[Please note that TBB is traveling! Blog posts during this time will vary greatly in length and quality. In other words, some posts may be mistaken as filler/mailed in :-) ]


I will NOT be adding the usual section titles in my blog posts while traveling. So I am just going to throw at you whatever I noticed that was worthy letting you know about. I may miss things so please don’t judge :-)  I have no idea when next blog post will appear so keep checking every hour so I can drive up my site numbers and $$$$ by using my credit card links buahahahhahaaha.


End of the MileNerd Year. By Mile Nerd. Wow, just wow. This is a must read, especially if you are a blogger! Thanks for the kind readers who made sure I do not miss it! And I am deeply honored I am one of the few blogs he loves! Needless to say I agree with pretty much everything said here. Thank you, thank you!

Incredible one week journey by Rapid Travel Chai all over the Indian Ocean! We are not worthy, we are not worthy!

7 Reasons Why Timeshares are a Scam” by Travel is Free. A hilarious epic take down of timeshares. Excellent comments too. I used to do these timeshare presentations too and collected many points over the years. And I had a strategy: “After a polite quiet ten to fifteen minutes I told the salesperson that we are not going to buy, we are only there for the points and we do not want to waste your valuable time.” They always appreciated this and after a little more time for the formalities we were sent on our way with vouchers in hand. But last few times the salespeople have been unbelievably aggressive and would not shut up and insisted to take the whole two hours plus! Maybe now they are on salary or something. Last one (it was a Hilton presentation in Orlando) led my wife to tell me basically “do not drag me in one of these things ever again!”. In addition, they never credited some points they had promised! We are done with them.

Money Matters When You Travel” by Saverocity. Solidly helpful post here!

Garuda Indonesia airline will join the Skyteam alliance on March 5, 2014. Several readers have raved about this airline in earlier TBB blog comments!

Just like that, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offer for up to 55k Chase Ultimate Reward points disappeared! Didn’t you know about it? Of course as this was a “no blogger affiliate link allowed” kind of offer! So, the bloggers had to comply and be silent about it while they raved about the regular 40k affiliate offer….zzzzzz.

4 Amazing Variations of the Pacific Hopper” by Travel is Free. Brilliant post, wow! Ask yourself why are you rewarding other blogs who are just marketing pumping material while some bloggers do add value to you?

pacific hopper hubs


View from the Wing has the details/analysis of the first quarter 2014 Hyatt hotels promotion. This sure ain’t no faster free nights but it does appear incrementally better than the super boring hotel promos lately!

Apparently there is a new Starwood partnership with Caesars hotels…about fifteen of them. No Starwood platinum recognition and the nights do not count as elite qualifying, seriously? Don’t worry about it. And don’t gamble :-)

Trapped on a plane” by the New York Times. A hilarious Travel Humor piece based on that guy who was left behind all night on a plane. Excerpt: “”Vanessa B.,” senior flight attendant :  I’m not particularly aware of regular people because I work exclusively in our Premium Platinum-Preferred Royal Gold Medallion Upper-Elite Gifted and Talented Sanctified and Deified Supreme Almighty First Class Beyond Reproach cabin. Can I be candid? This would never have happened to this Mr. whatever-his-name-is if he’d just used common sense and upgraded.”

Register for Starwood’s first quarter promotion “Bring on the earnings” here. “You’ll earn 2,500 bonus Starpoints® for every five eligible nights you stay from January 5 through April 30, 2014 — up to 10,000 bonus Starpoints and 20 eligible nights. Plus, get an additional 5,000 bonus Starpoints when you hit 25 eligible nights, for a total of 15,000 bonus Starpoints”. Zzzzzzzz


A couple of incredible photos from the 2012 Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest.

Bryce Canyon National Park

“Exploring the Night” A lone hiker viewed the path before him as the Milky Way rose in the night sky above Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. Taken by Jason Hatfield, Lakewood, Colorado, in May of 2012. (© Smithsonian.com)

Xiao Donjiang, China  ferry

River ferry operating in the early morning in Xiao Donjiang, China, by Teng Hin Khoo, of Shah Alam, Malaysia. (© Smithsonian.com)


Illuminating the World with National Geographic. By Twisted Sifter. An eclectic collection of colorful photos.

