“We picked the travel hacking niche because we wanted to be the best in our field without having to really try.”

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Welcome to the next interview in our interview series where renowned mile and point gurus share their insights on having Big Travel with Small Money!

Miles & Points Interview:  Points Envy

I was t-r-r-embling while chatting with Points Envy, because it really was such an honor!  Sure, I’ve earned and burned millions of miles and points, but that’s just a rounding error to Points Envy.

I’ve always admired how Points Envy has sources everywhere and gets the scoop on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Preferred, 40X Ultimate Rewards Points outside Costco, screenshots of Delta’s best-in-class award booking process, not to mention writing fascinating human interest stories on divorces over credit card referrals.

Points Envy – Interview with Points Envy

Terrible Shirts, But Points Envy Paid Us 5 Million Points (Each) To Wear Them!

How and when did you start collecting miles and points?

The Points Envy editors have been collecting points and miles since before we were born.  By that we mean that in elementary school we inherited all of our parents’ loyalty account balances after their untimely demises in a series of unrelated, yet strikingly similar, freak accidents, through which more than one billion points tragically yet conveniently became ours.

Why did you start your blog?  What’s special about it?

For some time we had been trying out different things to do while bored in first class, from challenging other passengers to drinking contests to sleeping.  A few years ago, completely by accident, we discovered that blogging is a nice way to pass the time from when you get your welcome champagne to when the caviar is served.

We picked the travel hacking niche because we wanted to be the best in our field without having to really try.  After all, we are gentlemen of leisure.  The timing had nothing to do with the economic downturn and lack of job opportunities for Classics majors.

Our blog is patently amazing, but we can spell it out for your readers who either have not yet experienced Points Envy or who cannot actually read.  In addition to a clever name, we regularly feature some of the most interesting and pragmatic content in the travel blogging world.  We also have a fairly solid grasp of basic English grammar and a unique mannerism, in that we always use the plural form when speaking in first person.

326 Million Ultimate Rewards Points!

Add some exclusive photographic content to the aforementioned greatness and you get the incomparable Points Envy.

What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?

First, read our blog.  Second, follow us on Twitter.  Third, get an American Express Platinum card, which has no pre-set spending limit, and spend as much as you can in the first billing cycle.  Then transfer the points as soon as they post and use your earnings to live a first class lifestyle abroad until the statute of limitations runs on the unpaid bill.

We’ve had success with this tactic numerous times.

What’s your most memorable travel experience?

Last year for spring break we flew to Cairo on EgyptAir.  We remember it clearly because we found out the hard way that don’t serve alcohol, not even champagne.  Without our beverage of choice we understandably became furious very quickly.  It was how we have always imagined prison.

Our anger was not quelled by the first class food or friendly flight crew and, when we arrived, we complained to such an extent that we inadvertently started a small riot in the airport.  We immediately booked the next flight out on a different (alcohol-serving) airline.  As we boarded, we noticed that the riot seemed to have grown substantially.  Suffice it to say, our word carries weight in airports.

What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?

We avoid discussing our points hobby with our “friends” because we regularly open credit cards in their names to earn tons of points; points that we use to take luxurious first class vacations without them.  And our parents don’t think anything about it because they are dead.

Special Chase Sapphire Preferred Preferred for Points Envy

But if the IRS or any bank asks, they are alive and happily spending large amounts every month on their dozens of credit cards.  Our grandparents are more or less the same.

Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?

Don’t be afraid to break the law, or any rules for that matter.  For example, sometimes you can just sneak into first class if you are a white (or whitish) male dressed in a designer suit.  It’s helpful to check availability before trying this trick out though, in order to avoid an awkward situation.

As always, it helps to be rich.

What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?

On a whim, we once scribbled “For a great AMEX Platinum referral, call [redacted]” in a Lufthansa first class bathroom.  The response was largely sickening, but we did manage to earn a decent number of points from the referral bonuses.

