Welcome to the next interview in our interview series where renowned mile and point gurus share their insights on having Big Travel with Small Money!
Miles & Points Interview: Jason of MilesQuest
He is always hunting for cheap deals in order to accumulate more miles and points – in other words – a Miles Quest.
How and when did you start collecting miles and points?
From an early age, my mom signed me up for Delta Skymiles though I didn’t pay much attention. It wasn’t until I lived overseas that I started to be curious and then really hardcore once I had a job change that would involve international travel.
Why did you start Miles Quest? What’s special about it?
During my EMBA degree, I gave a 20 minute presentation to the class about how I was obtaining all of these miles and points. The response was overwhelming and so I started a blog for my classmates to give them some tips and tricks and it grew from there.
I’m an international economy type of guy. I don’t have the means nor the travel budget to fly first class so most of the time I’m in the back with the common folk except during my mileage redemption. I write from that angle.
What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?
I think it comes down to just paying attention. A lot of people don’t put the time in to sign up for different programs and then manage it. There are mile and point opportunities all around us if you’re willing to do a little work and stay on top of it.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
Our recent trip to the Maldives where we spent 9 days and our previous trip to Bora Bora. Both were an incredible experience and was the culmination of a lot of mile and point gathering. I will always remember those two trips.
What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?
My family is slightly amused while my wife is absolutely supportive. Taking her to Bora Bora and the Maldives helped solidify that all this work is actually worth it. Most of my friends don’t know or understand it.
Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?
With the explosion of the Internet, it seems to me that there are a lot of useful tools online if you’re willing to spend the time to read, learn, and ask. I’ve learned so much from Flyertalk, Milepoint, and all the different travel blogs out there.
What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?
I always get a kick out of getting miles for sending flowers or getting triple Hilton points simply by paying my electric bill with my Hilton Surpass.
What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?
I made some mistakes early on like earning Silver status in the Scandinavian Airlines program. I mean, how is that even useful? But it was my first time and I sure felt special!
I also wish I would have started applying for cards earlier – it seems that all of those type of opportunities are widely publicized and shut down quickly. Curse you NPR for shutting down the coins! 🙂
What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
I play competitive city league basketball, speak fluent Swedish, ate horse in Kazakhstan, and my favorite band right now is The Walkmen. Go check them out!
Any parting words?
I don’t profess to be the master of any of this frequent flyer stuff, but I do have a passion for exploring new places and I hope that people can either live vicariously through my travels or get some ideas of some really cool places they need to go visit.
I saw an article that said only 1/3 of Americans have a valid passport. There are so many things to see outside of the USA.
As Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Jason – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!
So if you’ve got a quest for miles, like I do, head on over to MilesQuest.
- “One Ticket To Hawaii Produced 9 Flights…And A Life Changing Introduction To Miles.”
- “Every City On Earth Can Be Visited For Free. It’s Nuts.”
- “I had enough miles to go to Hawaii for free…I was totally hooked after that!”