How I am flying to Chicago for just $11 and 5800 points!

This is another post in the How I am Series of articles that show you the nuts and bolts of how I play the free travel game.Chicago Bean Link

They say luck is when preparation meets opportunity and I am a very lucky guy.  When I saw that my friend and Incorrect Records label boss Anthony Attalla was spinning at a birthday party at Spybar in Chicago in May, I was on the lookout for a deal on award tickets.  I just scored round trip airfare for just $11 and 5800 Southwest points which is a steal! I’m going to do this one a bit differently and break this deal down backwards. Continue reading “How I am flying to Chicago for just $11 and 5800 points!”

How I’m going to Movement in Detroit for $11.60

The Movement Festival in Detroit is one of my favorites each year.  Experiencing Techno where a lot of it began is a great experience and the fact that it is dirt cheap as well doesn’t hurt!

Old Miami Detroit
Old Miami in Detroit

Continue reading “How I’m going to Movement in Detroit for $11.60”

Southwest New Year sale! FLL-MDW 9K points roundtrip, FLL-BWI 10K, FLL-AUS 9K, and many more!

Southwest is having a great sale for the new year that works for both cash and points fares.  Southwest 2015 Sale

Continue reading “Southwest New Year sale! FLL-MDW 9K points roundtrip, FLL-BWI 10K, FLL-AUS 9K, and many more!”

Last Minute Southwest Fare Sale. Ends today, June 5!

Southwest Fare SaleSouthwest is having a great fare sale that applies to both points and cash flights.  The flights have to be booked today but the travel has to happen between August 25 and December 17, 2014.  If you have travel planned during those dates the best thing to do may be to book now and then cancel if your plans change.  If you are using points to book, Southwest allows you to cancel up until 15 minutes before your flight and the points will be redeposited to your account with no penalties. If you pay cash for the ticket, they will give you the funds back in a credit that you can use at a future date.

Some example flights you could do are:

Fort Lauderdale to Las Vegas over Labor Day for 18,000 Rapid Rewards points


Fort Lauderdale to Reno over Labor Day for Burning Man for 19K points (I think I am going to pick up these tickets and then cancel if I find something better).


Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island Islip for 12K points


So you have about 4 hours left.  It is worth a look to see what might be available.  Also keep in mind that many times the other airlines match the pricing that Southwest puts out so if you are paying cash, then you might look at other airlines if you are trying to get status with a certain airline.

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on Google+FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

2500 Free Southwest Rapid Reward points for new signups

Edit: Feb 10, 2014.  This offer has expired.  Congratulations to everyone who got in on it.

This is another of the articles from our No Credit, No Problem series that you can get without any special credit needed.  Just have to be alive and have an email address for this one.  If you don’t have a Southwest Rapid Rewards account, now is the time to sign up! They currently are giving you 2000 points instantly for signing up, then another 500 points for signing up for two different email newsletters and remaining subscribed for three months.

southwest 2500Southwest points are some of the best ways to travel domestically in the US.  In fact, in my recent article on 7 ways you can fly to the Movement festival in Detroit for free, I showed you how you only need 10,940 Rapid Reward points to go round trip to Detroit.  So this promotion can give you almost 1/4 of the amount you will need. Click here to sign up for this promotion and start a free Rapid Rewards account.

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

7 Ways to fly to the Movement Festival in Detroit for free

IMG_6105One of my favorite festivals I attend each year is the Movement Festival in Detroit over Memorial Day weekend.  I truly believe it is the best techno focused festival in the US each year.  Last year I went with a friend to Detroit for only $10.  Since this is the next big festival many of my readers are thinking about attending, I’m going to show you what you can do now to get free flights there from Miami (but many of the options should apply wherever you are coming from).

1. Pay cash for the plane ticket.

Current prices are  $218 (departing Friday, May 23)  or $240 (Departing Saturday, May 24) on Delta Airlines.  This obviously isn’t a free option, but I wanted to include it so you can compare its cost to the other options and see what value you are getting for the points you are redeeming.fll-dtw

2. Use part of the 40,000 Mile Bonus of the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® to pay cash for the plane ticket. Value – 1.25 cents per mile.

Apply for the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® card and use 21,800 Miles of the 40,000 Mile sign on bonus to pay for a ticket.  You will get an automatic rebate of 2,180 Miles (10%) back into your Arrival mileage account.  You will get 2255 Skymiles since you are basically paying cash for the ticket as far as Delta is concerned. You could consider the true cost of this option as 21,800 – 2180 – 2255 = 17365 because of the rebates and miles you will earn.  Read our full review on the Arrival Card here.  ArrivalBanner

3. Use part of the 40,000 Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus to book Southwest flights using points. Value – 2.2 Cents / Point

Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and transfer 10,940 of the 40,000 point bonus to Southwest Airlines where you can book an award seat using those points. Read our full review on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card here.

SWA-FLL-DTW4. Use part of the 50,000 Chase Rapid Rewards Plus bonus to book Southwest flights using points. Value – 2.2 Cents / Point

Apply for the Chase Rapid Rewards Plus card and use 10,940 of the 50,000 point bonus to book an award seat using those points (same flights apply as the picture on option 3).

