Hello! I’m The Points Insider

World Traveller, Writer & Points Insider

Our Mission

We aim to help as many people as possible experience luxury through point building and realize it isn’t impossible to fly first class or get that extra large suite. You don’t need a lottery win to do so. You just need information, the best promotions, and to earn until you take a selfie on a lay flat bed at 36,000 feet on your way to a magnificent vacation.

Our Values


The accessibility of knowledge is a powerful thing. It can change people’s lives for the better. That’s just what we want to provide here. Open access to the best knowledge on how to use and build points for your next trip.


Everything you find on The Points Insider is shared from first-hand experience. You know what we tell you is true and works because we have done it all ourselves.


We would not be here if it weren’t for the passion we share for traveling better with points. Travel is a lifestyle choice, and building points is a way to make that lifestyle a bit more convenient.

How it All Started

After several flights I had sitting in economy, watching others enjoy the space and luxuries Business Class and First Class had to offer, I started researching.

To start with, I looked at ways and opportunities to get a free upgrade (you can certainly increase your chances, but really these can be like lottery wins and have zero guarantees). I quickly stumbled into a world of high flyers enjoying all the perks Business, and First Class had to offer.

Some group members had managed to build up their points due to regular business trips where they get to sit in front of the plane – and some had more points and air miles than they knew what to do with.

One lady I worked with in a previous role amassed so many points she flew both her parents First Class from Sydney to London. She even had enough miles for her own holiday. Although, this group of people was the minority. 

There was a second group. These people had found it possible to fly better cabin classes not through regular flying but by working out how to earn miles and points doing nothing more than they were today – they were just being very smart with their spending.

To begin with, they were reluctant to share, convinced this pool of points would disappear if too many people found out – but after researching this in-depth, I found out the airlines and hotel companies make out very well. It does not cost the airlines and hotel chains. It’s making them more money.

With that knowledge, I decided to share everything I’ve learned about building points and using them to my advantage through the years through this website, The Points Insider.

Why Are We Sharing This With You?

There are so many people who dream to experience the Business Class and First Class world, even just once, which is the idea behind The Points Insider website.

We hope to bring the knowledge, experience, hours of research, and traveling we collectively poured into the vast world of point boosting to other like-minded individuals keen to experience these worlds for themselves.

Experiencing comfortable lay-flat beds and enjoying the special touches available in airport lounges (those lounges in Heathrow, JFK, New York, and Mumbai airports are particularly nice) is something we should all experience.

What You Can Find on The Points Insider

We share everything we know about the points you earn and how to use them to your advantage from different providers like Avios, Marriot Bonvoy, AAdvantage, and many other points-building memberships. You can find information on what you can buy with your points, how to transfer points and the best ways to spend your points.

Not only will you find information on how to use your points for a luxury flying experience, but every other aspect of travel as well. Upgrade your room to a suite, take excursions, and even use points for cruises if you would like. The possibilities are endless when you know how to use your points.

The Team

Each of the insiders here has first-hand knowledge on maximizing your points from years of experience. We take pride in our ability to enhance our traveling experiences using points. Learn more about your authors here.

Haley Parker

Haley has been traveling with the use of points for five+ years now and would not have been able to do as much as she has without the help of points. She has gotten many free experiences, such as flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars, with the use of points. Writing for the Points Insider allows her to share how you can travel for free with points, helping others experience the world as much as possible.  

Why are you writing for points insider?

I am a big-time budget traveler, and I can honestly say I would not have been able to travel nearly as much as I have been fortunate to if it wasn’t for the use of points. I think everyone should be able to travel and using points is the best way to do it more!

What is your favorite points program for travel? 

I use my Chase Sapphire credit card more than any other points program for travel. This card gives you two times points when using them for travel, and I always get my yearly fee back in free travel. 

I also love the Southwest credit card. I fly with Southwest most of the time and have received many free flights from the points I have acquired over the years.

What’s your favorite experience you’ve had using points for travel? 

I wouldn’t say this is my favorite experience, but definitely a life-saving one! I was traveling across Mexico once via RV, and my power steering went out. I was able to use my Chase Sapphire points to get a nice hotel room for a week while my RV was being repaired. Without these points, I probably would have been staying in a rinky-dink hotel that wasn’t all that safe.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give our readers when it comes to traveling with points?

Find a points program that works for you! Everyone has their own unique way that they like to travel, so find that one important aspect for you and stick to it. If you like flying first class, choose a program that gives you a better chance at that. If you like traveling on a budget, find a program that offers more free things.

Kendra Gerken

Kendra has traveled to many different places over the years, including Europe, Mexico, 38 of the United States, and Puerto Rico. Her favorite way to use her points gained from all of this travel is to upgrade to business or first class on long-haul flights. Kendra’s hope with writing for the Points Insider is to help others achieve these upgrades to more luxurious flying by sharing her knowledge on how to maximize the impact of your points.

Why are you writing for points insider?

Using points to enhance the travel experience is often a numbers game that can be very rewarding. I love finding the best ways to maximize the impact of my points!

What is your favorite points program for travel? 

My favorite points program for overall travel is American Express. I can transfer my points to many other programs for my travel plans!

If you want to stick with a hotel or airline program- I would choose Marriott Bonvoy. They offer an incredible range of accommodations that are perfect for any business trip or family vacation! I have never been disappointed at one of their properties.

What’s your favorite experience you’ve had using points for travel? 

