I have been meaning to send you an e-mail expressing my thanks for all of the good advice you provide. I especially appreciate your level-headedness in your approach to collecting miles/points.
I had been putzing with miles for a number of years, but never took it to the next level until this past year. Now I realize how much I had been missing, but I am thrilled to be able to be in the game now!
I also come from your area. My family moved to Hilton Head in the 60s when I was 9. HHI at that time was quite pristine with dirt roads, Spanish moss, and wild boars every where–quite a different place now, but still beautiful. My sister went to high school in Savannah and I went there for one year. My Mom lives in Bluffton, so we go to visit her several times a year. I currently live in Illinois west of the great city of Chicago.
My goals with miles and points are pretty simple:
- Visit my Mom every couple of months
- Visit my son who goes to the University of Arizona in Tucson and also fly him home for his vacations
- Travel to India twice a year in business class
- Take a family vacation every couple of years and
- Help my kids travel
I love Southwest for their low points requirements as well as British Airways Avios for American Airlines flights. With these two programs I am able to meet my goals for domestic travel. For my international travel I have been collecting points with the Ultimate Rewards program, the Starwood American Express card and sign-up bonus with the American Express Gold card. I have shifted just about all of my monthly payments to credit cards — boy was I missing a lot of miles/points by automatic deductions from my bank account!
So in the last year here is what we have done with miles and points:
- I traveled to India twice in business class (also flew my daughter business class one way and coach the other)
- Flew to Arizona four times with my husband (Southwest)
- Stayed at the Scottsdale Resort & Spa for 3 nights (Hyatt sign-up)
- Stayed at the Radisson in Tuscon for three visits for a total of 9 nights (Club Carlson)
- Flew son home twice (Southwest)
- Flew 2 of us to see my Mom in SC four times
- Flew daughter to Montreal
- NY for a day
- Family vacation to Roatan, Honduras (5 of us) for a week
All flights with Delta miles. Rented a house $$.
I read your blog every day as well as quite a few of the others. Everyday I learn something new. I appreciate the fact that although you are passionate about collecting miles/points, you are not fanatical nor do you seem to push the limits beyond what seems reasonable or fair.
So thanks again for all of the advice and inspiration.
All of our Success Stories serve as a living example that all of us average Americans can indeed see the world at prices we all can afford. Send your story to me at email@example.com. Include your first name and last initial, along with your occupation and a photo, if you wish. - Rick