What Travel Credit Cards Do I Actually Have?

Allen commented the other day saying:

“Hello Drew,

I have been following your blog for months now, it’s the best travel hacking blog out there for sure.
I was wondering if you can tell me a list of cards you currently possess, or perhaps even do a blog post on it?


Well, you know how to start a question. ;-) Plus! Insert affiliate link banner ad here:



Okay, but really. Besides the fact I get paid when people sign up for a few of the cards I’ll mention via my credit card links… I know it’s something I don’t write about often, despite it being important. Perhaps other people have it covered so well. ;-) But forizzle, I am methodical about the cards I have.

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8 Tips For Lucky And Full Time Hotel Living

We’ve been married for nearly 3 years and two of those years have been spent as full time travelers, nomads, vagabonds, gypsies, full time hotel livers, semi-homeless, whatever you want to call it.

Recently I did a post on Best Photos From 2 Years of Travel. Similarly I have a list of hotels we’ve stayed at in the last 2+ years. We’ve stayed at 113 different hotels and 74 were paid for by points (and a few on mistake fares). In an attempt to be transparent, I’ll share my [mostly] accurate spread sheet here (number of nights aren’t always complete and there are hotels all over Asia and South America that ran us ~$10 a night that I just haven’t included as I don’t even know what they are) but more importantly is the “how”.

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Making Plans Is Not My Style / Our Asia Travels

After the holiday break and then our trip to Italy, we had planned on going to SE Asia but there was a problem with my passport. See I only had 1 blank page in my passport. That’s it. And to fly into Bali you need 2. Heck, to fly into a lot of places you need 2.

So Dr. Google told me that I could fly into the rest of Indonesia with 1 page, and that I could add pages in Jakarta before heading to Bali. Plus, KL and BKK are interesting cities, maybe Jakarta would be as well.

Just as most of our trips start, I got on AA.com and booked two tickets to Jakarta for 35,000 miles and something like $22 in taxes… for the next day. We had already spent about two weeks visiting friends in Cville and they’re probably used to seeing us leave on a whim.


For whatever reason, the flights weren’t that bad. Charlottesville to Chicago, Chicago to Hong Kong. Spend the night at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, and then continue to Jakarta.

Being AA Ex Plats, we had access to the Cathay First Class Lounge, “The Wing”. It’s the first time we’ve been there since the renovation 2 years ago… and dang. That is a great lounge. The food is spectacular. And they gave us a premium economy upgrade for the next flight.

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Master Charts to Avoiding Fuel Surcharges (YQ)

You want to go somewhere far away, but some of the miles you have will pass on fuel surcharges and some won’t. And of the miles that pass on massive fuel surcharges, the charges apply to to some airlines and not others.

These charts that I’ve put together let you know who you can fly with to avoid fuel surcharges.

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8 Things I Do NOT Do For Miles

I never killed a man… not for miles anyways.

Ok really, people do some crazy things for miles. And I’d love to share a few off of my “crazy things done for miles” list. But there are things I won’t do. Like arsen.

No, really this time. I mean things that are typically done in this game that I draw the line at, or am just too lazy to do. Rather, I don’t find worth it. Here are 8 examples.

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Announcing our first “Complete Guide”

The frequent flyer world is absolutely crazy! Diving into the world of frequent flyer miles is kind of like jumping into a sport and learning the complex team strategies without ever learning the basics, like how to throw or catch.

There are so many different types of currencies, bank points, airlines, hotels, etc… and within each of these currencies, each program has different rules. For example some points can be transferred to certain miles programs. And certain miles programs can be booked on certain airlines.

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The NEW United’s Stopover and Routing Rules Secrets… with Pictures

It’s finally here. This post has some of the most unique and useful tricks for tricking United’s pricing system and showcases all of United’s stopover rules.

However, the content has been dated and some of the prices have been off since United changed their award chart. But today I’ve redone the post with current prices and concepts!

While this is a more advanced post, it might be an eye opening read. If you have United miles, know that when making an award booking, you are allowed 1 stopover and 2 open-jaws. We’ll see just how far we can push that!

Let’s begin with… Routes that are not allowed starting from North America:

Combining Europe and Oceania is not allowed… nor is combining Africa and Australia.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 9.54.02 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 9.52.28 PM

Combining Europe and Australia is not allowed… nor is combining Africa and Oceania.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 9.52.48 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 9.53.27 PM

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Combining the Middle East and Oceania is not allowed.

South America is the land of not allowed, as you can’t combine it with any of the following places:

SA no no

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