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Miles and Points, Exclusive Club

1) An increased offer for Chase Ink and Bold will officially end on June 1st. Both pay me commission.

2) You are now limited to only 2 IHG PointBreaks bookings per hotel. Not really a huge deal for most families with limited vacation days, but something to be aware of. I would rather they put this restriction than discontinue the PointBreaks program altogether.

3) Through May 31st, you can get a 30 percent bonus on transfers to Virgin Atlantic from Membership Rewards. I have highlighted some good uses of the program in this post. You may also consider this transfer if you are planning  a trip to London.  Fuel surcharges are mild on outbound flights, and Virgin Atlantic allows one-way redemptions.

For example, a one-way flight from LAX-London is 21,250 miles each way, plus fuel surcharges of $135. You would only need to transfer 50,000 Membership Rewards points to get 3 one-way tickets, since the bonus would bump the total to 65,000 miles.  See the full award chart HERE The mileage quoted is for roundtrip.

4) Singapore Airlines is now a Chase Ultimate Rewards partner. You can leverage this program on United by redeeming 17,500 miles for one-way economy ticket to Hawaii and 12,500 for one-way ticket to Alaska. The Points Guy has a great post on comparison to United program HERE

5) IHG points will go on sale through Daily Getaways on Monday at 1 PM. Read my previous post for more details.

6) There is a mistake fare on New York-Milan route for only $130 one way. Not sure if it’s still available, but  read a post with booking instructions HERE 

7) A post on FTG blog on some obscure discounts you may not know about, including for those in the military. Read more HERE

On my mind

One of my huge pet peeves with this industry is that many feel this hobby is some sort of exclusive club, complete with a password and a secret handshake.

Additionally, things are getting so complicated, it’s making my head spin, and I consider myself somewhat well versed when it comes to miles and points.

That’s why you don’t see many ordinary families participating in “travel hacking.” Does it mean they are not  smart enough for this hobby? Absolutely not! They are just too busy and don’t want to jump through all the hoops. But really, they can pick one hoop: credit card bonuses, and ignore the rest!

I think there is a huge untapped market out there. The question is, how do we reach it?How do we make it simple enough so people stick around and don’t get too intimidated? Of course, there are blogs that are doing just that, but I think we are all struggling to reach our target demographic.

Granted, this hobby isn’t for everyone. There is a greater chance of Ben from “One mile at a time” blog flying Spirit Airlines (hmm, Spirit suites?) for the rest of his life than someone like my husband being interested in miles and points.

But most people fall somewhere in between. The other day I witnessed my cousin-in-law and her husband, who have a typical middle class family of 4,  discuss which bonuses they will sign up for next. I was so proud!

I hope my blog (among others) can help make this industry a little less exclusive and a lot more inclusive.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

8 thoughts on “Miles and Points, Exclusive Club

  1. The easy part is accumulating the miles via CC bonuses. The harder part is redeeming them. I wonder if people look into it and then go ‘I don’t have time for that’, or hear all the bad things about redeeming miles, restrictions, blackout dates, etc. then don’t bother. My wife likes the results, but like your husband, doesn’t like process and gets lost pretty quickly. If you don’t have one person doing the leg work and the other supportive I’m guessing it isn’t going to work.

    • Jason, thank you for your comment! You bring up a valid point. That’s the challenge I face with this blog: Making miles and points easy to understand and a little less intimidating for regular folks. You are right, redeeming for a family can be difficult. That’s why Southwest and Jet Blue programs are so great, they take that hurdle out. I wish I was better at IT, so I can make it easier for those who are visual learners, like MMS blog does. Maybe someday!

  2. I think it’s laughable when people talk about the miles club being exclusive. Anyone can do it, but it is a headache if you get into the nitty gritty. I think there are more families using miles credit cards than most of us think. The only thing is, they’re not pounding the books trying to get the most out of them, they’re just happy with the rewards they get from their regular purchases.

  3. I just dabble in the hobby. I get overwhelmed reading some of the bigger blogs out there. So I do appreciate this one. I will probably always be small time, but like the other poster commented, I’m happy with that.

    • Jennifer, I’m very glad that you find my blog helpful. My goal is to supplement the bigger sites. I certainly could never replace them, but I do feel that I can add a somewhat different perspective with this blog. Also, there is nothing wrong with being small time. This hobby is very addictive and can completely take over your life, not a good thing IMO

  4. Joshua, thanks for stopping by! I agree, this hobby is most certainly not an exclusive club, and is much easier to figure out than most people realize. That’s why I’ve decided to give blogging a shot, in spite of my many limitations, mostly in IT area.

    I constantly talk to families who earn 1 percent cash back and are quite happy about it. Or they use mileage cards and complain how they can’t redeem the miles for award tickets. I’m hoping to make this hobby seem like less of a headache, or at least try to.

  5. In my experience, people are just too lazy to do it for themselves. I’ve laid out detailed plans for people and done everything but fill out the applications for them, but they don’t always take the initiative to actually sign up. Then they complain that they don’t have the money to travel. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink, right?

    It’s fine with me if they never sign up. The only thing that makes me crazy is when people sign up for CC rewards then redeem them for something stupid like a Kitchenaid mixer or a new camera. That should be illegal!

    • Holly, I agree with you completely! I have been able to persuade one family member, and that’s it. She was the one who encouraged me to start blogging! My in-laws do let me get cards in their name here and there, but I have to handle everything, including the application.
      The crazy thing is, many will drive 10 miles out of their way to save 10 cents per gallon of gas and clip coupons diligently. But they won’t even consider signing up for Southwest card which gives $800 in flights. I don’t get it.
      As far redeeming miles for stuff, very true! I’ve never seen a good deal when going that route.

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