Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Welcome to the next installment of our interview series where folks share their thoughts about Big Travel with Small Money!
Miles & Points Interview: Eyes on the Dollar
Kim started Eyes on the Dollar to document her and her husband’s journey from broke to debt-free. Now they have paid off their debt, learned how to use credit cards responsibly, and travel the world!
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
My husband and I used to break all the golden rules of travel hacking by never paying off our balance and living beyond your means.
After 18 long months of recommitting ourselves to being debt free, we paid off over $30,000 in credit card debt and learned that if you use credit correctly, it allows you to see the world for minimal cost. We started seriously collecting miles and points about a year and a half ago, after we said goodbye to consumer debt forever.
Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
I started my blog in August 2012. I wanted readers to see that it is possible to change your situation and live the life you always wanted, even if it seems like you are starting from the bottom of a pit.
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
Obviously credit card sign-up bonuses are the bread and butter for any points and miles collector, but it’s also important to use category bonuses to your advantage. Unless you are meeting a minimum spending requirement, you should be getting at least double or triple points on every purchase.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
I don’t know if I can pick
one. Any new experience with our daughter is amazing. Watching her see the ocean for the 1st time or master her 1st blue ski run are 2 that rank pretty high on my list.
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
My husband used to roll his eyes every time I discovered a new trick for earning miles and points. Now he can call the credit card company all by himself! Our families don’t like to travel, but friends are slowly catching on and I am the authority when someone needs to plan a trip.
Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
Reading miles and points blogs is how I learn all the tricks. I’d still be using my debit card if I’d never discovered all the information that you and your fellow travel bloggers share with the world.
What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?
I won 5,000 Hyatt points from the Million Mile Secrets Saturday giveaway. Thanks!
What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?
We could have traveled so much more if we’d used our credit cards the right way from the beginning, but I’ve learned so much from our journey out of debt that I am almost grateful for that experience.
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
Of all the places I’ve lived or visited, Memphis,
Tennessee is 1 of my favorites. I love Elvis and have been to Graceland 6 times.
Any parting words?
Thanks so much for having me. I’d love to tell the world to stop putting off life because you feel stuck or unable to afford travel or whatever your heart’s desire might be. I am living proof that you can do a complete 180 in mid-life and still come out ahead.
Kim – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!
If you’d like to be considered for our interview series, please send me a note!
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 16,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another interview with Mile and Points gurus!