I’m no longer going to every country in the world (mission accomplished), but I’m still traveling at least 200,000 miles a year.
As such, I get a lot of questions over and over, both from people who want to travel far and wide and those who just want to learn a few things to make their lives easier.
This series of three posts provides some attempted As to the Qs.
I write about travel hacking a lot on the blog (and much more in the Cartel), and I always try to point people to the best available deals and opportunities. Some of these opportunities are for credit card signup bonuses, something I’ve been experimenting with for years, ever since first applying for 13 cards of my own on the same day way back in 2009.Of course, not everyone is able or eligible to get these bonuses—so what else is out there? There’s actually a ton. Credit cards are an easy way to earn a big boost of miles and points in many different programs, but they aren’t the only way. Read More
Every year I earn well over one million Frequent Flyer miles and points. About 250,000 of them come through actual travel, and the rest come through travel hacking: the art of seeing the world on a budget.One of the easiest ways to earn a lot of miles all at once is through credit card signup bonuses. This post contains the best current card offers as of Tuesday, May 5th. If getting every card from this post, you'd earn 215,000 points or miles. Happy travels! Read More
Greetings from my favorite country! I’m in Australia for a few days (no public events this time—just writing and enjoying paradise).And here’s a tip: my favorite country can be a little expensive. Consider it a tax on paradise, but just about everything you purchase may seen a tad high if you’re coming from the states. Oh, and many parts of the country are still waiting for the internet to arrive—but presumably that’s improving. Domestic flights within Australia can be pricey too, but there’s a great alternative option: redeem American Airlines miles for flights on Qantas. Read More
Every Friday is giveaway day. Comment to win!
- This kit comes with Armani moisturizer, lip balm, sleep mask (good for napping on the road AND at home), fancy floss, and cozy black socks
- Okay, technically this is a men's kit—but ladies, you can win too! It's a super snazzy kit for anyone
- The Giorgio Armani travel case is pretty nice too
- This giveaway is available to readers worldwide. Anyone can win!
- Our cats and biased judges will pick someone on Sunday night at 6pm PST
Personal Link: The Platinum Card from American Express
Business Link: The Business Platinum Card from American Express
A couple of years ago, American Express made an unexpected move: they decided to create their own series of domestic airline lounges that are actually nice.
See, most lounges in the U.S. (and Canada, and honestly much of Europe as well) feature lounges that are better than being stuck in the terminal when your flight is delayed, but not by much. You often have a choice of stale cookies (American Airlines) or stale pretzels (United Airlines).
It wasn’t until I started travel hacking overseas that I discovered the lounges that are truly noteworthy, like the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in Heathrow, and others.
Some of these lounges are destinations, in the same way that Bora Bora is a dream trip. You’d go well out of your way to spend a morning or afternoon in one of these spots.Read More
I joke about this with my friends: “Oh my God, travel is so hard. Sometimes the Business Class flights attendant brings still water instead of sparkling! Sometimes the hotel forgets the chocolates on the pillow during turn-down service!"That’s why I was so excited about the A380 on Qatar Airways. As soon as I boarded the flight, I was impressed right away. The cabin is gorgeous, the seat is fantastic, and from the way I was greeted I could tell that the service would be flawless. And it was. Still, though, I've had many experiences like that. These days I’m earning and spending more than one million miles a year (more than 2 million last year, actually), so if I’m flying more than three hours, I’m almost never in the back of the plane anymore. Much of the time, I go through life jaded. But not on this flight—and you know my favorite part? The washrooms. Read More
For 17 hours on a Round-the-World trip, I flew on the longest currently operating American Airlines flight, from Dallas to Hong Kong. It’s 8,000 or so flight miles, and I ended the flight a millionaire.
Well, sort of—this flight helped me achieve a longstanding goal of earning 2 million AA flight miles.
Until a couple of years ago, you could obtain “Million Miler” status with American through any kind of miles added to your account, including miles from credit card signups, bank deposits, dining bonuses, online shopping bonuses, and pretty much anywhere under the sun.Read More
Short version: earn Avios from British Airways, but don’t use them to fly with British Airways. More below. *** In a post from a few days ago, I mentioned that the British Airways Signature Card now offers a 50,000 Avios signup bonus with no annual fee in the first year. This is a special promotion…Read More
Link: 50,000 Points for British Airways Card – Now With No First-Year Annual Fee As of this weekend, Chase has begun waiving the annual fee during the first year for its British Airways Signature Card. You can now earn 50,000 Avios points (more on that in a moment) after completing a $2,000 minimum spend in…Read More
Updates: See more recent posts on the Frequent Flyer Challenge or visit our companion site for the latest card offers. *** On November 5th I’ll release my final Unconventional Guide of 2009. The goal of the project is to democratize free travel. As part of the preparations, I wanted to take you behind the scenes ...Read More
Earlier this week I published an article for Business Week on How to Negate the Competition by Owning Your Space. I always appreciate the chance to write for traditional magazines and newspapers, and I wish them well in their transition to the world of the social web.Read More
If you haven’t seen the Frequent Flyer Challenge before, read these posts first: The Original Post The First Update *** Here’s the Second Update Hi everyone – after traveling through Cambodia and Laos last week (trip report coming on Thursday), I’m transiting back through Bangkok before going on to Bangladesh, the final stop on this…Read More
I read an interesting article about Applebee’s last week. Personally, I don’t like Applebee’s or its numerous imitators – not eating burgers, chicken tenders, or something they call “riblets” kind of limits the menu of the average Americana-themed restaurant for me – but I enjoyed the analysis of how these kinds of places are trying to survive in an economically challenging environment.My favorite part was when the CEO was asked why Applebee’s and IHOP (also owned by the company) don’t have healthier choices on their menu. People are more health-conscious than ever, right? “What people want and what they say they want are different,” she said, and as much as I wanted to disagree, I couldn’t. Read More