ABC’s Nightline Spotlights Rick Ingersoll, The Frugal Travel Guy

Millions who tuned in discovered “Flying First Class For Free.”

November 29, 2011 — Rick Ingersoll, author of The Frugal Travel Guy blog, received national broadcast coverage last week when he was featured on ABC’s Nightline on November 22 in a segment entitled “Flying First Class For Free.”

Ingersoll is what ABC’s John Donvan called “a frequent flier mile millionaire.” He and others like him go to extreme measures to amass airline miles and hotel rewards points so that they can travel “literally around the world in first class for next to nothing,” anchor Terry Moran said in his introduction to the segment.

Donvan taped the segment with Ingersoll during the Chicago Seminar in late October. Organized by Rick Ingersoll and other veteran “travel hackers,” the seminar teaches participants how to maximize frequent flier miles and rewards points to enjoy free or nearly free travel around the globe. Donvan pointed out that Ingersoll does the same on a daily basis on his blog The Frugal Travel Guy.

Donvan highlighted three of the methods “extreme mileage hoarders” like Ingersoll use: (1) credit card sign-up bonuses, which often offer from 20,000 to 70,000 miles for an approved card after a minimum spend on that card is reached; (2) mileage and “mattress” runs to rack up frequent flier miles or hotel bonuses; and (3) rental car deals that often offer mile deals on rentals.

“Rick wants to teach the rest of us the tricks to becoming miles millionaires, too,” Donvan said.

ABC taped Ingersoll in United Airlines’ First Class Lounge at O’Hare Airport and caught him conducting a workshop at the Seminar. Among other world travels, Ingersoll told Donvan about a 10-day trip to China he and his wife took this year in business class that would have cost around $20,000 but, instead, cost them only $60 each in taxes plus 120,000 miles each.

In the luxury of a first class cabin aboard a parked United jet, Donvan asked him, “So you think this is something ordinary folks can do?”

“Not only can, but should do,” Ingersoll said.

ABC’s “Nightline” is late-night television’s award-winning news program featuring anchors Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Bill Weir. A video of November 22 segment with Rick Ingersoll and a transcript of the show are available at

For more information on The Frugal Travel Guy, visit

About The Frugal Travel Guy:

Rick Ingersoll is the author of The Frugal Travel Guy blog, which is read around the world and averages 6000 views per day, and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook. He is constantly on the lookout for the best credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses and other promotions. He posts frugal travel tips deals every day on his blog with the goal of reducing his readers’ travel costs for the rest of their lives. He is also available for seminars and speaking engagements. For more information visit

Travel Photographer Andrew Ingersoll To Assist Conservation Scheme in Madagascar

The two-week expedition is run by the charity Azafady.

2011-06-13 (Sydney, Australia) – Andrew Ingersoll, a world traveller, professional

Andrew Ingersoll

nurse, and travel photographer for Rick Ingersoll’s blog “The Frugal Travel Guy,” has been accepted to participate in a two-week conservation expedition in Madagascar that is run by the charity Azafady.

On August 26, 2011, Ingersoll will depart from Sydney, where he has lived since 2008, to join Azafady’s Lemur & Biodiversity Research program in Madagascar, which will run through September 8.

“I’ve been lucky to have served in different volunteer settings in numerous places across America and am looking forward to volunteering in such a unique environment,” said Ingersoll, 30. Originally from Traverse City, Michigan (US), he has also worked as an evacuation and repatriation nurse in Australia and is currently pursuing a law degree at the University of New South Wales.

Azafady runs projects in rural southeast Madagascar supporting conservation, humanitarian and sustainable development projects. As part of the Azafady team, Ingersoll needs to raise a minimum donation of £600, or approximately $1000 USD, which will go to directly support Azafady’s work. A small proportion of that donation helps cover the volunteers’ food, training and travels in Madagascar.

Set in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and is recognized as one of the planet’s top conservation priorities. Eighty per cent of the island’s plant and animal species, including 71 species of lemur, are not found anywhere else on earth. For its Conservation scheme, Azafady works with Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza (PBZT), the national botanical and zoological gardens of Madagascar, which is striving to be the leader in captive breeding of the nation’s primate species.

Andrew Ingersoll will work with the PBZT staff and with Azafady in the Fort Dauphin region of southeast Madagascar, an area that has been substantially deforested but retains fragments of some of the most important tropical forests in the world. The Conservation team’s work will concentrate in the littoral forest (close to the shore), a highly endangered coastal habitat.

Ingersoll is accepting donations to his target goal by phone (+4420 8960 6629) or through this direct link: . For more information on Andrew Ingersoll, visit and click on “Andrew Ingersoll: Photographer.”

For further information on Azafady and the Conservation scheme, visit

About the Conservation scheme:

The non-profit Azafady UK Conservation scheme was set up in 2009 to support the ongoing conservation projects of Azafady. It runs year-round and allows volunteers to be involved in all the different aspects of Conservation work through modular courses. All revenues generated above costs are donated to Azafady (registered UK Charity number 1079121). For further information contact Mark Jacobs, Managing Director, Azafady UK, 020 8960 6629.

The Frugal Travel Guy Shares: How To Make Work For You

Rick Ingersoll, The Frugal Travel Guy

Rick Ingersoll explains the process of succeeding with Priceline’s discount travel options.

March 24, 2011 (Hilton Head, SC) — Rick Ingersoll, better known to frequent travelers and travel hackers as “The Frugal Travel Guy” for his popular blog by the same name, is on a mission to teach others how to do the things he does so that they, too, can travel anywhere they want for free or nearly free. He teaches them how to accrue frequent flier miles through rewards programs and travel vouchers through such methods as “the bump” (intentionally getting “bumped” from your flight).

He sat down recently to share how he makes the most of, the website that helps users obtain discount rates for travel-related services including airline tickets, hotels and rental cars. Priceline is not a direct supplier of these services. Instead, it facilitates its suppliers’ services to Priceline customers.

“Priceline offers two basic services,” Ingersoll explained: “One is fixed-price travel service just like any other travel agency. The other is the ‘Name Your Own Price’ feature.”

According to Ingersoll, Priceline’s fixed-price service offers nothing special in terms of pricing, unless Priceline happens to posts a mistake rate that users can jump on if they act quickly. But that’s rare. However, the “Name Your Own Price” feature “can save you up to 60 percent on travel expenses if you know how to use it,” he said.

To make the most of Priceline, Ingersoll said you have to start by becoming familiar with four other sites:,,, and

“BiddingForTravel, TravelBuddy, and BetterBidding are sites that list successful previous Priceline bids for airfares, hotels and car rentals around the world,” he said. “Along with TripAdvisor, they also list reviews for the hotels in any given city, and by region, and by star rating, Five Star is the best, One Star is really bad. I bid for Four Star and Three Star hotels and, if the reviews are OK, Two and a Half Star hotels in a region where I want to stay.”

To go through the steps, he used a trip he took to visit his son a few years ago, who lived in Boston at the time.

“First, I went to and the Name Your Own Price hotels and found the various regions listed for the Boston market as well as the top hotel ratings in that zone.

“Then I opened another window and headed to,” he continued. “On that site, I went to ‘hotels,’ then ‘Mass,’ then ‘Boston’ I checked previous accepted prices in the various regions of Boston, got reviews of the hotels on TripAdvisor, then decided what star level I was comfortable with.

“For me the Downtown, Copley, and the Back Bay regions were too expensive,” he said. “The airport region was best for me and within my frugal budget, especially since it came with shuttle service to the subway stop (“T”) to go downtown and then back to the hotel. On other trips to Boston, I’ve typically won the Hyatt Harborside Hotel at Boston Logan Airport for $42 per night. It’s a beautiful hotel that costs $129 a night on a typical weekend. And I always ask for a waterside room.”

The key to being successful at BiddingForTravel, he stressed, is to read carefully the section on bidding and rebidding.

“Suppose you want ‘Zone Airport’ and a Four-Star hotel. From previous bidders, you see that $42 has been won in the past, so your first bid should be: Zone Airport, 4 stars, $35. If you don’t win that one, then add another zone that only has lower star levels available, and this time bid $37. If there are five zones without a hotel over three stars, you get five free rebids until you get the best price.”

According to Ingersoll, rebidding allows you to start low and move your price higher without changing your parameters. But again, he cautions, “Read these sections of BiddingForTravel before going to where you will actually place your bids. You should even practice this technique with several imaginary cities without hitting the ‘Buy My Hotel’ button. Once you’ve booked on Priceline, there are no refunds.”

Ingersoll has stayed in Priceline rooms in over 30 U.S. cities, as well as in London, Dublin, Paris and Rome “and I’ve never been disappointed,” he said. “The key is to do your research on BiddingForTravel or BetterBidding  first, then double-check the reviews at

“It’s also important to remember to bid one star level higher in Europe for accurate comparisons to U.S. hotels,” he added. “One bad hotel in a given zone and at a given star rating should force you to bid at a higher level or different zone for that city.”

Ingersol has also discovered a new blog, TheBiddingTraveler (, that provides Priceline bidding help tools. He recommends checking it out.

Bottomline: By using these five main sites in conjunction – Priceline, TripAdvisor, BiddingForTravel, BetterBidding and TravelBuddy – Ingersoll insists that you can save 50 percent on your travel expenses for the rest of your travel life.

About The Frugal Travel Guy:


Rick Ingersoll is the author of The Frugal Travel Guy Blog, which is read around the world and averages 5000 views per day, and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook. He is constantly on the lookout for the best credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses. He posts travel tips daily on debit and credit card deals and on other interesting promotions with the goal of reducing his readers’ travel costs today and for the rest of their lives. He is also available for seminars and speaking engagements. A retired mortgage banker, Ingersoll and his wife live in Hilton Head Island, SC, and Traverse City, MI, when they’re not traveling the globe. For more information, visit

Andrew Ingersoll: World Traveler & Amateur Photographer Extraordinaire

By Kim Weiss

Andrew Ingersoll outside Saigon, Viet Nam

Andrew Ingersoll is well known to readers of Rick Ingersoll’s popular blog, The Frugal Travel Guy, for the images of people, places and cultures he’s captured around the world. At age 29, Andrew has already visited 47 countries and, armed with all the free and frugal travel techniques he’s learned from his father, he’s not about to stop.

“The tips I’ve picked up from ‘Pops’ have allowed me to continue traveling at reasonable prices and to share my experiences through my photography,” Andrew said recently.

Continue reading

Frugal Travel Guy Blog To Launch “Rookie Traveler Tips” Section, Contest

Free travel expert and his daughter hope to educate a younger

Frugal Travel "Rookie" Shannon

generation of travelers.


January 10, 2011 (HILTON HEAD, SC) — Rick Ingersoll, author of The Frugal Travel Guy blog, and his 26-year-old daughter Shannon are about to launch the new “Rookie Traveler Tips” section of the blog, which will include a monthly contest. They will ask readers to submit their best “rookie travel tips” to Shannon via blog comments. She will post the tips she finds the most useful to her, as a rookie, on Fridays. The last week of each month, readers will vote for the best of her choices. The winning tipster will receive a $100 gift card.


“And all of us will end up more educated for the effort,” Ingersoll said.


The goal behind the Rookie Traveler Tips section and contest, which are slated to being in February, is to attract and educate a younger generation of “travel hackers” – people who travel the world for a fraction of the usual cost by using techniques to accumulate frequent flier miles, hotel and airline vouchers, and other perks for frugal travel.


“Shannon and her age group are not used to the game of travel hacking,” said Ingersoll, a retired mortgage banker who started his blog to teach others how to enjoy free or frugal travel, especially those don’t think they can afford to travel. His blog now receives over 4000 page views per day. “We need to be educate Shannon and other young folks by offering them the best tips we know.”


Tips can cover any element of travel, from frequent flier mile promotions to ways to organize a trip or keep clothes fresh in the process. “Anything, really,” he said. But he stressed that the tips must be clear, concise, and easy to understand.


Rick Ingersoll, The Frugal Travel Guy

“If a tip involves steps, write them out,” he said. “Don’t just say ‘American Airlines has a new credit card with an awards program.’ Give her the steps: ‘Go to this website, click on that, enter this, next week do this.’ Shannon won’t choose a tip that she can’t easily follow or that she doesn’t find useful as a new travel hacker.”


The Rookie Traveler Tips section will maintain a list of the best tips for all readers to access whenever they want.


“Shannon will set up a more organized system of past posts and archive retrieval so my readers can find the answers to many of their questions without needing to wait for my return email,” Ingersoll said.


Also the author of the popular Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, Rick Ingersoll reports that he receives dozens of emails every day from readers who want to report a tip or ask a question about frugal travel. “With the Rookie Travel Tips contest, readers can teach young folks how to play the game and perhaps win a gift card in the process,” he said.


For more information on The Frugal Travel Guy blog and to participate in the Rookie Traveler Tips contest, visit


About The Frugal Travel Guy:

Rick Ingersoll, author of The Frugal Travel Guy Blog and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, is constantly on the lookout for the best credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses. He posts travel tips daily on debit and credit card deals and on other interesting promotions with the goal of reducing his readers’ travel costs today and for the rest of their lives. He is also available for seminars and speaking engagements. A retired mortgage banker, Ingersoll and his wife live in Hilton Head Island, SC, and Traverse City, MI, when they’re not traveling the globe.

Frequent Flier Expert Reports 1 Million Miles & More in 2010

Rick Ingersoll © Photography by Anne

Rick Ingersoll amassed the equivalent of 25 free domestic round-trip tickets in one year.

December 16, 2010 (HILTON HEAD, SC) – Using techniques he teaches in his book The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, author and blogger Rick Ingersoll has reported that he and his wife amassed one million frequent-flier miles in 2010 solely by taking advantage of credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses.

