Not sure what to do first? Read this.

I love sharing this hobby of mine with friends and family, and hearing about their successes with free travel using points and miles!

Often, however, friends will comment that it seems challenging to get started.  Folks feel overwhelmed and a little intimidated by all of the information out there, and aren’t sure what to do first.

Here’s help.



Set a travel goal.

This will keep you focused and make it easier to select the earning opportunities you’d like to start with.






Sign up for Award Wallet:



Award Wallet  is a free online service that tracks all of your mileage accounts, keeping all of your information in one handy place.  When you log in to Award Wallet, you can see all of your balances at a glance.  Award Wallet also stores your passwords so you can easily access any of your miles and points programs with one simple click.

Once you sign up for Award Wallet, you can make it work for you by adding loyalty programs you’re already signed up for.  The program makes it easy to sign up for additional programs – just click on the green + sign to the right of your name.

Occasionally, loyalty programs will offer sign up bonuses worth a few hundred points, so if a program isn’t part of your travel plan, it is best to wait to add it to your stable until a bonus comes along.





Decide which earning opportunities you are going to go for.



The easiest way to build up a huge amount of points and miles is to apply for premium travel credit cards that offer enormous sign up bonuses.  Of course, there are any other ways to earn points and miles as well.  

Depending on your travel goal, it might be possible to completely pay for your trip with one round of credit card sign-ups.   This is definitely a fun and exciting part of points and miles collecting, but also one that deserves thoughtful consideration and planning because of its implications on your credit and spending patterns.  Read this post for more information.


  1. Hi Kendra,

    I love your site, but I’m still a complete newbie! Have you done a general post about booking flights using points and miles? Can you combine miles from different sources? How, and what are the rules?

    FYI We will be staying in San Francisco at the Marriott Marquis during spring break and paying $0 for our room! Thanks for for inspiring me!

    • Points Pixie says

      Jeri O. – Sorry, I *just* saw this comment! I have done a general post about booking using Avios and also one about KrisFlyer/United miles. You cannot combine miles from different airlines, but you can add to your miles from a different source. For example, you can convert Ultimate Rewards miles to United miles and add those to your United miles. If that doesn’t make sense, please email me directly at!! Happy to get more specific.

      Exciting about your SF trip! Woot!


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