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I love answering questions from my readers and want you to travel for less!

Please leave a comment below with any requests, travel anecdotes, or topics which you’d like me to cover on the blog.

Or tweet me @MilMileSecrets for a quicker response!

I’d be delighted to make your travel dreams a reality!

Daraius Dubash and Emily Jablon (formerly married) have earned and redeemed millions of airline miles and hotel points – most of which they acquired for free and without flying in airplanes or staying in hotels.

Daraius Dubash - Million Miles Secrets

At Restaurant Sant Pau Near Barcelona, Spain.  Daraius & Emily Used Miles to Travel for Free on Swiss Air to Europe

Million Mile Secrets shows time-starved folks how, they too, can acquire airline miles and hotel points, and travel very comfortably to see the world, for a fraction of what they would otherwise pay for such travels.

They believe everyone can use airline and hotel loyalty points to travel for free – whether it is a trip in First Class to Thailand or a family visit to grandma in Florida.

By reading Million Mile Secrets you will learn their secrets to fly for much less,  stay in wonderful hotels for much less, and rent cars for much less than retail price.

They have visited over 30 countries in 6 out of 7 continents, and have flown on International First Class (where tickets costs about $20,000 per ticket) to Europe, Asia, and the US, many times for virtually no money.  They use their expertise and specialized tools to help their blog readers and their families travel and experience the world like they never thought possible.

Emily in Lake Como, Italy

Emily Used her Miles to Visit Lake Como, Italy

 

As a former Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Daraius roamed the world, as an auditor for a Fortune 500 company, to ensure that rules, regulations, and policies were enforced.  He also prepared many tax returns as a volunteer with the AARP.

Daraius now uses his ability to interpret complicated airline rules and marketing promotions – honed from mastering complex accounting rules – to make the most of airline, hotel, and rental car promotions.

But Daraius believes using your miles and points to travel shouldn’t require a degree in Accounting!  That’s why they started Million Mile Secrets.  They present the information in a helpful way that anyone can understand.

Emily was a Project Manager for General Dynamics (a Fortune 100 Company) and completed her MBA in 2014. She has worked in the Operations divisions of 2 publicly traded companies.

Busy people don’t have time to study the constantly changing deals, strategies, and requirements.  That’s why Million Mile Secrets only has the best offers and most relevant news, including their easy-to-follow analysis that has earned the trust of over 16,000 loyal readers.

Daraius has worked in the Finance, Auditing & Global Marketing divisions of Fortune 500 companies.  He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a Master’s in Engineering Management from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

News outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, and Business Insider call upon Daraius and Emily for their expertise at Big Travel with Small Money.

You Dont Have To Pay To Upgrade To An Overwater Bungalow In Bora Bora

Miles and Points Can Get you an Overwater Villa at the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora

In his spare time, Daraius loves to plan his future travels and plot how to increase their stash of miles and points (currently over 3 million).  He loves listening to classical music, reading non-fiction (history and biography), eating good ethnic food, and taking long walks.

Emily loves to Latin dance, listen to music, spend time with friends, and help plan future trips.

Million Mile Secrets is part of the BankRate family!

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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7,871 responses to “Contact

  1. Bonnie Peterson

    If I cancel my American airline credit card do I lose those miles? I’m trying to simplify and reduce yearly fees

  2. Hi,

    Could you kindly recommend the best strategy using points/miles to get 3 economy roundtrip tickets from LAX to PPT (Tahiti)? Currently, I have 106,000 CSR points, 70,000 AMEX MR points, 15,000 AA miles, 9,000 JetBlue points, 5,000 starpoints and 1,000 AlaskaAir miles. Any advice regarding what other points I need to get would be most helpful. Thanks, Ken

  3. Hi Daraius

    I know periodically, there are transfer bonuses between airlines an hotels. Has there ever been a bonus for transferring Hawaii Miles to Hilton points? I know it’s not that great of an exchange rate. Thank you.

    —Marcus

  4. What’s the deal with United Airlines? They used to say that if there was an open seat and you paid full standard award points, you could have that seat. Now lots of “Not Available” boxes show up on their search results page. Even worse, they advertise a full standard first class award costing full standard award miles, then tell you “mixed cabin” meaning one or more legs are in economy; sometimes, 90% of the flight hours you paid first class standard miles for will be in coach! Are they insulting my intelligence or am I just stupid?

