Newbie’s Guide to The Hobby

Most of my readers have been around this blog for some time. But now and again, I get a new  subscriber who might be totally confused by our crazy universe. So, I thought it would be fun to put together a humorous “Q and A” type of guide for The Hobby, and do it with a “family” angle. I’ve seen this format before on Online Travel Review and really enjoyed it. Without further ado:

1. This seems like  a scam. Can I really travel with my family for pennies  on the dollar?

It’s for realz, but there is work required. There are also barriers to entry, see my Beginner’s Guide. Still, when done right, it’s hard to beat ROI on The Hobby.

2. Is The Hobby similar to rocket science as far as complexity goes?

No, it’s not rocket science, and mostly involves simple math.

3. Is The Hobby a religion?

It certainly can be if you let it. Be very careful, and be particularly leery of a breakaway extreme sect called Manufactured Spending.

4. Why do I see so many trip reports on Maldives and Hyatt Vendome in Paris? 

Well, one of the advantages of The Hobby is being able to afford things that are normally reserved for wealthy individuals. Think about it. Let’s say you stay at a Holiday Inn Express by the highway and do it via points. Yawn. Now imagine staying in a villa on a private island in one of the most remote and exclusive parts of the world. You like, you like?

In a way, we (the bloggers) are sellers of dreams. More on that later.

5. So, you are saying that my family of 4 can vacation in Maldives for free?!!!


6. Will I be required to visit Maldives and Hyatt Vendome if I join The Hobby?


7. If you could only pick one airline program for domestic travel when it comes to family, what would it be?


8. Best  flexible points program for family?

Chase Ultimate Rewards

9. Best long-term flexible points earning card for family? 

Amex EveryDay Preferred that earns Membership Rewards, in spite of my previous answer.

10. Best long-term cash back card for family?

Amex Blue Cash Preferred

11. Do answers to questions 7-10 apply to all middle-class families?

Nope, everyone is different. See my Free Consulting Service page for details on how to contact me in case you have questions.

12. Best credit card sign-up bonus for family?

See my answer above.

13. Best sign-up bonus to start  with if I’m not 100% sure about my future travel plans?

Chase Sapphire Preferred, but only if you can easily manage minimum spending requirements.

14. Do I have to renew cards with annual fees?

No! No! No!

15. How do miles and points bloggers make money?

Some do it via advertising banners on their websites, but you have to have a lot of traffic for it to amount to a significant chunk of money. Others have affiliate credit card links, so they make commission on each approval.  Some have both ads and credit card links. The narrower the niche (like mine), the less potential there is to make money from advertising. For example, my ads only pay for my website running costs. So, all of my profit comes from credit card links.

16. Doesn’t that present a conflict of interest?


17. Can you guarantee that all of your credit card advice is 100% unbiased?


18. I just got started in The Hobby and I know for a fact that a blogger purposely gave me misleading advice so that they could make money. I’m really ticked off and want to find an outlet where I can bash all these parasites “ad nauseam.” Your thoughts?

Waste of time and energy. Miles and points blogging is a huge business, so you can expect corruption. I recommend you move on and stop reading that site (s). If you absolutely can’t trust any blogger with affiliate links (totally understandable), I advise you to follow Doctor of Credit

19. I have a family and we are on a tight budget, mostly out of debt and have good credit scores. We love to travel, but simply can’t afford it right now. I’ve never followed blogs, so not sure what to expect.

I’m looking for a down-to-earth site, mostly PG humor and occasional sass. Not too mean, though, my blood pressure is already too high. I like Stephen Colbert, so that should give you an idea on the type of jokes I enjoy. Any sites you can recommend?

You are on it.

20. How hard is it to leave The Hobby?

Very hard.

Readers, anything you want to add?

9 thoughts on “Newbie’s Guide to The Hobby

  1. Most common question I get: “What will it do to my credit score?”.

    My answer: “My credit score has gone up 50+ points since I started. If you are responsible, it will help. If you are not, don’t start.”


    • Cheapblackdad, absolutely! That’s what scares the heck out of people. I thought about making a separate point on this, but chose to simply refer people to my Beginner’s Guide. It touches on that specific topic.
      There is no question that this hobby is not a good fit for most families. Still, many can benefit tremendously, but it’s like searching for a needle in a haystack. So I keep on searching!


    • @Kishore Thanks! My policy with this site has always been: “Why pretend? ” I’m sure it has cost me dearly in terms of readership numbers as well as financial rewards, oh well… I’m so glad you are still around, it’s a testament that my blog isn’t totally useless. Feel free to reach out to me with specific questions.


  2. Pingback: New to My Blog/Miles and Points Hobby? – Miles For Family

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