T had been suggesting for a while that I start up some kind of points and miles consultation/booking service. We’ve just now finally gotten around to setting it up, and it’s live! You can check it out at my Award Flight Booking Service page. We also put up pages for a free points & miles consultation, for seeing where your points & miles can take you, as well as a free credit card consultation to help you figure out which credit cards are best for you and/or your travel plans.
Since getting into award travel in early 2016, I dug pretty deep and have put more hours than I’d like to admit into learning about all things credit cards and award travel (travel using points & miles). It’s definitely paid off, though.
Since January of 2015, T and I have flown on 18 long-haul flights (flights over 6 hours), 14 of which were in business class and 4 being in first class. How much did we pay for these flights? Around 950,000 miles and $1223 in taxes and fees per person. That’s right. The total taxes and fees for 18 business and first class flights ranging from 8.5 to 16 hours, with actually good food (food quality in first/business class is significantly higher than coach) and seats that turn into a bed cost us less than what many people pay for one international flight in coach.
You may think: But didn’t you spend a ton of money on credit card annual fees and interest? The answer is: no. Most of our credit cards either waive their fees for the first year or were offset by travel credits. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $450 annual fee. The card gives you $300 in travel credit to spend. If you signed up for this card prior to May 21, 2017, you received this credit once per calendar year. That means one cardmember year gave you $600 in airline travel credit for a $450 annual fee. Granted that you were someone that would spend at least $300 a year on some combination of flights, hotels, taxis/Uber, trains, etc., you were effectively being paid $150 to have this card.
One point of concession I will give is that I did use a number of fee-based services to hit some of the credit cards’ minimum spend requirements. I used rent-payment services like Plastiq and tax-payment services like Pay1040.com to pay for things that are normally cash-only. However, even with all the times we’ve used them, we’ve spent less than $250 on these services.
The very basic idea of signing up for credit cards and/or using points and miles for travel isn’t super complicated, but there are tips and tricks to help you earn and spend points & miles in the best ways possible that most people don’t know and don’t have the time or energy to learn. I’d love to pass on this information to you in the form of simply doing the work for you. 😆 So, give my free points & miles and credit card consultations a try and, if you have or earn yourself enough, I’m happy to help you find flights for your next trip. 🙂
P.S. I definitely won’t try to sell you anything through these free consultations, but I may pass on referral links that earn me a bonus if you use them when signing up for a card. I also assure you that none of my credit card recommendations will be influenced by which cards I have referral links for.