At its core, Frequent Miler is a blog about the miles & points “game”. The game goes like this: we take advantage of marketing offers to earn huge numbers of miles & points. Next, we take advantage of “sweet spot” awards to get the most value from those miles & points. Repeat… Travel… Enjoy… See “The Games We Play” for more information.
Who Is Frequent Miler?
Stephen Pepper isn't a Dr or a Sergeant.
What Is Frequent Miler?
You’ve probably heard of other sites that sound similar. Why should you specifically visit Frequent Miler?
Readers Come First
Most points & miles blogs make their money from credit card affiliate links. If you click through one of these links and get approved for a credit card, the blog gets paid a commission. That’s true for Frequent Miler too. The difference is that we never display our affiliate links if we know of a better public offer. For example, it’s common for an affiliate link to lead to a 40,000 point bonus at the same time that a 50,000 point offer is available which doesn’t pay a commission. We only display the better offer. As a result, we believe that our credit card pages are the best on the internet.
Further, our posts are driven by our interests, not by a desire to “sell” credit cards. If we write that we love a credit card perk, it’s because we’re truly excited about it, not because we want you to sign up through our affiliate links. In fact, you’ll find just as many posts singing the praises of cards in which we don’t earn affiliate commissions as those we do. The same is true in reverse. If we don’t like a card we’ll tell you so even if it means losing commissions.
We Analyze The Heck Out Of Things
We’re known for our in-depth analyses of rewards cards, special offers, rewards programs, and much more. If you want to know whether a deal is worth doing and how to maximize value from it, this is the blog to read. We collect our best in-depth posts on our resource page here or select from the topics below.
We Have Fun
We love what we do. The content on this site exists because we write about topics we’re excited about. We love the game, and the excitement shows in our writing.
For the last two years we’ve engaged in (ruthless) but friendly competitions to have a little fun and test out miles & points or travel concepts.
Not only are the Frequent Miler challenges a ton of fun for us and our followers, but it can lead us to discover many, many great deals that we then share with followers. The most spectacular deal found during the 40K to Far Away challenge was the ability to fly from anywhere in the US to Hawaii for only 7,500 points! You can read more about the challenge and what we learned by clicking here.
We plan to do similar challenges at least once a year, but maybe more often. Of course, our fun isn’t limited to an occasional challenge. Nick and Greg do a video and podcast each week (Frequent Miler on the Air) where we discuss the latest miles & points topics, argue about who’s right or wrong, and generally have a great time. Viewers and listeners regularly tell us how much they enjoy listening in. To subscribe, search for Frequent Miler on whatever podcast app you use, or subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here: youtube.com/c/thefrequentmiler. We also enjoy meeting our readers! Once every two or three months we visit you. Visits usually involve a few presentations and plenty of opportunities to chat. We call this series “FM to Go“. Click here to read all about it.
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I have a question. I’m probably way overthinking this, but that’s my style. I want to go to South Africa next May. Flights won’t open up for that date for months to come. I searched AA and found a great flight on Qatar Q suites in January 2024 for only 75000 points per person. WOW!
If I booked that flight with points and waited for my dates to open up is there any chance they would allow me to change the dates of the flight at the same point level?
I think American is going to be devaluing/altering their points sometime soon. I see no downside to this strategy as I can always simply cancel the reservation and redeposit the points. And, I have no immediate use for those points.
Is this a complete waste of time, or a potential strategy?
Yes I think that’s likely to work as long as saver level awards open up on Qatar for the dates you want.
I’ll try to remember to circle back and let you know
I love your podcast and have learned so much about how to maximize points and miles.
Before the pandemic my daughter and I purchased Delta tickets to Europe through the Chase portal (I know better now). At the time the Chase representative was very happy to transfer some of my Chase points to my daughter’s account so that both tickets would be under the same record. The trip was cancelled and the points returned to my daughter’s account. She would really like to transfer the points back to me. We do not live in the same household. Is there a way to do this using one of the Ink cards if she is an authorized user and I am the business owner? I don’t want to risk a shutdown by pushing the boundaries. I have read that this is a way to transfer points, but I have not been able to find specific directions for how to use this method. I would appreciate any tips you can share.
Yes I think that will work. She’ll have to call Chase and ask to set up her account to allow her to “combine points” with your Ink card
I am a loyal follower and believe you provide a valuable and indispensable service. Recently Nick spoke of using a $95 card to get free cruises. That podcast started with a letter from a grateful listener who, based on what she had learned here, was able to get her partner to France for a family emergency in 24 hours.
In discussing this, you mentioned a website the listener used and about which you have written in the past. The site was something like seats.arrow (actually seats dot arrow.) Yet, I cannot access that site with that designation.
Would you kindly give me the proper address so I also can avail myself of their services. A link to your writing regarding this site would also be deeply appreciated.
Again, thanks for all you do.
The site is seats.aero – Greg wrote about it in this post https://frequentmiler.com/seats-aero/
Stephen: Thank you for your prompt response. I did some searches after posting and found the site. I appreciate your efforts. Regards, Alan
I am a grateful follower for years; your advice and tips have saved me countless hours and points in our travels. I can say without reservation that my wife and I have traveled extensively out of the country since retirement in 2014….to every continent except Antarctica…..and we have not paid cash for any flights thanks to your help. But I thought it would be interesting to your readers to hear from someone, like myself, who often does not have complete calendar flexibility, does not have points in a dozen different miles and points programs, and does not have the deep experience you guys have in booking these things. As an example I will use a trip we are currently planning to Singapore and Japan for March 2024.
The scenario starts in February 2023 when we and our traveling friends, having decided that Japan was next on our bucket list, chose to book a cruise from Singapore to Japan in March 2024 which was announced by Princess. While our friends almost always pay cash for their travels, we instead (with your advice) use credit-card bonuses, at least to pay for airline travel. We have amassed most of our points in Chase Ultimate Rewards; we currently have about 500,000 Chase points, even after using them for a lot of our travel in the past 9 years. We also have some points in American Airlines (59,000) and United Airlines (92,000). We will need to fly from Fort Meyers, FL to Singapore, then return from Tokyo to Fort Myers 3 weeks later.
Some important things to note:
1) Because of the “hard” dates for our cruise, we are forced to try to snag business-class seats on the first day or two when they are available; otherwise we risk missing them altogether.
2) Because (except for United) it is hard to find a good combination of domestic and international flights from the same provider, we are forced to do the actual booking of the international flights on different dates and with different carriers because some international flights become available for booking much sooner than domestic flights.
3) Because we only have one “transferable” currency (Chase Ultimate Rewards points) we have a limited number of transfer partners to play with.
4) We have an additional complication because one of those transfer partners (Singapore Air) can take up to 17 hours for points to arrive from Chase. This means that, once I have found the flight, I have to wait up an additional day before I can book it….and remember “time is of the essence” for us or we completely miss booking for the travel dates we require.
5) I wanted to book ANA open-jaw, but could not because I would have to wait 3 weeks for the return leg to open up for booking and thereby would probably lose seats for the outbound leg in the process. Besides, trying to even look at ANA flights through Virgin is a nightmare, and so I wouldn’t take a chance with ticketing, even though the points saved would be very large.
I started by looking at United for flights RSW-LAX-SIN. United’s booking system is simple and quick and they would have all the flights we might need in one place; plus we have both Chase points (transferable) and United miles (if needed). I quickly discovered that United charges a HUGE premium for this convenience. The flights we wanted (one-way in economy domestically but Business class internationally) would probably cost 222,000 United miles for each person, even specifying economy for the staging flights. That would conceivably mean 888,000 miles for 2 people round-trip! At this point I didn’t know much except that we couldn’t afford that many Chase points.
Remember…..I am inserting “test” dates in the booking to see what might become available when I am finally able to book.I have no certainty that these same flights will actually be available when it comes time to actually book them.
Using your advice, I then researched Aeroplan, British Airways and Singapore Air as alternatives. I could transfer Chase points immediately to Aeroplan and British Air, but transfers to Singapore Air might take up to 17 hours! This could jeopardize our plans since we might lose the seats while waiting for the points to arrive so we could book them.
Singapore air had the earliest possible booking date, so I concentrated on them, thinking I would have fallback opportunities with the others if I missed booking with SING. They had direct flights (and some less-desirable stopover flights) from LAX to SIN for either 107,000 points (Saver) or 128,000 points (regular) per-person one-way. I had to assume that, because my points transfer might take a day and I might miss the Saver seats, I would probably be paying 128,000 points each.
Checking British Air produced flights for 140,000 AVIOS each one-way with stopovers; and they weren’t bookable until 2 days after SING. Aeroplan actually had some of the same SING flights for only 87,500 points, but the one-day delay until they became available also meant I might miss them if I tried to use Aeroplan instead of buying directly from SING. Aeroplan had other 87,500-point flights but they took anywhere from 21 to 45 hours and often were a mix of only a little business-class seating and a lot of economy seating.
I kept chewing on and comparing all these alternatives, while also examining domestic “staging” flights (using either cash or miles). Could I book the staging flight with points? How many? Would the staging flight arrive in time for the transfer to the international leg? Would my wife have to spend 4-7 hours in an economy seat for the staging flight?
Then….5 days into this exercise…. it hit me! What about flying out of SFO instead of LAX? I quickly learned that the SING flies out of both airports, for the same number of points. SING flights, even the direct flights SFO-SIN, were STILL available for Saver points weeks after the first day they had become available. And the flight schedule was almost the same as the flights from LAX, which allowed us plenty of time to get there on our “staging” flights from RSW. AHA….I had some breathing room! This also meant that these same SING flights might even still be available on Aeroplan the next day for even fewer points….. BONUS!
