Want to know more about the Faces of FlyerTalk?
Karyn O. (k2o) has been in the miles and points game for about 4 years now. Based in the mid-west, she’s a Human Resources manager for a large packaging supplier. She picked up a few rental cars during the 9999 point Delta promo, and have opened several bank accounts (both personal and business) with Chase for Continental Miles and SunTrust for Delta miles. She’s also opened Citi checking accounts with 25k deposits with a CC when it didn’t register as cash advances. She still has four active accounts with Chase and two with SunTrust. These programs really do build loyalty.
Karyn, looking forward to hearing about more of your trips, and thanks for being a part of “Faces of FlyerTalk”.
When did you find FlyerTalk and how did you find it?
Our local paper had a travel article about Rick in March of 2008. It stared out with “Rick Ingersoll and his wife Katy are going to Greece for 10 days for the incredibly low price of $337.50.” I read the article over and over and over and then went to his blog. I was hooked. His blog often mentioned FlyerTalk and had a links so I started lurking on FlyerTalk and then joined that fall.
I remember the article. Out of our small town newspapers circulation of about 15,000, we got about five travel hackers involved. And I still hear from all of them
Do you consider yourself an infrequent, fairly regular, or miles and points addicted reader?
Guess I’m addicted.
How often are you on FlyerTalk, and what forums do you typically visit?
A few times a day; Mostly Miles & Points as there are so many threads to follow. I’m always searching for the best way to gain miles/points via MilesBuzz or the cheapest way to get somewhere so I have to check the Mileage Run Deals/trick it fares/and Both ‘Good Deals’ threads. And then depending on what travel I have planned I zero into the specialty threads: Ex, when going to India I practically camped out in the Travel/Dining/Asia/India threads and did similar research for other international destinations. There is so much great info on FlyerTalk and it’s great to review first hand info from fellow FlyerTalkers.
Do you travel for business, leisure, or both?
Both. For me the only biz travel is in the state so its hotels.
For your business travel what parameters do you have on booking? Do you get to keep the miles and points?
My travel has created some attention at work, and I now book airfare/hotels for management in the company. In return for my services (ie: booking, coaching and positioning them get to status), I get to book the travel on my credit cards and they reimburse me. This is turning out to be advantageous for them and for me.
What credit cards are you carrying in your wallet right now, and which ones do you recommend to friends?
I concentrate on points that I can use as cash, as my goal is to maintain status. I started traveling for status in 2010, so I try to keep those point balances high to buy tickets. I use American Express Premier Rewards Gold with three points for airline miles. American Express Blue for 6x at grocery stores, Bold or Sapphire Preferred for dining and hotels, Capital One for the rest, and SPG American Express cuz I can’t seem to live without it. Of course I book through the appropriate website to maximize. I advise my friends – SPG to start and then others based on their goals. I’m finding most won’t take the plunge even after I give them Rick’s book to read.
What’s the single most successful thing you’ve done to acquire points and miles?
Nothing crazy, The most annoying thing was the coins. My primary bank hassled me and I didn’t do anything near the amount that the famous guys did. I ended up finding a bank that didn’t ask questions. Bump the bonus has been successful, and I’ve been lucky and got the bonus twice on a couple of cards due to their keying errors.
How many miles / points have you accumulated in the past year? In your lifetime?
I’m bad, I don’t keep track of either lifetime or annual accumulation. I have over 1.5 million now and of course I have used some. But hey, I flew over 120,000 last year and achieved United 1k for the first time mostly on weekend travel. I love this achievement!
Do you use a tracking program to keep track of your miles / points? Which one?
Yes, I started with PageOnce. They didn’t track AA at the time so when I discovered AwardWallet did, I switched to them. Of course now AwardWallet can’t track AA anymore but I like how it allows you to have several family members on one account and keeps them all separate.
How does your spouse / partner / family / friends feel about this hobby?
They’re intrigued but most just don’t get it. My kids love it as they get to do/go places. Best thing is they’re now at the stage where they’re learning and “getting it”!
What’s your most memorable trip?
Last year was my first to hit United 1k. My best trips were Athens, Greece for a long weekend, and India for two weeks. I remember 5th grade geography seeing pictures of the Golden Temple, the Taj Mahal, the Temple of Zeus, Acropolis, etc … Seeing them in person was beyond awesome.
Here are some pictures of Karyn on her travels …
What suggestions can you give to rookies and newbies on FlyerTalk?
READ READ READ! Check the blogs. READ READ READ!
Are there any particular fellow FlyerTalk members whose advice you follow?
Besides Rick? gleff and lucky. I learned ton from these 3 guys! I’ve learned a lot and have been able to get United 1K status mostly on weekend travel with what I’ve learned from tc fly girl on FlyerTalk and her “How to see the world in a weekend” write-ups.
What’s the one thing you’d like to see change on FlyerTalk?
Snarky replies! I was just gaining enough confidence to post more and then I got hit/attacked about an insignificant comment I made. This person railed on me for no good reason. The result of that snark attack? I think about my posts way too much and then I don’t post. I’m sure this effects a lot of people.
Have you attended or are you planning on attending any FlyerTalk related events?
I’ve been to a few a couple of times each and try to attend at least one per year. Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Istanbul are the ones I’ve been to. I encourage people to do go, especially newbies. Even if you’ve gone before you’ll always learn something new. The most important thing to me is the people/contacts you meet. Because I ventured out and went to a couple of DO’s, I met others. I even met a FlyerTalker who travels from my airport and because of this connection learned even more and was able to achieve 1k on United.
Any other comments / questions / suggestions / advice/things people don’t know about you?
Read FlyerTalk, read the blogs, try a few things, make connections and travel!! Do what works for you.
Thanks again Karyn for your friendship and positive contributions to the FlyerTalk community. We will be changing your FlyerTalk membership to the Premium Service, sending you an extra luggage tag 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 (name and airport code please) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.