Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy, knows how to work the system when it comes to collecting and maximising reward points.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
When I’m at my house in Pennsylvania, I like to have a cup of cold brew coffee with almond milk to get me going and then I like to go out and say good morning to my horses. Their energy is the best way to start the day.
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What inspired you to launch ‘The Points Guy’?
I’ve had a good understanding of how to maximise points and miles since I was a young child. When I started working in Corporate America, I realised I could start earning a lot of points for myself through work travel. In 2010, I started The Points Guy as a blog for fun, and never in a million years did I think it would grow to what it is today. I get great satisfaction out of helping people unlock the power of points and miles. It’s the best job in the world to help people explore this amazing earth.
What’s the best way to get started when it comes to building points for an enthusiast?
Sign up for hotel and airline loyalty programmes as most are free and a great way to earn points when you fly and stay at ho- tels. Second, credit cards are the biggest way to earn points from not only travelling but through everyday purchases. The best way to earn lots of points sustainably is to have a multifaceted approach – earn from travel, earn from everyday spending, and book smartly.
What are the top 3 tips you can share to get started?
My top three tips to get started are first, it’s important to get the right credit card that rewards you for what you spend the most on. Secondly, always shop through online shopping portals for extra miles and points and lastly leverage social media and travel platforms to find the best deals such as Scott’s Cheap Flights, The Points Guy and Google Flights.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path. Some of my best trips have been to less popular destinations such as Israel and Rwanda which really open your eyes to amazing and different cultures, wildlife, and cuisines.
What is the best thing you’ve been able to afford through the points you’ve collected?
It’s been amazing to travel with my parents and take them on memorable trips. For example, we flew the Emirates A380 together and I made my mom take a shower to experience doing so at 40,000 feet in the sky. We also use points and miles to support an amazing nonprofit organisation called PeaceJam and visit their communities in Ghana, Liberia, South Africa and Guatemala. So, using points and miles to both giveback and travel with my parents has been my ultimate dream.
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