Brian Kelly

Founder and Editor-In-Chief

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is The Points Guy, a leader and influencer in the industry of points, miles and travel in general. As a passionate traveler since childhood, Brian used his knowledge and insight to start ThePointsGuy.com during his time as a Wall Street road warrior while traveling the globe for up to six months a year. Brian was able to book exciting and extravagant trips for next to nothing through his hard-earned loyalty points and airline miles, flying first class and staying at luxury hotels all for less than the cost of a coach ticket and a hostel bed. Due to the immense interest in his tips and advice, Brian left his Wall Street job in June 2011 to grow his site and travel the world full-time.

Through his earning strategies and travel savvy, ThePointsGuy.com now has grown to over 1 Million unique monthly visitors, with a growing staff of ten editors and writers keeping their readers up to date on important points and travel news.

Brian has been featured in over 100 publications and news outlets including The New York TimesCondé Nast TravelerThe Los Angeles TimesThe Independent, CNN, and The Today Show, among others. He has presented at various travel conferences including the LA Times and New York Times Travel Shows, and the annual Chicago Frequent Flyer Seminars.

Brian dishes out more of his signature tips and advice and inspiration on Twitter and Instagram, follow him @ThePointsGuy

 

Articles by The Points Guy

Chase Ink Plus 70,000 Point Sign-up Bonus – Amazing Deal Alert

September 29, 2014

Chase has just launched a limited-time sign-up offer for the Ink Plus card, where you’ll earn 70,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months. That’s 40% higher than the normal sign-up bonus of 50,000 points, so if you’ve been holding off on getting this card, now is the time to do it. Previously this offer was only […]

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Double Hilton HHonors Points or 1,000 Point Bonus Per Stay

September 29, 2014

Hilton HHonors is gearing up to launch their next promotion and wants your vote on what it should be. The two choices are either double points or 1,000 bonus points per night. Members can vote to earn either Double Hilton HHonors Points, beginning on their second stay, or 1,000 Bonus Points for every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night […]

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IHG Releases PointBreaks List for September 29-November 30

September 29, 2014

IHG just released its latest list of PointBreaks hotels for September 29- November 30, 2014. PointBreaks are reduced award redemptions at IHG hotels (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Indigo, Holiday Inn, etc.) that require just 5,000 Rewards Club points for a free night, and change every two months. While many of the participating properties are in fairly mundane destinations, there are always a few worth checking […]

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Do I Have to Pay Taxes on Credit Card Bonuses?

September 28, 2014

TPG reader Rushabh tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy– Do banks report sign-up bonuses to the IRS? Do we have to pay taxes on sign-up bonuses from credit card offers?” Rushabh wants to know what his tax liability is for points and miles earned from a credit card, and is concerned he might have to forfeit some […]

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Do I Earn MQDs for Delta Tickets Booked on Ultimate Rewards?

September 28, 2014

TPG reader Philip tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy If you book Delta tickets through Chase Ultimate Rewards, will you get MQDs? I’ve started to NOT get MQDs on recent tickets I have purchased through Ultimate Rewards.” Credit card points can be especially valuable when redeemed directly for airfare, because you usually earn miles on the […]

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Should I Drop United if I Fly Mostly Long Haul?

September 28, 2014

TPG reader Alvin asked me on Facebook: “I’m an infrequent flyer with United and Star Alliance (two long haul domestic round-trips and a transpacific each year). Since United is shifting to a fare-based mileage plan, this negates my travel style. Should I cash out soon and put my miles on another Star Alliance carrier?” This […]

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Should I Switch From United Premier 1K for More Upgrades?

September 28, 2014

TPG Reader Kyle tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy I’m a United Premier 1K based in San Francisco (SFO). There are too many 1K members in San Francisco, meaning I miss too many upgrades. Does it make sense to switch airlines?” A lot of things are happening for elite flyers this year. First off, United and […]

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Bonus AAdvantage Miles & Avios, Delta MQMs at Hilton, & More

September 27, 2014

Here’s a round-up of the week’s points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed: Reminder: Earn 125,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles Traveling To Europe American Airlines just launched a new promotion where AAdvantage members can earn up to 125,000 bonus AAdvantage miles when flying to Europe in business or first class. You’ll earn: 20,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after your first roundtrip […]

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Earn 250 Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles for Hilton Stays

September 26, 2014

Hilton and Delta just launched a promotion similar to the one they had last year, offering 250 Medallion Qualifying Miles per stay of two nights or more and double miles between October 6, 2014 and December 20, 2014, up to a maximum of 10,000 MQMs when you select Delta as your Hilton HHonors Double Dip partner. These MQMs are in addition to the […]

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Our New Partnership With PeaceJam & 1 Billion Acts of Peace!

