Hi there! I’m Jessica, and I’m super excited that Derek is letting me guest write for AYP occasionally. At least until I break something….
I got my start in points and miles and all around good travel deals coming back from Rome after completing a college study abroad program. My Delta flight was in need of a volunteer so they could get someone back to the US who had been injured. I volunteered because, why not one more night in Rome?! Upon offering I found out that they would be giving me $1,200 in Delta credits, putting me up for the night and upgrading me for the flight home. Woo hoo!
Then I had a taste of International Business class. It wasn’t lie flat at the time, but boy was it nice compared to what I flew over in! And the wheels started turning…
This was 2008, and since then I’ve accumulated hundreds of thousands of points and miles through travel, credit card spend and sign on bonuses and thousands of dollars in travel credits. I’ve gone on trips that would cost north of $50,000 for less than $500. I’ve visited 36 countries on five continents and flown over 300,000 miles during this time and it’s been amazing!
I had the pleasure of meeting Derek through mutual accounting friends (accountants tend to find each other!) and we immediately started talking about our love of points and miles! I’ve since left the world of accounting and have a recruiting firm to find fellow accounting and finance people jobs. Being a small business owner opens up even more points and miles opportunities!
Visiting Uluru in Australia
Below is a little more about me, feel free to reach out with questions. I look forward to sharing my points and miles adventures, tips and tricks with all of you!
Travel style and upcoming trips: I tend to book trips pretty last minute based on the best “bang for my points!” I don’t currently have anything booked for 2017 as I had my first child, a little girl, in late October! My husband and I used to be luxury aficionados, so we will have to see if our style changes now that there are three of us!
Why points and miles? I love the flexibility of booking with points and miles! It’s usually much cheaper and easier to make adjustments when plans change. I also love that I can plan things last minute and it’s not astronomically expensive!
First points/miles earning credit card: Chase Freedom (I still have it!)
Favorite points/miles earning credit card: Currently, the Chase Sapphire Reserve… Hands down! My largest spend categories are dining and travel, and with this card I earn 3 points per dollar. I also receive a $300 travel credit each year and other great perks. Derek has touted the perks of this card in the past, it’s been a game changer!
Favorite first/business class product flown on miles: Probably Singapore Suites Class, it’s really hard to beat that experience!
Favorite hotel stay on points: My honeymoon! Five nights at the Conrad Rangali Island in the Maldives. This is an amazing property and of course an unforgettable stay! I can’t wait to go back to the Maldives and try another property… perhaps the Park Hyatt!
Manufactured spend opportunity I miss the most: Coins! Haha, for those of you who weren’t doing MS at the time, the US Mint used to allow you to order $1 coins with a credit card. I had these shipped to my parents’ house as I traveled frequently with work at the time. The postman, my parents and the bank tellers all thought I was crazy! I would come to the bank with (extremely heavy!) boxes full of rolled $1 coins to deposit. Every time they asked what they were for, I told the truth, “To earn miles on my credit card.” And I was always met with the same blank stare. All worth it for the travel I earned!
Future travel bucket list: My list is long, and always evolving, but currently includes: Petra, the Black Forrest, Iceland, Machu Picchu, Saint Lucia, Prince Edward County, Istanbul and going on another safari. Stay tuned as I figure out (always last minute) where I’ll be heading next.