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Award Travel 101

Author: Jeff Brownson

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Welcome to the Award Travel 101 Podcast! Founded in 2013, the Award Travel 101 Facebook group teaches members how to travel the world using points and miles. Today, a community of over 60,000 people from around the world share, teach and learn how to travel anywhere on any budget. More than just a recap on award travel news and strategy, the Award Travel 101 Podcast offers a glimpse into the stories and lives of our members.
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“An agent informed me she was making an exception and correcting the problem…(by refunding)…me back 65,000 miles and then proceeded to take out 15,000 more.”After Richard's Bonvoy'd anniversary trip battle of wills, it seems like Ed Pizza is set to give him a run for his money. This week's program that is behaving badly is none other than United MileagePlus. Ed recounts all the headaches and hassles from spending 9 hours on the phone for a simple route change request, only to have 170k miles just go missing. Just goes to show that no matter your status level, sometimes you can't get any love. This week the fellas also dish up an intro to manufactured spend. Best case example? Richard spending $10,000 at a Dollar General in one transaction! Tune in to hear the benefits and risks associated with this type of earning strategy.Timestamps2:00 - Richard & Ed = the new Statler and Waldorf3:25 - Spending 9 hours on the phone with United MileagePlus7:45 - Ed is a points hoarder11:00 - Losing options for booking travel when agents give you the wrong info17:55 - What is manufactured spend?19:55 - Who drops $10k at a Dollar General?24:41 - Walking the fine line between legal vs. ethical27:36 - Risks of manufactured spendToday's GuestEd Pizza founded the Pizza In Motion blog on the BoardingArea network. He's considered one of the preeminent voices in the loyalty program space and is a successful entrepreneur. He's also the host of the Miles to Go and NowBoarding podcasts.Thanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try if for free.
Guest Host Ed Pizzarello from Miles to Go is filling in for Jeff while he's on vacation with the family. This week we tackle a on of questions submitted with the Award Travel 101 Facebook Group. Topics include dealing with flight delays, lost luggage and how far in advance to book award travel.LinksMiles to Go: EC 261 - Passenger Rights in the EUWhat Is EU261 Compensation For A Delayed Or Cancelled Flight?Filing an EU Flight Delay Claim Was Easier Than I ThoughtGod Save The PointsThanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try it for free.
We're going deal hunting this week and who better to lead the way than Jen Yellin from Deals We Like! She joins guest host Ed Pizza this week to chat about maximizing bonus miles on back to school shopping, Amex offers and a recent promotion on purchasing Hyatt points.Today's GuestDeals We Like was started in January 2011 by Jennifer Yellin. The blog became part of the well known travel network BoardingArea in June 2011 and became a featured blog just a month later. Almost every post is written by Jen with the occasional guest blogger. In just four years, Deals We Like is now read by over 65,000 people a month across 150 different countries.LinksNew Promotion: 40% Bonus on Purchasing Hyatt Points... A Great Way to Save Money!Earn 8,000 Bonus Miles for Your Back to School ShoppingMany New Amex Offers to Save Money!Thanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try it for free.
Guest Host Ed Pizzarello from Miles to Go is filling in for Jeff while he's on vacation with the family. This week we tackle a on of questions submitted with the Award Travel 101 Facebook Group. Touching on elite status, flight bookings, point transfers and the like. Speaking of transfers, Gary Leff from View from the Wing joins us for a special discussion on how to best transfer any Citi ThankYou Rewards points. If you are planning on closing accounts due to their recent cut to card benefits you can't miss Gary's expert tips and advice!Today's GuestGary LeffGary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel -- a topic he has covered since 2002.Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler(2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. Thanks to Our SponsorEarn Instant Gold status when you join Fuel Rewards. Save 5 cents/gallon on every fill-up. Terms and Conditions apply, max 20 gallons per fill-up. Visit AwardWallet for more info on the Award Travel 101 Podcast!
"So, Everybody, I'm not going to say goodbye, but we'll see you next time..."As was announced at the beginning of this week, founder of Award Travel 101, Richard Kerr, is passing the baton to a new community manager. Not leaving the group, but transitioning from a moderator role to being a member, he's starting a full time job with The Points Guy. In this episode, he introduces Jeff Brownson, a points and miles aficionado who will be taking over day to day management of Award Travel 101, Travel Grumps, Award Travel Advanced and more! Today's GuestMiles and points have taken Jeff Brownson, his wife Chrissy, and their two sons, Ryan and Cole, to over 35 countries. They have been seen flying first class, business class, and even in coach on low cost carriers. Whether he’s staying in a hostel dorm, or in a luxury suite at a 5 star resort, Jeff is constantly looking for the best deal to make travel as close to free as possible. A background in math and science provides the analytical basis necessary to manage more than 80 loyalty accounts for his family. 
