Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free Priority Club Platinum Status

Here's a link for free Priority Club Platinum status. Plus stay 5 nights within 90 days after signing up and they’ll give you a $25 prepaid lodging gift card.

The offer requires opening up a new Priority Club account, so it’s for new members only.

Friday, November 5, 2010

50,000 Mile Signup Bonus for British Airways Visa, and No Foreign Currency Transaction Fees

50,000-mile signup bonus for the card. This is a great opportunity. It's not as good as the last offer from BA and Chase for 100000 miles (thanks BA!!) but this is still a great offer. It's only $75 annual fee + no foreign currency transaction fees which comes in quite handy when you use credit cards abroad.

We highly suggest you check this one out if you plan on ever going to Europe on the cheap! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Southwest Airlines 3 Day Sale Watch for Your Airline to Match

Simple and easy SW sales often leads to matches by the major airlines. Dansdeals and Kushal passed this sale on. Keep your eyes open for the right price for your next trip.

Southwest Link

Starwood promotion comes through - Yeepee

So I mentioned the two credit card offers from Starwood a few months ago - sign up and spend $1000 in the first 3 months on each card for a 30000 Starwood sign-up point bonus each - total 60000 Starwood points. One was a Business card, the other personal. If you are new - it's easy to spend $1000 without actually buying anything - search for US Mint in the blog and you'll find lots of info...me, I just paid tuition with both cards, which quickly fulfilled the requirement...oh, and ever the travelbandit, I am getting most of the money refunded by my company! :) :) :)

Well, I already had both cards before so I thought I either get nothing or the famous "incremental" difference to my previously awarded bonus (e.g.:  I already received 10000 a year ago for the same card before canceling it) and thus only getting 20000pts.

Well after spending the required $1000 the wait began and it's now over. I received 20000 (incremental) for the personal card and a full 30000 for the business card. Yeepee. That's a a lot of hotel nights... :) I am not going to fight with them for the missing 10000, that would be an uphill battle and AMEX has been known to take it all back if you push too hard. :)

What can you do with 50000 extra startwood points...well you can transfer them to a bunch of airlines creating 25000 miles for each 20000 pts. transferred for example (20000 pts + 5000 pts. Starwood bonus).

Or, more traditionally, you can use it for 4 or 5 nights in a very nice Westin, Sheraton, W, Meridien....

I decided to use some of it for our Christmas vacation in Europe. I rarely use hotel points in bulk - I prefer the points + cash option from Starwood. That's how we got the Palace Hotel in Madrid (5-star) for $90 night this summer- normally $300-400/night....

This Christmas I am using pts+cash in Paris - at the Meridien Montparnasse ($60 night+2400pts). Splurge in Berlin with a free night for 10000 pts at the Westin Grande, a stones throw away from Unter den Linden and the Brandenburg Gate.

Of course everyone has their own comfort zone for hotel prices. I don't mind paying 80 Euros for 1 night in Dresden at a nice Holiday Inn Express for example because I know we'll get breakfast and lots of points. Paying 150 or 250 Euros hurts so I try to get points+cash or just points....

Basically, it's nice to have options to choose from so go after any promotion or possibility to make pts and miles and then sit on your accumulated wealth until you need it.

 It takes a lot of stress out of planning trips when you know you have pts & miles that can offset some or even most of the costs! :(

$10 Costco Cash Card for Paying Your Wireless Bill By American Express

Via MileQuest, you can Register any American Express card by December 31 and use that card to set up automatic bill pay with your wireless provider and you’ll receive a $10 Costco Cash Card.

The offer does not appear to be targeted, or exclude folks that are already using automatic bill pay to charge their American Express card with their monthly wireless bill.

I am already paying my wireless bill with my HHonors Amex - thus receiving 6 points/dollar every month. Maximize your miles & points by automatic payments!! :)

1000 Miles for Joining US Airways Dividend Miles

From View from the Wing:

US Airways is offering 1000 miles to new members for joining by December 31 using promo code NMCB.
Members who join under this promotion and book a ticket within 60 days using a Mastercard will earn an additional 2000 miles.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

KAUAI - Travel Report by Nadia

Our Kauai trip was busy but quite enchanting.  The Garden Isle, as Kauai is known, is the most beautiful of all the Hawaiian islands and is a must if you find yourself visiting the archipelago.   

Our 4 days were filled with exploring as much of the island as possible which, was actually quite time consuming because as is common on any island, there is only one road on the rim.  Nevertheless, even with more time spent exploring in the car than on the actual beach, we had a fantastic experience.  If you are not allergic to chocolate and love trying exotic, delicious fruit then the Steelgrass Chocolate Farm Tour is not to be missed.  A chocolate tasting is always a good idea and I am still dreaming of the lilikoi, or in English passion fruit, the true nectar of the gods.

Other places worth stopping for are the Koloa Fish Market (amazing poke), Opaeka’a Falls near the Kamokila Hawaiian Village, Lydgate Beach Park, Anahola Beach Park, Anini Beach Park, Hanalei Bay, Ke’e Beach and Makua “Tunnels” Beach.  If you are in Kauai on a Friday night, check out the Hanapepe Art Walk which features local artists and street vendors selling scrumptious food.   

Waimea Canyon is also worth the drive but be warned that the road is quite curvy, so pack some ginger to chew to calm that nauseous stomach.  We had the chance to visit a farmer’s market in Lihue on a Friday afternoon and learned that even if you show up before 3pm you will not be able to purchase anything.  Get there early to put away some of the best looking fruit for yourself but wait for the whistle at exactly 3 to hand over the cash and complete the transaction.  

 Lastly no trip review would be complete without mentioning some amazing meals and this trip had no shortage of those.  The two dinners and two snacks that stand out are our mind-blowing meal at Postcards Café, super fresh fish and miso soup at Hanalei Dolphin Fish Market, shave ice at Ono Ono in Koloa (with a snowcap naturally) and fresh malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts) in Lihue at Kauai Bakery & Cinnamon.  

Aloha and happy Hawaiian travels.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

3000 American Miles for a 3-Day Avis Rental

Via TM Travel World, American is offering 3000 bonus miles for a 3-day Avis rental by using coupon code MUAA022 through December 31.
The page trumpets a discount as well but you do not need to use their discount code in order to get the miles. And the offer also provides 1000 miles on a one or two day rental.
This matches the US Airways offer of 3000 miles for a 3-day rental valid through March 31.

Of course some will prefer to just rent from National, as they’re still making their Executive status level available to anyone who signs up… UPDATE: has been pulled apparently....

250 Free Continental Miles

Through October 31 Continental is offering 250 free miles for entering your Onepass account number on a page that tells you about onboard discounts (for beverages or DirecTV).

Sometimes these free miles post, sometimes they don't....it doesn't hurt to submit....

American Express 50,000 Membership Rewards Point Signup Bonus is Back

If you never had this card - get it - 50K Amex points can come in handy!

American Express is back with 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $10,000 in spend on the card within four months for getting the Business Gold Rewards card. The annual fee is waived the first year.
You shouldn’t need it, but for future reference the ‘Bonus ID’ is 4729 and the offer suggests applications must be in by November 14, 2010 though they warn they could pull the offer earlier.

No business? No problem - apply as Sole Proprietorship business - all you need is a business name - just take your last name and put "Consulting" after it.....DONE...

Current Best Mileage Offer for Flowers: 30 United Miles Per Dollar from FTD

View from the Wing:
Not as good as the offer of 30 miles per dollar plus 1500 miles was, but I do try to keep track of the best mileage offers for flower orders, great for business gifts as well, FTD is offering 30 United miles per dollar at least through Setpember 30, that’s the expiration date listed on the offer I received via email from United but these FTD offer websites usually stay around long past their expiration and continue to work successfully.

Hertz Free Rental Day for Every Two Two-Day rentals

Hertz is offering enough bonus points for a free rental day for every two rentals of two days or longer through January 31. Registration required.
The bonus applies only to reservations made after registering, so if you have any future reservations pending you may need to cancel and rebook those in order to get them to account.

100 Free Priority Club Points

From View from the Wing blog:

This three question quiz will award 100 Priority Club points instantly. (Well, ok, it’s five questions including your Priority Club account number and last name…)
The answers are 15, All of the Above, and Silver.

