For most of us, most of the time, we have the luxury of thinking through our travel plans maybe months or even a year in advance. Especially if we’re using miles and points to book air and hotel reservations, booking way ahead is a good idea.
But what happens when we have an emergency trip that needs to be booked NOW?
That’s the situation I found myself in just last month. As I mentioned here, there was a death in my family and I wanted to get to Florida for the memorial service.
Here were my parameters:
My flight was from San Diego to Florida on specific dates, both on the outbound and inbound.
I had to fly into Fort Lauderdale (FLL).
I had to land at FLL in the evening so my cousin could pick me up after work.
I had to leave late in the day after the Miami Dolphins game. Don’t ask, my cousins are nuts for those Dolphins and luckily they won their game so everyone was in good spirits.
Disclaimer: I have made some travel predictions in previous years and I am more often wrong than right, but that losing streak has not dampered my prediction spirit. To see how bad I am at making predictions, please read A Look Back at my 2016 Predictions (Airlines, Hotels, Credit Cards & MS). I consider myself an optimistic pessimist (I prepare for the worst, but hope for the best), so these travel predictions will sound depressing.
Southwest seems bent on making the Companion Pass very difficult to get unless you fly Southwest every week. I believe credit card signup bonuses will no longer count toward the Companion Pass and Southwest might kill the whole concept of the Companion Pass entirely or switch to a certificate program similar to the Alaska Airlines companion fare or Virgin America companion ticket.
Other airline credit cards will adopt the Alaska Airlines companion fare (you pay full price and your companion pays up to $120) or the Virgin America companion ticket (you pay full price and your companion pays full price minus $150).
Good morning everyone! I hope you all are enjoying the new year so far :) I recently had 2 disappointing attempts at retention offers with US Bank so I wanted to share them with you and see if anyone has had any recent similar (or hopefully better) experiences.
Like most travel hackers, I have something like 30+ credit cards so I have to be very careful about only paying annual fees when I think I’m getting good value from that card beyond the first year. Why 30+ credit cards? Well, most of them are cards that I no longer use but I didn’t want to ding my credit score by closing the account so I downgraded to a no annual fee version and it just sits there until a bank tells me that I have too many open accounts and I have to close one in order to open another. Two of those 30+ cards are US Bank FlexPerks cards (US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature and US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express). I believe the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Card was replaced by the the US Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card a few months ago.
Buenas tardes from Cancun! I wanted to tell you all a little bit about how my last year went. In 2016, I blew past my previous record for miles traveled, went all in on gift card reselling, moved to Mexico, and picked up a handful of credit cards and bank signup bonuses along the way.
I flew just over 197,000 miles last year, a significant increase from my previous record of 125,000 miles in 2015. The change was mostly because I did a lot more flying across oceans – my 2015 trips were entirely in the Americas, but I spent a lot more time in Europe and Asia in 2016.
Tonei’s 2016 flight map, courtesy of openflights.org
Good evening everyone, I hope you are all having a great holiday season. Tomorrow afternoon, I will fly from LGB (Long Beach) to JFK (New York City) to spend New Year’s in New York City. But before I start packing all my warmest winter clothes, I braved the low 60 degree weather in SoCal to visit my local Lowe’s. I had the below Lowe’s AMEX Offer ($10 off $50) added to 4 of my AMEX cards and I still needed to do some gift card shopping. If you have this AMEX Offer linked to your cards and have not met the spending requirement, you only have a few days left since the offer ends on December 31, 2016. As long as the charge is authorized on/by 12/31, you will receive the statement credit.
I ended up buying a $200 Amazon Gift Card and doing a split tender at the register to charge $50 to all 4 AMEX cards.