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Old Aug 2, 12, 2:03 am   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyunbit View Post
The problem is: you can get to your destination free of cost but the free ticket may delude you into thinking that your trip is free. Its not.. By the time you add up your other transportation, meals, visit to attractions etc, you would have spent a significant amount.. more so if you are going to an expensive destination like Japan.
I find the item I routinely underestimate these days is rental car + gas, typically for U.S. destinations. That's probably because my mileage-game career spans 21 years now and the car + gas part didn't bite nearly as hard before as it does now. Cars are ridiculously overtaxed, and in some situations (like PDX and MSP in summer) it seems as if they're gouging. We know what's happened with gas. The combination makes that much more expensive than it used to be. It's also a negative for sprawler cities that otherwise aren't bad on costs.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 2:22 pm   #77
 
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Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
Maybe I didn't phrase the idea very well. I am someone who is considered low income by Australian standards but because I am a dual citizen, I have a SSN, good Fico and can get USA credit cards. My friends and family see me and my husband taking off on fabulous trips to places like India, Cook Islands, Brazil and think I must have a secret trust fund someplace or huge bank account. Then when I say I can't do something or buy something because I can't afford it they think I am lying or a cheapskate or something. They don't get the idea of being cash poor but points rich.
Well, my biggest problem is my parents, but it's a "first world problem" I guess. My mom and dad do live a plane ride away, and these days, it's over $500 to buy two tickets... $500 that I could use on an overseas trip. I make a decent income, but live in a high COL area (metro DC) and borrowed a lot of money for school. They bug my wife and I a bit because we haven't flown back to their house since we got married three years ago. Where they live isn't my hometown, and we do somehow manage to get together at other points during the year.

They understand the points game quite well, and have gotten in on some of that. I flat out told them that our priority is international travel, and no, I'm not spending points to go to their house. They don't make a lot of money, but my "middle ground" is to help them accumulate points so they can come out and see us. I talk to my mom and dad every week (and for quite awhile) it's just that I'd rather spend our discretionary funds on international travel.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 2:24 pm   #78
 
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Originally Posted by DillMan View Post
+1 to that. People see money as, well, money and miles as free, so they seem much less tactful when asking for free flights and upgrade instruments.
My wife falls into that trap. It's hard to deny that we actually have points for "that". What I've been getting across to her is that if we spend the points on X, we don't have them for Y. (And we have plenty of plans for Y.)
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Old Aug 2, 12, 2:25 pm   #79
 
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Originally Posted by gbryan84 View Post
This is one of my biggest pet peeves and a reason why I don't like 5* hotels. I usually approach the concierge or front desk and ask for their suggestion on a low key (ie. hole in the wall) place where they would go with their friends or family for a normal meal, nothing fancy. It never fails, they always mention a restaurant in the hotel or something super expensive and act like they blow $50-$100/pp.
I can deal with it, but my wife hates that we'll get to stay at a 5* hotel for nothing, but then can't eat at the hotel restaurant or use their spa. That's not so bad for city hotels, but it can become a pain at resorts. My wife told me that this time around, I better set aside some cash to actually eat on the resort.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 2:28 pm   #80
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyunbit View Post
The problem is: you can get to your destination free of cost but the free ticket may delude you into thinking that your trip is free. Its not.. By the time you add up your other transportation, meals, visit to attractions etc, you would have spent a significant amount.. more so if you are going to an expensive destination like Japan.
Ain't that the truth. Despite the fact we have free airfare and nearly free hotels, we usually end up paying for intra-country airfare. Throw in BA's fuel surcharges, and you don't have a "free" vacation.

My job gives me five weeks vacation, and we've made plans to use use it all on a Bali/Thailand trip this year and a European trip next year. When you're gone for 30+ days, there's nothing close to free about that. $100-$150/day in F&B/entertainment costs adds up. Sure, we don't have to spend that much, but I don't want to stay in 5* hotels and then spend like a backpacker.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 2:36 pm   #81
 
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I am a single guy. Who I am careful about explaining myself to is my dates.

I would not want a gold digger to think that I make big bucks, just because I do some extravagent traveling. To the contrary, I would not want a girl who is responsible with her money to think that I am a fool with mine.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 2:45 pm   #82
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHAST View Post
Ain't that the truth. Despite the fact we have free airfare and nearly free hotels, we usually end up paying for intra-country airfare. Throw in BA's fuel surcharges, and you don't have a "free" vacation.

