Looking to really get the most out of airline, hotel and credit card loyalty programs?
Many mainstream websites and services offer tips on how to rack up miles and points, provide assistance in redeeming your hard-earned bounty and publish current credit card offers tied into airline and hotel programs.
But nothing can take the place of real-world, hard-core mileage junkies sharing their unpublished tips on how to truly get the most bang for your buck. And there are other benefits from such programs. (More from CNBC: Airport Security Gets Easier for Select Frequent Fliers.)
This November, Frequent Traveler University comes to Los Angeles for a two-day series of seminars from the leading experts in all things miles and points. I attended a similar event last year and can tell you it's anything but a typical seminar.
Topics include credit card churning, mileage running and fuel dumping. Say what? Yep, it's hard core. Read on.
If you've ever explored online communities such as Flyertalk.com and MilePoint.com, you have an idea of how deep uber-enthusiasts will go to get the most miles and points for the fewest dollars. I'm one of them who accumulates hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles each year while spending the bare minimum to do so. In many cases, I never even get on an airplane.
Frequent Traveler University is the place where you learn how. Detailed discussions surrounding mileage-earning strategies, elite-status benefits, award-redemption techniques and other unpublished tips and tricks will be presented.
It's the vision of Randy Petersen, often referred to by The Wall Street Journal and Conde Nast Traveler as the "frequent flier guru." He assembled an all-star cast of speakers for this year's event, including:
- Mileage experts Gary Leff and Ben Schlappig, who run mileage award services that help people redeem miles for seemingly impossible trips.
- Daraius Dubash, author of "Million Mile Secrets" and an expert when it comes to maximizing miles and points related to loyalty program credit cards.
- Steve Belkin, who once hired an army of unemployed Thai rice farmers to fly for him, in turn racking up millions of frequent flier miles in his account — legally.
- Brett Snyder, author of "The Cranky Flier," who is one of Conde Nast Traveler's top travel specialists.
- Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott.
- Seth Miller, author of "The Wandering Aramean," who has built several technology tools simplifying the process to find award tickets, cheap airfares and more.
The seminars take place Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport. The cost is $99, and a block of rooms has been reserved for attendees.
For more information, click here.