Good morning everyone, I hope your Wednesday is going well so far. I am in the process of adding a few extra writers to my blog (read A “Quick” Blog Update: New Writers = More Content for more info). I wanted to introduce my writers so you can learn a little about their background and travel style. I met Whitney a few years ago at an FTU (Frequent Traveler University – travel conference) and we have stayed in touch ever since. You may have met her at a travel conference too, if you frequent those events. She even wrote a guest post for me last October called Hacking the US Airways First Class Upgrade List (Until the AA/US Merger). Whitney used to work for a big bank that issues travel rewards credit cards and she lives on the East Coast, so I am looking forward to reading some of her upcoming posts and seeing pictures of some of her cool trips. Take it away, Whitney…
- Name: Whitney Bruce
- Location: Charlotte, NC
- Preferred Airline or Alliance: American / OneWorld
- Preferred Hotel: it was Hyatt, now that they’ve devalued their loyalty program I’m a free agent
- How did you get into travel hacking? My friend Marit bought a PDF on earning frequent flyer miles by Chris Guillebeau and I asked if I could split the cost with her to get a copy for myself. From there I spent several days reading flyertalk and blogs culminating in my first AOR.
- What is your short-term goal and long-term goal? Super short-term goal is to decide whether or not to qualify for Aadvantage Gold or fall 500 EQMs short and hope for a status challenge to a higher level. Short term goal is to snag a first class seat on the award that I booked to New Zealand before American devalued their award chart. I’ll have to change the date of the award to do so. Long-term goal has yet to be solidified but a trip around the world would be cool.
- What has been your biggest accomplishment travel-wise since getting into travel hacking? Probably 3 nights in Montego Bay at nice all-inclusive resorts and business class flight there & back, all free. Bigger things to come!
- Where else have you been able to go because of travel hacking? Nicaragua, St Maarten (twice), Anguilla, Jamaica, Iceland, Coachella, New York a few times, Nashville (twice), Vegas 4 times (this list would be longer but I couldn’t leave as much when my dogs were sick :-/ )
- What vacations are you currently planning? Heading to Spain in January thanks to a mistake fare and planning Cuba in February…much more to come!
- Are you chasing status? If I don’t do a short mileage run I will be 500 miles short of Aadvantage Gold. I’m trying to decide if I should do that or fall short and hope for a status challenge to a higher level. I will miss my Hyatt & Hilton Diamond status dearly :'(
- What are your main channels of manufactured spending? Giftcards.com VGCs, PPMCC and One Vanilla’s at drug stores with the Amex Old Blue Cash card. I also do between 4 and 6 bank account bonuses per year.
- What is your routine for MS? I try to order $2,500 of gift cards online per week and buy at least one $500 gift card at a drugstore per week. I liquidate those at Walmart or I buy money orders at Food Lion. I try to use mobile deposit for those money orders as much as possible. When there are Staples deals I usually buy $800 worth of VGCs and I’m pretty into maxing out certain Amex Offers by using authorized user cards and 2 synced Twitter accounts.
- What is your routine for credit card applications? Well with Chase’s new rules it looks like I won’t be getting new cards with them anytime soon. I’ve decided to only apply for American Express cards when the bonus is at the highest it’s ever been. I already have 3 cards with Barclay’s and with U.S. Bank and 2 cards with Discover. I don’t want to push those banks any further for now. Therefore my applications in the near future are limited to Citi, Bank of America and other random institutions like Fidelity & TD. I usually don’t apply for new cards at the end of the year because I’m focusing all of my spending capacity on maxing out the EQM earning potential of the Aviator Silver card. Depending on what I decide to do with status I may use January and February to do the same thing. I will probably try to pickup 3 new cards in March and again in June.
Those are all the questions I have for Whitney. If you have any questions for Whitney, please leave a comment below and she will be sure to answer them as soon as possible. Have a great day everyone!
P.S. I have a few more writers to on board and a few more Q&A posts coming soon. Stay tuned!