The Push for Delta Gold Medallion


I travel for work pretty often but nearly as much as a lot of the other flyers I run into at the airports, Sky Clubs, and seat mates. I am the lowest level tier elite, Silver Medallion, with Delta. I get some benefits but not a lot or as much as I would like. This year my goal is to hit the second level, Gold Medallion, so I can extract more value from my flights.

As it stands now I am well on my way. Just found out that I will be heading to Seattle and back as well as Los Angeles and back for work. Between that and my currently scheduled travel I will only be around 6,500 miles short of Gold. I am hoping more work travel comes in to cover there but am prepared to do a mileage run if I have too. To be that close and miss is leaving a lot of benefits and miles on the table.

I won't start considering a mileage run until October or so. Things are still looking good at work and I may not need it. Only time and sales at work will tell how much more time on the road I will have. Either way I am hell bent on getting the Gold!

Off to Boston for work!


Another travel week for me! I am spending 2 days and nights this week in the outskirts of Boston. I am working on a project that has gone well past the original schedule and it will be nice to check it off the list. I hope everything is ready when I get there!

It is a nice change to be back on the road after a few weeks in the office. I find it a nice equilibrium to have a few weeks of travel followed by a few weeks at home. It keeps things changing and more interesting for me.

Of course I get to rack up some more points and miles for my efforts and see different places around the country I otherwise would not get to see. I have been to the Boston area enough where I am getting used to my "normal" hotels and restaurants while I am in town.

I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing but either way it gives me that extra level of comfort while on the road. It is good to know that I will have a decent bed and good-to-excellent dinner to look forward too as opposed to guessing and hoping all the time.

Free Braves tickets!


I love last minute surprises. Today I got one!

My boss had good tickets to an afternoon Braves game here in Atlanta that he couldn't use. I took them and the parking pass and went to the game. It was a nice sunny day out and I drove over to the Delta Medallion parking lot right next to the stadium.

I was at work and was running a little late. I got there during the 3rd inning and walked through the air conditioned club level. My seats were behind 3rd base and quite good. I grabbed at $7 beer and $5 hot dog and enjoyed the game.

I did have to monitor my work email from my phone which wasn't too bad.

Overall for free I cannot complain! Little surprises are great sometimes!

The office grind


I am glad I get to travel for work next week. The daily grind at the office is starting to catch up with me! I am ready for a change in scenery and people. Working for a small business can be both interesting and boring at the same time depending on what the current projects look like.

I am itching for time on the road and now I have 3 weeks straight including a fun weekend on Key West. I will be turning 30 during this time and plowing ahead with my miles and points balances.

I am fortunate to have a job that gives me a good balance of travel and home time.

Pro Tip: If you find an amazing deal: DO NOT CALL THE AIRLINE!


Mistake fares are a great way to have a cheap trip somewhere and earn some miles while you do it. I grabbed a mistake fare last year on Continental to go from Boston to San Diego for $62 round trip. I turned it into a mileage run to get enough miles to go First Class to Asia on Lufthansa. One of my best trips so far!

When things like this pop up you should NEVER call the company giving the deal. Doing so allows them to catch the mistake sooner and therefore less of us can get in on it. I have seen countless deals taken away from this. It is the number 1 killer of great deals.

Keep this in mind if you find an amazing fare!

More Work Travel: Wichita, KS


I just booked another trip for work. That makes 3 straight weeks on the road (with some time in the office each week). Kansas will be a new state to check of my list. I don't know a lot about it honestly. I am not sure what to expect!

I will be there 2 days. I will certainly take the miles and points to add to my balances!

I still have more work travel to sort out for later too but too early to hammer down dates at this point.

Next Year's Travel Goal: First Class to Asia!


I haven't even taken all of my fun trips this year yet and I am already planning for 2013. My usual research and earning strategies for miles and points also entail how I intend to use them. I have a lofty goal to fill: 2 round trip first class tickets to Southeast Asia and back.

My plan for now is to fly Korean Air first class on the A380 out of New York. This will also include first class on the 777 onward to Bangkok. I have had great experiences in their Business class product and want to try out First!

My plan for the other direction is to try out the famed THAI Airways first class. I have heard nothing but good things and getting a 1 hour massage at the lounge in Bangkok sounds awesome! I will probably connect through Europe to maximize the experience. I want to see if I can also get into the Lufthansa first class lounge in Frankfurt again.

That said I have a LOT of points to earn! I need 95,000 Chase points for each Ticket on Korean Air. I will also need 70,000 United miles for each ticket on Thai. I can use Chase points for both so my primary focus is to earn as many as I can. I am also focusing on United miles for dining and any other cheap/easy bonuses I can find. I am also looking into other options for redeeming the flights I want.

It's all part of the fun!

GiftCardGranny: Get rid of unwanted gift cards!


I recently did a focus group on restaurants. The payment was in the form of a gift card for that particular restaurant. It ended up being a place is really dislike. I decided to go online and see if I could sell the gift card below face value for cash. It works!

I found which compares multiple sites that buy your unwanted gift cards. You can also purchase gift cards from them at a discount too. The best offer I saw was $35 for my $50 gift card. Sold!

