An afternoon chat with “The Frugal Travel Guy”!

René’s Points for Better Travel has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. René’s Points for Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, visit visit this page.

I am sure all readers know who Rick Ingersoll, aka The Frugal Travel Guy, is but if you don’t be sure you read his blog each day ( I do and I learn something new almost each time I visit. He is a world expert when it comes to all things credit cards and points! As such, and with the Chicago “DO” on the way soon (seats are selling fast fyi), I wanted to get his thoughts on the rest of the year.

Hi Rick thanks for taking the time to chat with me today.

Good to talk with you again René

This has been an interesting year for points credit cards. Big offers coming and going. Old offers coming back and spend requirements hitting record highs. What do you think we will see the rest of this year?

I think this peak in reward card sign up bonuses is past us and we will continue to see somewhat smaller offers with tighter restrictions.

So issuers, like AMEX, have been focused almost exclusively on targeted offers. Do you think we will see more of this with them and other banks?

I don’t really anticipate that the industry will move entirely to targeted offers. At present, it is just Amex’s way of doing business.

You have given great advice in the past to never cancel a card if it has no annual fee to establish a long term credit history. Do you use those cards now and then or do they just sit and collect dust and is there an advantage to use them each year a little or a lot?

The old ones are collecting dust but there is evidence in the last month or so that maybe we should pull out those old cards and use them occasionally. To put it as clearly as I can, We are Being Watched.

Great insight and thanks for that point. Any other thoughts you would like to share that we should keep in mind in regard to points cards?

It is imperative at this point to keep an eye on the blogs and forums. The credit card game is changing as we speak and current information is essential to maximize your opportunities.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Now on to the Chicago DO ( Click URL for more info (EDIT: 2013 Chicago DO is HERE). I see the seats remaining are down to 158. How are things shaping up for the event? Anything you have changed from planning time to now and what may still change before the event?

The Chicago Seminar is in a lull at present but will heat up again shortly as we get closer to the date. With almost 400 tickets sold already we expect another sell out. There have been no changes since our original announcements and posts.

Should a rookie to the frequent flyer game be afraid they will not understand and be overwhelmed by attending the Chicago DO event. That is, is this an event only for the expert flyers?

Rookies should all show up. We have established a Beginners track of events this year to better suit their needs. In fact I’ll be doing the credit card basics session this year and leaving the more advanced stuff to others.

Great! I can see the DO is for everyone and a chance for all to learn. This is the 3rd year for the event. Do you think you will have one next year as well?

Next year??? Wow René. We aren’t even through this one yet, but I guess as long as we have people interested in attending and meeting face to face with their fellow travel crazies it will continue for years to come.

Well thanks Rick for taking the time to chat with DeltaPoints readers!

As always René. Good to catch up with you.

I hope you have enjoyed this interview with Rick, I know I sure have. The frequent flyer community is a truly unique group. They share openly and honestly all they know. They take the time to give one on one help to those at any level. If you are new to all of this, welcome! If you have been doing this for years, share what you know with the next generation please. – René

Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
from American Express®
Click here for more information




  1. Great interview!
    Why are the events at Chicago?
    No love for the West Coast readers

  2. Centrally located; One could say “no love for the east cost either,” because it’s probably as far to Miami or the south…just a thought 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *