A Jetter-Setter’s Guide To Maximising Your Travel With The Points Guy, Brian Kelly

A Jetter-Setter’s Guide To Maximising Your Travel With The Points Guy, Brian Kelly

If you’ve never heard of Avios and only use a debit card, you’re in for an education in expenditure expansion. Brian Kelly – better known as The Points Guy – lets us in on clever saving options for frequent flyers.

The Points Guy, the
sky’s the limit (but that doesn’t mean pushing your credit into
that stratosphere). Brian Kelly (aka The Points Guy) has made a
name for himself (and gathered a 219k following on his personal
Instagram account alone) by spilling the travel industry’s
worst-kept secrets while highlighting some handy shortcuts and
clever saving options for frequent flyers.

If you’ve ever approached a ticket desk asking for a
complimentary upgrade only to be left in economy beside the loo,
then you more than anyone need to read this and heed his advice.
Right now he’s most likely seated in Singapore Airlines new A380
first-class suite, and where are we?

For those who don’t know, what is the premise of The Points

The Points Guy is a website that helps people maximise their
trip, save money, travel better and overall be educated on all
things travel.

How does it work?

It’s a free website that publishes multiple tip-laced articles a
day. They may be tutorials on how to use air miles or credit card
points or amazing deals that our team searches for and finds –
flight deals and hotel deals predominantly. We review airlines and
hotels too. On any given day you’re going to get a bunch of travel
inspiration or informative content that makes you a better

How did it come about?

I used to work at Morgan Stanley as a recruiter. Travelling all
around the US
, I wracked up quite a large amount of air miles and
credit-card points from business travel. With those points I was
able to travel the world in first class, and all my friends thought
I had a trust fund. (I don’t). I started my blog in 2010 just to
share my tips – I never meant it for anything other than fun. Then
it really started to take off and the New York Times covered it in
spring of 2011. In the US we hit 10 million monthly readers in
March of this year and now we’re excited to be expanding globally,
with the UK being
our first international office.

Four travel tips no one should be without…

1. Earn miles for every flight you take – even if you haven’t
earned miles, you can request usually up to six months in the past,
but not adding frequent flier numbers or frequent hotel programme
is losing money.

2. Use a credit card that earns you points – but make sure to
pay it off in full every month.

3. Choose your plane wisely, especially internationally. Old
planes are much harder on jet lag and on your skin. Choosing newer
planes is not only a better experience but they also break down
less, so your odds being delayed are less.

4. Be flexible. The more flexible you are, the more money you
can save, whether that’s paying for flights or using your air
miles. Try new destinations and (sometimes) even let your air miles
dictate where you go.

Do you think we’re in a Golden Age of travel?

Yes. Air travel is safer and cheaper than ever. The fact that
you can go to the US from UK consistently for under £500 is
amazing. Whether its low-cost carriers or flying on an Emirates
A380 and taking a shower at 40,000ft, there’s no better time to fly
than now.

Where’s your next adventure?

I’m going to Israel for 10 days with Nicky Kelvin, the director
of content for The Points Guy UK. I’ve never been and we’re touring
Jerusalem, the countryside and then ending in
Tel Aviv

How often should we use up our air miles? What’s the upside to

The upside to saving is that you can redeem your points for
flights that are really expensive; international and business or
first-class seats are where you get the most bang for your points.
However, saving too long has its downsides. The airlines devalue
points over time (we’ve especially seen this in the US where they
have now gone to a system of charging more for peak flights) so as
airline programmes devalue, your airline points become less
valuable too.

If there was one destination you could go back to immediately,
which one would it be?

I am a huge fan of scuba diving and I love the
. Plus, Emirates is now flying its new first class
suite to Malé so it’s a no brainer.

What would you do to improve airports?

Introduce more biometrics to make queues shorter. It’s so
archaic that we have humans looking at IDs to assess whether the
person in front of us is the person in our ID. There are security
concerns about giving out our biometrics, but I think, ultimately,
it will make the travel process easier.

The best airport lounge is…

I think Virgin Atlantic does a really good job with its
Clubhouses. It’s really well designed, with good perks and

What are you reading at the moment?

Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity. He is a true icon, and
also has a huge commitment to giving back. He’s a big inspiration
to me. I love his story; it’s too wild to be true (almost).

The airline with the comfiest seats is…

Airlines new A380 first class suite is divine.

Best piece of travel advice you ever received…

Be nice to airline employees; people berate them all day

What are your travel essentials?

Bose QC35 headphones, my passport, pyjamas, Sweat Taylor
tracksuit bottoms, Lululemon long-sleeved tops, my iPhone.

What podcasts do you listen to in-flight?

Funnily enough, I have the number one travel podcast in the US.
It’s called Talking Points.

And finally, what’s in your SUITCASE?

I always joke that travel is my sport. You’ll spot me running
through airports dressed in Nikes and I pack with minimalism in
mind. White and black t-shirts, a blazer, jeans and a pair of boots
and I’m good to go.

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