Tuesday, February 15, 2011

American Express Membership Rewards

This rewards program offer many unique transfer opportunities for mileage collectors, occasional large sign up bonuses, online shopping and pay with points travel options.

American Express offers a variety of cards which participate in the membership rewards program. The Green, Blue, Gold and Platinum cards are offered. These are charge cards that require you to pay off the balance each month. Amex has tied together their color cards, travel agent services, auto protection, merchant discount through the Open program, along with the Membership Rewards program.

Points are earned at the rate of one point per dollar you spend. There is no limit on the number of points you can earn. Points do not expire as long as you maintain the card. Great rewards start at just 1,000 points. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for airline tickets, hotel rooms, travel packages, golf trips, golf gift cards, even golf clubs.

If you travel extensively, the Business Platinum Card offers some of the best travel benefits I have ever experienced. The $400 annual fee includes concierge service, access to many airline lounges, the Fine Hotels Program, and excellent customer service. If you do not travel regularly, the annual fee is a bit steep.

The program is not for everyone, but it is another great option to consider and evaluate whether or not it will benefit you on your Frugal Golf Travel adventures.

Friday, February 11, 2011

TripAdvisor - Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals

Planning your next golf adventure trip? Be sure to check out TripAdvisor.com. I always check out TripAdvisor any time I am planning a trip. The site's primary function is hotel reviews posted by travelers just like you and me. I have posted my share of reviews on the site as well. I try to read all the recent posts related to the hotels in the area of my upcoming trip.

While planning a trip to Puerto Rico, we reviewed all the hotel comments, which were very helpful in pointing out things to be aware of during  registration and to make sure we reviewed our portfolio the day before checkout to clear up any unauthorized charges. We also found reviews for some great local off-site restaurants, which were authentic local food and much cheaper than food at the resort. There were great tips about purchasing snorkeling gear at the local Walmart vs. renting at the resort. The cost at Walmart was less than one day's rental and we had use of it for the entire stay, not to mention it had not been used by previous guests.

You have to wade through both good and bad reviews about properties and make a judgement call based on what you read. Some reviewers truly had a bad experience and some travelers can just never be satisfied and expect a Ritz Carlton exeperience at a Motel 6 rate.

The greatest benefit we received was a recommentation regarding the nighttime kayak tour of the Bioluminescent Bay in Fajardo. The TripAdvisor comments recommended booking the tour directly with a tour company and not through the Resort Excursion Desk. The reviews gave instructions on who to call and a review of several local outfitters. Following this guidance saved us around $100.

Check out TripAdvisor.com before your next trip and you may discover a few tips and tricks to make you trip a bit more enjoyable. To make the site more valuable, be sure to add you own trip reports whenever you travel to assist those who may follow after you. Also, please post the good comments and not just the unpleasant experiences.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Getting Started With Credit Cards

If you are just starting out in the Credit Card game, there are a few things you need to consider. Check your credit score and make sure your FICO score is over 700 or your VantageScore is over 800. If your credit card scores are below the thresholds, you are not ready to play the credit card for miles and points game. Your credit score is one of your greatest assets and should be treated accordingly. If you are currently carrying a balance on your credit cards, you need to be looking for a way to reduce your interest rates and get out of debt. There are many good sites to help you get out of debt and change your financial future. I recommend Get Rich Slowly, The Simple Dollar, and Man vs. Debt.

If you have a good handle on your personal finances and can control your use of a credit card, there are some unbeleivable opportunities to obtain airline frequent flyer miles and hotel reward points to help cover the cost of your next golf adventure. Without much effort, the following miles and points were obtained as sign up bonuses for members of my family from July through December of 2010:
  • Priority Club                         60,000 points
  • Hilton Honors                       70,000 points
  • Amex Membership Rewards     50,000 points
  • Delta Skymiles                     15,000 miles
  • American AAdvantage            75,000 miles
Pending rewards based on meeting credit card minimum spend requirements are as follows:
  • American AAdvantage            75,000 miles
  • Amex Membership Rewards     50,000 points
These were all obtained as bonuses from acquiring new credit cards. The above amounts do not include the points and miles received based on the spending on the credit cards.

