Award Challenge: Round The World with 3 Cards

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.14.09 PMYou can actually book Round the World tickets with frequent flyer miles, and while they tend to allow a lot of stops, they often require 200,000+ miles in one program. So I thought that I would do a sort of challenge for myself: Book a “round the world” ticket with miles from 3 credit cards.

A couple of rules for myself, to make sure anyone could recreate this. Not that you would want to, but so the concepts are universal.

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Best Use of an IHG Free Night Certificate

_DSC8410Every year on the anniversery of your IHG credit card, you get a free night certificate. What’s unique about this benefit is that the annual fee is low ($49), and the “free night” has no limits. You can use it at any hotel. So you might as well use it for the nicest hotel you run across on your travels.

Really, I’m just getting excited thinking about the places I can use my “Free Nights” from the IHG Into The Nights promo. You get two free nights when completing your personalized offer. So we’ll each have two free nights from the Into The Nights promo and a free night from the credit card. That’s 6 free nights anywhere! Now to get my family involved. :-D

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The IHG Into The Nights is back to “normal, and tips for remaining problems

If you don’t know that IHG is the biggest mess of a company, then you don’t know anything about IHG. If you’ve ever had a problem, called customer support, or tried to use any of their technologies you will probably want to pull out hair.

This last promotion has been an epic hotel promo fail. Epic. Why they launch a promotion without having the technology in place is a mystery.

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Is United Award Availability Better For Credit Card Holders?

The other day I saw a tweet from saianel who said that he had less award availability now that he canceled the credit card. It also seems that every year Star Alliance award availability to Europe gets worse and worse. Finding a ticket in the summer requires advance notice or some flexibility.

Since I have one account with the card and one account without the card, I figured it would be pretty easy for me to test. So here’s what I found.

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Unveiling Flying Blue (Air France + KLM) Miles 101 and Best Uses

Flying Blue is an exciting program that is now transferable from Citi ThankYou points, Amex MR points, and SPG points. But little did I know just how awesome this program is. So I’m very excited for this post.

I’m very proud of this research. Not only is this a “best use” post, I created the first complete Flying Blue award chart, defined regions, discovered some odd pricings, made a list of which partners do/don’t have fuel surcharges and which partners can be booked online. In many ways, this post will be the first (that I know of) to stumble upon a lot of things.

I was a little down on Flying Blue early on because of their passing on fuel surcharges. But the reality is that they don’t pass on full fuel surcharges on all partners and there are some great cheap redemptions. In fact, some of the best redemptions to Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Tahiti and many places in the Middle East. That’s quite a list to be the best at. Oh, and it’s one of the cheapest ways to get to Tahiti from the US (60k roundtrip).

This is a gem of a program and a couple gems in this post. ;-)

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Stories From My Hitchhiking Diary in 2010

Where I first started hitchhiking from.

Where I first started hitchhiking from.

The story of Caroline and I dating and getting married is an odd romantic tale of me visiting her on my hitchhike-around-the-world-trip (for free hopefully). However, when we started dating, and because I immediately knew we’d get married, I knew my plans would have to change.

To have a real marriage I didn’t want to do the hobo thing much longer, although I was hithchiking across the country for our first two months of dating. During that time I heard of a guy buying one dollar coins for miles, and got into the miles and points thing. A few credit cards, a few months, and thousands of coins later we were a newly wed nomadic couple.

But that story isn’t the one I want to tell today. Instead, I want to share with you my diary from hitchiking. During my trip I decided I would write down something about every person I got a ride with.

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Steps of the Target REDbird [Infographic]

Target and American Express have come out with a card similar to the Amex Bluebird, but the big difference is that you can load $5,000 a month with a credit card for free. You also have the ability to billpay credit cards and withdraw money for free as well. This is a free $5,000 a month spend. But here’s the process for loading the card.

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6 Tips and Tools For Booking Hotels

InterContinental Guatemala City

What’s the general process I go through for choosing to pay cash or points for a hotel? And how do I pick a hotel?

Recently, I discussed how I earn hotel points without credit cards, but I wanted to discuss the booking part. Choosing the promotion to go after, the account. Then on the burning side, choosing a hotel, location, etc… There are a few tools, and a few distinct patterns and habits that I have, and you may benefit from them too.

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Hotel and Airline Promotions, Crazy Uber Driver and Free Sprit Baggage Trick

There’s tons of stuff going on in the miles and points world, but I’ve never been one to post often and about everything. I’d rather save that and only post when I have something good… I figure that way when I post, people read it because (hopefully) they expect something good.

However, there are a ton of promotions, and there’s a ton happening, so I decided to try out a post giving mini-scoops on some of the deals and things going on. If it appeals to people, maybe I’ll do it regularly, but in one post. This way people who want to know about the deals can, and the people who only want important things only have to skip one post. But… I’m just thinking out loud here. On to the deals…

The top part will be deals, and the bottom part will be other related things.

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