Last week I announced that the MileValue e-book comes out next Tuesday (October 27). The question I’ve been getting since then is “Will I get value out of the e-book?”

The book is targeted toward beginners, including people who know nothing about miles. A lot of people reading this blog realize that they are novices, but a lot of people are effectively complete beginners without realizing it.

Maybe they’ve been collecting miles with a single credit card on a single airline for years or been flying an airline for a decade and maintained elite status, so they think they’ve “got it” figured out. A few seconds talking with these people or a few emails exchanged shows me how little they actually know about earning and redeeming miles the best ways. I don’t say this to be mean. I say this because if you don’t know what you don’t know, you can’t learn.

Are you one of these people? Here’s a test that an intermediate or expert would score 100% on. If you miss a question, it shows a deep misunderstanding of how miles work that the MileValue book will correct.

  1. If you are using American Airlines miles to book a Cathay Pacific flight, do you need to follow American Airlines award rules or Cathay Pacific rules or does it depend on some other factor?
  2. You find American Airlines AAnytime award space on aa.com, but it isn’t on ba.com. Why not?
  3. British Airways and American Airlines are oneworld alliance partners. American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines are partners. Can you use British Airways miles to book Hawaiian Airlines flights?
  4. You have a Chase Sapphire Preferred and add your wife as an authorized user on the account. Can she open her own Chase Sapphire Preferred account and get a sign up bonus?
  5. Why does aa.com show no award space from Los Angeles to Bangkok on any days for the next 11 months?
  6. Why would you want to use Singapore miles to book United flights to Hawaii?
  7. Continuing your plan to book United flights with Singapore miles, you search EWR-HNL on singaporeair.com and nothing comes up. What’s the next move?
  8. You want to add a free one way after the main roundtrip part of a United award. Does it have to go from your home airport or to your home airport?
  9. Why are Capital One miles terrible for international Business Class? What miles should you use instead?
  10. Why does that roundtrip from New York to London you found on aa.com have $1,000 in taxes?
  11. How can you combined United and Lufthansa miles?

There’s a lot more to the book than just the answers to these questions, and the book is not laid out in a q-and-a format at all. The questions above are only to illustrate your skill level. If you didn’t get 100%, you are a beginner. You have a lot to learn about what types of frequent flyer miles there are, how all those types work, and how to plan and execute award bookings.

If you are a beginner, this book could literally be the best money you ever spend. I don’t think that’s hyperbolic because I consider the knowledge I gained from joining the travel hacking community to currently have a bigger impact on my life than anything else I’ve learned. It allows me to travel almost free 365 days a year. It will allow you to do the same thing, and it will certainly allow you to meet more modest goals like a family vacation to Paris.

What should you do now?

If you didn’t answer 100% on my little quiz, sign up on the waitlist page to be notified the moment the book goes on sale. As a special bonus, you’ll get a free report titled “Copy These Trips: How I Flew To Over 65 Countries In First Class Or Business For Free.” I encourage you to check it out for some actionable tips and to share it with anyone else you know who wants to travel more, better, and cheaper.

Answers, by the way:

  1. American Airlines rules, you always use the rules and award chart of the miles you are using.
  2. Partners only have access to Saver award space or “MileSAAver” space as AA calls theirs.
  3. No, BA and Hawaiian are not partners.
  4. Yes
  5. Because only 8 of 24 airlines you can book with AA miles are searchable on aa.com, and none of those can be used to fly from the United States to Bangkok. Search ba.com in this case, and generally be aware of where to search each partner. There is a huge chart showing where to search over 60 airlines in the book.
  6. Singapore has access to all the same United Saver award space and charges the fewer miles and the same taxes.
  7. Similar to #5. Singaporeair.com doesn’t show United award space. Search that on united.com, and then call Singapore to book the space you find.
  8. From
  9. Because you get a fixed one cent per Capital One mile towards airfare, and international Business Class is expensive. Use Region Based miles (defined in the book) instead.
  10. Those are mostly fuel surcharges for flying British Airways flights. There is a chart in the book that shows the airlines and awards that have fuel surcharges, so you won’t book them. $200 to $300 of that $1,000 is taxes. That can be largely avoided by returning from somewhere other than Great Britain.
  11. Even though they are partners, you cannot combine the two programs’ miles. You can almost never combine miles between two airline programs.

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