Tag Archives: Ultimate Rewards

Travel Hacking Mistakes WE Still Make

In life, there’s always room for improvement, that’s for sure. And that holds true for the travel hacking world that each of us creates. Talking about mistakes we make is never an easy conversation, but Grant and I had it anyway. Whether the mistakes are the once-and-we’ll-never-do-that-again type, or those reoccurring mistakes that we seem to make over and over again, shedding light on the mistakes helps us think through what we’re doing and perhaps more importantly, what those mistakes might be costing us in the way of miles and points. After admitting our mistakes and deciding to share them with you, Grant and I had a good laugh about it all. Then he went back to enjoying his chai latte and I finished off my cortado, and of course we vowed to wipe the slate clean and not make the same mistakes again.

Grant felt that maybe searching and booking award flights and hotels too far out is a mistake because there are often good deals if you wait to the very last minute. Continue reading

Paid & Award Booking Tips

Using our miles and points to book award flights is the reason we all spend hours upon hours of reading blogs, learning the ins and outs of airline programs, and attaching sticky notes to all our credit cards to make sure we use the right one for each purchase! But booking a flight using an award is not without its challenges. If you’ve ever used miles/points for an award ticket either for you or someone else, I’m preaching to the choir because you already know this but………there are tips I can give you that just might make your experience go a little bit more smoothly.

1. Booking one-way flights is actually a tip I received last year from a fellow blogger, and now I do it all the time. This allows for two different benefits. If you need to make a change, you only have to do it on one ticket and not on the roundtrip ticket. I find this easier to do. For me, whether I’m using an award or paying for a ticket, I now book the outbound and inbound separately. Maybe an even greater benefit is that when booking an award ticket you can use two different airlines, different alliances, and different sources of miles/points. This gets you thinking creatively, as seeing a trip as two different segments often means you’ll see possibilities you might have missed otherwise. Continue reading

The Complete Guide to Southwest Airlines (Updated April 18)

Update: This post was updated on April 18, 2018.

Southwest Airlines continues to be one of the most asked about topics here at Travel with Grant. We have so many posts covering all-things Southwest that we’ve created The Complete Guide to Southwest Airlines. Now you’ll have all you need to know about Southwest Airlines in one place. Of course, this guide will be a work in progress, and we’ll update it and add to it over time. We’ve organized the information under various topics so you’ll easily be able to access what you want to know about.

Southwest Fares:

Reservations and Tips for Flights:

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Up Close and Personal with My Award Booking Team

Do you ever wonder where the expression, “You don’t do business with a business, you do business with people,” originated? Ok, I’ve never thought about where it originated either, but after all my years in business, I can tell you it’s a total truism. When I find good business people to do business with, I love it! As a frequent traveler who likes to travel “well” and use miles and points for award tickets, I’m a long-standing client of Juicy Miles. But that’s just a business name, isn’t it? The man behind the business, and at the helm of this great group of people, is Adam.

A few weeks ago, it dawned on me that the image that many people must have of award booking businesses is that they aren’t “real” businesses. I think many people think it’s something people do in their spare time to help friends and family members figure out all the rules and regulations for using that stash of miles/points. But in the case of Juicy Miles, it’s the real deal. It’s very well run and they’re great at what they do. And they’ve just redesigned their Juicy Miles website which makes submitting your requests super easy! I want you to get to know Adam better, so I reached out to him with a few questions about what he does, why he does it, how he trains his team, and more. Hope you enjoy the interview!

  • Shelli: Juicy Miles started in what year?
  • Adam: Believe it or not, Juicy Miles went live all the way back in 2011 (I think we first communicated in 2014 or so).

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Keep, Cancel or Convert? Chase Sapphire Reserve & Chase Ink Plus

Good morning everyone.  Ahh, I feel so refreshed, I just spent the last week on tropical Kauai with my girlfriend. We enjoyed inner tubing down an old sugarcane plantation irrigation canal, a 4×4 off road vehicle tour of Kipu Ranch, driving around Waimea Canyon, and eating as much poke and shaved ice as our stomachs would allow. I would definitely recommend all of those activities if you are heading to Kauai anytime soon.

During the good ole days of credit card sign up bonuses, I used to do epic 4-8 credit card App-O-Ramas every 3 months.  I probably did that for the first 2 years I was in the miles and points game.  Over those years, I accumulated a lot of credit cards, but now is the time when several annual fees are posting.  I have 8 credit cards that posted annual fees in March (totalling $1,165 in annual fees), so now is the time for me to decide: keep, cancel, or convert?  Here is the list of credit cards and annual fees.  I am going to cover the first 2 Chase credit cards in today’s post, and then cover the other credit cards in a few more posts.  Let’s start with my beloved Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – $450 (posted 4/1)
  • Chase Ink Plus Business – $95 (posted 4/1)
  • American Express Hilton Ascend – $95 (posted 4/3)
  • American Express SPG Business – $95 (posted 4/6)
  • Bank of America Alaska Airlines Business – $75 (posted 4/2)
  • Citi AT&T Access More – $95 (posted 4/4)
  • US Bank FlexPerks Gold – $85 (posted 4/3)
  • Wells Fargo Propel World – $175 (posted 3/31)

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth the $450 annual fee? Several months ago, I converted my Chase Freedom into a Chase Sapphire Reserve, and it was one of the best credit card decisions I ever made.  After I converted to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I started to receive the $300 in travel reimbursements (before I even paid the first $450 annual fee).  I also received my Priority Pass card which includes unlimited guests (you have to request this through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal).  Between the $300 travel credit and the free meals I have had at Priority Pass lounges, the $450 annual fee is basically a wash.  Then add on the 3x Chase Ultimate Reward Points on travel and dining purchases, plus the ability to redeem Chase Ultimate Reward Points for travel at 1.5 cents, keeping this credit card is the easiest credit card decision of the year.  The only downside is that I had to give up my Chase Freedom and I would have loved to get 5x on PayPal purchase this quarter (that would have taken me only a few days to max out).

Decision: Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card is a keeper.

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