Credit Card Signup Bonuses: The Key to Free Travel. A Beginner’s Guide, Part I

“The only thing I’ve ever gotten free was 10 chicken wings,” joked a co-worker of mine. The conversation had been about another of my nearly free trips. To where I don’t recall: Hawaii, Rome, Paris, a Greek Isles cruise. Didn’t matter. What did was the notion that nearly anyone could do what I’d done: travel the world practically free through strategically planned credit card signup bonuses.

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Welcome Gifts Gallery from Hotel Room Special Requests

As promised in blog post “Dear Hotel Manager: Email Your Way to Free Room Upgrades and Welcome Gifts“, here’s a gallery of various welcome gifts we’ve received in our travels. Undoubtedly, we’ve forgotten to photograph some of them along the way. So think of this as a Selection. Looking forward to seeing what hotels will gift us this September on our Anniversary trip to Japan; the Japanese being famous for gorgeous food presentation.

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Hotel Room Upgrade Success Stories: 4 Video Walkthroughs

In a previous post, we learned how to email hotel managers for free hotel room upgrades. Here, I’ll share some success stories. The point? I want to inspire you to do the same. Then you’ll have success stories of your own to share: with friends, family, colleagues, and, if you’ll have us, My Points Blog. Do so in the comments section below or reach out to us via the Contact page. No textual Deep Dives here–just plenty of eye candy sorted by year. Enjoy. Or try to. Please excuse the poor videography in advance.

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Dear Hotel Manager: Email Your Way to Free Room Upgrades and Welcome Gifts

Gimme dat! “Say please first,” your mom always said. Mom’s right. Asking for something nicely like free room upgrades, spa access, and welcome gifts greatly increases your probability of success with a hotel manager. And as some wise person once declared: “half of life is in the asking.” Further, giving a good reason why your wish should be granted tilts the playing field in your favor.

Put these concepts into practice by writing friendly, concise, and specific emails to hotel managers and I predict Great and Wondrous Things shall be granted to you. Sometimes it’s better to receive than give. However, if you show good character, courtesy, and respect in a hotel manager email for a special room request, you’re in a sense giving kindness. And Kindness is King. From my perspective specifically, a King Corner Suite, Top Floor with lounge access. 🙂 Join me as we learn how to soft-sell our way into hotel perks typically reserved for Elites.

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Hotel Search Tools: a few of my favorite travel hacking things

Whiskers on kittens. Warm woolen mittens. Confess. You know the rest, right? If you don’t, you have no soul. If you do, you have no shame. But did you know about hotel search and other travel hacking tools unadvertised by TV and Film? Of course you don’t unless you’ve been in the frequent flyer miles and points Hobby. Let’s remedy that, shall we? Within, we’ll go round the travel search tool world and observe a few of my favorite ones. Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night; I mean ride. 🙂

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AutoSlash: Save money on car rentals while you sleep

“Save money on car rentals while you sleep.” If it’s not their slogan, it oughta be. Because you may have asked yourself. Self? This AutoSlash thing. Is it an Urban Dictionary definition? For example, a thug deflates one’s tires for sporting a controversial bumper sticker. “Vote Cthulu: Why settle for the lesser of two evils?” or some such. Ain’t got nothin’ to do with that folks. Nothin’. AutoSlash is the best thing since sliced skinny bagels. And no Martha, MyPointsBlog.com has no financial relationship with AutoSlash. We just enjoy raking in the savings on car rentals, yo, and believe you will too. So what is AutoSlash and how does it all work Now, seriously folks…

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Mattress Run Part III: Do One With a Hotel Promotion

In Mattress Run Part I, we introduced the concept of getting free hotel stays (via hotel points or free night certificates) through Mattress Running–the Sport of Kingly Travelers. In Mattress Run Part II, we saw frugal vs. frugal+ defined. Frugal+ being enjoying Regal Lodging on a peasant’s budget. Let them eat ramen! Oh yeah. Central to any frequent flyer mile and hotel points hobby is the concept of arbitrage–“buying low” and “redeeming high.” In Mattress Run Part III, we’ll “Buy Low.” Earthworm low. But with a higher purpose. Let’s travel together from Motel to Hotel now, shall we?

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Mattress Run Part II: Wherein Frugal is Defined and Free Luxury is Defended

Yesterday in Mattress Run Part I, we defined the “obscure-to-beginners”–aw shucks, obscure period–concept of a Mattress Run. In today’s continuation of points travel esoterica we answer the question: “is it worthwhile?” Spoiler alert: yes. Hell yes. At least for particular promos and scenarios. For you, mileage may vary (points, actually). Better spoiled than soiled. Sometimes you’ve got to sleep on it, so to say, when a mattress run opportunity presents itself. But when you realize that opportunity may be monumental, you’ve gotta go.

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Mattress Run Part I: Not a film, but has a luxury ending

In a quest to earn ever more free hotel nights I’ve educated myself about, and participated in, Mattress Runs. May it profit you to do likewise. A few years prior, the term meant nothing to me. Was it a tear in a bedding product? A slap-your-knees-funny down home community-contest? Being on the lam? Who knew? The folks at the flyertalk.com forums  did. From there, I learned my Mattress Run (MR) trade craft. And from here I’m paying it forward. On your mark, set, let’s go!

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Starbucks Free Stuff: Points for Pups? Not Precisely: Puppuccino

While I froth at the mouth for juicy loyalty program redemptions–flights, luxury hotel nights, and cruises–I’ve never been one for Starbucks’ Rewards. Periodically receiving an expensive-as-I-can-order free drink doesn’t slake my thirst for value. If going for max redemption value (~$10 to $20) on a free Starbucks drink really pumps your syrup container, start with a high dollar frappuccino and up the value with multiple espresso and flavor shots. Alternatively, order something fun like a Venti frappuccino Butter Beer off the Starbucks “secret menu.” Just google Starbucks Secret Menu and provide verbal instructions to your Barista.

However, a free drive-thru treat every time for my best bud Roscoe beats Starbucks’ Rewards paws down. Namely, the puppuccino (pup-uh-CHEE-no).

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