BLOG

All the hotels these days have a best rate guarantee. It’s not just the hotels – but the hotel websites such as Expedia also a similar policy. For us as the consumers – this is a great thing – but hardly anyone will be bothered to search at least 3 different hotel websites to see if it is cheaper.

I’ve had a couple of successes with the Hilton Surfers Paradise Residences in regards to the Best Rate Guarantee. Wotif.com had a cheaper rate of $150 cheaper than what was advertised by Hilton.com. So the policy is that if you book with Hilton – they will match the rate by providing the difference in the refund and also $50 USD as well.

So I booked 5 nights with Hilton – I was given $150 x 5 + $50 = $800 refund back. That was a huge amount – so I scored big on that one. Also as I booked on Hilton.com – I received the full amount of Hilton points before the rate was matched.

IHG have a great best rate guarantee. If you find another hotel site cheaper – they will match it and give the first night free! So if you are able to find it – then book on IHG.com and submit a claim.…

Stayangel

If you love big chain hotels – Hilton, Hyatts, Sheraton etc. and love even more the best deal out there on the market – this tool is for you!

There is a website called www.StayAngel.com which is very innovative and exciting as it searches high and low for you on the internet for the best price. I met the founder/owner of this website on a recent trip to Chicago and he is also from Australia!

This is how it works – and I know as I’ve signed up for it and experiencing the best possible price as I sleep and does the work for me.

Sign-up for it. It is free and has a 7 day premium membership trial. Once signed-up – link all your hotel accounts. Currently there is Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood that is working. Next month (December, 2014) there will be Marriott, Shangri La, Rydges, IHG and Accor included as well.…

Is it even possible to get free flights in this day and age? Well – I say yes – but there is always a catch – you have to pay taxes. You may of heard of airlines in recent years advertise flights which are close to a few dollars – but then it doesn’t include tax which may include a few hundred dollars.

These days they have clamped down on this kind of mis-leading advertising with an all inclusive far including the taxes. The way I view how to get free flights is from my dear old friend – the credit card.

You see – by using the credit card if it is linked to a rewards program – every dollar you spend on the credit card – you may receive one point. Say the credit card has no annual fee (e.g The Citibank Signature Visa Card during promotions) – then by spending on your credit card instead of just withdrawing money from the ATM – you are earning points. By using cash – there is no real advantage – you get nothing back.…

Every frequent flyer will have a tactic on how they book cheap flights. These days because we have the Internet – booking and getting great deals is even easier! The strategies I implement are very straightforward to book cheap flights.

As we are also in the day of the Budget airlines such as Air Asia, Scoot and Jetstar – we are spoilt for choice. There is not much reason to fly business if you could get airfares to Asia for around $300 AUD return! But of course it depends on how much you value your flying experience.

The best thing to do is to sign up to all the newsletters and accounts for all the airlines so that you are updated daily on any specials for cheap air tickets.

In regards to full service airlines – I use www.webjet.com.au to scan the cheapest tickets available during a specific time. If I find for example Qantas being cheapest – then I go straight to that website to see if there are any other bonuses with booking with them. This could be that if you book for travel during a certain date – you receive double Qantas points. I then calculate how many points I would earn from flying with them including also the double points. To me a point/mile is worth 5 cents when I redeem on Business Class.…

Question I get asked is what is the best frequent flyer program? Well – hate to say it – but it depends. Almost everyone who flies or shops will have their own preferred Frequent flyer program that they like to have points credited to. My answer to you is – what is your goal? Is it to fly to the US in 2 years time with your family? Is it to fly business class to Singapore next year? Do you just want to redeem the points for a toaster?

If you live in Australia – it will be hard to get away from Qantas or Virgin frequent flyer programs. The reason is that many of the shops such as Woolworths, Coles, Target, Big W allows you to credit your points to different programs which then allows you to covert them straight to Qantas or Virgin points.

Since my family shops regularly for groceries – the two biggest players in the Supermarket wars here in Australia is Woolworths and Coles.

Woolworths has the Everyday Rewards system where you are able to link the account with your Qantas account. To create a Qantas account usually costs $82 – but if you create through the Everyday Rewards account – it is free. So therefore saving you the once-off fee.  For every dollar you spend above $30 – you earn one Qantas point into your account. What I love about this is that you can combine any other card such as the American Express Platinum Credit Card – which you receive 3 points per dollar you spend – to accelerate your points. So if I spent $100 at Woolworths I would earn 3 x 100 Amex Points plus 70 Qantas Frequent Flyer points. So total would be about 370 points.  Personally I value the points at 5c per points. Therefore 370 points x 5c = $18.50.

This means when I spend $100 at Woolworths – I am receiving $18.50 worth of points if I am ultimately going to redeem for a business class seat later on with Qantas for example.…

JAL Business Dining 1

Date: 30/9/2014

Class: Business Class

Route: Tokyo to Sydney

Duration: 9 hours 20 mins.

JAL Business Cabin 1