I now get $35 I can use for something I actually want!

Review: Megabus in the USA


This past week I took Megabus for the first time. I admit my expectations were low as I have heard mixed things about them. Some people swear by it and others stay far away. I am somewhere in the middle myself.

The ticket I had cost $8 USD each way between Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC. The price certainly could not be beaten! I like the idea of wifi on the buses and it was non-stop. They also have a bathroom on board and power outlets so I can get some work done.

The reality was the wifi was almost non-existent. I ended up using the company 3G USB card which was spotty itself but not nearly as bad. For free we cannot complain though. My main gripe is the hard seats. I don't see myself spending more than 4-5 hours tops without getting soreness and cranky.

The service itself was fine. The drivers seem nice enough and they allow you to eat on the bus if you like. In a last minute pinch it will work if they go where you need to be. The bus stops in Atlanta and Charlotte were both well located. They also leave on time and tend to arrive early if you are not in rush hour traffic.

Would I do it again? Only if I was very strapped for cash or it was the only option left. I think it would be OK for a one way trip if you were flying back or taking some other transport. I certainly wouldn't make it my first choice!

(Nearly) free points: rebates!


I used to do this a while ago but got lazy. I am now back on track! I buy items that are free (or nearly free) after rebates for the sake of earning the points. In this case it is a mixture of office supplies and software from Office Depot and Staples. I am earning 9 and 15 points per dollar spent respectively. And I get my money back!

I am now keeping track of deals like this so I can continue to rake in more. I have some future travel plans that I don't have enough points for. They require quite a lot for the two of us so I have to get everything I can. Even if plans change I won't be upset with having an abundance of points. They are just too valuable for premium cabin international travel.

These rebate deals usually occur once per month. I have built a spreadsheet to keep track so I know how I am doing overall. I just have to be careful with the paperwork since they look for any reason not to fulfill the rebates. It takes a little time but pays off in first class to Bangkok :)

Work Bonus!: Free trip to see Roger Waters / The Wall!


Sometimes you get to do cool things at the last minute. Today is no exception!

I am going to see Roger Waters do Pink Floyd's "The Wall" live in Charlotte, NC tomorrow night. I am staying the night and coming back Wednesday. The downside is I have to take megabus. I have never ridden them but am not a fun of buses. But for free I cannot complain!

It will be a short trip but I am OK with that. The boss is paying for it all and I am grateful. We had a good quarter and this is a reflection of that. I got really good seats and can check a small item off the bucket list. I also have never been to Charlotte so it will be a new place for me as well.

It's been a while since I have been to a good concert. I am excited!

More Reasons to "kill your television"


I am an avid hater of TV. Most of the shows are pointless and overly dramatic. Add in the very American-centric topics and ignorance of the rest of the world. Finally the commercials drive me insane.

It still baffles me that people will pay (a lot!) to watch commercials. Cable and Satellite companies are getting paid at both ends. It's a great scam. You pay your monthly service fee AND they get paid by all of the commercials that are run. I want to run a business where both the customers AND suppliers pay me!

According to this Simple Dollar Post the average person spends around $100 per month in electricity, cable subscription, and other related costs. What a waste.

The sad part is people mentally buy into everything they watch. The ignorant keep getting more ignorant because the TV told them this is how it should be. No one can think for themselves anymore. It's a shame.

Work Travel: Baltimore before my birthday


I had a semi-last minute work trip at the end of the month come up. I will be headed to Baltimore for 3 days. I don't mind treating myself to a crab cake before Key West!

It will be a lot of condensed travel though. I go to Boston the week before. I leave Monday night that week and return on Thursday night. In the office Friday then straight back to the airport to fly to Miami for the weekend.

I love it though! Miles, meals, friends, fun, and beach. I can live with that.

Delta Booking Tip: Book on Mondays


Always books itineraries originating in the USA on Mondays. You have 24 hours to cancel it without penalty and a full refund regardless of the fare you booked.

The reason: Sale fares are released on Tuesdays. Here is an example scenario:

Today is Monday and you need a flight that is 3 or more weeks away from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Today's price is $400 round trip in economy. Not too bad! You book the ticket today.

Tomorrow you check the prices for your same flights again. Delta has loaded their weekly sale fares and you notice the the exact same flights in economy now price out at $320. You feel a little duped. But wait!

You are still within your 24 hour grace period. You can go online, cancel your original fights, and rebook at the new $320 price. A quick flight search and about 15 minutes of your time has just saved you $80!

I do this all the time for myself as well as work flights. You don't always end up finding lower fares but it does happen. There is 0 risk since you can cancel within 24 hours. If the price goes up then you got in at a good time. It's a win-win for air travel.

Fun Travel: Last Minute Tickets to "The Wall" by Roger Waters


My boss surprised me with tickets and expenses paid to go see Roger Waters perform "The Wall" in Charlotte, NC. I will be taking Megabus there and back (I'd rather fly but will take it for free!) and see it Tuesday July 10th. Lower level seats!

Apparently this is part of my quarterly bonus. We have been quite busy lately so I appreciate the extra fun trip and not getting docked time off. It will be a quick trip up and back. I can check a Pink Floyd show off the list!