This week, Spencer Howard from God Save the Points and the mastermind behind the Straight to the Points Awards Alerts Newsletter joins Richard for a chat about all things award travel. They tackle the breaking news on Marriott getting sued over resort fees, the big changes to Citi credit cards and a whole lot more!Timestamps1:54 - Meet Spencer Howard4:10 - Marriott getting sued over Resort Fees9:45 - Burning is more important than earning14:00 - Resistance to paying for valuable services21:50 - People (trolls) who are loud online are usually quiet in public25:50 - Big changes to benefits for Citi credit cards32:12 - What's coming in the future for points and miles?LinksCiti's Own Goal On Travel Protection Is Great News For ChaseStraight to the Points Awards Alerts NewsletterToday's GuestSpencer Howard is a credit card rewards and award travel expert. He’s living proof that points and miles can unlock many of the greatest travel experiences and uses his skills to tick off new bucket list items and help others do the same. A native of Kentucky and resident of Washington, DC, he’s a fan of fine bourbon, good debate and usually a combination of the two.Thanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try it for free.
"Group Think is one of my biggest pet peeves..."What does a near miss with a nuclear submarine and foolishly discounting Delta SkyMiles as "useless" have in common? The concept of "Group Think". While redeeming points and miles aren't necessarily life and death, Richard highlights just some of the ways you're leaving money on the table when you follow "what everyone else says". Following that, Michelle Liu, an AT 101 Facebook Group member, joins Richard to chat about how Shell's new Fuel Rewards Pro program helps you earn on the gas you use if you drive a vehicle for work. Be sure to listen to the end of this week's "Redemption of the Week" and why this member was selected...not for burning points, but for how she earned them!Timestamps2:45 - Group Think...what is it?4:30 - TYPING IN ALL CAPS DOESN'T MAKE YOUR ARGUMENT BETTER9:10 - The Story of the Midnight Sun AKA how Group Think almost killed Richard14:30 - What happens in the AT 101 Facebook Group all...the...time...19:10 - Meet Michelle Liu23:00 - If you drive for work, Fuel Rewards Pro is for you25:30 - Billions...with a B?!?!31:30 - A non grump experience with Marriott Bonvoy?33:26 - This week's "Redemption of the Week"LinksSign up for Shell Fuel Rewards ProToday's GuestMichelle Liu is currently Driver Loyalty Program Manager at Shell Fleet Solutions. She specializes in building loyalty programs and collaborating with brand partners to deliver quality product experiences. At Shell, Michelle created Fuel Rewards Pro, the first-ever loyalty program for commercial fleet drivers, developed advertising for 14,000 retail stations, and spearheaded the launch of Pennzoil and Quaker State motor oils with new formulations in innovative packaging. Prior to Shell, she was a marketing manager for Evenflo, Graco, and Rubbermaid. Michelle graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and received her MBA at Rice University.Thanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try it for free.
"It was just a palace...if you've been to one...I mean, you've been to them all, right?"Tune in this week for a full recap of Richard and Emily's 10th Anniversary trip to Europe! They offer reviews on flying the new British Airways First Class soft product, Lufthansa Business Class on an A350, the Hyatt Andaz in Munich, Sheraton in Salzburg and more! Congrats to Jonathan Wilwayco for his "Redemption of the Week" - Check out his post in the Award Travel 101 Facebook Group to read up on how he used just over 2 MILLION points and miles to book his family a trip that would have cost them over $55,000 out of pocket!Timestamps2:35 - Full recap on trip itinerary5:50 - Air Canada's "deconstructed lasagna"15:30 - Public transportation in Europe19:00 - Learning about The Sound of Music26:30 - Friday night on a party train to Vienna32:50 - Riding a bike...up a mountain38:58 - Why you always need to have change on you when heading to the restroom42:33 - Check out the new British Airways First Class soft product46:20 - Redemption of the Week!Thanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try it for free.
