How I am earning 15,000 American Advantage miles making my Mom and girlfriend happy!

First post in a while but this seemed like a great deal so here it is! American Airlines is having a promotion where if you perform 4 transactions with 4 of their miles earning partners then you can score a cool 10K bonus AAdvantage miles. Since this coincides with Mother’s Day it is a great time to consider it. Here is the bonus offer.

Now – June 15 you can earn bonus miles when you transact with more than 1 of our participating partners:

  • 2 partners, earn 2,000 bonus miles
  • 3 partners, earn 5,000 bonus miles
  • All 4 partners, earn 10,000 bonus miles

Here are the 4 partners you have to make purchases with.  Click on the icon to be redirected to the right site with the promotion code prefilled.

30 Miles per dollar at 1-800-Flowers


Get 6 bottles of wine and 3,000 miles!


Shop at one of almost 1000 online stores and earn even more miles!


Earn miles by eating! What a deal!

I think I’m going to take advantage of all 4 by getting some wine for my girlfriend, some flowers for Mom, going out for a nice meal, then doing some online shopping.  I’ll get 3,000 for the wine, 2000 for the flowers, 100 for the meal and 500 for the online shopping, then another 10,000 bonus miles for completing all 4 offers!

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”

How I am Flying to Burning Man for just $10

Burning ManThis is another of my How I am series of articles where I give you the nuts and bolts of awards redemptions that I am making and show you how to do the same!

I have talked about attending Burning Man in the past and it has become one of of my favorite events each year.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull all the pieces together this year, but luckily I had made a speculative booking back in June when Southwest was having a sale for a decent deal.FLL-RNO For just 19,534 Southwest points and $10 I was able to book my flights from Fort Lauderdale to Reno (which is the closest major airport to the event)!  Southwest is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards so I was able to use part of the 40,000 point sign on bonus I received by getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for these flights.  The great thing about using Southwest points for domestic coach flights is that you can cancel or change the flights any time up to 15 minutes before your flight leaves and get all of the points back without any fees charged. My plan was to keep these flights unless a better sale came along on Southwest where I could rebook and get the points savings.  For domestic short flights I don’t mind coach too much and the two free bags that Southwest provides certainly takes away some of the worry of getting stuck with a big bag fee.

Pro-Tip:  I actually booked the above trip in two separate one way reservations since the price in points was the same.  This gave me the additional flexibility to change either flight without effecting the other.  This comes in handy when one of the dates goes on sale but the other has gone up in price.  If you had it all under one reservation you would have to cancel both flights and might miss out on the savings opportunity.

As always, reply with any questions and follow me on Google+FacebookTwitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss any great info!  And don’t forget to share this article with anyone who might be interested using the handy social share buttons right below this post!

How I am traveling to Ibiza, Spain for only $181

I love Ibiza.  This beautiful island off the coast of Spain is a magical place where you can lounge on the beach during the day and dance until dawn each night.  And I am going back again this year for a month! You can read about my trip in 2013 here or my trip in 2012 here.  Ibiza Closing Parties 009

Continue reading “How I am traveling to Ibiza, Spain for only $181”

How I am flying to the Riverwest Festival in Chicago for $5!

This is another article in our How I Am series that shows you the nuts and bolts of redeeming miles for Award Travel.

People who follow this blog know I love traveling, techno and deep house music.  Wherever possible, I try to combine my passions.  This is one of those times.  I just planned a last minute trip to go to the RiverWest Festival in Chicago over the 4th of July. When my friend ToDD from Chicago first showed me the flyer, I was in heaven!  He told me if I got up there I could stay in his apartment so I wouldn’t even need a hotel for this trip.Riverwest PosterPlanning this trip is a prime example of why it is important to get the miles and points before you need them so when you want to do something you have options. If you still haven’t gotten started with miles, why not check out our Getting Started page.  Everything on it is free and it will only take you about 45 mins to complete.

I was able to use points I had from my Chase Sapphire Preferred card to book this whole trip.  Since Southwest and British Airways are both transfer partners of Ultimate Rewards (which is the type of points the Sapphire Preferred earns), I was able to look at both Southwest and British Airways when looking for available award flights.  And since you can book American Airlines flights using British Airways Avios and save tons of miles (see this article about when to use BA miles vs American miles), that meant I could look at Southwest flights and American Airlines flights.

