The Basics Of How To Get Started Earning Points And Miles Balances

“Last edited on February 12, 2017, at 1:53 PM.”

That’s the time stamp that’s been staring me in the face for almost the last two years. I’ve intended all this time to write about how to get started with earning miles and points, but it’s just never happened. I mean, that’s the whole reason we started the website; to give tips to people so they’d be able to travel the same way Sharon and I have been able to. After all, I have plenty of experience, since I’d been earning some sort of rewards from my credit card spending for almost as long as I’ve had credit cards. How hard could it be to share what I’ve learned with others?

The problem with telling someone else how to jump-start earning miles and points is that the answer is different for everyone. If I’ve learned anything over the last twenty years, it’s that no two people are the same. Everyone will have different wants and needs, as well as a different ability to earn valuable points and miles.

That’s the reason we called the website Your Mileage May Vary in the first place. There were plenty of sites that told you to sign up for this deal or to use that program because it was the best. After following the directions I read on the internet for a while, I learned that not every deal was for me and some programs were better than others for the way Sharon and I traveled. So when we started the website, it was because we felt someone had to write and say that; what’s good for others might not be best for you, and that’s OK.

So knowing that, how could I reasonably write and explain what to do to start your miles and points balances? I finally realized that by writing articles for this website over the last two years, I’ve already answered the question. The problem is that I’ve spread the answers over multiple articles that span the history of our site. While I’d love to send you on a scavenger hunt through our website, I’m not going to ask you read through all 1,300+ posts we’re written. To make things easier, here are my tips on how to decide the best way for you to get started collecting miles and points. Continue reading “The Basics Of How To Get Started Earning Points And Miles Balances”


Cruising? Watch Out For Pirates! (Yes, There Are Modern-Day Pirates That Attack Cruise Ships)

Joe and I don’t go cruising very much. The main reason for this is me – I just don’t like cruising. It’s not from a lack of trying, either…I’ve been on four Disney cruises and one Holland American cruise. I’ve been on 3 night, 4 night and 7 night cruises. I’ve been to the Western Caribbean, Mexico and Alaska, And although there are a few highlights here and there, and as much as I WANT to enjoy myself on cruises, I’ve always just been pretty “meh” about cruising.

So since cruises are kind of low on my travel radar, my eyes opened a little wider when a friend posted this on her Facebook while on a cruise:

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The Prices For Flights Drive Me Insane

I’ve booked a fair amount of airfare over the years and always try to get the best price for the flights I want. At first, I used a program called Easy SAABRE (anyone else remember that one?), that linked into the same system used by travel agents to book flights. I remember the amazement in my travel agent’s voice when I’d call her and feed her the flights I wanted to take and told her what the price should come out to be.

Alas, the days of IBM PC computers, 2400 baud modems and airlines changing fares once a week are long gone. Now prices can change from one second to the next, depending if there’s a difference of any one of many factors that go into the formula the airlines use to set their price.

So how do you beat the system?

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The Airport Where You Can Be Immersed In A Harry Potter Christmas

Lots of airports are a whole lot of fun during the Christmas season. Sure, some offer local entertainment, but others go a whole lot further. Munich Airport, for example, opens a seasonal Christmas Market, complete with 2 ice rinks and nearly 500 real trees. But frankly, I think Singapore’s Changi Airport may have them all beat this year because they’ve brought The Wizarding World of Harry Potter into THREE of its terminals, with what they call “A Wizarding World Holiday at Changi.”

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Why Don’t You Need To Show Your Passport When Visiting Multiple European Countries?

When Sharon and I traveled to Austria, we flew from London and had a connection in Berlin before heading to Salzburg. I’ve been on international connecting flights before so I was expecting to “transit” in Germany, meaning I wouldn’t go through immigration control until we arrived in Austria. I was a bit surprised that the immigration booth was at the end of the jetway, before we could even enter the terminal. There was one line for EU and Schengen passengers and another line for everyone else. I had no idea what Schengen is but I knew it wasn’t me. I later found out that this is why we didn’t have to go through passport control when arriving in Austria, which was a bummer as we really wanted that passport stamp.

So what does Schengen mean anyway?

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