Back from Kauai! :)

We're back!

Sorry for not posting for a while - we were still in our post-Kauai vacation mode. Kauai was great and our $110 flight to Lihue, Kauai was absolutely worth it. Since we saved a bunch of money by getting "free" flights with Hawaiian Airlines (how to posts can be found in blog by searching "Hawaiian" in the search box) we splurged on the St.Regis Resort in Princeville, in the north of the island, away from the crowded south shore. It also helped that we were upgraded to a oceanview room (see pic) and being able to watch sunsets from our window. I leave the exact write-up to Nadia.

I will be posting all the deals I missed the past 3 weeks shortly - stay tuned.

Friday, August 20, 2010

200 Free Marriott Points

Hat tip to bhatnasx on Flyertalk, you’ll receive 200 free Marriott Rewards points if you become a fan of the Fairfield Inn Las Vegas Airport on their Facebook page by August 31st and send an email to fairfieldinnrewards@hotmail.com with your Facebook Name and Marriott Rewards number. They promise points to be credited in 4-6 weeks.

$12 off your next Air Tran Flight

$12 bucks off your next Air Tran Flight - it's not much but these days - you grab what you can! :)


Monday, August 16, 2010

When at first you don't succeed - HANG UP & CALL AGAIN!!!

From Gary (View from the Wing Blog)

Never argue with an agent. Never tell them how much more you know about ticketing than they do. Always thank them for being so helpful. Even when they’re not.
Instead, when you discover you’re working with an agent who doesn’t know what they’re doing, just hang up politely and call back. And I do mean hang up politely, or at least as politely as you can. Perhaps you have another call, or someone is in your doorway, thank them for their time but emphasize that you have to go and will need to call back.
It’s always better to try again with the next agent than it is to try to educate an agent. Now, occasionally there are genuinely helpful agents who don’t know some of the intricacies of their partners. And sure you’d be doing a public service by educating them. But most of the time showing how much more you know than they do isn’t taken well at all, it’s threatening. After all, this is their job, maybe they’re veterans at it, and the customer isn’t supposed to know more than they do.
And the last thing you want is to anger an agent who has your reservation open, they might write something nasty in it, “CUSTOMER ADVISED THEY MAY NOT ______.” or “CUSTOMER ADVISED OF $$$$ FEE TO CHANGE _____.”
Once so notated it’s often harder to get the next agent to do what you want, even if it’s within the rules for them to do so. So always remain pleasant.
But you don’t like the answer you get the first time, especially when you think that answer is incorrect? Hang up, call back. Call center roullette.
I do this quite frequently, this morning with US Airways which is probably the airline with the greatest variance in answers you’ll get across agents at the same airline, discussing the same question.
There’s an award ticket booked in first class with one short domestic segment in coach. Today business on the domestic segment opened up. Rang up US Airways.
Call 1: “I’m sorry, with partner awards we cannot change that, we have to cancel and redeposit the miles and start over.”
Call 2: “We can make the change, but the change fee is $150.”
Call 3: “I’m sorry, with partner awards we cannot change that, we have to cancel and redeposit the miles and start over.”
Call 4: “Sure, no problem. That’s great news! I’m going to need to hold for the rate desk to do it, but it shouldn’t be a problem.”
 I do this quite often when it gets time to call the airline to book a complicated flight itinerary that cannot be booked online. Have all your flight options in front of you (flight numbers, dates, times, connections) and walk them through it all - they get training but the more complicated your itinerary the more problems they will encounter. Try to call during non-traditional hours as well - call late at night US Time and you will get much better, quicker service I found....if you don't get what you want. Hang up, try again!!!

Hawaii on the cheap...EVERY YEAR!!

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Mindy, the wife of one of my coworkers, and since she's a new and energized Travelbandits blog disciple I decided to highlight a post I did a while ago that will benefit her family and I hope many others as well.

On May 24th we posted a step-by-step protocol on how to fly to Hawaii for almost free (about $110 per person expenditure), which compared to the recent hikes in Hawaii tickets would come in handy.

As we explained, Hawaiian Airlines has 2 credit cards out there-  a Bank of America sponsored one, and a Bank of Hawaii one. Sign up for both, buy something ridiculously cheap, wait for your 20000 Hawaiian Miles to post per card, pay the annual fee $50 per card and TADA= you have a nice 40000 mile balance on your account within, well, I'd say 5-6 weeks - whenever your first statement posts.

Tickets to Honolulu and back can often be purchased for 37000 miles...so you'll have more than enough.

A family of four can save lots of money this way which can then be put to better use - splurge on the hotel, dining, activities or, well, put it in the college fund for the kids! :)

Hawaiian miles can also be converted to HiltonHonors Points - however, the conversion used to be 1:4 and has now dropped to 1:2 :(  we took full advantage when it was 1:4 last year - my 40000 Hawaiian Miles I had then converted to 160000 HiltonHonor Points which got us a very nice executive floor room for 4 days in the Tokyo Hilton (very nice hotel by the way). So now, you will only be able to convert it to 80000 HHonors points, still 2 free nights - nothing to sneeze at.

Ever wonder where we search for how we can convert miles or points into another program? Go HERE put in how much you want to convert and the calculator tells you how to achieve it. Also, on the sidebar menu you can calculate how many airline miles you will get for a flight (HERE) and very important when you SHOP ONLINE (Mileage Malls), where you can get the most miles for your buck. Be careful though - when you shop online through the mileage mall links - sales or coupon codes will not be accepted or will invalidate your mileage-earning eligibility.

Yes, I had 40000 Hawaiian miles last year in October - converted them all to HiltonHonors and guess what, this September both my wife and me are flying on Hawaiian miles to Kauai.....I just cancelled my initial 2 credit cards in February. Applied again for both in April - got the 40000 miles again....that's what I mean with going to Hawaii on the cheap, every year.

If you are a family of four - plan ahead for next year's trip. Mom & Dad both sign up for both cards. get 40000 each. Cancel both cards after 3-4 months. Repeat - get another 40K. Now Mom and Dad have 160000 miles - should be enough to fly the whole family to Hawaii and back for a total of: $50creditcard annual fee x 8credit cards (4 for mom, 4 for dad) + $10ticket fee x 4= $440. 4 for the price of 1....not bad, right??? :)

More details on the May 24th post of course, with links. I can't promise this deal will be around forever so - I suggest you get on it! There are also Business Credit Cards from Hawaiian Airlines - I never found them to be worth it - you only get 10000 miles and the deal I mentioned above is way more lucrative, But if you need those extra 10000...by all means...go for it.

As always - applying for credit is a personal decision and while my credit score has never significantly suffered and oftentimes even increases - your experience may vary. If you have important purchases lined up, House, car, etc.... the credit card bonus points/miles game might not be for you..... I have been doing this for about 4 years and I have been very successful in accumulating all kinds of miles and points. However, one has to be very organized and conservative with it. Do not overspend, do not carry a balance, fulfill only the minimum requirements!! Sometimes it happens that you get declined - it happens. wait a few months, maybe a year and try again.

And always, ALWAYS, plan ahead. I get a lot of people that ask me how they can fly for free next month or in 2 months - sorry, it's impossible, unless somebody gifts you the miles or you are part of a co-op of mileage collectors that trade miles/tickets in between them (I've heard about it but it's a bit sketchy). You have to collect miles and points like a squirrel all year round to be able to use it when you actually need them. You should be signed up as a member of every airline, every hotel chain reward program, etc since you never know when or where the next deal strikes....AND of course read this blog religiously every week! See what's new, what's hot, what's not....

We don't post every day but at least every 2 weeks or more often when there are exceptional deals!! :)

Go forth and be Mileage and Point squirrels fellow Travelbandits!!!

100 Free Priority Club points

100 Free Priority Club Points

Take this survey for free points.