Mostly Because of Lufthansa First Class

We also once came up with a great plan that required the purchase of elaborate, expensive machinery.  The plan didn’t work out as envisioned, but we earned a somewhat respectable amount of points in the process.

What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?

We recently discovered that Iberia Avios have become a legitimate form of currency in Spain since the economic downturn, and that merchants now accept the points at a rate of ten Avios per euro.  Given the ease of transferability from British Airways, this has translated into a goldmine of jamón serrano and cava for us.  But mostly, we just buy more Avios.   Olé!

More importantly, three months ago we figured out our cousins’ social security numbers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Preferred for the Whole Family

What would your readers be surprised to know about you?

On those rare occasions when we are not living semi-permanently in a hotel suite, experiencing a gluttonous existence in first class or relaxing in a premium lounge, we reside in a trailer.  We should point out, however, that the trailer is a duplex, and that we put the entire purchase on our Starwood American Express.

Any parting words?

For a great AMEX Platinum referral, email [email protected].  And stay tuned for our next project: Billion Mile Secrets.

Points Envy– Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!

Note:  This interview was satire and you shouldn’t follow any of Points Envy’s suggestions, nor should you break the law.  Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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56 responses to ““We picked the travel hacking niche because we wanted to be the best in our field without having to really try.”

  1. I think I just woke up the neighbors … hilare!

  2. Bwahhhhhhah! Best blog entry of the year. Points Envy is now my favorite blog, because size doesn’t matter.

  3. This supposed to be funny?

  4. What is this, like the Onion for points blogs or something? The points balances are photoshopped or what?

  5. H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S


  6. Very funny! Following!

  7. And…. that’s a new blog for my rss feed.

  8. Funny stuff – those are guys to hang with at the DO’s.

  9. And to think I buried my grandparents when I could be travelling around the world with their SSNs (and save on funeral expenses too!)! Damn it.

  10. Wow. People that found that funny must also find Ellen funny. What a waste of time! I wish I had my five minutes back.

  11. I Love Points Envy. Can’t wait for Billion Mile Secrets!

  12. And another deal is RUINED…


  13. I dont know what to say…..LOL

  14. Thanks for this inside interview! I hope this helps reduce some of the rumors, but I think they may just continue to grow, such as:
    – Once @PointsEnvy, in a rare promo miscalculation, underestimated the thickness of Greek yogurt. #NoYogurtGuy
    – @PointsEnvy gets to Pre-Pre-Board. To you and me, that’s before the cleaning crew!
    – I heard he has 2K @United status!
    …and so on. #PointsEnvyRumors


  16. Funniest Post! I love it!!

  17. Seriously hysterical. I am an instant fan.

  18. i would normally just say move on to people that don’t enjoy an article, but this was honestly a pointless post

  19. Okay, so photoshopped photos, I get it, but this all means that… the joke is on us?

  20. Also I looked at the credit cards tab and saw all kinds of wrong info (specifically about the US Air card). I suggest he/she/they spend a little more time checking out info.

  21. Nicely written satire. I’m sure some will misread it and some will disapprove, but I found it funny.

  22. You obviously stole that from XYZ blog. Do you have no shame? I’m done following you (until tomorrow) and I’ll post more angry meaningless words in the comments section.

  23. HAHAHA!!! At first, I started to get upset and think this was nasty to use dead people’s information, and then I realized it can’t be real. Hahahaha! Very funny!

  24. Absolutely love it great job! Made my Friday.

  25. wherearemypointsalready?

    Who are the geniuses behind Points Envy? This is thoroughly entertaining, as is the rest of their blog. My coworkers all think I’m crazy now from laughing so hard.

  26. David Gutierrez

    Very funny stuff!!!

  27. If I had that much point, I’d cash out….I can use a nice million dollar house…will they take my saphire for down payment? =D

  28. I guess some people are still in the Halloween mood. Cannot wait for April Fool day blogs!
    @Ronf : my best bet: you are one of the Points Envy.

