How Out and Out Makes Money

I make huge piles of fake cartoon money

There’s been a lot of talk in the blog space this week about monetization, affiliate links, and the lengths bloggers will go to make revenue, including from Doctor of Credit and Rapid Travel Chai – people I hugely admire and respect. It all got me thinking.

Now feels like the right time to talk about this. Not because anyone’s ever asked. But because I want to finally put it out there so peeps can make their own informed decisions.

I make huge piles of fake cartoon money

Huge piles of fake cartoon money

Out and Out makes money in 3 ways:

  1. Credit card affiliate links through CreditCards.com
  2. Ad revenue and clicks from Amazon
  3. Advertising from BoardingArea

I’ll go into detail about each one.

1. Credit card affiliate links

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Chase OR Costco + Autoslash: Get the Best Price on Car Rentals

Laaaa!

I rented a car this past weekend in Albuquerque.

And I’m renting another one this upcoming weekend for a work trip to Austin.

I’ve rented enough cars by this point to rely solely on 2 places to look: the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and Costco Travel. One or the other of them has the best deal almost always.

car rental best price

Laaaa! Behold Costco Travel’s car rental search

For good measure, I usually run a search through Kayak, too – just to be sure.

Last week, I booked through Costco. And this week, I booked through Chase. One of them simply always works out for the best.

A quick comparison

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Why & How to Add Your American Airlines Number to British Airways Award Flights

Y YES

I recently booked American Airlines award flights from Dallas to Albuquerque with British Airways Avios points. I booked it pretty fast and let my British Airways loyalty number auto-populate in the spot for “Membership Number.”

british airways american number

So easy to let this slide

It’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” type thing and easy to overlook.

But, if you have elite status on American Airlines, or certain AAdvantage credit cards with Barclaycard or Citi, you’ll want to change it.

Why to add your American Airlines number

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How to Get Free Gogo Internet (on American Flights With NO IFE)

sad

I’ve been flying American a lot lately, and there’s a loophole I sometimes use to get free Gogo internet. I used it today on my flight back from Albuquerque.

There are a couple of catches:

  • You can only get ~30 minutes of internet
  • This ONLY works on flights with NO IFE (in-flight entertainment) (as far as I know)

No IFE as in, no screens overhead or in the back of the seat in front of you.

If you’re lucky, you can squeeze out closer to an hour of free internet. But it depends on the flight – there doesn’t seem to be a pattern to it.

Here’s how it works.

The trick to getting free Gogo internet

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My IHG Q3 Accelerate Offer Is Actually OK! How’s Yours?

holiday-inn-san-francisco-4384731508-16x5

I’ve gotten some pretty terrible IHG offers from IHG’s various “Accelerate” promotions (including one that required me to stay at a hotel brand with only 2 locations).

But their new Q3 Accelerate offer is actually… kind of OK (but couldn’t they come up with a different name for it? Even the URL is bland lol).

It’s not worth moving a minor mountain for or anything, but it seems I can stay at an IHG for 2 nights in September 2016 and earn an extra 35,000 IHG points.

My IHG Accelerate offer

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Just Booked a Trip for Next Weekend in 10 Minutes (Instant Transfers Save the Day!)

Yes yes yes

Also see: 

I’ll never forget the thrill and uncertainty of booking my first award ticket. I thought I’d show up to the airport and be turned away for not paying (or something like that). Can a flight really cost ~$11 when you book with… points?

That was a few years ago. But there’s still something so novel about booking award trips. Some of them are planned in advance, like my upcoming trip to Hawaii. And some are aspirational or in the future, like the Brussels Airlines flights I booked with Etihad miles.

Mmm, love the high desert

Love the high desert!

Long story short, I needed to spend a couple of days in New Mexico to get some work done there. Looking at my upcoming weekends:

  • Next one was open
  • After that, Austin for work
  • Labor Day weekend – nothing available with points
  • Hawaii

4 weekends = a month of plans. I started poking around and realized, holy crap, I’m gonna book this trip for next weekend!

Finding flights

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Just Booked: A Brussels Airlines Biz Class Award Flight With Etihad Miles

I'm coming for ya, Brussels!

Also see: 

Holy crap, it worked – I’m going to Belgium!

I'm coming for ya, Brussels!

I’m coming for ya, Brussels!

I found a ton of Business Class award seats between NYC and Brussels on Brussels Airlines in May and June 2017 (with a few dates in April and July available, too).

On Saturday, I transferred 37,000 Citi ThankYou points to Etihad Guest in hopes the space would remain. I checked this morning – no miles. But when I checked a few hours later, they were there!

I fired up United.com to hunt for dates:

Nearly every day in May and June 2017 has availability

Nearly every day in May and June 2017 still has availability

Tips: Tick “Show only nonstop flight availability” to isolate Brussels award space. And use “NYC” as the search if you want to see flights from both EWR and JFK.

Once I found the dates I wanted, I called Etihad Guest at 877-690-0767 with a pair of crossed fingers.

About the booking process

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The Top Card for Beginners? Yeah, the Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philly with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Also see: 

I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point. A friend asks, “How do you do it?” Take all these trips to places like Hawaii, Tokyo and Osaka, Dublin, Barcelona, and more. How do you get free hotel rooms that cost hundreds of dollars a night?