What does that mean in terms of actual travel for, as he puts it, ordinary folks? Twenty-five free domestic round-trip airline tickets for a family, eight to 10 business-class tickets to Europe, or four around-the-world itineraries.

“By maintaining an excellent credit score, we’ve found that applying for credit card signup bonuses can earn us the frequent flier miles we need to travel cheaply and often,” Ingersoll said.

The secret to his success, he says, is maintaining a good credit score and planning carefully:

“The inquiries for each credit card application nick your credit score by two to five points. But if you pay on time, under most circumstances that is the extent of the damage. And after we have reached the minimum spend to earn the sign-up bonus, we just put the card away and cancel it when the annual renewal bill comes due. The inquiries fall off your credit report in two years.”

One of the many offers he and his wife, Katy, took advantage of this year was a British Airways promotion that offered 100,000 miles for using its credit card and paying the $75 application fee. Together, the couple netted 200,000 miles on that deal alone.

With application and debit card fees, Ingersoll reports that he spent $1130 to earn over one million frequent flier miles – remarkably less than he would have spend if he paid for his future travel excursions.

Other Perks: Yet credit card/debit card bonuses aren’t the only techniques Ingersoll used in 2010 to get more miles and savings on travel. As he discusses in The Frugal Guy Handbook, he also used such opportunities as “Mistake Fares,” “Fare Wars,” “Rental Car Promos,” and – one of his favorites – “The Bump.”

“The Bump” is Ingersoll’s term for actively volunteering to be “bumped” from a crowded/over-sold flight. Airlines are required by law to compensate “bumped” passengers.  On a recent trip to Alaska, he paid $400 for a ticket but got himself “bumped” so often that he ended the day with $1200 in travel vouchers.

Rick Ingersoll is frequently quoted in the travel media as an expert on free and frugal travel techniques that assure quality travel especially for those who think they can’t afford to travel.

For more information on Rick Ingersoll and his free-travel techniques, visit his blog at

About Rick Ingersoll:

Rick Ingersoll, author of The Frugal Travel Guy blog  and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, is constantly on the lookout for the best credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses. He posts travel tips daily on debit and credit card deals and on other interesting promotions with the goal of reducing his readers’ travel costs today and for the rest of their lives. He is also available for seminars and speaking engagements. A retired mortgage banker, Ingersoll and his wife live in Hilton Head Island, SC, and Traverse City, MI, when they’re not traveling the globe.

“Frugal Travel Guy” Author Announces Wounded Warrior Donation

Proceeds from sales of the “Frugal Travel Guy Handbook” will aid wounded soldiers.


December 6, 2010 (HILTON HEAD, SC) – Rick Ingersoll, author of the “Frugal Travel Guy Handbook” and Frugal Travel Guy blog, is commemorating Pearl Harbor Day this year by announcing that he will donate profits and proceeds (above production costs) from all sales of his “Handbook” to the Wounded Warrior Fund until further notice.


“Our men and women in uniform who have been wounded in the line of duty have sacrificed so much for all of us,” Ingersoll said. “This is the least I can do to support their contributions on our behalf.”


The Wounded Warrior Fund is part of the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, with additional program offices located in New York City and Washington D.C. Its mission is to honor and empower wounded soldiers and “to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in this nation’s history,” according to its website. It provides immediate and direct aid to wounded soldiers.


“I certainly want to be a part of that,” Ingersoll said.

Rick Ingersoll © Photography by Anne


The “Frugal Travel Guy Handbook” is a slim paperback in which Ingersoll shares tips and tricks for frugal travel and teaches readers how to use techniques he has perfected to significantly reduce their travel budget forever. Topics include: Fare wars, Fare Mistakes, Frequent flyer miles, good credit equals free travel, consumer promotions, banking and financial service promotions, how to be “bumped” to earn travel vouchers, which credit cards offer the best travel rewards, Rewards Network dining, and rental car promotions.


The “Frugal Travel Guy Handbook” can be purchased at in either paperback ($8.97) or Kindle format ($6.99 Kindle), or at The latter source will maximize the contribution to the Wounded Warriors since the publisher does not incur listing fees.


For more information on the Wounded Warrior Project, visit



About Rick Ingersoll:


Rick Ingersoll’s blog,, is updated daily to keep his readers apprised of deals to be had via credit card rewards offers, airline promotions, and much more. Conde Nast’s “Travelers” magazine recently called it one of the best blogs to follow for learning how to accumulate frequent flier miles. Ingersoll has flown virtually free to over 40 countries worldwide including the Caribbean, Central and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and many times to Hawaii-always in Business or First Class. With millions of frequent flyer miles in the bank, top tier status with United Airlines and Lifetime Platinum status with American Airlines, Ingersoll did not pay for an airline ticket over a five-year period.