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I think we all agree that life is challenging and normal day-to-day experiences can easily throw a wrench in our plans. But it’s 2020 and I’m presenting a travel challenge because THIS YEAR WILL BE YOUR YEAR OF AWESOMENESS!
Do you believe that 33% of Americans didn’t use ONE SINGLE VACATION DAY this past year? I encourage you to make this YOUR YEAR! It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, however, the challenge is to get started.
Plan a road trip. Travel to a state that you’ve never visited. Get a passport. Travel to a foreign country. Go on a cruise. Redeem those points for a stay-cation at some fancy-schmansy hotel. Regardless to what it is, write down your goals today.
Remember, if you don’t have any goals you can’t reach them. In my experience, that leads to beginning another year (2021… or 2022… or 2023), thinking about what you “shoulda/coulda/woulda” done.
Ok, enough with the pep talk…
It’s with sincere hope that over the past year that I’ve been writing these blogs, you’ve found some useful information. My goal was to write introductory articles that would serve as a foundation for getting started in this hobby.
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be diving a 1/2 step deeper and I’ll be showing you techniques to take your travel to the next level. However, if you haven’t followed my advice, you could find the process overwhelming.
Although, everyone has different travel goals, I want to encourage you to read all of the blogs even if you don’t find the title interesting. I can guarantee the more articles you read, the sooner you’ll have the “lighbulb moment” and you’ll begin to put the puzzle together.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE MATH
A week ago, I wrote an article highlighting the new offers on the revamped American Express co-branded Delta credit cards. You may have simply glossed over it because there were too many options, too many numbers, annual fees, etc. but let’s take a closer look at one specific card from that blog… the Gold Delta SkyMiles Amex (Personal). The perks include:
- Best Perk: Free Checked Bags And Early Boarding
- Annual Fee: $99 (waived for the first 12 months)
- Welcome Bonus: The Delta SkyMiles Gold Personal Amex [READ MORE] is offering up to 70,000 SkyMiles: 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 within three months and an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card membership (during the limited time increased bonus).
- Card(s) Ideal For: someone who wants some perks on Delta, but doesn’t fly with the airline all the time, and doesn’t want to spend money on the card.
For simplicity, if you apply for this card, the annual fee is $0 for the next year, you have free checked bags, early boarding and all you have to do is put $2,000 on this card in the first 3 months of having the card and you’ll have 60,000 Delta SkyMiles. You don’t have to put an additional $1 on it after the 3 months if you don’t want.
Again, just so we’re on the same page, you just have to put $2,000 on the card during the first 90 days that you have the card. If you’re a baller, you can put $2,000 on the card on Day 1 and you’ll receive the 60,000 points. If you need to spread it out over 3 months, that’s essentially a total of $667 each month for 3 months.
I can’t speak for every household but personally between groceries, gas for our cars, electricity bill, water bill, cell phone bill, diapers, the occasional splurge at Amazon, eating out, vet bill, dentist/doctor co-pay, buying Girl Scout cookies from our neighbor, daycare tuition*, rent/mortgage*, car payment*, etc., my household spends $667 per month.
Note: * = sometimes the organization will not allow you to use a credit card or will charge a fee for using your credit card so you have to do the math to determine if it’s worth it for you.
Last night I was poking around on Delta’s website and I noticed that I could fly roundtrip in economy from Atlanta (ATL) to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) for 38,000 miles + $56.
Although it’s not in the front of the plane, you’re paying $56 for a 30 hours of flying to/from Japan!!
And take a look at the details, you’ll be flying on the new A350.
Now, let’s put the puzzle pieces together…apply for the card, spend $667 per month over the first 3 months paying bills that you were going to pay anyway, get 60,000 miles, use 38,000 miles to go to Japan ROUNDTRIP on Delta’s newest plane (and you still have 22,000 miles left over). All in all, you only spent $56 because there was no annual fee for the first year. AMAZING!
Award availability is wide open. You can even find award availability in September and October!!
Alternatively, you could DO THIS and fly in the Delta One Suites. 😍
In the end, it’s all about putting the puzzle pieces together.
This is money that I have in the bank because…well, I have to eat, I have to pay my cell phone bill, I have to buy diapers. I could do without the amazon purchases but you get what I mean.
Anyone planning to go to Japan? Is this process starting to make more sense?