Answers to the survey:
All of the above

Remember - 5000pts gets you a free night sometimes....100 points here and there might make the difference oftentimes! :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hilton Honors Offers Free Internet for Their Elites and PointsBreak List is Out

From Frugaltravelguy:

Exciting News About Your HHonors Benefits

Hilton Worldwide is pleased to announce that beginning September 1, 2010, all Gold and Diamond HHonors members will receive complimentary high-speed internet access during their stay at all 3,600 hotels within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands.
As a Diamond member, you don't have to do anything except enjoy your complimentary high speed internet at all your future stays with Hilton Worldwide.
We hope you enjoy your free high-speed internet access.
Thank you for your loyalty,

The Priority Club PointsBreak List Is Out

PointsBreak Hotel rooms can be booked for as little as 5000 points, for some properties that's an incredible deal.

Here is the link

300 Free Priority Club Points Instantly

Since you can get Priority Club Hotel nights for sometimes as little as 5000 points. 300 points is nothing to sneeze at. Just put your membership number and pin in the fields, click submit and the points should post to your existing account instantly. No account - open one first, Hotel points never expire! :) Just DO IT

75,000 or 100000 American Airlines Advantage Miles Credit Card Offers

Get them while its hot and still working!!
I leave the decision, which set of cards to get to you - for me, the 75000 cards sound like the better deal - especially when you achieve the $1500 with 2 simple coin purchases. :)

  • 75,000 miles after $1500 in purchases within 6 months, no fee the first year –
75,000 mile signup bonus: Visa
75,000 mile signup bonus: Visa Business
75,000 mile signup bonus: American Express (still issued by Citi, of course, not Amex)

  • 100,000 miles: 50,000 miles after $750 in purchases within 4 months, and another 50,000 miles after $10,000 in purchases within 12 months, no fee the first year —
100,000 mile signup bonus: Visa
100,000 mile signup bonus: Visa Business
100,000 mile signup bonus: American Express (still issued by Citi, of course, not Amex)

Act fast - only available until October or so...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Travel report: Lisbon & Spain - brought to you by Nadia

It has been almost a month since our trip to Lisbon and Spain and we have many fond memories. We had good weather for the most part, except for some unexpected chilliness initially in and around Madrid. The entire adventure (and an adventure it was, but more on that in a bit) was great and we loved all the sun, beautiful places, and delicious food and drink.

Our adventure began in Lisbon, Portugal where spent the day sightseeing from Marquês de Pombal, Baixa, Alfama, Bairro Alto to Belem. Originally we had reserved 2 days for Lisbon but due to flight delays (again more on that below) we were forced to take in the whole city in 8 hours. Interestingly it was enough time, at least by our standard sightseeing pace, and the only thing we had to omit was the Maritime Museum. While Lisbon is an important capital city, it is fairly small (not in a negative way) and very easily seen in a full day. We were able to take in Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa or Sé de Lisboa, Praca do Comercio, the Alcazar, Elevador de Santa Justa, Sant’ Anna tile shop and Torre de Belem. No trip would, of course, be complete without excellent food so we took time to enjoy a nice lunch on a side street near Rossio Square, and stopped in at Café Pastéis de Belém. Our lunch which consisted of seafood was scrumptious and the pastéis (custard baked in flaky dough) were amazing. When we ordered one each (they are tiny) the waiter did give us a strange look, but once we consumed our portion and asked for round two of the delicious dessert, he knowingly smiled and nodded. All around Lisbon is a wonderful city to visit.

When we arrived in Madrid we knew that we would not be doing many of typical touristy things because I had lived in Madrid when I studied abroad and Patrick had visited. As a result we decided to do more of a walking tour, on the relaxed side, instead of running from one museum or monument to the next. Our first day in Spain started with a walk to the Chocolateria San Gines, where each enjoyed a robust of cup of thick hot chocolate and delectable churros. That day we took on the Palacio Real, various beautiful plazas, a little shopping at El Corte Ingles, some wonderful helado (basically gelato), gorgeous neighborhoods and dinner at a very cool restaurant in Barrio Salamanca called Teatriz.

While in Madrid we also took trips outside of the city to San Lorenzo de El Escorial and Toledo. Both places are worth a visit so if you have time to spend outside of Spain’s wonderful capital, do check them out. The gathering of Spanish soccer team fans inside a bull ring in Toledo was quite a sight. Hundreds of red and gold/yellow clad fans cheering on their team playing on the big screen at the World Cup in South Africa. Additionally, in the city we also checked out Parque del Buen Retiro on one of the most perfect, warm summer days. If visiting Madrid keep in mind one other place, the Plaza de Santa Anna. It is a pleasant place to sit and people watch as well as enjoy some of the most divine tapas.

Our trip also included a few days in Andalusia, where we checked out Seville, ancient Cordoba, Cadiz and even ventured as far as Gibraltar. Seville is a wonderful city (so-called birthplace of flamenco-we did see a fun show), with both a modern and ancient feel to it. We stayed in the Barrio Santa Cruz with its many narrow, albeit confusing, streets and really had a chance to be in the middle of all the sights /sounds of this magnificent city. Cordoba is small but worth the day trip, especially for its old mosque. Cadiz is an Atlantic coast town, worth seeing if you are into maritime history and enjoy seafood. Our Gibraltar excursion was more of “it would be cool to say we’ve been there” trip than anything special or unusual. It is an interesting place to visit for these few reasons; piece of Great Britain in mainland Europe, you can literally see the African continent and it is literally a settlement of people on a rock.

Now that all the good has been discussed, we should turn to the disappointments of the trip. Since our trip did not begin in the Iberian Peninsula, but rather in Austria and Poland (where each of us spent 3 days visiting our families before we took off on our Southern European excursion), the itinerary was more than complicated. Our award tickets from California to Frankfurt –making that city the “open-jaw” part (then splitting up and going to our own countries mentioned before), and having our Madrid and Lisbon tickets (also award but separate) be a completely different itinerary/airline made the flying part almost impossible. With a complicated itinerary like that, everything needs to happen on time. Unfortunately, my flight out of southern Poland was 3 hours delayed, making it impossible for us to meet up with enough time to transfer to our Iberia flight. I will spare you the tiny details but will mention that we did end up losing a day in Lisbon, had to buy additional tickets for a flight that just left early, experienced a flight with a pilot who was unable to land an airplane, ridiculous delays with no reasons given, melt down at a security check, and pleading to get onto an airplane after the gate door closed. So the major takeaways from this journey are that you should minimize the flights (in favor of renting cars or traveling on trains), stick to a geographically simple itinerary and allow plenty of room for error. Happy Traveling!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Priority Club Chase Credit Card

From View from the Wing:

Chase just launched a new suite of benefits for the Priority Club card that are pretty unique. This of course is the loyalty program for Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, and Holiday Inn hotels.
  • Annual free night certificate. These are valid for a year and are good at all Intercontinental Hotels properties except their handful of all-inclusives.
  • 10% rebate on Reward Night redemptions, up to 100,000 points rebated per year.
  • No foreign currency transaction fee.
They’re offering 30,000 points with first purchase. I’ve seen better signup offers in the past, but I haven’t yet found better for this new card.
The card earns 5 points per dollar at Intercontinental Hotel Group properties, so worthwhile for spend when staying with them (or as I am wont to do, worthwhile for large meeting spend on the card).
It offers 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries, and dining – there’s better leverage for this kind of targeted spend elsewhere.
All other spend earns only one mile per dollar, I’d certainly rather earn an airline mile or more likely one Starwood point than one Priority Club point. So while it’s a great card to have, it’s not top of the wallet for most spend.
But there’s no annual fee the first year, and afterward the $49 fee is certainly paid for in the value of the annual free night certificate.
And once you have the card, it becomes your go-to for foreign spend, previously folks would use a Capital One card perhaps because they didn’t tack on the foreign currency conversion fee – it’s nice to be able to spend abroad and still earn ‘real’ points albeit at a modest rate.
Plus the 10% rebate on points redemptions is a nice benefit for Priority Club regulars.

This is a great offer - especially the no foreign currency transaction fee. I suggest you look into it! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NEW Design - hope you like it....:)

I tinkered a bit with the font, colors and background - I'm relatively happy with the result.
I found this cool background in the blogspot tools, very appropriate! :)

Anyway, if you are checking out this blog once in a while - please add yourself as a "Fellow Bandit" and get notifications when we post something new. That way we know we're not simply writing for ourselves on here! :)

Also, once in a while - please click on the ads on the right side of the screen - no need to buy anything but it would be great to earn a little extra cash from this as well! :) We think all these nifty travel tips are worth it, no? Thanks a bunch!

