Hack Your Wealth
How to maximize point redemptions for free flights with Sarah Maxwell
Feb 11, 2020 · 58 min
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#17: Last week I talked about how I treat miles and points as a tax-free asset class in my portfolio.

That’s because they literally translate into thousands of bucks in savings. For every trip.

It’s one of the highest impact ways to boost your nest egg because those dollars stay compounding in your portfolio rather than getting spent.

That’s why for this week’s podcast, I invited Sarah Page Maxwell, a miles and points expert, to share strategies on how to maximize point redemptions specifically for free flights – especially international flights, since those have the biggest arbitrage opportunities for outsized redemption value.

Whether you’re booking long-haul economy or splurging for business class, today’s episode will train you to think strategically about award travel so you save big on your future trips…and boost your nest egg at the same time!

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How the miles and points landscape has changed over the years and where the opportunities still are
  • Strategies for maximizing your point redemptions
  • What is considered a “good” redemption value (and why you shouldn’t just use the sticker price of a flight)
  • How to pick the flexible point program that best matches your travel goals
  • Tradeoffs for redeeming from an issuer’s own travel portal vs. transferring out to partners
  • Tools for getting the latest scuttlebutt on redemption arbitrage opportunities/inefficiencies

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • MileValue
  • Milez.biz
  • PointsBuzz
  • Credit card churning subreddit
  • FlyerTalk
  • After our interview, Sarah also shared this resource: Where to credit. Tool to help you figure out where to best credit miles you earn when you fly. From Sarah: “Many don’t realize that just because you’re flying American doesn’t mean you have to credit the miles you earn to American. Credit them instead to a foreign frequent flyer program that hasn’t shifted to a revenue-based earning structure, but instead still awards miles based on distance flown. Simply put in what airline you’re flying and in what class, and it tells you how many miles you’d earning crediting to all the different partners.”
  • HYW private Facebook community

Intro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Musicom.

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