MileValue has been going through many changes, mostly behind the scenes, since I took over from Scott Grimmer at the conclusion of 2017. Starting now and continuing in the new year, you’re going to see the fruits of that labor on center stage!

Firstly I would like to introduce the new faces of the MileValue Award Booking Service team: Daniel Gus and Kevin Bathke. I posted a wanted ad in late September, and after speaking with many qualified and eager applicants, I chose Daniel and Kevin. Thanks to all who applied! I was so pleased with the response.

Daniel, Kevin, and I are working on restructuring the Award Booking Service to better serve all of you who want help finding award seats around the world. Rest assured you are in knowledgeable, kind, and polite hands with Daniel and Kevin. We will get your trips booked in less time and for less miles than what you’d spend, in whatever class you wish to travel in.

Daniel Gus

Portland, Oregon

Daniel has been helping others travel worldwide for over a decade. With his wife and three kids in tow, he has travelled to a number of countries and continents, virtually all on points and miles. Daniel loves to interact with new people, especially over travel. He spends most of his time with friends & family talking faith and theology, playing outdoors, and scheming for his next big trip. 

“While I’m new to this job, I’m not new to finding hidden gems for the sake of the ideal trip – I look forward to working with you!” -Daniel

What’s in Daniel’s Wallet

Right now, him and his wife are each using the Chase Southwest Premium Rewards Business Card and Chase Southwest Performance Business Card so that they can both earn the Southwest Companion Pass at the beginning of 2020 for the next two years.

Otherwise, the Platinum Card from American Express is at the front of his wallet. Never had the Platinum? Check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for the 100,000 Membership Reward Bonus that pops up regularly. Read about the targeted bonus and the CardMatch Tool here.

Kevin Bathke

Little Rock, Arkansas

Kevin and his wife, Katia, live to travel. And one could also easily argue travel to live, as they have leveraged credit card points, airline miles, and cheap(er) cash fares across 40-some countries to date: from Kazakhstan to Curaçao, Argentina to Georgia (not that Georgia, The Republic of Georgia!) where they aim to launch in-depth customized tours in the near future. You can also join them on Instagram, @K2republic.

“I get such a thrill booking award trips for other people that sometimes I have to remind myself that I am not actually going on the trip! It’s been a pleasure to work with this team and every client thus far, here’s to continued success!”

What’s in Kevin’s Wallet

The majority of his points are in the Chase ecosystem (from the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Freedom, and Chase Ink Business Cash) for redemptions via British Airways and United. Kevin enjoys finding interesting ways to use the “Excursionist” perk, and for benefits like the great international Priority Pass lounges. He also uses the Citi Premier, as he love the Lifemiles program, and for the moment fills out his game with airline cards like the Chase United Explorer, Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard, and AAdvantage Aviator Business MasterCard for redemptions such as Kazakhstan all the way back to little ‘ol Little Rock (for just 40,000 miles)! 

And then of course, there’s me…

Sarah Page Maxwell. That’s a double first name folks, a gift from the southern background whence I came.

I sometimes step in to lend a hand with award bookings when there are a surplus of requests. Born and raised in North Carolina, y basado en Buenos Aires, Argentina, I have been able to live transiently for the last seven years thanks to miles and points. Now I work on sharing what I’ve learned with others to help them accomplish the goal of traveling for less. I do that via blog content, and MileValue’s Award Booking and Credit Card Consultation Services.

I live in Argentina, so yes, I drink wine.

What’s in My Wallet

I recently opened a Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Business MasterCard and so now am chipping away at the $1,000 minimum spending requirement for the quite large 75k AAdvantage mile bonus. I’ve already gotten 10k of the bonus from having an employee make one purchase on their authorizer user card, and I’ll earn the other 65k bonus miles once I’ve spent $1,000. So why did I say chipping away? Spending $1,000 in three months doesn’t seem that hard for most who read this blog. But the economic situation in Argentina has shifted yet again, and it’s not advantageous for me to use credit cards down here at the moment. I get a good deal more pesos for my dollars exchanging them physically on what’s called the Blue Market. The linked post Scott wrote in 2017, but much of what’s explained still applies and/or applies once again.

Where MileValue is Headed

Among other endeavors, 2019 was the year of the redesign. I learned some big lessons, one being: “Websites ALWAYS take longer than expected. Always!” Thanks to Shelli Stein–fellow rewards/travel blogger whose content you may have seen on Point me to the Plane or Travel with Grant –for pointing that out to me when I wrote to her flustered by the delay of the redesign’s launch. Keep an eye out for blog posts by Shelli on MileValue in the not too far off future.

MileValue as you know it isn’t changing too much, but it will look better, come with a cleaner interface as far as ease of use, and hopefully as a result instill a stronger sense of trust in our content and services. And even more importantly I’m building a new team of knowledgeable people to deliver all of those things: content and our paid services. That’s the part I’m most excited about.

I’m not going to give you a definite date when the redesign will launch. As I said above, I’ve learned better. But I have good reason to believe the debut will be before 2019 concludes. 

Bottom Line

It’s been a process transitioning MileValue 1.0 (Scott) to MileValue 2.0 (me + a new team). I didn’t want to lose the original flavor Scott built a following around, but I also needed to incorporate myself and my goals into the core of the business. Hopefully you’ll notice and enjoy what I’ve been working on from a more holistic perspective in 2020.

Daniel and Kevin, it makes me so happy to welcome you to the MileValue family. I ask that you readers out there make them feel welcome as well, and give our new and improving Award Booking Service a shot!

**Want to be notified every time new content is published on MileValue? Sign up for our email newsletter here. I will not send you 10 million emails that clog up your inbox…it’s only the latest content, and no more than once a day. For the moment the newsletter is sent via an outdated platform called Feedburner, but that’s changing soon too. It will be shiny and pretty and fun to read, and not ever end up in your spam folder on accident.**

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