It is often debatable whether collecting miles and points is even worth our time and effort, given the existence of 2% cash back credit cards. TravelWhimsy and I just returned from a whirlwind long-weekend trip to Kaua’i, HI, with our moms. The entire trip was conceived and booked on a whim – 7 days prior to departure, to be exact. A last-minute trip like ours seems to indicate that miles and points could trump cash back, and we will let you be the judge.
First of all, Merry Christmas! TravelWhimsy and I appreciate your continued support of our blogs, and wish you and yours a very happy holiday season and all the best for 2013!
Today, we are excited to share a story from TravelByPoints reader and dear friend Art, who recently completed a first-time-ever 3-day 13,102-mile 11-segment mileage run (mostly in American Airlines’ first class cabin). Art set out on this journey to qualify for AA’s Executive Platinum (EXP) elite status (their top tier), which normally requires 100,000 miles flown in a calendar year.
Now that most of you have already learned how to earn and manage lots of miles and points and how to get the best mileage out of your miles in major US-based global airlines’ programs, it is time to book your award tickets before any of your miles and points expire. This post provides an easy-to-use table comparing the various award fees (in additional to mandatory taxes and security fees) some of those major airlines may charge for award travel.
Would you like to ski for free at a Park City ski resort of your choice this winter?
If you are not a resident of Utah and can get on a flight that takes you into Salt Lake City (SLC) at reasonable morning hours, you can turn your same-day boarding pass into a free ski lift ticket at one of the three Park City ski resorts, including the world-famous Deer Valley Resort.
Check out my guest post “Getting the Most Mileage out of Your Miles” published on the UsingMiles blog today. The post contains a table summarizing the best redemption values offered by the four major US-based airlines for international travel. If you are a newcomer to the miles & points world, this could be helpful to you in setting a travel goal and focusing your efforts on achieving that goal efficiently. For our advanced readers, this could be a good reference tool for future trip planning.
Again, the generous FREE LIFETIME premier membership (normally $29.99/year) offered by UsingMiles to all TravelByPoints readers is still available, and you can learn more about it in this post or sign up here.
Let me know what you think! I respond to all comments.
Usually, you can earn 50 airline miles a day for your car rentals. Occasionally, you can also earn 500-1,500 bonus miles for a rental of 3+ days. I normally rent from Hertz for ~$10-15/day with taxes and fees included, and credit a short weekend rental to Southwest Airlines (600 points = ~$10, or $20 if you have the companion pass).
Two of our dear friends are flying to Niagara Falls for their 3rd wedding anniversary today. As loyal Avis and AA fans, they casually mentioned that they were getting 500 AA miles for their 3-day Avis rental. Unable to convert them over to Hertz with a $30 discount, I set out to see if I could find them a better deal with Avis. A quick Google search led me to a current promotion that almost sounded too good to be true!
This is part 2 of a series of posts devoted to our whirlwind tour of Peru & Chile.
- Less than $1,000 per person all-in for our 11-day tour in Peru & Chile
- How you can use <75,000 points to replicate our itinerary to visit Machu Picchu, Easter Island, and more
- How to prepare for altitude sickness in Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca
- What to bring for your trip to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and/or Easter Island
- How many different sets of tickets do you have to buy for that one-day visit to Machu Picchu?
- How to Create Your Own Machu Picchu “Inka Trail” Experience in One Day
- Using the Tambo del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Resort, as Your Base for Your Visit to Machu Picchu
- Tour Guide #1 – Sabino for Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Peru
- Tour Guide #2 – Silvia for Puno, Lake Titicaca, Sillustani, Peru
- How We Did Lima, Peru in One Day
- Tour Guide #3 – Sergio for Easter Island, Chile
- Taking Advantage of an Airport Hotel for Our Walking Tour of Santiago, Chile
- Airport Lounge Access + LAN International Business vs. Economy
- Budgeting for Your Next Big Dream Vacation
- You Won’t Believe What Happened on Our Way Home!
During our recent South America adventure, we each flew over 16,000 miles with 10 segments. Had we had to pay for those flights, it would have cost over $20,000 for 3. You CAN replicate our entire itinerary (in economy) for less than 75,000 miles/points per person (or 35,000 for Machu Picchu only), originating in North America (even if you live in Hawaii, Alaska, or Canada)!
Our Cost for 3 Adults (all miles & points came from credit card sign-up bonuses):
- 220,000 BA miles (including a few long-haul segments on LAN Airlines’ flat-bed premium business seats)
- 6,120 Southwest points (3 tickets from Los Angeles to Las Vegas)
- $580.22 (taxes, fees, and 2 tickets between Las Vegas & Los Angeles on AA)
A 3rd seat disappeared during the process of booking, so we had to split on the way to Lima. TravelWhimsy and I flew to Lima (LIM) via Los Angeles (LAX), and mom flew to LIM on AA via Miami (MIA).
Our Twitter reader Chris asked us for help with planning his upcoming 6-day/5-night trip from Washington DC to London in October with his girlfriend to celebrate his graduation from graduate school (Congrats, Chris!). I thought that this topic might be helpful to some of our other readers who might be considering a similar trip.