  5. Daraius I’m not sure if anyone else let you know about this but I just received a survey from Amex. Very detailed, took me about 20-30 minutes. They wanted to compare different benefits of the Biz Gold card. 4x points on each category, adding travel and dining, 3x points unlimited, 4x points for 2 categories up to 150K/year, getting points back anywhere from 10% to 40% of spend, bonus points back for spend at Amazon, annual cost ranging from 175-205, etc… I had to compare version after version. And then choose whether I would renew it if I received the one I liked the best, or use a different card such as the new Chase Ink. Something’s going on 🙂

  6. I don’t know what to do with my United Explorer Plus card. I have about 36k points on it but it’s not enough to get anywhere, and buying miles is unbelievably expensive. I have the Chase Reserve, freedom, and freedom unlimited cards as well. What do you suggest I do with the Explorer plus card?

  7. Dear friends at MMS,

    I have been using miles and points very effectively for several years now. But the other day, I screwed up. While carefully making sure that I was not running afoul of Chase’s 5/24 rule, I applied and was approved for two credit cards. But then I realized I had received a bonus for each of those specific cards less than two years ago (Chase Southwest Plus and Citi Thank You Preferred), and so I will not be receiving a bonus for either card this round. Both cards just arrived in the mail, but they are not activated. The annual fee for the Chase card has already posted. I figure I just have to live with my mistake, but I thought to ask: do you guys have any tips for walking back a new, never-used account and making it “not count” somehow?

  8. Greetings, I just received my amex metal platinum card. The card looks to be more Gold than platinum. Is it just me? What is your impression?

  9. Hey Emily and Daraius, just want to say I love your site!!!

    I’m a recent “churner” and got a lot of awesome tips from your site to earn a ton of points, miles, and free hotel stays. I have a lot of Chase UR points (250k+) and was wondering if I can get your opinion to use them to their best potential.

    I’m planning a trip in May to BWI from LAX and want to fly the best class possible utilizing my points. So I was wondering, should I purchase the flight directly from the Ultimate Rewards portal, transfer the miles directly to the airline, or transfer to a mileage program I am already a member of (Singapore Airlines) and utilize their network or transfer to Star Alliance for use on one of their domestic airlines? There doesn’t seem to be any advantages upfront, but I was wondering if there are things that would help me later on.

    Thanks!!!

    • Thanks for the love! As for using the points you’ve earned, it really comes down to comparing the number of miles or points you’ll need for each of those options, and whether you can find award seats for the dates you need.

      The convenient thing about using the Chase Travel Portal is that there are no blackout dates. That said, you may end up spending more points for a ticket than you would if you transferred them to an airline for an award seat.

      So I’d suggest looking for award seats for your travel days, and going from there. If you can’t find anything to fit your travel schedule, you may be better off redeeming them through Chase’s travel portal.

      Good luck! And be sure to tell us all about your trip when you’re back!

  10. Hey guys!

    I used Plastiq to pay rent. It’s flagging as “lodging/hotel” on my Sapphire Reserve account. That’s the same code that gives 3% for travel…I’m pretty positive. There are posts of others on Reddit too. Thought you’d find this helpful if you’ve gotten other people reporting the same 🙂

    Aaron

  11. Hi Daraius and Emily!
    Why is Citi replacing AA Platinum Select Visa with MC? I don’t recall seeing any warning about it but just saw on FlyerTalk that it resets the clock! Would appreciate a posting on this subject. Thank you!

  12. Richard Paverd

    Hi Dariaus,
    Of interest to your readers (and maybe significant confusion to less experienced award travelers) the American Airlines website is in error. When you open the FULL calendar, the dates are shown incorrectly under the day headings – so for example April 28th is shown under the heading for THURSDAY – but if you click on it, it correctly shows as Friday. The return full calendar is correct however.

    I have reported it to AA website issues contact.

