Well, where do I start?
I have no problem answering your initial question Mountie. It's the second question that is more challenging.
No, I'm not in the travel business, although many of my friends think I should do so. Friends often ask that I book trips or flights for them. Perhaps some of you get the same type of requests since you may travel more than your friends.
Although I might know more than my friends about how to maximize my travels while minimizing the costs (like use LL), I know much less than others like Gary and many others on flyertalk.
There was too much covered in the weekend seminar to address here with a few quick tips. Some of it doesn't come so easy. You need first the knowledge and it takes time to sort thru it all once you have the knowledge, so that's where the services of a Gary can in handy. Even with the knowledge and "the tips", it would take us many hours to find what they could find more quickly. The best use for airline miles is international first class tickets that can cost thousands, so if Gary can find these tickets at a low award level, it's certainly worth the $150 compared to paying thousands for that airline ticket.
There were 2 full days with anywhere from 2 to 5 sessions going on at the same time on different topics. In fact I was envious of the couples who attended because they could split up to attend more sessions and then regroup to share what they each learned in a session.
Some of the info was helpful for everyday use and some of it was….."way out there", i.e., things I wouldn't do or things I still couldn't understand well, like how to get a fare without the fuel charges. Taping of the sessions is prohibited.
But much of what you can learn in this type of seminar can be also learned by just reading the FT message boards, plus certain things are best not widely broadcasted,……..….or they end. Also for those same reasons, you might learn tips informally in break conversations that you would not learn anywhere in print or online, after someone trusts you from your past participation over time with FT. I learned info that I would use but also learned some tricks that I'll never use.
Some things covered at the seminar and on the FT website:
- Best use of airline miles and how to calculate it (generally best use of airlines miles is international business or international first class)
- How to find low airline awards - more challenging on some airlines vs others
- How to maximize your hotel awards
- How to find good hotel promos and rates
- Best credit card offers to earn points for free hotel stays and airline award tickets
- How to churn credit cards to maximize points without affecting your credit score
- How to do cost effective mileage runs to maximize your elite qualifying airline miles
- Rental car promos and rate codes
- Airline and hotel specific workshops
- Tools and technology to do all of the above
Flyertalk isn't just about flying. There are also discussions on many other travel related topics. For some of it however, it seems like another language and it may take a newbie some time to learn the acronyms. One doesn't need to do a lot of business travel to warrant it; the message boards or the seminar was about how to best use what you have. So for those who don't have tons and tons of miles and points, they can learn how to maximize the use of what they have.
And no, I am not affiliated in any way with FT, just one who likes to make the best use of my miles and other travel related rewards programs.
jmbklj, now that's what I call answering a question.
LOL! Thanks! Hopefully not TMI.
Originally Posted by jsattapr2
Credit Card Churning
First time I can recall anyone openly mentioning 'credit card churning' here in the community/lounge.
Originally Posted by jmbklj
Although not as addicted as René ("deltagoldflyer"), http://boardingarea.com/blogs/deltapoints/aboutme/ I have been a long time (modest) participant in the churning game and have managed to enjoy the benefits of points (suite upgrades) and miles (BIZ & FIRST I would have otherwise missed along the way.
Credit card churning!!! Used to be the way to go until it started to affect credit scores. J-how do you "properly" churn without affecting cc scores?
bonniejoy03, I hear some of your traditional banking background ringing in the background. Do you think most people really care about about their credit scores anymore?
Originally Posted by bonniejoy03
I don't really do any credit card churning, but I am giving it serious considerations.
Why not grab all of the bonus miles and points possible and deal with a credit score later. It's the American way.
YIKES....Credit scoring can make or break someone for a mortgage, loan, job, etc. Scary.
However, I would be interested in seeing how the "experts" suggest applying for credit cards for the perks and then closing them without affecting credit scores.
Sorry, bonniejoy03, but I am way beyond worrying about these issues.
Originally Posted by bonniejoy03
Churn and burn. Get those points and miles while you can.