A friend just sent me this link: http://nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/12/09/how-to-fly-35000-miles-visit-4-continents-9-countries-and-15-cities-for-418/
Pretty much the most insane example of travel hacking I've ever seen. Plus, it makes me really really antsy to get out there and do a massive, months-long trip of my own.
I haven't read nerdfitness before, but he's talking about a lot of the same principles as Life Nomadic.
I would say "I don't see how anyone can see this and not immediately drop what they're doing to do it," but, uh, I'm still at this job of mine for now. Only now I'm really champing at the bit...
I saw that on gizmodo or lifehacker a while back and inspired me to get the AA card for 70k miles then.
Only issue I have is a lot of the cards today have really high spending limits like 3k or 5k within 3 months. I need to find ways to hit the limit, maybe gift cards. As always flyertalk.com is a goldmine.
Spending limits are definitely a big pain in the butt. I'm currently working on 3K with Chase Sapphire and Chase Ink Bold. Fortunately for Ink Bold, they give 5x points on office supplies, so you just buy $500 gift card with only a $5 fee so that's only a 1 percent fee when you're actually gaining way over 5 percent (depending on how you value your points)
Another easy one is using Amazon Payments. You can send a $1000 a month by CC for free to anyone. Then have them send the money back by check or whatever. Just don't do any round trips like have your friend or family send a CC payment back to you. That's ground for a quick ban.
This guy http://boardingarea.com/blogs/frequentmiler/ is a super badass when it comes to finding ways to spend money and earn miles with minimal cash outlay.
My latest round of CC apps. Drum roll...
220K United Miles (4 Chase CC's 2 in March, 2 in Apr)
50K American Airlines Miles
70K Alaskan Airline Miles (convert to 140K Hilton)
40K Hilton (from Amex)
75K British Airways Avios
:D Plus with spent requirements and other tricks, I'll have another 50K in United Miles. My goal is to get to 420K miles to get my Mom, sis and I to Korea.
Been doing it for almost 7 years now and has actually make my credit score way better than peers my own age.
How did you get 4 united credit cards with 55k miles average o_O in such a short time span? Do you cancel cards? I just moved to the USA, so I'm building up my credit.
I started doing this 7 years ago so I've built a really decent credit history. Here's how I did it (quite masterful btw),
The Continental Onepass credit card was about to expire with a 50K offer (Because of the United merger), so I applied for on the last day at the same time with the United MileagePlus version with a 50k offer. I was of course denied for both, but NEVER GIVE UP. Call the Chase reconsideration number and tell them your reason (mine was I needed both a Mastercard and Visa due to traveling a lot). Also I registered a brand new Continental Onepass number because they say you can only get one bonus offer per frequent flyer number, but this gets around that (you can later merge accounts, so no big deal). Then 55K offers + $50 statement credit came out right after, so I sent a secure message for them to switch me to that offer (you can upgrade offers within the first 90 days of card opening)
Then 32 days later (you have to wait 30 days between chase apps), I applied for 3 more Chase cards at the same time (3 different browers so it only gives you 1 credit inquiry). This was really risky because it looks like i'm desperate for credit, but i have a great history with Chase. I could only convince them to accept me for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Bold Biz card, which were the cards I really wanted anyway (denied for Chase Freedom). Sapphire offered 50K Ultimate Reward and Ink Bold offered 50K (upgraded to 60K with secure message). These are tougher because you need spend 3K for sapphire and 5K for Ink Bold to meet minimum spending requirement. These cards took some REAL smooth talking because the United/Continental credit cards a month earlier. I told them I made a huge mistake and didn't know that Ultimate Rewards actually transfers to United Airlines on a 1 on 1 basis making these cards way better than the previous cards.
This may be a bit overwhelming. The same offers aren't around right now, it's ALWAYS changing. It looks like they are toughening up on offers, but you can at least get the United card, Sapphire, and Ink Bold and simply ask them to upgrade your offer via secure message after you get the card. It really works.
While I tried to explain everything I could of what I did, you really need to hang out at these 4 websites to get a real hang of it:
http://dansdeals.com (check out his forum too)
http://flyertalk.com (read their MilesBuzz forum)
It took me 7 years to become a Jedi Master at this stuff, so have patience. If you have little credit history. Pick just one card from each major company and wait a year. Also if you have parents or friends who long credit histories on an personal American Express card, beg them to put you as an additional user so you suddenly get ALL of their history for that card which will really extend your average account age. Also, check out your credit score all at the out for FREE at http://creditkarma.com. Super awesome site!!!
Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me any question you have.
So back in January, I wrote out my 7 goals for the year. It's been two months, so let's see how I'm doing :
1. Become FULLY polyphasic
I'm close on this one. Many days I go perfectly, sometimes if I have nothing to do I oversleep and then skip some naps during the day. I'm actually pretty satisfied with that, as I'm only sleeping 2.5-4.5 hours per night, I'm never tired, and can always count on being awake early and staying up late. I'll keep pressing to be more consistent, but I'm satisfied with where I am.
I woke up at 4:30AM this morning, and went for a run in the dark and empty streets of Kuala Lumpur.
It's peaceful. I walked at the end of my run, and I could see delivery trucks getting set up to start the day. On my way back to the little place I'm staying, I picked up a coffee and some water. The first light of day was breaking over the city, and men were loading large stacks of newspapers onto the back of trucks.
14 hours later, I'm starting to get tired, even though it's only the early evening. Some part of me wants to sleep, but I'm in a highly creative state right now. Right now, I'm making all sorts of connections and I'm seeing things really clearly.
I just did an exceptionally good half-hour of work. I solved about five hours worth of bang-head-against-wall type problems with some efficient, elegant work. It flowed smoothly and naturally.
I'm tired. I want to sleep.