Why I memorized the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

Monkey MIles Phone Tips

We may receive a commission when you use our links. Monkey Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Monkey Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Monkey Miles is also a Senior Advisor to Bilt Rewards Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I memorized the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

The NATO phonetic alphabet is a standardized set of words used to identify letters by radio or telephone.  If you aren’t aware of the phonetic alphabet, I can almost guarantee you’ve heard it in a movie. Every time there is a military scene you’ll hear them use the NATO phonetic alphabet, although technically Juliette is the NATO recognized word for J, not Joker – but I always use Joker 😉 Miles is a cheeky monkey afterall.

Other than Miles being eternally amused at me learning words for letters, this is why I memorized the Phonetic Alphabet:

The service is better. And that’s not Bravo. Sierra.

I could be wrong… But when I rattle off my record locator, “Quebec, November, 2, Alpha, 7 , Whiskey,”  I immediately hear keys clicking and it makes me happy. Usually that’s a good thing…but clearly Focker didn’t use the phonetic alphabet because these clicking keys were not happy.

Back on point…I feel like they are giving me better service, or at least they’re talking to me like I’m knowledgeable, and I like that. Customer service is tough on both sides, especially in the time of Covid, so I feel like I’m doing my part to make things as clear as possible and they respect that.

Foxtrot. Yankee. India.



Affiliate link via CardRatings


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based. 

Welcome Offer

60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months

80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

Super solid welcome offer.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

  • 3x on dining
    •  including eligible delivery services for takeout
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Primary rental car coverage is my favorite

There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 


  • Bruce Wilson April 18, 2020

    “M” as in Mancy

  • Jake from MSP April 17, 2020

    Life Hack: I got paid to learn it when I enlisted!

  • Glenn (The Military Frequent Flyer) April 17, 2020

    The interesting thing about Q is that if you pronounce Quebec (K-bec) correctly, there is no “Q” sound.

  • Tom April 17, 2020

    I called UA in August, needing to change a PNR that had a D in it. When I said, “Delta”, the agent said, “You’ll have to pick another word…’duck’ maybe.” I laughed.

  • Chris April 17, 2020

    The Philadelphia Inquirer once inadvertently claimed that a plane was sitting on “a taxiway hotel” because the author didn’t understand that it was Taxiway H.

    Then again, the Inquirer also didn’t understand that Qatar and the UAE aren’t the same country. Oh, Philadelphia, what a bunch of idiots.

  • Guest December 8, 2016

    Just and FYI, J is actually Juliet, not Joker.

    • Miles December 8, 2016

      Guest – you’re right, I mentioned that in the opening paragraph but maybe I should make it clearer in the chart

  • Jake P December 8, 2016

    Wait a second… isn’t J-Juliette? I’ve been deceived my whole life!

    • Miles December 8, 2016

      Hey Jake – it is Juliette. You probably missed where I mentioned in the intro that I like to use Joker instead 😉 a bit a mischief on my part

  • Dan @ Points With a Crew December 8, 2016

    LOL – I know most of them and try to use them but then I get ones that I don’t know and I’m like … uh…. Popcorn?

  • Phoenix December 8, 2016

    Mamma mia monkey! The phonetic alphabet is not what you memorized – rather the NATO alphabet or radiophonic alphabet – very little phonetic about it, since there is no transcription of sound (see international phonetic alphabet). It’s purpose is to clarify sounds rather than transcribe them.

    • Miles December 8, 2016

      Phoenix – good to know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.