|Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, photo by Andrew|
I first met you at the LaGuardia DO in April. Until that day, I thought I was a savvy world traveler. Then I listened (dumbfounded) to you and the other speakers and felt like a recluse in comparison. Since April, I have earned over 700,000 miles/points through the advice you’ve given and the links on your blog (Mommypoints, Pointsguy, Milespoint, etc.), and by attending the October Chicago Seminar (which was awesome!).
Here’s what I did just last week alone and why I love American Express:
*Used American Express Membership Rewards to book a 7630-mile ticket for a mileage run that pushed me well into A Platinum. I’ve never achieved more than silver.
*Booked three more mileage runs through December for an additional 18,000 miles that will get me to 100K for the UA/CO merger. Unbelievable!!! Last year I had to buy EQMs to get to Silver!
*I used vouchers and points from my credit card applications. Total out of pocket all in was $220. Sleeping on planes and lots of Exec Lounge cheese meals. A few longer layovers planned for yummy meals in Seattle and San Diego.
*While on a layover in LAX, I called Amex to ask for a retention bonus on my Platinum card. They offered me $100 off my annual fee or 15,000 miles. Guess what I took? If you don’t ask, you’ll never get.
*With some time to spare, I asked them to transfer me to the Starwood Preferred Guest card account. I had opened that with a 25,000 sign-on bonus after a $15,000 spend in six months. Wow, that was a lot of dough. I called to confirm that I met the spend and to gripe a bit about the 30,000 card with a $5000 spend that I could have gotten a few weeks later. Well, to my amazement, I had NOT satisfied the spend. I was $1200 short and the six months was up last week. I had previously called and was told I DID meet the spend. After a few reiterations of my surprise, disappointment, and offers to buy $1200 in gift cards on the spot, a manager awarded me 15,000 miles for my trouble and waived any additional spending requirements on my part.
Two phone calls yielded 30,000 MR points and $1200 in savings.
2012 will find me traveling in style to places I’ve dreamed about. I’m going on more of the DOs (KIVA, Austin, yours) and have met great traveling buds at the ones I have attended (including the Star Mega DO). My family thinks I joined a cult, and my friends think I’ve won the lottery. In a way, both are true.
On a professor’s salary, my take-home pay hardly takes me home. This new hobby takes me everywhere else.
Thanks for giving my wings more lift.
It is these emails and success stories that make blogging so much fun for all of us. We have helped change Kathy’s life in a positive way. What better Christmas gift could anyone receive?
To all my fellow bloggers and Frugal Travel Guy readers, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and thanks for the opportunity.