Brian Kelly


Brian KellyBrian Kelly is The Points Guy. Passionate about travel from a young age, Brian’s jetsetting adventures started when he was 12 and booked his family of six on a vacation to the Cayman Islands. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Brian took a job on Wall Street and became road warrior, traveling up to 6 months of the year, all the while learning how to earn and maximize miles and points. Brian learned how to book extra exciting and extravagant international trips for next to nothing be coming smart and savvy with his redemption of points and miles, all while spending less cash than a coach ticket and a hostel would have cost.

In 2010, Brian brought his insights and passion to the masses and became “The Points Guy,” sharing his travel points knowledge with eager consumers across the globe via his website, Due to the massive amount of interest in his tips and advice, Brian left his job on Wall Street in June 2011 to grow his site and travel the world. His site now has over 900,000 unique monthly visitors and he has a staff of six full and part time writers who are always making sure their readers are up to date on important mileage and travel news.

Brian has been featured in over a hundred publications and news outlets including The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The Los Angeles Times, The 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 his signature tips and advice via Twitter, where he can be followed @ThePointsGuy.




Articles by The Points Guy

Thursday Giveaway: Bose Noise-Cancelling QC15 Headphones

April 10, 2014

With all the travel I do, sometimes by the time that I get on the plane and climb into my seat, all I ever want to do is just close my eyes and pass out. Obviously this is easier said than done most days. Between passengers boarding and shuffling about and cabin crew announcements, relaxing can […]

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Citi Extends Complimentary Admirals Club Access to Amex Platinum Members in April

April 10, 2014

In December, we reported that American Express Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders would be losing access to Admirals Clubs and US Airways Clubs in March. I personally loved this benefit, as being able to visit a lounge before or after a flight to do work, freshen up, have a drink or take a call was […]

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American Airlines Business Extra Double and Triple Points on NYC to London Travel

April 10, 2014

Business frequent flyer programs allow businesses to earn points on the itineraries their employees travel while employees still earn miles and points as individuals. In addition, these programs provide often offer mileage bonuses for which individuals aren’t eligible, like the current offer from American Airlines’ Business Extra: double points for Main Cabin travel and triple points for Premium […]

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Update on Maximizing Credit Card Spending Strategies With Prepaid and Gift Cards

April 10, 2014

CVS recently hardcoding its registers not to accept credit card payments for Vanilla Reloads last week has prompted a major shift in credit card spending strategy. Earlier this week, TPG contributor Jason Steele share strategies for purchasing Vanilla Reloads elsewhere. Today he expands his focus to recalibrating your credit card spending strategy on prepaid and […]

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Rebates and No Fees on Amex Gift Cards Through May 31, 2014

April 10, 2014

Seems like American Express is always coming up with excuses to cut the fees on purchasing their prepaid gift cards – and there’s no reason folks with points-earning credit cards shouldn’t benefit. Buying American Express gift cards can be a great way to meet the minimum spend requirements for huge credit card sign-up bonuses, as […]

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The Battle for Seattle: Alaska Airlines Offering Double Miles on Flights from SEA to 8 Destinations

April 9, 2014

In response to three recent moves by Delta to muscle in on the action at Alaska Airlines’s hub in Seattle - Delta’s double Medallion and base mile promotion for rest of 2014, their announcement that starting May 1, they’ll be restricting Alaska MVP elite benefits, and a Seattle-targeted Delta Gold Amex offer of 50,000 SkyMiles and a $200 […]

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Travel Sweepstakes Roundup: Win Trips to Chile, Istanbul, Hawaii & More

April 9, 2014

There are a few fun travel contests and sweepstakes going on around the web this week. Here are some of our the TPG top picks to win some great travel prizes. Win a Round The World Trip with SkyTeam: SkyTeam is offering customers the opportunity to win their dream Round the World trip plus a […]

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Hilton 2014 Award Category Adjustments – Not Much Changing

April 9, 2014

Periodically, the major hotel chains adjust their hotel categories – some hotels move up a category and require more points for an award stay, and some move down, requiring fewer points for an award night. Marriott announced their changes last month with a whopping 21% of their properties moving up a category, while Starwood announced […]

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Benefits and Costs of Adding Additional Cardholders on Credit Cards

April 9, 2014

Readers often ask me about the perks and downsides of adding cardholders to existing credit card accounts, and I’ve explored the answers in posts like:  What Are the Effects of Adding an Additional Cardholder? Should I Make My Fiance An Additional Cardholder on my Chase Sapphire Preferred? Are You Eligible For a Sign Up Bonus […]

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Post-Devaluation Aeroplan Strategy – Awards, Transfer Partners and Star Alliance Comparison

April 9, 2014

2014 seems to be the year of devaluation what with bad news from Delta and United. Aeroplan was not the first nor last to announce they’d be making changes to their program, including raising business and first class award chart redemptions. As the changes to Air Canada’s Aeroplan Rewards program took effect earlier this year, […]

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A Consolidated List of American’s Surprise Policy Changes (And It Ain’t Pretty)