Nadia will be writing up our Spain/Lisbon trip in a little bit - keep a watch out for that.
I recently organized a last minute mileage accumulation plan for a friend of ours ( she needs to to to a wedding in Japan in September - for free of course) - 75000 Continental miles within 8 weeks or less.... I will put the plan on here in the next few days. Stay tuned - there's lots to come!!!

Southwest Airlines fan? I'm not but if you need 16-32 RapidReward Points here you go...

From Frugaltravelguy.com:

Southwest Airlines Chase Credit Card: 16 credits after the first purchase equals a free round trip and the ability to earn up to $500 in Southwest gift cards for spending in the first three months. The more you spend, the larger the gift card amounts.

This link provided by Lindsay via FT and fatwallet eliminates the first year annual fee.

And here is the link for the Business Card offer. I highly suggest a  "double dip"!!!! I did not see anything preventing you from applying for both. No first year annual fee on the biz card either.

Means 32 Rapidreward points - enough for 2 tickets...Enjoy....

And as always - your Credit is important - don't over commit, always pay in full and keep your credit score over 700+. Simply take advantage of the bonus offers that American Banks so readily provide - you don't know how good you have it. In Europe they could only dream of getting 35000 or 50000 miles for anything, let alone a credit card application.....So got those sign-up bonuses fellow bandits!

Frontier Summer promotion - pay for first bag - second bag is only $1...

No need to register!

Here's the LINK to this promo. Normally the second bag is $30, so you'll save $29.

This is only valid for travel between July 7th and September 6th, 2010...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Interesting trip down Miles memory lane

From View from the Wing:

Top 10 Miles/Points Program Deals of Times Past

10. Free status offers for Marriott Gold, Avis Presidents Club (still active…), Virgin Silver, Hilton Gold, Starwood Gold, Continental Silver just for becoming an AT&T customer.
9. Class of Service Bonuses on Upgrades (Earn more bonus miles on United than it took to upgrade US-Hawaii, the upgrade more than paid for itself).
8. 1-800-Flowers 100 miles per dollar with Delta. On December 30, 2003 1-800-Flowers sent out an email saying they would award 100 miles per dollar spent on flowers. Presumably they had bought a ton of Delta miles which needed to be awarded or else they would expire. So they thought they would generate some cash with this rapidly expiring asset. The email was targeted, but anyone could use the promotion. And it wound up being much bigger than they anticipated…
7. Double, triple, quadruple bonus dipping (Continental, US Airways, Priority Club). About 9 years ago some members earned six-figure mileage flying cross country on Continental. Once upon a time you could fly a handful of flights and earn Chairmans Preferred (100,000 mile flyer status) on US Airways. And many folks have earned several free nights with Priority Club with single night stays. All because computer systems let folks stack different bonuses — many of which were targeted for different members, but those same computer systems didn’t check to see whether the member signing up had actually been targeted. A double error! Sadly computer systems have gotten more sophisticated with time.
6. Savings bonds, travelers checks, prepaid visa debit cards. Over time there have been huge opportunities to buy money with your mileage earning credit card, at little or not cost, and then pay off your credit card with the money you purchased. Rinse, repeat. Whether savings bonds, travelers checks (thanks, AAA!), or visa debit cards which you then turn into money orders, these eventually get shut down — because the company offering them winds up eating the credit card transaction fees without generating real business. But many frequent flyers have earned many millions of miles.
5. KLM Status Match and Millions of Free Miles: In the Fall of 2001, KLM wasn’t just matching status — they were matching the account balances in your competitor elite account as well!
4. LatinPass 1,000,000 Miles: During the first half of 2000, you could earn a million miles (with the dreaded LatinPass program) for flying a total of 9 international segments on 9 different partner airlines.
3. InsideFlyer-Starwood. In the Spring of 2002, Randy Petersen was giving away 2500 Starwood points with each Inside Flyer magazine subscription. Back then Starwood points converted 1->2 into Qantas, including bonuses. 52,500 Starwood points yielded Qantas points. Doing the math, it was possible to buy 21 Inside Flyer subscriptions, transfer the Starwood points to Qantas, and redeem for travel on the Concorde. Donate the magazines to charity and further reduce your cost basis.
2. Goldpoints/valumags: Around Christmas 2001 it was possible to earn more than 100 miles per dollar with your choice of several airlines by purchasing magazine subscriptions from Valumags through the Goldpoints shopping portal. Some members donated the magazines to non-profits for the tax deduction, reducing their cost basis even further.
1. Pudding Guy. Enough said. The dude is famous.

Continental 25K deal for Chase Checking account has been extended...

So the 25K Continental OnePass Miles for opening a checking account (personal and/or checking) and using your associated Chase debit card has been extended until 9/30.

LINK (personal) 

LINK (business)

This is a quick and easy way to earn 25K for a personal checking account (open with $100, get debit card -$25 annual fee - make 5 debit purchases & 1 credit purchase with card - voila 25K continental miles) & business checking account (say you are running a consulting business - self proprietorship, they only need your SSN - deposit $500, get debit card ($65 annual fee I believe) and make 5 credit purchases - voila another 25K. Always verify what you need to do to get the miles from the bank employee (they should give you a print out of what exactly you will need to do in order to receive the bonus miles).

Since Continental OnePass program will be dead within the enxt 24 months I highly suggest earning as many Continental miles as you can right now. Apply for a Continental Chase Credit card for good measure - I did and thus, with2 checking accounts and 1 credit card sign-up bonus I got 75K Continental miles within 5 weeks.
Those miles will fold into my United account soon and will allow me many more travel options in the future.

As the late-night commericials say - Don't DELAY! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY - Starwood American Express Card

Through FrugalTravelGuy:

Now through July 6th there is a special Offer for new applications for the Starwood Preferred Guest card. It applies to both the personal and business card and offers 30,000 SPG points on each card for $1000 of spend in the first 3 months. To get the $1000 spending requirement done - buy US Mint Coins or pay all your utilities and bill for 3 months with this card alone.

Use this link

I highly suggest getting this card - this is even more valuable than the 50000 United Mileage Plus Credit Card. Starwood points can be transferred to a lot of different airlines 1:1, to LAN even 1:2....

In addition, if you transfer 20000 to any airline, Starwood gives you an extra 5000 miles as a bonus...So we are looking at really 35000 miles here potentially! If you want to use LAN Airlines even 70000 miles, not too shabby.

The best offer for this always has been 15000 after first use. SO GO FOR IT - only until July 6th!

I suggest you sign up for Starwood first and then get both the personal and business card (business card - you operate a self propriotorship Consulting Firm....always works!)

Unfortunately, me and Nadia won't benefit since we both had those cards before... :(

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sorry for the absence - lots of miles in the meantime

Sorry for the long absence - almost a month. Well, Nadia and me have been traveling - and when we are underway we don't have time to update blogs or anything else for that matter. Our 2 weeks in Spain/Portugal and Poland/Austria were very relaxing, albeit our travel arrangements didn't work out in many instances.

The vacation was great - the flying was not. Delays, missed flights, technical problems...etc....
Resulted in a lot of sweaty running down airport terminals and begging at ticket counters. Both things we don't want to ever repeat.

On the upside - we had a great time in Spain and got to see lots of Lisbon in our short 10hour time period on the ground there. Our feet still hurt from all the marathon walking we did.
Food in Spain was the highlight (hmmmm helateria, tapas, churros y chocolate, jamon iberico, yummy!) so were the sights (Cordoba, sevilla, Cadiz, Gibraltar and of course Madrid)

We should have kept our itineary simpler and should have just focused on Spain but alas, hindsight is 20/20.

All this mayhem and slight discomfort is lifted this week by the nice haul of miles I made in my absence. You might remember the 50000 miles for first use United VISA credit card deal....I was very worried I wouldn't qualify since I currently own another United credit card and most likely had this one before but, tada....50000 miles posted while we were away...puts me at 125K United Mileage Plus miles. NICE

In addition, my full attack on Continental miles, opning 2 checking accounts (25000 miles each bonus) and a continental credit card (25000 miles) has provided me with 75K of Continental miles. Now I just have to wait and sit on all of that and wait until the two systems get integrated and I will have a cool 200K United Mileage account balance...almost enough to go to Europe twice for both of us.

