Yes, there was a column yesterday, I was just a dozen hours late posting it.  It was much better than today’s column, so if you’re short on time, read that one.


There is a general point here even if you have no American Express platinum card (and why would you? it costs $450 a year and the only reason I had one was that it doubled as an American Airlines Admirals Club membership, but that was discontinued so I was calling to cancel it).

The general point is that you never know what you might get if you ask.  I try not to be too awful about stuff like this (anymore) — I like a bargain but I don’t like to bargain — but in this case . . . using virtually none of the features that for some people make the $450 platinum card worth having . . . I figured I’d at least let the nice telephone rep make me an offer I might not refuse.

After a nice chat, she said that, well, no, she couldn’t waive or reduce the fee — they never do that — but she could give me 50,000 membership points (i.e., miles) for re-upping.  Miles being worth about a penny each to me in this instance, she was in effect waiving the fee.  And who knows?  I might use some of the other perks of the card in the course of the year.  So I accepted.

I know you know this, and are probably better at it than me, but just as a reminder:  With credit cards and cable-TV contracts and cell-phone contracts and all that other stuff . . . there’s often some room to get a better deal; some new promotion you only find about if you ask.



Tuesday, we shared a double bed from Singapore to JFK, with caviar, for $18,200.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  (Did I snore?  I don’t snore!  On rare occasion I have silent-scream nightmares, but I don’t snore.)

I also plugged the movie “Pride” Tuesday, which you should see tonight if you haven’t already, but I digress (constantly; but I don’t snore).

Michael Joblin: “No need to exaggerate!  That $18,200 is the round-trip price.  And it’s less than a third the price of a Queens Grill suite on the QE2 round-the-world cruise: ‘from’ $66,000.”

[Actually, the QE2 has been retired.  The new QE is not the QE3, as you might expect — perhaps too much confusion with Federal Reserve policy — but just the Queen Elizabeth again, 76 years later.  And what a fine new tub she appears to be.]

Gray Chang:  “If I had an extra $18,000 to blow on an airline flight, I wouldn’t go for the booze and fine food and soft bed. You can get that at any fancy hotel. Instead I’d choose this zero gravity experience at a fraction of the price.  How can you get zero G’s riding in an ordinary airplane? I explain that here on my website.”

Have a great weekend.



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