Don't Let the Airlines Rip You Off

There's a lot to dislike about airlines.

You've probably seen the recent United Airlines controversies. They got a lot of attention – plastered all over the TV and newspaper headlines. But airlines mistreating folks isn't anything surprising... even when it comes to their most loyal customers.

I'm a seasoned traveler. I fly more than 150,000 miles every year. In fact, if you ask my team where I am, they'll probably tell you I'm on a plane somewhere.

As a frequent flier, I've been part of many loyalty programs and I spend a good amount of time trying to find cheap deals on flights. I've found great ways to get legitimate deals... and also seen a lot of scams.

A recent e-mail reminded me that unsuspecting consumers could easily fall prey to airlines ripping them off. Don't fall for this...

Southwest is offering a deal that it claims will you save you money by giving you a discount if you buy its points. (Under Southwest's rewards system, you earn points based on what you spend, not how much you fly.)

But I found that this current "discount" actually costs you more than the points are worth. I just booked a flight using points I've earned for a $153 ticket. But if you decided to use Southwest's so-called discount and purchase the required points for that same ticket, you'd have to spend $231. That's nearly $80 more.

That's a bad deal.

And buying points on other airline loyalty programs are similar... especially because the values of points typically fall.

It's rare that "buying" points is worth it. I recommend earning points every time you fly... but don't fall for buying airlines' so-called discounted points.

And even more important... use your miles, don't hoard them. (I wrote a whole issue about it right here: Don't Make My Mistake With Your Frequent-Flyer Miles.)

How do you save on air travel? What airline is your favorite? Let us know at [email protected].

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Q: Can you tell me anymore about REITs and or what are the best ones for income? – E.R.

A: We can't recommend specific real estate investment trusts ("REITs") for you. But in a recent issue, we explained what to look for in a safe REIT and how to know which REITs to avoid.

In my monthly advisory, Income Intelligence, we've recommended several REITs... one of which has helped make readers 29% in just five months. And we regularly update subscribers on the state of REITs. In fact, in last night's issue I wrote that I expect REITs to keep going higher from here.

Current paid-up Income Intelligence subscribers can read the full issue here. If you're not a subscriber and want to learn how to collect big income from the market... like REITs, MLPs, as well as a way into a "private" market that is currently paying more than 11% yield... click here. (This link does not go to a long video presentation.)

Q: What do you think of this... I once read that DR Julian Whitaker said a shot of whiskey with coffee is a life saver if no medical help is not available, the whiskey thins the blood and the caffeine stimulates the heart. Makes sense to me. – G.M.

A: We wouldn't mind having a shot of whiskey in a cup of coffee to fight off strokes. But we're not quite ready to vouch for the research yet...

There was a small study published nearly a decade ago where researchers provided stroke patients with a drug that contained the equivalent of seven cups of coffee and two shots of whiskey. Patients treated with this therapy – called caffeinol – experienced fewer disabilities upon their discharge from the hospital then patients who didn't receive caffeinol.

Again, the study was small, so we're not ready to jump on the bandwagon.

But we know plenty of proven health benefits of coffee and whiskey. Coffee is packed with inflammation-fighting chemicals and whiskey can help fight diabetes.

Q: Do you wash your berries before you freeze them? My frozen blueberries are usually covered with juice when I thaw them and washing them then seems too late and a waste of juice. – R.M.

A: If you're washing the berries before freezing, make sure you freeze them right after you wash them. This prevents them getting soggy and potentially moldy.

But it's fine if you wait to wash them. We spoke with an innkeeper in Maine who goes through dozens of pounds of wild blueberries each year. She picks blueberries when they're in season and freezes most of them right away. Then when she's ready to use them, she rinses them off with cold water. She told us she finds this maintains the texture of the blueberries and a quick rinse gets rid of any ice crystals that have accumulated on them.

The key is to keep them dry no matter when you rinse them.

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
April 21, 2017