On the outbound I found this great non stop American Airlines flight from Nashville (where I am located right now) for just 4500 British Airways Avios and $2!  Miami was available as well.  I transferred 5K Ultimate Rewards points over to my British Airways account to book this ticket.  I put the $2 on my Chase British Airways card since it gives me 2.5 Avios per dollar on any BA spend (hey, every little bit helps!).


If I had booked this exact same ticket with American Airlines miles (for the exact same flight on the exact same plane), it would have cost me 12,500 miles and $77 ($2 plus a $75 last minute booking fee).  Score!

Now getting back was a little more complicated.  There were no saver American Airline seats available on Monday (which is what I need to have to be able to book the seats using British Airways Avios), so if I used American miles, it would have to be an AAnytime award.  That would mean 25,000 miles one way!  No Thank You!

I looked at Southwest going out of Chicago Midway airport (both airports are easy to get to from Chicago) and found a great award seat available late in the evening so I would have time to hit any after parties and still sleep some!MDW-BNASo for 4500+9507=14007 Ultimate Rewards points and $4.50 I was able to get this trip booked (OK, it was even less than $5!).  Keep in mind that I got more Ultimate Rewards points than this last week with the Amex Gift Card promotion I wrote about so this was a no brainer! Even better since with Southwest you can cancel any time up to 15 minutes before your flight and get all of your points back, if the American non stop opens up Saver seats between now and then, then I can book that flight back using BA miles and drop the total cost from 14K to 9K!

This little exercise is a prime example of why Ultimate Rewards points are so valuable.  If I had just had Southwest points or American Miles or British Airways Avios, then I wouldn’t have had all of the options that I did.  And having those options is what made this trip a great value! Getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best way to get started with Ultimate Rewards so click here to apply today!

Have any of you booked a trip that you thought was a good value?  Comment and show off your planning skills below!  As always, reply with any questions and follow me on Google+FacebookTwitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss any great info!

How I am flying to Costa Rica for $45!

Costa RicaIt started innocently enough: “Keith invites you to the Facebook group Costa Rica Vacation.”  Intrigued I clicked into this group some of my friends had started and saw what they had planned.  A huge 8 bedroom house with a chef that sleeps 18 in Quepos, Costa Rica in the rain forest but near the beach.  The best part was since there were so many people interested, the cost would only be around $200 a person for the whole week!

Only $200 for a week!
Only $200 for a week in this awesome house!

But how much would it cost me to fly there?  If you read my article TWM, Take Me Away to Costa Rica for Free then you know that from Miami redeeming 15,000 British Airways miles for American Airlines flights is the best option.  I checked over the dates I was looking at and found tons of award availability over the 3 non stop flights each day.

I transferred 15,000 points that I earned by Spending Money without Spending Money with my Chase Ink Bold card (which now has a 60,000 point sign on bonus.)  You could also use miles you get from the 40,000 point Chase Sapphire Preferred or the 50,000 Avios Chase British Airways card.  The transfer processed instantly and then I was able to book my trip for just 15,000 British Airways Avios and $45!

MIA-SJOI did a quick comparison for the exact same flights if I paid cash with American Airlines and came up with $545! MIA-SJO-AA-PriceThis gives me a savings of exactly $500 and value of over 3.3 cents per point which is great! My total out of pocket cost for this trip including lodging and airfare is about $250 right now.  To that I will just have add on groceries and any excursions such as canopy ziplining or ATVing or hiking a volcano! 🙂 I’m pretty sure even when everything is factored in, it will be cheaper than Miami would have been for the week!  Having the frequent flyer miles for the flights is definitely what made this trip possible for me.

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

How I am going to Timewarp in Germany AND Beijing in Business Class for $184

This is part 1 of a series on my trip to Austria, Germany and China.

I received 40,000 of the 100,000 miles I used for this award ticket by getting the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®!  This is a great card and one I still carry.  These miles will eventually become American miles which are some of the most valuable.  Click here to apply now for one of your own!

