Wow! My first blog post – I can’t believe it!!! I am so excited to share some of my travel experiences and ideas about living well with you. I have been lucky to be able to travel the world with my family and friends. After 20 years of paying full price for vacations, I stumbled on ways to travel in luxury for less while researching travel destinations online – all of these travel blogs started popping up and my new obsession was born – the world of miles and points. I found that I could travel more, pay less, and enjoy more perks if I got into collecting miles and points. I am still learning, but I am happy to share what I know.
Many of my friends want to replicate what I have done but they do not have the time and patience to keep up with all the latest info out there. There are so many great travel blogs, but some of the content is pretty redundant and I do have to wade through a lot of posts to get to the good stuff, so I will also share links to articles I think would be useful to my readers so that you can go straight to the source. And I will post Flash Deals that go away so quickly, you need to jump on those right away if you are interested. I don’t want to post dead deals so I will delete those as soon as I learn they are no longer available.
There are several things you should be aware of before you should dive into this hobby:
1. You must have good credit and no outstanding balances. Collecting credit card bonuses are the easiest way to rack up tons of miles and points, but there is no point in doing this if you are paying interest on what you spend. Paying interest on credit cards means you are paying more for whatever purchase you make, which is a complete waste, so if you do have debt, please pay it down to zero before you start opening up more credit cards for their bonuses. All of my credit card bills are paid in full each month.
2. All your spending should be on credit cards, but you should never buy something you wouldn’t normally purchase just to rack up miles and points.
3. You will need to keep track of all the credit cards you have and be organized. You will also need to keep track of all your hotel & airline loyalty programs (I use awardwallet.com which makes it really easy).
4. You can apply for several credit cards (from different banks) all on the same day, every 91 days – this is called an “app-o-rama”. You must only apply for cards on which you can reasonably complete the minimum spend during the required spend period (usually 90 days). You can cancel any cards that have an annual fee coming due (but don’t cancel cards you have had less than 6-8 months).
5. There are other great ways to earn points and miles, including eshopping bonuses, dining programs, manufactured spend, actually flying and staying at hotels, especially during bonuses. I personally don’t have the time to do all these programs (except going through http://www.evreward.com for picking up points for online shopping) but you can decide for yourself whether these things are worth your time.