My job gives me five weeks vacation, and we've made plans to use use it all on a Bali/Thailand trip this year and a European trip next year. When you're gone for 30+ days, there's nothing close to free about that. $100-$150/day in F&B/entertainment costs adds up. Sure, we don't have to spend that much, but I don't want to stay in 5* hotels and then spend like a backpacker.
+1.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 3:22 pm   #83
 
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Originally Posted by AlohaDaveKennedy View Post
So if Apieinthesky can do all this at his age there is at least hope for his generation. My point is - take note you late teens and twenty somethings who say you cannot get cards to fly free - it can indeed be done.
It's true, I'm another example of someone who is 22, make decent college graduate money, and off mostly credit card signups and some limited travel for work thus far, I've been able to amass quite a few miles/points. I'm early in the game, and am just planning my first redemptions, but you don't have to come out of college with a bad FICO. The biggest things that helped me were having one of those low-rate student cards (that I paid off regularly), and an "emergency" card provided by my parents for my travels (which I never used), which immediately gave me a super long credit history. Now spending a lot of time reading about this stuff has me hooked, and I'm excited at all the opportunities this game offers.

To answer the OP's question, I make no apologies for my travels, and won't when it's in C/F. I'll just direct them to FT and tell them to join the fun!
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Old Aug 2, 12, 3:24 pm   #84
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A few examples:

In the early 1990's at my previous employer, there was a deal where if one flew so many segments (first promo was 1,2,3 free domestic tickets after flying 8,14,20 segments on an airline). I was quitely looking for another job so I got flown out for job interviews. The segments built up nicely. I had multiple free tickets on DL and UA. I added to the mix with 6 segment trips on $125 RT airfares like LAX-(AUS/SAT/TUL), etc. That was during the time where the only taxes/fees on airline tickets was the 10% excise tax on the base fare. No other garbage fees on tickets. I used the free tickets to go to Bermuda, San Juan, Anchorage, etc with stopovers/layovers in both directions. I also got alot of FF miles. I did not know very much at that time.

People at my job thought I was a drug dealer or engaged in an illegal trade because I was gone alot. I couldn't explain (for obvious reasons that I was looking for other employment. It wasn't until later when I moved to my present employer almost 20 yrs ago that things became obvious.

2nd example: I did one of the SIN trips for under $500 back in 2002/2003 that had stops in HNL, NRT, Hong Kong, etc. I was carrying alot of bags and got the secondary treatment by customs. I was asked how can I afford the trips. I pulled out the itinerary which had all these stops that show it costing <$500 and some receipts from the hotels, etc I used points for. I also explained that I own rental real estate that I get income from in addition to my employment income. I told them I work for the govt and had my work ID with me. (I went from work to the airport and forgot to put my ID in my car). Customs was very satisfied with my explainations/proof and I never got a secondary screening again. I also explained to the customs person how I was getting lots of FF points for cheap and she liked that. This was before I did CC signups for bonuses like I do now.

I have more but will wait until later to post.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 3:45 pm   #85
 
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
And Eggo waffles. And Kellogg's cereal with nasty dried-up berries in it. And Dannon water to drink. And some sort of Swiss Colony beef logs. And Emmi cheese. And some popcorn.

While we sat and read 400 magazines a month.
Only sit and read 400 magazines a month? You were lucky. Our dad used to make us live in a bungalow made from all the old magazines because he said you don't earn as many points and miles from a mortgage as you do from churning credit cards, which he made us do every month. Also, we had to play musical first-year-free-gold-elite status with a rotating HHonors Surpass Amex so we could all eat free in the executive lounge when we traveled on points, or else Dad would thrash us within an inch of our lives with any old magazines left over. [Read in a Monty Python Yorkshire accent.]

Seriously, though, it sounds like the friends of the OP are very chippy and think that Tiki and the rest of us are "living above our station in life" because we've figured out a way to travel in style despite our modest means. Why should any of us have to offer apologies or explanations, as long as we came by these points and miles honestly, and handle our money responsibly? If people ask me how I manage it, I just refer them to Flyertalk so they can find a method that works for their particular situation. If someone finds out I've just come back from Japan (I don't volunteer the info, but sometimes people ask you where you've been), and I get the stink-eye from the inquisitor, I throw back a Cheshire cat smile.