"There is nothing greater in this world then walking off a flight, scooping up your bag and skipping that massive line of people waiting to pick up their rental car as you head to pick whatever you want to drive from that elite status row..."Anyone who has rented a car knows that it can be a stressful and confusing process! But, what if if didn't have to be? Richard's got some of the best ways to not only ensure that you're getting the best price, but also how to skip those long lines and save from having to pay for extra insurance. After that, he's joined by Wayne Lin, co-founder of GetUpside an app that scores you unbeatable deals on gas, groceries and restaurants. Learn how to save up to 25¢/gal on filling up, 35% on dining out and 15% on your trip to the market. Last but not least, we wrap up the show with a new segment - "Award Redemption of the Week"! So many Award Travel 101 members share their awesome redemptions in the group that we figured why not offer a shout out here too? Who is the inaugural recipient? You'll have to tune in to find out!Timestamps3:10 - Finding the best price for a rental car8:15 - Why rental car elite status is so good (and easy to get)11:55 - Using credit card benefits for rental car insurance17:24 - Meet Wayne Lin, co-founder of GetUpside31:50 - Can you stack rewards using GetUpside?34:30 - Redemption of the WeekLinksSign up for GetUpsideBest Credit Cards for Rental Car Insurance [2019]How to Get Rental Car Elite Status for FreeToday's GuestWayne Lin is the co-founder and COO of GetUpside, a startup that personalizes brick-and-mortar commerce to help communities thrive. With GetUpside, consumers see their dollar go further on everyday purchases like gas and food, while merchants earn more incremental profit. GetUpside is available at 10,000+ locations in 31 states across the U.S.Thanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try it for free.
We've got a replay of one of the "Best Of" episodes of the Award Travel 101 Podcast! Tune in next week when we return with another new episode!“Three days after you leave the hospital with a broken back, and chemo, and serious multiple myeloma, you decide you're going on this around­-the­-world trip?” The Award Travel 101 community is built around sharing and learning knowledge on how to travel the world with points and miles. A side effect of the community has been the stories of people that meet and interact every day and their stories made possible by a Facebook group. This week we introduce you to Mr. Ike Stanfield of Texas who is currently battling aggressive multiple myeloma cancer. In February 2019, Ike posted to Award Travel 101 that he was cashing in his points and miles and taking a solo trip around the world to Singapore, Delhi, and Doha in first and business classes. During the show, Ike walks us through some of his daily battles that might delay his determination to see his bucket list destinations. Despite the fact that Ike broke his back just one week before he was supposed to leave for his trip, he persevered through pain and surgery and still completed his around the world points and miles trip. Make sure to listen to his inspiration and words of wisdom as he walks us through each part of his two week adventure. Show Timestamps3:30 — Meet Ike 8:45 — Ike's health diagnosis12:30 — Ike's around the world itinerary17:00 — Getting treated well at the Hilton Singapore19:30 — “What did you reflect on while you were there?”22:30 — Ike's advice for those facing challenges28:30 — Ike's words of wisdom Today's GuestIke Stanfield is a retired American Airlines employee from Corpus Christie, Texas. In 2017, he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma and has undergone and continues to undergo multiple forms of treatment to battle his disease. ResourcesContact IkeMultiple Myeloma Research FoundationThanks to Our SponsorEarn Instant Gold status when you join Fuel Rewards. Save 5 cents/gallon on every fill-up. Terms and Conditions apply, max 20 gallons per fill-up. Visit AwardWallet for more info on the Award Travel 101 Podcast!
“I know this is frustrating, I know what we told you was wrong, but there’s nothing we can do about it”Was it just last week we were discussing what to do when loyalty programs behave badly? Sigh. Ed Pizza from Pizza in Motion is back this week to recap with Richard on what has been a very interesting week. Aside from some issues with the Award Travel Advanced Facebook group, Marriott has “Bonvoy’d” the Kerr’s 10th Wedding Anniversary trip to Europe. Tune in to hear an absolutely puzzling story of 12-hr Twitter responses, wrong information and just the totally bizarre inability for Marriott’s customer service team to fix their (self-admitted) mistake.Timestamps2:05 - Updates on Award Travel Advanced Facebook group4:40 - Background on their anniversary trip to Europe9:10 - When you tweet about successful customer service…too soon13:38 - When customer service via Twitter fails17:05 - Hyatt to the rescue23:30 - Keeping perspective & finding a solutionToday's GuestEd Pizza founded the Pizza In Motion blog on the BoardingArea network. He's considered one of the preeminent voices in the loyalty program space and is a successful entrepreneur. He's also the host of the Miles to Go and NowBoarding podcasts.Thanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try if for free.
