Saturday, January 19, 2008

Miles ... Miles ... Miles ....

I have a new credit card and this makes me excited. I know, I have no life. After seeing Lisa and Becky with airline miles credit cards I decided that I wanted to join the fun. I really enjoy traveling, but don't do it that often . In fact, I actually enjoy having a layover somewhere because it let's me explore a new airport, a new place. I love flying. I still remain fixed at the window during takeoff and landing, and often take pictures . But enough of that. The main point is that I want to start earning miles towards free trips or upgrades.

I happen to come across an offer in one of the deal forums I visit. I decide to look into it, specially since I always wanted an American Express card (cool people have Amex). The offer was simple:

--15,000 bonus miles when you sign up

--2,500 for every additional free card you get

--First year fee waived (usually $85)

--All the regular Amex benefits (more of that later)

I went to the Amex website describing all of the Delta cards. Amex has a bunch of cards below the gold (less prestige and benefits), and only one above: the Platinum. This has annual fee of $135, but you get 20,000 bonus miles, free companion ticket on Delta every year, and exclusive offers (not sure what exactly). I decide the fancy card was not worth it, I'll stick with the second best.

So with my card I also get the following benefits standard with most Amex cards:

--1 mile for every dollar I spend

--2 miles for every dollar spent at stand-alone supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, home improvement/hardware stores, USPS, wireless carriers, and Delta purchases

--Global Assist Hotline

--Car rental loss and damage insurance

--Travel Accident Insurance

--Buyer's Assurance Plan (automatically doubles your manufacturer's warranty, up to one year)

--Purchase Protection Plan (90 days accidental damage and theft insurance for purchased items)

I was stoked, I applied and got approved with an additional card. Of course miles are worthless if it takes a kajillion miles to get a ticket, but Delta seems reasonable. Delta has page that let's you check to see how many miles a ticket will cost you. Coach domestic flights are 25,000, and I am already at 17,500. Upgrades are only 5,000 miles (10,000 if a special fare).

My next goal was to figure out how many more miles I can get. This page was helpful. I got 2,500 for joining Netflix (so far 20K miles on my account!). I also signed up for emiles, they have you fill out short surveys (about 15 mins per day) and you get anywhere from 10-30 miles per survey.

At the end of this I am only 5,000 miles from a basic coach ticket. I am sure I will more deals to get more miles. In theory at least, I am still waiting for the miles to post to my account (8-10 weeks).

Oh yeah .... started a budget just to make sure I don't go crazy with the credit cards.