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Pearls of Wisdom From Cheapblackdad

Naturally, the pearls are black, the rare and valuable kind. You’ve probably seen me refer to  reader Cheapblackdad on quite a few occasions. For a good reason, he is a  riot! When I decided to close up shop, I tried to get him to take over the blog. I even offered to rename the site to “Miles for black family” He wouldn’t even consider it. I told him there were piles of easy money to be made from blogging. He was too smart to believe me.

So, when I got back into posting, naturally, he was there to welcome me with open arms, in a virtual sense. But then he disappeared.  I honestly started thinking that maybe I said something offensive about the black community, which is totally plausible since I’ve managed to tick off pretty much everyone in this industry. But then one day, he was back…with 9 comments. He said he was just busy and didn’t have time to read  blogs for awhile (rolls eyes). How can you even call yourself a hobbyist?

Anyway, I wanted to share some nuggets of wisdom from those comments. If you watched the show “Psych,” Cheapblackdad is like  Gus to my Shawn. He is cheap, he is black, he is a dad. And he is proud of all three (I think). Plus, I’m pretty sure he is OCD. See, black hobbyists (all three of them) are just like us.

womanImage courtesy of stockimages at


On my post Should you get the Wyndham card? he says:

This card makes me so giddy. If it weren’t for the Koloa landing issue I would probably have put it in my “Last one before we buy a house” AOR. 

Also, can I tell you how familiar this felt? The obsessing over the plans and details. The speculative reservations, the changing locations and dates in an effort to find the best plan and the best value for the family. It’s so fulfilling when you get it right. It’s like a fraction of a fraction of the feeling you have when your 7 year old son hits the baseball further than anyone on his team. Every trip is like a little child you birth, nurse, and parent to maturity. 

That’s a really weird analogy. Maybe more like a pet than a child? Let’s go with pet. Every trip is like a little pet you parent to maturity.”

Half of me totally agrees with him, and the other half is extremely concerned …for both of us. Also, if the trip is like a pet, what happens to the pet once the trip is over?

And here is another one:

“Life is all about choices. This game is about choices. The sooner you learn what your personal rules are for the game, the better. Mine are always evolving. My Family Travel Commandments for Playing the Game: 

1. Prioritize the Americas/Hawaii. Your miles go further, especially as the Americas keeps distance based Avios and Southwest in play. I roll 4 deep, It ain’t easy getting us all over to Europe.

2. Dont MS. Just. Don’t. Also, Don’t do Delta!

3. Pick a limited # of programs and go all in so that you can fly your family together via large balances in the same limited set of programs. Focus on:

a. Avios and Southwest. Best bang for buck for families given Avios distance based charts and Southwest’s availability and low costs (going to PVR for about 8500 SW points/pp)

b. Prioritize flexibile points (UR,MR more so than SPG or Citi points for now) as they give you a lot of flexibility and UR are very easy to earn with portals and the Freedom 5x. Also, UR and MR both transfer to Avios so you can go big on Avios, and UR transfer to Southwest.

4. Don’t bite the hand that feeds. Pay a few annual fees and be responsible with your credit. Keep the issuers happy with you as a customer.

5. Plan 2-3 trips a year. Plan them deliberately, and earn accordingly. No need for random trips, always have a goal/vision in mind, spend/apply accordingly, and you will always have the points you need.

6. This is all about fun, enjoyment, and time with family. Once it stops being one of those, or gets in the way of living a productive life, take a break. And then come back with the right adjustments. 

I’ll stop there for now.”

Amen, cheap black brother!

Bottom line

Well, if you make 9 comments in one day, there is a good chance that I will profile you in a separate post too. Come on, you know you want it!

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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12 thoughts on “Pearls of Wisdom From Cheapblackdad

  1. ” I roll 4 deep, It ain’t easy getting us all over to Europe.”

    I can totally relate, cheapblackdad! I’m with you on Southwest and Avios too. Those are the only programs I have used to fly my family around the U.S. Nothing else really makes sense for us.

  2. And for the record, I agree that CheapBlackDad would be awesome with a points and miles blog. There aren’t a lot of people of color who blog about this hobby, nor are there many men (or women) with families. Most are single white male types who only need one award seat!

  3. Also, I just checked GoDaddy and found that is for sale for $2.99. Don’t make me buy it and resell it to you for hundreds of dollars!

    • @Holly Amen, cheap white sister! Cheapblackdad would make an awesome miles and points blogger.He is totally a “square peg in a round hole” as far as The Hobby is concerned. I mean it in a good way.
      In all honesty, that’s why I wanted to profile his Travel Commandments. They succinctly outline what regular families in America should focus on. I might as well close up shop…again!