5. Use part of the 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus to book American flights using British Airways Avios. Value – 1.2 Cents / point

Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and transfer 20,000 of the 40,000 point bonus to British Airways Avios where you can book an American Airlines award seat using those points. Read our article on how to book American Flights with British Airways Avios if you aren’t familiar with that process.  Read our full review on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card here.BA-MIA-DTW

6. Use part of the 50,000 Avios British Airways Mastercard bonus to book American flights using British Airways Avios. Value – 1.2 Cents / point

Apply for the British Airways card and use 20,000 of the 50,000 Avios Bonus to book an American Award seat using Avios (same flights apply as in option 5).  Read our article on how to book American Flights with British Airways Avios if you aren’t familiar with that process.

7. Shop online with Rapid Rewards shopping to earn the 10,940 points needed for a Southwest Award flight. Value – unlimited if it is for purchases you would have made anyways.

Rapid Rewards ShoppingThis will be the only option available for those without good credit since you can use your debit card or even a prepaid card.  There are hundreds of merchants you can shop with and get points for every dollar that you spend.  If you were planning on making these purchases anyways then you can end up with completely free points to redeem for your tickets!  Some of the high earning merchants right now are 12 points / $1 at, 10 points / 1$ at Rosetta Stone, 7 points / $1 at Snapfish, 4 points / $1 at Advance Auto Parts, or 3 points / $1 at Groupon.  If you aren’t familiar with how to make miles and points with online shopping, read our article on how to make mega miles shopping online!


As you can see, the best value for your miles is in option 3 and 4, followed by option 2, then option 5 and 6.  If you don’t have a lot of miles, then option 1 isn’t a bad choice while the fares stay low.  As the fares go up, the free ticket options will go up in value. I personally will probably be using option 3 since I have so many Ultimate Rewards points.

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

How I Traveled with Miles in 2013

As each year ends, I think it is important to reflect on what has happened in the last year.  As I make decisions on how to acquire and use miles in 2014, I wanted to see what value I had received from my miles in the last year.

Looking back and writing it all down has helped me remember why I am so obsessed about points and has me looking forward to my travel in 2014!

If you are ready to get started, why not try the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?  With the Ultimate Rewards points it has, you can transfer them to all of the airlines I used to fly this year!

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

How to use shopping portals to make mega miles!

I love shopping portals.  I have literally made hundreds of thousands of points all at one time by taking advantage of shopping portals. See how I made 264,000 Ultimate Rewards Points + $1000 shopping at Sears or how I made 189,000 Rapid Rewards Points + a companion pass shopping online. But what exactly are shopping portals and how do they work?

What are Shopping Portals?

A shopping portal is just like the name describes it is a portal (like a doorway) that takes you shopping online.  Think of it like a mall.  It is full of many shops that are all owned by different companies.  What if I told you if you went through one entrance of the mall that you could get 5 miles for every dollar you spent? And if you went through another entrance you could get 10 miles for every dollar?  And if you went through yet another entrance you would get no miles at all!  That is how they work!  But it’s easiest to explain with an example.

How do Shopping Portals Work?

Let’s say you have gone through our Getting Started Page and have already signed up for a free United MileagePlus number.  If you haven’t, go do it now! We are going to use the MileagePlus Shopping Portal in our example. This portal gives you United Airlines Miles for shopping in their mall.  Some malls you need to create a separate login, but this one you can just log in with your United MileagePlus number and PIN or password you use to access your MileagePlus account online.

After logging in, search for the store you want to go shopping in. FYI here is their version of how the online shopping portal works.


In our example we are going to use Walmart.  Online is about the only way I will ever go to Walmart. I search for Walmart in the search box and it brings up a screen that shows details about that merchant.UnitedWalmartYou can see that they are offering 1 Mile for every dollar that you spend. This means if you buy a $500 LCD TV from Walmart on Black Friday, you can get an extra 500 United Miles just by starting your shopping session through this portal!  They also list some sale and coupon codes that you can sometimes use. Since you are already logged in just click on the Shop Now button and you will be transported to the exact same as if you went their directly.  Same products, same prices.

1 Mile per dollar is pretty much the bare minimum you will find and many of them offer much higher rates.  I have even seen up to 60 Miles per dollar on occasion which is incredible!

The miles will typically show in your account after a week or so, but sometimes it might take up to a month to see them reflected. You can see your earning history by clicking on the My Account link at the top right of the screen.


What shopping portals are there?

Almost every major US airline, most hotel chains and even some random point programs have shopping portals.  Here are a few of them.

There are also some straight Cashback shopping portals that give you cold hard cash instead of miles such as:

How do I know which shopping portal to use?

Luckily there are web sites whose whole purpose is to help you decide which portal to use.  Of course if you are specifically after United Miles then that might be the best one to use.  But you should at least compare a few of the portals to make sure a much better deal isn’t available.  The shopping portal comparison site I like to use is  If I go to that site and type in Walmart for instance, here is what I see.

EVRewardAs you can see, UPromise and ShopDiscover are offering 5% cash back.  I would rather have that than 1 mile per dollar all day long!


I hope this has showed you how easy it is to make extra miles and cash by shopping online.  You really shouldn’t shop online without utilizing a shopping portal.  If you don’t, you are simply leaving free miles on the ground that you should be picking up.  If you have any questions then leave them in the comments and I will answer them.