amex: you win, this time.

We booked tickets to a place that looks like this today:

I can’t wait to go back!! Colleen and Steve are staying on Kauai, which means I’ll get to visit a new island, too. Plus Matt and I will have a bonus night in Los Angeles, if all goes as planned.

I’ve been bitching for months about how much Delta markets their American Express Skymiles card. I’ve been a Worldperks Visa cardholder for years, and have gotten more than one free flight out of the deal. When Northwest went away, they switched the card to cashback instead of miles. I’m an even bigger fan of that, and it’s paid off well.

Because Northwest was kind enough to give Delta their mailing list, I get double the marketing from American Express. I swore up and down that I would never apply for the card. When they introduced the feature where cardholders have their first bag fees waived, I calculated that that would only be worth it if you check bags four times a year (the annual fee, which is waived the first year, is $95. Bags are $25 per flight). Since we generally carry-on if we’re traveling inside the US, I figured it would never be worth it.

AND THEN.

I figured out a way for us to get to Hawaii via LA. Booked as two separate itineraries, we can get the MSP-LAX leg free with Skymiles, and LAX-Honolulu is a mere $350 per person. We can’t get to Europe for less than $900 a person, so I’m pretty thrilled about that. Then I realized if I got the stupid Amex card, it would waive the baggage fees for both of us – a total of $200 – and I’d get 20,000 of my Skymiles back just by signing up, plus the double miles I get by purchasing the flights with the new card. So the two of us are only out the 25k miles Matt’s using for the LA flight, and I call that a win.

Just don’t go thinking I love you, American Express. I’m just using you for your perks.

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