Skip to main content

See also:

Frequent Flyer miles - the best way to Business Class

Maybe hiking the canyons in Jordan is on your bucket list.
Maybe hiking the canyons in Jordan is on your bucket list.Robert Painter

For the past ten years or so I have been traveling around the globe writing travel stories about fascinating places. Two most recent trips have taken me to Fiji and Oklahoma City. You may be very impressed about the trip to Fiji and maybe less so about the visit to Oklahoma City. I greatly enjoyed both destinations and for obviously different reasons. I have been to OKC several times and this was my very first visit to Fiji. I loved the Fijians, the food, the islands and much about the country. Please look at the links below to find your way to some of my articles about Fiji. Also, check out OffbeatTravel.com for my feature story there - it should be posted soon if it is not there already.

Oklahoma City is remarkable for a number of things as well. You will likely remember the tragic bombing there some years back and you will find the Memorial extremely interesting - well worth a few hours of your time. Of course, Oklahoma City is cattle country with stockyards where you can visit and actually view a cattle auction in person. The Red Earth celebration is reason enough for a visit and a complementary visit to the Cowboy Museum will round out that trip. And, Bricktown provides the nightlife aspect of any journey to OKC. Just don't forget to top off any of these options with a famous Oklahoma steak.

The point of this short article is to remind you of the importance of accumulating frequent flier miles when you travel . . . or even when you shop. Those accumulated miles can make the difference between being stuffed into the middle seat in the back row of a coach class section and the much more comfortable and luxurious pleasures of a business class seat.

When I flew to Nepal a few years ago I went there in coach class. I knew I'd be out walking for a hundred miles or so when I got there and wasn't too concerned about comfort. But, coming home after that trek from 3,000 feet in sub-tropical heat to a high Himalayan pass at about 18,000 feet in sub-freezing weather I know I'd want to sit back and enjoy the flight and my memories of that adventure on the long flight home. I used my miles for a business class on Korean Air and decided right then and there I never wanted to fly coach class again. Well, it hasn't worked out quite that way after all, but I do know that any time I can upgrade I will and anytime I can do it on Korean Air there will be no hesitation - wow, what a great flight!

So how do you get the miles needed to change a miserable flight into a dream vacation? It's relatively easy, but you have to be careful. Credit cards are a great way to get miles, but please use this method only if you know you can control your spending. Some financial advisers suggest paying for everything with cash, but I think that's foolish (again, only if you can control your spending.) I recommend paying every bill you can with a credit card. But, part of the key is to use a card that is either affiliated with an airline that you will be able to use or a card that offers points that can be converted to miles - sometimes on the airline of your choice.

My best offer so far was 100,000 miles for taking out one credit card. Yes, I had to spend a certain amount of money within a predetermined period of time, but I was able to coordinate some specific expenses to make it work. You have to watch for these offers. If you have fairly good credit many of these will come in the mail. I have one company that sends me an offer every few weeks to open an account that promises me anywhere from $200 to $400 just for opening the account and holding it for a short period of time. I haven't used it yet, but the next time I get the $400 offer I will take it. This offer is for actual cash and that is even better than miles as far as I am concerned.

Just today I received an offer by email that I almost passed up since I already have their card, but when I read it carefully I realized I could get enough miles for a round-trip ticket to almost anywhere. The catch is that I need help. Normally I wouldn't ask for help from my readers, but actually it can be of as much help, or even more, to you than it is to me.

The offer is from Chase and if you apply for the card and use it at some point I will get 5,000 bonus points added to my account. I would greatly appreciate that - but, there is something for you as well. You will get 40,000 points and I think that equates to about a $500 value to you. This could be a good way to get you started on a great travel adventure that you have been thinking about. Maybe it could be somewhere on your bucket list that you might have thought was way out of reach. Just send me your name and email address and I will submit it for you and you should receive an invitation within a week - I promise not to give the info to anyone else! Collect the miles and . . . Keep on Traveling!