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I hope the new year has begun well for everyone. December was a slow news month, given that everyone was busy with the holiday festivities. However, reports of customer account shutdowns by banks and AA were a bit disconcerting. Here are some of the stories that I covered in the month of December.

Bank Chief Quits Amid Money Laundering Scandal

This one is quite bizarre. The chief executive of Australia’s second largest lender resigned in the midst of a money laundering scandal. The initial details suggest that among other things, this involved child exploitation. Westpac is accused of facilitating payments 23 million payments between known child exploiters. They allegedly let these payments go through in spite of knowing it in advance.

The Best Hotel Points Deal For The Ultimate Frugal Traveler

Hyatt really trolled me with this one. I wrote this post the night before Hyatt announced their switch to peak/off-peak pricing. While all news from Hyatt wasn’t good news, I still find their points of great value. If you love all inclusive resorts, then you can enjoy some great stays by being in the Ultimate Rewards/Hyatt points ecosystem.

After Amex, Chase Shutdown Data Points Emerge

Chase is going after certain individuals who are applying and getting Chase cards by using links that were not meant for them. In addition, Chase is even enforcing shutdowns of customer accounts where customers have signed up for upwards of 20 personal credit cards in a given year. The miles and points game isn’t going anywhere. It’s always better to tread carefully.

Scorpion Stings Woman Aboard United Flight, Again

Every now and then we come across their weird incidents on board. While nobody usually expects getting stung on an airplane, it’s always prudent to make sure that your seating environment is clean and safe before you settle down in your seat.

How Loyalty Programs Trick You Into Spending More

Do you find yourself chasing status for no reason? In this post, I analyze all the different tricks and gimmicks that loyalty programs target customers with in order to make you spend more money. It’s no surprise that a lot of loyalty programs off late have gone spend based.

American Airlines Shutting Down Accounts For Card Rewards Abuse

American Airlines’ Corporate Security team is on the prowl. A few old tricks worked for a while. However, it seems like AA’s eyes are on it and they’re in no mood to mess around. AA is going after customers and shutting down accounts for signing up for offers that weren’t meant for them in the first place. These shutdowns aren’t surprising given that a few people were opening AA accounts in their pets’ names, just to get additional credit card bonuses.

Frontier Airlines Facing Massive Sexual Assault Lawsuit

While this isn’t surprising, it’s extremely disappointing to see another company just brush aside or try to cover up credible allegations of sexual assault while in flight.

President Trump weighs in on ‘Economy Plus’

As the impeachment proceedings were panning out, President Trump used the phrase ‘Economy Plus’ in order Tweet back at his detractors, sending Twitter users into a frenzy. People on Twitter used the phrase ‘Economy Plus’ to take a dig at US based carriers and the US President.

Another Reason Why Amex May Be Shutting Down Customer Accounts

Beyond the obvious business and financial reasons, there’s more to Amex enforcing shutdowns of customer accounts. Amex built a premium brand over the years and is losing ground to competition. This crackdown also aims at protecting the value of Amex’s brand.

2020 Beckons: My Thoughts, Insights and Predictions

I wrapped up my final post of 2019 with a few of my insights and predicts, coupled with a thank you note to all readers for their support.

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