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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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7,661 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi Darius,
    I received the offer about a 50 credit with an additional user for citi prestige (who spends 3k) and having the 50 fee waived. However, after I signed up for the offer, I was told that there is no waiver of the fee. Do you (or any of your followers) have a screen shot of the offer as it is infuriating that they are not honoring it. With that said, Citi was kind enough to credit half of it but I know what I read….but dont have evidence of the offer

    Thanks

    • I understand your frustration. The Citi representatives I spoke with said the $50 statement credit was in addition to no authorized user fee. I’d recommend calling back or contacting Citi via a secured message.

  2. Daraius, Hello! I hail from Kyle, just down the road. I’ve been following your blog for just under a month now and it’s been a great benefit to my education. Today, Plastiq confirmed the payoff of a 14K/10% signature loan at my credit union that I borrowed on my brother’s behalf in November 2016 (payoff of 2 furniture loans he and his wife had at 19% interest). I’ve been working with them to buy their house last year and to improve their credit.
    When I saw the documentation on the signature loan and noted the $3100+ in finance charges, I realized I had to figure out a way to “buy” the loan and collect the 10% interest myself. I’ll have the money next year, but I needed an immediate solution in order to capitalize on the upfront interest portion of the loan. That’s where your blog comes in! 🙂

    I was looking hard into the Plastiq angle, but couldn’t relax about the 2.5% fees. Then I saw the special Am Ex offer at 2% and then serendipitously, I saw your post about the Am Ex Biz Plat and my mind was awhirl! I applied for the Am Ex Biz Plat and the Chase Slate on the same day and was approved for both and worked with Chase to ensure I had the credit limit necessary to cover the balance transfer on the Slate. With both cards approved my plan was complete. I would use Plastiq to “buy” the signature loan and simultaneously accomplish my spend (for the most part) on the Am Ex Biz Plat. Next month, when the payment is due, I will do the balance transfer at no cost to the Chase Slate with a 0% carry for 15 months. So for $287 (2% of $13900 (I allowed the Credit Union to collect on the first (interest) payment out of goodwill and also to have leverage if they give me grief, the next time I apply for a loan, after paying this one off after the 1st payment). So for $287 I will receive 100K Membership Rewards plus 50% points back on flights and all the associated perks, plus over $3000 in interest payments, an 8% return! Talk about killing 2 birds with one stone! Thank you for providing the “missing links” to the solution of my dilemma!! In writing this I just realized and then called Chase to get my Slate CL increased to account for the effect on my credit utilization ratio! I hadn’t considered that previously. Thanks yet again!

  3. Dear Daraius,
    Your site has been a true gamechanger for me. Thanks to you and your team, my wife and I will be travelling around the world for 6 months starting in January. Was able to get the united round trip ticket to SE Asia prior to the October 2016 changes for only 80K Mileage Plus points per person. My question is whether it is possible to add an excursionist perk to this round trip award without any additional fees and how would I be able to request that? For your info: we are leaving from US, arriving to NZ, and have used an open jaw from Kuala Lumpur to travel back to US with a 3 month layover in Europe.
    Regards,
    Andy

  4. Hi Darius, I’ve got a tough one for you. Like many of us who practice this “Hobby” (more of a part-time job given the amount of time I spend on it!) I spread the gospel of miles to friends and family in hopes of finding another soul who enjoys the challenge as much as I. Two years ago I got my brother in-law to get the Chase preferred card. He was really excited about it, easily made the spending req and earned the 50k bonus miles. The problem, I later learned from my sister, is that he is kind of a scatterbrain and did not take my advice to set up automatic bill pay on the account. So you can probably guess what happened. It came time for renewal and he missed the deadline. The card was canceled.
    So my question is, is there any way he can get those 60+ k UR points he earned back? He tried calling Chase, but to no avail. What if he opened another UR account like Ink Plus, or just opened another Preferred account without bonus? It would be a shame to have earned all those points in vain. What do you think?
    Thanks as always for your help.

  5. Hi Darius!
    My husband applied for the Southwest Premier Business Visa card – 1 for each of 2 businesses. They gave us both cards but indicated AFTER WE SPENT THE $2000 we can’t get the 50,000 for the 2nd card. Has anyone been successful in getting at least a portion of that bonus? Do you have recommendations on next steps?

    • Hi Kristi! Many folks report you’re eligible to earn more than 1 Chase sign-up bonus on the same card if you apply with different EINs. For your situation, I’d recommend contacting Chase, either online, by phone, or in-branch to see if someone can help you get the sign-up bonus for the 2nd card. Hope this helps!

  6. I have lots of AA award miles and would like to book a business class ticket using my AA miles to Bangkok and return from Kuala Lumpur. What and how is the best way to book my ticket using AA award miles? Please advise.

  7. Hi Darius,

    I do not do MS. I use tio, previously chargesmart to pay my mortgage. Recently when I am paying they asked for driver license number. It says DL is mandatory for all payments above $1000 in AZ. Any idea why is this becoming mandatory even If I am not paying by cash?

    Thanks
    Keer.

    • I haven’t heard of this before. It could be a rule in your state. Or maybe they are verifying your information to prevent a fraudulent charge.

      I’d recommend asking them directly if this is a recent change, and why they are asking for that information.

  8. Could you please update the list of airlines that do NOT impose carrier fees on award tickets? (It’s my understanding that because of the lawsuit against BA for the egregious fuel surcharges at the time when the price of fuel has significantly dropped, those airlines that do impose those fees, now call then “carrier fees”)
    Thanks.

  9. Hi Darius,
    I was wondering if any of your staff or readers have tried to reapply for Chase SW Plus/Premier/Business cards and was told the card must be CLOSED for 24 months before they could reapply and take advantage of a new card signup bonus?

    My SW Companion Pass expired at the end of December, and it would be 24 months at the end of Feb. 2017 since I received the 50k bonus on my Plus and Business cards, so I was planning on closing then signing up for new cards at the end of the month if the bonus was still in place. I called the SW Plus customer service line to triple check when I earned my last SW points bonus, and the rep I spoke with mentioned that if I was thinking about signing up for a new SW card, it must be 24 months from when the bonus was first earned AND the card must be closed for 24 months?!

    Has anyone else experienced this? Would really love advice on this before I apply and have a hard pull on my credit score if I’m not going to be able to earn the 100k bonus anyways. Many thanks in advance!

  10. Hi Darius
    What can i do with about 95000 miles at Virgin Atlantic.
    Can it be transferred to Alaska Airlines or Virgin Airlines?
    Thanks for the response

  11. I’ve been into collecting miles/points for about 18 months, spanning most of last year. When should I plan to cancel some cards, like my Hilton Honors no-fee cards, in order to reapply for the bonus later in the year when two years have passed since I got the cards?

  12. Seeing as you are one my favorite Points bloggers I thought I would throw this your way. It must get difficult to come up with new blog ideas. I just stumbled upon a topic that 5 minutes of googling could not resolve which prompted me to consider someone might view it as a good blog idea.

    I have had the AMEX Gold card for several years. Last week I added the Blue For Business due to the bonus sign up opportunity that exceeds 100,000 points. What I didn’t realize that it earns Membership Rewards only due to the fact that I have the Gold card (any Membership Rewards earning card will work). HOWEVER for those who don’t have a Membership Rewards earning card, the Blue earns Membership Rewards EXPRESS points.

    A blog post pointing this out would be very useful to some I feel. Also, if you can demystify the difference in the Membership Rewards and the Membership Rewards Express programs I certainly would be interested. I am glad I read the letter AMEX sent me pointing this out. The letter failed to explain the difference in the programs and therein lies your opportunity.

  13. Darius,
    Been a follower for a long time and I’d like to connect for an interview. You can reach me via email or Twitter (@is_lou)

    Thank you

  14. I thought I would share my recent dilemma and lessons learned: I am a Citi Prestige holder and back in July I booked a four night stay at the Punta Cana Now Larimar resort in the Dominican Republic to take advantage of Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free benefit. To book my stay I followed the normal Prestige procedure, called up the Concierge line and booked through their travel agency, Aspire Lifestyles. Since the trip is coming up very soon I pulled up my reservation confirmation code, entered it into Now Larimar’s resort website and received an error that my reservation had been cancelled. Since booking the reservation back in July I had checked the reservation multiple times on their site and it showed up fine. Now it showed cancelled!? Uh-oh! I called up Now Larimar and they confirmed the reservation had been cancelled. They informed me that between 2/1 and 2/3 they had attempted to charge my Prestige card multiple times and sent emails to my “travel agent” (Aspire Lifestyles) informing me the charge was not processing and if not corrected the reservation would be cancelled. None of these emails were ever delivered or forwarded to me directly. On the call I began to have an inkling of what had happened. Since the original booking had been made I went through an experience of having very low amounts of fraudulent spending on my Citi Prestige. When I noticed, I reported the fraud to Citi and they delivered a new card to me with a new number and refunded the fraudulent amounts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that there is a process set in place between Citi and Aspire Lifestyles to update the credit card information on existing reservations should a credit card number change occur. While on the phone with the resort my main concern was now regarding availability of rooms for the upcoming trip we had booked. Fortunately, a room that fit our needs was available and was placed on hold under my name. I then called up Citi Prestige Concierge and went through the process of booking the held room through them to ensure I still get the 4th Night Free benefit. I now have a confirmation number in hand and disaster has been avoided, but this could have turned out really bad! What if I had just assumed my reservation was intact when we boarded our flights, showed up to the resort and were left with no room! What if the resort had no availability? I’m more than willing to take some ownership of the mistake. I should have considered verifying held reservations on my Prestige when it was replaced, but it never crossed my mind. The main concern I have is that the resort emailed Aspire Lifestyles multiple times and never received a response from them. I wish I had been looped in during that time and would have corrected everything before the original reservation was cancelled. One funny thing, I know that my original reservation was cancelled outside of the no-fee cancellation window, so I’m sure there’s a $50 cancellation fee hitting my old card number somewhere out there!

    • Thanks for sharing! It’s definitely a good idea to check on your reservations from time to time. This story could certainly help other folks avoid the same issue in the future. But glad everything worked out!

  15. I am looking for sign up bonuses that include global entry without spending 450 annual fee and also has a signup bonus. Thanks

  16. Is there any benefit to having a Southwest credit card and a Chase Sapphire Reserve? Our travel plans do not include any Southwest travel for the next 18 months and the point rewards are greater on the CSR which then can then be moved to a Southwest account for future travel.

  17. Hi Daraius,

    I have been a fan of your site for quite some time and have used your affiliate links for many credit card sign ups. I have amassed about 500,000 chase points and I would like to spend them this fall for my honeymoon. We are flying from Boston to Maui or Kauai and would like to fly first class. I am having some trouble figuring out the best way to do that. Could you suggest which airline program would be best for us to transfer chase points to and how to book?

  18. Hello,

    I have a very old Discover card collecting cash back (have $500 currently). Today I received an offer to convert it to a Discover Miles card. Is that worth it? Should I withdraw the cash or let it convert to miles. Thank you,

  19. Hi,

    I want to pay for a holiday trip but they do not take cc. I want to earn the points by paying through my cc, but also want the travel protection offered by my cc. If I pay through PayPal, there is a fee (my responsibility) – would I preserve travel protection? Would I earn the same amount of points? What is the best way to handle this?

    Thanks so much!

    • You usually have to book directly with a tour company using a credit card to get travel protection benefits. I’m not sure PayPal would work. I’d recommend contacting your credit card benefits provider to see what they say. Hope it works out!

  20. Dear MMS,
    My wife and I started a Bilingual Travel Blog that shares information in both English and Japanese. We noticed your blog post about building your credit score when you are new to the USA (http://millionmilesecrets.com/2016/02/10/best-credit-cards-to-build-your-credit-history-and-score/) and wanted to ask permission to reference your blog, and quote parts of your past article in Japanese. We will add the mentioned link to our blog for any readers to reference the source. Please let us know if this is possible.
    Thanks,
    Nick

  21. Hi Daraius,

    I signed up for the SPG card last year and the one year anniversary is approaching (March 2017, first year annual fee waived) and have accumulated a pretty good chunk of points which I won’t be able to use before then. Is there a way to keep the points without having to renew thus avoiding the annual fee? Thanks!

  22. Hi, I’m new to the whole points and rewards thing and a recent reader of your blog.
    We got both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred cards this past holidays. I carry the Reserve while my husband carries the Preferred card. I was planning to downgrade the Preferred card to Freedom to avoid the annual fee, however, my husband had recently bought 2 expensive Samsung tablets with the Preferred card. Would we lose the extended warranty benefits on these tablets if we downgrade this card, or would it still apply later down the road when we need to make a claim? I’m just wondering whether we would need to carry this card until the warranties expire, in case we need to make a claim, and whether it’s worth paying the extra annual fees.
    Thanks for all the great info on here!

    • To use card benefits like purchase protection or warranty extension, your account has to be open and in good standing. So downgrading will mean losing the coverage. I’d recommend contacting the benefits provider to see what they say. Hope this helps!

  23. If you have both cards, you can consider downgrading the Sapphire Preferred to the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited like I recently did. This card earns 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases with no cap!

    I recently saw this comment of yours above. If I downgrade my Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited can I still transfer my points earned on the Freedom Unlimited to the points account for the Sapphire Reserve? Thanks for your help.

  24. We recently flew from the west coast to Kauai on Alaska Airlines. I chose to put the flown miles on my Alaska account but put my husband’s miles on his Delta account as he was close to an award ticket amount. I was awarded 2466 miles and he was awarded 1850 miles, each way. Did I get a bonus because I have an Alaskan credit card? Or did he get less because the miles were put on a partner airline? Or is there another explanation to the difference in awards? Thanks.

  25. FYI…your Hot Deals page shows 50k for AAdvantage from Citi, but I got a mail offer for 60k. That’s 50k for $3k spend in 3 months, and another 10k miles if you spend a total of $5k in first year.

    • Thanks for sharing! That sounds like it’s a targeted offer.

      We only post public offers that everyone can apply for on the Hot Deals page. But we’ll be sure to let folks know they may receive something similar in the mail.

  26. Hi MMS,

    I’ve been using your tips to get awesome trips in business/first class for years. Thank you for that. This may not be the best place for it, but during one of those trips I came up with an idea for a travel site that shows local events going on at the time you’re traveling.

    I thought my site might be a unique showcase for your Friday interviews. I know the interviews are mostly with bloggers, but would this be something you’d consider? My site is: http://www.trekommend.com if you want to see it first. Thanks!

  27. Hi Darius,

    Do you know if Chase has plans to return to offering credit cards with 5X points for rewards categories: office supply stores; internet, cable, and phone services?

    Thank you.

    • You can still get the Chase Ink Cash card, which earns 5X per $1 spent in those categories. And then combine the points you earn with another card, like the Sapphire Preferred.

      But I don’t have any information about future cards.

  28. Hi Daraius,

    It’s been a while since I have communicated with you as I was out of the country for a few years. Now that I am back I have found there have been a lot of changes to the manufactured spend adventure. I tried to find an answer to my question on the Flyer Talk forum but couldn’t seem to get a definitive answer so I thought of you as you were always so generous in sharing your expertise. Hopefully this is an easy one.

    1) Are there any Visa/MC/AMEX gift cards that can be loaded at WalMart to Bluebird or GoBank anymore? I still have those two active cards.

    I want to apply in branch for the Sapphire Reserve card before that offers expires in March and it requires a $4000 minimum spend.

    I see some people can use certain gift cards at the Post Office and thought you might suggest which issuing banks seem to work for that.

    Your valuable suggestions are much appreciate.

    • Hi Jack and welcome back! I’ve read AMEX has been shutting down most folks accounts if they reload their Bluebird accounts with gift cards. So I’d be cautious.

      And I don’t have personal experience with using gift cards at the post office. But some banks don’t like when you just purchase gift cards to meet minimum spending. So you don’t want to risk not getting a huge sign-up bonus.

  29. Do purchases made through the Chase UR Portal show up as “travel”? I want to buy 4 ow tickets and I have enough UR for 2+. But I also have Barclays Arrival miles for 2+. I want to book all four tix on one record through the UR Portal, use all my UR points, and put the balance on my Barclays so they can be erased later. But I am afraid that either 1) the charge will not show as travel OR 2) the charge may be split up somehow to show less than the $100 minimum required to redeem my Barclays miles. The tix are about $240 each by the way.
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Yes, those purchases should code as travel.

      If they don’t, you can always call Barclaycard and ask for a manual adjustment because they are legitimate travel expenses. Either way, I don’t think you have anything to worry about there.

      I’m not sure how or if the tickets will be split. But if they’re $240 each, you should be clear there, too. Let me know how it goes!

  30. Hi Darius,

    I have 2 AA cards in last 30days from citi. Today my wife received a mailer for 60K aa miles offer. I would like to apply on that offer. Do you think that will be approved or should I wait until 90 days?

    Thanks
    Pavan

  31. Hi Daraius,
    I’m about to loan $23k to a family member. Is there a good way to do this using a CC (AMEX) and get some points from it, understanding that there would be fees associated to it? I initially thought PayPal, but it seems risky.

  32. Hey, quick question, we’re in Hawaii and rented a car paying woth point son the chase reserve portal, we declined the coverage from budget and now somebody broke the rear window, we already changed the car but are we covereded for this with the card even though we paid with points? Thank you for any help with this

  33. Emily, just saw the Women’s March photos posted on Instagram. LOVE them!

  34. Hi Darius,
    I recently received the Amex Platinum and join National Executive Emerald Club. I thought I read somewhere in the benefits that Amex Executive Emerald Club members received 3-hour window buffer on the rental returns. Do you know anything about this buffer on a rental return? I had last minute meeting in Atlanta and rented the car from Memphis International return and drove back on a 1-day turnaround and got back late and overslept. I was told I only had a 29 minute buffer. Can you give any insight if this exist. Thanks

  35. Hey. Great blog! (Urgh – I sound like a comment spammer!!)

    I have a question which I’ve been curious about for a while but not managed to find an answer to anywhere online. Maybe you could write a post about it, if you think it would interest other readers?

    My question is this: who pays for the miles you earn on a partner airline when you credit to a different program? For example, last year I achieved Silver in BA’s Executive Club. The tier points and redeemable miles were earned almost exclusively from flights on their OneWorld partner Qatar. So who paid for these miles? Did Qatar buy them from BA, or did BA ‘pay’ for them?.

  36. Hello MMS,
    I have an upcoming trip to Singapore from JFK with a 10 hour layover in Germany. Any suggestions on what I can do during this time.? We’re a family of 4 and would like to keep cost down if possible. Any recommendations appreciated!
    Thanks in advance!

  37. Hi Darius! In a recent interview on your site, I learned of earning miles simply from having a bank account (Bank Direct). I looked up your old posts on it but wonder if you might offer a current analysis? Are there other airline choices now for opening and maintaining other bank accounts? Is it worth it tax wise to use say $50,000 for this purpose. Your interviewee used $200,000. Thanks!

  38. Hi Darius – I am tempted to open a Chase Sapphire Preferred but am in no hurry. Is 50,000 bonus miles the best they offer on this card or should I wait? Thanks!