Senator Robert Menendez — possibly corrupt, definitely bad at using AmEx reward points

Over at Vox, a great rundown of one of the (many, many) mistakes that Senator Robert Menendez recently made:

Only a jury can decide whether Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is guilty of corruption, but based on the facts alleged in the federal indictment he is definitely guilty of poor credit card reward points management.

Consider this:

From on or about April 8, 2010, through on or about April 11, 2010, MENENDEZ stayed in an executive suite at the five-star Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme valued at $4,934.10. MENENDEZ solicited and accepted from MELGEN 649,611 American Express Membership Rewards points (hereinafter “AmEx points”) in order to pay for the suite.

In other words, Menendez and Melgen scored about 0.76 cents’ worth of value per AmEx point. That’s not very good.

Vox goes on to suggest that he should have transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt or transferred those Membership Rewards Points to SPG points for better redemption value.

Come on!

Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt, sure. But Membership Rewards to SPG?? You only get a 3:1 transfer from Membership Rewards to SPG!

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