Reminder: Women are invited to join us for the first PointsPurse on March 9!

When I first started working 14 years ago, I would diligently save 600 rupees every month towards a travel fund I created with my friends. This meant I put aside 10% of my modest monthly salary in the hope that I will soon start to live my travel dreams. A year later, we broke the piggy bank, and the road trip to Coorg happened. We were four friends who hired a car and drove from Bangalore to Coorg. I scouted out a charming 200-year-old heritage home on a coffee plantation (we didn’t have Airbnb in India back in those days), and we spent a memorable weekend together enjoying the Abbey Falls, walking through the paddy fields, observing how coffee berries grow and relishing local Kodava cuisine.

The experience was terrific and made me crave more travel, to the point where travel soon became synonymous with saving. Whenever I wanted to go to a new place, I would repeat the whole exercise of saving money, scouting for the cheapest commute, scoring a deal by bargaining with hotels and finally snapping up that trip.

It was only later that I was introduced to plastic money. I started with a basic credit card that I got for free with my salary account. I didn’t use it for a very long time and kept it hidden in my drawer thinking that I’ll overspend or what if I forget to pay the bill.

Much later in life, I met Ajay and learnt that by using my credit card I could travel for free. Unbelieving, I paid a fee for my first credit card and travel for me has never been the same. Thanks to all the points and miles collected on my cards, I’ve managed to travel to more than ten countries and paid one-tenth of the price to fly premium cabins and stay in the most luxurious hotels around the world.

Over the years, I’ve also realised that as women, we have many everyday expenses, which if we start putting on our cards, the mileage balance can multiply. In 2017, I earned 54,000 miles without stepping on a plane. All these miles were earned by using one single credit card for my groceries, shopping, dinners, movies and other personal expenses big and small.

Me on Lufthansa First Class, not paying INR 5 lakh for a seat along with Champagne and Caviar.

I’ve also observed that very few women understand the world of points and miles. They think it’s complicated and tedious. Therefore this year, I want to introduce more women to the concept of using credit cards and earning miles every day without really flying.

On the occasion of Women’s Day, I’m organising a session exclusively for ladies at WeWork, BKC in Mumbai to help them get started. This will be a casual meet up, including breakfast. I will start from the basics, talk about why move from cash to cards, how to identify the right travel rewards cards and then how to use them every day to achieve your travel dreams. Together we will discuss travel goals and then how to meet them.

For this session, I am planning to hold it the day after Women’s Day, with all the feedback I received of not planning it for the evening. There is a minimal commitment fee of INR 500, which we will use towards foods and beverages. You are welcome to bring your girls along, make sure you have enough tickets on you! To the men reading, this is the best gift you can give your partner because travel is more fun when you explore beautiful places together. All the details are here.

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Looking forward to meeting you on March 9, 2019. Again, Sign up here!

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