It was a bonanza day for me meeting another Frugal Travel Guy reader in San Jose. Dmitriy has been sending me deals, asking questions and learning the tricks of the trade for over a year now. It is always great to put a name with a face.
He has helped me with the Accor deal, given me more ideas on how he handles retention bonuses with Citiblank (he is much more aggressive than me) and generally been a very supportive reader. In fact, he even watched me play poker one evening on Pokerstars and offered some suggestions on my play.
The point of my post being, we all come from different backgrounds and have different needs for cheap travel. Dmitriy has amassed over 800,000 miles since joining the frugal gang, very little of it from actual flying. But he has used those miles to go to Korea and China and still wants to learn more. We talked about mileage runs and elite status, things he is not involved in yet.
Being considerably younger than Katy or I, it became evident again,that status is not necessary for all flyers. You young pups can curl up in a coach seat for hours on end. Katy and I just can’t do that anymore.
So we share our experience, develop a new friend and both move on down the road better for the experience. Thanks Dmitriy.
And his Citibank tip on retention: He calls to cancel his card right after his initial sign up bonus miles posts. He indicates to Citi he found a better card for himself and he wants to cancel. Citibank has been offering him 2 miles per $ for a period of time and in some cases more bonus miles for keeping the card, even when it is just several months old. Try it and see what happens.
We also talked about credit card usage in relation to credit limit. If you don’t want your score to take a nose dive, try not to get greedy when ordering coins. A $7000 balance reported to a credit reporting agency on a card with a 7500 limit is a red flag that will effect future card approvals. And unfortunately, we never know what day the bank is reporting the current balance to the reporting agency. It may be the day you increase your balance?????
“Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered”. Try to keep your spending to under 50% of your credit limit to protect your credit score from short term swings.
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