If you are ready to get started, below are a few links to some of the current bonus programs being offered by various credit cards.

American Airlines Citi Visa or American Express

Starwood American Express

Priority Club Select Visa

Hilton HHonors Visa

Start today so you can begin planning that Frugal Golf getaway.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Using Credit Cards for Miles and Points

If you are currently using a credit card that does not offer a cash rebate or other form of incentive for you or your business, you need a new credit card. The easiest way to accumulate airline miles and hotel points is through the use of affinity credit cards.

Every major airline and hotel chain partners with a major bank and offers miles or points for your everyday purchases. Each card or program will typically offer minimal miles or points for everyday purchases; a few bonus miles for specific purchases such as gas stations and grocery stores; extra bonus miles for using the card at the airline or hotel which has issued the card. If you are not using these cards you are missing out on free or almost free travel opportunities.

The big bonus usually comes at the time the credit card is issued. Initial bonus points or miles for credit cards we received during 2010 ranged from 25,000 to 75,000. All of these cards also had the initial annual fee waived so there was no cost to obtain the credit card.

My most recent card selections were an American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Visa and an American Airlines CitiBusiness Visa. The offer for the Platinum Visa was for 75,000 bonus miles after you make $1,500 in purchases within six months of becoming a card member. There is a $85 annual fee that is waived for the first 12 months. The offer for the CitiBusiness Visa was for 75,000 bonus miles after you make $4,000 in purchases within six months of becoming a card member. There is a $75 annual fee that is waived for the first 12 months.

You can go just about anywhere in the world with 150,000 AAdvantage Miles or you and a golf buddy can take a Frugal Golf Trip anywhere in the continental United States, with miles to spare, if you plan properly.

Stay with Frugal Golf Travel for more information on the use of credit cards and using them to maximize your accumulation or airline miles and hotel points.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Continental Airlines Mileathon 2011

Continental Airlines runs a recurring promotion, Milethon, where you are able to earn bonus miles based on various activities you complete. The earnings period starts February 1 and runs through April 30, 2011. If you will be doing any traveling during this period, you may have a chance to pick up a few additional Continental OnePass Miles. Each qualifying activity earns a specified number of credits. the more credits earned, the more bonus miles received.

Milestones/Rewards:5 500 bonus miles
10 1,000 bonus miles
20 2,500 bonus miles
30 5,000 bonus miles
45 10,000 bonus miles
65 15,000 bonus miles
85 25,000 bonus miles
105 35,000 bonus miles
125 50,000 bonus miles

The following activities should be easy for most of you to gain a few extra OnePass miles:

Enroll in the OnePass frequent flyer program. Only first-time enrollments are eligible for credit. See Mileathon terms and conditions for complete details.
2 Credits

Sign up for Continental e-mail subscriptionsIncludes OnePass Statement e-mail, News & Offers and continental.com Specials at continental.com. Credits will be awarded per e-mail subscription; for first-time subscribers only. See terms and conditions for complete details.
3 Credits

Book a Best Rate Guaranteed hotel reservation at continental.com. Activity may be repeated.
4 Credits

Book a car rental at continental.com. Credits awarded on car rentals booked at continental.com. Activity may be repeated. Credits awarded upon travel completion. See terms and conditions for complete details.
3 Credits

Acquire a Continental Airlines OnePass Plus Card20 Credits
Card must be acquired between Feb. 1 and March 31, 2011. First purchase must be made by March 31, 2011, to earn Mileathon credit.
This card currently offers 50,000 bonus miles after your first purchase

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Frequent Flyer Master

Chris Guillebeau is an extremely talented writer and all around "World Dominator." I have been following Chris on his site, The Art of Non-Conformity (AONC), for the last two years and have also read his book by the same name multiple times. This is exerpt from his site:

"The Art of Non-Conformity (AONC) project chronicles my writing on how to change the world by achieving significant, personal goals while helping others at the same time. In the battle against conventional beliefs, we focus on three areas: Life, Work, and Travel."

Chris' stated goal is to visit every country in the world by the age of thirty. He has already knocked 140 countries off the list.

