Earlier this week, there were announcements from The Frugal Travel Guy, The Points Guy, and Mommy Points, but here it is again in case you somehow missed all of those. The dates have been announced for this year’s Chicago Seminars. The dates will be October 12-14 and the event will be once again held at the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village. This event is being put on by The Frugal Travel Guy and The Points Guy, and Mommy points will be one of the many speakers. If you attend, you will not only be exposed to a tremendous amount of information in the seminars and presentations, but it will also be a great opportunity for you to meet with some miles and points gurus.
I was just getting started in this game when the registration for Chicago came around last year, so I didn’t even think about going all the way to Chicago to watch a couple of presentations. Now that I am more familiar with the major players and understand what can be learned just by talking to some of these people, I have absolutely made my attendance this year a priority. In fact, as soon as I read Rick’s post announcing the dates, I went ahead and booked a flight out to ORD on the morning of the 12th. The event starts out Friday afternoon/evening and finishes up on Sunday afternoon. I haven’t decided if I am going to come home Sunday night or Monday morning, so I haven’t booked my return flight yet. I am also considering doing a mini-mileage run if I can find a good one and taking a bit of a long way home.
To get there, I used some of my extra British Airways Avios miles that I had not cleared out before the program switch. We did use the bulk of our BA miles for our South American trip, but Chrissy and I still have around 25,000 each left. Mommy Points and a few others have posted about the benefits of using your Avios for short haul flights and I am going PHL-ORD for only 7500 miles and $2.50. Not by any means the highest redemption rate for Avios, but I have some extra sitting in my account that I didn’t have a plan for, and it will make my trip to Chicago a little less expensive.
Speaking of expenses, the Seminar itself is quite reasonable. Rates haven’t been announced yet for this year, but the whole thing only cost $75 last year including lunches and it is not run for a profit, so I would expect a similar price this year. Rick said that hotel rooms at the host hotel will be the same price as last year, and reports are that the hotel was under $100 a night. The block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village should be available for booking early next week and there will be threads on Milepoint and FlyerTalk announcing when they are ready. I will be sure to pass along that information as soon as I see it. I am not sure when you can actually register for the Chicago Seminars, but I will let you know about that as well.
If you are serious about learning the ins and outs of miles and points, you should plan to be at the Chicago Seminars in October. The information that you gain and the connections that you make will be well worth any money spent to get there. Let me know if you plan to attend and maybe we can get together for a drink in the Windy City. I’ll buy, as long as we get the drink at a Dining Program restaurant, and you can bet I will be using my Chase Sapphire Preferred card to get double points. There’s nothing better than earning points with a card, at a place that earns miles for spend, while in town for an event that will teach me how to earn more or each. If you are on the fence about this, book now and think about it later. It will be worth it and I’ll see you in Chicago.