A New Year and New Goals

The Frugal Travel Guy blog entered its third decade in 2020. Wow! How time flies. I started on a whim October 27, 2007 and the blog has been sharing success stories, travel tips and credit card plans that have been shared with thousands.

The hobby has changed. I’ve changed. People’s attitudes and behaviors have truly changed, yet the one underlying glue that keeps us all together is the desire to see the world at prices we all can afford. I’ll turn 70 in 2020 and I can say without hesitation, my goal of seeing the world has been accomplished. It may be my age, stiff back or the fact that we have been to 73 countries already has led me to the idea, It’s time to slow down. Our adventures have turned more domestic and grandchild centered. And those long rides in coach, or even in first class, have become a thing of the past. The idea of flying to the west coast from South Carolina is a “big deal” now when in the past I’ve considered it just a repositioning flight. I am no longer flying for status or mattress running for hotel status. The Lifetime Platinum on American I earned will have to do and I can buy status on Hilton with the Aspire card. I’m gonna be okay.

But the funny thing about this time of life is I’m still addicted to the game. I look every morning for the latest deal, am amazed at how cheap you can fly coach around the world, and quite frankly am astounded at how big this game has grown. It seems that the name Frugal Travel Guy was the perfect nickname for me.

My wife and I still apply for credit cards. We have all the miles we need so our concentration has shifted from United, or American or Delta or Avianca cards (but we still apply for them). We are concentrating more now on Membership Rewards points that we can turn into cash with a Schwab Platinum card paired with an Amex card. Every week we still add Ultimate Rewards points to our totals with an old INK card that pays 5X up to $50K per year on office supplies, cable, phone, and internet.

In addition to the switch to cashback, we are also gravitating to maximizing bonus category spend. Any airline tickets we buy are on a 5X Platinum card. Dining is done with a 4X Amex Gold and groceries with the same Gold card. And the Navy Federal 3x card when we reached the $25K grocery max with Gold. And the same Navy Federal for 3X groceries has become our card of choice for gas as well at 3X.

And with all these new-fangled phone apps, I’ve got stock coming in from Bumped, IConsumer. Earning some referrals still on SoFi Invest which pays a $100 bonus with $1000 initial deposit. A 10% guaranteed the first week seems like a pretty solid deal to me. I took advantage of both the SoFi Money and Invest accounts. Here a link to the Invest account which pays you $100 on new account opening with no fees and the ability to buy partial shares which is great for new small-time investors: I get a referral as well.

https://www.sofo.com/share/invest/2714782

And now a word of warning: There are unhappy and entitled people in the hobby. They think that sharing a deal will kill a deal. They are correct at some point, but how else do we spread the word to other like-minded individuals. And you’ll hear the folks of gloom and doom. “The hobby is falling apart. There are no more good deals”  My response is BS.  Katy and I have earned 16 credit card sign up bonuses this last year alone and earned more miles and points than we will ever need.

It’s time for us to pass the tricks of the trade, and a few miles and points of course, on to the next generation. Don’t be surprised if you are still playing many years from now. Enjoy where you are on your journey. Expect the changes coming in the future and be ready to change with them.

Happy New Year.

Source: frugal travel guy

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