The Most Annoying Travelers in the World

Let’s take a break for the usual talk of earning free travel, and talk about something that, I guess, as all American travelers, we are guilty in some way or another–Annoying others when traveling. I have personally experienced this first hand when traveling internationally, and I if you have crossed either ponds, I’m sure you have too.  I found a really funny article from one of my favorite sites talking about it.  I remember some lady in first class, who boarded with her pillow, and flip-flops, and I thought that was pretty annoying. You don’t need to BYOP on first class–if they give you free booze, and caviar, I’m sure you can get a pillow, no problem.  Any-hoo….click on the picture below, sit back, sip your latte, and enjoy this read…it’s pretty entertaining.  Have you seen anything that annoys you that didn’t make the list? Do Share!

Happy Travels!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

FTU: How To Learn to Travel for FREE & Win Prizes

This weekend, I am attending Frequent Traveler University. If you have never been to any of these, I recommend you get on the horse and get to one (coming to a town near YOU). This FTU session is in the (surprisingly dry) city of Seattle this time, and its a great way to learn about earning miles and points, so you can travel for free! There are also raffle prizes of all sorts – from amenity kits, to free miles on airlines, to luggage tags to you name it. The sessions are split into rooms, that cater to beginners, intermediates, and more advanced folks, who know how to game the system. The best part is–you just have fun hanging out with folks who share the same passion. They will not laugh at your for wearing that airline shirt, that has sat in the closet for months, because you feared the fashion mob, will chase you down with pitchforks. The real value in FTU comes from the social mingling amongst your new friends, who share secrets and tips, that you will NOT read about in the blogs or community sites….SHHHHH…mums the word!!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

10,000 Club Carlson Gold Points for Traveling in Canada

Memorial Day weekend is coming up, and if you are heading up to Canada, you may want to consider this deal from Club Carlson. Exclusively for Club Carlson members traveling in Canada! Earn 10,000 bonus Gold Points® on weekend stays of two or more nights at Radisson® hotels in Canada.* What are Radisson® hotels? They include the following:

These are great value hotels, and have decent rooms. If you are not a Club Carlson member, sign up for free on their website. Book and complete your stay by May 31, 2014 to earn this bonus. Make sure to use the promotion code GPPWKND when making your reservation.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

TWO ways to get to Hawaii for FREE

There are a couple of great credit card offers out there that you will want to consider.  The first is the US BANK Avianca Airlines LifeMiles Signature VISA Card.  This nets you 40,000 LifeMiles, after spending $3,000 within the first 4 months.  If you are not familiar with Avianca, it is a Colombian based airline, which is part of StarAlliance. This means, the miles can be used to book flights on United Airlines, and the many other StarAlliance carriers.  So what does 40,000 miles on Avianca get you? If you your origin is North America, then you can score

  • Hawaii  (40,000 miles)
  • Mexico  (35,000 miles)
  • Caribbean  (35,000 miles)
  • Domestic U.S. (25,000 miles)

These mileage rates are based on a round-trip award ticket.  The sucky part of LifeMiles, is they charge you $25.00 to book the award ticket, whether you call them, or do it online. They also charge $150 to change an award ticket, so be sure you are set on your dates and plans.  The cool thing about Avianca is they do NOT have fuel surcharges on partners, meaning if you fly United, you won’t get dinged with fuel surcharges on the award ticket  Another plus is the website is pretty easy to navigate, and find flights.  Below is the link for the US Bank application page. No annual fee the first year, $75 thereafter. Be aware, this offer ends April 28th, so apply soon!!

The Avianca LifeMiles Visa Signature Card®

avianca_card

 

 

 

The second great credit offer on the block is the new Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard from Barclays.  This is nice, because many people who had the previous card, offered from Bank of America , can also get this one, since this is a completely different card.  This card does have an annual fee of $89, but you get some pretty good perks with the card. There are no foreign transactions fees, and if you use the card to buy your tickets on Hawaiian Airlines, your first bag is checked free. Pretty standard these days, but nonetheless, a nice touch.  You also get a 50% coach companion ticket, but not sure if that applies for all fares or just the flex full coach fares.  So what does 35,000 miles get you on Hawaiian Airlines?

  • Hawaii (20,000 – 30,000 miles) or 40,000 miles for first class
  • You can redeem the miles on partner airlines (see list here)

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®

hawaiian

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Why the Citibank 100,000 Miles offer makes sense!!

The universe is ringing like crazy over the chatter of the offer for the Citibank 100,000 miles + 200 statement credit card offer!  So big, the NSA can’t even keep up with the chatter.  Let me tell you why this offer should NOT go unnoticed.  Here is the reason why: because it’s awesome!! That’s all that needs to be said. 100,000 miles is enough for 4 round-trip domestic tickets, which alone could cost you way over $250 easily!  This is also enough for a round trip ticket to Europe, Asia, and even Australia!  Granted, there are fees associated with this card, but here’s my breakdown on the costs.  There is an annual fee of $450 which is non-negotiable. You have to pay this, and usually they charge this upfront, or sometimes at your anniversary date of getting the card.  Okay.., no problem.  Take notice, you get a $200 statement credit, so that brings the cost down to $250 for 100,000 points!! That’s an awesome deal.  If you were to purchase 100,000 points, it would cost you way over $1000, so I don’t need to give you an economics lesson here.

aa_elite_MC

Okay, so you are asking how the hell am I going to put 10,000 spend on the card within 3 months??  IF you use this card for your everyday purchases, you could possibly do this.  You will have to get creative and figure out the best way, as I can’t possibly note here every way to put spend on a card.  You must learn young grasshopper how to manage your finances, then surely you will be rewarded.  I think I heard that in a Bruce Lee movie once, but don’t quote me on it.  There is a quick way to do this, with minimal costs.  You could do Amazon Payments, which will give you $1,000 spend. Then you could also do US Bank VisaBuxx, as that will give you $2,000 spend (with a $10 fee).  You’re up to $3,000 already x 3 mths  = $9,000.  You are $1,000 short of the target spend, which I am pretty sure gas, utilities, the cable bill, and Billy’s softball mitt, and Sally’s girl scout uniform, and those morning lattes, should cover it to $1,000. Oh, and don’t forget food, and gas for the Volvo!  Voila! You just scored 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles + $200 statement credit, for a mere $280!!  Here is the link below, in case you missed it above. Happy Travels.

Citi Executive℠ / AAdvantage® World Elite™ MasterCard®

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Alaska Airlines Visa Card Promo: Earn 3X Miles on Entertainment Purchases

Looks like Bank of America (finally) jumped on the changing category spend bonus bandwagon. They introduced a promo for their Alaska Airlines Signature Visa cardholders, which nets you 3X the miles spent on qualifying entertainment purchases. So the next time you go check out that new flick at the movies, (this includes major chains such as Regal, and AMC), play a round of golf at the country club, or just fancy up yourself, with a manicure or pedicure, you get 3X the miles when you use your card for purchases  I will not be letting my wife know about this deal, as it could be dangerous to our bank account.  However, its nice to know that you can finally use your Alaska Airlines Visa card, and not just store it in the  drawer after getting the sign-up bonus.  If you have the card, check your email for the offer.

If you don’t have this card, you should try to get it, as Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles are some of the best out there.  Upon approval, you get 25,000 miles and a $110 companion ticket you can use.  They partner with Emirates, and you can redeem Alaska miles for flying their amazing first class!!  I also have a link for the card offer that will give you a statement credit of $100. That will offset the $75 annual-fee for the card. As of today, the link is still good and the offer stands, so if you want it, get it soon! You snooze, you lose!  Happy Travels.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Why British Airways Avios Miles Are Awesome!

One of the best uses of British Airways miles is to use them to fly Alaska Airlines to Southern California.  My brother had accumulated a boatload (or should I say a plane-load HAR HAR) of them during the Chase British Airways 100,000 miles promotion, as well as my sister in law. One of the beauties of the Avios program is the ability to ‘merge’ family accounts. Therefore, the family account was 200,000!! This is a lot of miles and if you know how to use them, they can be very lucrative.
I helped him find availability on Alaska using the American Airlines website, as British Airways does not show you Alaska flights (yet).  Plug in your dates and check Redeem Miles, and whatever it shows at the 12,500 mile saver award, should be available to you using your British Airways miles on Alaska, as well.  That will be your indicator flights are available on Alaska Airlines.

