The title of this article is arguably the most important question in higher flying and yet there’s no clear answer to it. Unlike real currencies (i.e. Dollars, Euros, etc.), there’s no authority to objectively assess and define how much a mile is worth. This task instead falls to the users of them — higher flyers mostly — all of whom have different perspectives on how award points should function and how they’re best redeemed. No one’s valuation is any more right or wrong than another one’s, but nevertheless, here are The Higher Flyer‘s own for your consideration.
If you own Hyatt’s cobranded credit card, you may have heard about an exciting, albeit controversial, promotion valid from September through to the end of 2017: you now only need 20 nights to qualify for the program’s highest elite status, Globalist level. You previously needed 60! Continue reading “On Hyatt’s Globalist “Fast Track” promotion: is it fair?”
I kinda want to go to Saipan
Don’t ask me why, but I’ve long been fascinated by obscure travel destinations. Saipan, the largest island in the Northern Mariana chain, is a new intrigue for me.
I realize that it may not be the best place to be right now, given North Korea’s threats to that region, but this is more of a speculative post. One day I want to go there, and here are some of the considerations I would take when planning this trip. Continue reading “Higher Flying to the edge of the Earth?”
While The Higher Flyer would be considered by many to be a travel blog, it focuses primarily on the journey instead of the destination. There are many talented writers who’ll prominently feature their experiences on the ground, closely documenting the sights they see and the foods they taste, while largely ignoring how they actually got there. I prefer to write about airlines and hotels and the like — and that’s fine, everyone has different interests and styles — but I also like to fancy myself as an “iPhone photographer.” I think one of the best ways to experience a place is to explore it and take pictures of what you find; it forces you to not only seek out interesting spots… Continue reading “On the inclusion of photo tours”
Alliances play huge roles in higher flying, and in order to really elevate your travels, it’s best to understand how they operate and shape the industry. The strategic partnerships formed between airlines all over the world create unique opportunities and easily allow passengers to go to places in ways that would otherwise be much more difficult and/or expensive. Despite how useful alliances can be, they’re not particularly easy to understand, and I often get a number of questions about their basic functions. To help clear up some confusion, here’s a list of FAQs!
In the olden days of higher flying, it was possible to earn thousands upon thousands of points through a process called “churning.” The premise was simple enough: apply for a compelling credit card, complete the minimum spend and earn the signing bonus, then cancel the account. Shortly thereafter, reapply for that same card. Repeat over and over again to collect an unlimited amount of points.
Unfortunately, you can’t do that anymore.
In the Beginner’s Guide and throughout The Higher Flyer, I stress the importance of maintaining a good credit score. Everyone should have at least a 675, because without that, you won’t be approved for the cards required to earn lots of redeemable miles and points. Such a standard is pretty high already, and if you’re a student, you might not have a credit score at all. While that might seem problematic — how could you possibly get approved for a credit card? — you shouldn’t be discouraged. It’s entirely possible to build a score high enough to get you higher flying within a year.
As I write in the Beginner’s Guide, it’s quite difficult to fly higher without the assistance of credit cards; through signing bonuses and daily spend, you can earn a significant number of points which you can then use for travel redemptions. To have access to the best ones, you should have a credit score of at least 675, which, all things considered, is high. If your credit score isn’t at that level, don’t worry, because that won’t stop you from becoming a higher flyer. There are just some steps that you need to take before you try to enter the world of miles and points. I outline below what to do in order to get started with higher flyer credit cards.
I’ve found that trying to explain The Higher Flyer to someone who isn’t familiar with the world of miles and points can be a bit of a challenge at times. While a THF Glossary (that can be viewed here) is expanding daily, the namesake of the website seems deserving of a more detailed explanation beyond a few lines. Because the phrase itself can act as a noun, adjective, and a verb, and it also refers to facets of travel beyond flying, things can get confusing at times. For the sake of clarity, here’s a brief primer on what defines “higher flyer.”