My Frequent Flyer/Hotel Point Strategies

As I mentioned earlier I just got back from a extended business trip in which I enjoyed some nice perks and earned frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I thought I would break down some of my strategies when it comes to earning points and miles.

My Primary Frequent Flyer Mile Accounts and Balances as of 7/30/2005:

Airline CarrierStatusBalance

Hotel ChainStatusBalance
*Hilton HHonorsGold40,013
*Priority Club (Holiday Inn)Gold24,429

*In 2005 I dipped into my balances for some summer vacations:
100k American miles for flights to Boston and San Jose
50k Hilton points for 2 nights in boston
25k Priority Club points for 1 night in DC

I see frequent flyer miles and hotel points as another tool to keeping my costs down. They are just a part of the system and if I don't try to take advantage of them I am missing out on free travel, lodging, and other perks. As a business traveler I like them because they are another "reward" for going on a business trip; an opportunity to earn some free vacation for myself and my girlfriend that we probably would not go on without the points & miles.

My primary strategy is simple - keep the plans to a minimum and focus on earning points and miles on a few select plans. Before this last business trip my strategy was to earn American Airline miles and Hilton Honors points. Why? Simply that is where I have the most points/miles already and where I am already rewarded the most for my business. However I haven't done a great job of that - I pretty evenly split my hotel points between 2 chains (Priority Club and HHonors) and I have 3 airlines in which I have sizeable point balances (American, Delta, United).

Favorite Rewards
Hilton Hhonors is a clear favorite of mine. Being a gold member I get clearly recognizable perks when staying at Hilton branded hotels. The best perk is complimentary happy hour and breakfast buffet at Hilton hotels - a significant cost savings for me when I travel on a budget.

Referral link to sign up for Free HHonors rewards program and my account number is 823780035. Full Disclosure: I will earn bonus points if you sign up for this program.

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,938,393


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