Why I’m Becoming A Digital Nomad This Year – And How We Are Using Points And Miles!

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full advertising policy: How we make money.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted something to be different in my life.

When I was 5 years old, I didn’t want to be a firefighter or a police officer.  I wanted to be a weatherman.  At 13 years old, my dad told me that being a journalist and getting a journalism degree was a waste of time.  I’ve always been on a different path than others, and my wife and I are continuing that – digital nomad style.

In July 2019, we will be leaving Salt Lake City, Utah, in our car, driving to my wife’s parents’ home in Pasadena, CA, and leaving from Los Angeles to start our travels.  It is going to be an incredible adventure filled with challenges, ups and downs, and unforgettable memories.  And we’re doing it with the help of miles & points we’ve heard from cards like:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
  • U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
This couple sold everything and has been traveling full time!  We plan to follow suit as digital nomads

Why Become a Digital Nomad?

After we got married in June 2018, we knew we were going to do something so different.  We decided in August that we are going to sell everything and travel the world full time, much of that motivation coming from her favorite social media influencer group, The Bucket List Family.  We actually got to meet them recently!

Outside of being travel lovers, we are not ready to really settle down.  The thought of buying a home, having kids, and subjecting ourselves to a 9 to 5 sounds pretty boring right now.

We don’t even know where we want to live yet.  This is one of the main reasons for our adventure!  We want to find where we want to live.  We grew up in Los Angeles, and we refuse to live there.  We live in Salt Lake City, and we aren’t the biggest fans of the cold and the culture here.

Another reason is actually to save money!  I’ve run several cost analyses, and it will actually be cheaper for us to become digital nomads, or break even depending on where we are in the world.  Our monthly expenses are roughly $3,000, and we live a middle class life.  However, that same $3,000 can stretch much further in other countries.

Where Do Miles & Points Come Into Play?

Nowadays, I almost never travel without using miles & points.  Traveling into other countries, points can go even further than in the United States!  For example, with my group of Hilton cards, including the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, I have been able to earn over 300,000 Hilton points in the past few months.  With these points, I can almost make a hotel my home.

For example, here is the Hilton Garden Inn in Bali…

This is an incredible rate, and I would be able to stay 20 nights for only 100,000 points.  And to top that off, I would get 4 free nights because Hilton gives folks with elite status (comes automatically with the AMEX Hilton Ascend) the 5th consecutive award night free.

I earned over 500,000 Hilton points from a few Hilton American Express credit card bonuses, so these are going to come in really handy while we are traveling.

Also, I was very recently approved for the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card (you can read our full review here), and I will be earning ~$950 in travel after completing the minimum spending requirement ($4,500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening).  I figure I will be using these points as our “exit” flight out of the US.

Lastly, sometime during our travels, we will be taking our bucket list flight in Singapore Suites.  We’ll use the AMEX Membership Rewards points we’ve stockpiled from applying for credit cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card and meeting minimum spend requirements.

I’m sure as our travels develop, we will be earning and burning points and miles to keep our wanderlust alive.

Final Thoughts

If it weren’t for points & miles, we would have not been able to travel to the extent that we have.  Now, we are going to take our travel to a full-time basis, and points & miles will only become more vital in our success.

Have you ever done something this radical when it comes to travel? Let’s hear it in the comments! 

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Join the Discussion!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments