Author Topic: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?  (Read 3176 times)

LWTG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1895
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wherever you go there you are
Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« on: October 30, 2017, 08:09:08 AM »
Hi everyone, I am interested in attending the MMM Moab meetup in October of 2018 as cheaply as possible:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/moab-utah-usa-in-october-2018/150/

The lodging sounds like it will be camping which is pretty cheap already so my two big costs are flight and rental car.

I'll  be flying from MD, preferably BWI but Dulles or Reagan also theoretically possible if cheaper/better for some reason. Flying into Salt Lake city is the closest (~3.5 hours) but Vegas or Denver are also options (~6.5 hours). I'd consider flying into Vegas a night early where I could get a free room and then make the drive up to Moab with a stop at Zion National park for lunch/hike.

For rental car I don't need anything fancy I'll just have small backpacking gear and most likely one person.

My wife actually has a Companion pass for me right now through Southwest but shes not really interested in attending so I'll be solo. Almost out of Southwest points and saving what I do have for a possible December 2018 couples trip before pass expires.

While in Moab I'll also want to rent a Mountain bike for at least two days and presumably want to eat something so some generic statement credits redeemable for anything would be nice too.

So, what cards do I want??? thinking 2-3 probably, we average about $1,500-$2,000  a month on card without having to manufacture and will have one expensive trip and Holiday shopping in December so want to apply for and receive the cards by end of November to start hitting bonus spending requirements.

Delta is one of the few airlines with BWI-SLC non stops so considering that for flight. Already got Gold card two years ago though so Platinum would come with a $195 fee but 70K bonus so thinking it's still worthwhile?

Outside of that I was just thinking Barclay arrival (40K miles) and capital one Venture (50K miles currently) for rental car, Misc, etc.

Doubt I could hit all 3 at once so I'd probably focus on two now and get the other in the Spring maybe.

Anyhow those are my initial thoughts, any of you hacking pros have other/better ideas?

Edited to add: Before suggestions come in I can NOT get any Chase cards, anything else should be OK.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 08:20:27 AM by LWTG »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27538
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 08:23:05 AM »
Outside of that I was just thinking Barclay arrival (40K miles) and capital one Venture (50K miles currently) for rental car, Misc, etc.

Yeah. If you aren't super into travel hacking, KISS.

Get these cards, pay for the flight and rental car and any hotels with them, reimburse up to ~1k of spending together (after bonuses and min spend points credits).

Moab should cost <$500 for flight/rental car, I'd bet; likely one of those cards would be enough, and you should be able to do 4 (one of each, for your wife and yourself each).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 08:34:12 AM »
I'd do the venture card as barclay goes up to 50k sometimes so you could save that one for the future.

If you're concerned about the annual fee go with the gold delta business card.  I'll PM you a referral on that one.  Delta's bonus ends in 9 days. so do that card now. 

Moab is amazing.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27538
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 08:40:31 AM »
Given the amount of time (~1 yr), multiple cards over that time frame for options and flexibility is good.

Good on you for starting early!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

LWTG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1895
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wherever you go there you are
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 03:44:08 PM »
Outside of that I was just thinking Barclay arrival (40K miles) and capital one Venture (50K miles currently) for rental car, Misc, etc.

Yeah. If you aren't super into travel hacking, KISS.

Get these cards, pay for the flight and rental car and any hotels with them, reimburse up to ~1k of spending together (after bonuses and min spend points credits).

Moab should cost <$500 for flight/rental car, I'd bet; likely one of those cards would be enough, and you should be able to do 4 (one of each, for your wife and yourself each).

You don't think it's worth doing Delta for flights and leave these two for everything else? If I did not use it all I would certainly have more/other travel to put it towards.

Can you do a straight statement credit like the Sapphire or it has to be travel category?

Hmmm, had not thought of having wife do them as well. Maybe worth her doing that next Spring after I hit all my bonus's to start getting a jump on early 2019 travel/skiing.

I'd do the venture card as barclay goes up to 50k sometimes so you could save that one for the future.