My favorite way to use my points is for upgrades on long-haul flights. Speaking from experience, a flight from the States to London is much more pleasant in first or business class. Without leveraging my points for upgrades, I would be in economy seats. I have also had great experiences booking resort nights with points at both Marriott and Hyatt properties.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give our readers when it comes to traveling with points?

Don’t be a point hoarder! I know it’s hard not to want to watch that point count climb higher, but life is short, so use those points to travel and experience places you otherwise wouldn’t have!

Marya Sutimi

Marya’s passion is travel, spending three to four months of the year exploring the world, mostly Southeast Asia. Without the thoughtful use of points programs, like AirAsia’s Big Rewards and Emirates Skywards, giving her free or discounted flights, this would not be possible. Marya has a bit of an advantage when it comes to insider tips for her readers because of her previous years as a flight attendant. 

Why are you writing for Points Insider?

I’m a frequent traveler, so I can share some insights about traveling on a budget. As an ex-flight attendant, I can also share some insider tips for flights, etc.

What is your favorite points program for travel? 

As I’m currently based in Southeast Asia and a frequent flyer of AirAsia, I use their Big Rewards most of the time for flights and hotels. I’m also a member of Emirates Skywards.

What’s your favorite experience you’ve had using points for travel? 

So far, I’ve never experienced any upgrades for the points I get on my membership. But I bought some flight tickets with the points, both payless and with a discount.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give our readers when it comes to traveling with points?

Choose the point programs that have value for your goals. Each program has different benefits, so make sure you choose one that you’ll use often to get more rewards for every transaction.

Candis Pope

Candis is a solo traveler, and she would not have been able to afford to go to as many places and do as much as she’s done without using points to her advantage. She has been able to get free hotel stays with Marriot Bonvoy and has even gotten an entire roundtrip flight to Colombia for free with the use of her credit card rewards. Candis wants to help her readers understand exactly how you can use your points by sharing her own experiences.

Why are you writing for The Points Insider?

I love to travel, and I’ve gone to many places around the world. But, I’m not rich, and points have helped me cut back on expenses! I’m also a solo traveler, and I rarely have anyone to split travel costs with. So, travel points come in handy!

What is your favorite points program for travel? 

My favorite points program for hotels is Marriott Bonvoy! I tend to rack up points quickly, and it pays off. Some of Marriott’s free nights start at just 17,000 points, which isn’t difficult to get once you’ve had a couple of extended stays with Marriott.

What’s your favorite experience you’ve had using points for travel? 

I specifically used my credit card for an entire year to earn reward points to help pay for my plane ticket for the following year’s birthday. It was a year that I had lots to pay for, so I knew I’d rack up tons of points. I collected tons of points and was able to convert them into cash for a cheap plane ticket to Colombia!

What is one piece of advice you would like to give our readers when it comes to traveling with points?

I urge anyone traveling with points to read and fully understand how to use the points. Some airlines are very specific about how points can be used and when they can be used. Also, don’t assume anything. I’ve lost out on hotel points because I thought it was okay to book through a third party, as long as I paid at the hotel. Well, turns out that I couldn’t collect my Bonvoy points because I didn’t book directly with Marriott. Bummer!

Sarah Weisberg

Sarah loves to travel and uses her points programs to give her more freedom to explore the destination she’s traveling to. She primarily uses her Capitol One Travel credit card for upgrades, discounts, and even free flights or hotel nights, but she also loves IHG One Rewards for bonus nights. Sarah hopes to help others realize the potential that points can unlock and give you more flexibility to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Why are you writing for The Points Insider?

I’m writing for points insider primarily because I love traveling. The excitement begins with arriving at the airport for me. Using points helps me cut down on costs on flights or hotels and allows me greater flexibility to have fun at my destination or on my way there!

What is your favorite points program for travel? 

My favorite points program for travel is Capital One Travel; the possibilities are endless for flights and hotels.

What’s your favorite experience you’ve had using points for travel? 

My favorite experience using points for travel isn’t one exact memory. Every time I’ve been able to upgrade a room when I’m traveling with my family to make us all a little more comfortable is the best, typically with IHG.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give our readers when it comes to traveling with points?

Most hotels offer free nights when you book with points. So, you can use points at IHG, stay for four nights, and only pay for three. Keep an eye out for upgrades with point promotions and free nights at hotels.

Lillie Forteau

Lillie has been traveling her entire life, visiting 20 United States, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland. Over the years she has booked over 50 hotels, a few rental cars, and a roundtrip flight solely with points. Lillie wants to help other budget travelers figure out how they can maximize their points programs so others can experience the world in the way she has.

Shaleena Quinlan

Shaleena has traveled to twenty countries with her husband, all while building and using points. She has been able to experience some incredible adventures because of the strategic use of points, like a three-week trip through Iceland, Berlin, Turkey, and Greece. Using points effectively can be overwhelming and Shaleena wants to ease this stress for those new to the points world.

Why are you writing for points insider?

Traveling with miles and points isn’t as complicated as it sounds. I would love to explain the concept to new or overwhelmed travelers so they can travel to places they never thought possible while thoroughly enjoying their trip.

What’s your favorite experience you’ve had using points for travel? 

I once took a three week excursion beginning in Iceland, through Berlin, across Turkey, and around the Greek mainland with points. Although, spending ten days exploring Puerto Rico and staying at the Waldorf Astoria Conquistador is a close second.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give our readers when it comes to traveling with points?

Value points just like money so you don’t forget about them. This will also help you make them go as far as you can for better upgrades and more opportunities at free travel.

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