Miles and Points: Why you should start using it

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Miles and Points. You may have seen these terms floating around on the internet, or heard about it from your frequent flyer friends. You may have seen examples of how ordinary people can seemingly afford outrageously expensive plane tickets in First Class, taking showers and eating 5-course meals on a plane, or frequently staying at high-end hotels. How is this even possible without spending your life’s fortune?

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Flying in JAL’s First Class Suites for less than the price of economy

I know a lot of my friends basically block off their mind when I try to explain this to them, so before you get scared off, let me tell you the basic premise of using miles and points:

Travelling with Miles and Points simply refers to the art of collecting frequent flyer miles or hotel loyalty points, and using them to redeem flights, hotels and upgrades at highly discounted prices, or sometimes even free.

That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Using miles and points is one of the most misunderstood concepts, but it’s also one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself. Plenty of people use miles and points to their benefit to save thousands and thousands of dollars on plane tickets and hotels every year. Not only do you save on regular flights that you would have paid for anyway, miles and points also unlocks many aspirational products that you would have been out of reach otherwise.

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Fine dining at 35,000 ft.

What’s absolutely great about it is how SIMPLE and EASY it can be to start! The strategies around this are not actually as extreme as it might sound. Simply by flying and collecting the miles is already one step towards being able to leverage this powerful currency. In fact, some of you probably already do that!  You don’t need to know a whole lot at all to start reaping the rewards, but once you get comfortable and put more into it, the more benefits you will see.

Before you read any further, I want to clarify something: miles and points are NOT just for the elite upper class or the frequent business traveler. ANYONE can do this. Having been using miles and points for just over two years now, I still don’t consider myself an expert. In fact, I am learning more everyday, and I feel there is so much more I can be doing. Even as someone who just started out doing this hobby casually, within these two years I’ve been able to take several trips that were only made possible through the techniques that I will share with you.

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Cathay Pacific A350 business class from YVR to HKG

Over the course of several months, I’ll be releasing a series of blog posts to create a complete beginner’s guide to using miles and points. Emphasis is on the word BEGINNER, because I recognize that there are many people who would love to travel in more comfort, but find the learning curve around this topic way too steep and confusing. There’s a lot of information out there about miles and points, but a lot of it is too complicated or assumes you know certain things about loyalty programs or credit cards. The average traveler cannot connect with it. They may already be getting great deals and cheap fares, but they don’t know that they could be getting so much more, without paying any extra. My guide will keep things as simple as possible, while giving you the resources to delve deeper should you want to.

If you don’t want to miss these upcoming blog posts, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, so you will be the first to know once the posts are available.

To give you an idea what you can expect to be able to achieve, here are some photos from personal trips I’ve taken, that uses the exact same strategies that I will talk about in the guide.

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Enjoying a Japanese appetizer set on JAL’s Dreamliner business class
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Spacious lie-flat bed while flying ANA business class from SFO to NRT
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Direct aisle-access business class seats flying Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to Paris
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Enjoying a signature Cathay Pacific drink ‘Oriental Breeze’ + a tray of warm nuts flying from ICN to HKG
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Cathay Pacific’s beautiful A350 business class cabin from YVR to HKG

If you’re interested in learning how to travel in premium cabins for pretty much the same cost as flying in economy cabins, or if you just want to rack up points to redeem a few free flights a year, I would encourage you to subscribe and stick around for our beginner’s guide to miles and points.

In my next post, I’ll be talking about the top ten myths surrounding miles and points, as well as educating you on what the truth actually is! Stay tuned for that.

I’m super excited to be sharing my knowledge and experiences with you guys. I know a lot of people who love to travel, but hate the flying portion, and simply want to get to their destination as quickly as possible. For me, the journey to the destination is half the fun, and hopefully this guide will help enjoy that part of your travels as well!

Continue to Part 2: 10 Myths about Miles and Points

If you haven’t already, be sure to drop your email in the newsletter subscription box, so you will have access to the guides as soon as they are released!

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Alvin is an aviation geek, enthusiast photographer, and software developer with a goal of exploring the world. He uses mileage programs to redeem premium flight travel, and shares his experiences here on OneMoreWeekToGo.

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