AA_loginAA_chart

 

After you find, the flights you want, you must call British Airways call centre in the U.K. at 1-800-247-9297 to book it.  There will be a $25.00 charge for EACH reservation made, so if 3 people are flying, you will be charged $75.  Once in awhile you will get a kind and gentle rep who will waive the fees, but don’t count on it. Their call center is full of obnoxious, and somewhat rude agents.  They will then book the tickets, and give you a British Airways confirmation code…..which can be useless since you are flying Alaska Airlines, so ask them for the Alaska Airlines confirmation code.  I was able to book 3 tickets PDX- BUR for 45,000 miles + $90 in taxes/fees. He charged the taxes/fees onto his Barclays Arrivals World Mastercard, so he could redeem his points to pay off the $90.00. Zero out of pocket! Not bad… If you think about it, this is actually a steal! Usually it costs 25,000 miles PER ticket.  You can also use the Avios points to book your hotel and car as well, though I got other plans for those.
I highly recommend anyone getting British Airways Avios points, because even with them devalued, they can still be awesome for domestic and short haul trips.  Also, there are so many ways to get them, that’s its almost impossible NOT to get any.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Alaska Airlines Adds PDX-SLC Non-Stop

Lately, there seems to be a lot of competition brewing for slots between Alaska Airlines and Delta.  The recent uppercut jab to Delta, is Alaska Airlines offering non-stop service between Portland and Salt Lake City. Currently, the only non-stop to SLC is on Delta, but that has changed now with this addition.  This is great news for award ticket redemptions, as it allows for greater flexibility in getting to a Sky Team hub like SLC. As you can see from the chart below, this service will begin in June, so looks like the ski season to Utah will have to be serviced by Delta for now. This partnership is a rather strange one, as each of them are competing with each other pretty fiercely these days.  Just recently, Alaska Airlines started non-stop service between Portland and Atlanta, which is also a major Delta hub.  It’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of this, if anything.  Remember, Alaska Airlines is NOT part of any major airline alliance, but has partnerships with Delta, which is a Sky Team member, and American Airlines, which is part of One World.  For this reason, Alaska Airlines is my favorite airline, because the reward redemptions can be very lucrative.  Alaska  has not made any major devaluations (yet) to their award chart, so you can get to a lot of destinations for a decent amount of miles.

Currently, there is a sale on their website for travel starting at $99 each way. 

slc_pdx

 

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Chase Pays Your Credit Card Tab

Chase is running a contest right now, where they will basically pay for a charge that you made to one of their credit cards or debit cards. There is no fee to enter this contest, and it’s pretty straight forward – make a purchase, as you would normally do, and if you are lucky, they will pay the tab! The Holidays are coming up, and I know a lot of you will be flashing the plastic, so you might as well sign up for this perk, if you are going to be using a Chase card, and see if you win! Who knows, you may get lucky. Now in order for you to do this, you MUST walk into a Chase branch, and have them enroll your card(s). There is no online registration. If you live in Portland, this is easy as walking into most Fred Meyer stores when you do your groceries, as they have Chase branches inside, which are open till 7pm. This promo expires Dec 31st, so take advantage. Good Luck!

chase_promo

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Malaysia & Bali Trip – 6 Nights for $1,799 with Air and Everything!

Malaysia is one of my favorite countries to visit, and you pretty much can’t go wrong visiting there. It is safe, the people are friendly, and the food is just downright amazing, with it’s diversity.  Bali needs no explanation, as it’s tranquility on earth, and will be one of the best places for rest and relaxation.   I got an email from Travelzoo  about a deal from Tourism Malaysia, and Singapore Airlines Vacations,offering Malaysia and Bali for 6 nights, and includes pretty much everything you’ll need for an amazing trip.

  • Round trip airfare on 5-star Singapore Airlines
  • Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali
  • Three nights at the 4-star Novotel City Centre in Kuala Lumpur
  • Three nights at the 4-star Amaroossa Suite Bali
  • Daily breakfast
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • Half-day tours in Kuala Lumpur and Bali

If you want to get a taste of both of these places, this is a great price to see that without breaking the bank.  I will have a trip report on Malaysia soon, as I have been there over 3 x already using United miles, Singapore Airlines miles, as well as British Airways miles, while flying their partner Cathay Pacific’s Business Class.  Another great feature regarding this deal is you will earn mileage on these flights, and they may be credited to United’s Mileage Plus if you wish, as Singapore Airlines is a Star Alliance partner.

twin_towersbali

facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail