What Travel Insurance Doesn’t Cover

We’re all at a disadvantage in the travel community. As budget travel aficionados, chances are most of us don’t have attorneys on retainer. So when companies decide to find whatever reason they want to deny honoring their promises, there’s nothing we can do. They can do almost whatever they want to consumers because we have been priced out of the legal system that was put in place to protect our rights and unless they’ve lost our baggage or injured us somehow, our travel insurance won’t cover this.

As a Travel Hacker, I have invested a lot of time and some money into completing promotions, earning bonuses, and anything else I can to earn travel rewards. It’s necessary to know that companies will honor their promises, otherwise we risk the investment.

I once went to a Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express in Wales to complete IHG’s Set Your Sights promotion. This would give me an additional 50,000 points upon completion. Long story short, their system messed up and they didn’t want to fix it. Instead, the customer service representative told me that they do not consider Holiday Inn Express’ as Holiday Inn properties (WHAT?). I was told that there was no way I would get the additional 35,000 points I had been promised.

IHG Set your sights

Another situation; late last year Discover teamed up with Apple to promote Apple Pay and offered huge bonuses that could come out to around 20-30% cash back. After a few days, they changed the terms and conditions to disallow the purchase of gift cards.

They then started denying people their cash back claiming they had purchased gift cards, even if they hadn’t. They informed their customers that they required proof that they didn’ purchase a gift cardt. This means that we consumers were guilty until proven innocent. Anyone who didn’t keep their receipts ended up losing their their hard-earned cash back because Discover decided they didn’t want to keep their promise.

Most people would end up just accepting being taken advantage of like this. No way would they spend $200-$500 to talk to an attorney and have them send a letter demanding their rights be honored. No way would they spend thousands in court to fight for a few hundred dollars.

Companies know this and this is why we’re at a disadvantage, because who’s going to force them to do what’s right if it’s not in their best interest? It needs to stop. No longer can we accept being taken advantage of. No longer can we let companies do whatever they want to us. We have rights and we deserve to have them fought for.

Josiahs Letter from IHG

I received the additional 35,000 points with an additional 500 goodwill points to total 50,500 for completing the promotion. I didn’t spend a lot of time and energy yelling at customer service reps or managers. I also didn’t spend $500 for an attorney to write them a letter or thousands to fight in court. I also received all of the cash back bonuses that Discover had originally promised.

Now I have the advantage because I am a member of LegalShield and have been protected since I was a baby thanks to my parents becoming members about 21 years ago. All I had to do to protect my rights and get what I was promised was call a LegalShield attorney.

The LegalShield attorneys have written many letters for me to companies who didn’t want to keep their promises. They have gone to court for me to protect me for auto incidents. I also have a Living Will in place in case anything happens to me, while traveling or not, that didn’t cost me anything extra.

IHG Letter1 IHG Letter2

With over 4 million members, LegalShield is able to provide top quality attorneys to it’s members throughout all of the US and 4 provinces in Canada. That means wherever you are, you are protected if whatever company has a base in the US or Canada.

LegalShield and their IDShield are necessary insurances to protect our, and our families, rights and identities at home and abroad. Everyone should have these services, but especially travelers and travel hackers.

If you see value in protecting your rights and preventing yourself from being taken advantage of again with LegalShield, use the links in post or click here to sign up via my affiliate link to support the blog.

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How to Get IHG Points for .292 Cents – Stay in Hotels for $15!

While the offer is limited, IHG – Intercontinental Hotel Group, is still offering the purchase of 100,000 Rewards Club Points for only $565 through Daily Getaways, a purchase value of .565 cents, a better value than the normal points and cash purchase value of .7 cents – 10,000 for $70, it seems most people have not realized that this is actually a much better deal than it appears.

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When purchasing getaways from the site, the purchases are coded as travel, so we are able to buy the points using the Barclay’s Arrival Plus card and earn 2 miles per dollar and then 10% back when redeeming for travel – essentially 2.2 miles per dollar spent; okay, great, we’ll get 1243 miles back – $12.43, not adding up.

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The great thing here is that we can buy Visa and Mastercard gift cards, $500 for $5.95 (at my local grocery store,) and upload them to BlueBird by American Express and Walmart and then use that money to pay Barclays. But, wait, there’s still the $1,000/day $5,000/month limit, and we need 55,257 miles to redeem for the purchase (minus the miles earned on the purchase,) and we only have 120 days to earn them.

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Here’s something I haven’t read about in any blogs; open Bluebird accounts for friends and families – it’s a prepaid debit card, no attachment to credit, I have done it with my four family members, best friend, and grandma and hope to open others in more family and friends names. This allows for a lot more miles to be earned, much more quickly, now the limit is how many friends and family members will let you open an account in their name instead of the set limitations.

visa-gift-card

Now, during the 120 days, we can buy 55 gift cards (round to the next highest, without factoring the 10% point rebate) for $327.25 and upload each to our Bluebird accounts. Redeem 56,500 miles for the paid value of $565 and voila! Our price has dropped to $327.25, factor in the rebate and you have another 5650 miles left which you didn’t have to buy another 6 gift cards for $35.70 to get, so take that from the price and we’re at $291.55, or .29155 per point.
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Now, redeem these points for 20 nights at the IHG Pointbreak Hotels for 5,000 points per night, and you’re looking at 20 nights at a hotel for $14.58 – cheaper than a lot of shared dorms in hostels. While most of the hotels are budget ones like Holiday Inn, there are some incredible places on the list – like the beautiful InterContinental Lhasa Paradise in Lhasa, XZ, China, where rooms start at $180 when I looked, a savings of $165.42  or 91.9% every night, and a point redemption value of 3.6 cents. Another top place currently is the Hotel Indigo in San Jose, Costa Rica where the rooms start at $123.  Hurry, because these deals are almost gone.

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