We’re working on one final hurrah for the Companion Pass – I’m going to snag a few vacation days, and we’ll plan 4 or 5 days in Havana, Cuba sometime around the end of the year! Obviously, I couldn’t just let the Companion Pass sit there and collect dust. My pass expires at the end of this year, and I knew I needed to get one more international trip. Southwest’s limited route network left me with a handful of option, and we settled on Cuba.
Only problem? I’m starting to run low on Southwest Rapid Rewards.
In keeping with the theme from earlier this week…that’s where flexible points come in!
Well, this is the first time I’ve ever purchased points outright.
I mean, you can only be in this hobby so long before you drink the Kool-Aid, right?
In all seriousness though, this represented a pretty good buy for me. Let’s walk through the process, and then I’ll get to the math behind it.
You know what I find really interesting?
All the stats on this blog, any blog, really. Come to think of it, I guess I just like statistics! (Hey, anyone that tells you travel hacking doesn’t attract folks with a geek side…is lying.)
It’s not a big blog over here in my corner of the internet, by any means, but there are enough people stopping by every month that I’m starting to see some trends. One of the more interesting trends is seeing which posts are the most popular.
My write-up and first impressions on the American Express Platinum Card for Charles Schwab is still holding down third place for all time popularity!
I wrote that one when I opened up the card in July of 2016, and it continues to bring in an audience. Last year, it was in 4th place for total views, even though it was only up for less than half the year! Given the popularity, I thought I’d do some experiments with the Schwab card.
So, this summer the kiddo has the privilege of jumping on JetBlue metal. Guess what? It’s a trip without me!
When I told him I booked his flight on JetBlue, he exclaimed, “Finally! Something other than Southwest!” I haven’t been on a JetBlue flight yet either, I suppose I owe that to the Companion Pass..
He’ll be going to visit some family on the West Coast, and I’m not heading up in the air with him this time. Naturally, I signed him up for a JetBlue TrueBlue account, so he could earn miles on his flight. Normally, I would have stopped there.
InterContinental Hotels Group includes Holiday Inn, InterContinental (obviously), Hotel Indigo, the Candlewood Suites, and quite a few other brands. With their worldwide network and range of brands, I like having a pile of IHG points in my portfolio. Of course, I earned all of these with the IHG Priceless Surprises Promotion earlier this year. I filled out 94 notecards for my girlfriend, and 94 for me, and we raked in a total of 102,000 IHG points between the two accounts! Although I suffered a bit of a writing cramp, the time was well worth it to have all those points!
Now, we haven’t actually stayed at IHG all that often since then. While in Chicago, I did book a Holiday Inn through my account, which kept my points active. On the GF’s account? I got an email from AwardWallet the other day, her points will expire in February 2017.
We have plenty of time before they expire, but I thought I’d cross it off my To Do List early, and write up a little post for you on this cold Sunday evening.
I mean, I don’t have anything better to do…
In my most recent travel hacking experience, I found myself redeeming some of those hard earned miles on a Discover card.
I have to say, I was impressed.
With all my Southwest flying coming up, I’ve had plenty of practice booking flights!
…and cancelling others.
Although the Southwest cancellation policy is fairly generous, there are two distinct categories of airfare: travel booked with points, and paid travel. Each of these comes with its own cancellation rules.
Lately, I luv Southwest. I’ve had great service recently and plenty of good experiences with the carrier. With my Companion Pass on the horizon, that is, if all goes according to plan, I’ll be flying them even more in the next two years.
Speaking of Companion Passes…I should have an update for you in the next week or two. Fingers crossed!
With all the practice I’m getting booking Southwest flights, I thought a little tutorial might be helpful. Southwest’s website is fairly user-friendly, in my opinion, but I hope this information is still helpful!
This post is especially timely, since Southwest is currently having a sale! Book by tomorrow (June 9th), and fly from most of September to December. If you don’t have time to book by then, don’t worry. Southwest runs these sales all the time. I try to wait until Southwest is having these “flash” sales to book domestic flights, as I know the next sale will be right around the corner. Want to know when the next sale is? Just sign up for Southwest’s emails, they’ll be more than happy to drop you a note!