I booked a 9-week trip with this one card

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👩‍🍳 Dominique Crenn, 3 Michelin stars chef,  is now crafting French cuisine for Air France flights departing from select U.S. cities. Passengers in La Première and Business cabins can enjoy her seasonal menus, expanding to all U.S. destinations by summer 2024! Read more here

Good morning from my home in Toronto… which feels weird to say after nine weeks away.

But just because I’m not traveling doesn’t mean I don’t have some good ‘ol hacks for you:

🏃‍♂️ Mike on the Move: The card that made my 9-week trip possible

As you know, I just returned home after a 9-week trip around Mongolia, China, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, and a quick stop in London.

It went a little like this:

A map showing Mike's recent 9-week trip

Booking this trip was actually not super complicated…

In fact, there is one card that I put ALL of my spend on and has the versatility to book basically EVERYTHING I did on this trip…

I’m talking about this bad boy.

This is the only card in my wallet that can book EVERY SINGLE flight, hotel, and other element of the 9-week trip I just finished.

Let me break it down.

The first chunk of my trip started with the following:

  • Aeroplan booking from Toronto to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

  • IHG hotel in Mongolia

  • Air China booking using United miles

  • Marriott hotel in Beijing

Here are screenshots showing each of the examples I just mentioned:

An exmple of a business-class Aeroplan booking
An example of an IHG in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
An example of an Air China flight booked with United miles
An example of a 5-night stay booked with Marriott points

Since this card allows points transfers to Marriott, IHG, United, and Aeroplan, every single part of the journey is possible with just one card.

From there, I flew business class to Bangkok on Thai Airways… which became the first of five Thai Airways flights of the trip, all of which were booked with Aeroplan points and United miles.

A photo from Mike's Thai Airways business-class flight

In Bangkok, I stayed at the Hyatt Regency, a Category 2 Hyatt property that only cost me 8,000 points per night, which was INSANE considering how nice the hotel was.

An example of a luxury hotel in Bangkok for only 8,000 Hyatt points per night

Again, both Hyatt and Aeroplan allow for transfers from UR Points that I earn with this card, so booking these was super easy (and some of the best value for my precious UR Points).

Later in the trip, however, I traveled to Laos - where transfer partners are not helpful at ALL…

Thankfully, it’s easy as pie to use this card to book third-party flights and hotels through their travel portal.

An example of a hotel in Laos that's bookable through the bank portal

As you can see, they even offer cheap hotels that are priced the same as on other third-party websites.

The only difference is that I’ll earn a boatload of UR Points for booking through this portal.

Other highlights included this flight that I booked from Jakarta to Bali using Flying Blue miles, transferred from this card, and a lovely IHG hotel in rural Indonesia, also bookable with points from that card.

An example of using Flying Blue miles to book a flight on Garuda Indonesia
An example of an IHG hotel in Bali bookable for 16,500 points per night

I won’t list out every single booking I made… but it’s surprising and crazy to me that my whole 9-week trip was bookable using one extremely powerful card with an annual fee of under $100.

So if you’re looking for a “jack of all trades” for your wallet, I hope my recent trip is a testament to just how powerful a single card can be.

✈️ Flying Blue Promo Rewards (March)

Earlier in this newsletter, I mentioned using Flying Blue miles to book a domestic flight in Indonesia. It was pretty cool.

But you don’t need to travel to Asia to take advantage of the Flying Blue program.

In fact, the MOST valuable way to use Flying Blue miles is by flying from the U.S. to Europe with their monthly Promo Rewards, which have just been updated for March!

A banner showing this month's Flying Blue Promo Rewards

This month’s U.S. cities include Detroit and Houston, which is a nice change of pace from the usual suspects like Chicago, New York, Washington, etc.

Flying from Houston all the way to Europe for only 15,000 miles is a STEAL for anyone based in the South (or anyone who wants to book a cheap positioning flight to save some points).

An example of using Flying Blue mies to fly from Houston to Germany for just 15,000 miles

If you want to travel beyond Europe, there are also some pretty cool deals like Paris to Madagascar for just 30,000 miles or to Nairobi for just 18,750 miles.

Having been to both places recently, I highly recommend them.

An exmple of using FB miles to fly from Paris to Nairobi

Unfortunately, there are no transfer bonuses going on right now to Flying Blue… Still, these are all great deals.

The fact that you can transfer your points from pretty much any credit card that earns transferrable points makes it even better.

So if you have plans to hit Europe later this year and you live near Houston or Detroit, this is a great chance to save a ton of points.

😆 Meme

A meme about jet lag

This is me the last few days after returning home…

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…or you can just buy these prizes from our website if you want to keep us all to yourself. 😉

That’s all for today, friends! It really is crazy how these credit cards and points programs allow us to travel all over the world with points and miles…

But for now, I hope you have a GREAT Monday ❤️

See you tomorrow,

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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