The Free-quent Flyer

The Free-quent Flyer blog, where you find all the tips and tricks you need
to see the world like I do, for next to nothing!

Latest articles

Galveston Revisited: my interview with the head of Galveston Park Board

Back in May, Sam and Robert of the Milenomics Squared podcast (and a slew of other activities in and around the world of travel hacking) invited me to join their network and record a biweekly podcast. As a reminder for folks who missed the initial announcement, there are two ways to get new and archived episodes of The Manifesto:My paid subscribers...

Foreign exchange products: TransferWise and Revolut

As long-time readers know, I listen to a lot of podcasts, and so I end up hearing a lot of podcast ads. A few months ago, I started hearing ads for a new international payment service called TransferWise. As someone who has occasionally needed to send money overseas for things like tuition, and receive money from abroad for things like voice acting...

The Chase Freedom family of cards: it's (still) all about quantity

In a case of impeccable timing, at the beginning of this week I was high in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Shenandoah National Park, far from cell service, and so was barely aware of Chase’s announcement of a shakeup of their Freedom credit card lineup until we returned to sea level. This gave me the great fortune of being able to read what everybody else...

Non-owner car insurance

Non-owner car insurance is one of the least-understood insurance products because it is needed by so few people: most people who drive own a car, and most people who own a car have car insurance. Moreover, even if you don’t own a car but borrow a friend’s car to run the occasional errand, you’re almost certainly covered by their car insurance policy.Non-owner...

Who is the Inspirato Pass ripping off (and who is rich or dumb enough to find out?)

Every 21st century tech scam involves ripping off some combination of three groups of people: customers, service providers, and investors. If you can exploit regulatory loopholes it’s icing on the cake.CustomersYou might expect customers to be the biggest victims of tech scams, but in my experience that’s relatively rare, simply because customers have...

More Delta Platinum and refund hijinx

Right now all travelers, but especially travel hackers, are juggling even more decisions than usual. In the before time, we might make speculative bookings far in the future as soon as award space opened up for trips we weren’t sure we’d be able to take. Now even a last-minute trip is “speculative,” depending on constantly changing infection numbers...

Virginia's Eastern Shore: our first road trip out of quarantine

The pandemic has caused different kinds of pain for different people. For the very social, the pandemic has meant losing the ability to visit with friends and family in person. For the unemployed, it has meant the loss of income, health insurance, and experience. For those in nursing homes and prisons, it has meant the loss of contact and physical and...

Revisiting the Bumped App

Back in November, 2018, I wrote about a then-new app called Bumped which awarded fractional shares of stock when using linked credit cards at participating merchants. Over the last few weeks as I sorted through every bank, brokerage, and loyalty account to update my address, I discovered that Bumped not only survived, but I had also forgotten to unlink...

Stop It

I’ve become increasingly annoyed by an expression journalists and commentators use to describe public policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. It seems like every day I read or hear somewhere that there’s “no plan” to deal with the surge in cases and overwhelmed hospital ICU’s, there’s “no plan” to deal with the looming economic...

When better-than-free grocery store manufactured spend pours

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say we’re in a kind of golden moment for grocery store manufactured spend, with widely-held credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve, the Chase Hyatt cards, and the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass and Aspire cards all offering increased earning at grocery stores (in the last case until the...

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