  29. Absolutely hilarious read. LOL

  30. “For a great Amex referral please call…..” on the Lufthansa bathroom wall. I burst out laughing at that one. Good Stuff from the people @PointsEnvy

  31. @wherearemypointsalready

    Who is pointsenvy? Click their about section, and you get this:

    About Us

    The founders of Points Envy aren’t just travel hackers, we’re travel gods. We regularly book the toughest award flights, clear upgrades like it’s nothing, and have elite status so elite it’s not even published. We churn credit cards like an Amish man churns butter – frequently, and with the Lord’s blessing. By the time other blogs post an opportunity, we’ve already used those points or miles to get to an isolated beach resort in the South Pacific.

    Although our annual incomes (combined) put us well below the poverty line, we almost always fly first class and stay in the finest suites in existence. Want to take your points game to the next level? Follow Points Envy and prepare yourself for a mind-blowing frequent flyer experience.

  32. Hilarious!!! Thanks so much!

  33. @Darauis and Emily: I suspect PointsEnvy.com is your new invention for us all to look at a lighter side of the billionmilesecrets world? This is totally a speculation but since both of you wear the PointsEnvy.com T-shirt, I suspect you guys are the brains behind this?

  34. @Darauis and Emily: I suspect PointsEnvy.com is your new invention for us all to look at a lighter side of the billionmilesecrets world? This is totally a speculation but since both of you wear the PointsEnvy.com T-shirt, I suspect you guys are the brains behind this???

  35. Funny…. i would probably cash out that 300 mil UR.. and retire.

  36. Great read! One of my all-time favorite Friday interviews….and I really like the Friday interviews!

  37. Bravo! I’ll go back to reading this blog entry whenever my Krug fails to cheer me up…

  38. Funny? This guy seems like the biggest tool no matter how many points/miles he has.

  39. Wow, that was a complete departure from how these interviews usually go. Funny stuff.

    Favorite quote:

    We also have a fairly solid grasp of basic English grammar and a unique mannerism, in that we always use the plural form when speaking in first person.

    Wait, so it’s actually one guy writing as if he was a group? Ha ha.

    Please keep up this interview series, Daraius. Helps us discover new blogs worth subscribing to.

  40. Brilliant! I love that there is room in the world for a frequent flyer mile blog satire.

  41. lmao

    “you didn’t build that blog”


  42. I had to change my underwear twice! Two cards and 900 million miles? I have to admit you had me for a few paragraphs there.

    Actually took my mind away from winning the lottery for a few minutes there!

  43. +1 for best blog interview of the year.

  44. Joke or not, this advice is completely irresponsible. I am sure Chase, Amex would like to know that you are opening cards in others’ names. Isn’t that identity theft? Lying to the Feds? Nice. So when you forget to pay your friend’s bill, what happens then? You wonder why have credit issues in this country. Fail.. Sorry people, I love points like the next guy, but I am not getting involved in this and neither should others.

  45. I dont get the pointsenvy blog. Is this suppose
    To be funny and r the points balance real?

  46. Pingback: The Week in Review « Points Envy

  47. Satire eh? I appreciate the effort but I suggest you don’t quit your day job. : )

  48. Took a bit to realize it was a satire 🙂

  49. Did pointenvy really paid you 5mil points each for doing that???

  50. Alfred E. Neuman

    @ Mark – please look up the word “satire” in a good dictionary.

  51. As I kept reading, I kept moving to the edge of my couch, and as I reached the end of the blog I started laughing and dropped my Laptop on the floor.

  52. Brilliant, if you don’t get it too bad for you…

  53. 326,175,416 ponts………

    Is it for real? How can a person get too many points like this. It is impossible for me to reach this point level. This is Chase points. If I apply for all Chase bonus cards, I even would not reach this point level. It is impossible. Do you guys think that there is a photoshop in that picture?????

  54. It’s what your parents and grandparents would have wanted ; )LMAO….and I don’t use the “A” type of words!

  55. love it! so funny!!

  56. Pingback: Billion Mile Secrets Lands, Gives You Free Stuff | Million Mile Secrets