ValueTactics.com could never be complete if I didn’t write a post about my favorite sources. Anyone blogging about credit cards, points, miles, etc. is truly standing on the shoulders of giants. I figured it might help my readers to learn where I get much of my info.
If you’ve been in this game for any amount of time, these websites will be familiar to you. In our little corner of the blogosphere these are the heavy hitters, and without their influence, I would not have had the motivation to start my own website. So, without further introduction:
Probably the best well-known blog of its type out there. Brian Kelly, the site’s founder, definitely has the charisma and marketing knack to keep the site at the top of most google searches. He and his team keep the site up-to-the-minute with new cards offers, airline and hotel news, and points strategies.
The Points Guy isn’t my favorite blog, but oddly enough it tends to be the first one I check when I need to get myself updated after a few days off. I guess that’s a testament to google’s influence, and the site’s branding itself. The blog just got a major styling overhaul, making it much more device-friendly, although the full version got a bit slower and resource-heavy. Although The Points Guy is a good source for up-to-date offers and news, the frequency of more general interest travel posts often buries the headline blog posts. Recently I’ve been doing more skimming than reading on The Points Guy.
Another giant in the points blogging world, Million Mile Secrets is run by Daraius Dubash and his wife Emily. Like The Points Guy, this blog is a sure bet to find breaking points and miles news, and with about the same amount of filler posts.
I have always found the site’s visual style to be disruptive, but the content is quite good. I especially appreciate that the primary author usually travels with his wife. Their flight reviews are especially helpful to me, since I usually travel with Nicoleen. Like The Points Guy, Million Mile Secrets is heavily focused on funneling readers to commission-earning credit card application pages. But, to both sites’ credit, they provide ample disclaimers that they do earn profit off your card applications; and both sites will usually inform you if there’s a better offer than their affiliate-linked one for a particular card.
Milevalue is my go-to site for anything related to the airline miles side of things. The author, Scott Grimmer is an expert at finding available award seats, planning itineraries, and generally maximizing airline miles. I especially like how deep his analyses are. Milevalue gets more into detail on the best current flights and how to get on them for free. I appreciate that it’s a bit more focused than other sites. These isn’t nearly as much post filler as the aforementioned blogs. As much as I enjoy and utilize the content, the recent revamp of the sites theme grinds on me and I find it much harder than the old site to navigate and to read articles.
Oh, and did I mention Scott Grimmer lives in Hawaii? Yeah, he’s pretty much on vacation all the time; that’s borderline cheating 🙂
This is another great site to stay up-to-date on every little policy change, point devaluation, and card offer out there. Founded by Rick Ingersoll, the site has a small team of writers, with Howie Rappaport the most conspicuous.
Frugal Travel Guy has by far the best looking and clutter free site design of the group. (I’m quite envious actually.) What I especially love about this website are the posts that are more reflective and mature than the average points and miles blog post. There are many posts and articles here that are useful long after a particular deal is expired, because they offer a lot of good tips on overall strategy and decision-making. For in-depth, non-time specific reading, Frugal Travel Guy is my favorite.
There are many other websites that offer different approaches and tips on points, miles, cards, etc. Some of the honorable mentions are: Deals We Like (I recently studied up on the Chase IHG card here), Mommy Points, and Travel Summary.
All of the above blogs (and of course ValueTactics.com!) are great resources on saving money, getting free money, and traveling in style for free. However, the undisputed champion of detailed info on card offers and miles programs is not a blog at all. It’s a forum: Flyertalk.
Flyertalk is basically the raw data whence the bloggers derive their content.
I use Flyertalk (I’m a major lurker) to find data regarding people’s most recent experiences with whatever I’m trying to do. In the forum you can usually find daily reports of results from people trying to do whatever tactical moves you are interested in; be it applying for a card, fishing for a retention bonus, having offers matched, etc. Whenever I find something I want to pursue in a blog post, I usually go to Flyertalk for further details.
Many of the sites I discussed in this post contain links to card applications and other services that earn the site’s authors commission. After you’ve confirmed the link goes to the best available offer, consider using these affiliate links for your purchases and card applications. Bloggers are people too, and need financial support to do what we do! Although I don’t have much for advertising, I would appreciate it if you check out my current promoted card links, found in the left column (located beneath the posts on smaller devices) and using these links to apply to your card. In any case, give your clicks to those referring websites which you think added some value to your endeavor!