How I keep up with all this

Many people ask me how much time it takes me to keep track of all my credit cards, my miles/points activity, and just to know about deals that are currently out there. The unfortunate answer is that I don’t quantify it but that it takes take a significant amount of time to do what I do. That being said, the adage “time flies when you’re having fun” is accurate: I enjoy what I do so it seemingly takes less time.

In order to learn more about what’s out there, I read a lot of blogs to see what the experts are saying and what I could be doing. I will list a few of them here:

View From the Wing – Gary Leff writes about his experience using and analyzing frequent flyer issues. He is the Chief Financial Officer for the Mercatus Center and Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. Due to his amazing amounts of travel experience, he is viewed as one of the best experts in the field. He writes daily on credit card deals, answers readings questions about how to maximize what they can get out of their cards, how to leverage points and miles, etc. This is a great site with a lot of newbie tips as well as expert information.

The Points Guy – Founded by Brian Kelly, the original “Points Guy,” this site now has many contributors who write about their experience earning and using miles/points to get the best flights and hotels out there. It has a lot of detail and specific pieces of advice for anyone to use.

The Flight Deal – This site focuses on what are the best deals out there on flights you can pay for outright (not with points). It can really be useful since you would not want to book a flight with 25,000 points when it could be had for $100. Sometimes there are some amazing deals in there (like right now, there are some between NYC and Chicago, for $80 roundtrip!).

Those are my Big Three that I read daily but other people read One Mile at a Time, Mommy Points, and more. Keep up with whatever blogs you want – just make sure to read regularly so you can learn.

Get money back on broken purchases with certain credit cards

My mom sent me a link from Gary Leff in May discussing how Luxury Link, a website that helps people get deals on luxurious properties worldwide, has closed for business. Gary quotes an email from a reader that states:

Dear Consumer:

Effective immediately, Luxury Link LLC aka Luxury Link Travel Group has ceased all operations and entered into a General Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC), following which all of its assets will be sold. As a result, Luxury Link will not be able to honor the travel you have booked through it. We suggest you contact your credit card issuer for your options regarding any charges to your credit card. You may also want to contact the destination property directly to see what arrangement you can make with it. As Luxury Link is no longer operating, it will be unable to assist you in rearranging your travel plans or obtain a refund.

You will be receiving further news regarding the ABC in the next few weeks. Until then, no further information will be available.

Luxury Link Management

Despite this, the website is still running and you can make new bookings that will not be honored in the future.

This is a good lesson on how you can use your credit cards to get money back in situations like these. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a provision in its membership benefits guide that states:

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In this case with Luxury Link, it was the last reason, “Financial Insolvency” that caused the services not to be rendered so you could make a pretty good argument with Chase to get reimbursed, provided the purchase was posted no more than 60 days before. That is usually the kicker, since you might buy these things months in advance. If you do, you will not be able to get purchase protection.

Many credit cards have benefits like these so it’s definitely worthwhile to know them when you sign up.

Free money and free miles

It’s been a while since I’ve posted – don’t worry, I’m still “flying” fine. My fiancée and I are just knee-deep in wedding planning so I’ve been out of it.

In any case, there are a few free deals going on right now that Gary Leff from View From the Wing has posted on his blog and I wanted to share with you:

5000 free Singapore Airlines miles if you register for a KrisFlyer account. These can be very lucrative for use, since Chase Ultimate Rewards points also transfer into KrisFlyer. You can use 53,750 miles to travel in their Suites class one-way from JFK to Frankfurt.

1000 Club Carlson points just by following them on Twitter. Admittedly, I haven’t used or know much about these points. But they’re free!

Maybe a few dollars for a price-fixing settlement of airline carriers flying to/from Asia and Oceania, as long as the flight started or ended in the US. The settlement is for anyone who has taken a flight to places like Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Since I’ve gone twice in the past 10 years, I qualify for this! Check if you do, too.

That’s all for now. More updates soon!

How to gain some HHilton miles right now

Both DansDeals and View from the wing report that you can earn 1000 Hilton points starting later today by simply changing your password. While not worth as much as other points they can still be useful for free hotel stays down the line. Their award chart is below – obviously the fancier a location the more points it costs per night. But there are some great deals

hilton

Linking US Airways and American Airlines accounts

If you are like me you are paying at least some attention to the fact that American Airlines and US Airways are merging into an enormous conglomerate airline that is the largest in North America. It’s a shame that there are much fewer airlines than there used to be – check out this infographic for an interesting look into the history.

And, don’t forget to merge your US Airways Dividend Miles account with your American Airlines AAdvantage account. Some argue it might not be the time because there might be a bonus while others (including me) maintain that it’s good to have these things done sooner rather than later.

Check out View from the Wing for very accessible instructions on how to do it.