Points

Investing with Rewards

Hey everyone!

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.

(more…)

Setting up JetBlue Family Pooling

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.

(more…)

Christmas Shopping: Travel Hacking Edition

Ready for Christmas??  If you celebrate this particular holiday, you can often feel like it’s all about buying presents, and has very little to do with the actual ‘spirit’ of Christmas.

I’m all for the spirit, it’s about giving, right?  Now, I try to ensure the gifts I give are actually useful for the recipients.  Or something thoughtful and sentimental.  If I can hit both targets, even better!  I just don’t believe in giving useless gifts.  And I can’t stand getting something that I’ll never use.  I just hate to see people lose out on their money for something I won’t use, you know?

Christmas is such a corporate holiday, anyway.  It’s just as bad as Black Friday, but hidden under a cloak of candy canes and hot chocolate.  At least we see Black Friday for what it is when people are fighting in the aisles over a new TV.

Takes a deep breath…

Ok, sorry about that.  Rant over.  No matter how you feel about Christmas, make sure you’re getting yourself a little something too!  For me, that means the kickbacks from shopping portals!

(more…)

Make Sure Your IHG Points Don’t Expire!

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…

(more…)

Mexico: The Details

If you’ve been following along thus far, you know we had a great time exploring the Yucatan Peninsula a few weeks ago.  True to form, I couldn’t just have fun…I had to get home and analyze the entire trip.  But let’s be honest, this is part of the fun for me anyway. (more…)

First Impressions: American Express Platinum Card for Schwab

Last week, I added a new horse to the stable.

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.

Hey, go big or go home, right?

(more…)

First Impressions: American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business

My first business card!

And shipped overnight, no less.  Long story.

At any rate, I’ve very much enjoyed the opportunity to get started on some business credit history, and have access to some of the benefits of a business card.  I do plenty of little “side-gigs,” and with a dedicated business card, I’ll actually be able to keep them on the side.  When mixing business and personal expenses, things can get a bit tricky, so this is a great addition to my wallet.  Not only for the valuable SPG points, but to help differentiate between business and personal expenses.

(more…)

First Impressions: American Express Premier Rewards Gold

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.

(more…)