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.

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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7,923 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.


  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 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!

      • Thanks for the recommendations, I ended up booking a $1200 first class flight on United from LAX to BWI round trip using the UR portal. This was the cheapest approach and the best use of the points. Additionally, I get to earn miles the other way by flying United and keeping my Singapore miles active!

  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 🙂


  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)?

    • 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.


  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.

  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?


    • 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 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 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

    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:

      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!

      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)


  33. Maricel Tabalba


    I work with the 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?


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

  34. Hi Darius and Emily – thanks for all you do on the blog, it’s helped me a ton with my travels. My brother has accumulated a few thousand dollars in Delta vouchers for getting bumped multiple times and won’t be able to use them within the time frame. Delta requires that he be on the reservation if he’s also buying other people tickets. Do you have any idea if he buys both of us round trip tickets, but only I fly (assuming he checks in) that I would be able to make my return flight?

    • I don’t believe that would work. But I would recommend checking the rules of the voucher. Many times the passenger name must match the name on the voucher, so you’re not able to redeem them for other travelers. Or if booking for others, I believe they’d have to fly with you.

  35. Hi,

    I booked award travel quite awhile ago (for September 2017) and charged the taxes/fees to my Sapphire Preferred card. Since booking, I’ve got the Reserve card and am up for the annual fee on the Preferred now.

    If I downgrade the Preferred to Freedom, how does that affect baggage and flight delay insurance that I would receive from the Preferred card if delayed or baggage lost? Or, do I need to keep the card thru my trip to be covered and pay the annual fee?

    Thanks for your help and for your great site!

  36. Hi Darius and Emily. I had signed up for the Chase Hyatt Visa after reading your recommendations and it’s a great card. Unfortunately, my wife and I never got around to using the 2 free nights and it has expired. Is there any recourse to getting some points or nights with calling Hyatt and if so, what is the best process in your opinion? Thank You

  37. Hi Daraius,
    I am planning to book a one way award trip from JFk to Pakistan flying Etihad First Apartment for 2 people…
    What will be the best program to redeem for Etihad.. also somebody blogged about the fact that one guest from economy can accompany a person using apartment class.. in that case can i book one economy and one apartment ticket?


  38. If I already have an American Airlines rewards card issued by Citibank, can I earn additional rewards by also applying for the American Airlines Barclay Card?

  39. I have gotten every Amex card (so no more bonuses) and chase won’t give me any due to 24/5. How do I get points? I don’t want anymore AA points at the moment from Citibank. I have a big expenditure coming up and am horrified to think that I will not be getting any spend for my payment.

  40. Hello,
    I am trying to plan a trip to Australia for my retired father. Could you please recommend two credit cards signing up for and utilizing the sign-up points to transfer to an airline for the flight. Business class preferred but he’s ok with economy. He’s flying out of Vegas. If any points leftover maybe we could utilize for a hotel night or two.


    • Bump, please

    • Thanks for the question! You can start with this post about how to use miles & points to get to Australia:

      From there, I’d see which airlines have the most available award seats for whenever your dad wants to travel. Then you can decide which credit cards fit best with your plans.

      For example, there are a decent number of Saver award seats on United Airlines from Las Vegas to Sydney through April 2018. Depending on how many miles you earn, you could even spring for a Business Class seat!

      United Airlines miles are somewhat easy to earn because you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines miles at a 1:1 ratio. So you could get a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred, and use the sign-up bonus towards your father’s award ticket.

  41. Hi Daraius,

    Congratulations, for a terrific website.

    One option for using American Airlines AAdvantage miles is to buy gift cards, through

    The conversion rate is poor, but I no longer fly with American.

    Have you had any experience with Are they reliable, particularly regarding gift cards?


  42. Hi MMS

    Love your website!
    After paying 3 years of $90 annual fee to maintain Chase Sapphire preferred I’ve only earned 120,500 points. I was hoping to save up points to fly first class with my husband before our child turns two. That doesn’t seem like is going to happen with insufficient points. Besides domestic round trip economy tickets and 3 nights at Aulani resort in Oahu, HI do you have any recommendations on maximizing the points?

