Tag Archives: fly

Cheap Trips

I don’t like making recommendations without trying the product myself, but I feel very safe about this recommendation.  Recently I discovered a site called TravelZoo.  The website offers cheap flights, cruises, hotels, and vacation packages.  In a couple of months I will be planning a big trip and TravelZoo will be the first on my list of sites to visit.  I have seen some of the lowest priced domestic and international flights.

From the reviews I have read about TravelZoo there are a few things you need to be careful of.  My main recommendation is be SMART!  Of the few negative reviews I found, most people were upset because they got something they didn’t expect.  Some people got a hotel that wasn’t as nice as they thought or they thought they were getting more activities on a travel package than they did.  To avoid this problem, read the description carefully, look up the hotel or airline that’s being offered, and research other deals.  As soon as I plan my next trip I will let you know how it goes with using TravelZoo.

If you, or a friend, have used TravelZoo comment about your experience.  Comment on any other websites you have used.


Best Frequent Flyer Program

My good friend Kyle asked me a very difficult question (like all good friends do).  And no, it was not why am I not married?  So everyone, stop asking (just look at me and you’ll know why)!  He asked me, “which airline has the best frequent flyer program?”  Great question!  Since most airlines offer 1 mile per mile traveled when you buy an economy ticket, it becomes necessary to look at other variables.  These variables include the place of departure, destinations, upgrades, possibility of using miles for hotels or shopping, and which airline offers the most reward points.

Don’t worry I’m not going to write a complex formula to demonstrate how much work it was for me to get the answer, although I am a scientist (a scientist of politics).  I found that there were two frequent flyer programs that stood head and shoulders above the rest; Continental and American Airlines.

Continental has more partners, which means you will be able to fly to more countries and more airports.  It’s also easier to find flights using miles on Continental compared to almost all other U.S. carriers.  If you have to fly on a specific date this will be very important.

*No matter what airline you use it is very important to book as early as possible when using miles*

American Airlines charge less miles to fly to Latin American and Western Europe (40k compared to 50k on Continental).  The problem is that you have to fly on certain dates to get the 40k.  If you fly outside of those dates then the number of miles drastically goes up for both international and domestic flights (120k and 50k respectively).  I found that American Airlines credit cards offer more initial reward miles (there’s one with 75k, see previous Travel Tip).  Obviously this makes it initially easier to fly for free.

Kyle, I will specifically answer your question.  If you’re flying domestically Continental would be the best option for you because it has a lot more flights and seats available for redeeming miles.  You’ll use the same number of miles on both airlines to fly domestically out of Utah. If you’re flying internationally it depends.  American may require fewer miles, but your plans will have to be flexible.  Delta does have a main hub in Utah, but they have a lot less partners and the overall consensus is that it’s harder to fly Delta using miles.

The miles I quoted are for non-peak dates.  If you fly during summer, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or spring break the number of miles will increase.  Also, I only compared U.S. carriers because I feel that most of my audience will be using U.S. carriers.  If not, let me know and I can research international carriers as well.  Finally, it pays to comment and ask questions on my blog because I will research your question and answer it to the best of my ability. Let me know what you think of this post!

What’s been your experience with rewards programs?

This Just In

After hours of reading, I have amazing news.  The offer is legit!  You can apply for a Citi Visa or AMEX, and upon approval, you will receive 75,000 miles when you make $4,000 worth of purchases within 6 months.  The $85 annual fee is waived for the first year.  This offer is good until February 28, 2010.  The miles are enough for a round-trip ticket to Europe.  I’m not sure where else, but this is the best deal I have found so far.

I am very cautious when it comes to things like this because I don’t want any of my information to get stolen.  Anyone considering this should read the flytalk forum and confirm this information and the link I posted above with other sources (I got the link from post #2).  If you are unsure, then I would recommend not doing it.  Tomorrow I am going to sign up and I will edit this post and let everyone know how it goes.  Below I have provided some essential tips.

  1. Apply for both the Visa and AMEX. This could give you a potential of 150,000 miles.  You may not get approved for both cards, but according to everything I read there will be only one credit pull and it can’t hurt to try and get an extra 75,000 miles.
  2. Keep your card(s) for at least 6 months so they don’t take the miles away from you.  It is best if you hold on to them for 9 months or more.  I am planning on canceling my card, hopefully cards, after 10 months.
  3. If you don’t get instant approval you can call 1-866-606-2961 and ask about your status.
  4. These cards have high interest rates (APR) so do not get behind on payments.
  5. Read all of the fine print before signing up for the card.

If you have any questions, let me know. Please add anything about this offer or other offers.  I applied for both credit cards yesterday.  I called in today to verify that they received my online applications and they said that they did.  The approval process can take up to 7 business days, so I am waiting with my fingers crossed.  The link I posted is the correct link so good luck with getting the cards!  Let me know how it goes.

Fly for Free

Earlier I did a tip on how to find cheap or free lodging.  I thought it would be a good idea to show how you can fly for free.  Using these two tips together, traveling becomes affordable for anyone.

I am going to put a big DISCLAIMER here: All of these credit cards have high APRs, so if you are not good at budgeting, DON’T do this.  Don’t get behind on your payments with these cards.  That is the most important thing. I would recommend getting these cards, spending the required amount, then cutting them up and canceling your account once you have received the points.  Make sure to read all of the credit card details.  Most of these cards have an annual fee after the first year.  In these descriptions I only put the most basic information.  Some cards offer more points for purchases so look at the card details.  To get more information you can Google the specific card or check out creditcards.com, it has links to the different cards and gives more details.

These are the best cards I have found so far…

Chase’s Visa Venture Reward Card – It offers 10,000 miles and x2 miles on any purchase.  The annual fee of $59 is waived for the first year.  The only down side besides the ones mentioned above is that you have to spend $1,000 in the first three months.

Citi Gold AAdvantage World Master Card– It offers 30,000 miles once you spend $750 within the first four months.  $50 annual fee is waived for first year.

OnePass Pluss MasterCard by Chase– It offers 25,000 miles on Continental after first purchase and 5,000 miles when you add an additional card user.  There’s a $50 statement credit after first purchase.  The annual fee of $85 is waived for the first year.

Gold Delta Sky Miles Card– It offers 20,000 miles plus 5,000 if you add two additional card members.  $95 annual fee waived for first year.

Chase Sapphire Card– It offers 25,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in three months.  The $85 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Capital One Aspire Master Card– It offers 5,000 miles after your first purchase plus 1,000 miles every year.  There is no annual fee.

Most of these offers are good for one round-trip ticket within the United States.  If you combine two or three of them you’ll have enough for a round-trip international ticket.  I will continue to look for deals and post them as I find them.  If you have any suggestions on how to get frequent flyer miles or know of any other good deals let us all know.