The Current Big Picture with Miles and Points

Most of the posts on this site are minutia: a discount on awards to Brazil and Chile or a new Delta route with good award space to Europe. Such posts are only valuable once you understand the big picture and how the miles world works and fits together. Here's the current big picture.
How to Earn Big Miles
Now, more than ever, the way to earn big miles and points for free travel is through credit cards.

The Current Big Picture with Miles and Points

Most of the posts on this site are minutia: a discount on awards to Brazil and Chile or a new Delta route with good award space to Europe. Such posts are only valuable once you understand the big picture and how the miles world works and fits together. Here's the current big picture.
How to Earn Big Miles
Now, more than ever, the way to earn big miles and points for free travel is through credit cards.

Easiest Places to Book with American Airlines Miles

Earlier today, I explained why American Airlines miles are not very good to go to Europe in Business Class (and what the best option is.) Every type of miles has strengths and weaknesses, and overall I consider American Airlines miles the most valuable miles.

Easiest Places to Book with American Airlines Miles

Earlier today, I explained why American Airlines miles are not very good to go to Europe in Business Class (and what the best option is.) Every type of miles has strengths and weaknesses, and overall I consider American Airlines miles the most valuable miles.

Best Posts of 2014

Here's a mix of some of my favorite and some of the most popular posts from 2014.

5 Easy Ways to Earn More Miles

How am I flying around the world in some of the world's nicest Business and First Classes? By earning loads of miles, of course. Here are five easy ways you can earn more miles.
1. Collect More Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses
This is the easiest one, and where the vast majority of my miles come from. There are so many 40,000, 50,000, and even larger sign up bonuses available.

Many people worry about what the effect of opening credit cards will be on their credit score.

How to Get 1.52 LifeMiles Per Dollar on All Purchases

Update: Mileage sale extended until 10/3/14.

Today (September 30, 2014) is the last day that you can get 1.52 Avianca LifeMiles on all purchases by using your Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.

This is a big flipping deal!

The Arrival Plus is already the most valuable card for economy redemptions since its 2 miles per dollar on all purchases and 10% rebate on all travel redemptions means you effectively get 2.28% back toward flights on any airline with no blackouts.

The Coolest Thing You Can Do with 60k Miles

Last week I urged people to be realistic with their miles and listed The Easiest Places to Get with Miles. Today I'm telling you to dream big and to look to do things with miles that you couldn't easily or cheaply do without miles.

For instance, for 60,000 miles, you can book yourself a "triangle trip" that lets you practice your Spanish in Chile and Spain.

Only Flying Blue Award Chart Online

Yesterday I wrote that Citi ThankYou Points had added Air France Flying Blue as a 1:1 transfer partner.

That's big news because there are some amazing high value uses for Flying Blue miles, and ThankYou Points are so easy to earn from the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card with its 40,000 point sign up bonus and 3x category bonus on travel and gas purchases.

When I was researching that post though, I couldn't find Flying Blue's complete award chart.

There Is No Transitive Property of Miles

Let me clear up one of the most common types of questions I get from beginners.

There is no transitive property of miles.

Just because Airline A partners with Airline B and Airline B partners with Airline C does NOT mean Airlines A and C are partners.

For instance, in yesterday's post Fully Flat Business Class to Europe for 25,000 Miles, I wrote:
I searched award space on Aer Lingus' routes from Chicago, Boston, and New York to Dublin for one passenger next April through July.

I searched on united.com.