We had a cancelled flight yesterday SFO to IAD and did not get notice. I guess United Easy Update forgot us. We ended up leaving SFO 2 hours later and routing through Chicago instead of Washington, lost our first class upgrade to Chicago and made it home about midnight. Today is catch up with the mail and as always, where do we stand with our Frequent Flyer Promotions.
I keep fairly accurate records in my notebook and know Katy and I are both in the Chase Bank new account and debit card deal for the Continental 20K miles. I am also going to get involved in the Delta Airlines 5000 mile per car rental deal. As a matter of fact, Katy and I each pick up a rental car at noon tommorrow to start adding to our accounts. She currently has 25K in Delta, I have none, so I’m committing to do at least 5 rentals to get to 25K. NOTE: BACK to BACK RENTALS may NOT qualify. Do one one day and your friend or spouse the next.
One of the secrets to my travel success is my ability to trade my awards with others. I may never use the 25K Delta miles I’ll get as a minimum with this deal. But I will trade them with another frequent flyer for something I need or want. I’ll have $105 in the 25K miles, but I can probably trade that to someone for 16,000 SPG points which is 4 nites hotels at about $125 each retail. Or maybe I’ll trade for a Systemwide upgrade on United which moves me from coach to Business Class anywhere they fly. Would you pay the equivalent of $105 to move up to Business Class when flying from the USA to Southeast Asia? I will in a heart beat.
We are basically looking for three prime commodities: free airfare, upgraded airfare and hotel rooms. To some lesser extent free car rentals are nice too and I also trade for $ off coupons on either hotels or airfare. Yesterday while in O’hare I traded a $200 NorthWest credit I have for 4-$100 off vouchers on United Airlines.
I know I’ll use them before exploration, so I figure I made $200 while sitting in the airport lounge.
The ultimate place to trade is Flyertalk at the Coupon Connection forum. You have to be a member of Flyertalk, and have so many posts on other forums to participate in Coupon Connection. 99% of the people on the forum are honest hard working travel nuts, but there are a few that don’t live up to their word. They are outcast by other members almost immediately. It is a very well self policed forum.
After trading on the forum for a while, you learn the trade value of certain items and establish some long term trading relationships with other members. If I have questions about a program I use very little, I know somebody that can teach me what I need to know at any given moment. It is a priceless relationship.
So now it is back to the mail and figure out what I have to work on. I have two mileage runs next week, Greece is coming up in April and who knows what I’ll find today.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49