Beginner’s Guide

This series will teach you all you need to know about points, miles, and free travel

❑ 1. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Sign up for a New Email Account

❑ 2. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Join Airline Frequent Flyer and Hotel Loyalty Programs

❑ 3. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Sign up for Point Management Accounts

❑ 4. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Sign up for Survey Sites

❑ 5. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Shopping Portals

❑ 6.Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Insurance Quotes and Purchase Bonuses

❑ 7. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Rewards Credit Cards

❑ 8. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Maximizing Credit Card Category Bonuses

❑ 9. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Qualifying and Applying For Business Credit Cards

❑ 10. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Maximizing Household Spending

❑ 11. Beginner’s Guide to Miles and Points: Dining Rewards Programs

❑ 12. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Banking Miles

❑ 13. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Financial Products

❑ 14. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Maximizing Large Purchases

❑ 15. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: How to Meet Large Credit Card Spending Requirements

❑ 16. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Airline Elite Status

❑ 17. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Fast Track to Hotel Elite Status

❑ 18. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Airport Club Lounge Access

❑ 19. Newbie Guide to Manufactured Spending

❑ 20. Best Hotel Redemptions

❑ 21. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Point-earning strategies with different programs

❑ 22. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: The In’s and Out’s of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program

❑ 23. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: The In’s and Out’s of the Amex Membership Rewards program

❑ 24. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Redeeming miles

❑ 25. Points and Miles Beginner’s Guide: Redeeming hotel points

❑ 26. Other ways to travel free or cheap


  1. I would use the gift card from Carlson at the Aruba Radisson, my favorite place to vacation !

  2. This is a great guide. I found myself signing up for many things and managing the digital login info has become a large task. May I suggest an addition to the Beginner’s Guide?

    Sign up for a password management account. This way all usernames and passwords are stored in one location and can be accessed anywhere. There are many free sites/services that exist.

    • Thanks for the tip, Anthony! I don’t use any password management accounts, so I can’t really recommend one. Please feel free to leave your own recommendation in the comment section.

      • I’ve used securesafe for many years for mostly business and personal passwords. Now that I’m obsessed with chasing mile and points its adds a more complex layer of needs so I’m progressing to google docs which can be accessed via desktop and mobile platforms while utilizing the 2-step authentication for added security

        • After using securesafe and then google docs to save passwords, I have progressed to 1password. So much faster using this. I manager 5 bluebirds, and multiple miles/point programs/credit cards for more than one individual.

  3. If I apply for 3 credit cards and my credit score lowers by 12-15 points, how long before my score goes back up 12-15 points?

    • In the next couple of months (as your new credit line gets reported), your score will jump back up.

  4. I have Amex Business Sky Miles Gold and Amex Starwood Preferred Guest cards. I’m thinking of applying for another 1 or 2 Amex cards. What would you suggest?

    • I’d pick up an SPG Amex Business card, since those points are valuable and hard to come by. I also like the new Amex Everyday cards. It’s all about what you’re trying to use your points for.

  5. Hi, I’ve been reading your posts for a while and find lots of valuable information. This guide is awesome. However, the 20-25 links are not clickable and the resources link gives me error. Do you mind to update that please? Thanks a lot.

  6. Ariana,
    The best blog with good tips ever.more power to you!!!Anyway,I’m a newbie in CC world esp.with points and millage. With my family getting bigger I think I have to be wise.Well at least I realized it after 36!.Enough of this.Can you pls recommend the best cc to use to buy tickets to Philippines. I already have chase saphire and freedom card.But as of now I only have 40,000 points.We are planning to travel by June and I want to buy tickets maybe next next week. I hope you can help me.regards!

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