by Joe, want to accompany his pioneering?

State Of The Hobby

Updated 2/25/16

Only a certifiable nerd curates the 3 most credible resources:  State Of The Hobby and State Of Travel Hacking

  1. View From The Wing: State Of The Hobby In 2016 & 2015
  2. One Mile At A Time: The State Of The Miles & Points Industry
  3. Chris Guillebeau: Travel Hacking In '15, '14, '13, '12, '11, '10, '09, '08

Discover What The Geeks Know That You May Not

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State Of The Hobby

Photo Credit: Gaping Void & License

Photo Credit: Gaping Void & License

Brian Kelly is often asked how he became known as The Points Guy (TPG).  Brian’s fascination with travel loyalty programs began informally in 2004-2005 when he was the Student Body President at the University of Pittsburgh.  Because he was flying so often, he achieved U.S. Airways Gold status.  As part of the process of obtaining elite status, he discovered a website called FlyerTalk in 2004 and immersed himself in learning the ins and outs of the points and miles hobby.  In 2007, Brian got a job on Wall St. and continued his jet setting.  Even when the Great Recession hit in 2008, Brian was earning tons of miles at a time when his salary was stagnant.

In 2010, Brian was a 20-something-year-old in Manhattan trying to get by so he started a website called thepointsguy.com as a way to make extra money. Brian made money by booking award tickets for other people.  In June 2010, he started blogging about his hobby, and by April 2011, Brian’s website was feature in the New York Times.  Shortly thereafter, Brian was approached by advertisers who wanted to pay Brian to be promoted on his website.  Finally, in 2011, Brian left his job to pursue writing on TPG as full-time blogger.

Question: What is your experience with the state of the hobby?
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Over the past five years, traffic growth at thepointsguy.com has increased exponentially. In December 2010, 9,887 unique people visited the website.  By the following year the number had grown to 165,272 in December 2011 and continued its exponential growth up to 2,516,447 unique visitors in December 2015. - Adapted from The Points Guy

Journey far,

― Joe


Even in an age of social media, the ‘silent majority’ that belongs to these programs remains generally content.
Randy Peterson

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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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