April 8, 2014

This morning I woke up to a flurry of emails and phone calls about American’s new award chart changes. What was presented to me by AA was that AAnytime awards would be changing (basically going up) and some low tier elite levels would go from getting two free checked bags to one. With some other […]

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American Airlines Announces 5 Tier Award Chart And Negative Checked Bag Changes

April 8, 2014

Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before American Airlines decided to increase the amount of miles needed for award tickets since Delta, United and Southwest all made big devaluations this year. These changes are not good, but they also are not complete game changers and AAdvantage will still likely remain one […]

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Top 10 Reasons To Buy US Airways Miles with the 100% Share Bonus

April 8, 2014

Now through Sunday, April 13, US Airways is offering a 100% bonus on shared miles. It’s a tiered bonus, so to score the full 100% you must transfer 30,000 miles or more, but this is an amazing deal because it basically amounts to “buying” new bonus miles at the rate of 1.1 cents each, which […]

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Buying Vanilla Reloads With a Credit Card: Alternatives To CVS

April 8, 2014

Buying Vanilla Reloads has been an important part of a lot of people’s credit card strategy of late. Unfortunately, CVS has stopped accepting credit cards for Vanilla Reload purchases, but TPG contributor Jason Steele shares some strategies and tips on where else you can find them and still buy them with points-earning cards. Friday was […]

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Maximizing International Gateway Stopovers on American Airlines Awards: Two Award Tickets for the Price of One

April 7, 2014

With recent United and Delta award chart devaluations, American Airlines and its mergerpartner US Airways are looking like better options than ever when it comes to booking awards – at least while their award charts remain as they are now with sweet spots like American’s Off-Peak awards to South America and Europe, and US Airways’ business class awards to North Asia (90,000 miles) […]

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Amazing Deal Alert: US Airways 100% Share Miles Bonus – Buy Miles for 1.1 Cent Each

April 7, 2014

US Airways just launched one of its famous 100% Share Miles bonuses where you can essentially buy miles for 1.1 cents each now through April 13, 2014. Unlike past Share Miles promos where the 100% bonus was good on any number of  miles you shared, this one is tiered – so to get the full […]

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Maximizing Points and Miles on Healthcare Spending

April 7, 2014

With the Affordable Care Act going into effect, medical costs and spending are on everyone’s minds. As a major factor in everyone’s budget, healthcare costs can be both a big expense, but also a good opportunity to earn points and miles. TPG contributor Jason Steele fills us in on how and why. Healthcare costs are […]

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Earning Lifetime Star Alliance Gold Status Through Aegean Airlines

April 7, 2014

To be able to hold any status on an airline comes with a certain set of perks, and to hold that status for your lifetime, you’re putting yourself in quite a sweet spot. One of the sweetest spots there is in this respect is the ability to earn lifetime Star Alliance Gold status through Aegean […]

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What is the Best Business Credit Card With No Foreign Transaction Fees?

April 6, 2014

TPG reader Bradley is in the market for a new small business credit card without foreign transaction fees. Here’s his question: “I need to get a non-Amex no foreign transaction fee business credit card for my company which will have multiple employees using the cards. Which one should I choose? Do you suggest Chase Ink […]

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Do I Have To Save My Southwest Rapid Rewards Points For A Companion Pass?

April 6, 2014

TPG reader Megan is going for the Southwest Companion Pass but wants to know if she can put her points to use before reaching the qualifying threshold of 110,000 points. Here’s the question she tweeted me. “@thepointsguy: Southwest Companion Pass? I’m assuming I can’t use any points until I get the 110k? Then do I […]

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Should I Get a US Airways or American Airlines Credit Card?

April 6, 2014

TPG reader Mike needs a new credit card. He’s a US Airways flyer, but is thinking ahead to the merger with American. Here’s his question: “Wondering if you would post about which credit card to get (US Airways or American). I have lot of upcoming travel and typically fly US Airways up and down the […]

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How Do I Get United To Refund My Airfare Or Waive The Change Fee?

April 6, 2014

TPG reader Amanda wants to get out of paying for a United flight she isn’t going to take. Here’s the question she tweeted me: “@thepointsguy How do I ask United to refund a flight or waive the change fee? Flight was only $218 so the change fee makes a credit useless.” A big trend in […]

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Saturday Recap: Earn Double AA Miles Flying TAM, Star Alliance Status Matching, Bonus Miles For Air Berlin’s Topbonus and More.

April 5, 2014

Here’s a recap of the interesting points and miles news from the week: Earn Double Miles Flying TAM: In celebration of TAM joining Oneworld, American Airlines is offering double miles for flying its new partner during the month of May. This offer is valid on TAM Airlines, including codeshare flights booked as an American Airlines flight […]

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United Economy Award Tickets to Japan 25% Discount in April

April 4, 2014

Still haven’t decided where to take that last-minute spring trip yet? You might have been thinking of a weekend getaway or a staycation, but United is giving us a pretty good reason to consider hopping across the Pacific to Japan. When you book an economy Saver award now through April 17 for travel completed by […]

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