Want to know more about the Faces of FlyerTalk?
Dave H. (Bikeguy) is an automotive engineer that has not only been an active member in FlyerTalk, where he has learned a ton, but also has been an organizer to help others learn. Dave has hosted SIX Ann Arbor Art Fair DO’s, and has led Rookie Bootcamp at the Chicago Seminars the last two years. He will be featured again this year leading Bootcamp for those just starting out, and we can all learn a few tips and tricks from his stories and success with miles and points.
Dave, thanks for sharing your stories with us all, for being a part of “Faces of FlyerTalk” and the time we share on your commute home from work. Gotta love “hands free communication”
When did you find FlyerTalk and how did you find it?
My wife and I got stuck in Amsterdam for a night coming home from Rome, due to a blizzard in 2004. And then stuck another night in Washington DC. Found FlyerTalk while searching to figure out what I could have done differently.
Do you consider yourself an infrequent, fairly regular, or miles and points addicted reader?
Addicted. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.
How often are you on FlyerTalk, and what forums do you typically visit?
Do you travel for business, leisure, or both?
For your business travel what parameters do you have on booking? Do you get to keep the miles and points?
Must go through corporate booking site, and yes I get to keep the miles and points.
What credit cards are you carrying in your wallet right now, and which ones do you recommend to friends?
Chase Sapphire Preferred, INK Bold, SPG Amex, Fidelity AMEX (2% back), and whatever I’m trying to reach minimum spend on. I kinda have a George Kostanza looking wallet. I recommend all the above for spend and the one’s with the biggest sign-up bonuses for the bonus.
What’s the single most successful thing you’ve done to acquire points and miles?
Citi Thank You Points before the devaluation. I did OK. There were people that ended up with 6 digits worth of ecredits with TYP. Wanaflyforless came to the Ann Arbor Art Fair DO and explained how to get 36 cents back for every dollar spent, AFTER the initial deval. People’s jaws just dropped. Before the deval you could get over a dollar back per dollar spent.
How many miles / points have you accumulated in the past year? In your lifetime?
Probably 500,000 in the last year. 4,000,000 in lifetime. And in 2004, I had 70,000. Anyone can earn large amounts of miles, you just need to remember all these big balances were built a little at a time.
Do you use a tracking program to keep track of your miles / points? Which one?
Yes. AwardWallet. Love it. Just the fact it keeps all my passwords and logs me in makes it worth having. Especially when it’s for me, my wife and three kids.
How does your spouse / partner / family / friends feel about this hobby?
They think I spend an abnormal amount of time on it, but enjoy the benefits.
What’s your most memorable trip?
When I rode my motorcycle cross country in college. Also, any trip that involves business class and suites is always good.
What suggestions can you give to rookies and newbies on FlyerTalk?
The blogs do a great job of covering the “best of”, but there is still plenty of info to find yourself. Figure out what is important to you, and then which programs help you travel in the way you’d like. And find people that have similar interests and help them out. They in turn, will help you. I’ve called people to tell them to drop what they are doing, there is a smoking mistake fare from their city.
Are there any particular fellow FlyerTalk members whose advice you follow?
Wanaflyforless, FrugalTravelGuy, beaubo, gleff, Pudding Guy and geoffco.
What’s the one thing you’d like to see change on FlyerTalk?
I wish people posted like they were standing face to face. Some of the comments are rude and don’t promote a tolerate community.
Have you attended or are you planning on attending any FlyerTalk related events?
I went to two Freddies and put on a couple Ann Arbor Art Fair DOs. I’ve met some great people and had a good time.
Any other comments / questions / suggestions / advice/things people don’t know about you?
I thoroughly enjoy reading Seat 2A’s Trip Reports while in business class. What a treat.
Dave, thanks again for your friendship, participation, and positive contributions to both FlyerTalk and the frequent traveler community. We will be changing your FlyerTalk membership to the Premium Service, sending you a few luggage tags, and exclusive FlyerTalk lapel pin. In addition your avatar will now show you, as one of the Faces of FlyerTalk for years to come.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day AutoSlash is donating a $50 Hertz Gift Certificate for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (make sure to include your first name, last inital, and home airport) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.