How my credit card saved my butt last week

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💡 Trivia Tuesday: Did you know that there is a festival that celebrates people from multiple cultures and countries, including Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Tangata Whenua, Cook Islands, Niue, Tahiti, Kiribati, and Tokelau? Can you name it?

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💡 Trivia Tuesday: Did you know that there is a festival that celebrates people from multiple cultures and countries, including Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Tangata Whenua, Cook Islands, Niue, Tahiti, Kiribati, and Tokelau? Can you name it?

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the Julie Andrews of all travel newsletters. We are seriously timeless…

Unfortunately, most travel hacks are not - so let’s get to it:

  • ✈️ 30% Transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic

  • 💳 How my credit card saved my butt last week

  • 🙋‍♀️ Travel Trivia Tuesday

✈️ 30% Transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic

Remember yesterday when I was telling you about how you can transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic and book a flight to Europe for just 10,000 points?

Yeah, well, I spoke a little too soon…

Because as of today, you can transfer Chase points to Virgin Atlantic with a 30% bonus, which opens up a lot of fun opportunities.

As a reminder, we have an article that explains all things transfer partners, so check it out if you want some more in-depth education on the topic.

Here’s how it works:

  • Until June 15th, you’ll earn a 30% bonus when you transfer points from Chase to Virgin Atlantic.

That felt like a waste of a bullet-point section. But it’s really that simple.

That means you can book flights across the Atlantic for just 7,700 Chase points (which will give you 10,000 Virgin miles with the 30% bonus).

But the savings really start to add up when you look at business-class tickets. You see, Virgin has a business-class seat which they call “upper class.”

People rave about it because, well, it’s absolutely incredible:

You can book this seat from New York to London for just 47,500 miles one-way.

With this transfer bonus, you’d only need to spend 36,600 Chase points to fly in one of the best business-class seats in the sky on a trans-Atlantic flight.

In case you’re not super familiar with award pricing to Europe, that is an EXCELLENT deal, and definitely a bucket list flight (which is frequently priced at over $10,000…).

With points and miles, you'll only pay a fraction of that in taxes, and all for a reasonable number of points.

This is DEFINITELY a good opportunity for anyone looking to book flights to/from Europe anytime in the future.

As a reminder, you can earn enough points to book 11 (yes, ELEVEN) economy flights to Europe (with this transfer bonus) just for signing up for this card, which currently has a mind-blowing welcome offer.

See y’all in Europe!

💳 How my credit card saved my butt last week

As you know, I had a rough go of things last week in Guatemala: hospital visits, parasites, canceled travel plans, and more.

It was pretty chaotic, stressful, and scary at times.

But one thing I didn’t have to worry about was how much this whole thing was going to cost me.

And all because of my credit cards.

Thanks to the emergency medical insurance on this card (and for my fellow canucks, the Canadian version has equally powerful insurance), I not only had all of my medical bills covered, but the bank even recommended a hospital.

Guatemala isn’t known for having the best health care, so finding a reputable hospital to visit was important and something that definitely took some of the stress out of the situation.

Dealing with things like insurance is complicated, especially when you feel like you’re dying. But here is what I did:

  • I called the number on the back of my card (the one above was the clear choice for medical coverage) and asked them to transfer me to the insurance team.

  • I told them the situation, location, symptoms, etc., and they started a claim for me (and provided a claim number, which I wrote down).

  • They told me which expenses were pre-approved to be covered. In my case, it was all of the general costs like examination, blood work, x-rays, medication, etc., which was thankfully all I ended up needing.

    • Note: This is extremely helpful because it doesn’t leave anything up to chance - you’ll know, with 100% certainty, which expenses are going to be covered.

  • I went to the hospital, paid for the expenses myself, and immediately took photos of the receipts, which I needed when I eventually added this information to my claim online.

When it comes to medical insurance specifically, it’s important to call ahead of time - most credit card insurance will want to open the claim prior to you getting medical care.

If you are in a life-or-death situation or you’ve been seriously injured, just go to the hospital. Don’t worry; your insurance will still cover you, and you can deal with it later.

Generally speaking, you’ll upload your receipts, documentation, etc., in some kind of online portal using the claim number they gave you earlier. Every bank/insurance provider is different, but you can always get step-by-step instructions by calling that handy number on the back of your card.

Aside from the medical care, my travel plans also got pretty wrecked…

I had to cancel my flights less than 24 hours in advance and book an additional five hotel nights, which ain’t cheap.

Although I booked my flights with points, I paid the taxes and fees with credit cards (this one, this one, and this Canadian one).

Make sure you use a card with strong insurance benefits to pay taxes and fees on award tickets!

Therefore, most of my extra expenses and change fees are going to be covered with various credit card “trip interruption” insurances.

Dealing with these types of insurance claims is generally more chill and doesn’t require you to call ahead of time (or at all, if you can figure out the online portal).

Every card has different coverage, so always make sure to read through your insurance pamphlets (which come with your card, but you can also find online) to see which of your cards has the best coverage.

If you don’t enjoy reading tedious terms and conditions booklets for hours, you can also just call the number on the back of your card and have them explain it to you…

… but where’s the fun in that?

Anyway, using miles and points, in general, is a great safety net when things don’t go according to plan… but sometimes, playing the travel hacking and credit card game is a legitimate life-saver.

As a reminder, we have a deep dive on credit card insurance, so take a look if you want to learn more about which cards/insurances might be a good fit for you.

Have you ever used the insurance benefits on a credit card?

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🙋‍♀️ Travel Trivia Tuesday

Correct answer: the Pasifika Festival  

The Pacific Islands-themed festival, which has been meeting since 1993, attracts over 20,000 to Auckland, New Zealand every year! 

Pacific Islanders wanted to create a reason for people from all of these communities to meet and celebrate their rich culture...pretty cool, huh?

They even started a fashion event in 1994 called "Style Pasifika," which became so successful that it was later part of the Rugby World Cup in 2011. 

Read more about the history of the Pasifika Festival here! 

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That’s all for today, friends! I’m excited to enjoy a nice long stint at home in Toronto starting today.

And by long stint, I mean 11 days… then off to one of the COOLEST places I’ll ever travel to.

Do you have any upcoming travel plans? Where are you heading next? Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.

Cheers,

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

45.4215° N, 75.6972° W

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