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Miles and Points, Team

1. Air France discounted awards list is out for December and January.

I don’t see any spectacular deals, due to the fact that economy awards are only discounted by 25%  Air France Flying Blue miles transfer from SPG (very slow, up to 3 weeks ) and Membership Rewards (instant).

I don’t recommend using Citi Thank You Program at this point in time. I’m still in a process of sorting it all out.  One  month later and two transfers to Flying Blue rejected, I’m not  a happy camper. If you do decide to transfer, add two zeros to the beginning of your account number. Read the full story on Milevalue blog.

2. Be Frugal (my link)  has added Amex gift cards to its shopping portal, and currently gives 1.5 percent cash back. Other portals seem to pay as well, at least for now.

3. Don’t forget to use your Chase Freedom for Amazon purchases through December 31st, because you will get 5 % cash back.

4. Saw some reports on Twitter that Chase started to code Serve loads as cash advance. Proceed with caution.

5. The bonus on Lufthansa Premier Miles and More World MasterCard  has been increased to 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in 3 months. I no longer have  direct links to this offer or the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. However, I’m still supposed to make commission on both when you click through my generic link. I do still have  direct link to US Airways MasterCard. Contact me if confused.

6. FTU tickets are still available for December 5th-7th. The event takes place in Washington DC and costs $149 to attend. 

If you’ve always wanted to see famous points bloggers in-person, this could be the event for you, especially if you live in the area. There are sessions for beginners, and some info is applicable to families. I’ve actually attended one organized by Summer from Mommypoints, and thought it was well done.

If you don’t live in DC area, I recommend you consider attending The Deal Mommy conference in Charlotte that I mentioned earlier. All the sessions will be geared to regular family, plus the price is one third of what FTU runs.

7. I’ve mentioned a few days ago that the bonus on Chase Ink Plus has been increased to 70,000 points. I’ve also said that Chase Ink Bold is being discontinued. The second one comes with 50,000 points bonus, but I strongly recommend you consider applying for it instead of the Plus version. Why?

For the same reason I recommend US Airways MasterCard: The card is going away shortly. This is your last chance to get these points. The Plus version will still be there later. Notice, that Ink Bold doesn’t pay me commission, while Plus does. You can still find Chase Ink Bold on Chase.com

On my mind.

I’ve mentioned a few weeks ago that I don’t follow the crowd.  If I disagree with something, I won’t go along with it, even if it could potentially advance my blog. That said, I absolutely hope to be on good terms with everyone.

I think it’s possible to respectfully  disagree, yet still work together as a “team.” It is a bit of  a bizarre arrangement because we are all simultaneously colleagues and competitors. However, it’s not the first time I had to deal with the same issue. Before I had kids, I used to work on commission. You think it’s weird to compete with people online? Try doing it in an office setting.

Commission work is very much feast or famine. There were times I made $1,200 in one day, and other times when I made $20. A lot of it depends on hard work, but much of it is out of your control and mostly has to do with timing. It’s very much like that in this industry. Now, to be clear, I have never made $1,200 in one day or even a month from this site!

The sort of pressure that comes along with blogging in the miles and points hobby can certainly take a toll on interaction between the writers. Plus, you mostly deal with each other online, not face to face, which makes it easier not to hold anything back. That’s why it’s so important to remember that  you are not targeting some abstract entity, but  a real human being with feelings.

I truly believe in fair and friendly competition that ends up benefiting readers in the end. That’s not to say  that I’ve never failed in this respect. But one thing is for sure: Diversity is always a good thing for consumer. That’s why I don’t isolate myself or pretend that other “miles and points” blogs geared to family don’t exist. In fact, if you find another writer more beneficial,  support them instead. It’s only fair.

I do think  it’s important to surround yourself with positive individuals who see this industry for what it truly is: A crazy world with many issues, but one that can make a positive impact.

Travel brings families closer together. This hobby, if done in a controlled and responsible manner, can create amazing experiences for next to nothing. But whatever you, don’t forget “controlled/responsible” part.

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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.

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