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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 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.

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.

6,416 responses to “Contact

  1. Hi Daraius,
    I just got this offer from United in my inbox. What do you think about it? Is it a good deal? How does it work?We can buy as many IHG points at 0.7c / point. Does that mean I can transfer these to UA, even with a 25% bonus?

    Limited-time offer: Convert hotel points into miles and get 25% more miles

  2. Jackson Chang

    Hi Daraius,

    I am relatively new to this but started since I see that I will probably be traveling a lot in the future. I normally fly within the US and probably Guangzhou, China (CAN) and Taipei Taiwan. I have been trying to do my research in finding which airlines would be best for me. From what I have, I narrowed it down to using Delta (since I just got the gold skymiles card) and Southwest (going for the companion pass early next year) for domestic and United for International travels. I’m in the San Jose area, I prefer SJC but SFO would work if its cheaper.
    What do you think about this?

    And for hotels, I recently got the Marriott card with the 80k bonus. I think I sort of feel its a mistake since all their hotels cost so much points! But oh wells. I’m thinking of using SPG and Hyatt as my main hotels. What do you think? Do you recommend any hotels over the others?

    My approach for getting more cards was to get a new one right after I hit the minimum spending limit on my existing cards. Do you think this is a good approach?

    Also, should i subscribe with the airlines/hotels with their promos?


  3. @Elena – It’s matter of personal preference. Would you rather have a bit more comfort and service or during your flight or save the miles for your next trip?

    Either way you’ll have an amazing time in Tokyo! Enjoy your trip!

    @Vlad – If you have hotel points you don’t plan on using for hotel stays, or you were planning on transferring them to United Airlines anyway, it’s nice to have the bonus.

    But otherwise, transferring hotel points to United Airlines typically isn’t a good deal, even with this bonus.

    @Jackson Chang – Welcome to the wonderful world of miles and points! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Beginner’s Guide:

    I recommend checking Google Flights to see which airlines offer the best options from your home airport to the destinations you have in mind:

    And use Hotel Hustle or Award Mapper to see which hotel brands have the best locations for your future travel plans:

    See my post on the 2 major application strategies:

  4. Herlinda D. Lombardi

    Hi there, just wanted your advice. My parents were planning on going on a cruise to the Greek Islands in June/July of 2016. But with the current economic situation (which I don’t fully understand) should they still plan to go? They were planning on booking the cruise this month. Should they still go? If so, how would they be affected? Thanks, Herlinda

  5. Hi Darius,
    Thank you for the wonderful information. I’m a newbie to this point/rewards system. I have couple of Q’s?
    I have one card (4k$ Limit) for the past 3 years. Have 750+ FICO score. Pay all my dues at the month end. My aim is use & utilize the future points ONLY on travel (airfare & if possible hotel) mainly to Asia & Europe.
    Is AmEx PRG a good card to start off with(assuming with my credit history shouldn’t be an issue). I don’t travel wrt to my work (hardly 3-4 times nationally )?
    Is it a good thing to apply for 3-4 cards at once including the Amex (charge card)?
    Thank You

  6. scott daniels

    Darius — I truly enjoy reading your musings, and hope you can help me here.

    I am planning an all-points vacation to Hawaii. Right now, I have the hotel (Courtyard King Kam on Kona), plus coach seats on Hawaiian Air from LAX to KOA, with a return from ITO to PDX (Portland).

    I recently read (somewhere) that if you are going to fly 1st Class, you should do it on your way home (to help you unwind from the stress of the vacation :). So I am now trying to figure out how to upgrade to 1C for the ITO-PDX leg.

    According to the HA Web site, an upgrade costs 25K mi pp ow, for flights to/from N. America. Trouble is, I used all my HA points (plus the last of my AMEX MR pts), to pay for the coach seats.

    I see that I can _buy_ an upgrade on day of travel for $349 pp. Not that I’d ever want to spend that much. Is there another way, using transfers between partners, to bring my HA account up by the 50K pts I need for 2 x 1C return seats?

    I have a ton of Chase UR pts, but don’t quite see how that might help. Alternatively, I suppose I could bite the bullet and pay $698 for the two cash u/g seats, then cash in 70K UR pts for a statement credit.

    As good as I imagine 1C is, I wonder if it’s worth so many UR pts for a 5-hr flight?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much

  7. Hi Daraius,

    I realize that Chase is tightening their approvals, but not necessarily for airline branded cards. I closed two chase cards a month ago, and I would like to get the southwest business card. I have a 740+ score. Do you have any advice given the recent changes at Chase?

  8. Hi Daraius,
    I am trying to get tickets to LAX from Peru in Dec of this year…I see consistent availability in First class on LAN on BA website fro last few days. But when I call AA to book and give them flight number , they say they have no availability. i called up twice but same answer. Any idea what could be the reason? They said that those tickets might have been released to BA by LAN but not to AA. ANy guidance? Thanks, Vikas

  9. Hey Darius,

    I had a question about the age old topic of applying for Business CC. I am an auditor and I work for a large CPA firm. I have a significant amount of work related travel. The best part is that I am able to put all the expenses on my (miles earning) credit cards, and get reimbursed by my employer. Keeping that in mind – Would I be able to use this information to apply for a business credit card? (Calculate average reimbursement over last couple of years and treat that as “revenue”). Would I still call myself a sole proprietor? It goes w/o saying I’ll use my own name as “business name” and my own SSN. Among all the other benefits, I could also gain from keeping work related expenses separate from my own.


