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What is one strategy to get free frequent flyer miles? There are multiple ways to get frequent flyer miles – but what is the best way to accumulate them quickly? I’ve been in this game for years and there is one strategy that never fails me.

Receiving huge bonuses when signing up for a new credit card! Giving you an example – ANZ had a promotion where if you signed up for the credit card earlier this year – then they cancel the annual fee of $400 for the first year. Also by spending $1500 within the first 3 months – they will provide you with 50,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points. That’s huge! Putting this into perspective – it takes 120,000 Qantas points to fly business class from Sydney to Hong Kong. So by receiving 50,000 already – I’m half way there!

Also if you have a partner or spouse and they are working – they can also sign up for the credit card. Therefore we received 100,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points for just signing up and spending the way we would normally spend our money on the credit card. So my strategy is to wait for 2 good deals per year and sign up for it. Once you do receive the points – it is good to cancel the card as you do not want to much credit cards against your name.…

So many of us have frequent flyer points and credit card points but don’t have a clue on how much they are valued. So what can you buy with frequent flyer points?

Well – really – you can quite a lot of items including toasters, televisions, cooking items etc. The Qantas store has a variety of gifts that you can buy. The question is – is it the best value? Of course not! Buying physical devices is the worst thing you can do with the points. I suspect possibly at least 90% of all people with frequent flyer points as well as credit card points will buy an item rather than redeem a flight.

Why? Well for the average person – it will take years before they can accumulate enough points to fly anywhere. So when they have enough points to buy something small such as a toaster – they buy that thinking it is the best value. And why wouldn’t they? There are several reports all over the media saying that points and miles is a waste of time. Especially credit card points that it is not worth accumulating it because points received is miniscule.…

United First Class Seat 1Seat

My seat which is seat number 2K – is right at the front of the plane. The plane I am in is quite large and has 2 levels. I am seated in First Class. There are only 12 seats here which provides a more private sense of space.

The seat is quite large compared to Business Class Seats I have flown on before. My foot could not touch the front of the seat or reach the TV! So ample space to wriggle your toes and foot around.

The seats are not leather though – it is fabric – so maybe they will change that soon.

The TV screen is big enough to watch a movie easily.

It does feel more of a pod as well – and you actually have 4 windows next to you! In economy you only have 1 or maybe half – so you can imagine the space provided!

The seat converts to a 180 degree flat bed quite easily. The controls are much easier than Asiana Airlines flights to control. For a larger person – you are able to sleep quite confortable if you are under 6 foot. The width is average for a First Class or Business Class.

United First Class Cabin 1

Date: 28/4/2014

Route: Lounge Access before flying from San Francisco to Tokyo, Japan.

Location

The First Class Lounge for United Airlines is located in the International Airport – near Gate G98. It’s not actually obvious – but you will find it eventually.

Entry

Upon entry of the First Class Lounge – there is a reception area where you provide your passport and boarding ticket for entry. Once the staff has done this – I take the elevator downstairs to the First Class Lounge

The Lounge is very posh – large sofa chairs and tables for people to eat and work

United Global Lounge Entry 1

Date: 25/4/2014

Room Booked: Double Queen Courtyard Room

Upgraded: No upgrade

Cost: $120 per night

Check-In

Check-in was normal. It was quiet and I arrived at around 9:30am. Luckily they have a room ready so I was able to drop my baggage. The lobby is very average – nothing spectacular.

Seattle Hilton Airport Check-in 1

Seattle Hilton Airport Lobby 1

Seattle Hilton Airport Lobby 2

Seattle Hilton Airport Lobby 3

One of the holy grails for travel is when a “mistake” fare is published on the internet. When a person finds out and is connected to a forum as well – the word spreads like wildfire in a matter of minutes. I’ve had my share of taking up mistake fares over the last few years.

How do you find out about these fares? First place to look is the world’s leading frequent flyer forum – www.FlyerTalk.com. You would need to be consistently looking at the updated posts to see if anyone has found one.

Recent example for me was that the Hilton in Bora Bora was advertising $500 AUD for a 5 night package which included the basic room, breakfast daily and also 4 spa treatments. They forgot to put the extra zero when it should have been $5000! So I didn’t delay and I made four bookings throughout the year. The great thing about this rate was that it was also cancellable which mean I actually hadn’t paid any money.…