In April 2015 I was in the middle of a short hiatus from work, taking the time to reevaluate what I wanted to do in life and also play a lot of PS4.
Travel hacking was already a big hobby for me at the time, but I realised that this was a topic that received significantly less coverage in Singapore. Anyone who wanted to get into the hobby would have to sift through numerous threads on Flyertalk, SQTalk and HWZ, read through endless T&Cs and otherwise invest a lot of time.
So I toyed with the idea of starting a website where I could share whatever knowledge I had. This was particularly difficult for me, because I knew nothing about coding, website design or SEO. I didn’t even know how to register a domain. But I decided to see where it went and I’m glad I did.
I’m a firm believer in God’s providence and He has indeed blessed The Milelion with great success. In April 2016 The Milelion received 17,500 visitors (7,500 unique), who read about 45,500 articles.
Readers mostly came from Singapore, but got some love from the US, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia too.
And of course, that 1 guy from Bhutan who visited once, read 3 articles and spent 46 seconds on each…
As The Milelion goes into its second year I just wanted to reaffirm some basic principals of the site
- Advice from the Milelion is free and will always be. I don’t hold any exclusive rights to the information provided here, in fact I owe most of what I know to the willingness of other people to share. Information should be free.
- Sometimes I will get things wrong and need your help to spot it. I’m still learning a lot about this hobby and there will inevitably be a bit of fine print I miss, a promotion expiry I forget or something I just plain misunderstand. The 2016 Credit Card guide was a great example, no sooner had I published it that I got an influx of feedback on corrections. And that’s great! Please keep pointing out where I goof up so I can correct it and not mislead others
- Sharing is caring. I’ve had my share of angry emails from people who say that this website is not in the long term interest of anyone, because the banks/airlines/hotels will shut down the deals . To these people- I can completely understand where you’re coming from, but I believe you’re wrong. First, the stuff I write about is pretty basic because I myself don’t know many of the advanced tricks. There are no MS opportunities in SG (at least that I’m aware of). I don’t know any of the Lifemiles secret codewords. I don’t write about mistake fares or fat finger rates because I’m always too slow on the news. Second, even if I did, deals come and go. That’s just a fact of the game we play. Yes, we lose the Imagine card. Yes, Alaska takes away cheap Emirates first class awards. But there will always be new opportunities. Always. Third, banks aren’t stupid. DBS knows a lot of men have its WWMC. UOB knows people carefully plan their spending so they just hit the $1K min on the Visa Signature. They know it and they accept it. When they don’t, we’ll find something else.
- The Milelion needs your help to grow, be it telling a friend or contributing as a guestwriter. Guestwriters help lend new perspectives and take some of the writing burden off me, and I’m very thankful for Jeriel, Fred, Dario and Dexter for the articles they’ve contributed over the past year. You guys rock.
I started The Milelion because of the pain I feel when I see people using the wrong card at the cashier, because of the anger I experience when banks try to pull the wool over their customers eyes with shoddy offerings, because of the agony I feel when my waitlist doesn’t clear.
But I also started The Milelion because of the excitement I feel for someone trying first/business class for the first time, the happiness I experience when someone texts me a photo of the convertible they got for their road trip at a steal, the knowledge that someone is able to connect with a loved one straight upon arrival with a sim card I passed them.
It is an awesome feeling to know that people are travelling better for less. And that’s something The Milelion will continue to work for, every day.
To mark our 1st birthday, The Milelion is offering a weekend giveaway on our Facebook page- a S$100 Zuji Travel Voucher. Simply click here to participate!
Thank you for your support and your many words of encouragement over the past year. I hope you keep the questions and ideas for articles coming (I just figured out how to configure a “contact us” form, look!).
Here’s to better credit card bonuses, fewer devaluations and plenty of saver seat awards to everyone in the year ahead
cover photo by joshuachua