  43. Jennifer Goodeman

    I have been a huge fan for a couple years now! There is a lot to learn, but so far I have been able to score a trip to Kauai from nyc on points for my husband and I, and in June, we will be traveling to Europe for the first time. I want to thank you for all the information and help you have made available. I do have one question: we got our saver economy tickets through united flying Austrian air, Lufthansa, and then United back home. My husband is 6’4″ and I know would be much more comfortable in economy plus (business would be amazing!), but we are on a tight budget and only have about 25,000 miles left. Do you have any tricks, hints, or suggestions on how to score an upgrade so I could surprise my husband with this? Thank you so much for any help!

    • I’d suggest calling United Airlines to see if you could request a bulkhead or exit row. You’ll likely have to pay extra for an exit row seat, but it’s worth a try!

      A couple of Million Mile Secrets team members have had success with getting upgrades to Economy Plus just by asking nicely at the gate. 🙂

      We’d love to hear about your trip when you get back!

      • Jennifer Goodeman

        Thank you so much for your help! I’ll have to let you know when we get back what worked out:)

  44. Hi! Great site! You guys havehelped educate me SO MUCH over the years! My question is do you have any tips on how to snag a Business/First Milesaaver seat to Hawaii? Like the best mainland US cities to fly from, the best Hawaiian airport to fly to, the date/time the seats are released in advance, etc. I’m coming up completely empty in my searches.

  45. Hi! I love your website, it has given me loads of info on how to do big travel with small or no money! My questions is, I will be booking a flight to Asia in November by this June, (still awaiting points), but my Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee is due in August and Im thinking of cancelling it prior to Chase charging me the annual fee of $450, will my flight be cancelled if i cancel my Chase Sapphire reserve card before my flight even though it’s booked Already?
    Also, is the priority pass select good for just one year or is it an ongoing benefit as long as the card is open?
    Do they prorate the annual fee if I cancel right after my trip?
    Thanks so much

  46. Aabeda Fatmi

    My husband and 11-year son and I would like to fly from Miami to Delhi to visit our family.. We would like to stopover in Jeddah for 5 days (flexible). My husband can fly on June 16 and return on July 1 back to Miami. My son and I will come back on August 19 (flexible). We have
    UR points and American Airlines points. Can you suggest how we can make the best use of Miles or Points?

  47. i am trying to travel from Fort Lauderdale to Hawaii and have over a million Amex points. I am very flexible on my travel plans and want to go for 10 days to Honolulu and Maui.

    i feel like i am spending hours trying to find how to use the least amount of points to travel, can you recommend a solution?

    Delta, United, America, Virgin all travel from Mia or Ft Lauderdale of which both are easy access

    i don’t mind paying a few dollars to a company to search the lowest use of miles for me.

  48. Connie Sommer

    I’d like to interview you for a story for I can be reached at the email I’ve included here. Thank you.

  49. I live in Hawaii and have 135,000 Thank you Points. Which airline should I transfer my points to. We’ll be traveling to Thailand, Vietnam and possibly some other South East Asia locations.

  50. Hello,
    I am thinking of applying for the Bank of America Alaska Airline Visa Signature card again. I currently have one, but have read that I should still be able to apply for a new one and get the bonus. I also read that it is a good idea to lower the credit limit on the current card before applying. My current limit is $27,000 and my annual income is approximately $60,000. My credit score is between very good and excellent. Do you think it would be wise to lower the limit and, if so, to what amount? I certainly don’t need a limit anywhere near $27,000. Do you have any suggestions to ensure that I am not approved for the card with a lower bonus?
    I am also thinking of applying for the Barclay Hawaiian Airlines card and the new AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard at the same time. Does that sound reasonable? I would like to apply ASAP so I am hoping to hear from you real soon. Thank you very much for all your help, Daraius!
    Carol Hauer

    • Hi Carol! Sorry for the delay here.

      I do think it is wise to lower the credit limit. $5,000+ should work, depending on how much credit you’d like available on that particular card. I believe the limit has to be at least $5,000 because it’s a Visa Signature card. You could ask if they can do lower if you don’t want that much credit available.

