Euro Trip 2019 Planning: Booking initial hotels (Part 2)

Euro Trip 2019 Planning: Booking initial hotels (Part 2)

Today’s article will resume the discussion of booking the initial hotel stays for our 2019 Euro Trip. I will address the value of points and miles and why I prefer award nights for this trip. I use Milan as a detailed example and will close with the hotels selected for each city on our itinerary.

Read More

Why I will no longer actively accumulate American AAdvantage miles

Why I will no longer actively accumulate American AAdvantage miles

Last week I spent a lot of time researching and eventually booking flights for this year’s trip to Europe. This will be our first visit outside the peak summer travel season I expected to have my pick of plentiful award flight and hotel options. I was partially right: there were far more choices than I typically find during the summer. I was miserably wrong, however, when I searched American Airlines in hopes of using my stash of American AAdvantage miles. But I found no saver-level business class space for the days we are traveling. For me, this was the last straw.

Read More

Amex Hilton Honors Business: go for the annual free night?

Amex Hilton Honors Business: go for the annual free night?

Earlier this year, I opened an American Express Hilton Honors Business Card and spent $4,000 to earn the welcome bonus. This gives me a head start on meeting the $15,000 annual threshold for a free weekend stay at a Hilton property. But is this a good use of $10,000 of spending? I take a look in this article.

Read More

Amex Starwood Preferred Guest card Statement credit promotion

Amex Starwood Preferred Guest card Statement credit promotion

Last week, I reviewed my American Express credit card portfolio. My primary takeaway was to close my consumer Amex Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card. Ironically, yesterday, I received a spend promotion from American Express for that very card. 

Read More

I earned over 11,800 AAdvantage miles in 2017 via the AA shopping portal!

If you actively collect travel points and miles, you want to leave no stone unturned when looking for ways to earn these rewards. Making as many of your purchases as possible through online shopping portals is one of the best methods for accomplishing this. A portal I frequently use is the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping site, where last year I earned 11,827 miles by starting shopping "trips" on the site.

Read More

Developing my Hedgehog Concept

Developing my Hedgehog Concept

Last week, I debuted the new look of Debrian Travels and discussed why I would say I am not relaunching the blog but rather tightening its brand. Part of that process was defining my Hedgehog Concept, a framework developed by renowned business author Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. While the business analysis of my blog does not fall within the branding I outlined in my previous post, I think a deeper dive into that thought process could be useful to better understand the focus I will have with the updated Debrian Travels. An ancillary benefit is that it can serve as an example for other small businesses or bloggers.

Read More

Bonus miles with American and Delta shopping portals

Bonus miles with American and Delta shopping portals

I love shopping portals and have written about them frequently. As we head into the Christmas shopping season, both AAdvantage eShopping and Delta Air Lines's SkyMiles Shopping are offering bonus miles by achieving certain spend thresholds.

Read More

IHG PointBreaks: Two nights for 9,000 points!

The fall/winter 2017 IHG Rewards Club PointsBreak promotion is active. For the hotels on this quarter's list, you can book reward nights for just 5,000 points. I snagged two nights for a grand total of just 9,000 as a IHG Rewards Club MasterCard cardholder!

Read More

iPhone X and Chase Ultimate Reward points

iPhone X and Chase Ultimate Reward points

Overnight Thursday, I joined the throngs of people on the East Coast of the United States who rose at 3A to pre-order an iPhone X. I placed my order via the online Apple Store which I accessed from the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Will I earn points for the AppleCare+ warranty I bought?

Read More

Another spend promotion for the Barclaycard Aviator Red card

Promotions for the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red MasterCard have padded my American Airlines AAdvantage account in the past. Barclaycard is back with another opportunity to earn bonus miles by meeting certain spend thresholds during the last three months of 2017. Is this an attractive offer that I will pursue?

Read More

Fall 2017 hotel promotion: IHG Rewards

For fall 2017, IHG is offering a new version of "Accelerate." I have not been a big fan of previous "Accelerate" promotions, but I am surprised at just how lucrative the fall 2017 edition is. Let's take a closer look.

Read More

Downgrading the Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited

Recently, Chase changed its rules and now prohibits a user from carrying more than one Sapphire card product. My wife wants to apply for the very attractive Chase Sapphire Reserve card so we decided to downgrade her current Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The process was fairly simple and now she will be able to apply for the Sapphire Reserve product.

Read More

Hitting spend for signup bonuses fast: charging a car down payment

Charging all or part of a new car can be a great way to earn a large amount of points or miles as well as satisfy large initial spend requirements for credit card sign-up bonuses. Just be careful that you can immediately pay off that charge because the value of the rewards that you will earn will be far less than the interest you could wind up paying!

Read More

Citi Prestige updates, targeted offer

Citi announced changes to the Cit Prestige Card that took effect on July 23. Most of the changes are fairly minor and carry neither value nor detriment to me. Citi also has a targeted offer for adding an authorized user to the account, but I find little compelling about this promotion.

Read More