Yi Peng Festival Thailand

Yi Peng Festival, Thailand



People are Awesome 2013-2014 video of people doing awesome things. Found at The Adventure Blog.

43 comments on “Mile Nerd Year, Indian Ocean island hopping, Timeshares, Money, Pacific Hopper, Hyatt Starwood promos

  1. Potentially cool news on Garuda. I see it was only two years late from the original 2012 target. I’ll only get excited if they don’t block out the entire summer like the rest of skyteam’s Asian partners.

  2. Clarification on the spg-Caesars deal… The nights DO count for status (but not lifetime status)… It’s the STAYS that don’t – so if you make elite on stays, look elsewhere

  3. Must’ve been a typo on MileNerd’s part

    The only people who like you TBB are anonymous angries on your board

    World renowned experts on miles and points told me so

    • The guy from Mighty Travels?
      Doesn’t seem very likable based on a few posts I read. Kinda like a MileValue without the card pushing.
      I only saw the site when he posted a pretty bitchy review of the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris. Sounded like he got mad at checkin when he didn’t get free breakfast and upgrade as a Platinum. Said that they treat points redeemers like dirt there, which could not be further from the truth.

  4. Another Travel Challenge, another batch of factually wrong information given by the “world renowned expert on miles & points” and his staff

    - It costs 90K miles with Skypass miles to get from LAX to PPT, not 60K
    - Since Hawaiian only flies once a week in each direction on Saturday, you can’t possibly have a 5 night stay
    - I haven’t looked it up, but I’m guessing it would be hard to get the positioning flights at HNL in at least one of the directions without another overnight there

    Will the newbies that FTG Staff is “helping out” be told that they’d still be 60K Skypass and 100K IHG points short of the award before or after they open up those 9 credit cards and spend 23K on it?

    Good thing the quality of the blog is dependent on how many people click the site from google, and not factual correctness…

    • Thanks Steve for being a daily reader and supporting FTG.com. Its readers like you that have made the blog such a success in the past. Those that check back day after day after day and help the staff with fact checking as you do.

      Although I don’t write the travel challenges or review them prior to publishing, (as I sold the blog almost two years ago now), I’m thrilled to have YOU as a blog supporter and reader.


      • “made the blog such a success in the past”

        We’re at the point where even Rick is admitting that the current incarnation of his blog is crap

        I didn’t make the blog a success in the past

        Quality content made the blog a success in the past

        But you don’t care. Because it long since stopped being about “helping people see the world at prices they can afford” – today’s travel challenge was a textbook example of that

          • 2nd time in 3 weeks it will be removed

            at what point will the feature stop because it is consistently giving readers (rookies in particular) incorrect information?

            The answer is never, because the feature is only there to get all those links in, not to help the reader get to Bora Bora. If that post was any indication, the best way to help that rookie get to Bora Bora is to direct her to another blog

      • Correct, but this one was particularly bad because it involves a couple opening 9 credit cards before they realize that they’re still nowhere close to the trip that the FTG staff told them they could take

        It was evidently apparent that while an entire staff apparently made that post, they put in absolutely zero effort to make it. We’re not talking “tricks” or “gotchas” that they missed…. we’re talking really basic things like “flying out on Hawaiian Airlines on November 3rd” when Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t actually have a flight that day to Tahiti

        Like I said a few days ago…. it’s a shame how many quality bloggers Rick took down the gutter with him, that they’re now producing pieces like that. Ariana used to do yeoman’s work putting blog pieces together

        • @Steve, wow, I didn’t realize that FTG’s post was *that* bad/inaccurate/wrong. Truly, if they were pushing 9 cards for something that could not be done, that deserves an apology from them.

          I never go to that blog anymore so I won’t be able to tell if they publish it. I hope they do.

          • I’m curious as to whether the blog reached out to this person apologizing and finding out whether he already signed up for any cards?

            I would think at the very least, they should look into whether this person clicked on any of their links and give that person any proceeds they profited off him clicking the link based on a lie

  5. Seriously, there was a 55K Chase Sapphire offer? I need to get on Flyertalk more often. And to think the 40K offers were all I had seen for quite awhile on the blogs. Affiliate links are scary. If I were wanting to help my friends and family, wouldn’t I want them to have the very best offer? No wait, if I were a shrewd business person, I would want…oh never mind.

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