  13. Hi Daraius, I would like to apply a really good hotel credit card for my wife. Probably, either the Starwood Amex or Marriott Premium. She has an excellent credit score (760+) but low income. She works in a retail store part time with minimum 12 hours/week and $12.7/hour. So my questions are
    a) What are her odds of getting approved for either Starwood Amex or Marriott Premium?
    b) If the odds are low, Can I become a co-signer for the credit card (my income is $120K+)
    c) If the odds are low, What is the best Amex credit card she could start with (without me co-signing)?
    Regards,
    Anirban

    • It’s really hard to say what the odds are.

      She could always apply. And then if she’s not approved, you could offer to become an authorized user if they’ll consider your income as household income. I’d give it a try and see what happens!

  14. Theresa & Joe Inserra

    Hi Daraius,

    We have a question about the language on the current offer for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. The offer includes this qualification, “*For card offers that feature a cash or miles rewards bonus, the bonus may not be available for existing or previous accountholders.” We have had the Capital One Venture One Credit Card recently. Does this make us “previous accountholders”? What does “may not be available” mean? Is there any way to determine if we qualify for the bonus before applying?

    Thank you for any insights.

    • I’ve heard you can earn the sign-up bonus again with Capital One cards. Keep in mind, however, they pull an inquiry from all 33 credit bureaus each time you apply. And the bank can deny your application for any reason. So it’s important to keep that in mind. That said, you should be able to earn the bonus again.

  15. Most people seem to say that being an authorized user will show up on your credit report. My question is that in my experience the only information needed to add an AU is their name and address. How is that enough information to add an account to ones credit report? Thank you.

  16. EMILY GLAD YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SHARE WITH YOUR MOM. I ALSO STAYED AT THE PARK HYATT VENDOME, ON THE NEXT TRIP
    I THINK THE DU LOUVRE WOULD BE A BETTER USE OF POINTS. PLEASE TELL ME HOW YOU AND YOUR MOM GOT A EXECUTIVE SUITE WHEN YOU USED YOUR POINTS

  17. I have a few questions. I want to apply for 1 or two cards with rewards points, which ones would you suggest? Also I am a widow and am having difficulties getting anyone to coordinate travel dates with me. I’d feel safer on a cruise, but they charge almost the same thing for single occupancy as they do for double. I am 62 and have never traveled abroad and want to do so desperately. I sure don’t have to travel first class, though that would be nice to experience. I just want to get there to see the sites. Any suggestions on traveling alone? Getting to Europe and also NY and Washington DC to see the sights are on my “bucket list”. Unfortunately I did not get left a “rich widow”. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m healthy……but I just feel like I have to do this before it’s too late.

  18. Trying to fly from Chicago in early June to Lhasa..(orChengdou and then onward)Have AAdvantage program miles. Trying to find a partner airline to use miles on or transfer my miles to.I cant seem to figure out how to get there with my miles. (i.e. Cathay info on mileage options?)I’ld also go thru India if that was best option any tips/direction ThankJos

  19. martin gingell

    I have over 300,000 AA miles mostly due to your excellent web site.
    I just went to book a flight to London LHR only to find that I could use 60,000 miles for the return trip only with a 9 hour layover in Miami. But the real kicker was the $734 to pay along with the miles in airline fees and taxes.. To purchase the same flight was $1040 including all fees So what is the point in collecting AA miles ?

  20. Hello ,
    I am an avid reader of your blog . I have some upcoming various travels coming up and need to have a strategy for the Credit card points and miles I have accumulated to use them wisely for that travel . Also which credit cards to sign up Etc. .. So need consulting advise for Vacation booking etc . How much do you guys charge for that ? Thanks

  21. Hello ,
    Planning a trip to Cabo in June for 5 nights from Denver. I have the following point available UR = 150K ; Citi Prestige =50 K ; Barclay = 60 K ; United = 60 K ; Marriot = 120K ; SPG = 35K
    Whats the best way to approach this. Also , its a couple getaway so trying to avoid All inclusive hotels . Would appreciate on how to structure the Flight and hotel and any travel hacks , Thanks ,

  22. I want to transfer my credit balance to chase slate since they offer 0% apr and 0% bt fee.
    I am over 5/24. Does chase denies my application or should i try my luck?

  23. do you have the schedule for the seminars offered in 2017? I loved the one they had in dallas a couple of years ago.

