Hoping Not To Strike Out When Looking For A Big Payday On Our Activity Expenses

by joeheg

I spent this Sunday planning our upcoming trip to Kauai. While I’ve already locked in our flights, hotels and rental car, that still leaves the question of what were going to do for six days. For part of the stay, we’re at the Grand Hyatt and there’s plenty at the resort to keep us busy, but to be honest, we don’t travel to Hawaii to stay at a hotel.

I found several activities that required advance reservations and most of them were close to booking up for our preferred dates. To lock in a visit, I’d have to pay upfront. But what credit card should I use?

There are some websites that will give guidance on what category will post as on your statement but those are for bigger websites. When dealing with a smaller operator, you’re flying blind.

I could book with our Venture X and earn 2 points per dollar. I also had the option to use our Freedom Unlimited and earn 1.5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar. I decided to roll the dice and put the charges on our Green AMEX. Of all our cards, this one seems to have the widest range of what it considers “travel-related” charges.

Eligible travel purchases include airfare, hotels, cruises, car rentals, campgrounds, trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, tours, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, subways, on third party travel websites, and on amextravel.com.

I was crossing my fingers that some of our activities might fall under the third-party travel website category but the charges are starting to post and no such luck. I’m only going to earn 1X Membership Rewards for two of our activities. You win some, you lose some.

But there’s still hope. When looking at our spending categories, Entertainment includes the two charges which have finished posting. The other outstanding charge is for a boat trip which for the moment, is showing as travel.

a close-up of numbers

Of all the charges, this was the one I was hoping would count as a travel expense. I had a feeling it would since we’ve earned 3X Membership Rewards for charges when we went fishing on a party boat.

I wonder if AMEX will count our helicopter ride as “travel?”

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1 comment

patrick January 26, 2022 - 2:28 pm

There’s always paying using a 5x gift card purchased from Office stores (using Chase Ink) or a grocery store (using the Chase Freedom)


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