Learn About Elite Status, Hotwire, Earning/Using Points, and More on the Travel Channel

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If you follow me on Twitter (or read View From the Wing yesterday), you may have already heard that some of the work I have been doing with the Travel Channel over the last couple of months is now available online. It’s actually been available for a couple days now, but I just find the whole thing so strange and surreal that I have had a hard time writing about it. I’m honestly still having a hard time writing about it, but I do think that some of the info can be very helpful, especially to some of the newer folks in our miles and points hobby, so I want you all to know it is available.

The Travel Channel is in the process of launching a bunch of new deals and rewards content on their website, and a portion of that content is ten short video clips that I did on different travel related topics. They are short, to the point, and hopefully filled with some good tips and information. They are not geared toward the miles and points expert, but rather they are geared for the average person who likes travel, and wants to be able to do more of it.

The ten topics are:

What’s the Best Rewards Card?
Earn Airline Elite Status
Save Big on Airfare
Hotel Deals With Hotwire
Score Big With Priceline
How to Earn Hotel Elite Status
Tips to Earn Miles and Points
When to Redeem Miles and Points
Tips to Redeem Miles and Points
Save Money While on Vacation

Eventually I am going to get these linked to a “Beginner’s Page” on my site (that it is taking me far too long to build), but here they are for now in case you want to check them out. I really hope that they can be of some use to you, or a more novice traveler that you know. There is also some written content I created available on the Travel Channel’s site both in terms of static articles, and on their blog “The Traveling Type”.

I posted some about my experience traveling to the Travel Channel in Washington DC to do the videos here. I still haven’t done Part 2 of the post, in part because writing about the process is just so strange. I used to make fake news reports in my backyard with my best friends growing up. We would come up with stuff to talk about, and then record our news reports and skits. I guess this isn’t all that different. Well, maybe just a little. I think one of our favorite things to record when we were kids was each other’s fake fart noises. Hopefully this is a bit more helpful than that was. 😉

I can’t tell you how weird it was on Friday to see my bio and info up on their “New Talent” page. I think I clicked on it and then promptly closed the laptop as it was just too strange for me to look at.

As if that wasn’t strange enough, I really haven’t processed how weird it was when they emailed me a screen shot today of my info featured on their home page.

I am totally humbled and honored to be able to bring some travel deals and miles/points info to travelers who visit TravelChannel.com – especially for those who otherwise might not have found their way to blogs or miles and points forums. I also know without a shadow of a doubt that none of this would be possible were it not for every single person who reads this blog (and my family, and all the folks at BoardingArea.com for that matter!). While not everyone always agrees with what I have to say, I am extremely grateful any time any of you takes a moment out of your busy day to visit my site. Time is precious, and I don’t take for granted any of the time that you choose to spend with me. I know that isn’t directly related to the new Travel Channel videos, but I wouldn’t feel right posting a link to the videos if I didn’t at least take a moment to thank you for making this opportunity possible.

I really hope that some of the travel info I share in the videos, or somewhere else, in some way helps pay forward the gratitude I have for every one of you. Thank you.


The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Congratulations Summer. they asked me to write for them as well and the editing process was so frustrating I gave up. Glad you stuck with it. You are the perfect person to represent our niche.

  2. I understand your “strange” feeling.
    I had been a stage actor for serveral years, before I did my first appearance on a PBS. It was sooooo very wierd seeing myself on video. It actually shied me away from seriously trying for a career in the movies and tv. 😉

    You look fine. Good luck with future gigs.

  3. Congrats! I’m glad things have worked out and have been going well after deciding to do this full time. All the best.

  4. Congrats! I love your blog and the voice you bring to the miles and points community. So glad you’re getting even more exposure.


  5. Excellent videos! It is amazing you did such a great job in less than 2 mins each when we could have an all day seminar to cover each topic:-)

    You are a natural in front of the camera. Pretty soon we will all be taping your show on Cable TV?

    You have a shot to become the Oprah of miles/points:-)

  6. Congrats Summer.. I’m am sure this is just the start. Before long you will have your own series on TC. All your hard work helping others is paying off.

  7. You look great on their site. Good topics and you didnt even look nervous. You looked like a grizzled veteran.

  8. @Colonel(Ret.)Wes, thank you!
    @CU, thanks so much!
    @Mile Collector, thank you!
    @Rick, thank you. I don’t know if I am the perfect person to represent our niche, but I’m willing to take my best stab at it. 😉 It is such a different process writing something for another site for sure – talk about a learning curve!
    @Rasputin, thanks!
    @Deedeema, aw, thank you. 😉
    @john, oh no! So far my “solution” has been to not watch the videos. I’ve seen a short segment of a couple of them just to see what they are like, but I haven’t really been able to watch them yet.
    @oneeyejack, thanks – that was certainly a decision that required a “leap of faith”, but so far it seems to have been the right choice for my family. Thanks!
    @DaninSTL, ha ha. Hardly! I couldn’t do what I do if it wasn’t for you guys!
    @Kay, thanks so much!
    @gpapadop, I just almost spit out my Starbucks at the Oprah comment. Thanks for the comment though. 😉 I’m glad you think there is some good content in the short clips. It was hard writing just 250-300 words on a topic (that would later serve as a script) when I usually ramble on for 1,000+ words!
    @Rapid Travel Chai, thank you. 😉
    @Wayne, how nice! Certainly nothing like that in the works right now, but thanks so much for the nice comment.
    @Alex, thank you!
    @Nickfromct, much appreciated.
    @Ken in PHX, thank you. So far from a grizzled vet in that regard it isn’t even funny. I’m glad that didn’t come through too much though. 😉
    @greek2me, ha ha. Well, that day I think I was a fancy pants. Wearing white jeans is normally extremely dangerous is my line of work as a “toddler mom”! 😉

  9. Congrats! Ur blog is amazing for families & your willingness to answer questions is really appreciated. I wish you much success, u truly deserve it!

