Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Check out my interview with Nomadic Matt

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I recently did an interview with Nomadic Matt, probably the worlds most-read travel (as opposed to miles and points) blogger.  The man is in over 500,000 Google+ circles and has 59,000 Twitter and 38,000 Facebook followers!

Nomadic Matt

The article looks at the differences between the miles and points hobby in the UK and USA, talks a bit about my background and gives a decent overview of the key things that you need to know if you want to build up your miles in this country.

You can read the full article here.

Comments (13)

  • Jay says:

    Good to know about you more.

  • Danksy says:

    Raffles…. Fame at last 😀 😀

    • Rob says:

      I have never seen the benefits of fame, to be honest! I live on the same road as a certain ex ad-man and, until recently, his chef wife and I promise you, you don’t want to wake up in the morning to find that many press camping outside your door.

      • Volker says:

        Raffles, has anybody ever approached you in a lounge, on a plane etc. because they recognised you from the little photo of you which always seems to appear in Google’s top search results?

        • Rob says:

          No. Luckily! To be honest, that Google pic is too small to be recognisable, although the LinkedIn version is a lot clearer.

  • pazza2000 says:

    Great interview. Am I the only one who had not heard of Nomadic Matt before? (feel like I should have)

    • Rob says:

      To be honest, I had never heard of him before travelbloggerbuzz.com started linking to some of his pieces a year ago. What you need to understand is that travel blogs and ‘miles and points’ blogs are two entirely different things.

      The travel blog market is a bit like the mummy blog market, with literally hundreds of thousands of the things out there. No special skill is required to start one apart from having travelled somewhere and taken some pictures. There is no money in them (target market is young and not well off backpackers in general) but a lot of free hotel stays etc to be had if you make an effort marketing yourself.

      Matt is different – he travels heavily, he can write, he understands business (and so can successfully make his blog support his travel) and has pulled in some elements of miles and points blogging to drive revenue.

      Look at Heather On Her Travels for a lower key UK example. This blog is well known and well read, by the standards of UK travel blogs. If you look at the revenue information she publishes, though, it still doesn’t generate much money.

      • ABC says:

        Matt can be a naive tourist sometimes. Just look at his attempt to briefly move to Stockholm ( a little bit of home work can help). But maybe you should expect more international travel experience from a western European than a Yankee.

    • susan says:

      Def. not the only one. Neither had I heard of travel hacking although it is an apt, in fact inspired, descriptor.

  • James67 says:

    Nice interview Rob, well reported by NM and a good starting point for the beginner. I hadn’t realized you were relatively new to this yourself so a great accomplishment since mid decade. One thing I think we should not lose sight of that BA earnings:burning ratio is now great value (particularly lower band redemptions, and when cleverly and fully exploted)when compared to many othrr schemes including the debalued Delta and United. This, I feel, partly offsets the pain of higher taxes and fees exUK.

    • Rob says:

      A couple of paragraphs were cut from that part of the interview. The original text explained that I had been doing this for a long time, but only after I found FT in 2004 did I realise (as most people do) that I hadn’t even scratched the surface. I think the last time I did a long-haul economy flight was 1999, and that was only because someone who was leaving the UK gave me a BA compensation gift voucher they weren’t going to use – it covered a Y return to New York …

  • Volker says:

    I really like the interview! Despite some recent comments here on HFP, I don’t agree with the following statement though: “Unlike the US, this is not a hobby for students or the low paid.” Just by signing up for the BMI credit cards and using them virtually at every available opportunity as well as by joining a few loyalty programs and making the most of their sometimes very generous promotions, my partner and I can fly business class several times a year and stay in luxury hotels, something we could not do if we had to pay the regular prices.

    Yes, we might have to give last-minute deals like “fly CW to USA for £1,000” a miss. But we can still plan our holidays and save up money for fuel surcharges / taxes on LHR-LAS-LHR in First – just like the average British family has to save up for LBA-ALC-LBA on Ryanair.

    Thanks to HFP the word holidays has got a completely new meaning to me. Looking forward to Las Vegas in style!

  • The Other Steve says:

    Never heard of him either, but nice to read the article.
    I was surprised you mentioned about 3V and NS&I though – personally speaking I’d prefer the fewer people know about that the better.