If you're concerned about the annual fee go with the gold delta business card.  I'll PM you a referral on that one.  Delta's bonus ends in 9 days. so do that card now. 

Moab is amazing.

Ok, so maybe do Delta/Venture now and save Barclay for like February. Is it best to do both apps at the same time for credit/no inquiries or doesn't really matter? Like if I offset them a month it would be easier to hit spend, but realistically with whats coming up hitting $6K in 3 months should not be an issue.

I mean I'm not too concerned, if a $195 fee gets me a $500 flight it's still a good deal. But of course not paying it would be better :) What's the spend/bonus on the Business? I actually do sort of have a business but it's really my Dad's still more then mine so don't necessarily want to convulute that company name into the mix.

That's what I've seen/heard/read !!

Given the amount of time (~1 yr), multiple cards over that time frame for options and flexibility is good.

Good on you for starting early!

Yeah and more options/flexibility can always be used to rollover for more/other trips too. I found out most private campgrounds code as travel and we have some trips for those planned too though not sure I'd hit bonus in time for some that we are booking.

Thanks; Yeah from what I've seen the prices/points required tend to go up around 6 months out or so, or at the very least limit options. I'd realllllly like to go non-stop since I have a somewhat limited travel time. Time in Moab > time in airports :)

LWTG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1895
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wherever you go there you are
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 04:28:03 PM »
Decided on Platinum Delta (used your link Boarder) and Cap one Venture for now.

Ahhhh free travel here I come.

Thanks for the feedback guys :)

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 04:34:15 PM »
Thanks!  If you have more questions let me know

doggyfizzle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 342
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 04:47:24 PM »
Be aware that Amex sign-up bonuses are once per lifetime, and Capital One pulls from all 3 credit bureaus when you submit a new application.  I personally might have considered the Chase Sapphire Preferred; you’d end up with 50k UR points that can be transferred to Southwest or United, or also redeemed for travel at 1.25 cents per point through the ultimate rewards travel mall.  The annual fee is also lower than the Delta Platinum Card.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 04:50:14 PM »
Be aware that Amex sign-up bonuses are once per lifetime, and Capital One pulls from all 3 credit bureaus when you submit a new application.  I personally might have considered the Chase Sapphire Preferred; you’d end up with 50k UR points that can be transferred to Southwest or United, or also redeemed for travel at 1.25 cents per point through the ultimate rewards travel mall.  The annual fee is also lower than the Delta Platinum Card.

Amex is once per 7 years or if you get a direct mail offer. 

LWTG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1895
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wherever you go there you are
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2017, 05:11:56 PM »
Thanks!  If you have more questions let me know

Be aware that Amex sign-up bonuses are once per lifetime, and Capital One pulls from all 3 credit bureaus when you submit a new application.  I personally might have considered the Chase Sapphire Preferred; you’d end up with 50k UR points that can be transferred to Southwest or United, or also redeemed for travel at 1.25 cents per point through the ultimate rewards travel mall.  The annual fee is also lower than the Delta Platinum Card.

Amex is once per 7 years or if you get a direct mail offer. 

If I did the gold one last time I should be fine to get the points for the platinum though right?


Be aware that Amex sign-up bonuses are once per lifetime, and Capital One pulls from all 3 credit bureaus when you submit a new application.  I personally might have considered the Chase Sapphire Preferred; you’d end up with 50k UR points that can be transferred to Southwest or United, or also redeemed for travel at 1.25 cents per point through the ultimate rewards travel mall.  The annual fee is also lower than the Delta Platinum Card.

Is pulling from all 3 bureaus a big deal, Sounds like most peoples credit hasn't been affected much by churning?

Edited to add: Before suggestions come in I can NOT get any Chase cards, anything else should be OK.

We got the Sapphire last year with the 100K bonus

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 05:44:20 PM »
Yes no problem with the points on the Platinum. And a 3 pull isn't awful.

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6724
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2017, 10:15:56 PM »
Good luck hacking your way to Moab!