In other news I am working hard to increase our Virgin America balance since we will need points for flights this fall. I am buying large amounts of coins from the US Mint. Don't let anyone tell you it's over...it still works just fine.

As far as I can tell there aren't many deals currently on the books but I will make a comprehensive update ni a few days, pooling any deals I might have missed while away.

Just one take-home message from the recent trip - when you missed your flight or there are delays which make you miss a connecting flight - go to the ticket counter and REMAIN CALM. We only got a ticket for the next day because the ticket agent rewarded me for being so calm and collected. If you scream, call people names, pace up and down and in general make their life hard - they will make your life hard.
Happy travels! :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My recent US Mint success story

In order to increase my Virgin America Mileage account I started the US Mint game again. It's been a few months since I used it the last time.

By now, the US Mint is aware of my permanent address and my wife's parents address so they will not ship large quantities to these addresses anymore. I am blocked in the system to receive any more coins from them there. :(

However, I realized that I can have US Mint coins shipped to my work as well - Woohoo! This is a complete new address for the US Mint online system so I can order anything I want.
I went for it all the way- 25 boxes of $250 each - Native American $1 coins....totaling: $6250

That will give me 6250 Virgin America miles once my statement posts in a few weeks (+300 miles credit card bonus for every $5000 spent - so actual mileage haul: 6550 - that's roughly what you normally get for 1.5 roundtrips to NYC from SFO, not bad). US Mint coins seem the only good way to earn VA miles right now since they hardly have any promotions. I applied and received the VA Visa credit card a few months ago but it only had a low 2700 miles sign up bonus.

I am gearing up Virgin America miles for free tickets to DC this Fall. Redemption is easy but the points required are a lot....I mainly started focusing on it since I will have 760 VA miles expire in December and I hate expiring miles.....

Now, about the logistics - I went to the US Mint online website - shopped online - went to the "DIRECT SHIP $1 coins" page and selected 25 kits of the native american coins. All coins are backordered because more and more people are using this for easy miles or points....you won't be charged until the coins actually ship so make sure you know your statement closing date and buy coins right after if they are not backordered, if they are backordered I would order them a few days before your statement closing date. That way, you statement closes - you have a full month until the next closing date and about 7 weeks until payment is due. Plenty of time....

I can still get another 25 kits of the native american coins in a few weeks because there's a 50box household limit. Don't worry - FREE SHIPPING even though it says 4.95 for shipping on the first screen, that charge disappears once you order. However, 25 boxes weigh a total of roughly 36lbs so consider the weight of it all.

I will save myself the presidential coins for future credit cards that need a minimum purchase to get miles.

Monday the coins arrived at my work and were delivered to my cubicle. I went to the bank, deposited $3000 at one branch, $3250 at another. I like to spread it out and reduce the teller's work...plus, since the US Mint is probably tracking the non-circulation of coins and mapping the hotspots I want to stay under the radar. Most likely this governmental service is going to stop at some point but for now it's a gold mine. REMEMBER: You are not doing anything illegal - you just don't use the coins for the intended use: circulation. Plus, I highly suggest depositing the coins into a savings account until your credit card payment is due to get an extra little interest boost (which the government then will tax automatically anyway - everybody wins).

So even though a few months ago some were saying this deal is dead - it is very much alive for most credit cards out there. The Virgin America card is a Barclay Bank co-branded card so no problem there....
Amex and Chase may or may not work these days - there are mixed results. The British Airways Chase Visa still seems to work, however, I already have over 112000 British Airways miles - I don't need any more for now.

If you need help figuring out the details of the US Mint deal - let me know.

By the way - you can pay your taxes with your Airline credit card as well... :) You even sometimes get a bonus from the Airline if you do....I have never done it but I will post about it during next year's tax season.

Until then, enjoy the US Mint gold rush while it lasts!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Airline Fees Just in Time for Summer Travel

From a news story:

Some airlines are making travelers pay surcharges for peak travel days. USA Today reports that the surcharge ranges from $10-$30 for each one-way domestic flight and is included in the cost of a travelers' ticket. Customers who fly Southwest and JetBlue Airways don't have to deal with these surcharges. It's a different story for people flying American, Delta, Continental, United and US Airways.
Great - we were planning to go to DC for 4th of July weekend....it's going to be pricey it seems.
Seriously, no meals, no free bags, no blankets, no headsets......next they won't be seats and you'll have to stand during the whole flight....jokes aside...NOW more than ever, the value of collecting miles is critical. Faced with a $500 ticket to the East Coast your 25000 award mile redemption possibilities will be looking very attractive in the future.

Southwest & Jetblue - i have no points/miles in either airline. I have flown JetBlue and liked it. However, since their tickets are cheap most of the time - collecting miles never seemed a good idea. I might rethink - since there are less and less big players and competition is taking a dive. It's just a matter of time until US Airways folds as well and we will be left with American, Delta and United. Let's hope not.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I might repeat myself here....

I might repeat myself with these tips but just to recap:

If you have a cash-back or points card like Capital One/Discovery/etc... you are wasting your time & money. At any time these Banks can change their redemption program (Capital One just recently did by downgrading the point worth).

It is highly advisable to be a member of every airline program you can think of - joining a program doesn't cost any money - just 2 minutes to fill out the registration on the airline's website and then they will send you your membership number (keep an Excel spreadsheet for easy management).

Determine where you want to travel to. Living in San Francsico Bay Area - your best bet is to be a United Mileage Plus member (SFO is a United Hub). In LA it would be advisable to mainly acquire American Airlines AAdvantage miles (LAX is a AA Hub)....and so on...nevertheless, we are members of many different airlines so you have to keep your options open.

You want to get to Europe for free (almost free, you always have to pay taxes/airport fees and the like - roughly $100 per ticket) then UNITED is nice from SFO because it code-shares with Lufthansa. You want to go to London? American Airlines miles can be used for British Airways flights....
Want to sip some wine in Paris - then Delta miles, which can be used with Air France are for you....
 These are all code-share/partner airlines. There are 3 major partnerships: Star Alliance (United, Continental, US Airways, Lufthansa, etc...), One World (American Airlines, British Airways, Aeroflot, etc..) and Skyteam (Delta, Air France, etc..) - there are so many options out there....go grab the opportunity.

How do I earn miles? 
1) by flying the airline and showing/submitting your membership number pre-flight during booking or check-in.
2) By using a co-branded credit card (United Chase Visa Signature Card for example) and earning 1mile or 2miles/dollar spent. AND you receive HUGE sign-up bonuses for getting the card and using it following all instructions to get 20000, 250000, 300000, 350000 or even 50000 miles after first using your card by buying a stick of gum or by spending a minimum amount in the first few months of owning the card....this is how we get most of our miles - it's a real gold rush and who knows how long that lasts - so get in on it!!!
3) By using a credit card for dining (participating restaurants - see rewardsnetwork) you can earn up to 10 miles/dollar ( $80 dinner=800 miles, that's more than what you would earn for a flight from SFO-LAX).
4) By using the online shopping portal of an airline. Shoebuy 6miles/dollar, Macy's 2miles/dollar....whenever you buy anything online - you could probably earn miles by doing so.
5) Renting a car - some car rental companies give you a bonus & discount by renting through the airline website or using special discount coupons offered quite widely by airlines (20% or 1000 mile bonus are common)
6) participate in promotions (check your emails closely) - sometimes you get an email announcement by an airline that state that for the next 4 weeks, if you fly between SFO and JFK and you register for the promotion, you will earn 25000 bonus points....there's a lot of fine print involved but this is potentially very lucrative for miles.
7) by following this or other blogs - there are deals and promotions all the time. Some are really small (100 points for filling out a survey) some are huge. To maximize your miles you have to follow a blog. The best message board is flyertalk.com.

How do I use my miles?

Well, first congratulations for having this luxury. You are now member of an exclusive club of people that can get a ticket for almost nothing.

