process and got a message I was not eligible for the introductory offer because of the number of cards I’ve opened or closed. Damn! Was giddy thinking I’d score 50k MR from this. Guessing it’s because I closed my platinum card last year after securing a 100k bonus. 

Shit. Didn't know they did that. Does that mean you won't get the 25k either? I'm sorry that happened. 

Edited to say that I just checked my credit report. Amex didn't even hard pull for me. This is the second card in a row with no hard pull. On the down side, I still don't have the card. Just got a weird email from Amex last night saying that my card just shipped yesterday. That's already 14 days after approval, and the email says 7-10 days shipping. WTF?

Edited by Little Evil

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Little Evil

Just got an email that looks like it is from Cathay Pacific saying that they had a data breach and that my info was included. Anyone else get that email? Said it was mainly name, nationality, and title, but this makes me nervous as they also have my passport number, known traveler number, and at least one credit card. 

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skink
18 hours ago, Little Evil said:

Just got an email that looks like it is from Cathay Pacific saying that they had a data breach and that my info was included. Anyone else get that email? Said it was mainly name, nationality, and title, but this makes me nervous as they also have my passport number, known traveler number, and at least one credit card. 

I didn't get that email, but I read that their data breach was seven months ago and they are just getting around to admitting it this week.

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skwashdem
18 hours ago, Little Evil said:

Just got an email that looks like it is from Cathay Pacific saying that they had a data breach and that my info was included. Anyone else get that email? Said it was mainly name, nationality, and title, but this makes me nervous as they also have my passport number, known traveler number, and at least one credit card. 

I received an email from them. Name, address and title apparently were compromised. It's been covered on most of the big points/miles travel blogs already. The breach was seven months ago and Cathay sat on it until just recently. They appear to have partnered up with Experian in the US to offer a free year of identity theft monitoring to the people impacted it seems.

Third big airline information security breach this year that's been announced. I suspect we will see at least one more before Christmas.

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Little Evil

Finally got my new gold card from Amex. If I had to guess, the delay was to package the card in the "pomp and circumstance" packaging. People in my office got their existing gold cards upgraded to the metal one in about half the time Amex took with mine new card. Those came in just an envelope. They busted out the box and glossy pamphlet for my card. I would have preferred just the card if it meant I would have gotten it faster. 

Kind of disappointing card construction. You can clearly see the two sides laminated together in a sandwich, and they don't even align up very well. I bet it will start peeling apart after a while. 

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bouncewithme
On 25/10/2018 at 08:07, Little Evil said:

Shit. Didn't know they did that. Does that mean you won't get the 25k either? I'm sorry that happened. 

Edited to say that I just checked my credit report. Amex didn't even hard pull for me. This is the second card in a row with no hard pull. On the down side, I still don't have the card. Just got a weird email from Amex last night saying that my card just shipped yesterday. That's already 14 days after approval, and the email says 7-10 days shipping. WTF?

I think I will be able to get the 25k, but I won't know till I apply. Fortunately, the referral offer app process did not do a pull on my credit either, it popped up a box before and said that a credit check hasn't occured, and I would not be eligible for the introductory offer and gave me the option to proceed with a hard credit pull if I wanted to. I cancelled out, so escaped that part fortunately, good that Amex has that in their app process to not ding your credit if they know you won't get the offer and give you the option to cancel out.

 

Hope you get your card soon!

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Canuckdave

Working on my latest, Canadian Amex business platinum 75k points for $399 and a $5k spend within 3 months. Will transfer over to aeroplan to top off my points for another RT asian business class trip before Air Canada officially takes back the program into its own hands. Seems to be less choice in the Canadian market for sign up bonuses. I can see having to pay for economy in a couple years :(

As for this year, looking forward to upcoming New Years trip over on Eva Royal Laurel and return home on Cathay First.

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Luv2Phuket

American apparently has decided that status is too easy to obtain.

A friend forwarded me the email that he received, telling him that Executive Platinum will require 150,000 EQMs next year (as opposed to the current 100,000 EQMs).

I just got an email informing me that my Barclay's Silver AA Aviator card will no longer get me $3,000 EQDs for every $25,000 in annual spend (capped at $6,000 EQDs), but instead will now require $50,000 in annual spend to earn $3,000 EQDs.

That's a HUGE change!  I put a big chunk of my current spend on that card to ensure that I got the $3,000 EQDs (turned out, I didn't need them), but $4,250 a MONTH in charges to get $3,000 EQDs?!?  GTFOH!

If they raise the EQM requirement from 50,000 to 75,000 for Platinum, I will likely be kissing my AA Platinum status goodbye

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