LWTG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1895
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wherever you go there you are
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2017, 10:26:15 PM »
Good luck hacking your way to Moab!

Thanks! hopefully I'll hit the bonus fast enough on the delta to score some really cheap non-stops.  Last time I went to Utah for skiing I had a free non-stop in First class on the way out but then a 12 hour long layover slog on Southwest for return trip (but still for free!)

Getting my first taste of desert riding near Vegas next weekend at this Red Rock area, probably get me even more stoked to try and make this happen! (also flying out there on points!)

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6724
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 06:17:33 AM »
Avoid the pointy plants and don't crash in the rocks and it will be awesome. :)

LWTG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1895
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wherever you go there you are
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 06:33:55 PM »
Avoid the pointy plants and don't crash in the rocks and it will be awesome. :)

Ha! Well you already read in my journal but I did have the one wreck.

Avoided all but one rock and my sunglasses took the brunt of that. Did poke a dozen or so small holes in my chest with the pointy things though.

But overall, awesome. Pumped to do more desert riding this year!!

------------

Hacking update-

Earned the 70K Delta points and booked a pretty sweet flight. The way out is Delta's comfort class which is basically coach with 3" extra leg room (I'm 6'2" so this is a nice little luxury). And the way home is first class baby. Both non-stop early morning flights so should be little issue/chance of delays or anything.

Sticker price for the flight in cash was $884 and I got it for the $195 fee and $11.20  9/11 service fee so $206.20  BUT WAIT that little $11.20 charge kicked off a $100 credit for making a Delta purchase within the first 3 months so ta-da real cost of only $106.20. Pretty happy with that for such good flights/times.

Close to hitting the minimum spend on the Capital one. Reserved my campsite with that card and paid the ~$50 for the first night deposit. But the $150 for the other 3 nights can be part of my $500 travel credit I'll earn leaving $350 to cover the 4 day rental car which I assume should be enough.

Still may try to find a generic cash or statement credit card to cover some Bike rental and food costs. Or may wait and see if the Barclay goes back up to a 50K bonus and use that towards some Family travel sort of earning me $500 to earmark for this trip. We'll see.

But flights and lodging are all booked so looks like a go!

Any rule of thumb on how far out to book rental cars or good deals on them?

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2018, 11:27:12 AM »
book a rental car today then just keep watching them - dont prepay - and just rebook everytime a cheaper rental rate shows up.

Systems101

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 12:51:27 PM »
book a rental car today then just keep watching them - dont prepay - and just rebook everytime a cheaper rental rate shows up.

+1

Also:

Look directly with the companies as well as through the airlines and hotel programs; often the group discount prices will help (and you may get some miles/points as well).

Look at originally renting off the airport.  It does involve some risk (e.g. if you get in late on a flight and thus after the location you want will be closed since many will close at 5 PM)... but in some cases, you can get some major cost avoidance on the airport rental costs (note: this usually won't work with the airline discounts since they are related to the airport locations, but should work on the hotel ones).

Under certain discount programs (some hotel / corporate ones), you could rent off airport, then subsequently return the car to the airport (thus not doing a pure circle with the car), still get the group discount and not pay the airport fees or a one-way rental fee (because the locations are very close to each other)


Systems101

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 148
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 12:56:26 PM »
One more thing: For the benefit of others who may want to do this (since OP already has their ticket), don't underestimate the rental car savings of a secondary airport.  The frequent flyer cost in miles will often be the same, but you might get a much cheaper car from St. George, Utah or Grand Junction, CO than from Salt Lake City or Las Vegas... or at least that was my recent experience booking a car in that region...

LWTG

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1895
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wherever you go there you are
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2018, 06:57:51 PM »
One more thing: For the benefit of others who may want to do this (since OP already has their ticket), don't underestimate the rental car savings of a secondary airport.  The frequent flyer cost in miles will often be the same, but you might get a much cheaper car from St. George, Utah or Grand Junction, CO than from Salt Lake City or Las Vegas... or at least that was my recent experience booking a car in that region...