However, getting those tickets is not easy - there's high demand so PLAN, PLAN, PLAN AHEAD!!
If you wait 1 month before takeoff to get your ticket you may very well be out of luck. 6 months, your chances are good, 12 months you almost certainly will be successful. The more flexibility you have the better of course.

For us the thinking goes: Where do we want to go & when? E.g.: Hawaii (Kauai)- labor day weekend
Who flies there? (United, Hawaiian Airlines, etc...)
Do we have enough miles for a free ticket? (yes on United, no on Hawaiian Airlines)
Do we want to use our United miles or save them for a Europe flight? (save them....get Hawaiian Airline miles)
How many Hawaiian Airlines miles do we need? (at least 17500 each for one-way, most likely 25000 one way each)
How do we get that much together fast? Answer: credit card sign up bonuses. Hawaiian Airlines issues 2 credit cards, one with Bank of America, one with Bank of Hawaii. each have a $50 annual fee but give you 20000 Hawaiian miles after first use. That's 40000 miles total.  
Is that enough? yep, there's a sale so flying to Kauai and back (stopover in honolulu) "costs" only 17500 miles one-way - 35000miles total. So we have 5000 miles to spare.
What are the next steps? Both of us sign up for both cards. They arrive in about 10-14 days. Buy something small (stick of gum) right away. Wait for next statement...about 3 weeks. all miles should post then. Go to Hawaiian Airlines website and purchase tickets. Total price to go to Hawaii per person: 2x $50 annual fee + $10 airline fee/taxes = $110 roundtrip SFO - KAUAI per person (planning started in Feb/March - tickets purchased end of April - trip is in September)

That's just a short example of how you could be doing this.....same applies to go to the Carribbean, Europ, Africa, Australia....just have a plan, figure out who you want to fly with preferably and see if it's possible to get the miles together cheaply so you don't have to fork out $500 to $1000 each......

Just ask me and I'll get you on the right track.

What about my CREDIT SCORE, won't all this credit card applications hurt my score?
Welcome to Mythville, where myths are spread without connection to reality. Yes your score is important and I always advise people that they have to be careful and responsible with their credit.
However, my score has recently gone UP by doing all this I just described (I have applied to approx. 6 credit cards in the past 4 weeks - my score went up 13 points),sometimes it may drop a ridiculous amount for 3 months (3 points or so) but there's not big hit or drop.
Remember, you can have 30 credit cards with no problem if you pay your balances in full. And that's certainly easy if you get a card, buy chewing gum and pay the bill when it comes in. Let's say you have 10 credit cards (all airline or hotel related) - each card has a credit limit of 5000 dollars. Your personal access to credit is 50000 dollars. What's your balance: 0 to 200 dollars perhaps at any given time. The credit bureaus calculate the ratio between how much credit you have and how much you use. Using 200 bucks out of 50000 is not bad so you are not a risky person to the credit bureaus. So, don't worry about your score too much. Make sure you don't spend uncontrollable. Pay off your balance in full, don't miss payments, etc...
You should get a free credit report online (remember is has to be FREE by law) and maybe check your score at myfico.com (sign up for trial period, cancel right away so you won't be charged after the trial ends) so you have an idea where your score is. If you are at 700 or higher you won't have too much trouble getting a credit card....and that's it....

Finally..... ENJOY YOUR BONUS MILES & FREE FLIGHT! :) And think of us when you enjoy your complimentary nuts & beverages on your way to .........(fill in the blank)!!

Delta American Express Card holders - 1st bag fee waived

Good news - some airlines already offered this but now Delta has joined the club. If you own any of the Delta American Express credit cards - your 1st bag flies free. So even if you have an annual fee on the card - you just saved yourself at least $23(online bag check) to $25 (at counter). A nice benefit. Too bad it came to late for our recent Delta trip to New York. :(

50000 Marriott Points for Chase Marriot credit card

Here's the link - 50000 Marriott points after first purchase (stick of gum) & $65 annual fee gets you at least 2 free nights in most Marriotts around the world.... (cost benefit analysis: $65 buck for 2 nights ....not bad)


UNITED Visa Signature Credit Card - 50000miles sign up bonus

This deal seems to be down at the moment - I was able to get me and Nadia signed up in time, she was denied - I was approved - we'll see if the points will post since I already had this card a few years ago.

Good luck to all of you who got it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

35,000 Mile Signup Bonuses for American Airlines Visa, American Express, and Business Visa

Citibank is offering their various American Airlines co-branded credit cards with no fee the first year and 30,000 miles after $750 in purchases (a common but good offer) and now also throwing in an additional 5000 miles after $5000 in spend during the first 12 months you have the card. , 
now and improved offer of 35000 miles after spending $750 in 4 months (remember, you can buy US Mint coins!!!!) - no annual fee for first year. LINK

The most common cards have always been the co-branded Mastercards. That’s what most people have or have had. Citibank isn’t as generous with allowing people to get the same signup bonus over and over any longer. But if you haven’t had these other cards, you should be able to get signup bonuses for them even if you’ve had Mastercard products in the past. And this represents as much as 105,000 bonus miles.

I highly suggest getting these cards - 35000 x 3 - 105K AA miles - that's 2 tickets to Europe, multiple domestic or Caribbean tickets....the list goes on...what are you waiting for...

1500 Bonus Points just for joining US Airways Dividend Miles

US Airways is offering 1500 miles to new members who join by July 31. Just enter promo code NM15 when signing up.

This might come in handy since US Airways is rumored to be in merger talks with United. If I were you - get as many US Airways miles (shopping/flying/credit cards) and Continental miles (also rumored for merger with United) as possible. That way, when all these accounts are combined you are sitting on one huge mountain of miles.

I did the same when Northwest seemed to be talking to Delta - I got as many Northwest miles as possible - around 70K, when both programs were merged I all of a sudden had almost 200K Delta miles - a small part of that was used to fly to Japan for $40 each. So you see - planning & preparing pays!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

50000 Miles for First Time United Visa Card Applicants

I saw several FlyerTalk posts this morning showing this new offer for first timers with United Mileage Plus Visa. 50K for a $250 spend is a crazy good deal!! First year annual fee is waived - after that $60.

Link for terms and conditions - UPDATE: deal might be dead, ask Chase representative for details....

You must do this by phone. Call 1-800-421-4655 and choose apply for a credit card option. Just to make sure - get the name and employee number of the customer service rep. Make sure you mention that this application is only for 50,000 point offer.

You cannot combine a referral offer (15000 for the referrer) with this. Only the 50K offer can be used.

HURRY - who knows how long this will be around. This will get you 2 domestic tickets or almost enough to go to Europe.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It had to happen eventually - Spirit Air starts charging oversized carry-on fees!

After years of paying for checked bags and consequently seeing more and more people trying to squeeze their humongous carry-on into the much smaller overhead compartments, the other shoe has dropped. Airlines see an opportunity to charge you for something else - they will go for it 100%.

Spirit Air has now started the latest fee-bonanza with a $45fee of trying to bring an oversized carry-on onboard. Tscha-tsching! :) :)
I bet Delta & American are next within the next 3 weeks. Anyone wanna counter-bet me?

Here's the story:
The discount carrier is going to start charging $30 for any carry-on item larger than 16 x 14 x 12 inches, according to the airline's online site, which would include most roll-aboard luggage. If you're a member of the airline's loyalty club, the bag will only run you $20, although if you try to check it at the gate, get out the credit card, because the gate agent is going to want $45 if you want to board with the bag.

