Tag Archives: Credit Cards

A Letter to my Younger Travel Hacker Self

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Last night, my wife and I were watching Lifetime’s Married at First Sight.  On that episode, the contestant wrote letters to their younger selves, so I thought it would be fun to write a letter to my younger travel hacker self.  Here goes…

Dear Grant,

Your love of travel will continue to grow and you will experience many amazing sights, sounds, food, and memories along the way.  Enjoy the little things in life (like an upgrade or two), but remember to be flexible with your travel plans when things don’t go your way. 

Find people who love travel and travel hacking as much as you do, but don’t be discouraged if your close family and friends are not as excited about these things as you are.  

Take the trips you want to take when you want to go, even if they are not the most flashy or exciting. Don’t chase other’s dream trips and don’t compare yourself or your trips to others.  

Set low expectations for your trips so that you will be happily surprised with the journey.

Last but not least, don’t fall in love with a single credit card or reward program, they can break your heart at a moment’s notice.  Remember, loyalty is not always a two way street.

Sincerely, yourself, from the future

Grant

Continue reading

Last Call for FTU Virtual Seminar on Saturday, September 17 ($25) or Free with Online Annual Membership

Good afternoon everyone, happy Friday!  If you are not busy tomorrow (September 17), 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, September 17, at 8am PT / 11am ET.  I have attended all of the FTU Virtual Seminars over the last 2 years and they are always well done, educational, and entertaining – and I am sure this seminar will be no exception!  Click here to view the complete 3-4 hour schedule and lineup of speakers.

If you register for the seminar, but are unable to watch the live stream, you can access the recording of the seminar and watch later on.  This is also a great way to re-watch your favorite presentations and catch any details that you originally missed.

Continue reading

Register for FTU Virtual Seminar on Saturday, September 17 ($25) or Free with Online Annual Membership

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  If you are not busy this Saturday, September 17, 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, September 17, at 8am PT / 11am ET.  I have attended all of the FTU Virtual Seminars over the last 2 years and they are always well done, educational, and entertaining – and I am sure this seminar will be no exception!  Click here to view the complete 3-4 hour schedule and lineup of speakers.

If you register for the seminar, but are unable to watch the live stream, you can access the recording of the seminar and watch later on.  This is also a great way to re-watch your favorite presentations and catch any details that you originally missed.

Continue reading

Product Change US Bank Credit Card to Redeem Rewards Below Minimum Redemption Threshold (Altitude Go to Cash Plus)

Good afternoon everyone, happy Labor Day Weekend!  This post may not be very exciting, but the principles behind this post are useful.  Let me explain…

When US Bank converted my US Bank Radisson Rewards Credit Card into the US Bank Altitude Go Credit Card, I used it for a few weeks before deciding that I wanted to product change to another US Bank Cash+ Credit Card (for the 5% cash back categories).  At the time, I had 31 points on my Altitude Go, so if I had decided to close my credit card instead, I would have lost those 31 points (worth 31 cents).  But instead, by product changing from one card to another, US Bank converted my unredeemed rewards into statement credit (31 points = 31 cents).

This is noteworthy because of the minimum redemption threshold normally required for the Altitude Go: “U.S. Bank points are worth a penny each when redeemed for options like cash back, travel, gift cards or merchandise, although minimum redemption requirements apply. (You need at least 2,500 points for cash back or gift cards; 1,000 points for travel or merchandise.)”  US Bank has a similar minimum redemption threshold on the Cash Plus that went into effect on June 1, 2021.

Continue reading

My Frustrating Experience Buying Hilton Points (14-24 Hour Turnaround Time)

Good afternoon everyone.  Gather around, I have a story to tell.  I needed to book a 5 night stay for an upcoming trip and I decided to book a Hilton Garden Inn.  Hilton has a 5th Night Free feature that is part of their loyalty program – “When you book a standard room reward stay, every fifth night is free.”  The total price for the first 4 nights came to 274,000 points (and the 5th night was 0 points).  At the time, I had a little more than 174,000 points, so I went to the Hilton Buy Points page since they are currently running a 100% bonus promo.  I purchased 50,000 points for $500 and received 50,000 bonus points for free.  I expected the points to be deposited to my account immediately after purchase and I would complete my 5th Night Free hotel reservation.  Unfortunately, I learned that when you buy Hilton points, the points do not post to your account instantly.  Read on to hear more about my ordeal…

Continue reading