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Award Redemption

Updated 2/25/16

Only a certifiable nerd curates the 3 most credible resources:  Award Redemption and Burning Rewards

  1. One Mile At A Time: Tips For Redeeming Airline Miles
  2. Chris Guillebeau: How To Use Frequent Flyer Miles To Go Anywhere
  3. One Mile At A Time: Value Redeemed Miles

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Award Redemption

50 year old Fariba Rezvani co-owns an investment company in San Francisco with her husband. Predominantly via charging work-related expenses to their American Express Centurion charge card, the couple had accrued about a million American Express Membership Rewards points.  Add those points to another 700,000 miles with United Airlines that were earned largely from frequent business-related flying and the Rezvani’s seemingly had more than enough points and miles to exchange for a free trip.

However, when Fariba went to book flights to Barcelona, Spain, she quickly became frustrated with the process.  Fariba explained, "you would think that if you are going to all this trouble, you should be treated differently.  Every time it's such a hassle that I usually give up on it and buy a ticket instead of using points."  Needless to say, when Fariba heard from a friend about a high-end "concierge" award-booking service in Los Angeles called First Class and Beyond, she reached out.  Fariba got in touch with Ari Charlestein, who operates First Class and Beyond.  Ari spent some time looking to see how he could help Fariba.  What he found was a way for Fariba and her husband to fly in first-class to Barcelona, Spain on United Airlines and return in business class flying on Lufthansa, a United Airlines partner.  Ari shared the good news with Fariba who was ecstatic.  Fariba reflected, "if it would have been me, I would have used 500,000 points, but Ari got both of us tickets for 220,000, which is fantastic." Ari’s assistance with Fariba’s award redemption left Fariba with 480,000 United Airlines miles and every one of her million American Express Membership rewards points.  More than enough miles and points for many future trips. – adapted from Credit Cards

Journey far,

― Joe

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

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I have been fortunate enough to pay off all my debt, travel to all 7 continents, and complete a Bachelors of Psychology & MBA in Finance. I am eternally grateful to the brilliant and self-less people who have gone before me to pave the road.

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