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Saturday was the fourth anniversary of the site’s first post: How Much Are Frequent Flier Miles Worth? A Guide. I celebrated by taking the day off.

Thanks to everyone who has read the site, used the MileValue Award Booking Service, or applied for a credit card using a link on this site. Your support has allowed me to make a living by typing up tips for cheap, free, or luxurious travel on my laptop all over the world.

I decided to start this site in February 2012 when I was in Rwanda. There were other miles blogs at the time, but I was unsatisfied with their explanations and analysis. I thought my writing could be clearer and my analysis more rigorous. When I got back to Los Angeles, where I was living, I bought the domain and sketched out the first post, which I wrote in a hotel in Atlanta where I went to watch the ACC basketball tournament.

In the early days, I wrote a post a day and spent the rest of the time award booking for clients. I got big breaks in terms of new eyeballs when I had an interview published on Million Mile Secrets; when I broke free one ways, which most other miles blogs then wrote about with attribution; when I drew the ire of Rick from Frugal Travel Guy; when the New York Times featured my tips, and when Mashable picked up a blogpost about a reader success story.

Now I write more like 15 posts a week, while also juggling the Award Booking Service, and the other tasks involved with running a blog. Traffic continues to grow even though the rewards environment isn’t as good as it was four years ago. (It is still very good, just not quite as good. Part of this is cyclical and will bounce back if the economy worsens; part of it is the banks, airlines, and hotels wising up and closing loopholes that won’t come back. However there will always be a way for smart travelers to get outsized value unless everything goes revenue based on earning and redemption.)

I would be using miles and points to travel the world luxuriously for pennies even if I didn’t have this blog. However, it is you, the reader, who keeps MileValue going. Thanks for showing up for the last four years, and let’s go at least another four.

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