American Express

24 Lounge Visits & $1,200 In Free Credit Card Spend For $19.99

Sky Guide Executive Privilege Club

As I stated earlier this week, I did my first App-O-Rama and applied for a whopping 8 new Credit Cards which should earn me around 420,000 Miles & Points. I was approved for all of them without question.

I already talked about one of the Cards I got, the American Express Platinum Card, and why if you have ever thought about getting it, now is the time. Basically you can parlay the $200 Annual Airline Credit into $400 – $600 in Airline Gift Cards.

For the 8 new Credit Cards that I signed up for, I am going to have to spend around $14,000! Most of that will be achieved through Vanilla Reload Cards, however to avoid making it look suspicious, I am going to throw in some other tricks.

To reach some of the spending on the AMEX Platinum and to avoid getting hit with the dreaded AMEX Financial Review, I am going to sign up for the Sky Guide Executive Privilege Club .

For those of you not familiar with the Sky Guide Executive Privilege Club, it is a program run through American Express Publishing that gets you Airport Lounge Access for a small yearly fee.

For the offer I signed up for, I paid $19.99 for 1 year of membership in the program. As a member, I am granted 12 Lounge visits every Calendar Year. I can visit almost any Airport Lounge, purchase a Day Pass, and get reimbursed for it.

For the savvy Readers, you know that the AMEX Platinum comes with free Lounge Access to American, US Airways, and Delta lounges, so on the surface this offer seems kind of silly. The real beauty in this deal is that Sky Guide will reimburse you via Check for the cost of the Day Passes, as long as you mail in your Receipts within 30 days.

For anyone who has ever had to buy a Day Pass to a Airport Lounge, it is around $50!

If you do the math, every Calendar Year, you can get up to $600 (12 Lounge Passes x $50) for $19.99. It is currently November, so there is still 1 1/2 months left in this year for me to purchases 12 Lounge Passes and then the clock resets in 2013 so I am able to purchase another 12 Lounge Passes! The best part is that you can put all that spend on your Credit Card!

Conveniently, I am doing the Domestic leg of the Star Mega DO 4 next week, which involves a lot of stops at Airports…

My Plan

I leave this evening from O’Hare to go to LA for a few days. Even though I am using the Free One Way from my last trip to France and it is in Business Class, United doesn’t allow Lounge Access if you are flying domestically! Thankfully I am registered for Sky Guide, so I can now simply purchase a $50 Lounge Pass and get reimbursed!

From LA, I am flying to San Francisco on Monday via Southwest. Southwest doesn’t have a Lounge but in the Southwest “terminal” at LAX, I know there is a US Airways Club. Even though I technically have access to US Airways Lounges with my AMEX Platinum Card, I’ll play dumb and buy another $50 day pass.

Depending on how much time I have, I might also try to buy an AA Admirals Club Day Pass at LAX.

When I land in SFO, I am again going to try to visit the United and AA Lounges and see if they will let me buy a Day Pass, even though I am not technically flying that day!

When the Mega DO departs SFO, I plan on doing the same thing and buying a few more Lounge Passes in Houston and Chicago!

All in all, if I calculated it right, on this ORD-LAX-SFO-IAH-ORD trip, I hopefully should be able to buy 4 – 8  lounge passes for $200 – $400 in free Credit Card spend!

This works out well because I have 2 more trips in 2012, so I should be able to finish off the other 4 Lounge Passes then, so I can have purchased 12 Lounge Passes in 2012. Hopefully in 2013, I’ll be able to do something similar.

Basically for $19.99, over the next year, I should get 24 Lounge Day Passes as well as $1,200 in free spend on my AMEX Credit Card! Not a bad deal!

The Fine Print

Of course there are a few catches to this entire deal:

  • You Have To Mail Your Receipts In Via Certified Mail Within 30 Days!

If you don’t do that, then you are out $50. This is where they make their money, similar to most “Free After Rebate” offers. The Company that runs this promotion is hoping that you are too lazy to send in your receipts to be reimbursed.

  • It Takes Up To 1 Month To Receive Your Reimbursement Check
  • Have To Register With An American Express Card. Although Purchases Can Be With Any Card
  • You Can Only Get Reimbursed For 1-Day Passes. Not Full Lounge Membership
  • You Have To Remember To Cancel Your Subscription Before 1 Year Or They May Auto Bill You For The Next Year
  • American Express Publications May Sell Your Name, Address, and Email To 3rd Parties
  • Every Person Has To Register Separately With Executive Club

Unfortunately, you can’t buy 2 Lounge Passes for you and your Spouse and get reimbursed. Your Spouse has to be registered separately with Sky Guide to get Lounge Access.

How to Sign Up For Sky Guide Executive Privileges Club

To sign up for Sky Guide Executive Privileges Club, use this link.

Within 30 minutes or so, you should receive an email from them. If you don’t get it, check your SPAM folder. In some cases on FlyerTalk, people have reported that it can take a few days to get the email.

Once you get the email, follow the instructions to register with Sky Guide Executive Privileges Club.

Once you are registered, you will get an email from them confirming your membership. Once you get that, you are good to go. You should receive your official packet from Sky Guide in 4 -6 weeks, but you can start getting Lounge Passes as soon as you are officially registered online.

If you have any questions on Sky Guide, there is an extensive thread on FlyerTalk and MilePoint that answer almost every question imaginable.

FlyerTalk Sky Guide Thread

MilePoint Sky Guide Thread

Recap

Although there are quite a few hoops to jump through to get reimbursed, overall Sky Guide Executive Privileges Club seems like an extremely valuable offer for 3 reasons:

1. If you don’t have Elite Status, this is a cheap and easy way to to get Lounge Access without having to fly 50,000 Miles or get a Lounge Access Credit Card that comes with a hefty Annual Fee.

2. Sky Guide is great for United Elites who might not normally get Lounge Access on Domestic Flights or with their AMEX Platinum Card.

3. It is extremely easy and free way to get $1,200 in Credit Card spend!

Once I get all my Lounge Passes and submit them for reimbursement, I will update everyone on the process.

-Parag

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