Getting Started with Points and Miles- Look and Learn Before Your Leap

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Welcome to the world of points and miles!  We’re sharing how ordinary people can travel to extraordinary places with the use of airline miles and hotel points.  In this series we lay out steps to save money and travel more.  These steps include:

In step one, we discussed how points and miles make travel possible for ordinary people.  We hope you’re inspired and ready to get started.  What’s the next step?  Look and learn before you leap.  Before jumping in with both feet, here are some things to think about. 

Go One Step at a Time

Everyone has their own pace, so pick a pace that works for you. In this series we’ll guide you along a path, you can take the steps as quickly or as slowly as you want.  Just go one step a time.


Don’t Get Confused or Overwhelmed  

As you dig deeper into the points and miles community, you’ll realize how much there is to learn.  On top of that, the lingo can get confusing! You’ll hear terms like flying in “J” (Business class) or being “Globalist” (a hotel status).  In this series, we’ll keep it straight forward, so don’t get distracted by terms you don’t understand.  If something doesn’t make sense, we’ll try to make it clear.


Remember That a Trip to Rome Was Not Built in a Day

Travel blogs can portray a picture of non-stop travel in luxury hotels and first-class flights.  These trips are certainly possible, but like the fine print regarding the person in the weight loss commercial who lost 50 pounds, in small print it says “results not typical”. Miles and points do allow ordinary people to travel to extraordinary places, but it takes time and effort to earn those miles.  Dream of where miles and points can take you, but also be realistic as you get started. 


Take Time to Learn About Points and Miles

Like any new endeavor, there’s a learning curve.  Take time to read up on points and miles.  Learn about airlines and hotel programs that might be interesting to you.  For example, before earning Delta points, find out, does Delta offer flights from your local airport?  And if so, do they offer attractive routing to places you want to go?  If not, find out before you spend six months earning Delta miles.  Take time to learn about earning points and miles, redeeming points and miles.  This series is a great place to start, and along the way, we’ll try to point you to helpful resources.


Don’t Lose More Than You Gain

Earning airline miles is usually connected to spending money, so in your quest to rack up points, consider the financial cost.  For example, a quick way to earn a large number of miles, is by signing up for credit cards.  There could be a credit card company that offers 50,000 miles for signing up and spending $4,000 in the first 90 days.  Wow! 50,000 points sounds great, so what could wrong with this?   Not everyone needs a new credit card! And, not everyone needs or is able to spend $4,000 in 90 days!  If earning points is causing debt, or unneeded spending, you’re losing more than you gain. 

Do not lose more than you gain

A Note on Credit Cards We’ll talk more about credit cards in a future step, but if, for whatever reason, you are not able to pay off the full balance of your credit card on a monthly basis you’ll lose more in money than you gain in miles.  The goal of earning miles is to take a trip, not accumulate financial debt.      


Earning points and miles is a great way to travel the world.  But before jumping in, take time to look and learn before you leap.    

Next Step: Decide What Type of Rewards You Want to Begin Earning


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