Come hang out at the #milemadness DO!

My favorite part of blogging is hearing from readers, whether they're passing along a tip, thanking me for some counter-intuitive analysis, or violently disagreeing with me.

The only thing better than reading your e-mails and comments is hanging out in person, which is why I'm so excited about the recently announced manufactured spending 'DO.'

Basically, a whole bunch of the players in this month's manufactured spending tournament, as well as Frequent Miler, the competition's judge, are going to get together to talk about the techniques and tools we use to travel the world for next to nothing.

There's going to be lunch, there are going to be speeches, cocktails, and of course a ton of networking opportunities, where you can learn from the best and share your own secrets (or not!).

The Details

  • When: Saturday May 10th, starting at 11 am;
  • Where: HYATT House Charlotte Center City, 435 East Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202;
  • Tickets: $65 until March 31, then $75;

We even have this easy widget you can use to buy your tickets!

Getting there

Charlotte's a US Airways hub, and I was able to find a pretty cheap non-stop flight down there, so I just clicked through the Ultimate Rewards mall to Travelocity and put the charge on my Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. I'll redeem 25,000 Arrival miles against the purchase sometime in the next 90 days and end up paying about $100 for the flight.

Alternatively, you could redeem either US Airways or American Airlines miles for an award flight on US Airways, although that ended up not being worth doing in my case.

Staying there

The scheduled events are taking place on Saturday, so you could theoretically fly in Saturday morning and leave late Saturday night. I knew I wanted to spend at least one night in Charlotte, so I talked to Matt at Saverocity who let me in on a little secret: any part of our event deposit we don't spend during our lunch and cocktails on Saturday is going towards Saturday night's festivities. So I decided to stay over Saturday night and leave mid-day Sunday.

We have an event rate at the HYATT House Charlotte Center City of $119 per night, plus taxes, which works out to $137.15. That's slightly higher than the AAA rate of $133.69 after taxes, if you're a AAA member. Both rates are cancelable until 4 pm the day of arrival.

If you want to use Hyatt Gold Passport points to reserve a room, it'll cost 12,000 points per night, giving you just 1.11 cents per point in value. That might be worth it if you already have a stockpile of Gold Passport points, but it certainly wouldn't be worth transferring points in from Ultimate Rewards.

If you're making a reservation through, remember to click through a cash back portal and earn 3% (TopCashBack) or 4% (EBates) cash back on your room rate.

See you in Charlotte!