      There’s no way to tell which version of the card you’ll be approved for, but it sounds like you have a good chance of getting the one with the higher sign-up bonus, given your strong credit history.

      As for the Barclaycards, you can usually only get one every 6 months:

      So I’d recommend picking the one you want the most. Because it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for both right away.

      Let me know how it works out for you, and what course of action you decided on. Hope this helps you!

  51. Hi Daraius,
    I meant to also ask about when is the best time to apply for credit cards, i.e. days of the week, time of the day etc. Is it a bad idea to apply on a weekend?
    Love your blog and, as always, thanks for your help!
    Carol Hauer

    • In my experience, it makes no difference when you apply. However, if you need to call the reconsideration line or make a follow-up call, the best representatives usually work during standard business hours.

      That said, I’d had luck at all times of day, and days of the week.

      Thank you for reading and reaching out! 🙂

  52. Do you think the JetBlue credit card is worth it? They will give you 5000 points after spending $1k in 3 months. Looking to go to fly to Chicago from Albany or Syracuse/NY. I guess how much is 5k points worth in a flight? And looking at that because I don’t have debt so paying for everything with a cc I am comfortable spending/using approx. $350/month or so to get points/miles. Thanks

  53. Thanks for the site, we’re currently planning a trip for 6 to Disney World in January 2018 and have our Southwest Rapid Rewards points and companion pass and are building our Barclay Arrival + points to help offset the cost of park tickets. We’re considering a few cash back cards in the next few months to use to buy Disney gift cards which we’ll use for food while there. That’s our current goal. Our next goal, in 2-3 years, is to take the family to Hawaii. The big challenge is there are 6 of us, so lots of points needed and limited hotel options. We won’t start working on this until after our Disney trip. Looking ahead, we were considering building up Korean Air miles to book a Delta flight. However, yesterday I received an offer in the mail for the Citi American Airlines card with a 65,000 mile sign-up bonus. I’ve never seen a bonus that high for American. Should I go for it, and shift our focus to building AA miles? I don’t have any of the Chase Sapphire or Ink products yet, and will have to wait a while due to the 5/24 rule, because we needed to get several cards for Disney. I figure I can get the Citi business AA card as well as the Barclay AA card (and my wife too) and get the AA miles we need over the next couple of years. What do you think?

    • Right now, there’s not a lot of available award seats to Hawaii on American Airlines. But it’s hard to say what the situation will be in a couple of years.

      That said, you can always pick up the card now. And then get the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards in the future. Because you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to Korean Air to book Delta award flights. If you think you can get the Citi American Airlines card now and still drop below 5/24 to get the Chase cards down the road, I would say to go for it.

      Just keep an eye on which airline has the most open award seats when you get ready to travel and then concentrate your earnings in that program.

      Be sure to check out our tips on how to save at Disney, too:

  54. Emmanuel (Val) S. Ruiz

    Hi Daraius! My family of three are traveling to Buenos Aires this coming September and quite excited. However, I have this one dilemma. I could not book a hotel room using either IHG or Hyatt for all three of us. We are using our annual free nights for some of our stay. The rest on our points. Each time I enter 3 for the # of people – it comes back with no available nights. But if I enter just 2 people – then it goes through. So, what I did was booked the nights for only two people and I am planning to talk to them when we get there about the 3rd person. You think this would work? What’s your best advise on how to handle this situation then. I don’t want to have either myself or my son sleeping on the sidewalks of Buenos Aires…hahaha. Should I just call in and plead my case now before embarking on our trip? Thanks a lot. I don’t know where to seek advise from.

  55. What would be your recommendations for travel to New Zealand? I am new to this blog and there is so much information that I still need to process. I’ve used air miles for travel before, but not to the extent that you are proposing. Are there specific cards that would work for the airlines that fly there? We plan to go in February 2018. Thank you.

  56. Hello there.

    I’d like to transfer some of my Ultimate Rewards points to my wife’s Southwest account. My understanding is that she needs to be an authorized user of my credit card account to do this. I have both a Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Reserve. Adding a user to the Freedom card is free and adding one to the Reserve costs $75/year. Is there anything prohibiting me from adding her as a user to my Freedom account and then transferring the points (all at no cost)? I understand the benefits of adding her to the Reserve, but we don’t want to incur the related fee at this time.

