HotelChatter: The Points Guy

One of the biggest trends in the travel industry overall these days is loyalty points maximization. The movie Up in the Air made a joke of road warriors who hoard their points programs on everything from hotel chains to airlines to rental car agencies, but the truth is, all of us are members in one program or another (or, more likely, a higher number like 17), and we are all looking for better ways to put our points to use. Especially in this horrible economy, where our cash flow might be low, but we still have huge points balances. The thing is, it can be so hard to figure out what to do with these points, and then once you do, it seems impossible to redeem them for anything valuable.

That's where my friend Brian Kelly comes in. He has just started his own rewards points consulting business under the moniker The Points Guy, and has started helping people use their points for trips around the world, and stays at some of the world's most exclusive hotels.

When I found out Brian was starting his own business, I asked my editor at HotelChatter if I could write about him for the site and find out exactly how he manages to live a fabulous lifestyle on a tight budget.

Turns out Brian is a wealth of information not only about redeeming points for valid options, but also in terms of comparing points programs and brands, so I'll be writing several articles about him about how to achieve Elite Status on airlines (and why it's worth it!), as well as how to rack up those airline miles and how not to waste them on bad deals when you do. This first article, though, is on HotelChatter, and concerns hotel points programs, so take a look!