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 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 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 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...