In 2009, I purchased a copy of Chris' e-book Frequent Flyer Master. I am a big fan of travel, specifically, cheap travel, and I wanted to hear what this guy had to say. Anyone who has traveled to 140 countries should know much more than me about travel. I have managed to travel to exactly seven countries and that includes the one where I live.

After reading the forty page e-book, I was very impressed with the "travel hacks" he has been able to find as well as his overall approach to travel. Airlines and hotels change promotions and offers regularly, but if you have a solid approach, you can adapt to an ever changing environment. The first half of the e-book discusses overall the "strategies" Chris uses, while the second half discusses tactics for earning miles and points and then redeeming miles for award travel.

Chris is a huge fan of goal-setting, and as you begin to supersize your travel life, it is helpful to set goals related to the miles you will earn and what you will ultimately use them for. If you are following this site, your travel goal is likely related to golf travel. your goal does not have to be as ambitious as visiting every country or even playing a round of golf in every state, but is has to be something worth working towards. A less ambitious goal could be to get one free flight a year to a new golf venue and a free weekend hotel stay. Having a specific goal is crucial because it puts the tactics within context. Miles and points have value since you are working toward an adventure you can put a price on, rather than just collecting miles and points.

If you are a regular traveler, many of the ideas in this book will not be new information, especially if you have done a lot of travel analysis yourself. However, if you are a travel rookie or wondering if there are tricks you are not aware of, you should give the book a try. The e-book is $49 and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. "Using the information in the guide, you'll earn at least 25,000 Frequent Flyer Miles, enough for one free plane ticket ($300+), within 90 days. If not, I am obligated to give you your money back - even if you love the guides."

Using this guide, I have been able to accumulate over 150,000 airline miles and over 150,000 hotel points in the last six months. Not a bad return on my investment of $49. What are you waiting for? Give Frequent Flyer Master a try today!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The FGT Staff’s Favorite Hotel Rewards Program

Intercontinental Continental Hotel Group’s Priority Club Rewards program is currently the preferred hotel rewards program of the FGT Staff. There are many excellent hotel rewards programs available to choose from, so the best program for us may fit with your travel needs. Over the last few years, Priority Club has sponsored numerous games, sweepstakes, and non-hotel stay opportunities to earn many points.
Standard reward nights start at 10,000 points. One member of the FGT Staff is also a football season ticket holder at the SEC University where his son attends. During the 2010 season, he was able to use Priority Club Rewards to cover five stays at the local Holiday Inn Express at a rate of 15,000 points per night. When the football weekend rate is usually $250 per night, with a two night minimum, Priority Club Rewards are an excellent way to save money.
If you are looking to play golf in a new location but not overly concerned with where that location may be, Priority Club offers a Points Break Program each quarter. Instead of shelling out 15,000 to 40,000 points to book a reward room you can book rooms for just 5,000 points – this is pretty darn good as you can often get good properties on this deal. The 4th quarter Points break list included properties in California, Florida and Texas.
We also actively participate in the programs offered by Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham, Choice and Hyatt. Take the time to review each program and decide which one will best align with your current travel patterns.
Most of the major hotel programs have resort locations with golf courses on site or within close proximity. When considering future golf travel plans, always evaluate which hotel program will be most beneficial.  
Our golf travels have allowed us to play at several resort locations with the cost at least partially offset utilizing hotel rewards. Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA has a Hilton Hotel on site. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama has several Marriott properties on location and many Intercontinental Hotel Group (Priority Club) properties nearby. The Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, the La Quinta Resort & Club in California and the El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico are all part of Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria Collection.
We suggest you join all of the major hotel reward programs so that you can take advantage of the abundance of opportunities available to earn points, even when you are not regularly travelling.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Priority Club "Win it in a Minute" Trivia Contest

Priority Club launched a new promotion today – Win it in a Minute. Each weekday for the next 12 weeks offers Priority Club members the chance to answer 5 questions for points. This is a timed trivia contest providing 12 seconds to answer each question. The quicker you answer correctly, the more points you win for the correct answer.

See a full explanation of the contest at Loyalty Traveler.

There are both daily and weekly points awarded so take a few minutes each day to try your hand at trivia and possibly win a few extra Priority Club Reward Points.

