Game Changers: Alive and Dead (100th episode special + more)


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Frequent Miler on the Air turns 100 today. That’s right, today we publish our 100th episode of Frequent Miler on the Air. That’s 100 straight weeks without missing a beat and this week we’ve got a review of the game changers we’ve discussed over the past two years. From a “What crazy thing” triple-header through a rapid-fire list of top hits, this week’s show was fun to record. And on that note, we love recording the show each week and it has been exciting to watch the podcast download chart above continue to grow even through the challenging circumstances of the past year. To everyone watching and listening, thank you. Now watch or listen below or read on for more from this week at Frequent Miler.

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This week at Frequent Miler

Best uses for Marriott free night certificates (35K and 50K)

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JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa bookable with 35K free night certificates

Got Marriott free night certificates? I’ve long expected that I’d use my certificates to great value overseas. With that looking progressively less likely for me this year, I’m glad to have a list of great uses without traveling far and wide. I’ve actually had the St. Croix property on my radar since last year (I nearly booked an April 2021 stay 8 or 9 months in advance, but I wouldn’t have yet made the trip as it turns out). I’ll keep this post mentally bookmarked for future reference.

Best uses for IHG 40K free night certificates

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With IHG’s variable award pricing, the truth is that many properties could be eligible for 40K free night certificates. This list that Greg has compiled is heavy on Kimpton properties that sometimes fit the bill. I know I’m in the minority on this, but Kimpton just doesn’t excite me. I may more seriously consider a trip out to Maine to revisit Acadia National Park and see if I can use my certificates there since it is among many other good uses in thidr post

The trick to finding IHG 40K free nights

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Of course, while just about any property could be available for 40K points, the trick is finding those 40K nights. Greg wrote a post and made a video to show you the easy way to do just that. If you’re sitting on certificates from an IHG credit card or a promotion.

Getting the elite experience without elite status via credit card & preferred partner hotel booking programs

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Programs like Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, Chase Luxury Hotel Collection, Visa Infinite Hotels, Hyatt Prive, Marriott STARS, and Hilton Impresario can be excellent ways to pick up elite-like benefits on paid stays. In most cases, you’ll even earn hotel points / elite credit on top of extra benefits like a $100 property credit and free breakfast for two. Don’t sleep on these programs as most of them require nothing more than being in touch with a travel advisor. Easily get elite treatment without the loyalty required.

Best offers for low spenders (card offers with low spend requirements)

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Big rewards with little spend: whether you’re on a budget or just don’t want to commit much spend to a new welcome offer, this post has the best bonuses available without much spend. From 60,000 miles with a single purchase to cards that you pick up for benefits instead of a bonus, here are the best offers for those looking for low spending requirements.

Searching for Delta Global Upgrade Certificate space on KLM (and Air France)

a group of white houses with a tree in the background
One of Greg’s challenges was collecting a KLM Delft Blue house, which I’ve not done before.

Tasked with booking our GUC trip, I had to figure out how to search for KLM upgrade space. I have to admit that I have become significantly more impressed by the value of Delta’s Global Upgrade Certificates now that I’ve had the experience of finding eligible flights and upgrading economy tickets to business class. Here’s how to find space.

FoundersCard United discount: useful, but with some limits

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I recently wrote about some of the benefits of FoundersCard that seemed most useful to me. Unless you are a near-weekly flyer committed to flying United without any companions or someone who typically pays for international premium economy or business class a few times each year, you probably aren’t going to save enough here to make much of a dent in the cost of membership. Worse yet, you can’t pay for your discounted flights with travel vouchers or Travel Bank credits, which just isn’t very practical at a time when most of us are sitting on a mountain of credits ticking ever-closer to expiration.

Hilton extends free night certificates due to expire 8/31

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If you had a Hilton free night certificate issued prior to May 1, 2020 that was scheduled to expire on 8/31/21, there is good news: your certificate is now extended through the end of this year. I wish they would make these extensions more uniform, but at this point this is probably as good as we can expect.

Is Hilton Gold dead to us? | Ask Us Anything | EP 33

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We talked about Hilton’s breakfast devaluation on this week’s podcast, but it was also a topic that people brought up during our Live broadcast earlier this week. Watch us answer whether Hilton Gold is dead to us (spoiler alert: it isn’t), credit cards, elite perks and more from this week’s Youtube Live.

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Don’t forget  this week’s last chance deals.

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Dugroz Reports

Congrats on 100 episodes! I know you don’t make much money on the Podcast itself, but it is kinda like your “marketing arm” — I found the Podcast well before I found the website. I can’t imagine I’m the only one.

Greg The Frequent Miler

Good point!

Captain Greg

I’m honored that you read my reader feedback and question of the week on your 100th podcast! Yes, there’s actually one Greg who uses 3 different “Greg” names to comment on things depending on the platform. I know, I spend way too much time on Frequent Miler, but I love the hobby of points/miles/credit cards/bank account bonuses and Frequent Miler is THE BEST source for keeping up with the game! I had a feeling you would read one of my comments this week, but I actually thought it would be my comments from last week’s podcast about the wyndham credit card pair and using the CIP instead of CSR in the UR pair. I’d still love to hear your thoughts on those topics. And, btw, I decided to do the delta platinum upgrade. I think it’s so unlikely I’ll jump through all the hoops to get delta status in the coming years, and even if I did, I am still eligible for both versions of the reserve card (which is the card that really matters the most elite status, right?).

Anyway, congrats on your 100th podcast! Here’s to your continued, growing success!

Dugroz Reports

It’s kind of weird and kind of cool that we hear about specific people and their specific CC decisions on the podcast, and then can see their posts and follow up on them!

(PS: I also would have done the upgrade 🙂 )

Captain Greg

Yea, like a month ago I had solidly decided I wasn’t going to do the upgrade, but there really are so many credit cards out there that I ended up deciding that it’s worth doing a good upgrade offer just to keep my velocity a little slower. There are still a number of chase and barclays cards I would like to get, and frankly, churn if possible.


Hi @Greg,
Thanks for the heads up about Marriott crazy thing.
I jumped on the Meridien Maldives rate and booked two villas for 6 days in November. It seems that I should bump up my Marriott points collection really fast!

I somehow disagree regarding the argument of Marriott’s maximum standard rate in a villa-only hotel. I recently returned from Seychelles and wanted to stay at the North Island Luxury Collection Resort. But the 287,000 points per day was too high for my taste.


Tnx Nick!


Fyi, the name, Cardless, refers to brands that don’t offer their own credit card for whatever reason. They are “the cardless,” and the company wants to make it easier for them to get to market. It doesn’t refer to the cardholder.

Years ago before all the banks consolidated, MBNA used to offer branded cards for all kinds of companies and associations, including things like teams, an engineering group like ASME, and things that are more like clubs such as the American Orchid Society. (I had all those.). I assume Cardless sees a market here.


Long time listener, not first time caller….
Congratulations, Nick and Greg!!
Whoever had the idea to do a podcast deserves a raise. 😉 The pod is part of my Saturday morning routine.