Maybe a cheaper car, but I would think a more expensive (or at least less desirable) flight. As far as I know there are no direct flights from BWI (Baltimore area Maryland) to St George or Grand junction. I'd gladly pay a little more for a car if I can get direct flights and save the connection; especially when I'm getting the car and flight for "free" :)

book a rental car today then just keep watching them - dont prepay - and just rebook everytime a cheaper rental rate shows up.

Cool , thanks. On my agenda for his weekend!

book a rental car today then just keep watching them - dont prepay - and just rebook everytime a cheaper rental rate shows up.

+1

Also:

Look directly with the companies as well as through the airlines and hotel programs; often the group discount prices will help (and you may get some miles/points as well).

Look at originally renting off the airport.  It does involve some risk (e.g. if you get in late on a flight and thus after the location you want will be closed since many will close at 5 PM)... but in some cases, you can get some major cost avoidance on the airport rental costs (note: this usually won't work with the airline discounts since they are related to the airport locations, but should work on the hotel ones).

Under certain discount programs (some hotel / corporate ones), you could rent off airport, then subsequently return the car to the airport (thus not doing a pure circle with the car), still get the group discount and not pay the airport fees or a one-way rental fee (because the locations are very close to each other)

I'll check around and see if there are any cheaper ways through Either my Southwest or Delta accts or anything.

If you rent off site I guess you'd need to figure the costs of an uber or something to get to those site too? Also have a pretty tight 4 day schedule so may be worth the costs for convenience, but I'll check around a bit.

Close to hitting the minimum spend on the Capital one. Reserved my campsite with that card and paid the ~$50 for the first night deposit. But the $150 for the other 3 nights can be part of my $500 travel credit I'll earn leaving $350 to cover the 4 day rental car which I assume should be enough.

So, just hit the bonus and apparently you can go back up to 60 days to redeem a travel credit, so first nights covered after all. Wohhoo!!

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2018, 06:21:31 AM »
yep you can go back in time and credit it - i missed that comment earlier or would have replied.

Daisy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2018
Re: Travel hack me to the MMM Moab meetup?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2018, 09:44:18 AM »
book a rental car today then just keep watching them - dont prepay - and just rebook everytime a cheaper rental rate shows up.

+1

Also:

Look directly with the companies as well as through the airlines and hotel programs; often the group discount prices will help (and you may get some miles/points as well).

Look at originally renting off the airport.  It does involve some risk (e.g. if you get in late on a flight and thus after the location you want will be closed since many will close at 5 PM)... but in some cases, you can get some major cost avoidance on the airport rental costs (note: this usually won't work with the airline discounts since they are related to the airport locations, but should work on the hotel ones).

Under certain discount programs (some hotel / corporate ones), you could rent off airport, then subsequently return the car to the airport (thus not doing a pure circle with the car), still get the group discount and not pay the airport fees or a one-way rental fee (because the locations are very close to each other)

I recently learned about this ability to reserve a car then cancel the reservation and rebook if you find a better price.

I have an upcoming trip in February and booked a good rate through the airline I am flying with. Then I checked at the end of Dec and the rate went down to $25/day. I cancelled and rebooked. Then I checked this week on kayak.com and found a rate of $18/day for a small SUV (same price as compact) if I booked and paid it immediately. So I went ahead and booked and prepaid on kayak.com and cancelled the reservation under the airline's portal. So now I can't cancel any more, but I think I ended up with a good price and a larger car than I originally booked. This is good because I will have skis with me. ;)

I've also done the off-airport thing. I found a huge difference in prices on a recent trip. At the airport, the rate was about $230/4 days. A mile from the airport, it was around $150ish/4 days. 4 miles from the airport, they had a special rate of $74/4 days. I just uber'd back and forth for $7 each way. Off airport locations won't usually shuttle you to the airport because they don't want to cannibalize their on-airport rates, or at least that's what the attendant told me. I did try to get them to shuttle me to the airport (with no success).