Planning Vacation for Busy Professionals using miles and points

I have several folks who have subscribed to my Travel Coaching Service  and a lot of them are busy professionals such as Software Engineers, Scientists, Business Owners and more. Lets get it straight you could be a professional make a  good income but don’t you feel strapped with both budget and time  when it comes to taking vacation? I tell people for a quality vacation lets fix the money part first and time surprisingly always shows up. And weekend getaway does not have to be  a budget motel and eating food at a buffet restaurant.

JAL Check in

We are able to fly business class for almost pennies. This is before our JAL flight from Dallas-Tokyo for which I paid $100 per ticket and 55000 AA miles.

What Credits cards should busy professional sign-up for?

That’s a broad question and a lot depends on your personal travel goals. I’ve helped  doctors via my travel coaching program plan some fabulous getaways and listening to them made me realize they  work long-hours and  get time off typically when everything is expensive around Christmas, Spring breaks and summer vacations. I make them aware of different credit cards and how the bonuses work as most card require you to complete certain amount in minimum spend to attain the sign-up bonus.  Keep an eye for  limited time higher sign-up bonuses on credit cards and this is when you should jump on the offer as with several banks  especially American Express you can now earn the sign-up bonus once in lifetime.  However, other banks such as Citi and Chase allow you to earn sign-up bonuses on the same product more than once. Personally I signed up for the Chase British Airways Avios card in 2013 ago when they were offering a bonus offer of 100,000 British Airways Avios. I cancelled my British Airways card after 12 months and reapplied for it this year in January when similar offer of 100,000 (still active) popped up. Remember, I had to wait 18 months from the time of receiving bonus (and not cancellation) to qualify for  the bonus second time.

Its OK to have enough miles banked and use them at your disposal but remember award tickets are not always available at a short notice so best is to start early.

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We stayed five nights at an all-inclusive hotel In Jamaica and total cost out of pocket was under $300.

Here is a rundown of some of my favorite credit cards for this month and the bonuses and benefits attached to them.

  1. Chase Sapphire Preferred – 50,000 Bonus points after spending $4000 in three months. If you redeem these points via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal they are valued at $625 but I see best value in transferring them to United and fly one way Business Class to Europe. You now increased the value of the same 50,000 points to almost $2000. This card has no annual fees first year and the second year is $95. The UR points can be transferred to several airlines such as United, Southwest, British Airways so you will always find some availability to your choice of destination. Th e points can also be transferred to hotel programs such as Hyatt and IHG.
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I transferred my UR points to fly Business Class from Phi-Madrid

2. American Express SPG personal and Business Card – Both these card have an increases sign-up bonus of 35,000 points for a limited time and its the perfect time to get it as the bonus is at the highest its ever been. SPG points are really cool because you can use them to either stay at some fancy properties in Europe as what we did b staying at the Le Meridien Barcelona right in the heart of Las Ramblas. For a three night stay my out of  pocket expense was just a $100 which otherwise would have easily costed me $1000.

 

SPG points can also be transferred to other airlines and for every 20,000 SPG points you transfer you will earn 25,000 airline miles which is an amazing value.

3. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard – This is a very unique card. You will earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3000 in three months. Now the 40,000 miles are neither airlines miles or hotel points but they are what I call “flexible currency” or simply cash that can be redeemed for any sort of travel expense such as hotels, airline fees, baggage charges and many more. This is really awesome because even when you use miles and points to purchase airline tickets you still have to pay taxes but if the taxes are charged to this card you can redeem it as a travel expense. Also this card is great especially for last minute travel when you are unable to find miles and points redemption available. This card earn you 2X on all purchases everywhere plus you get 120 days to redeem a travel charge which is a a nice feature.

Capital one has the Venture Rewards card very similar to Barclay Arrival World Elite Mastercard so if a couple applies for both  the Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard and the Capital one Venture card they will earn almost $2000 in anyways travel money which is huge. Neither cards charge an annual fees the first year. I highly recommend this card for spontaneous vacation or to negate taxes and fees.

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At Ferrari World Abu Dabhi

Next Steps?

Well if you are busy then you should definitely consider enrolling in my Travel Coaching program for a small fees to learn insights of the reward programs. We will discuss a game-plan to get you to your next destination for almost pennies. This way you would not have to spend countless hours figuring out everything yourself and remember things change so fast in the world of miles and points and getting the right information is the key to save thousands of dollars.

Categories: Credit cards, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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