    Thanks much,

  57. Hi Darius,
    Thank you so much for all the help that you and Emily post. Do you guys offer a service to help readers use points to get to various locations? I started following you this year and have been able to accumulate lots of points using your strategies. I would like to schedule two vacations this year but do not know how to maximize the points.

  58. Hi,

    Here’s something I didn’t know about the Uber credit on the Amex Plat. It is cumulative across more than one card, rather than limited to $15 per trip. I have two Plats that I just registered recently. I took a $21 Uber to the airport and was expecting a $15 credit. But instead the entire $21 was credited and I show a $9 balance. Not bad since I’m leaving the country and wouldn’t be able to use a Uber credit the rest this month. Not a huge thing, but a nice surprise.

  59. Hi Darius,

    I am planning to take a trip to France with a friend who has two terminal illnesses, so this summer is likely her last opportunity to travel (though we thought that last year – went to Italy on points, largely thanks to you Blog – had a phenomenal time, and have been incredibly fortunate that we’re still able to attempt France this summer!).

    I had her sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, so she has around 55,000 Sapphire points, and I have 113,000 Sapphire Reserve Points (plus around 5,000 in my United account). My original plan was to transfer her my 5,000 United Points to her, and then book us two round trip saver tickets on United from Denver to Paris. I also have about 20,00 Amex points.

    We are in Denver and want to take a 10-15 day trip anywhere between July 8th and August 6th and can fly in/out of any city in France (or any city accessible by train – like Brussels). Our ideal would be to fly into Paris and out of Nice.

    I have no issue so far getting us into France from Denver (plenty of economy saver award flights from Denver), but cannot figure out a way home (on United at least). I can get us as far as New York/Philadelphia/Boston with 30,000 points each, but it looks like we would have to use points or pay for the last leg into Denver. We would be happy to to do a stopover for a few nights in another city if necessary.

    Do you have any recommendations? It seems that for all of our flexibility with dates/stopovers/departure cities, I should be able to find something for 60k roundtrip (and then could use remaining sapphire points on hotels), but not sure if I’m missing an obvious idea! I want to get the flights nailed down soon – my friend is in a wheelchair and hotel availability for accessible rooms can be limited. I also want to be sure to book the trip on points, because in addition to saving money, it offers us the flexibility to cancel/change dates if a medical issue should arise.

    If you (or any other readers) had any advice, we would greatly appreciate it! In return, we’d be happy to blog about the trip!

    – Nicole

  60. Good evening,

    My question is regarding applying my travel companions status to the reservation I booked. A few months ago I booked two one-way tickets from the US to Paris and two return tickets from Paris to the US using my United miles (Saver Awards). These tickets were booked under my account. I have no status with United however, my partner and travel companion is Premier Silver because of her SPG Platinum status.

    1. Can her status be applied to our reservation despite me booking both tickets?
    2. How should we get the status applied? And when?
    3. What is the best strategy to get the most out of her status, if we are able to apply it to one or both tickets?

  61. Hello,

    I just recently bought a house. I have literally no funiture, no applicances, pretty much need to buy everything you can imagine. I was thinking if im going to be spending money anyway why not use credit cards and get some credit card perks along with it. (Of course, with the intention of paying them on time, so not to occur any interest.)

    What credit card or credit card(s) could you recommend that will give me the best bang for my buck? Meaning, the best rewards, for spending a lot of money. I want to be rewarded but not limited to only airline miles. Airline miles, gift cards, points, and cash etc. Airline miles is definetly on the top of list of the rewards I would like to recieve. I want to be able to travel for free like you!

    Thank you in Advance for your help!

  62. Hi Daraius!
    Hope you’re well.
    Ive spent hours on your website as we are planning a trip to South East Asia so trying to get tips on how to use our points!
    I came across an interview you did with a fellow blogger Jean from Holy Smithreens and I was wondering if you still do these interviews? I would love to be considered 🙂

    *back to reading I go!*