Brian Kelly

The Points Guy

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 2.6 Million unique monthly visitors and 1.3 million followers on social media, with a growing staff of 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, TED 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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, follow him @ThePointsGuy.

5819 Articles by The Points Guy

Becoming a Traditional Chief in Rural Ghana

I recently returned from the trip of a lifetime with my parents — we visited Ghana for a PeaceJam conference, and continued on to Ethiopia and then a safari in Tanzania. While in Ghana, Wisdom Addo, the head of PeaceJam in West Africa, took us all on a trip to the village where he grew up,…

Are Airline Flight + Hotel Vacation Packages a Good Deal?

TPG reader Everett sent me an email to ask about flight and hotel packages: “A lot of airlines offer vacation packages online; are these good buys, and do they earn rewards like normal?” Even though I book a lot of my travel with points and miles, I’m always interested in paid airfare when a particularly sweet deal pops up. Vacation packages offered by airlines and online travel agencies…

Can I Book Rooms Separately to Earn Double Elite Credits?

TPG reader Oren sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning hotel elite credits: “If I need two hotel rooms, can I make two separate bookings and get credit for two stays instead of one?” Between upgrades, bonuses and other amenities, hotel status can be highly valuable, and I get a lot of questions from readers looking for ways to…

Should I Get Chase Freedom Now or Wait for a Larger Bonus?

TPG reader Hussain sent me a message on Facebook to ask about sign-up bonuses: “I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, and I’m interested in also getting the Chase Freedom card. Would you recommend applying for the current $150 promotion, or waiting to see if the $200 bonus returns?” Credit card sign-up bonuses are a great way to…

Which SPG 50-Night Platinum Benefit Should I Choose in 2016?

TPG reader Alex email me to ask about Starwood elite benefits: “Which SPG 50 night benefit would you choose? I wasn’t impressed by the suite night awards I chose last time, as they never cleared. I’m also not worried about re-qualifying next year, so the 5 nights of elite credit aren’t worth much to me.” When Starwood introduced choice benefits for…

Is It Easier to Earn Airline Status with Miles or Segments?

TPG reader Matt sent me a message on Facebook to ask about strategies for earning elite status: “I’m trying to earn Delta elite status; is it generally more cost-effective to aim for the mileage or segment requirements? It seems like mileage would be easier, but I’m not sure, since I can get cheap, short segments from Atlanta.” Since Delta and United offer redeemable…

A Last-Minute Trip to the Stanley Cup — Reader Success Story

One of the things I love most about being The Points Guy is getting to hear stories from readers about how award travel has affected their lives — the exotic vacations they’ve planned, the trips they’ve made to be with family and friends, the premium seats and suites they’ve experienced and so much more, all…

My Negative Experience at &Beyond’s Serengeti Under Canvas Safari in Tanzania

If you follow me on social media, especially on Snapchat and Twitter, you already know that I had the trip of a lifetime with my parents in Africa — stay tuned, as I’ll be writing a full report of our experience in Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania soon. Overall, we had an incredible trip, and I’m so…

How Important Is Maintaining My Credit Utilization Ratio?

TPG reader Richard sent me a message on Facebook to ask about managing his credit score: “My travel has decreased significantly, and I’m thinking about canceling several hotel-branded cards with annual fees. Should I replace them with other cards that have no annual fee in order to maintain a low debt-to-credit ratio?” Your debt-to-credit ratio (also known as your…

Can I Apply TSA PreCheck to Flights I’ve Already Booked?

Update: A representative from American Airlines emailed us with some clarification regarding this issue: “If you book via a travel agency, you will also want to ensure they have the correct KTN and DOB. For example, how American is setup: if your travel agency submits a KTN, but it is wrong, the AAdvantage profile won’t…