Re: I have peaked too early in [FF] life...

Rohit Khare (
Sat, 14 Sep 96 19:43:23 -0400

Mark Lundstrom wrote on 16:26:42 Sat, 14 Sep 1996:

> What is TripsPlus? A frequent flyer scam that I don't know about? Wow. Do
> tell...

[See below for short answer]

Well, it's actually the cause of my downfall, or as Jim Whitehead noted, the
Voice of the Dark Side itself...

I was faced on Friday with the prospect of buying these tickets myself, and
aside from floating the $8k, I wondered what payment instrument to use (that
being my day job and all... )

I could use my AmEx, which is 1 per, but it's unclear what it would do to my
"we-won't-tell-you" no set limit account. (also, they aren't good for United

I could use my shiny new MileagePlus First Card, which is 1 per on United,
and leave my Amex alone for travel use.

But... I was tempted by my greed. United Travel Card is offering 2 per, but
it's only good for buying United products. I tried all day long and failed to
convince them they should extend me that kind of credit.

So, defeated, I went home and checked my mail, and I just received the Terms
and Conditions for my new FirstCard -- including coupons for Alamo, and a
*triple* miles offer for airline tickets -- any airline!

And of course, at the very moment my greed finally got the better of me and I
called them up, Bob went to go buy the tix for us. Bad move -- like any
travel agency, they got their sticky mitts on my reservation and wouldn't let
it go...
I have a dozen voice mail messages that night to prove it, too!

> In short, TripsPlus is a marketing partner of FirstCard;
> this travel agency rebates you about 4% in the form of
> miles, presumably out of its commissions. 1-800-898-PLUS

There are other Internettable firms that claim to rebate up to 7% of what
they take in, but remember that commissions these days are limited to $50
domestic and $250 int'l these days -- that could have been $350 cash under the
cap; TripsPlus (for Premier and above) has no limit, so that netted $480 in

Note too that "refunding" travel agents may also scam you into paying a
"membership" fee.

So to close off a long story, in a period of seven days, I've maxed out a
$10,000 limit Gold MasterCard, too :-)


Rohit Khare -- World Wide Web Consortium -- Technical Staff
w: 617/253-5884  --   f: 617/258-5999   --  h: 617/491-5030
NE43-354,  MIT LCS,  545 Tech Square,  Cambridge,  MA 02139