The new fees start today and apply to flights on or after Aug. 1. Passengers are still allowed a free "personal item," a bag no larger than 16 x 14 x 12 inches that "must fit under the seat." Passengers also are allowed a few "excluded items," including an umbrella, camera, diaper bag, car seat or stroller, reading material, outer garments and food for the flight.
The move is the latest within the airline industry to increase the bottom line without raising the advertised price of tickets (a technique they no doubt learned from the cruise industry). Because online booking sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia offer side-by-side comparisons of fares, airlines are doing everything they can to keep the price that appears in the search lower than the other guys. They can keep rates artificially low by charging fees (ancillary charges) that don't show up in the booking cost, including luggage and, now, carry-on luggage.
Frankly, once carriers started charging for checked luggage, it was just a matter of time before this happened, if only because the checked-bag fee drove many more passengers to bring luggage onboard, a ripple that created longer boarding times and delays industrywide.
(It also led to a brand of passenger that tried to smuggle on bags the size of a steamer trunk, hoping that no one would notice, like an elephant trying to hide behind a tree. Hopefully, this will put an end to that particular brand of stupidity -- at least on this one airline.)
It's unclear if the move is in large part an attempt to discourage large carry-on bags -- you save $5 on domestic flights by checking the bag. Will other airlines follow? Count on it, although most will wait to see if consumer groups try to burn Spirit in effigy.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Simple, cheap 1000 Delta skymiles

From Frugaltravelguy:

1000 Skymiles
I saw this on slickdeals.net today and I thought others might like it: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1925752
"1000 skymiles + 50 4X6 pictures --> $3.17 shipped. First post!

Shutterfly offers 1000 delta skymiles for those who register a shutterfly account and make a first purchase.

1 picture + 1000 skymiles = $1.90 shipped (PA taxes included)
- Go to: https://www.shutterfly.com/secure...c_code.jsp
- Register a NEW account with shutterfly (click "join" and fill out the form).
- On the next page, fill in your skymiles account number.
- add any 1 4X6 picture to your card
- checkout and select standard shipping
- Make sure that the following is selected: New user Sign-up offer - 50 free 4x6 Prints (valid for shipped orders only).

Can also be done for 50 pictures + 1000 skymiles = $3.17 shipped (PA taxes included). 50 free pictures are included with new shutterfly accounts.

Your skymiles will show up in your account within a couple weeks.

Free 1000 skymiles YMMV

Two months ago they had the same promotion but there was an option to have the pictures shipped to a target store (and to pay there). The disclaimer did state that the offer wasn't valid for orders shipped to target but (un)fortunately, I only noticed this after I placed a target order for 1 picture. I never picked it up (and didn't pay) but the 1000 miles showed up in my delta account a couple weeks later. Free!

I tried replicating it this time around, but couldn't find the option to ship to a target store. If anyone has better success, let me know. "

36,000 Points for Free Amtrak Mastercard

Here’s the offer: 18,000 points with first purchase and an additional 18,000 points after spending $2000 on the card within the first 3 months.
Amtrak points can be used for train travel of course, or if you’re an Amtrak elite or spend $200 per year on the card on Amtrak travel you can transfer points out to Continental, Choice Privileges, or Hilton HHonors. 36,000 points are also enough for $350 in gift certificates with a variety of stores.

Continental MILEATHON

Continental’s new Mile-a-thon promotion is now live. You need to register between April 1 and May 31, 2010, and complete qualifying activities between April 1 and June 30, 2010.
It’s actually not that lucrative for most, you need to fly on at least mid-priced coach tickets to earn points by flying. There are good-sized bonuses for higher-priced tickets, for signing up for a credit card (which makes this a good time to do so — extra bonus miles on top of the usual signup bonuses) and for signing up for their debit cards. And there are small points for signing up for emails, or registering for Onepass if you aren’t already a member, or ordering flowers.
Here are the mileage-earning opportunities:

  • Purchase a full-fare BusinessFirst® round-trip ticket 20

  • Purchase a First Class or BusinessFirst round-trip ticket 12

  • Purchase a full-fare Economy Class round-trip ticket (but not for any tickets booked as Z, W, E, S, T, N or L fares) 12

  • Purchase an Economy Class round-trip ticket 6

  • Book online at continental.com 1

  • Book a car rental at continental.com 3

  • Book a Best Rate Guaranteed hotel reservation at continental.com 4

  • Purchase a Continental Airlines Vacations® package 6

  • Purchase continental.com cruises package 6

  • Acquire the Continental Airlines Presidential PlusSM World MasterCard® 30

  • Acquire the Continental Airlines World MasterCard® 20

  • Acquire the Chase Continental Airlines Preferred Debit MasterCard® 15

  • Acquire the Continental Airlines KeyMiles Debit Card from KeyBank 15

  • Purchase or renew a Presidents Club® membership 20

  • Enroll in the OnePass frequent flyer program 2

  • Sign up for Continental e-mail subscriptions 3

  • Make a ShopOnePass™ floral purchase 3

  • And here’s what the point milestones get you:
    Milestones  Mileathon Rewards   5  500 bonus miles
       10  1,000 bonus miles
       20  2,500 bonus miles
       30  5,000 bonus miles
       45  10,000 bonus miles
       65  15,000 bonus miles
       85  25,000 bonus miles
       105  35,000 bonus miles
       125  50,000 bonus miles
       150  75,000 bonus miles or $750 gift card
       175  100,000 bonus miles or $1,000 gift card
    Bottom-line is that it’s worth registering, it’s a great bonus to use to double dip on credit card and debit card signups, and if you fly higher-priced Continental tickets anyway you’ll get some bonus miles.

    1000 Starwood points for stays in April

    It’s not a publicly promoted, it was announced on Flyertalk: you have to register and then all stays in April will earn 1000 bonus points.
    No need to rebook any existing stays, reservations you already have will qualify for the bonus. And in my experience, hotels sometimes even code award and cash and points stays as qualifying, so even if you only have an award stay planned it’s still worth registering ‘just in case’ it shows up as a qualifying stay.

    1000 British Airways Mile Bonus Per Hilton Stay

    Hilton is offering 1000 bonus British Airways miles per stay, on top of the usual BA miles earned for stays, from April 1 through June 30. Registraton required.
    The bonus only applies to stays booked after registration. So if you want this bonus, and have already made cancellable bookings (and this price of those reservations hasn’t risen) you may want to cancel and rebook.
    The bonus can be earned a maximum of 5 times, so 5000 miles max.
    Personally, I’ll still credit my Hilton HHonors double dip miles to british midland: 1000 points per night (up to 3,000 points per stay) is the standard offer.

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    500 AA Miles for an Insurance Quote from Liberty Mutual

    This has been used by many people, many times....easy 500 miles.


    Free Delta Miles - 500 miles

    Signing up for Delta Emails = 500 Miles
    Easy and self explanatory


    These small offers are very useful to extend your mileage expiration once in a while!

    1000 United Miles for NEW reward network dining members

    If you like to eat out at restaurants once in a while, you should really be a member of this reward network. You just register 1 or more credit cards with them and then dine away. At some restaurants you will get up to 10 miles per dollar spent.

    United Airlines co-branded mileage earning for dining program is offering a 1000 mile bonus for spending $25 or more on qualifying dines within 30 days of registering.

    I have earned more miles from dining than flying the past few years! :)

    There's also a dining program for Delta, American, Priority Club and many more....in case you want to earn in a particular system.

    Continental Miles - 200 easy miles!

    100 easy miles are offered for learning about the benefits of the Energy Plus/Continental Airlines partnership by April 30, 2010. Use promo code 57077.
    100 easy miles are offered for reading about earning miles for paying your energy bills on your Continental Airlines credit or debit card by April 30, 2010. Use promo code 57078.

    250 Free American Airlines Miles

    American is offering 250 miles for registering with their online mileage mall and opting in to receive email special offers.

    Offer expires March 31.

    FREE Priority Club points through short, quicks surveys!!

    100 Priority Club points - Quick survey – all of the above, redeem online any time, all of the above.

    You can earn another300 Priority Club points by completing this quick survey. The points post instantly.

    There are so many surveys like that all the time...they really add up fast....
    Remember some stays are as little as 5000points allover the world.

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    Living in the SF BAY AREA? I highly suggest you get a UNITED CHASE CREDIT CARD!

    As we all know - San Francisco Airport is a major United Airlines Hub. Thus, lots of United flights to lots of places in the world leave from SFO every day. Wouldn't it be nice if your next trip to New York, Florida or Hawaii would be free?

