Almost daily I get questions from readers asking for advice on various credit cards. When you first start out in our hobby, it’s very exciting to keep getting one sign-up bonus after another.
But miles and points are only worth something when you actually redeem them. That’s why I was very happy to get this question from one of my readers. He gave me permission to post it, though I took out the names. Without further ado:
My response (modified and expanded)
You can do it !!!
Yes, with three exclamation points. If you are new to this hobby, all of the above information probably seems overwhelming. And for a good reason: I’ve been doing it for over a decade.
I’m familiar with various partnerships and mileage saving tricks after pouring hundreds of hours into research. The good news is, this stuff is not rocket science even if it appears that way at first glance.
Also, there are numerous shortcuts out there that didn’t exist even a few years ago. Read my post Ten strategies to maximize value on economy awards with the help of miles and points which contains tips and links to tools that can present you with various options in a matter of seconds.
Of course, feel free to email me and I’ll be happy to make suggestions at no cost. I also offer Free Consulting Service and can recommend credit cards for your specific needs, regardless of whether they pay me or not.
There is a huge outcry on how bloggers have ruined this hobby by making it too easy for the masses. All I can say is: I hope I did my part. In making it easy for the masses, that is.
Getting sign-up bonuses is great. In fact, for a busy milddle-class family it’s the only practical way to accumulate enough miles to cover 4 or 5 award tickets to Europe. However, equally important is knowing the ins and outs of alliances, partnerships and transfer programs.
There are award booking services that can do the work for you, but it will cost you hundreds of dollars each time. IMO a much better way is to simply educate yourself and make a few phone calls when needed. Learn to fish, it’s half the fun. You can reap awards for years to come.
Leana is the 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.