To win a gift card we need three things:
- First Name, Last Initial, Home Airport (Example: John Q, SAN)
- A travel tip you have to share (Example: Pack your socks inside of your shoes to save space)
- A suggestion for a topic you’d like to read about (Example: Using Points / Miles for Free Rental Cars)
Post these three in the comments of the post for a chance to win. Enter as many times as you like, just make sure you provide a unique tip and topic to read about. Winners will be announced the following day during deal of the day. (Friday’s winners will be announced during the Sunday Success Story)
Rookie Travel Tips
Back to the Basics
As new travelers find us and are immersed into this world of points and programs it can become very overwhelming. In an effort to keep the newbies calm and engaged in becoming real Frugal Travel Experts I want to take some time to go over the basics.
Where does one begin…
Join Travel Programs. They are free! We briefly covered this in the January 28, 2011 post. Basically, sit down and join the major programs. Airlines: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and US Airways. Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Choice, and Priority Club.
Join AwardWallet. This site is the Best way to store your award programs in one place. It really is amazing. I posted in depth on the site January 21, 2011. Notice the left hand column of the blog right now gives you a link to the site and a promotion code from The Frugal Travel Guy for a free upgrade to Award Wallet Plus!
Know Your Credit Score, For Free:
Understand and Protect Your Credit
Start Banking Big Bonuses and Earning Frequent Flier Miles and Hotel Points. The best way to bank a ton of points is through credit card offers that give big bonuses. We have seen a few 100,000 frequent flier mile bonuses and the offers keep on coming. Rick’s Daily blog posts keep up with the latest deals so reading the blog will alert you to what deals and promotions are being offered now, how to get them and how to maximize your bonus points. For free hotels, if you don’t already have it the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is Rick’s All Time Favorite Card and it comes with a big payoff in terms of your everyday spend. SPG points are worth at least 2.5 cents each. Next, right now the Chase Sapphire℠ Preferred Card is offering 50,000 bonus points. The deals are endless and there are very creative ways to maximize your points. Keep updated to whats going on through our daily blog posts. The deals are steadily coming and changing everyday. With a little time invested in your travels you can save thousands of dollars in travel expenses now and for the rest of your life. It is worth every minute.
Also its a good idea to read the Rookie Travel Tips and FAQ tab and if you’ve got a few bucks to invest in the hobby, pick up a copy of the Frugal Travel Guy handbook from the links on the left had blog column. The $7 to $9 you’ll spend will give you a synopsis of all the techniques we use. The book profits are donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Oh, and sign up for the TravelZoo weekly email and Trip Alertz Sign up Here It’s Free!
The Rookie, Shannon
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