September 26, 2014

I am proud to announce TPG’s supporting partnership with PeaceJam and the One Billion Acts of Peace campaign. This remarkable organization harnesses the resources and wisdom of 13 Nobel Peace Laureates (from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to the Dalai Lama) to inspire today’s youth to become leaders and create positive change on a global level. With over 17 years of experience, the […]

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Contest Roundup: Hawaiian Air Miles, $5,000 in Travel, Mexico, Disney

September 26, 2014

Check out the week in travel contests and sweepstakes for your chance to win Hawaiian Airlines miles, a $5,000 Visa gift card towards your next vacation, and trips to Puerto Vallarta, Disney Resorts, New York, London, Paris or Rome. Win 140,000 Hawaiian Air Miles From Hawaiian Airlines Win Hawaiian Air Miles and take your dream […]

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10% Bonus on SPG Transfers to British Airways Until October

September 25, 2014

One of the reasons I frequently sing the praises of transferable points programs is for their occasional transfer bonuses, which can essentially earn you extra points and miles for nothing. As a perfect example, Starwood Preferred Guest is currently offering a 10% bonus for transfers to British Airways Avios, and that’s on top of the 5,000 mile bonus […]

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35% Bonus on Purchased Southwest Points – Should You Buy?

September 25, 2014

Now through October 13, 2014, Southwest is offering a 35% bonus when you buy Rapid Rewards points. Points can be purchased in increments of 500 with a minimum initial purchase of 2,000 points and a daily maximum of 60,000 points. Normally Southwest Rapid Rewards points cost 2.75 cents apiece to purchase, but with this promo the cost is reduced to 2.037 cents apiece. That’s […]

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Thursday Giveaway: Free 5-Day Hertz Rental

September 25, 2014

This past summer, Hertz’s enhanced loyalty program Gold Plus Rewards program celebrated their three year anniversary, allowing participants to earn one Hertz Gold Plus Rewards point for every qualifying US dollar spent on rentals worldwide. In addition, Hertz and Navigation Solutions released the new NeverLost 6, their next generation of their venerable GPS navigation system. The […]

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Aegean Airlines Clamping Down on Star Alliance Status

September 25, 2014

Airline elite status can be a life saver- whether its upgrades or better customer service, it definitely enhances the flying experience. Many airlines also offer perks to elite members when flying on alliance partners- like free checked bags and airline lounge access. Up until now, one of the best ways to earn Star Alliance Gold status was through Greek […]

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$30 in Statement Credits with Amex Small Business Saturday

September 25, 2014

American Express’s annual Small Business Saturday, where Amex cardholders can receive statement credits on purchases made with their American Express cards at local businesses, will be taking place on Saturday, November 29 (right after Thanksgiving) this year. Since it launched in 2010, the has become a part of the “post-Thanksgiving” shopping craze, joining Black Friday and Cyber Monday […]

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What Are Points & Miles Worth? September Monthly Valuations

September 25, 2014

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much is a point or mile worth?” That question varies from person to person and depends on how well you can maximize a particular currency for your needs. Still, some points are worth more than others. To give readers – both old and new – some context, I’ve included […]

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American Airlines Is Ending Partnership with El Al

September 24, 2014

American Airlines just announced that they will be ending their partnership with El Al Airlines effective November 1, 2014. Presently, you can earn and redeem American AAdvantage miles on El Al, and vice versa, though award availability isn’t great and you can’t book first class. This partnership wasn’t that useful, especially since saver US Airways availability on Philadelphia-Tel Aviv is […]

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12 Crazy Forms of ID To Get Through Airport Security

September 24, 2014

If you’ve ever arrived at the airport only to realize you’ve forgotten your driver’s license or passport – or worse, had either lost or stolen during your travels – there may be no reason for panic. As it turns out, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) actually allows some flexibility when it comes to alternate forms of identification to green-light you through security. […]

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Amex SimplyCash Business Card Increased Sign-Up Bonus

September 24, 2014

American Express just refreshed the sign-up bonus offer for the Amex SimplyCash Business Card. The current bonus, which is available until February 24, 2015, offers a statement credit of $250 after you spend $5,000 on the card in your first six months of card membership. While that overall 5% return is somewhat meager compared to other sign-up bonuses, […]

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Earn Up to 125,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles Flying to Europe

September 23, 2014

American Airlines just launched a new promotion where AAdvantage members can earn up to 125,000 bonus AAdvantage miles when flying to Europe in business or first class from now through January 10, 2015. Here’s how the offer works, you’ll earn 20,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after your first flight, 40,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after your second flight, and 65,000 bonus […]

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Are Mileage Runs Still Useful with Revenue Requirements?

September 23, 2014

Last week, the New York Times published an article by Josh Barro called “The Fadeout of the Mileage Run“, in which he explains the premise of mileage runs, how airlines are cracking down on them by adding revenue requirements to earn elite status, and how loyalty programs are changing. It used to be quite common for frequent fliers […]

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Spirit Airlines Raises Checked Bag Fees for the Holidays

September 23, 2014

Though I’ve never flown Spirit Airlines, I think the savvy/controversial budget carrier has a secure place in the skies – as long as they continue to clearly state all of their fees and restrictions in advance. Today Spirit did just that when they announced several months in advance that they’re raising their checked bag fees by $2 on flights booked after […]

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Ranking the Top Cash-Back Credit Cards

September 23, 2014

Because I’m so focused on travel, I tend to prefer credit cards that specifically offer travel benefits, such as co-branded cards that earn airline miles or hotel points, or those that earn transferable points like Chase Ultimate Rewards or Amex Membership Rewards (which I can use to top up my loyalty accounts when I need to). However, as I always say, […]

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