Trip Report: Two Simple Trips (to Japan) with Credit Cards

My cousins are not great planners. Fortunately for them, I am a great planner. These are their stories.

Two travelers, two cards. It was late November when J and D mentioned they wanted to go to Japan in March but they hadn’t started planning. After I got over the shock, we jumped into action. We starting searching for cheap flights and hotels (not cheap, no availability), and in the mean time, I had them both apply for the Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard (review). As the cards were en route, we found non-stop roundtrip economy flights on Korean Air for around $920 each and held them for 14 days without paying (which is a nice feature). And as this was going to be a Tokyo only trip, so we eventually found an inexpensive no-frills business-type room at the Pearl Hotel Yaesu, about an 8 min. walk from Tokyo Station (Yaesu North Exit), 8 nights, $1,100. Which, for late March with last minute planning, was about as good as you could ask for. Cards arrived in the mail, they started making their minimum spend, and $3,000+ each later, they exchanged their 46,000+ miles earned (40,000 bonus plus spend) for $460+ in credits for a total of $920+ in savings. Continue reading “Trip Report: Two Simple Trips (to Japan) with Credit Cards”

Strategies: Two Simple Trips with Credit Cards

Okay, I think I’ve shared enough of the basics to talk some simple trip strategies. These strategies may or may not result in a (mostly) free trip but a highly subsidized one. But if you plan ahead (and get the right card — by which I mean I hope you got a Chase Sapphire Reserve VISA Infinite (review) when the bonus was 100,000 UR points), you can still do very well.

Continue reading “Strategies: Two Simple Trips with Credit Cards”

Review: Barclay (American Airlines) AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard

The new iteration of the Barclay (American Airlines) AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard has arrived. New, because this is the first time the card has been offered to the public (having previously been a conversion from the U.S. Airways Premier World MasterCard after the merger of the two airlines). It has one of the easiest bonuses to earn in all of credit cards: make one purchase, pay the annual fee, earn 40,000 AAdvantage Miles.

Before getting to the review, a story about the previous iteration of this card: Continue reading “Review: Barclay (American Airlines) AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard”