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 is a Million Mile Secrets advertising partner. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.


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 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

Daraius and Emily write the Million Mile Secrets blog to show 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.

Daraius and Emily 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.  Daraius and Emily present the information in a helpful way that anyone can understand.

Million Mile Secrets - Emily & Daraius at Carnival

Million Mile Secrets – Emily & Daraius at Carnival

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 Daraius and Emily only write about 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.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

5,340 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi Darious:
    Ritz-Carlton credit card (JP Morgan) no longer counts purchases on Amex Serve for bonus points. In 10/14 and 11/14, I used Amex Serve to charge Ritz-Carlton credit card to earn the 70K bonus points. Ritz-Carlton customer service said Amex Serve charges only counts as other purchases, and not for the bonus points. I thus only got 2,000 rewards points.
    I love your blogs.

  2. Hi Daraius,
    I plan to travel to Madagascar next year from Johannesburg. I see South African airways goes from there. I have lot of United miles but somehow it doesn’t offer award tickets on that route. Whats the best way to use miles on that route to get award ticket on South African airways?


  3. Hi. I have a southwest companion pass (thanks to your website) valid till Dec 2015. I am planning to apply for an American Express credit card this month. I am not interested in a cash rewards card (have a chase freedom, discover and Bank of America cashback cards). Would you suggest an airline/ hotel/ travel friendly card, which could possibly boost my southwest miles preferably?

  4. @MilMileSecrets I have SW Companion Pass (thanks to you), and am planning to apply for an American Express card without annual fee. I am not interested in cash back cards (have chase freedom and discover and bank of america cash rewards cards). Please suggest a good choice compatible with Southwest / travel

  5. Darius,

    Thanks to you, I have acquired about 350,000 United Miles, all without flying a single segment on United! To redeem my first international flight on United, I used the MileagePlus booking engine on Very easy to do.

    My question now is because I am just a novice at this: Do I have to use the booking engine to book flights on non-United Star Alliance airlines? Or can I go directly to a particular Star Alliance airline and book on their website using my MileagePlus Miles? If so, how do I do that?

    Thanks for helping me accumulate the miles, and thanks in advance for helping me use them for free travel!

  6. Really appreciate all the hard work.
    I was curious if you knew how the United cards were handling the change in earning the United miles next year for purchases of United flights?

  7. Hi Darious,

    I am looking for a new credit card that is Visa or Mastercard, I already have AMEX, Delta Platinium but many place do not take AMEX. Is it better to get a card in 2014 or would the deals be better in 2015?

    I love the analysis you an Emily have done, saves me a great deal of time.



  8. Hello Daraius, I’m Kach, found your website from one of your readers who’s our friend. can’t stop reading.. Anyway, we would love to participate on your interview! We’re a couple from the UK and the Philippines and been travelling for almost 19 months now- trying to fulfill a sustainable travelling lifestyle. To know more about me, I was featured in Philippines biggest social media platform-

    Would be happy to be featured on your awesome website!

    Thank you so much!

  9. Hello Dario and Emily, just want to thank you for all the tips and information you provide in your blog. We took 3 months vacation traveling around the world with our kids. This year was our 20th anniversary and we planned a long trip visiting 56 cities in 26 countries (including Bora Bora, thanks a lot for all the info in your blog). I started the blog Locos por las millas (crazy for the miles), to share our experiences. We are independent travelers and we been collecting miles and points for so long, and we always flight for free. My blog is in Spanish because is our mother language and I want to support people living in USA with Limited English Proficiency. By the way, we live in Texas and we are crazy for the miles.

    Thank you Dario and Emily for help us to travel all around the world almost for free!

  10. I put a white sticker on each new credit card & write on it what the sign up bonus is how much spending to earn that bonus with the date spending has to be completed. Then I jot on it all charges until I am at my goal. Being 70 means I forget more easily than in the past so this keeps info at my fingertips!!

  11. PLEASE PLEASE remove my name, I misread, thought that name AND email address would not be published…I posted a comment for the free Retina iPad and put my full name, PLEASE remove my name and replace with ‘cab’
    Thank you!

  12. Hello,
    I am planning a trip to Kenya in 1 year for 4 (2 kids, 2 adults). How do i save on the travel? is it best to keep building up my existing skymiles account (only 27k miles so far, all from previous flights), or should i look into other airlines/alliances?

  13. I have come across something I wanted to share.
    They are well made wallets that are significantly skinnier than regular wallets, and for those with lots of credit cards (ahem), this means a great deal. I’ve had one for years, and love it. I thought I would pass on to give their company a boost, and maybe introduce you all to something you could love too.

  14. Used to use bluebird accounts. Want to find alternative. Does the American express serve still work. Looking for what replaced the vanilla cards. Been a bit and looking to get points again.

  15. Hello Darious,
    My job wants me to work in LA i live in NYC, for the next year i’ll be flying back and forth between LAX and NYC almost every week. I’m estimating about 40 round trips will be made by the end of 2015, do you have any recommendations on what airline should I fly to maximize my benefits? Currently i have United Explorer Card from Chase with about 85,000 miles on it, should i stick to this airline? Any suggestions on what hotel should i stay at?
    Thank you,

  16. Probably missed this in a post somewhere, but just realized something about Southwest. Because they don’t charge a fee for some changes after booking, if the price of any segment on your itinerary declines, they will issue travel funds for the difference. Funds are good for a year toward future travel. I just “earned” $150 in travel funds on an upcoming trip.

    I’m not aware of any automated alerts when a SW fare drops, but alerts at for changes in availability on low fare classes have helped me learn when the fare changes.

    We fly SW frequently thanks to the companion pass, so any additional tips with their travel are appreciated.

  17. I got my 2 SW cards and Im on my way to the companion faire – THANKS.
    Trying to figure out what to do with all the Thank You Points I have…about 500K.
    Appears products and hotels are bad deals…air fair seems not that great? Want to get to Europe in Summer of 2016. from West Coast…Perhaps I trade some for Flying Blue? This also gives me a Delta option? I have similar pts with Alaska and United as well as some American. Thanks or the help..

  18. Hi!

    Just want to say first that I’m a huge fan and love your website! You guys are amazing.

    My question is… I recently applied to a handful of credit cards – some of which were my 2nd time applying. What I didn’t realize is that for two of them, the Amex Delta Skymiles and the Chase United Explorer Card, I would not be received the signing bonus because the former does not offer to 2nd timers and because I did not wait 24 months for the latter. I want to cancel them and not even bother having them for a few months first. Do you think that’s a good idea? Or would it look sketchy?

    Instead I’d like to apply to the Amex Delta Skymiles business card. Again, do you think that’s a good idea after applying to a handful of cards only a week ago? I just don’t want to miss out on that awesome 60k mile offer!

    Thank you so much for any advice!

  19. To add to your “40+ ways to meet minimum spending requirements”, I just learned you can order online Costco gift cards with a VISA/Mastercard, instead of being forced to use an Amex at the stores. This is a big deal when trying to do a non-Amex spend. My $500 gift card should arive tomorrow.

  20. Hey Daraius — $5 coupon for ebay when checking out using the app , expires 12/19/2014

    I thought people might be into this :)

    Use code: CGOMOBILE use at checkout screen in ebay phone app.


  21. I just recently moved from the US to the UK. The UK Amex site currently has The Gold personal card on offer for 20,000 MR points after £2000 spend in 3 months with the £125 annual fee waived in the first year. This is a relatively good sign up bonus by UK standards. So the question is: A) Am I eligible for the sign up bonus if I have had the US version of the gold card in the past and cancelled it. B) Can I combine MR accounts in the US and UK to have 1 pool of points? Thanks for you help and advice!

  22. I have several questions. I am going to Tahiti in Sept. 2015 and have already booked 2 seats in coach. I would like to upgrade the return flight to bus class (since it’s a red-eye) as soon as I have enough points. I have just cancelled my US Airways MC and plan to try to get it once more. I’ve had it twice. This last time I got it was 4/14. How long should I wait to re-apply? What are my chances of getting a bus class award for Sept after the points merge with AA in the spring?
    Also regarding my stay. We are doing a 10 day cruise (which we are paying for) but I have 3 days pre cruise. I have booked the 1st nt at LeMeridien in Papeete since we arrive at 9:30 in the evening ( but may change to the Intercontinental if I don’t use the points for Ambassador status). We plan to take the ferry over to Moorea the next morning and spend 2 nights at the Intercontinental, which I have booked with rewards. All nights were booked using points and cash, so cash total for 3 nights is $250. I was considering upgrading to Ambassador status (32K points) to get an upgrade. It says it is a guaranteed room upgrade. Is this true? The next upgrade level is a beach bungalow which would be awesome. What if the hotel is sold out? Should I just take my chances, since I am platinum I am eligible for a possible upgrade. Is it worth the 32K points or $200. Should I just contact the hotel and ask them what my options are to upgrade? What would be your strategy? I impulsively already transferred the points from my Ultimate rewards to my IHG accounts ( only 8k so not too terrible ).
    Finally How do I contact the hotel to find about my upgrade options. I could not find anything on the hotel website. I have been loyal follower for almost 2 years now. Earlier this year I did a trip to Paris following your example, so i am very grateful for all your help so far.I really hope you can answer my questions. Thanks

  23. I’m chasing some missing tier points on my Virgin Atlantic MC issued through Bank of America. In the card agreement they (BofA) outlines a maximum of 2-points possible per monthly spending @ $2500 per point. The first statement I was able to get the two, but the second statement, no tier points despite spending over $5K. I contacted BofA and they blamed Virgin Atlantic. I called Virgin Atlantic and they blamed BofA. Any suggestions?

  24. Hi Darius – I have been an avid follower of your emails ! Over the years I have collected 2 million miles and have used redeemed them in what I have thought was a wise fashion ! However your email today on how to fly the world.. got me thinking .. I have booked my family (5 adults) to fly to Hawaii on business class from Austin , Texas to Maui and I redeemed 75K per ticket for a whooping 375K miles .. for travel in June 2015.. Was this worth it ? would love to hear your thoughts.

  25. Hi Darius, I love your blog and am trying to use my Delta miles to fly to Cancun for a wedding in May (7-11). I found what appeared to be great award space on Aeromexico but when I go to book with Delta they say it is not there…. Am looking at flying TIJ-MEX-CUN and back the same way. Biz class seats for 40,000 miles rt. Is there some thing I am missing?

  26. Hi Darius, I love your blog and am trying to use my Delta miles to fly to Cancun for a wedding in May (7-11). I found what appeared to be great award space on Aeromexico but when I go to book with Delta they say it is not there…. Am looking at flying TIJ-MEX-CUN and back the same way. Biz class seats for 40,000 miles rt. Is there some thing I am missing? I thought i gave an you post about this but am not sure how to best search around your blog.
    Thank you. Babs

  27. I read the write up on Starwood points. Is there any other partner that allows you to transfer points TO starwood other than Amex? Starwood is such a great deal, I’d like to replenish my starwood balance.

  28. Do you know if we can use the 5,000 Southwest Chase VISA signup bonus to sign up ourselves for the business card?

  29. Hi Daraius,

    I was curious why airline websites appear to hide their route maps. I think they’re very informative tools when planning a trip, yet I usually have to go to ask Google to find them for me. Virgin America doesn’t even publish a route map at all! Do you have any thoughts on this?


  30. My wife and I have booked an award trip using separate accounts and points on US airways. Is there a way to tie the two trips together so that if the flights are changed we will stay together?

  31. Hello Daraius,

    Thank you for your blog, it has helped me travel big with little bucks!

    Are you aware of any changes with Family Dollar’s policy on loading Serve accounts? I have been loading my Serve account with Visa gift cards since August without a problem. Today (Dec 16) I tried and was denied. The two people behind the counter told me they can no longer load Serve accounts from debit cards, and they can be loaded with “only cash”. I haven’t tried any other stores yet. This would be an awful blow to my manufactured spending needs on the heels of Amazon Payments discontinuing!

    Thanks again,

  32. Would it be possible to remove my last name from my above question when moderating? Feel free to delete this post.


  33. Hi Daraius,
    I absolutely love your blog! Unfortunately, I discovered it after my husband and I booked a big trip to England and Paris in June (and paying almost full price for everything). We are flying business on Air France on award tickets bought through Skyluxe. We tried contacting Air France to see if there was anyway to upgrade to first class via points–seemed pretty hopeless. I was wondering if you have any suggestions.

  34. Daraius,
    I just received an email from Bluebird with some changes coming as to how you will be able to load money onto the card. The bottom line is, will we still be able to buy Simon mall visa gift cards and load them onto Bluebird?

  35. Do you happen to know if purchasing an “Amazon Local” using Chase Freedom qualifies this current quarter’s 5% rebate?

    My impression is that “Amazon Local” is quite “separated” from “Amazon in general”, e.g., I was not able to use my Amazon credit to buy Amazon Locals, so I’m not sure if it works from Chase’ s viewpoint.


  36. I’m frantic to keep my BA miles active. Over the past 3 months family members have bought several items from Ebay, sears and Walmart via 365 shopping portal. We have never gotten points for anything and I have been in contact with them. They disallow everything. I get the Walmart gift cards as that doesn’t count, but they find a reason to not count every purchase! Help! what is the best way to extend our Household miles (4 of us) ASAP? Two of us have chase UR..should we just move 1000 each? What about the others? NEVER had this kind of porblem with any other shopping portals. You better warn your readers.

    Thanks for your wonderfull site. We have learned much from you and saved thousands. Here is their latest response.
    Dear Mrs. Boucher,

    Thank you for your recent email.

    We have researched your Avios request further and determined that it was not eligible to receive credit because the transactions were not in accordance with the Terms & Conditions.

    Indeed, an Online Gift Card has been used for your purchase and your purchase made at is not eligible because it was a Click and collect.

    Due to this, we unfortunately will not be able to credit these Avios to your account. We’re sorry we could not offer further assistance regarding this matter.

    Kind regards,
    Sue Belle
    BA Avios eStore Customer Support

  37. Darius/Emily:

    What’s my best option for in country flights in Australia as well as getting to Queenstown, NZ. My wife and I are going in 3 months and have secured our biz class seats on both outbound & return flights but in country struggling a bit on which points to best use (outside of simply purchasing JetStar/Virgin tickets). I haven’t been able to find space using British Airways search tools either, any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks guys!


  38. Daraius/Emily:

    What’s my best option for in country flights in Australia as well as getting to Queenstown, NZ. My wife and I are going in 3 months and have secured our biz class seats on both outbound & return flights but in country struggling a bit on which points to best use (outside of simply purchasing JetStar/Virgin tickets). I haven’t been able to find space using British Airways search tools either, any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks guys!


  39. I made a late payment by mistake as I did not realise it. My credit score has fallen from 737 to 665. What should I do. I asked Transunion to correct it but they did not. What can I do to correct this?

  40. I am looking for a link to the SW business card offer for 50K miles. The SW website only offers 25K. I followed your link for the SW premier card and was able to get the offer of 50K for the Premier but not the business card

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