About POINTS PROVISIONS and Mission Statement


The Mission of POINTS PROVISIONS is to communicate the benefits of points and miles by helping people travel the world with less expense. 

This blog is meant to be for general knowledge about collecting and redeeming points and miles and is initially being created as a reference for my own benefit as well as for family and friends who may be interested in learning about this hobby.  I want to provide an easy to understand place to learn how to get added value from spend that we all do day to day.  This is why I will always pay with a credit card instead of using cash.  By using credit cards to earn points on spend that we would make anyway as well as strategically signing up for new credit cards to earn large sign-up bonuses, we can travel the world for less. 

As of now the blog will not be like other points and miles blogs where you can find current hot deals or travel reviews.  It will not be getting updated with new posts everyday.  This is a side project for me, so I will add relevant posts when I can.  Comments will also be closed since I won't be able to respond in a timely manner.  

IMPORTANT CREDIT CARD WARNING: If you are not diligent about paying your credit card bills in full every month, then this hobby is NOT for you.  You will end up losing money due to the credit card interest charged and will also possibly damage your credit rating.  Only partake in this hobby if you are able to pay your bills in full on time every month! 

MY POINTS JOURNEY
My first point earning credit card was the Chase Freedom no annual fee credit card which I opened around 2008.  I did not believe in credit cards with annual fees and couldn't understand why people would pay for a credit card.  I was happy redeeming my points for cash back, which at the time Chase let you redeem 20,000 points for $250 in cash.  

A few years later my family was making yearly trips to Japan as well as other trips and I could see that our travel expenses were adding up.  One day one of my work colleagues, who knew of my travel patterns and noticed I had the Chase Freedom credit card, asked if I was into points.  I said "yes" and that I enjoy getting cash back.  He told me I should look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, which had an annual fee, so I can then transform my points into airline miles that I could then use to redeem for flights with a smaller cash expense than paying for flights as I normally did.  This could help me get better value from my points and save even more money on travel.  He also told me he always signs up for new credit cards to get the large sign-up bonuses that are offered, that it's the fastest way to accumulate a lot of points, and the sign-up bonus far outweighs the annual fee so you come out ahead.  

At the time I was still kind of skeptical about annual fee credit cards and also if I could actually get "free" flights out it.  I was happy just using my one credit card, the Chase Freedom.  But after reading more about Travel Hacking on the internet, and gaining a bit more knowledge I decided to give it a try.  This was in 2013 and since diving in and applying for more points earning credit cards and saving my points to make my first redemption in 2014, I've been hooked.  

My first redemption was actually for my in-laws from Japan.  I was able to get 2 one-way economy tickets on Japan Airlines for flights arriving in the US for a total at that time of 58,500 American Airlines miles (65,000 - 6,500 10% rebate with a Citibank AA credit card) plus $136.80 and 2 one-way economy tickets back to Japan from the US on All Nippon Airways using a total of 70,000 United Airlines miles plus $5.  At that time, the cash price on 2 roundtrip economy flights from Japan to the US was about $2,600 total so it was a decent amount of money saved.  

My first redemption for myself and my family was a European trip where we visited London, Paris, and Munich.  For these flights I was able to redeem 180,000 United Airlines miles plus $467.70 for economy flights on United and Lufthansa for 3 people.  This itinerary included 3 flights and the cash price at the time was about $5,000 total.  We were also able to use points for our hotel stays with the best redemption being the Hyatt Regency London-The Churchill which had cash prices of around $500 per night.

If you ever dreamed about flying in a lay flat seat and experiencing first or business class or staying in 5-star hotels around the world, these awards are within reach as well.  I say this so you know what's possible and that you can do it too!  Since I started with this hobby, my cash savings from my award redemptions has been in the six figures by using points and miles instead of paying cash for my families flights and hotels.  But let's be honest, without this hobby me and my family wouldn't have ended up going on some of the trips we've made, mainly because we wouldn't be able to justify spending so much on travel.  For this reason, I want to spread the knowledge.  Not only does this hobby broaden your life, it allows you to do things you may never have been able to do or even thought possible, and for this I am very grateful.

Any redemption is a good redemption in my book if it makes you happy. It allows you to save some hard earned cash as well as adding to your life experiences.  Saving money on flights and hotels also allows you to maybe splurge a little more at your destination for attractions, restaurants, or anything else since you’re saving the cash you would have spent on the flights and hotels.  Anything really is possible!  If you have travel goals that you never thought could happen, you can make them happen with points and miles and I will do my best to explain it as easily as possible.

Thanks for reading and get out there and see the world!
Brian

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