my skymiles balance rene deltapoints-com
I am working to end the year with just under ¼ million MQMs and about 1 million Skymiles. The EZ flow of points from all kinds of sources will continue in 2015, but the one thing that will end is the mega bonus from mileage runs. What ones have you missed the past week or so?

Do I only earn Delta points? No, I am burning 32,500×2 next month to go to my nephew’s wedding. I am trying to get the ticket down to 25k each but right now 40k is all that is showing due to the very small airport I am flying into with limited connection options (other airlines don’t even go there). How are your earning goals progressing thus far this year? – René

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delta teams up with uber

For quite a while now UBER has been offering 20/20 that is $20 for using a riders links like mine and then $20 to the new rider. Some took this to amazing heights like one kid who earned $50,000 in free rides. UBER did not like that and kicked him out and dumped his credits.

UBER has gotten real nasty on many who refer them, closing accounts for those who rack up too many credits so be careful. I think this really is sad as I like UBER (other than from the airport in Hawaii – cost me $70!) and I use the service when it works for me.

70 uber ride from hnl to hiltion deltapoints

Bottom line, (not my link but a direct link to UBER), if you are new DO NOT USE MY $20 link but just go direct to Uber and use the code DELTA25 under the promotions tab to get $25 credit back for your 1st ride (and I am reasonably sure Delta gets something for the referral but it is not stated).

promotions tab on uber

Can this be stacked with other codes you may find? I have no idea and readers could maybe comment on success or failure in the comments below! Also, I think, but am not sure and would love reader input, that you can use your Barclay’s Arrival card as UBER default payment means and “pay yourself back” but would love confirmation please. – René

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get 4x arrival points buying amex gift cards delta points blog

Without rehashing what is already posted, the 4x bonus (worth 4.4%) is back today at the Barclays shopping portal. Read all about directions HERE.

If you have spending to meet on your Delta AMEX card travel card you can confirmed, as I posted HERE, use that to buy the gift cards, earn the 4x as well as Delta points for buying the gift cards. So no you don’t have to use your Arrival card at the portal but you have to have an Arrival card to use the portal. Another choice is TopCashBack as they are back to 3% as well if you don’t have an Arrival card.

one vanilla visa

Then, once you have the custom gift cards you can go to your local CVS or other store that sells a Visa Debit card that can be assigned a PIN and then load those to BlueBird. Very simple and a great way to knock out MQD exempt spending! – René

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ba about us page

This weekend I solicited ideas from readers for my next 25 Rookie Wednesday posts to push me to 100 weeks of topics to break down in a rookie way. I cannot begin to say how much I appreciate all your ideas. This also brings me to a great comment from G. Roger who suggested:

I’d like to see a rookie post on how to start, run, and make money writing a blog.”

This is not really a topic for Rookie Wednesday as that is for travelers not those who want to run a blog. But this is Monday and I bet many would like to know the answer to these questions. Since I run two blogs that together should end up with nearly 2 million total page views for 2014, I think I am in a position to share some thoughts.

First G. Roger, I hope you took a peek at my personal Fireside chat for some background of how I got started. Beyond that, here is what else it takes.

Starting a blog is simple. I bet hundreds start one each day. But if no one reads your blog, what is the point? Then, the next big part, original content, otherwise you add nothing and are just wasting your time and others as well. To run a blog that is more than just a glorified Facebook page takes more time than you could ever dream about (think 30-60 hours a week). Some who start blogging each day, give up and post only a few days a week. This is a sure slow road to failure. Unless you can produce original content at LEAST once a day, you should call it a day and move on. To really succeed takes 2 or 3 posts a day. Are you ready for that much time out of your life?

Next, are you creative and have bullet proof skin. There are days where ideas pour out of a blogger’s head, but other days when you can sit for hours and not come up with a good idea to share. Then, when you have either a good or bad idea, be ready for some to say the worst things you could ever imagine in the comments or on other boards or on twitter etc. When first starting out this is hard to take; after years of blogging you grow to understand these types really just don’t matter.

Then on to making money. Years ago, if you could establish a good readership, and with the help from banks, you could, as I did, make a decent income from the get-go. Today, this is simply not the case. In the current blogging environment it takes a staggering following to even have a chance to eke out a few bucks. This is not to say you cannot achieve this, but it will take a niche that is not already being covered in a saturated space. Plus it takes really understanding your topic and then covering it thoroughly and clearly. Another sure fire path to failure is learning tips and not sharing them; sharing is a path to success. Only posting or commenting about some tip or trick after the fact will anger readers to no end.

The only exception I would make to this is ideas that are, shall we say, not really assured of success. These kinds of topics are best saved for frequent flyer events like the ChicagoSeminars as those who attend them understand the risks involved in trying ideas that could just as easily fail as succeed. To blog about something that is 50-50 at success is another way to fail and lose readers very quickly (not to mention a ton of hate mail in the process).

I will say being part of BoardingArea is a way, if you have a quality idea, to succeed. Now I understand that a ton apply to be a part of the greatest collection of travel blogs on the planet each month and only a few ever have the chance to try to succeed. If you have an idea and want my input, feel free to e-mail me and I will share some of my thoughts. BAcon, from last year, gave a few a chance to be ROCK STARS and begin to blog at the next level.

So there you are. To sum up, dedicate a stupid amount of time, share openly, be original and be a positive part of the frequent flyer community, produce tons of great content, give back and get noticed then maybe you have a shot to do this for a living. – Rene

PS – the only other huge tip I can share that I have already touched on is to be supportive of those of us who are established in the space. Most bloggers read comments left on other sites. Trashing those who are the leaders in the space is no way to help your site to get noticed – in fact quite the opposite.

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swag winner 4-20-14

First let’s congratulate our random.org winner #74 – Atif who says: “Do you have advice on how to deal with fellow passengers who are being inconsiderate? What is the best way to get them to modify their behavior?”

Atif, that is a great Rookie Question as well as all the other contributions as well. I really appreciate what readers are looking forward to learning more about in a rookie way!- René

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3 flexperks cards

I just booked my FlexPerks positioning flight out to LAX for my Swedish mileage run (one of two this year). It is amazingly simple to “earn” your way to a very inexpensive reward ticket with FlexPerks personal or business cards. The new card bonus is nice on top of that as well (that you can get multiple times even if you already hold the card btw). But when it comes to spending your FlexPerks points, there are little things to be aware of to get the best perks.

The first one I have already blogged about and that is working with phone reps to get the highest fare class seat to get as close as you can to the each price level for points that is say $400 per ticket. This way, for upgrades, you are in the highest fare “bucket” possible to hopefully jump ahead of some other medallions.

use flexperks points to buy a delta ticket earn mqm rdm mdq

Anther way is finding flights; if you are maybe working on paying for either a mileage run or a positioning run – understand the search engine. There are times Delta.com will show routes that the Travelocity search engine FlexPerks uses will not. Once you find what you want on Delta.com and it does show at the price you want, you can search point to point with FlexPerks. The result, much like Delta with an award ticket, the two legs that both show 20,000 point availability, when you combine them, will net out at 20,000 as a total.

rene flexperks statement

Lastly, be sure, the day you fly, to buy on Delta.com a $50 e-Gift card with your FlexPerks card and then after the trip call US Bank to get your $25 credit back for “airline allowance” for incidentals the day of travel. Unless you want to buy something else on-board like food & drinks for $25 that is.

90 days to pay yourself back for award travel

The only other thing to always think about is to only consider FlexPerks for a ticket at least $300-400 to get MAX value for your points. If you are only looking at say a $200-ish ticket it is much smarter to just pay with your Arrival points. Also, if you are short Arrival points at the time of purchase it does not matter as you have up to 90 days to earn enough to “pay your self back” for the ticket you got. A sweet Arrival perk.

Either way, either method, you are earning Skymiles, MQMs, MQDs, Skybonus & CrossoverRewards (if you have them). It is all about MAX value so think each step along the way! – René

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lots of swag delta points blog swag saturday giveaway

Time to get back to our good ol’ weekly giveaway. This week I am giving away a bunch of travel stuff I think you will like. All of these things I use from an auto/airplane power inverter plus a 10,000mAh power brick (& a tiny spare 2600mAh one just in case). So what do I want from you for a chance to win?