Choosing a Primary Hotel Program

Choosing the right hotel reward program requires a little more thought than picking an airline partner.  While some of the basic principles apply to both airlines and hotels (such as “pick a major” and “register for promotions”), there is much more variability in the value of a single hotel point than there is an airline mile.
When choosing a hotel program, consider the following.
Pick a Major Regardless of whether you are choosing an airline, hotel or rental car program, this is a consistent and key component.  Choose a major hotel chain, with many properties under management, to ensure that you are going to get the best choice of options when you want to use the free nights you have earned.  The following are some of the largest hotel chains in the world: 

Preferred Destinations and Class of Hotels If you like higher end tropical resorts in Mexico or the Caribbean, you may want to consider Marriott (Ritz Carlton) or Starwood (Westin, Luxury Collection and St. Regis).  If you prefer to travel to major international cities you may consider Intercontinental.  Or if you love a particular hotel, like the Park Hyatt Tokyo, you may want to consider Hyatt.  The key is to think about where you want to go, what type of hotels you prefer and then investigate the hotel chains that will provide you with what you want.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Managing Your Points & Miles

Managing your miles and points can become a chore if you allow it to. Monitoring your individual account as well as the accounts of multiple family members can lead to aggravation and, if you are not diligent, expiration of miles.

There are an estimated 10 trillion unused frequent-flyer miles currently in circulation, worth some $165 billion. Industry experts estimate that 20% of these miles will never be redeemed. That is a significant number of unredeemed miles.

So how can you keep track of your multiple miles and points accounts? There are several websites available that will simpify the process for you. The prices range from free to $15 per year to whatever you want to pay.

The FGT Staff utilizes Award Wallet to track miles and points. This site isn't perfect, but it offers most of the key features you will need. You can enter accounts for multiple people. The main page neatly shows all your accounts, with miles for each. But Award Wallet will show expiration dates for only three accounts unless you upgrade to a paid membership. How much is a paid membership? Whatever you want to pay.

No matter which service you pick, prepare yourself for some data-entry work at the outset. You'll need your account numbers and passwords. If you haven't already set up online access to your frequent-flier accounts, you'll have to do that first. Still, this definitely falls into the spend-time-to-save-time category. Once you've got your information entered, you can kick back and let the service do the work.

Now, rather than worrying about how many frequent-flier miles and hotel points we have, we can start thinking about where we will be going on our next Frugal Golf Adventure.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How did we get started? Day 2

Day 2 - Farmlinks 
After the disappointing cardboard breakfast the day before and the upcoming golf marathon we had planned on day 2, we ate at one of Dink's favorite joints - the Waffle House.  To keep our energy up for another 28+ holes of golf a good breakfast was important.  Smothered, covered, chunked and dunked was deemed good enough.  Farmlinks Golf Course is off the beaten path.  How far?  Have you ever heard of Sylacauga Alabama?  OK you and Google Maps are the only two.  

So why play a course that is so far off the path you have to have ask for directions when the GPS cannot find it.  Just like any other course, it's there.  Admittedly the draw to Farmlink's is the deal.  For one price, $125, you get unlimited golf and a sit down lunch.  Break that down.  Sit down lunch would be about $15, snacks would be about $10, so if you just play two rounds that is only $50 each.  Even Putts can do that math.  ;)  You are looking for Sylacauga on Google maps right now aren't you?  

The story behind Farmlinks is they were a farm.  They took a chance on growing grass, legal grass, different types of grass.  Bermuda, tiff eagle, bent, diamond cut, blue, green, etc.  Their goal is testing herbicides, fertilizers, irrigation, etc.  They even get sponsors such as John Deere and Toro.  My understanding is most if not all of their equipment is donated.  Companies come in a test the products with their staff and the on site researchers to find out how to make the grass grow under all different types of conditions.  The Parcell family that owns the farm are not golf people.  But do not take that the wrong way.  The Parcell family are farmers.  Why is that important? Farmers are the definition of family.  You are on their land.  You are visitor at their place.  Put it all together it spells h-o-s-p-i-t-a-l-i-t-y.  First class southern hospitality.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

