How to Get Maximum Reward Points

Guest: Brian Kelly

Guest: Brian Kelly

My guest Brian Kelly caught the rewards points bug when he was only 13 years old and help a family trip to the Grand Cayman Islands using mostly reward points. Since then, he’s become an expert who shares his advice for backing up rewards, and he does that here in this in-depth interview. We discuss:


  • Why you should sign up for all rewards programs, including ones you don’t think you’ll use frequently.

  • How to get started racking up lots of rewards.

  • How to find and use reward point tracking systems.

  • Don’t think in terms of frequent flyer programs anymore. Think in terms of frequent spender programs instead.

  • How Brian was able to fly business class to South Africa for the trip of a lifetime, at a fraction of what it should a cost.

  • Some great ways to redeem rewards points besides air travel.

  • What to do if you have orphan points – just a few but not enough to redeem for something you want.

  • What fixed value points are and why they are so valuable.

  • There’s always a cost to accruing miles and other rewards. As long as you are redeeming those for more than the cost you’ll come out ahead.

We also discuss credit card reward points in detail, including:

  • Are you afraid to get a new credit card for bonus points?

  • Why you should never carry a balance on your credit cards if your goal is to earn rewards.

  • The right way to cancel the card when it’s not providing value.

  • Why it may be worth it to keep a card that has a hefty annual fee.
  • Why Brian has something like nine credit cards with one issuer and how he gets around their limits.

  • What to do if you apply for a card and are told the decision is pending; and how to request for
    reconsideration.

Brian shares an absolute wealth of information in this interview. Listen and you may become a rewards point junkie too!

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About My Guest


Brian Kelly is The Points Guy. He shares his insights and advice for travel through his website ThePointsGuy.com. He has a huge following worldwide and he has been featured in many news outlets including The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The Los Angeles Times, The Independent, CNN, and the Today Show among others. You can also follow his advice via Twitter @ThePointsGuy.

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