Get to Hawaii for Less Using Singapore Airlines Miles on Virgin America

virgin america interior

As some of you may know, Virgin America is going to be starting service from San Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu (HNL) and Kahului, Maui (OGG) on December 3rd of this year. Many of you might be planning Christmas in the tropics, so I thought it’d be fun to test the partners and see how many miles it would cost to get there. None of them have updated their charts, yet award seats ARE currently … [Read more...]

Amex Small Business Saturday Returns for 2015

Amex Small Business Saturday 2015

American express runs an annual promotion called Small Business Saturday during which customers can earn a rebate for purchases made at small businesses using their registered Amex card. The purpose is to draw attention to small businesses in your area and for Amex to help out these businesses since they essentially pay a portion of a customers' purchase. This year's Small Business Saturday will … [Read more...]

Planning A Last-Minute Jaunt to Europe

Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz

I recently found myself with a couple weeks free to take a trip somewhere. I decided to go to Europe since it had been a while since I’d spent some time on the continent (not to mention the US Dollar is currently pretty strong compared to the Euro, so it seemed like a great time to go). That’s one thing I love about airline miles – even though I was planning a trip within a week of departure, I … [Read more...]

What to Do if Family Don’t Understand Miles and Points

During our monthly travel meetup this week, one reader asked an interesting question: We all love earning and redeeming miles, but family and friends rarely understand the value they represent. At what point do you give up trying to explain how it all works? And what do you do next? It's an interesting question because it speaks to both psychology and economics. Why should I care at all if … [Read more...]

Why Award Nights Are Difficult to Find at the Best Hotels


Many hotels aren't owned by the brand -- they're independently owned franchises that contract to display the brand's "flag." The brand establishes certain standards that can be incredibly detailed while also taking a cut of the hotel's revenue in exchange for marketing. That marketing includes loyalty programs and the points that you earn with them. It's an arrangement that works pretty well … [Read more...]

Plan Your Summer Vacation with Silvercar

Silvercar 59 a day

With new locations in Chicago, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, and New York, Silvercar has expanded significantly this summer. The New York entrance is a big one, as the Brooklyn location means it's more like a car share program. If you want to take a day trip or need a car for the week, you can rent an Audi A4 without the hassle of a traditional rental firm or traveling far out to the … [Read more...]

Our Sightseeing Tour of Seattle

Megan flying

My dad was in town last month and had a few hours to hang out on a Friday afternoon. Since he has his own plane, a Piper PA-24 Comanche, he flew up to Boeing Field and took us on a sightseeing tour. Last time we went up in his plane, I got to fly over the Sonoma wine country. This time Megan took the co-pilot's seat, and I took pictures from the back. Several operators will do commercial … [Read more...]