The top 10 greatest moments from year one of TPG’s Talking Points podcast

Nov 13, 2019

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Light a single candle and join me in singing “Happy Birthday,” because today the flagship podcast of The Points Guy, Talking Points, has reached a milestone. It has officially been one full year of Talking Points!

Over these last 12 months of podcasting, I’ve interviewed some of the best and brightest in the travel industry. We’ve gone up close and personal into the lives of people who are disruptors, leaders and executives. They’re focused on things that will have a real impact on the travel industry going forward, like environmental management, representation and inclusion. Talking Points has also brought you the conversations you need to hear with TPG’s own points and miles experts. Plus, we’ve gotten to hear from you — our listeners — on our Hotline Bling episodes.

Brian with Sir Richard Branson in New York (Photo by: Patrick Lewis/Starpix)

From our very first episode with Matt Knise, Capital One’s Business Analysis and Product Management Director, on its launch of transferable points, to our conversations with industry leaders like Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, and American icon Martha Stewart, year one was out of this world. We also had some unexpected hits, like Episode 10 on the refreshed United Airlines app (our most-listened-to episode to date), and Episode 26 with RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Star Trixie Mattel, who is a proud Delta Diamond Medallion member.

So, in honor of our birthday, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite episodes. Have a listen below, and please make sure you share your favorites. Without all of you listening, Talking Points couldn’t have even made it to a year. And, to make the next season even better, we need your help in bringing more engaging conversations to the podcast space. Continue to listen, share and leave feedback: Talking Points exists to provide everyone with tips on how to become better travelers. Thank you to everyone who has subscribed and listened, and check out the highlights of Talking Points’ first season below:


Caryn-Seidman Becker, Clear CEO and co-founder, shares her company’s plans to expand to more stadiums and airports, talks about the importance of biometric technology and breaks down membership pricing.

Heather McMahan: Forever loyal to Delta

Get the scoop on Heather’s plans for her own travel show and her flying pet peeves — like passengers who wear open-toed shoes and go commando under sweatpants. Plus, we learn Heather’s tricks on what to pack for two weeks in one carry-on for your favorite global destinations.

Photo by Nat Roe / TPG
(Photo by Nat Roe / The Points Guy)

American Airlines’ VP of Network Planning

Vasu Raja shares details about growing Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to 900 departures, the why and how around scaling back New York City flights, why you won’t be flying on any 767s to your international destinations this summer and more.

Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer is an award-winning restaurateur with 28 James Beard Awards to his name, a New York Times bestselling author with his indispensable book “Setting the Table,” and the founder of Union Square Hospitality Group — and of that little place called Shake Shack. He joined me on Talking Points to share how travel has informed much of his business and hospitality practices.

Photo by Natalie Roe
(Photo by Nat Roe / The Points Guy)

Sara Nelson

The leader of the biggest US flight attendant union shares stories from the start of her career, to how she became heavily involved in her local chapter of AFA and her subsequent election to AFA-CWA president in 2014. She also explains the security shifts she witnessed and helped push through as a flight attendant post 9/11, and the current negotiations she is involved in. Striking a balance between her work as both a flight attendant for United and as AFA-CWA International President does not come easy, but Nelson continues to fight for equality because she is committed to her fellow union members and loves welcoming and being a host to her passengers.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic’s CEO sat down with me to discuss why the Heathrow expansion is essential to the airline’s plan to become Britain’s second flag carrier, the rollout of the Airbus A350s and the Upper Class Suites and how the airline is committed to shrinking its carbon footprint.

(Photo by Nat Roe / The Points Guy)

The Points Guy UK

Talking Points is on location from London to help celebrate the launch of TPG’s newest office. Nicky Kelvin, the Director of Content of TPG UK, joined me to explore the points-and-miles landscape in Britain. As the “Miles Mogul” on Instagram, Nicky spent several years as a record-label attorney and photographer sharing his passion for points-and-miles tips. Now, he’s thrilled to oversee UK-focused content for TPG, explore the burgeoning British credit card market and provide much-needed tips around making the most of those Tesco Clubcard points. Help us spread the word about TPG UK to our friends across the pond by sharing this episode far and wide!

Maximizing Delta miles, award-chart sweet spots, and tips for military travelers

Richard Kerr explains the latest news surrounding resort fees, including the recent lawsuit against Marriott filed by the DC attorney general. You’ll learn tips on how to avoid these deceptive fees, where to invest your loyalty if the Marriott Bonvoy program has caused you more than enough headaches, and why you should be transferring your Marriott points to certain airlines. Richard also reveals his favorite way to redeem Delta SkyMiles and why he typically uses his Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card when booking hotels.

CEO Ric Elias describes surviving the ‘Miracle On The Hudson’

Ric Elias, the CEO and co-founder of Red Ventures, the parent company of TPG, is a survivor of the “Miracle on the Hudson.” He shares how this near-death experience has shaped the way he runs his business, his role as a father and his life philosophy. He is also a Puerto Rican native and explains RV’s Forward787 program, an initiative that will bring talent and resources back to the island in a post-Hurricane Maria reality.

Photo by Natalie Roe / TPG
(Photo by Nat Roe / The Points Guy)

Ted Talk: 3 Things I learned While My Plane Crashed
3 Things with Ric Elias podcast

President of American Express Travel: Audrey Hendley

The President of American Express Travel, Audrey Hendley, explains the decision behind making prepaid Fine Hotels & Resorts stays bookable with Membership Rewards points, as well as the benefits of booking through Amex travel. If you’ve been thinking about getting the The Platinum Card® From American Express, you won’t want to miss this episode.

Martha Stewart on MSC Cruises, Uber, and her world travels

Martha Stewart gives TPG the rundown on her partnership with MSC Cruises, tells us about her worldly travels, and , of course, shares what she’s been up to with Snoop Dogg.

Photo by Natalie Roe / TPG
(Photo by Nat Roe / The Points Guy)

If you have any thoughts, questions or just want to chat about the podcast, please email me at or tweet at me @thepointsguy using the hashtag #TalkingPoints. And don’t forget to subscribe!

Featured image by Nat Roe / The Points Guy

Full List of Episodes:

  1. Talking Points with Matt Knise from Capital One
  2. Chase-ing Ultimate Rewards: with JPMorgan Chase’s Kristin Lemkau and TPG’s Sarah Silbert 
  3. Space travel with Richard Branson, how to maximize Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles and more
  4. Hilton Honors
  5. Travel tips from the youngest person to visit every country (and pole)
  6. Citi experiences with Luke Bryan
  7. Introducing Miles Away
  8. Getting the most out of the World of Hyatt program
  9. Hanging out with Girl With No Job: Claudia Oshry
  10. What to expect from United Airlines’ new app
  11. Everything you need to know about CLEAR
  12. Why timeshares might not just be for your parents
  13. Turn your money dial to travel
  14. Saving money on car rentals
  15. Bonus episode: Set sail with Virgin Voyages and Richard Branson
  16. Finding affordable airfare with Scott’s Cheap Flights
  17. Why you might want to add a Citi Rewards card to your wallet
  18. JetBlue’s UK expansion
  19. American Airlines VP of Planning: Vasu Raja
  20. The Points Guy UK
  21. Heather McMahan: Forever loyal to Delta
  22. TPG’s evolution as a company
  23. Best of: Hotels
  24. Best of: Lady Bosses
  25. Martha Stewart on MSC Cruises, Uber, and her world travels
  26. RuPaul’s Drag Race all-star Trixie Mattel
  27. Rainbow Railroad: Saving LGBTQI lives
  28. President of American Express Travel: Audrey Hendley
  29. Randi Zuckerberg on travel, tech, and startup culture
  30. Sarah Nelson: “The most powerful flight attendant in the world”
  31. TPG Hotline: Listener Q&A
  32. How to stay off the ‘Passenger Shaming’ naughty list
  33. Maximizing Delta miles, award chart sweet spots and tips for military travelers
  34. Hospitality icon Danny Meyer on travel, tipping and elevating business class meals on Delta
  35. Understanding your credit score, sign up bonuses, and premium rewards with TPG’s credit cards editor
  36. American Express CMO behind the Platinum and Gold cards reveals ‘Customer first approach’
  37. TPG parent company CEO describes surviving the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’
  38. Meet the man responsible for Delta’s on-time performance: Talking Points live at the Delta Flight Museum
  39. Spirit CEO reveals plans to transform ‘America’s most hated airline’
  40. United MileagePlus VP of loyalty details PlusPoints upgrades, maternity status hold and more
  41. Delta Amex cards adding major new benefits, changing others in 2020
  42. Delta CEO Ed Bastian on growth, environment and Sky Club
  43. Uber’s $200 helicopter ride lets you bypass airport traffic
  44. Virgin Atlantic CEO reveals changes that will make you want to book your next trip with the airline
  45. Star Alliance CEO wants to make your travels easier
  46. How the founder of Journera wants to reshape travel through data
  47. The founder of Brex corporate card reveals how he built a $2.5 billion company in two years
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