  24. Daraius & Emily of Million Mile Secrets:

    as a loyal subscriber of your mailing list, I enjoy reading your blogs of new ways to earn miles. I have a question regarding ‘Chase IHG Rewards’ card since it is been recommended in your blog often. Does this card offer a Visa variant? So far, I only saw a mastercard variant in a flyer all other reference only considered it as a “credit card” ( which means non American Express, non Discoverer, non JCB ) but there is no confirmation of a Visa variant exist or not! If there is a Visa variant, I plan to apply and use it at Costco.
    thanks
    Ed

  25. Hi! I am wondering what you might do in this situation:
    For years, I used the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Freedom, and the Chase Ink Bold to maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards. Then when the Chase Sapphire Reserve came out, I couldn’t resist, so I got that one too!
    Since January, I’ve been using the Chase Sapphire Reserve almost exclusively, except for the category bonuses on the other cards.
    I’m trying to determine what I should do for the my Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s an expensive card to have sitting around if it’s not doing anything, but I’ve also had it for about 6 years and don’t want to lose out on that credit history.
    What might you do? Would you keep it, and cancel the Sapphire Reserve before the annual fee is due, or would you downgrade it to the Chase Freedom Unlimited and keep going with the Sapphire Reserve?
    I am happy with either option, and would love to hear other options too.
    Also, in a few years, could I apply for the Sapphire Preferred again and get the 50k sign up bonus?
    I appreciate the recommendation!

  26. american just moved our flight maui to san diego to red-eye – i asked for them to move us to alaska, but they said nothing available. Any suggestions?

  27. Hi, Need some advice on figuring out mix-cabin(class)
    awards. I am looking at obtaing award flights to Italy
    and as a minimum would like to fly business class on the
    international flight segment. From what I find in my
    research, it would include connecting flight on both
    sides of the atlantic along with the international flight.

    For reference trying to locate award flights from Jax(Jacksonville Fla)
    to Naples Italy (NAP). I have airline branded credit
    cards for Delta, United and AA which allows me to secure
    flights in economy using points. I am unable to find business class
    awards when I use JAX as my originating airport and Naples(NAP) as my
    destination. If I search segment my segment I was able to find some
    business class awards just for the international flight segment. My question
    regarding mix-class awards: If I am able to find availability for business class awards for the international leg of the flight and I able to use points for
    economy seats for the connecting flights, Should I be able to I call the airline and secure a mixed-class award ( i.e. two economy class flights and one
    business class flight) paying the business class amount of points?

    Thanks
    Jeff

    • It depends on the airline, but that is a possibility. I’d recommend calling the airline to explain the itinerary you found and see if you can book it for the price of a Business Class award flight to the region. Let me know how it goes!

  28. Is applyonlinenow.com safe? I followed a link from your site and applied for that Asiana Airlines BofA card, but the application seemed very suspicious. For instance, it referred to it as the “Bank of America Asiana Airlines American Express card.” It’s a Visa, and why would one back refer to another bank?

    Unfortunately, I only noticed the inconsistency after I’d filled out the application. The page that followed said that I’d been approved, but it then transferred me to the Asiana website instead of BofA. I never received an email verification, and BofA isn’t showing any indication of application or approval yet. Did I fall for a phishing scam from your site?

    • I just checked with the BofA fraud department, and they confirmed that they have no relationship with them or any other third party for applications.

      I called the 1-800 customer service number listed on the applyonlinenow.com website. It plainly states that it will not connect to a live operator unless your personal information is entered, and it disconnects promptly. Since they already had my SS, I decided to enter it, to see what would happen. It then asks for mailing address. I’m guessing that it culls all of your personal information, then disconnects you anyway.

      Darius, what’s going on? I like giving you guys business by clicking on applications from you site, but this has all the stink of a scam.

  29. My Chase Ink Business and Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fees are coming up soon at separate times later this year. Does it make sense to cancel the both of them at the same time or right before each annual fee is due? I don’t have a need for them anymore as I’ve used the points already however I’ve had them for 2-3 years…

    Does the Chase 5/24 rule only apply to credit inquires or also other loans as well (I only have 4 credit inquiries in last 24 months – 1 a loan, 3 credit)? Since it has been well over 24 months since I got a Chase Sapphire bonus, is that something I should go for again? Is it better to apply for a new card before I cancel another?