First, back to the rules that are HERE if you have never ever seen them read them please. Now to what you need to do to qualify to win.

dl points rookie

After 75 weeks of  “Rookie Wednesday“  posts I want to help with ideas you would like to see covered. If you answer one of the topics I have already covered, you cannot win so please come up with something I have not talked about yet for a shot at the great travel swag up for grabs this week. That’s it – have fun! – René

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airfrance jet

Most long time readers know I am not a fan of coach. For short trips, fine, but for longer than 3 hours I want to be in the comfy seats with “cool refreshing drinks” brought to me by smiling and attentive FAs. This is one of the reasons when I do book mileage runs I tend to stick domestic as much as I can; as a Delta Diamond Medallion my upgrades tend to run about 90%.

However, the NAI price assault on flights to Scandinavia has caused the MR’er in me to go a bit nuts this year. One of them I fixed by using upgrade certs so no coach there (other than a short hop from Amsterdam up to Sweden). The next one, however, that I had to jump on will be quality time in coach. Not just this, but time on Air France and KLM coach. Ruh-Roh!

af us on twitter

Unless you fly these Skyteam partners you may not be aware of some slightly bothersome issues that can come up (if you detect a hint of sarcasm you are reading this correctly). You see, sometimes, you can pick seats on DELTA.dumb and think you have the seat you want only to have it not happen in reality when you go to fly. The fix has been to setup an account on KLM.com or AirFrance.com and pick seats that way. But even that does not always work.

You see as a Delta elite+ i.e. Platinum Medallion or higher you should be able to get better seats free. On KLM the economy comfort is much like Delta’s and free for us. On AF you can get exit row etc. but not their upgraded economy comfort that is almost a business “lite” seat and service.

tweets with airfrance for seats

For 8+ hours across the Atlantic ocean I did not want a bad seat. Delta did what they could at booking but were limited. I thought about calling KLM & AirFrance but that can go bad. Enter the power of Twitter. As you can see by the above tweets I got just the seat I wanted, but it did take a few extra tweets to show my seat confirmed. I then logged on to KLM & AF web sites and do see the seats confirmed and printed those pages as well. So far so good I am in exit row on an AF 747 and on the KLM 777 on the return in EC with NO seat in front of me for unlimited leg room. This works if it all works that is!

Other bits. I also, since I want to earn Delta points not Flying Blue points, made sure on both the KLM and AF site that my Delta Skymiles number is in their reservation system for the itinerary as well as on Delta.com. Why? When I check-in for the return trip Delta will send me to KLM to check-in. This is when things can go wrong and you don’t get the credit you want. Better to check now and print confirmations of what you want! – René

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skybonus april-1

skybonus april-2

There are two new Skybonus deals that popped up in my account today. Like all things Skybonus you have to make sure you register for any promotions BEFORE you fly. It also seems some of the latest are targeted, but it is worth checking.

delta-com fll to bgo

The next one is just stunning. Thanks to NAI there are some major fare wars to Scandinavia like the one above for just $492. The latest one gives some staggering MQMs and Skymiles and is even possible on a weekend mileage run. Sweet day for flight deals! – René

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new Skymiles survey 1

Once again I get a survey of what I think about Delta and Skymiles2015. Let me think of how many ways I can express my feelings about the decimation of Skymiles after my last survey about the program. Hummm… I will just today pass along the slides without comment.

new Skymiles survey 2

new Skymiles survey 3

new Skymiles survey 4

new Skymiles survey 5

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new Skymiles survey 8

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new Skymiles survey 11

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new Skymiles survey 13

new Skymiles survey 14

new Skymiles survey 15

new Skymiles survey 16

I will tell you, much like the last survey, there was a slide just before the final one where I could fill in my personal thoughts. I again got SO carried away letting our mothership know what I thought that I forgot to take a screen shot of the blank fill in the page, page. Very sorry! So how would you have answered these questions? – René

PS – There is a VERY good CPM (cost per mile) mileage run from Phoenix to St Maarten aka Maho Beach.  If you have never been, you need to go one day! Also, if you do need a place to stay the Radison Blu is a good choice on Club Carlson points! (EDIT: RB has been sold)

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