It seems quite fitting that I am writing this post from eight miles high, on a Delta flight, with a ticket I purchased with 25,000 frequent flyer miles. I received those miles as part of a bonus for meeting the spend on a Delta SkyMiles American Express credit card.
They have increased their sign up bonus to 50,000 miles + a $50 Delta statement credit (usually it is 30,000 miles). The catch: You must apply by Monday, September 8th and then spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of having the card. Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more. Email me if you have any questions.
The same deal applies for the business credit card. If you want to apply for both the personal and business cards at the same time, check out Results of My April “App-Aloosa” for tips on how I did it in the past.
Remember that you can no longer get the sign-up bonus on a Delta SkyMiles
For a limited time, Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card has increased its sign up bonus to 50,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. But you must apply by September 2nd.
You will get an extra 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user in the first three months. Instead of adding your cat Mr. Tibbers or The President, this may be a good emergency credit card for a college student.
The sign up bonus is usually 30,000 miles, so this is a sweet deal. If you are like me and got this card a couple months ago, call the number on the back of your card and ask if they will honor the 50,000 mile offer. They did for me!
This card comes with many perks:
- Free checked bag (up to $100)
– Priority boarding
– No foreign transaction fees
– TWO United Club lounge passes per year
– The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
– Any Seat, Any Time. Cardholders have access to award seats that non-cardholder riff-raff scum does not!
50,000 miles can get you two round trip coach tickets!
If you are concerned about meeting the $2,000 spending requirement, there are many ways to achieve that, frugally. I use a credit card to pay for everything possible, then
A trip across the country is now affordable – assuming free is in your price range. Here’s how to get flights and multiple nights in a swanky hotel for zip, zilch, nada.
You can pull this off with Starpoints. To get a bunch of Starpoints, there are nice sign-up bonuses with Starwood Preferred Guest (personal and business) cards.
This offer will give you 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $1 and 15,000 bonus Starpoints for meeting the spending requirement within 6 months. You get a point for every buck you spend. Spending $5,000 within 6 months will give you 25,000 Starpoints. The fine print says “This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.”
If you and your significant other, gal-pal or homeslice each get a card and meet the spending requirement – you’ll have enough Starpoints for two round trip flights and multiple hotel nights. I type from experience. I’ve done it! People living at the same address can combine their Starpoints. This is ideal if one is an organization freak and the other keeps misplacing his toothbrush. So, if a husband and wife got their own cards… do the math!
Starwood “Nights & Flights” is a fantastic use of your Starpoints for a
If you EVER fly Southwest, listen up. For you aficionados and muchachos, there’s something HUGE in the second half of this post.
From time to time Southwest offers a sweet 50,000 Bonus if you get their credit card and spend $2,000 on it in the first 3 months you have the card. Now is one of those times. So you wanna move this up on your To-Do list.
Southwest promotes it as “Get 50,000 Points For 2 Roundtrip Flights”. But those of you who fly Southwest know that 50,000 points can go a heckuvalot further.
To illustrate, I punched in a few trial runs on the most coveted days – on a Friday and returning on a Sunday. I can fly Los Angeles to San Francisco round trip for 6,960 points. I can fly from Burbank to Las Vegas, or Burbank to San Francisco, same peak dates, for 8,040 points round trip. See screen captures below. If you are flexible with your dates, you can fly for much fewer points.
The card has a $99 annual fee, but you get 6,000 points on your cardmember anniversary. As you can see from how far the points stretch, that ain’t so bad. It has no foreign transaction fees. Free checked bags. You get a point for every buck you spend on the card.
The 50,000 BONUS in and of itself is GREAT, but there is more!
Southwest’s Companion Pass is one of my favorite things. It ranks up there with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Here’s the deal: In any calendar year in which you earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points, you earn a Companion Pass for the rest of that year, plus the following year. Cross that threshold in January 2014, and you can have a Companion Pass through December 31, 2015, That is virtually TWO YEARS!
The one sheet o’ paper you should fill out for your heirs is one with all of your usernames, passwords, and security questions to all the websites where you have assets.