And if someone hits me up for money, I say I give hand-ups not hand-outs and buy the person a subscription to a personal-finance magazine (and I earn 25 miles/$). Unless the money is for a registered charity; then I ask if the charity accepts credit card donations or donated goods like gift cards bought at supermarkets or drugstores (2x points).

There. Problems solved.

Last edited by milehound; Aug 2, 12 at 4:22 pm. Reason: spelling and punctuation.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 4:13 pm   #86
 
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Sounds like you need a gal like my SO. When I first flew halfway across the world to her place I saw her baggie of credit cards with sticky notes on them and it was love at first sight. When she first flew to my place I picked her up at the airport and put her bags in the back seat. Our first stop was the bank - to unload the $35,000 of boxed dollars in the trunk! We both have been to over 100 countries, countless cruises, and on enough flights to sprout wings. For years we have played tag across the globe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loomis View Post
I am a single guy. Who I am careful about explaining myself to is my dates.

I would not want a gold digger to think that I make big bucks, just because I do some extravagent traveling. To the contrary, I would not want a girl who is responsible with her money to think that I am a fool with mine.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 4:17 pm   #87
 
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Originally Posted by AlohaDaveKennedy View Post
Sounds like you need a gal like my SO. When I first flew halfway across the world to her place I saw her baggie of credit cards with sticky notes on them and it was love at first sight. When she first flew to my place I picked her up at the airport and put her bags in the back seat. Our first stop was the bank - to unload the $35,000 of boxed dollars in the trunk! We both have been to over 100 countries, countless cruises, and on enough flights to sprout wings. For years we have played tag across the globe.
Modern day Bonnie and Clyde! Sounds fun!
I am short on time (to travel) and points. Wife went to Spain without me for a week. I'm a modern day sucker!
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Old Aug 2, 12, 4:21 pm   #88
 
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Another bright kid with a bright future. PM me when you need to manufacture additional spend.

Ditto the other rising stars...

Quote:
Originally Posted by soccerref750 View Post
It's true, I'm another example of someone who is 22, make decent college graduate money, and off mostly credit card signups and some limited travel for work thus far, I've been able to amass quite a few miles/points. I'm early in the game, and am just planning my first redemptions, but you don't have to come out of college with a bad FICO. The biggest things that helped me were having one of those low-rate student cards (that I paid off regularly), and an "emergency" card provided by my parents for my travels (which I never used), which immediately gave me a super long credit history. Now spending a lot of time reading about this stuff has me hooked, and I'm excited at all the opportunities this game offers.

To answer the OP's question, I make no apologies for my travels, and won't when it's in C/F. I'll just direct them to FT and tell them to join the fun!

Last edited by AlohaDaveKennedy; Aug 2, 12 at 4:47 pm.
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Old Aug 2, 12, 4:26 pm   #89
 
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Ummm...so my fellow Cardinal at Citi has said. That is when she is not asking Where's Waldo? or introducing me as that crazy person I told you about who flies to to the arctic circle for Mexican food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanshan View Post
Modern day Bonnie and Clyde! Sounds fun!
I am short on time (to travel) and points. Wife went to Spain without me for a week. I'm a modern day sucker!
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Old Aug 2, 12, 4:36 pm   #90
 
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Originally Posted by soccerref750 View Post
It's true, I'm another example of someone who is 22, make decent college graduate money, and off mostly credit card signups and some limited travel for work thus far, I've been able to amass quite a few miles/points. I'm early in the game, and am just planning my first redemptions, but you don't have to come out of college with a bad FICO. The biggest things that helped me were having one of those low-rate student cards (that I paid off regularly), and an "emergency" card provided by my parents for my travels (which I never used), which immediately gave me a super long credit history. Now spending a lot of time reading about this stuff has me hooked, and I'm excited at all the opportunities this game offers.
Honestly could have written this myself. At 22, the two keys to already being in this game are (1) paying off, in full, every time on "student card" and (2) being attached to parents accounts (I don't even have cards, cut them up). From here on out, I just want to make sure to keep inquiries low in times I may move.
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