I’ve been wanting to go to the Timewarp Music Festival in Mannheim for years now but with the timing right after Winter Music Conference in Miami it was hard to make work.  I had heard from DJs and friends who have attended that this 24 hour multi floor festival was one of the “really big deals” in the techno event calendar. When you see pictures like this it is easy to see why.TimeWarp 2013Another of my bucket list items has been a leisurely tour of mainland China including the famous Great Wall!  I had visited Hong Kong and Macau during my round the world award trip that inspired this site, but didn’t have the time then to give the rest of the country a proper visit. China is so vast and has so many incredible sites that I wanted to see as much as I could and not be rushed.Great Wall ChinaWhat if I could combine both of these amazing trips into one kick ass adventure?  It turns out I can!

Why I had to do this trip now?

I wrote an article back in November when the US Airways / American Airlines merger cleared the justice department about some of the strategies you should consider for the merged airline.  I followed up with another article detailing why you might want to get the US Airways card before March 31st when it might disappear into airline history (or more accurately merge into the new American Airlines).  I also personally was sitting on 127,423 US Airways miles in my account!

US Air StatementOne of the best values in award travel is the North America to North Asia in Business Class Award for only 90,000 US Airways Miles.   To make it even sweeter they allow you to route this award ticket via Europe with a stopover if you pay 10,000 miles more (the rate agents said they had to price it at the Europe award rate since it was the higher of the two zones). This means I could plan a 3 week China trip in and out of Beijing with a 5 day mini trip to Timewarp in Germany first! Yeah!!!

Edit: This award sweet spot survived the merger with a little increase in price (to 110K for biz) and is now bookable with OneWorld partners!

How I booked it

I followed the steps in my article on how to check Star Alliance Availability on and found some awesome lie flat new business class seats on Austrian Airways 777 from New York to Vienna and then Austrian Airways 767 from Vienna to Beijing. Then I found a seat on Air China’s 777 new lie flat business class product.This is an almost 14 hour flight from Beijing to Houston, Texas! Think about that one in coach, ugh!  Once I found the long distance legs (which are usually the hardest ones to find) I searched for the other flights from Miami to New York, Vienna to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Vienna, and Houston to Miami.  After an hour on the phone confirming everything, they came back with the damage.  100,000 US Airways Miles and $184 in fees and taxes! US AIr Award SuccessBOOK IT!

But I didn’t tell you the best part!

My best friend and TWM reader Andres was able to use his United Miles to get on the same flights with me on the way over for Timewarp too!  You may recognize him from our Meals for Miles article! 🙂IMG_7673We will be living it up in Germany for 5 days (with a day stop in Vienna ) then he will return to Miami and I will continue on to China.  I’ve always said one of the reasons I started this site is because I want to help friends experience the things I’ve been able to and also to selfishly get my friends with me on some trips!  I’ve given a trip to my Dad as a Christmas present, given away two award seats to the BPM Festival in Mexico to two lucky techno fans, but now an amazing trip with my best friend for close to free is finally becoming a reality!


It is not too late to get a trip like this yourself if you get the 40,000 from the US Airways card now.  You will need a total of 60,000 miles to do this exact trip in coach or 110,000 in Business Class.  I’ve always said the best time to get miles is before you need them.  That is why I tell everyone to read our Getting Started Guide.  But don’t just read it!  Do it!

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 I flew to Panama for $62.50.

The view from my resort in the rain forest in Panama

I just got back from a quick 4 day trip to Panama which included a night at a beachside resort, a night in Panama City and a night at a resort in the rain forest near the canal.  And I only paid $62.50 out of pocket for my flight!  Here is how I did it.

  1. I had received 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the sign on bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I had to spend $3,000 within 3 months to get the bonus.
  2. I priced out a trip from Miami to Panama on British and saw that it was 20,000 Avios round trip plus $62.50 in taxes.mia-pty2
  3. I transferred 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points to my British Airways Avios Account online via my Chase Ultimate Rewards account.UR Transfer to BA
  4. It took a few minutes to transfer the points to British Airways but then I was able to book my flights on British Airways web site!

Now it is your turn! Start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and start planning your adventure today!