There are many blogs out there talking about the great miles use and all the awesome trips they have taken. I love it. I love miles and points and since discovering them it is an addiction. So many opportunities have opened up because of them. I see a destination and I know that it will most likely be affordable for me. However there are a few things that I do and work differently than many bloggers out there.
I cannot go on a churning spree
This needs a post on it’s own and I will write one soon because I think it is very important. As a Muslim we are not allowed to do certain things that involve interest. We do have an Islamic finance system that guides us on what is OK and what is not OK. One of the big no no’s is actually interest which is considered very bad. It is one of the things that really made me love Islam even more, the fact that the social justice system is so strong. In simple terms interest makes people poorer and it oppresses them. If we stop and think for a second we will know that this is true and that so many people have lost their livelihood because of it. The principle is that churning credit cards can have a negative effect. You might end up being charged interest or spiral into debt. It is sort of a grey area in Islam. In today’s world it is hard to avoid credit cards, though I know many Muslims and even my own father who is a non Muslim, will stay away from them. I do have some and I do accumulate points on my Amex Gold charge card which I believe is the best option since the first year is free and it is not a credit card. Now don’t get me wrong I am an advocate of accumulating some points but maintaining a balance as to how comfortable I am. So I will never sign up to 30 cards just for the points as I find that this is excessive and definitely in the grey zone of the Islamic principle.
Won’t accumulate the millions of points
Which takes me to point number two. I most likely will never accumulate enough miles for a round the world trip on miles, simply because I work harder for my miles which makes me kind of appreciate them more. As my husband says I love my miles more than him :). Because I don’t do churning and I either fly, use my card or Tesco I am slower at collecting them. It is one of the reasons why I am totally annoyed with British Airways devaluation since it just became harder for me. In the UK in general airlines and companies are not as generous as in the US so it is harder to save up a decent amount before the next devaluation. So I did have to become more creative and selective on how I use my points.
I fly economy
If I have to fly somewhere I will more likely fly economy if it is less than 8 hours. This is the limit I can stay put in a tiny chair without getting bored or for my back to start hurting. Since I do have a back problem it is really hard to stay comfortable. Which means I use my points for short economy flights. With British Airways this was a great way to use points as I am lucky enough not to live in London but meaning I need to take a connection flight to London. If I have to fly for longer I will only save up the money and wait for an offer in business class. Which will hopefully boost my balance and help me use my points for my positioning flights.
Best use of my low mile deposits
In this game I learned that accumulating quick and burning quick is the best way, since devaluations can happen any time. Because I don’t accumulate the hundreds of thousands of points for a return flight to Australia for example, I use my points to position myself in Europe. The best use of my miles so far has been positioning myself in Europe or Ireland and starting my journey from there. The reason being that taxes in the UK are high making an economy flight not really worth that much. So I use the miles to fly outside and then catch a flight somewhere. For example the recent Qatar airways sale has excellent flights from Brussels to Dubai for like £600 in business and if it was from the UK I would have to pay £1100. No thanks! I book myself a reward saver and I just position myself to Brussels for £17.50 and 4,500 Avios. Which does make my Avios work harder for me.
Exploring other options
Before I was primarily using BA and Avios since their award chart was great. Now I am looking for other options such as Etihad and KLM especially KLM and their promo award. They can save me a lot of cash and are great for positioning flights. It might be a little more expensive on miles but it has better connections from my local airport and I pay less on taxes, so it is trade off.
I am just a normal girl trying to make the most of what I have available. I can become very creative in searching around for options and since I don’t mind connecting and exploring new places I am happy with it. I prefer to stick to my principles of what is good enough for me and not over do it. Sometimes it is hard not to apply for one more card. But it can be hard to track and stick to the middle path and not overdo it.
I wanted to show you that not everyone in this game makes the millions of points or on referral links. I am just like the average person and I think I have the poorest balance of points than any BoardingArea bloggers. 🙂 It is important to know what is good for you and your principles. You won’t see me selling credit cards, since that will go against my religion. On my blog I asked not to have credit card links and to the fairness of Randy and the team they are awesome and agreed. I would feel bad if anyone took 20 cards and couldn’t pay them off. I will also always encourage for the card to never carry a balance because that can be dangerous too.
I like the name of Ben’s blog, One mile at a time. Since my whole life is pretty much collecting one mile at a time. Maybe my husband is right, I think I love and cherish my miles highly. 🙂