The Stephen Pepper Episode, a card not to overlook, a tool you should use, and more


When the cat is away, the mice will play: with Greg on vacation this week, our podcast has a special guest. Our very own Stephen Pepper joined me this week to discuss his 5-year, 50-state road trip. We talked about places he didn’t expect to love, challenges he hadn’t known before planning to spend every night on the road for five years, and whether or not he’d recommend his lifestyle to others. Unfortunately, with our video engineer (Greg) and technical support team (Greg) on vacation this week, we are audio-only this week once again. We promise that the video format will return next week!

FM on the Air Podcast

For those who would like to listen during the morning commute or while you’re working, the audio of our weekly broadcast is also available for download as a podcast on all of your favorite services, including:

You’ll also find us on Spotify and hopefully your other favorite platforms. If you’re not finding the podcast via your favorite source of good podcasts, send us a message and let us know what you’d like us to add.

In miles & points:

Yeah, AA’s award search map tool is pretty cool…and frustrating

Have you been hiding under the same rock as me, not knowing that this tool ever existed in the first place? In what I consider to be a major coup, American Airlines has both convinced me to more seriously consider using AA miles to actually fly on American Airlines and to use an AA credit card at Simon Mall yesterday. That said, I wasn’t without complaint — read on for what you may love and what I hated about this pretty cool tool.

Loyalty Alchemy: An experiment with Hilton points

In an experiment that is bound to go awry, I transferred 25K Hilton points into 10K airline miles, which is (at least theoretically) enough for a very short round trip flight in North America or Europe. I am far from convinced that this will be a net success, but I was intrigued enough at the possibility of putting Hilton points to use for flights at reasonable value that I had to give it a shot. Here’s hoping I have an end result before summer.

In travel:

West Palm Beach quietly becomes cool

This shows how much I know about the Florida coast: I thought West Palm Beach was cool. Maybe it was a case of name bias: when I look at the thermometer at home and see single digits at this time of year, any place with palm beach in the name would sound cool. Alas, it apparently wasn’t cool, but now it is, and it’s making me hungry. Read about Greg’s recent food tour and experience some vacation envy if you’re a tropical soul stuck in a frozen tundra like me.

In offers to maximize:

A few new additions to our Best Offers

I added a few cards to our Best Offers page this week that we hadn’t previously listed, two of which are potentially pretty interesting. I find the Affinity card particularly interesting. It’s hard to recommend it without more knowledge and experience with the issuer, but if it is as good as it looks like it could be, I would go so far as to say that I wouldn’t consider it a mistake to burn a 5/24 slot on this if you could make good use of the right categories and bonuses.

Cashback, Hotel Points, Free Food & More: How To Maximize Grubhub

My takeaway from this post: I am leaving miles & money on the table. I need to step up my game on maximizing GrubHub. While I only use GrubHub a few times a year, I should be earning a lot more back than I am. The next time it’s on my radar, I will be pulling this post back up.

2 More Best Rate Guarantee Successes (Sort Of) – This Time With Marriott

Stephen Pepper this week tells us of his recent successes with Marriott’s best rate guarantee and it is a great reminder that I should be looking for these more often. I’m actually batting a good percentage at successful claims myself, but I’m not stepping up to the plate to look for these as often as I should (not sure I submitted any at all in 2019). Hopefully his success will inspire some of you to save some money — but not enough of you so that Marriott actually gets their stuff in order to make pricing uniform and thus kill these opportunities :-).

That’s it for this week at Frequent Miler. Check back soon for this week’s Frequent Miler week in review around the web and this week’s last chance deals.

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