Next I went back to tackle the domestic leg. I will not waste my time and energy trying to book a Turkish Miles ‘n Smiles ticket for 7,500 points, so I again opened my mind and considered using AA points for the staging flights. I found that there were more AA flights available for about the same number of AA miles (12-17k) which would get us to SFO in time. Cash prices RSW-SFO were also lower than to LAX. And the stopover airports on the AA flights meant that my wife wouldn’t have to spend more than 3 ½ hours in an economy seat.
Bottom line…..what started out looking like 222,000 miles/points each for one-way tickets became probably 105,000 miles/points each for all the outbound segments…..a savings of more than 50%.
And the thanks goes to you guys and what you’ve taught me and so many others. Because of your help, my wife and I are able to travel more, and to more places, than we would ever have been able to using cash. Thank you!
@Greg / @Nick Reyes — You mention Thrifty Traveler Premium in the “Tools we use” article, but there’s not a lot of detail about how valuable the service is. There’s a sale through 2-March for a two-year subscription for $90, versus the regular $400. Any thoughts???
It’s tough to say. I don’t have a subscription so I don’t have a good idea of how valuable it is. If you used it to help book just one big trip per year, though, it should be easily worth way more than $45 per year.
@Nick Reyes / @Greg – is there an email option to reach out to you guys for a question?
See this page for details about how to contact us: https://frequentmiler.com/contact-frequent-miler/
Just a heads up. For several days now I haven’t been able to log into mygift.giftcardmall.com to track balances on gift cards I buy to earn points. This seems to be because I use Apple mobile devices. The cite is still accessible via computer but very tediously. When attempting to access giftcardmall the cite rejects my correct captcha answers. I’ve contacted the gift card customer service several times but they don’t seem to have a clue.
Please update your page that lists the best cards for bonus category spend. You have the “Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus World Mastercard” as offering 10% on multiple categories in the first six months. The link on that page is broke and more importantly, the card only offers 1.8% on everything.
HiGreg, Greg here. Wanted to find out how we can grow our Airport Parking brand parkingaccess offering parking reservations at over 50 US Airports. Please ping me to discuss in more detail
I was reading and you got me thinking about something. I never use my points on Amazon but there’s an option on there to use them. How do I remove that option so that if my Amazon account gets hacked they can’t use my points?
I think that if you remove your associated credit card from your Amazon account the option will go away. I think there’s also an option within Amazon to deregister, but I’m not sure where.
On your best offers page I’m not seeing any Delta special offers. I’m thinking about doing the delta bness Amex gold for 75k points No annual fee first year.
Where did you find that Gold card offer? We’ll list it if it’s a publicly accessible link
Targeted I believe. 75k for gold and 90 for platinum bness. And 60k for consumer. Till 1/25/23. E-mail offer sent directly to me.
I obtained the Venture X credit card in March 2022 (card is still open) and got the 100k signup bonus (!). Can I sign up for and get the Venture card sign up bonus (currently 75k points)?
Yes, you can get the Venture. Those are entirely separate products.
Hi Guys, we’re headed to a Kimpton for our anniversary this weekend. Do they have a secret password right now? Thanks!
ROI on donating to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Ian efforts (besides feeling good about being charitable): AA is offering 10 AAdvantage miles per dollar donated. Q4 2022 Chase Freedom 5x bonus categories include PayPal. For infrequent users for their AAdvantage accounts, this will reset your mileage expiration.
What’s the app called that you can buy gift cards that are coded as restaurants? It was briefly discussed on the last podcast about New Marriott Cards.
It’s called Fluz. It codes restaurant or food delivery gift cards as dining. You can a bit about it here: https://frequentmiler.com/instant-gift-card-deals/
Hi. Is this new Aeroplan card available for Canadians? I understand it is a Chase based card. What is the cost for a secondary card?
No, there are different Aeroplan cards for Canadians. You can find details about them here: https://princeoftravel.com/best-credit-cards/aeroplan/
This article was all about “Dummy Offers” – but you never explained what a ‘Dummy” was. I’m a frequent flyer (several million miles on multiple airlines) and I do not know what that term signified
A question on Chase Ink cards. I have 4 of them and think it’s time to retire the Chase Ink Business plus card. The card fee just popped up and I think this card is now redundant. Yes, it has a higher cap on spend of $50k with 5x points in office supplies, cable, internet and phone. Ink Business Cash card replicates those categories but at a lower cap of $25000. I never went over 25K, so I think I should just close the Business plus card down and try to transfer the credit limit to another business card. I have Chase Sapphire Reserve as a safe refuge for my points. Let me know if I’m missing anything. Thanks!