The FGT Staff’s Favorite Airline Frequent Flyer Program

American Airlines is perhaps unique among the airlines in offering lifetime elite status to its members based on the number of lifetime miles earned from any source. Please note that this is an undocumented benefit, and could be changed without notice. Unlike the yearly status qualification where only miles or segments actually flown qualify you, for lifetime status all miles count - including credit cards, EQM, bonus miles, exchange transfers in from other programs, etc. all count, and regardless of whether or not they have been used.
1 million miles - Lifetime AAdvantage Gold status

2 million miles - Lifetime AAdvantage Platinum status

Over the years, acquiring miles through credit card sign up bonuses and churning of credit cards has produced many miles for many travelers although there has recently been a restriction on the number of credit card sign up bonuses an individual can receive.
Availability of award travel at the lowest redemption level is plentiful compared to other domestic airlines in our experience.
So join the AAdvantage program today if you have not already. As soon as you join, head on over to visit the Frugal Travel Guy and apply for one or multiple Citi AAdvantage credit cards and take advantage of the current bonus miles promotions.  Scroll down the page to Rick’s Top Eight Travel Deals and check out #2.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

3 Surveys from Priority Club

This post on View from the Wing references a post on Flyertalk notes 3 quick Priority Club surveys which offer free points:

100 points: http://usa-survey.priorityclub.com/unfvmw
Answers are : C,D,B
100 points: http://usa-survey.priorityclub.com/fhaidt
Answers are: D,A,C
300 points: http://usa-survey.priorityclub.com/mwpvwj
Answers are: D, D, D, D, C
I had already taken the second and third surveys, it wouldn’t let me take them again. But it did let me take the first one. All three surveys worked for my wife. All three surveys said my son had already taken the quizzes. 
Give it a try for a potential easy 500 Priority Club points.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Choosing a Primary Frequent Flyer Program

Selecting your primary frequent flyer program is very straightforward – you want to pick the airline that will allow you to maximize the miles you earn, without having to change your travel and spending patterns.  The majority of airline miles you earn will come from one of two places; air travel and/or credit card usage.  Since most major airlines offer mileage credit cards, your first focus should be on the air travel component.
Find out what airline has the most flights from your local airport. This should be your Primary Frequent Flyer Program. Go to that airlines web site and join their frequent flyer program. Print out the temporary membership card, write down your password and put this in your TRAVEL folder. In a few weeks, you will receive a nice envelope from the airline with a permanent membership card and various other marketing materials.
Look around the web site for Free Miles for email signup, referrals, downloading a search bar or scheduling program. The airlines want to turn you into a loyal customer and will often reward you with miles for various activities.
Now repeat this process for every member of your family, including the baby.
Repeat STEP 1 for every airline that flies from your home airport.  Remember to sign up EVERY FAMILY MEMBER. You will see the benefits of this in later blog posts

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Free Gas for Your Next Golf Trip

Free $10 BP Gas Card After 5 Fillups of 8 Gallons or more

Purchase 8 gallons or more of any grade of BP fuel and present your receipt to the on-site cashier to get a Loyalty Card. Scratch the card to reveal a unique code.

Enter the code on the website: THANK YOU DAYS

Once you have filled up* 5 times and entered 5 Loyalty Card codes, you will be mailed your $10 BP Reward Card.

We have four drivers in our household so buying gas on a regular basis in not an issue. During this promotion, we are only purchasing just over 8 gallon each visit so we can maximize the number of loyalty cards we receive. $10 of fuel will not get you very far, but a few $10 cards will at least get you a round trip to your next golf venue.

(To all my friends and family who work for Chevron, I apologize for promoting your competition, but free gas is free gas. I will return to supporting you when this promotion is completed.)

*A fill up consists of purchasing 8 gallons or more of any grade of BP fuel.

The fine print:
The program begins on 12/1/10 and ends on 3/1/11. All qualifying purchases must be completed between 12/1/10 and 3/1/11, or when Loyalty Card supplies are exhausted, whichever occurs first. See back of Loyalty Card to learn how to receive a $10 BP Reward Card. $10 BP REWARD CARDS EXPIRE ON 9/6/11. Offer not valid in New Jersey.

Monday, January 10, 2011

How did we get started? You got a minute for a story...

The plan was simple.  In three days play as much golf as possible, on the nicest courses possible, for the least amount of cash as possible.  How is that possible?  

We started with choosing the best public courses available to us.  Living in Alabama we picked the two courses on our Alabama wish list.  The first was Ross Bridge in Hoover, AL.  The Champions Tour played the Regions Charity Classic at Ross Bridge the past few years.  We had visited the tournament two years in a row walking around saying "I would really love to play this course."  Using a Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Trailcard exclusively for Alabama residence, we could play the course for $79.  The second course on our wish list was Farmlinks in Sylacauga, AL.  We had heard through the sand trap Farmlinks was not only a quality golf course, but for one price of $125 you were encouraged to play all you wanted.

Our next obstacle was finding a place to stay on the cheap.  Family is always a possibility but can be a little intrusive.  Hey how about the reward hotel points we never use?  LIGHT BULB - ON.  Join the founders of FGT nicknamed "Dink" and "Putts" on that first trip.  Read about the adventures and how we used the reward systems to drive our passion for playing our golf wish list.

"Ideas are born by everyday experiences." - Putts

Day 0 - Travel day
Picked up Dink in Montgomery and made a bee line for the finest BBQ in the state of Alabama at Jim and Nicks in Hoover.  After dinner we checked into the "Castle" at Ross Bridge using Marriott Reward points for three free nights.  The accommodations at Ross Bridge are first class.  Arnold Palmer level first class.

Day 1 - Ross Bridge
After a quick breakfast of coffee and a cardboard nutrition bar, (hey the pros eat these things right) we entered the Pro-shop and presented our Am Ex Golf Gift reward cards.  We were treated like welcomed guests.  We were asked simple questions about if we had played Ross Bridge before.  This was our first trip.  Had we played other RTJ courses?  What was our normal tee box?  We normally play the orange (6-12 handicap) tee.  The pro explained the Ross Bridge course was more difficult than other courses on the RTJ trail.  He went on to explain how it played longer.  The pro was non-threatening with his information and questions.  He gave off a vibe that he genuinely wanted us to enjoy our round of golf.  

We left the Pro-shop feeling welcome at Ross Bridge.  We left knowing which direction we needed to go to get to our cart.  We left knowing a staff member would be meeting us at our cart to further assist.  We left knowing our options on which tee box to play based on advice from a professional...yes...we played from the white tee box.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How to Get Started with Frugal Golf Travel

Maximizing your miles and points will require some organization and attention to detail. You can collect miles and points passively without putting forth much effort and eventually have enough miles for a flight and sufficient points for a few hotel nights. Or, you can be an aggressive collector and soon you will be on your way to many golf travel adventures.
Start with a folder and mark it “TRAVEL”. You will eventually end up with lots of account numbers, passwords,  membership cards, coupons and promotion codes, free tickets, companion tickets, drink coupons, lounge passes, upgrades and date reminders so get a good folder or accordion file.
Compile all the membership information you currently have on Airline and Hotel Programs. You may discover old accounts that have a few miles or points that have been gathering dust. You may also need to contact customer service at some programs to get access to that old account you have not reviewed online in many months and have forgotten your login information.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Brief History of Miles and Points

The first airline loyalty program was created in May 1981. American Airlines was the first carrier to kick off the party. The concept was hot, and United soon followed with their own “Mileage Plus” program.
In 1983, both Marriott and Holiday Inn began the first hotel loyalty programs, rewarding frequent guests with points that could be exchanged for free nights on future visits. Both programs have been modified over the years to better balance the program’s benefits to serve the companies’ most loyal members while ensuring that rewards remain valuable enough to motivate leisure travelers. These days, virtually every airline has a frequent flyer program and all the major hotel chains have frequent guest programs.
If you are not playing this game you are losing money and missing out on many travel opportunities.
Most travelers are fairly na├»ve about how mileage programs work, and the airlines use this to their advantage by attempting to limit awards to low-value trips. Savvy travelers can turn the tables on the airlines by a) earning many more miles than the average traveler, and b) redeeming those miles for high-value trips that would otherwise be very expensive. Because Frequent Flyer programs favor the airlines from the beginning, it’s only fair to do everything you can to earn as much mileage as you can, and also be able to easily redeem your mileage for great travel rewards. That’s where this site comes in, and it all starts with goal-setting.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What is Frugal Golf Travel?

