Scott Grimmer is the founder and author of Mile Value. He is a miles aficionado and avid traveler, born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has earned and redeemed tens of millions of miles for himself and others. You can follow his blog on Twitter, Facebook or You Tube.
First of all tell everyone a basic background of who you are…
I’m a 26 year old full time miles blogger and award booker, living in Hawaii. I started Mile Value in March 2012 because other blogs at the time focused too little on redeeming frequent flyer miles.
Earning miles is easy, but useless, if you don’t know how to redeem them.
The blog shot to fame in 2012 when I discovered how to add Free Oneways to United and US Airways awards. My techniques have since been covered in the New York Times and Mashable.
What motivated you to start to start your blog?
I started the blog because I thought I knew more about redeeming airline miles than the people who were already blogging at the time. I really enjoy booking awards for myself and others, so I started an Award Booking Service at the same time. The MileValue Award Booking Service is now one of the largest in the world. We’ve redeemed tens of millions of miles for trips all over the world. We charge only $125 per passenger.
What advice do you have for someone looking to apply for an airline miles credit card?
Work backwards. Figure out where you want to go, when, and in what cabin. Then figure out the best miles for that trip based on who flies there, with what product, and with how much award space.
Then get the card(s) you need to get the miles for the trip.
If you don’t know where to start, I offer a Free Credit Card Consultation where I tell you–based on your travel goals, what cards and miles balances you already have, and how much you spend on cards–which cards to get.
With many airlines struggling financially, do you think that they will eventually scale back their rewards card offerings?
If so, we should take advantage of the awesome current values now.
If not, we should take advantage now and later.
I sure hope programs aren’t scaled back, but whether they are or not does not change my strategy of maximizing them in the present.
Do you feel that airline credit cards offer superior rewards compared to cash back or other rewards credit cards?
It depends on what your travel goals are. If you want to fly international first class, that costs $10,000+ or a little over 100,000 miles. In that case, you want a card that earns traditional airline miles.
But if you want a trip for your family to Disneyworld over your kids’ Spring Break, you’d be better off with a cash back card or the Arrival Plus to avoid having to hunt for award space and to get on the flights that best fit your schedule.
If you had to give one piece of advice for people looking to maximize their airline miles what would it be?
If you can’t find the redemption you want online at the Saver level, call a phone agent. If they can’t find what you want at the Saver level, hire an Award Booking Service. Do not book Standard or Peak price awards.
I understand you’ve traveled over 40+ countries, what have been your favorite places that you’ve visited so far?
Peru is my favorite country. It has everything from the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, the Amazon Rainforest, a beautiful mega-city on the Pacific in Lima, the world’s deepest canyon, the world’s highest navegable lake with indigenous people who live on man-made reed islands, and even stunning beaches in the north. Here’s my Peru Top Ten.
Aside from traveling, what’s the best general advice you want to pass to people?
If you don’t like your job, quit.