“I want to travel like you do,” they say. “Where do I start?”

Chase Sapphire Preferred. You can stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philly with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

You can stay at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philly with Chase Ultimate Rewards points

And you have that moment where you’re thinking inside, “Well for starters, using that debit card for everything you buy isn’t helping anything.” *cough* Kierstin *cough*

You ask about their spending habits. “Do you shop online?” Definitely use a shopping portalget free miles for clicking a link.

And sign up for dining rewards while you’re at it because you never know when you’ll get some extra miles in your account – especially if you live in a mid-sized to large city.

As far as cards go… where to begin?

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Coming Soon: The Doubling (of Discover Cash Rewards Earned This Year)

Not this Dublin - but close!

Also see: 

Or, “The Month Discover Pays My Mortgage

Or, “The Dublin

  • Link: Discover It (with $50 bonus after 1st purchase)

An event so anticipated. It only happens once per year. The month Discover is nice enough to pay my mortgage – THE DUBLIN.

Not this Dublin - but close!

Not this Dublin – but close!

If you don’t have a no annual fee card, or if you staunchly refuse to pay an annual fee on a card for whatever reason, you definitely have a lot of options.

Without making an exhaustive list, I can think of the Citi Hilton Visa, Chase Freedom, Citi Costco, Amex EveryDay, and the Chase Ink Cash and Amex SimplyCash Plus for small businesses.

And, if you want a cashback card with no annual fee, the best ones are:

  • Discover It (5% bonus categories and 1% cash back on other purchases, doubled after the 12th billing cycle for new cardmembers)
  • Discover It Miles (1.5% cashback on all purchases, ditto for the double cash back)
  • Fidelity Visa (straight 2% cashback, but you have to have a Fidelity account – all free to have and open)
  • Citi Double Cash (2% cashback, but you earn 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off)

I tend to like bonus categories because I make the most of ’em, but you might prefer straight cashback with no categories to think about.

You can find all the cards that aren’t linked above by clicking through here.

History of The Dublin

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Booking Hawaii: Part 2 – Using Citi ThankYou Points for Award Flights on Delta and United

2013-01-11 08.26.58

Also see: 

When last we parted, all was happy and good. Flights for 4 people were booked to Honolulu. Then life, as it does, got in the way.

Jay went back to New York for a too-good-to-pass-up film job. That’s right – I am now in Dallas alone. *cue torrential tears*

That was a whole other wrenching experience, but it also had consequences for this planned trip.

“So no Hawaii trip?” “I can’t.” Crap.

No Honolulu for you?

No Honolulu for you?

I called Connexions Loyalty (the travel agency Citi uses to book flights with ThankYou points) to ask if I could transfer the ticket to my little brother. I knew it would be a long shot, but worth trying.

The best they could do was cancel the ticket and give Jay the credit – no transferring, no name-changing. Oh, and there would be a $200 fee to redeem the credit. That stung, but at least part of the ticket will be put toward eventual travel.

By the time this all shook out, I accumulated more Citi ThankYou points. And continue to earn 30,000 to 40,000 ThankYou points per month.

Then I thought, why not take my little brother anyway?

How to add another person to the trip?

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Booking Hawaii: Part 1 – Flights for 4 to Honolulu

I'm coming for you, Honolulu

Also see: 

Next month, I’m headed to Honolulu with my Mom, stepdad, and little brother. I’d been throwing around the idea of a family vacation for a while.

I haven’t been back to Hawaii since 2013.

I enjoyed my time at the Hilton Hawaiian Village so much, I swore I’d go back someday. And now that I’m all Hilton-y and have Diamond elite status, I thought my Mom would absolutely love staying here with me. So I wanted to treat her to a trip.

Nothing quite like a Hawaiian sunset

Nothing quite like a Hawaiian sunset

But first, to get there.

Sussing out flights to Honolulu

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NYC-BRU J Award Seats on Brussels Open May & June 2017 – Book With Citi ThankYou Points!

Fountain figure of Manneken Pis  in Brussels

I just so happened to be casually looking for JFK-BRU Business Class award space on Brussels Airlines because that’s what Saturday mornings are for, right?

Space is open nearly every day in May and June 2017 in Business Class to AND from Brussels

Space is open nearly every day in May and June 2017 in Business Class to AND from Brussels

I was able to find a Business Class award seat on the JFK or EWR to BRU route nearly every day in May and June 2017 (with a few dates in March and April, too).

The reason I’ve had my eye on this award is because Citi ThankYou points transfer 1:1 to Etihad Guest miles. And Etihad has a very generous award chart on this particular route.

as

37K round-trip in Business Class? Yes, plz!

A round-trip ticket in Business Class costs just 36,620 Etihad Guest miles. Of course, you have to transfer in increments of 1,000, so realistically this will cost 37,000 Citi ThankYou points. Which is a steal. 

Look

Look for SAVER award space

United would charge 70K miles each way, or 140,000 miles, round-trip. So you’ll save a huge number of points by booking through Etihad instead.

How to find the space

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