Welcome Racked readers! For those who are just stumbling onto this blog this week, you got an elevator-pitch summary of who I am and how I fund my travels (through maximizing points, miles, and deals). A few notes about the blog – I typically write 5 types of posts: summaries of the latest deals and offers, trip reports, my earning and redemption strategies, inspirational stories, and open-ended discussions about topics I find current, interesting, and even controversial.
Occasionally, my Dad will stop by and chime in. His expertise is traveling to exotic destinations on a budget, frequently sharing some off-the-beaten path types of travel tips.
Another thing about the blog is that I am very open and personal with my readers, and I don’t care too much about censorship in regards to holding back or posting what’s “expected of me”. To me, blogging should feel like I am connecting with friends (which many of my readers have become, quite frankly!) Everything I post is authentic to what I do myself in the points and miles world. If I don’t like an offer, I won’t write about it; so instead of a consistent schedule of posts, I’ll post when the urge hits to avoid robotic filler posts.
With that being said, I hope you continue to enjoy the ride, travel often, and stay inspired!
Here’s what I’m catching up with this week:
- You can still earn 1,000 extra free Hilton points just by logging in and changing your password by April 10th.
- If you have an Ink Plus or Ink Bold card, make sure you claim your free LOUNGE CLUB benefit by April 30, before it goes away for good after that date. Lounge Club is not really exciting as it only covers 2 lounge visits a year (after that, it’s $27 per visit), but I guess it’s better than nothing for some. I personally enjoy Centurion Lounges that I can access for free for myself and a guest unlimited times with my Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN. The Business Platinum also comes with a Priority Pass lounge membership, which has been very useful in my travels.
- Speaking of Centurion Lounges, I’m still waiting to hear when the MIA location will open. The latest recent update says “late spring 2015”. So far I’ve had a chance to experience the Centurion Lounges at DFW, LGA, and LAS and they have been nothing short of spectacular. I am still due to check out the newest addition – the Centurion Lounge at SFO.
- Southwest has a great business card offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Rapid Rewards points with offer code DF01 between now and April 27. The only annoying factor is that this is potentially targeted, so the safest bet to ensure you get the higher 60,000 point offer is to call Chase directly 1-888-883-2721 and ask to apply for the Chase Southwest Business Premier card. This is the highest sign-up bonus I’ve ever seen on a Southwest card, and yes, I will be applying myself.
- Speaking of credit cards, the next ones on my radar include the 60,000 Southwest card above, the Wyndham Visa (here’s why), the Ink Cash® Business Credit Card, and possibly my very first Discover Card (for cash-back shopping portal stuff and such). I’ll probably sit down and do my applications later today.
- Don’t forget that you can earn 5x at restaurants using the Chase Freedom between April 1 and June 30, 2015 (is it a bad thing that I dine out so much, that I probably will satisfy the $1,500 limit in April alone? :-X).
- ICYMI, Travel is Free has an awesome round up of some of the cheapest points-redemptions for hotels around the world.
- Thank goodness my Avios are back from the British Airways’ hack last week. It was scary being locked out of my account only to see 300,000 points vanish. If you haven’t done so already, log into your own account, reset your password, and make sure your balance is accurate.
- I’ve got some free AwardWallet upgrade codes to pass along. They are valid for one-time use only, so leave a comment below letting others know which one you’ve used (don’t be greedy). Enjoy!