  10. It is great to finally be able to “put a voice to the name.” Nice to “meet” you via your wonderful videos, and I look forward to really meeting you in person. Congratulations, and thank you for everything you do for the community!

  11. New points addict here, big GRACIOUS to you and the other bloggers for revealing this world. Because of you guys, my family will be able to visit my wife and I when we move overseas next year. The one thing that continues to pop in my mind is how do you think main steam public exposure like this will alter the programs that we all use? Will this really start to make the CC and FF companies rethink their strategy the more people get a hang of this wonderful world we live in?

    Big ups to you and your success, you definitely work hard at it. The more I learn about points the more I find myself having to draw moral battle lines between what I am and am not ok with. This could be an awesome psychology thesis for any PhD candidates out there!

  12. The videos were awesome, you did great! I always learn something new. I was pretty much a newbie when i started following you about 9 months ago with just a small USair and Delta account. Now I have several hundred thousand miles because of all of your great advise (love Ultimate rewards) . Thank you so much for your down to earth advise. Love the way you explain things in a way that everyone can understand. We have enjoyed several paid for trips and I am so addicted to the miles and points game now. There is no turning back. LOL!

  13. Hi Summer, you don’t have to post this but I wanted to give you some tips as someone who does this type of thing for a living.

    1. Your face. Obviously, you are an attractive lady. The camera loves you. But you’re tensing up your face into a slight grimace. You’ve got to really have fun when you do this. You need to see the camera as your best girlfriend and pretend you’re knee-deep into girl talk at your local coffee shop. Practice it at home and, when you get good at it, the viewers will feel like you’re really talking to them. They’ll say “wow she’s good” even though they won’t know why.

    2. Your voice. This needs a little more work. When you’re trying to emphasize a point, your voice hits a pitch that sounds like it’s cracking. You’re also straining to show enthusiasm by using volume. Again, if you’re really with your best friend at a coffee shop, you’ll just BE enthusiastic and won’t have to try to show it. It will read as a real person. Right now, it feels a little false.

    3. Finally, your timing. You don’t need to get this all out in one breath. Allow yourself to take time and actually have a genuine moment. The “mistakes” you’re worried about will actually be the best and most interesting parts. You really need to get comfortable with this.

    Again, you can practice all this at home with a camcorder. You’ve got the face, body, and knowledge of an intriguing personality. You just need a little polish and you’ll get very good at this.

  14. @Mary, thank you!
    @Jimmy, thank so much. I very much look forward to meeting you as well!
    @Daraius, thank you!
    @NavyMan, first, so glad that your family will be able to visit while you are overseas. Second, there is always that risk. However, these videos don’t really reveal any secrets of miles and points. It is pretty basic stuff on earning, redeeming, and saving money. I don’t think those sorts of messages will have a large impact on what we do – mostly because it still takes work and effort for someone to put that info into action.
    @Kathy, it’s a great “addiction” to have! Congrats on coming so far in 9 months!
    @bluto, thanks – I will pass that dead link info on to the TC. PS, you guys are not “little people”! (well, if you are, then so am I!)
    @frank, thanks for the advice. I have no doubt that you are correct on all accounts. This is a totally new world for me. While my “job” is certainly not hard compared to some out there, delivering basically memorized content with energy while not looking like a dork with a tensed up face is not the easiest thing I have ever done. If I ever get the chance to do this again I’ll hollar at you for some more pointers. 😉
    @Kevincm, thank you.
    @Miles, ha ha. I don’t know about professionals – I’m just a girl with a laptop who gets excited about miles and points. 😉
    @William, thank you!

  15. @David, I’m not really sure who Summer is either…..she must be impersonating Mommy Points. 😉 Truthfully, the name thing is weird for me, too. This was my “secret world”, but it has become my “real world”, too.
    @Leslie, thank you!

  16. Gotta check back everyday on this website. One day MP is trying on Hot Pink Bikinis over her clothes (hilarious) the next week shes the new “it” girl for the travel channel. I wonder whats gonna happen next week.

  17. You did a great job! I’m forwarding your link to some of my friends and family in hopes that they can better understand my hobby of 11 months. I have learned so much and I’m so excited about my future travels all because of you and the other travel bloggers.

  18. Fantastic & so well deserved! You are a breath of fresh air to all of us with families who wouldn’t be able to do this without you! Best of luck! 🙂

  19. @Toula, thank you!
    @Ken in PHX, ha ha. First international trip for Little C is next week, so who knows what will happen next. 😉
    @Carol, thanks!
    @Shelia, thank you – that’s awesome!
    @Michael, thank you. 😉
    @Maya, thanks so much!
    @BothofUs2, thank you!
    @The Points Guy, ha ha. Only if I can get yours first!
    @The Weekly Flyer, thank you. You have entered the family travel world as well. 😉
    @AAdvantage Geek, thank you!
    @Kim, so glad you like them. 😉

  20. I watched all the videos..how cool! I also used your link and finally signed up for the Chase Sapphire card. A someone new to all this, I’m excited to earn those points and plan some trips! You blog rocks 🙂

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