    Lastly, are there any reliable free tools to check credit inquiries? I’ve been using freecreditreports.com.

    Thank you!

    • Instead of cancelling, I’d recommend downgrading the Chase Ink Plus to the no annual fee Chase Ink Cash and the Chase Sapphire Preferred to the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited. This way you can continue to earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

      And your credit score won’t be impacted because the average age of your accounts will stay the same. But keep in mind, downgrading both cards means you won’t have the ability to transfer points directly to airline and hotel partners. That said, if you downgrade, you’re still eligible to reapply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and earn a new sign-up bonus if it’s been more than 24 months since you earned the sign-up bonus on the card.

      The Chase 5/24 rules only applies to new credit card accounts, not credit inquires or loans.

      I recommend Credit Karma for a free way to check your credit score and Chase “5/24” status:

      http://millionmilesecrets.com/2016/10/05/check-chase-524-status/

      Hope that helps!

  30. I tried getting the Companion Pass this year. I was approved for my Southwest card w/ 50k bonus miles. Then, I applied for my next Southwest card Business version this time. I got rejected for having too many applications recently. I miscalculated, and am just over the 5/24 threshold to get another Southwest card. I am stuck at about 50% towards the Companion Pass-I definitely do not spend $55,000 a year to complete the rest!

    You write that these are the options I have:
    Paid flights on Southwest
    Points earned through Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards
    Base points (not BONUS points) earned via transactions with Southwest Rapid Rewards partners, which may include the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal, car rentals, paying your electric bill, Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining, and other programs

    Tell me if I am wrong, but I don’t think I fly enough (about once month or so) or spend enough through a shopping portal (online purchases of about $400 a month) to be able to earn enough points for the Companion Pass.

    Is there some way for me to achieve the mythical pass- did I miscalculate, or am I out of luck for two years?

  31. hi, I’ve been following your blog for quite a while. Thanks for all the great info. Would like to check with what we could do with our recent experience on a flight. Air Canada denied us boarding due to us missing eTA approval. We are U.S. Permenant residents and didn’t know we needed this. We applied right away since we got to the FCO airport 3 hour early and have plenty of time. But as it turned out we didn’t get instant approval. AirCanada denied us boarding. We needed Shengen visa to stay in Europe and it expired on the day of our departure. So we had to buy new tickets leaving the same day. As it turned out, all flights leaving that day cost at least $1500 per person. We eventually used our United miles to book 3 business class tickets (no coach available) back to the U.S. Air Canada crew in Rome refused to do anything. What could we do in this case? It is a very disheartening ending to a perfect holiday in Italy. And we lost our original airfare and a lot of points and cash portion on the new tickets. Thanks for reading and maybe helping figure out a way to deal with the airlines.‬

    • I’m very sorry to hear about your experience. It is my understanding US citizens are exempt from the Electronic Travel Authorization rules. I would recommend following up with Air Canada to explain the situation and see if it’s possible to receive a refund for your original airfare or at least a credit toward future travel. I hope this helps!

      http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp

      Please keep me posted on what happens!

  32. Do you have a review on the Capital One Venture Card? Advantages and disadvantages and how it compares to Chase mileage cards?

    Also wondering if you have any thoughts on using Blue Bird to pay for Mortgage expenses (indirectly accruing miles by loading Blue Bird account with gift cards)

    TIA!
    Leslie

  33. Maricel Tabalba

    Hi,

    I work with the Credit.com content team, and we’re planning some upcoming coverage of how the new credit scoring model that Vantage is expected to roll out this fall will affect student loan borrowers.

    I wanted to reach out and see if you’d be interested in having one of our finance experts write a related article for you to publish.

    We’ve seen a lot of great engagement with our past coverage of student loans and related finance topics, and I’d love to discuss what you think is most important to your audience.

    The new scoring model is expected to use different data than the current model, which could mean students considering refinancing should wait for credit score changes to take effect.

    Can I pitch you an article idea?

    Thanks,
    Maricel

    Maricel Tabalba
    Writer & Content Producer | Credit.com
    “Better credit starts here”