The Point Me to the Plane Meet-Up on Thursday in NYC was great fun, especially for me as I got billing on the event just for showing up. Thanks Adam for putting together a great time! Not having to put in an effort while seeing the creative Vanilla Reload necklace on the Frugal Travel Lawyer that spoke of countless time many of us have spent in their pursuit put me in a reflective mood on this hobby. Chatting with the attendees, each with things to teach me and tales of their exploits, I was interested to see the people who talk of the burning and people who talk of the earning.
There are many for whom the earning is the thrill and the big payoff, and they are engaged in a arm’s war of ever-more elaborate and creatives schemes that leave me in awe. I try to skim off what I can manage. The back and forth this week at Million Mile Secrets and FrequentMiler on gift cards with PIN is the latest example, and if I had a convenient Walmart it might work for me to partake.
It’s also tax time in the US and I studied Frequent Miler’s masterful Pay federal taxes by credit card, almost for free. I have a small amount to pay on federal taxes, not worth any particular effort, though it left me wondering at what amount I would deem it worthwhile to go the full Big Crumbs-Amex gift card route. The intoxicating lure of miles would probably get me to do it for far less than a cost-benefit analysis would suggest.
I seldom cover miles and points on this blog, many others know much more and have much more time to cover these subjects. There may be an opening to speak to people who want to spend less time on this hobby. I would like to spend much less without giving up the best benefits. I have a few ideas that I will try out on the blog. If I dare to write about a deal that many others have covered I will open myself up to the repetition criticism. Hopefully I will offer something different and useful to those trying to keep a little balance in their life.
I did little this week other than rant about Delta’s slaughter of the same-day confirmed program, so here are 3 posts that were particularly useful to me:
- Million Mile Secrets laid out the New Rules for Getting 2 Citi Credit Cards. My long-intended post on an optimal Citi churning strategy is now irrelevant.
- I continue my search for a good use of Virgin Atlantic points. There are many partners but each partner has quirky rules. One Mile at a Time suggests that Virgin America is worth keeping in mind. My wife has been asking for a trip to San Francisco and 25,000 roundtrip in economy with apparently good availability seems pretty decent (keep in mind I coming from a Delta award perspective!).
- I am not in a position to take advantage of this but FrequentMiler expanded on a One Mile at a Time piece suggestion of an interesting play for moving Ultimate Rewards or Marriott Rewards Points to US Airways with a 50% boost until April 30. The most attractive option for some is the Marriott Flight and Hotel package. I suppose if I had kids a 7-night hotel stay might be appealing to me. Deals We Like breaks down the exchange rates for several other options.