You especially want to do this for loyalty programs such as frequent flyer mile, rental car and hotel point accounts. Those miles/points can be worth thousands in free flights, rentals and stays. Heck, use them to bring in family members in for the funeral.
As Airfarewatchdog reported, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing regarding inheriting frequent flyer miles. Airlines’ policies vary from charging to transfer miles to saying the miles are forfeited on death. Some airlines contradict their policy in practice. They won’t give you a straight answer. So don’t ask.
Sign into the deceased’s account and use their miles/points. Just like how Aunt Millie could sign into her own account and get a plane ticket for you, in your name while she was alive, you could do the same for yourself after she passes.
Related topic: AwardWallet is a handy service that organizes hundreds of loyalty reward programs into one place. So you can see exactly what you have where. You can track also track other people’s accounts. I use it to track my accounts as well as those of some family members. It’s pretty handy. Click here to try AwardWallet.
I have openly admitted to my bromance with the Chase Ink Bold® Business and Chase Ink Plus® Business cards. I’m able to use their Ultimate Rewards points for travel or turn into cash.
Another reason I am smitten with those cards is because I can instantly transfer their Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United & Southwest Airlines precisely when I need the miles. A few weeks ago, I did a test drive and grabbed a few screen captures below to show you it’s for reals.
This gives tremendous flexibility if you need a few more miles for a flight on one of those airlines. It also refreshed my airline miles’ expiration date. Screen Captures –>
Just a quick mention about two current airline offers for TWO FREE FLIGHTS. Go getcha one now!
This is billed as “Two Free Flights” but the 50,000 Southwest bonus points can be stretched to many more round-trip flights. For example, I just plugged in a random mid-January trip from Burbank to Las Vegas that is 5,880 points – round trip. Big Bonus-Point Bang!
I don’t suggest things unless I think they are a good deal, and more often than not, are things I have done myself.
Last week, I got the Chase Ink Bold card and made a purchase. Today, I received my single purchase bonus of 25,000 points worth $250 cash or $312.50 in travel – tax free! It really is that easy. See my statement below.
UPDATE: That offer changed on 11/13/12. The single purchase bonus of 25,000 points went away. Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on this card and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.
You can earn FIVE points for every dollar spent on internet, cable, phone bills and at office supply stores. That’s the equivalent of 5% cash back or 6.25% back for travel booked through Chase online. To make it easy, I signed into my online accounts for DirecTV, Sprint, Vonage and Time Warner and switched my automatic bill payment credit card to the Chase Ink Bold card. I also bought a couple $500 Visa Gift cards at Office Depot – which also qualify for 5x points. Here’s my statement which details everything:
A good friend of mine passed away suddenly last week (see video below). Just like when I flew to see my dying dad, I needed a plane ticket asap. Instead of buying a ticket for $1,102, I used Delta frequent flyer miles that I have been saving. Delta frequent flyer miles never expire.
I suggest that all adults have frequent flyer miles in reserve for such emergencies.
Don’t compound a huge personal loss with a huge financial loss. An airline “bereavement fare” is only a slight discount off the expensive ticket. Bereavement fares are for close family who must be there – not friends. Basically, if you aren’t mentioned in the obituary or married to someone who is, don’t expect to get the discount. Airlines have requirements that must be met and they call the funeral home to confirm. Even if I qualified to get the bereavement fare, Delta told me that it would still cost an even $1,000.
You can quickly earn 30,000 Delta frequent flyer miles (more than enough for a free flight) with a Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex card for Personal as well as one for Business use. You can get BOTH and end up with 60,000 bonus miles. Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation. Here’s how to fill out the business application.
This offer has expired. Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on this card and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.
United just announced that they will be discontinuing this offer. This is the easiest way to get more than enough miles for a free flight. All you need to do is use the card one time, and you’ll get 25,000 miles. Get another 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user (even if you don’t actually give a card to the person you named in the application). That’s 30,000 miles for buying a pack of gum, or whatever floats your boat. No annual fee, free checked bag for you and a companion on your reservation Sometimes they kill these off even sooner than later, so if you want the deal, and it is great, apply right now!