  10. My wife and i went to Europe in 2013 and use the standard credit cards (swipe and sign). I have the new chip in my cards but no pin numbers and will be going to Europe for a few months next year. I understand that I can scan and sign when there is manual/human interface. My question is how to handle situations where it is an automated process like a kiosk. Do I have to go to a counter and work with someone or will the new CC work in an automated environment.

  11. I have been trying for months to book 2 American Airline frequent flyer tickets on separate accounts. The prices change all the time. On two occasions I have been able to hold one 20,000 mile ticket and then the itinerary has totally disappeared. Is there any trick to booking two cheap tickets? I don’t want to pay 65000 unless I have to so I am holding out until it looks like the flight is selling out. thanks

  12. I was seeing if you may be able to give me some advice on how to purchase Carnival Cruise line gift cards. They sell them on eBay for face value. I would like to be able to get them for about 90% of face value using shopping portals, certain web sites and certain credit cards. This is the starting point and just let me know if you know of a better way.
    1st I would love to find a website that sells them at a discount, but so far no luck.
    2nd I would like to find a portal to buy eBay gift cards from at a discount using either portals or certain credit cards.
    3rd once I have purchased the eBay gift cards I would also use another portal to be able to get cash back from purchasing the carnival gift cards using their portal.
    So far this is what I have.
    I’m buying a eBay gift card at Staples using one of my credit cards that pays me 5% back. It takes a few days for them to send me the eBay gift card. Then I’m looking for a site that will give me the most back from using their portal to purchase the carnival gift card from eBay.
    Also the grocery stores like Safeway and Kroger sell Carnival gift cards on their websites at face value.
    Any help and suggestions would be most appreciated.
    Panama Jim

  13. I have a friend who needs to to attend a ceremony in Times Square/Radio City next year (late May 2016) for a few days. She has never gotten into the miles/points games.

    What would your recommendation be for the best hotel cards for her to start accumulating points/sign-up offers with now with to be able to stay at the best hotels in Times Square for a few days (up to 5 or 6 days). She could move between different hotels (ex. 2 free days at a Hyatt, use points at a Marriott, 2 weekend days at a Hilton, etc…) during her stay, but always be in the Times Square area.

    I wanted to get your opinion on how she can best maximize for this particular trip…rather than start clicking links for her on your webpage.

    Thanks in advance.

  14. Hi Daraius,

    I asked you before if AMEX SERVE is still loadable from AMEX credit cards and if it counts towards the minimum spending. Your answer was “YES.” Let me know if it still is or the rule has changed. I have just been approved for a targeted AMEX Business Gold (sorry I didn’t use your link cuz it was targeted) and I am wondering if that $200/day, $1000/month will count towards the 5000 min spending. And if AMEX will possibly block/freeze my acct if i keep loading to SERVE.

    Thank you.

  15. @Herlinda D. Lombardi – What the future holds for Greece is anyone’s guess. So I really can’t tell you what things will be like there during your friend’s trip next year.

    Check out this article from Money magazine:

    @Sid – Welcome to Million Mile Secrets!

    Make sure you read the Beginner’s Guide before you get started:

    I recommend folks set their travel goals before they start signing-up for cards. That’s because you could end up with points spread across different accounts that you don’t have a use for.

    The 2 major strategies folks use for their applications is signing-up for 3 to 4 cards each quarter or waiting for the big bonuses to come along:

    @scott daniels – You can transfer Starwood points and AMEX Membership Rewards points to Hawaiian Airlines.

    However, First Class from the US to Hawaii typically isn’t that luxurious. So you may want to save your points or money for another trip!

    @Shay – Yes, for now it seems airline and hotel cards are not impacted, and possibly business cards, so you shouldn’t have any issues.

    If you haven’t already, check out my posts on the new Chase rules:

    @vikas – American Airlines sometimes doesn’t have all the same flights you’ll find on the British Airways site.

    So you may have to find another flight that works for you.

    @AmeriKop56 – You need to have a business or be starting a business to get approved for a business credit card.

    Check out my list of activities that qualify:

  16. @John – Check out my post about using Chip & Signature cards in Europe:

    @Jackie – There is no special trick. But I do recommend folks book award flights ~1 year in advance.

    The closer you get to your travel dates, the more likely it is that you’ll need to be flexible with your search criteria.

    If you find a flight you like, you should be able to call American Airlines and they will put the itinerary on hold for you for 24 hours.

    Good luck!

    @Jim – Check evreward for the best shopping portal deals. It looks like you can currently earn 3% cash back at eBay through Ebates:

    Or you could sign-up for the Discover it card. With this card you’ll earn a $50 credit after your 1st purchase and all cash back you earn will be doubled at the end of your 1st year:

    You can find the Discover it card here:

    You can currently earn 5% cash back at Carnival Cruise Lines through the ShopDiscover portal. And you’ll get another 5% cash back at the end of the year.

    You can also use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for your cruise through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal:

    @JS Komo – There are plenty of Hilton hotels around Times Square. And there are lots of ways to earn Hilton points:

    But check Award Mapper or Hotel Hustle to take a look at which locations might be the best fit with her travel plans:

    Also, see my post about how to choose the right hotel card:

    @Paul E – You can still load your AMEX Serve card at Walmart. Or online with an AMEX credit card:

    This should count towards your minimum spending, but you will NOT earn points on the transaction.

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