Ever since my addiction to the whole miles & points game started, I always look for ways to optimize or maximize the gain and/or benefits I get from it all. Now you can do this by studying every single loyalty program, but good luck and hats off to you if you decide to go that way…
I often get asked how and why I do all my travel related things… Well the how part is because I spend most of my spare time on it, which can be anything from 30 minutes during my lunch breaks or literally stay up for hours to check the terms and conditions of a loyalty programs. The argument I hear most is that people think I spend too much time on it versus the gain I get from it, I won’t disagree at all. It’s kinda like going to school before you work, you first need to study before you can earn a living.
The same goes for this out of control hobby as it’s been just over 2 years now since I started getting into the whole “travel hacking” scene if you can call it that. This year I will be reaping the rewards of my studies and believe me, it will pay off BIG time! I created a vast knowledge and am still far from being an expert, hence why I try to connect to as many people as possible because together we are strong hehe. Just beware because there are always people around that only want to get and never give anything in return, but that’s with everything in life I guess…
I got a little bit side tracked there so let me get to the why part. Let me ask you this, if there is an opportunity to fly business class for the price of coach, would you do it? Or if you could stay at a 5 star hotel for the price of outdated motel? Most likely your answer will be yes to both questions, if not there’s something seriously wrong with you!
Thanks to the internet and the dedication of some people, there are real good resources available on the web that you should keep your eye on as they can provide you with valuable information. I will show you a couple of the ones that I use to my benefit and hopefully you will be able to use them to your advantage as well.
I won’t go into too much detail about AwardWallet as I have recently written an extensive article on it, but their site and app allow you to keep track of all your loyalty programs as well as any promotions.
This was one of the first sites I started looking at for both airline and hotel promotions, as they have a huge inventory of almost every possible loyalty program. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be as up to date as they used to be two years ago, as you will see a fair bit of expired promotions on there. Still it is a great resource for gaining extra miles or points.
I mainly use it to keep track of airline and hotel promotions as they allow you to either one of those from the top menu on the website and it will take you to lists when you can take your pick. Either an airline:
Or pick a hotel:
The thing I like about Frequentflyerbonuses is that they always provide you with a direct link to the promotion, all you need to do is enter your credentials and click the register button. Very simple isn’t it?
Besides promotions from the airlines and hotels themselves, they also display promotions from related partner programs. For example there are ways to earn miles and points by renting a car, or earn miles with a hotel stay (on top of your hotel points, this is called “double dipping”). There are even promotions for which you can earn FREE miles or points, sometimes just registering for a newsletter of loyalty program or signing up for a loyalty program can be sufficient to earn something.
As you can see in both screen shots above, the last updates are quite outdated… Which brings me to my next weapon of choice when it comes to staying up to date with loyalty programs!
Where would we be without the dedication of John Ollila from Loyaltylobby? I think everyone who’s into “the hobby” has heard of him as he is always right on top of any airline or hotel promotion! When a promotion comes online in the blogosphere, most likely it will be featured first on Loyaltylobby. No I’m not getting paid for saying the name 3 times in the last couple of sentences, for me he’s just a valuable resource.
The articles are always clear and provide you with all necessary steps that are required to registere for a certain promotion. The only downside for me is the fact that he uses a lot of deeplinks, meaning when you click a link on his site it will hit an advert first and you will then be directed to the proper site. That’s just his way of generating an income from his website.
Make sure to subscribe to his newsletter or his RSS feed in order to get the latest information.
Travel Is Free
Drew and Carrie are the people behind the site of Travel Is Free and have been globetrotting the world for a couple of years now, redeeming miles for flights and staying at hotels on points. Over the years Drew has build up one of the best resources when it comes to award charts, earning & burning points and so much more!
This page can be found right here.
Last but certainly not least, is Wheretocredit, which I have only been starting to use in the past few months. It is a very simple website where you can select your airline that you will be flying with, select your booking class and it will tell you the percentage of miles you will be earning for that flight.
After making your selection, simply click the “Show me!” button and you will be able to see the results of your query.
Now this tool can be really useful when you plan to fly an airline where you don’t have any elite status but they have partner airlines where you do have status or if you have an airline in mind where you want to credit your miles.
So there you have it, some of my “loyalty tools” or should I say loyalty resources that I like to keep my eye on. I’m pretty sure there are more tools out there, maybe I’m missing out on some great ones? If you know any that I have not featured, please feel free to share them!