Tag Archives: Award Travel

Buy a $69 Frequent Traveler University (FTU) Online Annual Membership & Attend All 2022 Virtual Seminars for Free

Updated at 3:40pm PT on 12/28/21: Just realized that I forgot to include links to the first 2 Virtual Seminars of 2022 (January 22 and April 9).


Good afternoon everyone, I hope you are having a great holiday season and looking forward to 2022.  I have been a long time fan and attendee at Frequent Traveler University (FTU) and got a ton of value this year from my FTU online annual membership.  My 2021 membership just ended, so it is time to buy my 2022 membership.  If you sign up for an FTU online annual membership by December 31, 2021, and use promo code 60_OFF_FTU_ONLINE, you can get your membership for $69 for the whole year (regular price is $129).

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6 Buy Miles / Points Promos Ending Soon: British Airways (50%), Virgin Atlantic (60%), Southwest (40%), Air France / KLM (100%), United (100%) & Alaska (50%)

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday!  I was working on my Buy Miles & Points Page and found 6 offers that end in the next week.  Always check the math to make sure that buying miles & points makes sense for you.  Do not buy miles & points speculatively unless you have a use in mind.  With that said, here are 6 offers that end soon.  Up first, British Airways is offering up to a 50% bonus, depending on the number of British Airways Avios you purchase.   This offer expires on December 19.

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I Paid $3,009 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2021 – Was it Worth it?

Updated at 1pm PT on 12/16/21: I forgot to include the value of my Hilton Free Night Certificate from my American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Credit Card.  That increased the total another $200 and the info is updated below.


Good morning everyone.  If you haven’t already, please read my post from yesterday (How Much Did I Pay in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2021?).  In today’s post, I will share how much value I received from each credit card in 2021.  Today’s post is also a sequel to my 2020 post (I Paid $3,820 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2020 – Was it Worth it?) and my 2019 post (I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it?).

These 26 credit cards were opened before January 1, 2021, with the exception of my Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card which I opened in July 2021.  For simplicity, I did not include the value of miles or points earned from credit card spend, since that is somewhat subjective.  I counted all credits, reimbursements, retention offers, and referral bonuses at dollar face value (with airline miles and hotel points at conservative values between 0.5 CPP and 1 CPP).  For hotel free night certificates, I used a standard value of $100, with the exception of the Marriott 50K Free Night Certificate which I valued at $200.

I went through all of my credit card statements and online accounts to see which Credit Card Benefits I used in 2021 and those values are summed up in the CCB $ column.  If I received a retention offer, that is listed in the RO $ column.  I listed the credit card annual fees in the AF $ column.  Lastly, I used this formula to calculate the Profit or Loss (P / L column) for each credit card: CCB $ + RO $ – AF $ = P / L

I grouped the credit cards by issuer, sorted them by highest profit at the top, and then split them up into 3 smaller groups (LT = Laura’s card).  Here are my thoughts from the first group:

  • The retention offer on my American Express Business Platinum Card propelled that card to the top of the charts.  It was already a money maker, but the retention offer was the icing on the cake.
  • I was very diligent about using all Airline, CLEAR, Dell, Hilton Resort, Restaurant, Uber, and Wireless credits on all my AMEX cards this year.
  • I can easily get more than $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fares with trips to Hawaii or New York, or expensive last minute travel.
  • I’ve gotten so much value out of the Barclays Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Credit Card thanks to Vacasa vacation rentals.
  • Laura loves her Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card so much, I don’t think she could ever give it up (even though I tell her the card is not worth the $59 annual fee).
Credit Card Name Credit Card Benefits CCB $ RO $ AF $ P / L
AMEX Business Platinum $300 Dell credit, $200 Airline Fee credit, $169 CLEAR credit, $30 Wireless credit, and $25 Staples AMEX Offer $724 $595 $595 $724
AMEX Hilton Honors Aspire $250 Hilton Resort credit, $250 Airline Fee credit, $200 Restaurant credit, and $200 value from Hilton Free Night Certificate $900 $0 $450 $450
AMEX Delta Gold Business $90 Wireless credit and I closed this credit card to avoid paying the $99 annual fee $90 $0 $99 $90
AMEX Gold $100 Airline Fee credit, $100 Dining credit, $100 Uber credit, and $25 1-800-FLOWERS AMEX Offer $325 $0 $250 $75
Bank of America Alaska Airlines (LT) $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare $100 $0 $75 $25
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business $100 value from the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare $100 $0 $75 $25
Barclays Wyndham Rewards Earner Business 15,000 Wyndham Rewards anniversary points ($150) and 13,500 points from the 10% cardmember discount on award stays ($135) $285 $0 $95 $190
Capital One Venture Rewards (LT) None (Laura’s go to credit card for everyday spending) $0 $0 $59 -$59

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3 Buy Miles / Points Promos Ending Soon: Avianca (175%), Frontier (150%) & Marriott (45%)

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday!  I was working on my Buy Miles & Points Page and found 3 offers that are ending in the next week.  Always check the math to make sure that buying miles & points makes sense for you.  Do not buy miles & points speculatively unless you have a use in mind.  With that said, here are 3 offers that end soon.

Up first, Avianca Airlines is offering up to a 175% bonus, depending on the number of Avianca Airlines LifeMiles you purchase.  This offer expires December 13.

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Last Day to Register for FTU Virtual Seminar on Saturday, December 4 ($25) or Free with Online Annual Membership

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  If you have no plans tomorrow (Saturday, December 4), I highly recommend attending the FTU Virtual Seminar (tickets available for $25) or free if you have the FTU Online Annual Membership.  The seminar starts on Saturday, December 4 at 8am PT / 11am ET.  I have attended all of the FTU Virtual Seminars over the last year and they are always well done, educational, and entertaining – and I am sure this seminar will be no exception!  Here is the schedule and lineup of speakers:

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