    Well it's time you do something about that! Owning a United Chase Credit Card is an absolute necessity in the Bay area in my opinion. The new Virgina America Credit Card won't hurt either but that's for another time! :)

    If you do decide to get a United Credit Card, please let me know (pzequinox@gmail.com) because United has a reward for referrals. You get all the bonuses of the card (30000 sign-up bonus, 3miles earned per dollar on United purchases, etc..) and I get 15000 miles. :)

    Details can be found on the united.com website:

    Refer your friends and earn up to 30,000 bonus miles
    Dates: Ongoing
    Offer: Share the United Mileage Plus Select Visa® card with your friends and treat yourself to up to 30,000 bonus miles. You’ll earn 15,000 bonus miles for each friend (up to 2) who becomes a cardmember and makes a purchase.1 Each friend your refer will earn 30,000 bonus miles2 after their first purchase, more than enough for a roundtrip Saver Award.3 As a cardmember, they’ll also enjoy:
    • Up to 3 miles per $1 spent4
    • 5,000 anniversary bonus miles year after year4
    • Up to 5,000 EQM each year4
    Get started now:  Simply tell your friends to call 1-866-556-7201 (offer code CLKF) to apply, and be sure they mention your Mileage Plus number.
    Terms and conditions:

    1. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks after new cardmember's first purchase/first use of the card for bonus miles to post to your account. First purchase/first use includes purchases, balance transfers, or any checks that are used to access new cardmember's account, and excludes cash advances. Bonus miles do not count toward elite status. In order for you to receive bonus miles when referring a friend, your friend (the applicant) must provide the operator with the same Mileage Plus number used by Chase to post miles to your Mileage Plus frequent flyer account (not your credit card account number).
    2. With this bonus offer you will receive 30,000 bonus miles. You will qualify and receive your bonus after your first purchase/first use of the card. First purchase/first use includes purchases, balance transfers, or any checks that are used to access your account, and excludes cash advances. After qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus miles to post to your account. This one-time bonus offer is valid only for first-time United Mileage Plus Visa cardmembers with new accounts. Existing United Mileage Plus Visa cardmembers/accounts are not eligible for this bonus offer. These miles do not count toward elite status. If your account is not open for at least six months, United and Chase reserve the right to deduct the bonus miles from your Mileage Plus Program account.
    3. United Saver Awards are currently redeemable at 25,000 miles for an Economy Saver Award valid within the 48 contiguous United States (excludes Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the passenger. For more information on Mileage Plus award travel visit united.com.
    4. Earning Miles: You will earn 3 miles for each $1 of net purchases made directly from United. You will earn 2 miles for each $1 of net purchases made at Star Alliance airlines (Star Alliance refers to airlines that are participating in an international travel network with additional information available at www.staralliance.com). You will earn 2 miles for each $1 of net purchases made at retail locations that classify their merchant locations for Visa as a home supply store, grocery store, gas station, or type of dining establishment. Purchases not eligible to receive the 2 miles include, but are not limited to, purchases made at superstores, warehouse clubs, and discount stores. Chase does not determine whether merchants correctly identify and bill transactions as being made at a home supply store, grocery store, gas station, or type of dining establishment. However, Chase does reserve the right to determine which purchases qualify for the 2 miles. You will earn 1 mile for each $1 of all other net purchases. Each year you will receive 5,000 bonus miles on your enrollment date anniversary. There is no maximum number of miles that you can accumulate in the program. You do not earn miles on balance transfers, cash advances, cash-like charges such as travelers checks, foreign currency, and money orders, any checks that are used to access your account, overdraft advances, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, or fees of any kind, including fees for products that protect or insure the balances of your account. Earning EQM: You can earn up to 5,000 EQM each Year at a rate of 1 EQM for each $1 of net purchases at United.com (“Year” means, for your first year as a cardmember, the period beginning with your enrollment date through your December statement date of that same year. For each year thereafter, “Year” means the twelve month period beginning the day after your December statement date through your December statement date of the next year.) If you have more than one United Visa account you can earn EQM on each account. EQM will appear on each account statement; however, under the United Mileage Plus terms and conditions, the maximum number of EQM that can be awarded to your United Mileage Plus Member Number is 10,000 each calendar year. Any excess EQM will be forfeited. EQM are not redeemable for travel at United. EQM are used solely towards elite status qualification. See Rewards Program Rules and Regulations, which will be mailed after your account is established.
    United Mileage Plus Visa Card program information
    Individuals whose requests for this offer are not approved will not be enrolled in Mileage Plus through this request, although existing Mileage Plus members will remain enrolled in Mileage Plus. Authorized users will not be enrolled in Mileage Plus as a result of this request. Mileage Plus miles awarded through the use of the authorized user's card will only be credited to the primary cardmember's account. If a cardmember's membership in United's Mileage Plus Program is terminated in accordance with the terms and conditions of that Program, the cardmember will no longer be eligible for or receive any Mileage Plus miles for purchases using the United Mileage Plus Card. Chase's sole obligation concerning the award and redemption of miles shall be to make a valid request to United to award miles to the cardmember's associated Mileage Plus Visa card account. Chase disclaims liability or responsibility for United's failure to award or redeem miles to the cardmember's associated Mileage Plus account after Chase has met its obligations to United in connection with such a request.

    Priority Club Promotion again...I'm doing it, so should you!!

    Three Priority Club Partner Transactions Earns 6000 Bonus Points

    The offer is up to 6000 bonus points: 1000 for the first partner, 2000 for the second partner, and 3000 for the third partner activity.

    Register and complete eligible activity by March 31. All activity has to post to your account by June 15, and points should post in the second half of June.

    I just completed a E-rewards point move, Nadia will use her Priority Club Credit Card - that's a 1000bonus for both of us already. I'm thinking we will both buy something small at OfficeMax, shop online or dine next...

    The last partner bonus offer was up to 4 partners and 10,000 miles, so this one isn’t as lucrative.

    Unfortunatly the points will post right during our Europe trip but hey...you always gotta plan ahead! :)

    4 night in the Bahamas, incl. Hotel & Air starting from $0.....Yeepee!

    4 Nights in the Bahamas, Hotel and Air, From $0 (Yes, That’s Zero)

    I’m not overly interested in the deal for myself since we have different travel plans this year, but it’s a great deal nonetheless.

    I first saw it a week ago at Frugal Travel Guy and now there’s a Flyertalk thread.

    The deal is this: book an Expedia vacation package to the Bahamas with a minimum four night stay using coupon code BAH400 for up to $400 off. Coupon is valid through May 10, 2010, for travel completed by December 22, 2010. March 19, 2010 through April 10, 2010 are blacked-out.

    Make sure you uncheck the ground transportation box (on the 3rd page of the booking process).

    There are packages from Ft. Lauderdale to Freeport, hotel and air, that price out at $0 with this coupon. From DC I’m finding $200 all-in. Of course that’s for resorts I don’t really want to stay at. But nonetheless, since there’s no minimum spend on the package, $400 off is a great deal.

    Update: Dan’s Deals breaks it down with a sample from Ft. Lauderdale to Freeport, Bahamas (Nassau will work, too, but this uses especially cheap starting point and cheap hotel in Freeport to get the $0 price):

    Step 1: Click on this link to Expedia Vacations.

    Step 2: Type in your origin city, for this example I’ll use FLL (Fort Lauderdale)

    Step 3: Type in FPO (Freeport, Bahamas) for you destination city.

    Step 4: Type in your travel dates. For this example use 04/11-04/15.

    Step 5: Change from the default setting of 2 adults to 1 adult and then click “search for packages.”

    Step 6: Locate the $399 “Island Palm Resort” and click “Select and continue.”

    Step 7: Scroll down to the bottom of the next page and click “Continue booking this package”

    Step 8: Uncheck the “Roundtrip Shuttle Ground Transportation” that added $31.50 to the package.

    Step 9: After unchecking that option scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Continue booking this package”

    Step 10: Sign into your Expedia.com account or continue as a guest.

    Step 11: Enter the passenger information and then click “Proceed to booking.”

    Step 12: Scroll down to the bottom of the next page and click “Accept rules and continue”

    Step 13: Scroll down to the billing info and click “I have a coupon”

    Step 14: Use the following coupon for $400 off and then click “Apply and Reprice”: BAH400

    Step 15: The new total will be $0. You still need to enter in credit card and billing info and click “complete this booking!

    Step 16: Enjoy the Bahamas!!!

    If 2 people are going don't forget to repeat the process. That way both people get $400 off for a saving of $800 instead of booking for 2 and only getting the $400 offer once! :) ENJOY!!