1. Gayle McLaughlin says

    I am really tempted to try to get this Visa. My husband is extremely leary. He doesn’t think we will be able to book –because of blackouts, etc. Do you have any advice?

    • Craig says

      Let me say that you’re husband has a legitimate concern.
      Typically people do the following with frequent flyer points.
      1. They sign up for a card to get points
      2. They expect to book a vacation a month or two after they get the points
      3. Call the airline and spend 10 minutes trying to book a reward flight
      4. Quit and call the whole thing a scam.
      51% of the time people make successful reward bookings on BA (From If this is what the average person does you can have a better chance if you learn a few tricks of the trade.

      Here’s a few things you need to know:
      Typically you can’t book more than two seats when booking award flights. Don’t expect to get a family of five all flying on rewards.
      Typically you need to book at least 6 months in advance, sometimes further depending on your destination. Some destinations are really hard to use flyer points while others seem to usually be open. If you let me know some destinations you’re interested in I could let you know how hard they may be to book.
      You’ll need to be flexible. The biggest window of travel you have the better.
      A complex international itinerary will take 1-1.5 hours to book on the phone.
      I can help. In the future I’ll be offering reward travel booking assistance as part of my services. There are paid tools that I have access to that I can use to help you simplify the booking process.
      For some people these negatives outweigh the positives. For others they are willing to put up with the inconveniences for mostly free flights. Ultimately the question is – is it worth it to you?

      • Gayle McLaughlin says

        Thank you for your prompt and realistic answer. Right now the only place we are interested in flying is to Hawaii from Kansas City Missouri. Any wisdom on that?

        • Craig says

          I was actually helping someone with a similar itinerary (only he wanted to fly from Philadelphia).
          It looks like dates after September are when I could find flights available, but not before. The summer is a busy time to fly to HNL.
          For 35,000 points and $10 (per ticketed) you can get flights on American Airlines.
          To check flight availability you can visit and create a free account. Then play around with award bookings to see what you can find.
          Let me know if you need any other help.
          If you’re travel plans are flexible and you use my link to sign up for the credit card I’d be glad to help you book your tickets once you have the miles in your account.

  2. says

    Is their any other way that getting bonuses would be as easy as signing up too? and why promotions are good only during first timer applications? It is should be fair enough to all applications i guess.

    • Craig says

      I’m not sure what you mean when you say, “Is their any other way that getting bonuses would be as easy as signing up too?” If you clarify the question I’d be glad to answer.

      As for first time applications that is to control abuse. Otherwise people might apply year after year after year.

  3. Ed Gehringer says

    You advise canceling a card BEFORE being charged the annual fee. But if you do that (with SkyMiles Amex, to be specific), might you lose the points earned during the last billing cycle? I need those points to qualify for a particular reward.

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