"People are so bad at complaining...I'm complaining about how bad people are at complaining...that's where we are right now."It might come as no surprise that in this world of made up currencies where points don't matter, loyalty programs may not always follow their own rules - or will change them whenever they feel like it. Sure, there are those moments when a considerate customer service representative might take you by surprise and waive a fee, or open up availability. More often than not however, it's easy to feel like the deck is stacked against you.Complaining can only get you so far. Or, more likely the case you may only have so much time to spend complaining (or fighting for what's right). How do you know when programs are actually acting badly? And, when you do find that moment, what are the best ways to plead your case while having an actual chance at finding resolution or receiving compensation?Timestamps2:00 - The feng shui of rooms at Nobu at Caesar's Palace4:38 - What's bothering Richard this week?7:47 - When "the system is down" for more than a month...15:47 - Examples of when loyalty programs behave badly20:48 - When a travel company actually does the right thing24:40 - How to positively use emotion to complain32:30 - What to remember when you need to interact with customer service repsToday's GuestEd Pizza founded the Pizza In Motion blog on the Boarding Area network. He's considered one of the preeminent voices in the loyalty program space and is a successful entrepreneur. He's also the host of the Miles to Go and NowBoarding podcasts.Thanks to Our SponsorFly smarter by receiving premium flight deal alerts straight to your inbox from Thrifty Traveler Premium. This includes mistake fares, tailored deals from your selected departure city and even Delta SkyMiles Flash Sale alerts. Sign-up today and try if for free.
Episode 11 - What It's Like To Marry A Points Nerd"I can't count the number of times you've come into the room and you're like 'I just found...' or 'This is a once in a lifetime trip!' when you literally say that about everywhere...and just said that yesterday."For the miles and points obsessed, occasionally you'll find couples that are equally into maxing out their earnings and redemptions. More often than not however, there's typically one of the two that's more into it than the other. Less common is when that one who is obsessed decides to turn that obsession into a full time job via a Facebook group. Enter Richard & Emily Kerr. This episode is a one on one interview with Richard's "better half" where she answers some of the Award Travel 101 group's best questions about what it's like being married to a points nerd, how they met and her favorite trips they've taken using points and miles.Today's Episode Timestamps3:30 - How Richard & Emily met10:04 - What's on Emily's Bucket List?13:00 - Their favorite trip as a couple19:15 - Tips for keeping young kids occupied on a plane23:20 - How to help your partner know which credit card to use whereThanks to Our SponsorStop paying too much for flights! Thrifty Traveler Premium finds cheap international flight deals and immediately sends them straight to your inbox. Save up to 50-70% off your next flight!
Episode 10 - Christmas in May! Time to Start Holiday Planning"If you aren't looking to book those peak holiday dates way ahead of time, then you're gonna be the one who says 'these miles are useless, I can't use them to go see Grandma'."Many out there work hard to save up points and miles only to be frustrated at a "lack" of availability when it comes time to redeem them during peak travel dates. Whether you're traveling with kids and just trying to get yourself home for the holidays, attempting to book award travel when the rest of the country (or the world) is traveling can be challenging. This week, Summer Hull AKA Mommy Points from TPG Family shares her best tips and tricks on how to maximize your award travel redemptions during holiday seasons.Today's Episode Timestamps3:25 - How can you plan travel a year (or more) in advance?7:40 - Are there "off peak" destinations to travel to on holidays?13:30 - Why you might want to start thinking about holiday 2020...not just 201919:20 - Researching how your vacation house rental codes & a new AwardWallet tool22:25 - How to book award travel "speculatively"Today's GuestSummer HullWhile studying social work at NYU she started racking up frequent flyer miles flying on deals, often visiting friends and family back home in Texas on breaks and long weekends. By the time her two girls came along years later, she had a full-blown love and appreciation for what miles and points could do for families looking to experience the world on a budget. Summer launched the Mommy Points blog in 2011 to show families that miles, points, and loyalty programs weren’t just for the business travelers, but they were for families, too. In the summer of 2018, Mommy Points was acquired by The Points Guy where it lives on as a component of TPG Family. In addition to continuing the Mommy Points column, Summer now is the head of TPG Family content.ResourcesAmerican Airlines Award Map ToolMommy Points on TPGSouthwest Low Fare CalendarThanks to Our SponsorStop paying too much for flights! Thrifty Traveler Premium finds cheap international flight deals and immediately sends them straight to your inbox. Save up to 50-70% off your next flight!
