*This is the beginning of a series of tips and other information geared towards beginners in the points and miles world. It will also contain some good personal finance tips that are applicable to everyone. There is no set order to this series but all posts will be tagged with “Points and Miles 101” so you can quickly search all the posts in this series.*
This might sound strange but I view points and miles as a form of currency just like the US Dollar, British Pound, or Indian Rupee. It’s kind of true – the most common and by far the most valuable use of points is towards free travel – I can “buy” a roundtrip flight to San Francisco for 25,000 miles. That’s not the only use though – did you know you could use or exchange them for merchandise, concerts/shows, sporting events, memorabilia, and more, including selling them for cash? Now points and miles obviously can’t replace good old cash but if you have any desire to travel, they are a valuable currency to hold in your (virtual) wallet.
The reason I recommend having a collection of points and miles is for travel experiences that might otherwise be impossible paying cash. And this is something that effects all levels of society to some extent (unless your in the 1%, then you can stop reading). It’s not hard to picture a struggling family that hasn’t take a family trip in 5 years due to financial struggles but would kill for a weekend beach getaway. Or how about a middle to upper class couple who wants to honeymoon in Bora Bora but can’t afford the $20-$30k price tag. This is where points and miles can make a big difference.
As we go through this series, you will see how simply it can be to rack up hundreds of thousands of points and miles at little to no cost. You’re going to be kicking yourself once you see how affordable travel can be – I know I was before I got involved! The days of complaining travel is too expensive IS OVER. Traveling can be a truly amazing experience and if you have even the littlest bit of desire to travel, you owe it yourself to find a solution to make your travel dreams a reality. And I propose that solution, is with points and miles.