Your chance to win a trip to the Gold Coast courtesy of Boarding Area and American Express!

As you may have read about on several Boarding Area blogs by now, you’ll have a chance to win a free trip for two to Australia’s Gold Coast, including virtually everything, valued at over $10,000. Boarding Area and American Express will even pitch in and provide cash and gift cards to cover most of the taxes.

The idea is simple — next week you’ll be able to post a tip on each of the participating Boarding Area blogs (of which there are around 20) answering the following question:

What’s your top tip for travelers who want to earn and use their loyalty points?

Each participating blogger will randomly pick a winner, and of the 20 or so winners, one will randomly be chosen to win the trip. So your best chance at winning will be to enter on each of the participating blogs! The one frustrating restriction is that this is only open to residents of the US age 18 and older.

Hey, there’s even something in it for us, the bloggers. Apparently the blogger that has the winning entry also gets an iPad. Still trying to figure out what that is, but I sure wouldn’t mind winning it. 😉

Anyway, many thanks to the folks at Boarding Area and American Express for this awesome giveaway. And I’m hoping one of you wins!

Stay tuned till Monday. In the meantime, more details can be found here.

Comments

  1. @ magiciansampras – Good question! I know the winner will earn miles, but I’m not sure they can choose their carrier. Either way, I doubt the winner’s gonna be turning down the trip. 😀

  2. Don’t use your miles for domestic trips, save up for a big international trip in First or Business class and your miles will be worth much more.

  3. My top tip is to try and accumulate miles in Membership Rewards by American Express since it allows you maximum flexibility to redeem the points and you can earn points for purchases, up to 10X points in the membershiprewards.com earn section and earn 3X points when you shop through the Bonus Points Mall® website.

  4. We link all the credit and debit cards for our family (a total of two adults, three college age students, and one high school student)to a single frequent flier account. On paper, my husband gets all the points — and is the most frequent business traveller, but in reality there are at least a dozen cards being used day in and day out to funnel 2 miles for every dollar any of us spend into his account. The kids understand that the price they pay for their tuition, allowances, and other benefits is to let us keep using their spending to further family travel. (When they are paying the bills, they can keep the miles!) And of course, we put all the miles into a coalition frequent flier program, so miles can be redeemed on a number of international airlines.

    Last, but hardly least, I use my Platinum American Express card for large purchases (auctions, home furnishings, car repairs, etc.) as well as travel, and can put those points against any airline reward program. The best deal: pay it on time and it costs nothing, and the points can be used anywhere. Woo-hoo! Love my Amex card!

  5. My tip is to plan early and be persistent. In order to maximize your miles, you have to be patient and organized.

  6. Many semi-frequent flyers don’t realize that they can often credit their flown miles to a different airline miles program within an alliance or through other reciprocal agreements. Doing so can keep all your miles in one place (or at least just a few places), with a potentially significant impact on how soon you’ll have enough miles for award travel.

  7. Earning miles quickly is much easier than you think. Every time you go to pay for something, think of gaining mileage points. Get a credit card (like AmEx) that gives the most mileage points for your favorite airline every time you use the card; I use just that one card for just about everything. Then, check out what companies your airline partners with and shop through them (for i.e. hotel stays, car rentals, and even for significant things like home loans, larger purchases, loans, insurance and even home purchases). Many airlines have “dining for miles” programs (linked up to your credit card), and also online shopping sites (like Delta’s SkyMall) where you get points for money spent (that’s in addition to the miles your credit card will give). You can also rack up the points by completing online surveys for companies linked up to your airline (like erewards.com for Delta miles). Also, check your airline’s frequent flier webpage every now and then for specials offering points. It all adds up quickly! Once you have enough miles on an airline, plan to use them, but give yourself good planning, like 2 months advance reservations, to ensure availability of your preferred travel dates. Remember: once made, the reservations cannot be changed. Lastly, enjoy your free trip to the max!

  8. Look for coalition programs that let you redeem your points on multiple airlines.

    Check out the partner programs that your favorite airline has, and consider whether you want to spend money with partners. For instance, we had to choose a mortgage a few years ago – and wound up getting 1,300 airline miles for every $10,000 we borrowed (plus the same rate we’d been offered elsewhere without the points). So we got enough miles by picking one bank over another to fund a trip. Spending money isn’t fun, and borrowing it is less fun. But if I can turn spending I have to do anyway into miles or points, by picking between two equivalent companies, I’ll take the miles every time.

    Check your airline frequent flier program website often for bonus offers – and subscribe to (and read) the email alerts the loyalty programs send out. Some of the offers are really cool. For instance, United Airlines wanted to boost travel from the U.S. to Madrid, so they recently offered a 5,000 mile bonus. We were headed to Mallorca anyway, and had normally flown through Barcelona on another airlines. But with four travelers, we got 20,000 bonus miles (plus actual miles) just for flying through another airport. That’s an easy change to make.

    Make sure you get miles on EVERYTHING when you travel – the rental car business is very competitive. If you’re not getting triple miles PLUS a discount for carrying your loyalty card, you aren’t asking the right questions!

    We get miles every time we pay our electric bill, and with every cell phone plan. (Shop around – and check your airline frequent flier program website. It’s easy to leave miles on the table if you aren’t careful.)

    There are TONS of partner programs – Netflix, Bose, and FTD Florist, are just three of the ones we’ve gotten miles or points from so far this year. Check the frequent flier program website for partners, and read the enewsletters they send. The value of FF miles has dropped as airlines make it harder to collect — but if I get them for things I’d have to buy anyway, I still consider it part of the shopping process!

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