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Welcome to the next interview in our interview series where travel bloggers share their insights on having Big Travel with Small Money!
Miles & Points Interview: Points Summary
Jamison has been mileage running for years and writes Points Summary to help maximize your points.
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
I started collecting miles and points in college. I joined Flyertalk in 2005 and was just beginning to learn the basics of frequent flyer programs.
Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
I started my blog because my friends on Twitter kept pestering me. Since many of my friends are travel bloggers, I thought- heck, why not? I’ve always wanted to write about where I traveled to and provide personal travel tips.
My blog is special because I write about travel-hacking tips and destinations. Most of my content consists of mileage running and making a trip report out of it.
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
Targeted credit card offers. These offers are specially marketed and can appear in your e-mail inbox, postal mail, and online portals. Currently, the 100,000 American Express Platinum is still around and that is the most lucrative and sought after offer.
Lately, there has been success in physically visiting a bank branch to receive higher offers.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
I went on a trip to Israel earlier this year and challenged myself to get into Bethlehem via a rental car with Israeli license plates.
I successfully drove into Palestine controlled by the Palestinian Authority (West Bank) and stayed at the Intercontinental Jacir Palace in Bethlehem.
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
Quite frankly, my friends think I’m a trust fund baby because I fly first class all the time and visit exciting destinations. I find it laughable since I only pay economy coach fares and mileage run for less than 5 cents per mile.
Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
Twitter is currently my favorite tool to communicate with like-minded people. It’s a useful way to ask quick questions and start a conversation. I am a social media maven and use Twitter on a daily basis.
Follow me on Twitter if you already haven’t.
What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?
A few years ago when I was flying to Hawaii on United Airlines, the call attendant sound was constantly pinging for 5 hours throughout the entire flight. After the flight, I received an e-mail from United apologizing for the situation and they provided a link for free miles.
Back then, I was a novice frequent flyer and at that time, it was unexpected compensation. For those without noise-cancellation headphones, it must have felt like Chinese water torture.
What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?
I wish I had known about a valuation system when I started out. Currently, I value American and United miles at 2 cents minimum. As far as hotels, I value Starwood points at 3 cents minimum.
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
Most people redeem their frequent flyer miles for first or business class, but I mainly use my miles for coach award tickets, car rentals, and hotel bookings.
Any parting words?
Feel free to check out some of my recent trip reports this year (some are still a work in progress):
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Shanghai, China
- Monterrey, MexicoPonce, Puerto Rico
- Lima Peru, Sao Paulo Brazil, and Santiago Chile
- Rio de Janeiro
Jamison– Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!