Want To Win An All Expenses Paid Trip To Australia? ENTER HERE!

A few weeks ago Boarding Area & Hilton Hotels allowed the Boarding Area bloggers to each give away a free night any Hilton in the United States. Well apparently that was so much fun, Boarding Area has now teamed up with American Express to give away something even better…

…what could be better than a free night in a hotel? How about an all expenses paid trip for two from the United States to Australia’s Gold Coast for eight days and seven nights.

Is that not good enough for you? What if Boarding Area and American Express were covering not only your airfare and hotel, but also your transportation, your meals, some activities … and also just for the hell of it, covering all of your taxes (since most contests like this require the winner to pay the taxes).

For the mileage run geeks, there is an added bonus … you’ll get full mileage credit and hotel stay points for your journey. If you’re flying from New York, that’s roughly 19,272 frequent flyer miles!

How could this get any better?  You can enter 20 times!

Well you can only enter once on Flying With Fish, but you can enter once on each of the participating Boarding Area blogs.

Flight Diversions

Fly Gracefully

The Gate

Loyalty Traveler

Marshall Jackson on Travel

Miles Quest

Musings of The Global Traveler

One Mile at a Time

Pearls of Travel Wisdom


Points, Miles and Martinis

Points Wizard

Road Warriorette

Things in the Sky

TM Travel World


View From the Wing

The Wandering Aramean

Wing and a Prayer

I hate fine print, but American Express requires some fine print be added. This fine print includes entrants must be legal residents of the 50 United States and be aged 18 or older.  One winner will be selected from each blog to be entered in the final drawing. From those 20 eligible entrants, one winner will be selected at random.  Yadda yadda yadda yadda. For complete rules of entry and eligibility click HERE.

To enter simply leave a comment below detailing your top tip for earning or using airline or hotel loyalty points.

Remember you must enter with your real name and an email address you can be contacted at if you win.

I’m pulling for one of my readers to win for two reasons. One, I like my readers – Two, the blog with the selected winner takes home a new Apple iPad.

All entries must be received by the 28th of March … so what are you waiting for … ENTER!

Happy Flying!



  1. With the volatility/instability in various travel industries, I always figure I should use my miles rather than saving them — you never know when your preferred provided will go bankrupt or change the terms of service.

  2. I’d love to travel with my husband to New Zealand, where we would enjoy local cuisine, learn local customs, and take time to enjoy the richness of our world.

  3. If you find you’re getting “spun” by the hotels and airlines when you try to use your points/miles, write directly (and nicely) to the CEO of the company (registered mail), with all the facts and details, enclosing all relevant documents. We had hundreds of thousands of points and miles but couldn’t use them for one reason or another for years… UNTIL I did that. We were contacted Immediately and got to have the honeymoon of our DREAMS, and the hotels and airlines treated us like GOLD! I have used this technique effectively with CEOS from several major corporations to resolve a variety of issues. As my dad said “You don’t ask, you don’t get”! But ask Nice!

  4. If you only travel a moderate amount, make every hotel stay one night and then switch hotels for the next night. This is the qucikest way to elite levels at the hotel chains. The hotels always require less stays than nights to reach elite levels, so by switching hotels nightly, you can earn elite status with just 2-3 stays per month.

  5. The best advice I ever received is to pick one carrier/alliance and one hotel chain and stick with it. It’s much better to be the top of one program than the middle of many. You want all of the points you achieve to get you the most you possibly can, not spread out across different alliances or chains.

  6. Read Flyertalk and blogs like this for the latest advice on mileage earning and burning opportunities.

  7. Stick with one alliance to maximize your mileage earning abilities; make sure you check mileage earning on partners (you never know which airlines partner with one another!). Save those miles for your dream first-class trip anywhere! Luxurious air travel is the best way to get the most out of your miles. 😀


  8. Pick an alliance, use it. Pay for everything with your miles card. Use any opportunity for double and triple miles offers.

  9. Focus on a few – preferably one loyalty programs – for flights and hotels and try to maximize the amount of points you can gain for these programs. Like George Clooney says in “Up in the air” – never spend a dime without trying to gain points for it. Taking advantage of the excellent resources on the web – like boarding area blogs that will help you find all the ways to earn those points. Then use ’em quickly and enjoy!

  10. sign up for every program. I sharply regret the stays and flights I made before enrolling thinking a one night stay here and there it was not worth it.
    Also some programs have lifetime recognition which means the longer you are with the program the easier it can be to maintain elite status.

  11. Earn every chance you can and credit to as few programs as possible (consolidate). For example, credit flights to one airline program per alliance and when staying at a hotel outside your “preferred” hotel program(s), try to credit to an airline rather than holding just a couple of points in every program.

  12. I use my rewards card to pay for almost everything, and then have my wife book trips. It just works better that way.

  13. Obtain the credit card for your favorite airline. If you’re going to be spending money anyway you may as well get something for it. Also the program I use you can use mile to upgrade to first class on international flights. For example on a discount economy ticket from New York to Tokyo, which can run about $900 roundtrip, you can upgrade to first class for 60,000 miles and $1000 roundtrip. That same first class ticket would cost over $11000 and because you still earn miles for the flight that means it only costs you 45000 miles to save $9000.

  14. Constantly stay up to date with the Boarding Area blogs and follow your programs on Flyer Talk.

  15. I tell my husband to buy lots of stuff on our rewards card and then
    I use the rewards for trips!

  16. Read Boarding Area blogs – they boil down the fluff into the nitty gritty. Join Flyertalk and forge invaluable friendships with people who can help cover all the bases. They got my back!

  17. Don’t let your accumulated miles take on too much OR too little importance; use them as a tool that fits your personal circumstances. If you don’t often travel internationally, resist the urge to hoard miles for international vacations. If you need a quick, last-minute flight to visit an ailing relative or get to a job interview, use your miles! Put your miles to work for the things that matter to you.

  18. Don’t ignore the hotel side of award trips. A one-week vacation will set you back just as much in hotels as airfare, so maximize your hotel stays. I like the Starwood American Express card because of the flexibility of the points, good award availability and options (eg. cash+points, redeem 4 nights and get 1 free), and the nice properties. And you can transfer the points to airlines if you want.


  19. Sign up for all the stupid little 100-mile giveaways for “learning” about something like Continental.com does. For 2 or 3 clicks, you get some miles that eventually add up and might put you over a desired award threshold.

  20. Leave good instructions for your heirs on how to access your miles in all your accounts. You don’t want them to go to waste– rather, you want your kids to be able to use them should you die unexpectedly. Once the airline knows you’re gone, they will probably lock your miles.

  21. Try and sketch out your years travel at the start of the year. This lets you calculate your flight miles goal and predict when you’ll reach it. You can then estimate when you’re likely to reach your goal and look into other methods (hotels, car rentals etc) to speed things along.

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