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😏 100k points in your first year of travel hacking

Hear from a beginner travel hacker on how to do it. Plus, Bilt and Alaska have both been in the news this week.

Welcome to the weekend! I’m on my way to visit a cat cafe here in Stockholm… a travel essential, in my opinion 🙃

And I’m also still reflecting on how incredible last weekend was in Atlanta—from seeing a new city, to meeting some of you, and hanging out with the whole DD team ❤️

A group of the members of the Daily Drop team posing for a picture.

Seriously, from all of us (ahem Kara, Brian, Emily, Dusty, Austin, Megan, Brendan, Brooke, Ali, Erin, McKay, Mike, myself, Nate, and Sarah)…

THANK YOU for being a reader and for being part of our awesome travel community!

Now onto the good stuff 😎

✅ Take advantage of this 40% transfer bonus from Capital One Miles to Etihad (ends March 31st).

✅ Buy Virgin Atlantic points with up to a 70% bonus (also ends March 31st).

✅ Book one of MANY cheap tickets to Europe this spring and summer.

✅ Or snag a 50% discount on Virgin Atlantic award bookings from the U.K. to the U.S.

✅ Catch up on our latest YouTube video about our channel’s one-year milestones!

✅ Bless your ears with this week’s podcast which is a reenactment of Mike and Megan’s presentation at the Atlanta Travel & Adventure Show.

🏆 Favorite hack of the week: Bilt adds Alaska Airlines as their newest transfer partner

Okayyy. Bilt just dropped some gangster 💩 on all of us in the travel world…

Alaska Airlines is now the newest transfer partner of Bilt Rewards, allowing you to transfer points between the two programs at a 1:1 ratio 👏🎉

The Bilt and Alaska logo on a black background

We have always spoken highly of the Bilt Mastercard®, and now this is just another reason to look into it, earn Bilt points, and use them with Alaska.

Here’s a little highlight reel for Alaska Airlines:

  • Alaska allows for free stopovers in its partner hubs

  • Alaska has some of the best airline partners in the world

  • Alaska just revamped its award charts, which include predictable pricing and some GREAT sweet spots

  • And now, you can transfer points from a bank to unlock all of those things

Like the bullet points say, there are some nice sweet spots to be aware of and other Bilt-related news (e.g. they’re essentially gaining Alaska but dropping American as a partner…) that we reported on earlier this week.

If you want the full rundown, you can check out our OG newsletter section here.

Overall, this is super exciting! And as someone based in the PNW who often flies Alaska for domestic travel… I’m considering getting the Bilt card even more now 👀

🏃🏻‍♀️ Runner-Ups

🥇BIG changes to Alaska’s program have landed

Speaking of Alaska…

But no, those big changes don’t involve duct-taping the entire plane together in lieu of recent events…

An AI-generated image of an Alaska plane wrapped in duct tape

…although 🤔

No, no. Rather, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan (their frequent flyer program) is getting a bit of a revamp. 

Alaska’s program is a pretty good one for its loyalists, but historically, it’s been rather limited and inflexible in other ways.

HOWEVER…

Most of these new changes went live earlier this week, and the major updates include:

  • The addition of distance-based award charts

  • Global award redemptions on partner airlines

  • Mixing of airline partners on a single award

Overall, these are positive changes! PLUS, with Bilt’s recent announcement of making Alaska a transfer partner… 👀

The airline is seriously balling right now.

But rather than reinvent the wheel here, if you want an actual breakdown of these updates, allow me to direct you to our Wednesday newsletter that does all the ‘splaining.

🥈 How to earn over 100,000 points in your first year of travel-hacking

A green Newbie badge on a purple and pink ombre background

Wear the newbie badge proudly, y’all.

You guys, this is an exciting one. When you’re new to miles, points, and travel credit cards… it’s just exhausting.

You’ll get overwhelmed. You might get denied a card. You’ll probably cry.

But fear not, as we have all 👏 been 👏 denied 👏 a card or two before.

And when you’re listening to someone who has been travel hacking for years… I get it. It can be hard to relate to at times.

That’s why, for the first time EVER, we’re showcasing a real-world example of how to navigate all this stuff as a true beginner. 🎉

Let me introduce McKay—our former intern turned DD team member who has been behind the scenes helping Mike and me craft these newsletters for well over a year now.

If you’re curious about how to apply for your very first card, build your credit, and rack up hundreds of thousands of points in preparation to make your first travel redemption… Check out McKay’s travel-hacking experience!

P.S. I’m excited to see what her first miles and points redemption will be 😎

📣 Quick Callouts

🤗 Good to know: Get a 50% discount on Virgin Atlantic flights with a companion

🏨 Heads up: A new Vegas hotel joins Hyatt

😏 Cool: [Targeted] offer to earn bonus MR points on Amazon

😃Sweet: Earn an easy 15,000 Hyatt points for attending a virtual presentation

🤔 Interesting: What was the most popular hidden gem in the U.S. in 2023?

Like the absolute chokehold that a good cat cafe has on my wallet, I hope you, too, will be sucked into something so joyous for the rest of your weekend.

See you next time! 😽

Tiffany Eastham
Weekend Warrior

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W