  4. 1. Can I just admit to something? I totally just geeked out that Club Thrifty’s Holly wholeheartedly agrees with me. Then I was like “Whoa. Are points bloggers my celebrities?” Then I was like “Am I like…going to have Holly sign a…what…not a baseball? A boarding pass maybe?”
    2. I should probably at least buy the domain name.
    3. Agree with you on people of color and blogging about points of miles. Or just black dads blogging period.
    4. There’s a reason a lot of singles are blogging: time. I have a saying I use “Is the juice worth the squeeze.” Blogging looks fun. But I don’t think that juice is worth the squeeze for me. I’m basically a single dude for the next 4-5 months as we transition from Cincinnati (here ahead of the family) so it’s now or never. But I’d rather do something more athletic/active. Biking 20-30 miles a day takes a lot of time. Probably as much time as a decent post.
    5. Since I won’t start blogging, I give all my ideas to bloggers. I think “Perspective from readers” could be a pretty cool regular part of this blog. I think you could highlight the week’s/month’s/last couple of weeks’ comments that really stuck out to you as helpful and provide your commentary on top. Just a thought.

    • @Cheapblackdad I actually do think you should buy that domain before Holly does. 🙂 “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” That’s a good one. I had to really think long and hard before getting back into posting. I think it is worth it…for now. For those who make a good living from it, it’s much less of a dilemma. You just go to work because it pays the bills. Also, starting a blog is easy, maintaining the momentum is DARN hard. Especially in this industry that has a million other blogs all writing about the same topic.
      If you think you would like to write some guest posts, I will be happy to publish them. I can’t afford to pay, but would be happy to send a (very) small Amazon gift card as a token of my appreciation. Also, I agree about publishing some excerpts from reader comments. I actually plan to do that now and again. I think it’s important to create a community where wisdom is shared for the benefit of everyone. Kind of like this post!

  5. Cheap Black Dad, you’re funny! First, you should buy the domain name. It’s $2.99, for heaven’s sake! That way, you will have it if you change your mind and get all motivated or whatnot.
    I actually think you have a good chance at creating a blog that could get a huge following. The black/family angle is fairly virgin territory. And if you’re cheap in real life, not just in terms of travel, you can take Cheap Black Dad and turn it into a site about how to be cheap in general, plus the travel stuff. That’s basically what I do since I have so many cheap interests.
    Also, you should start with a guest post or two and see if you like it. Want to write a guest post for my site?

  6. @MilesforFamily

    Keeping up the momentum with a points and miles blog may be hard – there’s only so much to talk about. But writing about frugality all the time isn’t hard at all. Everything in life relates to personal finance in some way, shape or form. I can talk about anything from my latest grocery trip to how much I spent on my electric bill this month.

    I would never urge anyone to start a points and miles blog for that sole purpose- too much competition and too singular. But a personal finance and frugality blog? All day long. I started my blog when I had two kids under two and a full-time job.

  7. @Holly What you said makes a lot of sense. I think this is a very singular niche. Writing about frugal lifestyle has a much broader appeal, though, I think that area is a bit saturated now as well. Overall, turning a blog into a viable business is very hard in today’s environment. Not impossible, just difficult. I definitely admire your tenacity and hard work, especially doing it while having small kids. I quit my job, and plan to keep it that way as long as we can afford it. This blog is mostly a hobby/small business (very small).
    I write about what interests me. And, saturated or not, miles and points are what I’m passionate about. Sometimes I really wish I was passionate about something else! I do believe I have contributed mostly original content over the last two years. Sure, the posts are based on familiar topics, but I try to give it a small twist. I definitely think the advice you gave to Cheapblackdad is a good one. He could totally kill it with a Frugal/Cheapblackdad niche.

  8. I agree with everything you said except for the saturated part. The world is a big place – with what – 7 billion people? There is room enough for everyone. Plus, frugality blogs and personal finance blogs come and go every day. Almost anyone can succeed and make it a full-time thing if that’s what they want – and if they keep trying and never give up, putting everything they have into it.
    The only reason I think points and miles is too saturated is because of the business model. Everyone needs to sell credit cards. There are only so many credit card sales to go around.

    • @Holly You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the flawed business model of miles an points industry. I think the hobby is at the crossroads. There are only so many credit cards to “sell.” People are doing more MS (which is fine, to each his own) and banks are tightening their approval criteria. This hobby is extremely small, and most of the growth is at the top. Some get 300K to 500K views, which translates into $3,000 to $5,000 in monthly income when paid premium ad rates. Those will survive even if affiliate commission is cut off. Others will have to come up with something else. Some will still do it as a hobby because they enjoy it.
      Overall, people are sick and tired of hearing about credit cards. In a way, I understand, the posts can get tiresome. Plus, everyone only wants to hear about non-affiliate offers. Those are OK, it’s the affiliate links that are evil. 🙂 But what many don’t realize is that affiliate commission has allowed some of their favorite bloggers go full-time. It’s a tradeoff, as with everything in life.
      You are right, everyone can find their own niche if they work hard at it. I think every person has a talent of some sort, the trick is to discover it.

  9. Pingback: Miles and Points Recap, Plus Rant from Cheapblackdad – Miles For Family

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