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Miles and points roundup, The Wizard of Odd, Norway

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It seems this mid-week post is morphing into 3 parter: short (for me) rant+old irrelevant trip report+ current news.The other day I was watching “Phineas and Ferb” show with my kids. There was an episode, called “The wizard of odd”. That would be me! But it could be worse. I could be  “The wizard of off”.

The rant, longer than normal.

In my blog I would never sell honesty and integrity for commission. It’s just not worth it. Last week the writer from Travel Summary lost his affiliate links, because he wasn’t making the company enough money.  CLICK to his post, in which he reveals details about commission, I am not allowed to tell you. The thing is, he has at least 20 times the readers, I do. If he couldn’t meet the quota, what chance do I have?

It really hit  home, that it’s not a matter of “if”, but “when” I lose my affiliate status. But I didn’t start this blog for the money. If I quit, it will be because of other obligations or commitments. So I promise to give it a 100 percent in each and every post, regardless of my affiliate status.

There is certainly a journalistic aspect to blogging in this industry. It’s absolutely crucial to remain impartial and avoid any kind of a bias. To tell the story, regardless of any personal feelings on the matter. The problem is, you are selling the same product, you are reporting on. And that is the biggest conflict of interest there is for affiliate bloggers.

This is why I recommend you  go to a fee-only financial planners when it comes to your investment portfolio. Its worth the extra money for you to get an unbiased advice, when it comes to something that important. Unfortunately it’s not quite so simple, when it comes to blogging. I can’t and wouldn’t charge you to read my posts.

I could set up a “donate through Paypal” button, but I would rather not go that route. I did have some interest in my award booking service, but ultimately couldn’t find availability, which meant no payment.  I was contacted by readers after the big guys couldn’t come up with anything. Heads up, if Ben from “One mile at a time” can’t see award space, its unlikely I will! 🙂

Advertising on this site might bring 1 dollar per month. Realistically speaking, the only way for a small blogger like me to even cover overhead is affiliate links. Which is exactly the reason I got them. My site looks, like it should cost nothing to run, but that’s not really the case. The reason: some initial blog fees and IT expenses. I’m clueless and had to pay for even the simple tasks.

Since my husband barely tolerates this blog, I was afraid he would shut it down, if too much of already limited family savings  was diverted to the site. I never dreamed I would turn a profit in the first month, but that’s what happened. I am SO grateful to all of you!  So for now I am relying on my “cousin-in-law” rule. CLICK to post . Am I naive to think it will work?

Blast from the past report:

2006, Bergen, Norway. Part of our grand tour of Europe, 5 countries in 2 weeks. Like Stefan from Rapid Travel Chai blog, I travel fast, linger only in memories. Wait, I’ve already said that before in another post.  If you have to pick only one city in Norway, make it Bergen.

Its a gateway to the most popular tour , called “Norway in a nutshell”.You go by train, boat and bus (but not automobile) all in one day to see the most spectacular scenery in Europe. The boat tour through fjords is not to be missed.

Norway is EXPENSIVE, no joke. Hamburger in McDonalds will set you back 8 dollars, so plan accordingly. We rented an apartment, since we were traveling with in-laws and it was very cost effective.

A side note: the bedroom, me and my husband shared, had framed photos of naked males on the wall. Weird and gross? Yes to both. Hey, it rhymes! Scandinavia is very relaxed, when it comes to nudity. Expect postcards with it galore, sold in normal tourist places. I’m sure some find that type of culture liberating, but it’s not my cup of tea!

Hotels rates are extremely high. But Choice brand has a very good presence in the area, with some running at 16000 points per night. Club Carlson has 2 hotels, worth looking into on points, though 44000 and 50000 per night. Still, it might be a good place to utilize the sign-up bonus from that particular card. Especially for a short stay, since you get a second night free.

Even though you can’t tell it from my photo, I am actually enjoying myself. One of these days I will find a picture of me smiling. 🙂 Keep checking every week, it will happen! On a related  note, there are some amazing fares to Oslo in the winter from several cities in USA, with JFK-Oslo pricing out at 467 dollars roundtrip, via Fishin4Deals  LINK

Miles and points segment:

1) JetBlue airlines allows families to pool  their points together to create  one account. That is always good news and I wish more programs would allow that. LINK 

2) You might be able to get a 25 dollar statement credit after a 75 dollar purchase at Staples with your American Express card.  LINK to “Deals we like” blog for more.

3) Good post from Frequent Miler on the program, called Plink and how you can maximize it on your purchases at Staples. LINK

4) If you need to top off your Mileage plus account, there is a fairly easy way to earn 1000 miles through shopping. LINK 

5) 35 AAdvantage miles per dollar at Ebags. Just don’t buy luggage for miles only! LINK

6) Via TPG, Amex has a transfer bonus on Avios and Virgin Atlantic miles. Avios short haul redemptions can be very lucrative for a family.  LINK

Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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