This is a blog about earning and redeeming frequent flyer miles to travel more, better, and cheaper.
I live a transient lifestyle, flying around the world sometimes in economy, but often in Business or First Class, on a budget because I know the tricks to getting tons of miles without flying and redeeming them as efficiently as possible. Whether you want to take a dream honeymoon, a family vacation, a round-the-world trip, or even just get a free flight home for Christmas, read this blog and you’ll find out how.
If the thought of getting started seems intimidating, don’t worry. You’re not the only one that feels that way.
- Check out our Free Credit Card Consultation service–fill out the form here with some basic information and we can get you pointed in the right direction.
- If you manage to earn the miles but then get flustered trying to spend them efficiently, use my Award Booking Service. You send us your miles and points balances and where/when you want to go, and we do all the hard work for you.
- First, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts–expert free-travel advice featured in the New York Times, Marketwatch, and other news sources. You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.
- Start by reading Travel for Pennies with Miles to get excited about the possibilities when collecting miles. Pretty cool, huh? I get most of my miles from credit card sign up bonuses. Check out this list of the top ten credit cards that I update twice a month and apply for a card or two.
- Next check out my beginners’ series: Free First Class Next Month.
Below are a few of the most informative posts for beginners.
I recommend starting with these:
Best Order for Card Applications to Maximize Bonuses Over Your Lifetime: Signing up for rewards cards without rhyme reason is a mistake. Learn strategies for planning your best order for card applications.
Issuing Banks Rules for Approvals and New Bonuses: Along the same lines, this post will explain why exactly signing up for cards without a plan is a bad idea. The banks that issue the majority of rewards cards with valuable sign up bonuses have rules– structured around what cards and how many cards you’ve signed up for the in the past– that dictate who is eligible for their cards and sign up bonuses.
How Much Are Frequent Flier Miles Worth? Calculating your Own Valuations: Airline miles are their own currency, just like a dollar or a peso. But who determines their value? You do. Does the math on that page frighten you a bit? You can always use our valuations here at MileValue as a rough estimate.
The Two Ways to Value Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses: For when you need help deciding between which card to apply for and you want to compare sign up bonuses.
A Change to My Advice on Applying for Credit Cards: Tips on the frequency and timing of card applications
Once you are oriented, here are some more informative posts to bookmark for future use:
Anatomy of an Award: We’ve put dozens of posts in the Anatomy of an Award category. They show step-by-step the process of conceiving and booking actual awards we’ve booked for myself or through the Award Booking Service.
Series on how to maximize value when transferring your Citi ThankYou Points to airline partners…
- Sweetspots with Singapore KrisFlyer Miles #1: Suites Class for as Little as 32,000 Miles
- Sweetspots with Singapore KrisFlyer Miles #2: Awards on United and Partner Flights
- Sweetspots with Virgin Atlantic Miles #1: 10,000 Points USA to Europe
- Sweetspots with Virgin Atlantic Miles #2: Sweetspots on 12 Partner Award Charts
- Sweetspots with Flying Blue Miles: 30,000 Miles Roundtrip to Hawaii
- Sweetspots with Virgin America Points: 35,000 Points Roundtrip to Europe in Flat Bed
- Sweetspots with Etihad Miles: 20,000 Miles One Way to Europe
Series on how to maximize value when transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards to airline partners…
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: United MileagePlus
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Singapore Krisflyer #1
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Singapore Krisflyer #2
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Korean SkyPass #1
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Korean Skypass #2
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Korean Skypass #3
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: British Airways Avios
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Flying Blue
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club #1
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Virgin Atlantic Flying Club #2
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Southwest Rapid Rewards
- Maximizing Ultimate Rewards: Wrap Up & Index (this post)
Series on how to maximize domestic award redemptions…
- Redeeming Your ThankYou Points
- Redeeming Your Ultimate Rewards
- Redeeming Your Membership Rewards
- Redeeming Your SPG Starpoints
Series on redeeming American Airlines Miles…
- Part 1 — 5 Ways to Stretch American Airlines Miles on Economy Redemptions
- Part 2 — 6 Ultra-Luxurious First Classes to Book with American Airlines Miles
- Part 3 — Where to Search Award Space for All Partners
- Part 4 — Award Rules and How Many Miles You Need
- Part 5 — Taxes, Fees, and Fuel Surcharges
- Part 6 — Redeeming for Domestic Awards
- Part 7 — Redeeming for Hawaii
- Part 8 — Redeeming for East and Southeast Asia
- Part 9 — Redeeming for Middle East and Indian Subcontinent
- Part 10 — Redeeming for Australia and New Zealand
- Part 11 — Redeeming for South America
- Part 12 — Redeeming for Europe
- Part 13 — Redeeming for Africa
- Part 14 — Redeeming for Fiji, Tahiti, Bora Bora, and French Polynesia
- Part 15— Wrap Up & Index
Series on the average delay times between bank points and airline miles…
- How Long Does it Take Ultimate Rewards to Transfer?
- How Long Does it Take Membership Rewards to Transfer?
- How Long Does it Take ThankYou Points to Transfer?
- How Long Does it Take SPG Points to Transfer?
In general, no matter your skill level, you should check back daily to keep growing your skills and to be part of a community of people who all want you to fly for free.