Can’t believe we’re half way through the year. It’s flown by…even though I (sadly) haven’t done that much flying. Luckily, the summer has a lot of travel coming up: Austin this month, Denver/South Dakota the next, and Nashville in August. Meanwhile, I’ve been socking away points and waiting for the time to travel!
As always, you can check out my cumulative points at the Keeping Score page on the top banner.
I have a whole pile of American Airlines miles (thanks Citi), plenty of American Express Membership Rewards, United MileagePlus miles, and a smattering of points with Alaska and Virgin America (soon to be combined anyway). I had a healthy balance of Southwest Rapid Rewards, but I’ve been burning through those before my Companion Pass expires at the end of the year. As for hotels, I have decent stash of SPG and IHG, but I’d like to snag some Hilton and Hyatt points, and maybe even some Wyndham, Club Carlson, or Best Western points to round things out.
Luckily, I continue to build my portfolio of points slowly but surely. With the cards I have, I can easily get Membership Rewards points and Citi ThankYou Points in a pinch, while my girlfriend has a good balance of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points.
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.
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.
American Express just isn’t what it used to be. (Ask your grandfather.) Sure, there’s this lingering air of prestige* when you pull out the Platinum card, but there are plenty of cards licking at its’ heels. You can make (and probably win) the case that a card like the Citi Prestige or the Chase Sapphire Reserve has already surpassed the Platinum.
Whether you win that argument with yourself or not, I find myself with an American Express Platinum card, so we might as well see how it works, right?
The American Express Platinum, Charles Schwab edition.
I’ll admit, this one was a bit of an impulse. I’ve been shifting my focus from credit cards to bank bonuses, giving my credit report a bit of time to recover from the inquiries in the last year. I’ve opened up more than 10 cards since I started travel hacking about 9 months ago.
So I know I’m a week late on this one, but I wanted to post a great deal for Mother’s Day. It’s not around any longer, but I know from experience that this kind of deal comes around every year, coinciding with this little holiday.
Every year in May, tons of companies run Mother’s Day specials. From your local diner’s brunch menu to the credit cards in your wallet, you’ll find a way to save on something for mom, trust me.
This one is overdue: I was approved for the Premier Rewards Gold card from American Express in December 2015. Oops.
As I said in my last post, I thought these First Impressions posts were getting a little dry. So I’m going to switch up the format a bit. You’ll still get all the pictures of the card and even the packaging if you want to check that out, but we’ll focus a bit more on how to actually use the card.
If you want to truly travel hack your way across the globe, you have to maximize your earning. You have to have a few different cards in your wallet. You have to know which ones to use, where and when to use them.
So remember a few days ago, when my brother decided to go to Hawaii next month? I took on the responsibility, nay, honor, of booking and planning the flights. Part of the deal included getting to charge the purchase to one of my cards. My first reaction was “Oh no! I don’t have a Delta credit card!”
I wanted to make sure I got the most “mileage” out of the purchase though, so I evaluated the cards in my wallet.