Episode 9 - Do We Know How Many Miles an Award Ticket is Going to Cost? "It's exciting times in the world of miles and points...but I'm not terribly excited...more so nervous as a cat in a room of rocking chairs..."In this world of made up currencies where the points don't matter, there have typically been published award charts, especially for airlines. This meant that there'd be standard rates for how many miles it would cost to go from A to B. Planning a trip, you'd have (in theory) a specific goal for how many miles and points it would take to fly in the cabin of your choice. Now? That's not so much the case. Following Delta's lead, United has announced this fall they will switch to "dynamic" award pricing. Other airlines have begun to either do so as well or are rumored to be getting ready to announce similar news. So, the question is now: "Do we know how many miles an award ticket is going to cost?" Tune in this week to get some great insight from points and miles expert Ed Pizzarello and find out how to best plan your next trip even if it seems like programs keep on moving the finish line.Today's Episode Timestamps4:48 - The shift to "variable redemption values"8:55 - The next airline rumored to drop their award chart14:30 - Why 2x miles on one card and 1x miles isn't a clear comparison21:40 - Why Richard is using a cash back card right now & how he's earning 3.75% back28:20 - Why Ed says not to burn off your balance right awayToday's GuestEd PizzaEd Pizza's father made sure that he and the family were on airplanes starting at a fairly young age. Ever since then Ed hasn't lost the travel bug. Discovering online travel communities early on as a road warrior, he mastered earning points and miles so as to enjoy traveling anywhere in the world (always in a comfortable seat and a nice hotel room.)Now, a husband and father of two, his goal is to share the world with his family (while still enjoying comfy seats and nice hotels). A believer in "paying it forward", he started Pizza in Motion a decade ago to share his expertise,  answer questions and just geek out on overall aviation and travel stuff. He's also the resident "Disney Expert" over on The Points Guy...ResourcesEd's podcast Miles to GoEd's blog Pizza in MotionThanks to Our SponsorStop paying too much for flights! Thrifty Traveler Premium finds cheap international flight deals and immediately sends them straight to your inbox. Save up to 50-70% off your next flight!
Episode 8 - Life Behind the Keyboard"So I told my wife and son: 'Hey I'm gonna be a blogger!' and they were both scared out of their minds by the idea..."You might think that a full time job writing a travel blog, or perhaps managing a Facebook group dedicated to points and miles, involves all fun and no pain. Besides the illusion that these folks are just swimming in free points and miles, there's a lot that goes into interacting with people from behind a keyboard. One of Richard's very own heroes in the points and miles world, Greg Davis-Kean of Frequent Miler, joins him this week to chat about the real life of those who blog about travel for a living.Today's episode timestamps:1:00 - How Richard was first inspired to start Award Travel 1016:20 - Getting hooked on points and miles9:30 - What led Richard to leave the Navy and start managing a Facebook group16:45 - What does it take to keep blogging year after year22:45 - When you meet an online troll in person29:25 - The newest member of Award Travel Advance35:00 - Geekiest thing Greg has done to earn points and milesToday's GuestGreg Davis-KeanAfter business travel opened his eyes to the perks of frequent travel, Greg turned to online travel forums and blogs to find ways to keep his elite status with less travel. After getting hooked to the world of points and miles, and developing techniques to maximize earnings with every dollar spent, within six months, Frequent Miler was born and he had a new full time career.ResourcesFrequent MilerFrequent Miler InsidersThanks to Our SponsorEarn Instant Gold status when you join Fuel Rewards. Save 5 cents/gallon on every fill-up. Terms and Conditions apply, max 20 gallons per fill-up.
Episode 7 - What Happens to Points after Death?"My husband and I were saving up for a big trip for our family. Over half of the points we were planning to use would be from his accounts. Due to his unexpected passing, are all those points gone or can we still use them?"What happens to our points and miles after we die? On Feb 6th, Greta Anderson posted that very question in our Award Travel 101 Facebook group. Her husband passed unexpectedly at the age of 43, just days before leaving for one of two trips they were planning with points and miles. Greta so graciously shares her experience with Richard on how to secure not only your loved one's points and miles but also how to protect their identity.Show Timestamps1:10 - New features at AwardWallet3:45 - What's AwardTravel Advanced?9:05 - What happens to points and miles after you die?14:30 - A hotel program going above and beyond vs. one doing the bare minimum20:20 - Protecting your credit and identity of those who have passed27:00 - The importance of passwords and willsThanks To Our SponsorEarn Instant Gold status when you join Fuel Rewards. Save 5 cents/gallon on every fill-up. Terms and Conditions apply, max 20 gallons per fill-up. Visit AwardWallet for more info on the Award Travel 101 Podcast!