The ultimate in Frugal Golf Travel is free travel and free golf. On several occasions, members of the FGT Staff have been the recipients of golf trips funded by a friend, professional colleague, or a company vendor. This is the exception however, and not the rule. Put forth your best effort to accept any such invitations if the opportunity presents itself. If you are unavailable, contact us and we will gladly take your place.
Frugal Golf Travel is harnessing the power of frequent hotel guest points, frequent flyer miles, and credit card reward programs to reduce the cost of travel to as close to free as possible. This is also known as “TRAVEL HACKING.” To the FGT Staff, Frugal Golf Travel is maximizing the collection of miles and points to reach our goal of “Golf in all 50 States” with minimal use of personal cash.
To borrow a line from the 1985 Dire Straits’ hit song “Money for Nothing”, we want “airline tickets for nothing and hotel rooms for free.”

Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome to Frugal Golf Travel

Happy New Year!
The Frugal Golf Staff has been traveling and playing golf for many years and we like to combine the two activities as often as possible. Our traveling has often been required by work, but we attempt to take the golf clubs along every chance we get. Over the years we have discovered many strategies and tricks to maximum our opportunities to play golf while traveling and minimize the cost of these passions.
We drive or fly economy and usually stay in 3 star or better hotels. We love to stay at resorts with first class golf facilities when possible, but are not against playing the local municipal course. We are not above playing a round of golf at venues that fall into the category of “pasture golf.”
The Frugal Golf Staff is on a quest to play golf in all 50 states over the next ten years. Our goal is to cover all travel costs with frequent flyer miles and frequent guest hotel points. Frugal Golf Travel is the only way to make this adventure affordable. We would like you to join the team and travel along with us on this adventure.
Travel bargains, deals, promotions, mistake fares and mileage and points earning opportunities occur on a daily basis. We will pass along as much information as possible in hopes that you will be able to take advantage of these deals as well.
Happy travels and try to keep it in the short grass!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Where Do You Want to Play Golf?

Pick One Place. It can be anywhere in the world. It has to be a place you have never played golf before.
You may already have a place in mind; there are so many options out there. If you have no idea, try this list of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses You Can PlayWOW! What a list.
We just picked our place; it is Number 2 on the list. Oh My! The cost for a round is between $495 and $530.
It is your turn to pick a place.  Just for a minute, ignore how much you think the trip will cost or how you will ever convince you spouse to let you pursue such a ridiculous adventure. Now make a decision, you can change your mind later. Once you have chosen your place let’s get to work on making this dream a reality. You didn’t think we were just playing a game, did you?
Set a Date. If we are going to make this dream a reality, we have to start making plans today or we will never make any progress toward reaching our goal. Let’s be generous and set a deadline of three years from today. Many of us may be able to move that deadline up to two years, one year or maybe even sooner. But to make it simple, let’s leave the target date at three years from today.
Show Me the Money. Go find an empty jar, a cigar box, an envelope, a traditional piggy bank. Take two dollars (yes $2.00) from your wallet or your change jar, the console in your truck, your desk drawer or your wife’s purse (if you dare) and place the $2.00 in the container of your choice. Repeat this process without fail every day (including weekends) for the next three years. You will have $2,190 in your container on your target date if you stick to this simple easy plan. I think we can figure out how to get $2,190 to cover the cost of the round of golf we chose in step 1 above. Want to move up the date of your adventure, or maybe take someone along with you, just find a way to put more than $2.00 a day in the container or find a way to reduce the cost to travel to your destination.
Stay tuned to Frugal Golf Travel and we will share with you various ways to reduce the cost of your travel to that One Place you have selected. We believe with just a little effort on your part, the date for your adventure will be sooner than you could have ever imagined.  Before you know it, you will be looking at the Top 100 List searching for your next location.