The Irony of Miles & Points

Sometimes I wake up and I realize just how unbelievable all of this is. Just the irony of who we are, and where we are. It’s the story of sleeping on the beach, and sleeping at the JW Marriott in the same week.



Follow me for one second…

We’re 26 and 28 and I’ve been to over 40 countries. We’ve seen more islands than most americans have seen states I bet. Just off my head, Bali, Fiji, Easter Island, Aruba, Langkawi, Guam, Saipan, Puerto Rico, Zakynthos, Phi Phi, Koh Samui, etc…

We’ve been around the world and seen places I used to dream of going. Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Colosseum, the Parthenon. We’ve stayed downtown in 5 star hotels in Hong Kong, Sydney, London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Panama City, Budapest, Tokyo, Johannesburg, and so many more.

But you know what I haven’t noticed until lately? You don’t really see many 20-somethings in shwank 5 star hotels.

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Please, Stop Listening to Bloggers and Getting Crappy Rewards Cards!

I’m just going to analyze some of the popular credit cards to talk about right now, and give my non-bias opinion. And then I’ll give alternatives, if the previously mentioned cards suck.

Let me sum this up:

  • There are 3 Delta cards with a 50,000 mile offer… and they all suck, but I’ll steer you straight.
  • The Marriott card at 70k is still not the best hotel card no matter which way you slice it.
  • The Virgin 90k offer, is not actually 90k, that’s deceitful and it certainly sucks.
  • The new Citi 2% cash back card… sucks really bad.
  • New Everyday Amex cards suck

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What I Didn’t Say About United Open-Jaws

So I said open-jaws on stopovers were illegal. But, I did share the exceptions, and I did tell you back tracking is possible… but I didn’t connect the dots, yet.

Recently I published the Complete Guide to United Routing Rules. I’m extremely proud of this post partly because it’s just good, and partly because a lot of the research is mine. United doesn’t [really] publish their routing rules, and I didn’t see anyone else researching the most powerful zones, connection limits, test stopovers and open-jaws and all that crap.

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Best Use of Malaysia Airlines Enrich Miles

Malaysia Airlines is a heck of a program. Particularly the award chart for actually flying on Malaysia is actually pretty decent. Then there are all kinds of options with a 15% discount booking online, and stack that with cash + miles redemptions.

Right now, you could book a business class ticket for $1,500 with cash + miles and just with the 1,000 bonus miles for creating an account.

But first I’ll go over all the details, all the different stopover rules, all the different award charts, and companion travel awards. This is a heck of a program to outline, and I’m not aware of any other writings on this program, so it’s my pleasure to present you with an outline of our new Citi transfer (1:1)… *drum roll* the awkward, the mediocre: Malaysia Airlines Enrich Miles.

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The Complete Guide to United Award Routing Rules

The Complete Guide to United Award Routing Rules

United Award Routing Rules: Intro


This site has been the first to publish many of the routing rules for United. And in many ways, it’s the only site to make any attempt to write about the subject. This is because the rules are not published by United itself, and many of the details of United’s routing rules were actually discovered myself.

Last year, I took the first crack on the internet for explaining United’s stopover rules, and went into details regarding how United restricts flights via regions to set up the post. I continued to write about segment rules, United’s errors and the like, but I realized that it was never in one place… until today.

The goal is for this to be the most comprehensive writing on United’s routing rules that exists, in blogs, forums or United.

Here is a summary of the rules you’ll find in this guide:

1.) United’s Region based rules

  • Europe can’t be combined with Oceania or Australia
  • Africa can’t be combined with Oceania or Australia
  • The Middle East can’t be combined with Oceania
  • South America can hardly combine with anything
  • 2.) Stopovers & Open-Jaws

  • 1 stopover
  • 2 open-jaws
  • Open-jaws can not be added to the stopover, but can be added to the destination (indicated by the pricing of the region) or when returning home to a different airport
  • Only allowed on roundtrips
  • 3.) Connections

  • The following regions have limits on connections (4 connections on roundtrips, and 3 connections on oneways): Australia, Oceania, Japan,SE Asia, North Asia, and Central Asia. Every other region has no limit to connections.
  • 4.) Booking Errors

    Click to Read More…

    Free Phone and Internet Plans for Travelers

    Actual Free Phone Plans (non-wifi):


    FreedomPop is what inspired this post. BikeGuy and GoMike deserve a hat-tip for sharing this with me. And I wrote this entire thing to post last week, and then decided to see if FreedomPop has an affiliate program. They do, and now I’m posting with the hopes of making tens of dollars… or at least ten. Point is; affiliate links are after the fact, just so you know I actually love FreedomPop that much.

    Link: FreedomPop Phone. FreedomPop is a free sprint phone plan. I kid you not.

    Per month, you get:

    • 200 minutes
    • 500 texts
    • 500 mb of data

    For free. If you want to go over that, or if you happen to go over that, you pay for extra data. You can get a plan for more data, or pay per minute/text/MB of data that you go over.

    Click to Read More…

    Pre-Introducting: Our Completely Free Trip Series

    This is the pre-post of the post explaining my first series on a completely free trip. $0 in hotels. $0 in airlines (+ $0 in taxes and fuel surcharges).

    This takes free travel from a theory to real life examples. We’ll show what every flight and every hotel costs and give screen shots the entire way.

    The concept is this… all the time on this blog, or in reply to this blog, people point out that travel is not free. Their proof? They spent lots of money on their last miles/points trip.

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    Maximizing The Southwest Companion Pass

    The Southwest Companion Pass is [arguably] the best value two credit cards can get you. I mean, anytime you fly, one person gets to fly with you for free! Doesn’t matter if you paid in points or cash, the second person’s flight is free.

    This Companion Pass lasts the entire rest of the calendar year, and all of the next calendar year. Potentially two years of free flights for one companion. Plus, you have 110,00 Southwest points which qualify for the free flight.

    Personally, we had this thing most of 2011 and all of 2012 and by the time it expired we still had more than 30,000 Southwest points left. Took ~13 flights and still lasted the entire time for us, and then some.

    Here’s what you’ll find in this post:

    • Getting the companion pass
    • Timing your companion pass
    • How to Make Your Companion Pass Last Longer
    • Finding Southwest Deals
    • Caribbean Destinations (and all points hotels)

    Click to Read More…