Episode 6 - Never Pay Full Price for Gas This week Richard has got a jam packed episode with more information than you'd ever think you'd want to know about buying gas. To start things off, he's got his list of the top programs, stacks and apps that not only get you super cheap gas, but could actually pay you for filling up! He's also joined by Daniel Little, General Manager & Head of Marketing, North America for Shell. The both get to chat about the history of fuel loyalty programs, the differences between programs in different countries and some previews of what's to come from the Fuel Rewards program.Show Timestamps2:03 - How Richard makes money off of "buying" gas5:13 - A new type of gas payment11:40 - The gas app no one knows about18:35 - What's unique about Fuel Rewards23:50 - Technological updates for Fuel Rewards26:55 - Is it worth driving out of our way to save a few cents a gallon?Thanks to Our SponsorEarn Instant Gold status when you join Fuel Rewards. Save 5 cents/gallon on every fill-up. Terms and Conditions apply, max 20 gallons per fill-up. Visit AwardWallet for more info on the Award Travel 101 Podcast!
Episode 5 - Marriott May Bonvoy You But Still get The Points"One complaint came from a member who had (over 1,300) nights with Marriott...That's an average of $266,000 they have spent with this company...and due to tech glitches...properties aren't honoring lifetime status and (other) benefits? It's a bait and switch."If you've said or heard the phrase "I've/You've been Bonvoy'd", chances are high you've been burned by Marriott's problem plagued SPG merger and new program rollout. The stories of former Marriott Rewards, SPG and Ritz-Carlton members missing nights, points, waiting for hours on hold, and more are endless. This week Richard is joined by Mister M, Shubhayan Mukherjee, co-founder of Bonvoyed.com! Yes folks. You know that there are more than just a few customers on the fringes that are upset when a website launches dedicated to helping members get the support they aren't receiving.Founded in 2013, the Award Travel 101 Facebook group teaches members how to travel the world using points and miles. Today, our community of over 50,000 people from around the world share, teach and learn how to travel anywhere on any budget. More than just a recap on award travel news and strategy, the Award Travel 101 Podcast offers a glimpse into the stories and lives of our AT101 community members. Show Timestamps1:30 - Starting out on a positive note with some of the good parts of Marriott Bonvoy12:00 - Three ways to use those Marriott Bonvoy Points13:50 - The Mysterious Mister M16:22 - Bonvoy'd goes viral18:00 - The problems are everywhere25:00 - Is there an entitlement issue?LinksBonvoyedThanks to Our SponsorEarn Instant Gold status when you join Fuel Rewards. Save 5 cents/gallon on every fill-up. Terms and Conditions apply, max 20 gallons per fill-up. Visit AwardWallet for more info on the Award Travel 101 Podcast!
Episode 4 – Can I Redeem Miles for Ambulance Rides?“It’s difficult ... especially for introverts in 2019 where everything can be done online, to have a support network...” This week is a special episode where Richard, as promised, shares a glimpse of what life is like when you run a Facebook group for a living. Tune in to hear the recap of a day which included a surprise ambulance trip to the hospital for his two year old. More than just the fear of the unknown (diagnosis), there’s a fear of finances. Richard highlights the importance of not only having a financial plan, but a support network you can turn to when you find yourself in need.Show Timestamps3:00 — Signs of concussions7:05 — A sight no parent wants to see10:15 — The cost of health insurance14:15 — The power of community and a support system16:30 — Wrapping Mary up in bubble wrap & RecapLinksAward Travel 101 Facebook GroupSamaritan Ministries Thanks to Our SponsorEarn Instant Gold status when you join Fuel Rewards. Save 5 cents/gallon on every fill-up. Terms and Conditions apply, max 20 gallons per fill-up. Visit AwardWallet for more info on the Award Travel 101 Podcast!
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Comments (1)

Rikin Shah

This podcast is fantastic, especially loved the one on not paying full price for gas! Appreciate all your time here, Richard, and keep it up! 👍

Apr 23rd
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