Without the use of the eee by gums or alreet’s (northern for “oh my god” and “how do you do?) you have probably still guessed that I am Northern. I am from an area so Northern in fact that people where I am from think a terrine is something the weather is predicted to do……..and I love my town and the people in it.
However, there is one thing that is not in any doubt about Northerners – we are tight – so tight that we squeak when we walk. Warrington is a fantastic place, with a surprising (to people not from there) levels of success, entrepreneurialism and wealth. Someone told me just the other day in fact that Warrington has one of, if not the, highest levels of entrepreneur business start ups per head count in the UK. However, there is no disputing the fact that Warringtonians are Northerners, Northerners are tight, and that I am a Northern Warringtonian. Ergo……
When I am using the term “tight” in this blog, please don’t take it as a negative. In fact I should probably use a different word that won’t flow as well, like careful, sensible or frugal. Tight is more impacting – so I am sticking with it though.
What I really mean is that we spend sensibly, we aren’t frivolous, every pound is a prisoner and the spending of it has to be justified, by us and us alone. We have worked hard for that money, and as such it will not be let go of easily. This is the Northern version of tight, the tight that I am. I know if you speak to a lot of people they will say that I am generous, that I pay for dinner, buy the drinks and shower them with gifts often. However, I promise you each time is very much thought through and considered. If you want to see a weird first world problem type of torture, then watch me considering buying myself a lavish gift – I check with my wife, with my business partners, ask Jesus, spend 4 weeks considering it day and night, and then decide. But when I’ve decided – it is done. “Tight”is one of the best investment principles, because money without education is money soon lost.
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So, what is all this chat about.
Well currently I am sat in the British Airways executive lounges in Heathrow, about to fly to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I travel a lot, meeting people interested in the UK property investment market from all over the world, and it is without a doubt one of the things I enjoy the most. For those that follow me on Instagram (dannyinmanproperty) you will see that I go to NYC, Dubai, South Africa and many other awesome places, often, always in business or first class. Wahoo. Now remember, I am Northern, I am not showing off, i do it on the cheeeeap – double wahoo……….
“How so Danny” I hear you ask? BRITISH AIRWAYS AMERICAN EXPRESS AVIOS CARD – thats how. One of the best suggestions anyone has ever made to me without a doubt. I spent years not using it properly, and then got a great lesson from a great friend.
As a couple we now travel long distance all over the world in First Class or Business class, for pretty much the cost of economy flights (maybe Premium Economy)
So…..what is the BA American Express thing, and what are the key tips.
– Simply put – it is a credit card with an annual fee (£195). For every pound that you spend you earn 1.5 avios points……..and we all know what points mean don’t we?………………yes that’s right – points mean flights.
– Keep your eyes out for special offers that you get with the card, discounts at restaurants and department stores are a regular offer with the card. Also you get special offers at times where you are offered more points to buy at certain stores. The 9 Avios per £1 spend at Apple came in very handy when kitting out our offices.
– Get a referral from someone who already has a card. Hi. They will get a bonus 9000 avios points, and you will also get a bonus ~ 25,000 avios points if you spend £3000 in the first 3 months using the card.
– If you spend £10,000 on the card in one year then you get a “companion voucher”. This is basically one free ticket that goes alongside any ticket that you book using your avios card.
– With any flight you have the option to use cash and upgrade with avios, or buy with avios and only pay taxes. I find the best value in the latter. You book through the BA executive club which you need to register with.
– The best value without a doubt is in booking long haul flights, so if you want to travel distance at value then this card is the one. You will need to be quite flexible with your dates (not outrageously) with travel dates 2/3 days either side, and always be on the hunt (they seem to release the reward flights fairly sporadically). I have never struggled with bookings to all places mentioned above up to a year in advance
– There are multiple times of the year where they give you the opportunity to buy avios points. Wait for the Avios 50% bonus sale (generally two times a year). You can buy 150,000 avios for circa £1500. As you will see above that gets you a return to Dubai for two people, in first, with a companion voucher, with some Avios change, for taxes. So total cost of a return first class to Dubai around £2800 for two people.
– The trick is to use the card for EVERYTHING. Thats what I do. I mean its a bit easier to wrack up the points as a property investor and developer. All materials on here. All things required for the business on here. I spend on it. Of course it annoys my accounts team as they need to allocate every payment – but I will worry about that whilst sitting champagne and watching the avengers before I go to sleep 30,000 sq ft in the air, on a high class flight I have paid 20% of the fair market value for. I am TIGHT, and I love it.
– The need for a second caveat. PAY OFF THE CREDIT CARD. Like with every card you have a restricted period of time at interest free. Clear the card before that expires, or it can get very expensive and messy very quickly. I have the money to pay for what I use the card for, it isn’t a long term strategy – I use it, and pay it off within days. Use the card responsibly – credit cards have a bad reputation, but the card is never the problem, how people use them and their education around them is. There are many clever things that you can do with credit cards, like 0% balance transfers and 0% cash transfers – but start earning points and learn the process. It can get sticky quickly if you don’t manage your credit, and as a property investor and business owner your credit matters massively.
Anyway, I must dash, the plane is 5 minutes from boarding and I have not taken full advantage of the free alcohol in the lounge.
If you want a referral link to the card then message me on instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org for one.
If you are a property investor or business owner and you are not using this card, or one similar, then please give your head a wobble and get in touch.
Be tight and enjoy the luxury lifestyle………you can do both.
Off to sunnier climbs. You will be seeing me posting the business activity from the other side of the world for the next few days – unless you are in Dubai then its your side of the world, and if we are not meeting already then we need to. Message me.
I AM TIGHT – High Class – Low Budget – and proud