First Time on MileValue


This is a blog about earning and redeeming frequent flyer miles to travel more, better, and cheaper.

I travel up to nine months a year with most of my long flights in First Class and Business Class (those beds you have to walk past on the way to the back of the plane) on a shoestring 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.

First Steps

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.

These are the Two or Three Cards to Get if Just Starting

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

How to Book Any PointBreaks Hotel for $35/nightThis is the cheapest way to get hotels, and it’s a simple, repeatable trick that is well within the rules of the Priority Club program.

Once you are oriented, here are some more informative posts to bookmark for future use:

Series on How to Maximize Value When Transferring Your Citi ThankYou Points to Airline Partners

Series on How to Maximize Domestic Award Redemptions

Series on Redeeming American Airlines Miles

The Cheapest Ways to Get to HawaiiI was born in Hawaii, and I go back about once a year, so I compiled the cheapest ways to get to Hawaii.

Anatomy of an AwardI’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 I’ve booked for myself or through my Award Booking Service.

Bottom Line

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.