When was founded?
How many employees?
9.3 million (SimilarWeb)
Traveling is inherent in human nature. While it means satisfying your curiosity about the world, you will surely be eager to know how the time spent in hotels and planes as well as simple purchases carried out via credit card could enhance the quality of your life and trip.
This crossed Brian Kelly’s mind, CEO and founder of The Points Guy, while he was a recruiter at Morgan Stanley. His job responsibilities there required a lot of traveling, and he was allowed to transfer the collected points from his corporate to the personal card.
Thus, he was getting more skillful not only in getting the most out of collected points and miles but also in the corporate card system. Ultimately, despite the fact that his salary was stagnant or even reducing, his passion for finding the best deals allowed him to afford Business and first-class flights, luxury hotel.
While he was enjoying all this almost for free, he was sharing the plane with people who were spending thousands of dollars on the same trip. Therefore, Kelly started his own blog where he was giving tips on how to benefit from miles while just using the credit card. Nowadays if starting a travel blog is a popular activity that all of us are somehow enticed to do on our social media accounts during every trip, Kelly became an influencer long before this notion was as familiar and commonly used as it is now.
What started as a simple hobby of blogging on points-and-miles, evolved into a lifestyle media brand with 7 million unique visitors a month and a social media audience of 3 million across Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
The target audience of this website is the US market. Nevertheless, the company aims to expand overseas, starting with the launch of its first international office in the United Kingdom in April 2019. Therefore, UK residents can maximize their travel experience by finding tailored made content for them by choosing The Points Guy UK from the upper-right side of the website.
One can easily judge the popularity of The Points Guy by simply casting a quick glance at the traffic metrics of the website. The main source of the traffic comes from the search results with more than 98% of organic search based on the statistics proposed by SimilarWeb.
The second source is direct traffic, which comes to prove that The Points Guy has already built solid brand awareness. From social media channels, Facebook is the primary source of traffic, followed by Twitter.
In the beginning, The Point Guy was a blog, with its main focus on proposing valuable advice on collecting miles while traveling. Nevertheless, today, the website evolved into an ultimate traveler’s playbook, which offers the user information about almost all the aspects that could be helpful while planning a trip.
Regardless of the trip purpose, one can find useful advice for almost all the aspects of traveling: from the best credit cards to aviation news and traveler tips at various destinations. One can already imagine the amount of content that the website contains. Therefore, the website is structured for smooth and flawless navigation. The topics are grouped logically and presented in drop-down menus.
Each article is descriptive, very detailed, and provides a lot of information on the topic. Moreover, the website has guides for beginner credit card users as well as people collecting points and miles. Therefore, one can confidently state that The Points Guy provides the user with all the necessary information to make the right buying decision.
The first section of the website’s primary menu is dedicated to the news of the industry, which covers the latest updates from the worlds of airlines, aviation, credit card, hotelier as well as general traveling tips.
From covering Elton John’s private jet expenses to major airline route expenditures as well as innovations and new proposals from credit card companies, the news section can be mainly appealing to The Points Guy’s loyal users who like to keep the finger on the pulse of the travel industry.
While navigating through the section, you can conclude that there is at least one article published for each topic. And that’s how the objective of providing the user with fresh and up-to-date content is undoubtedly met.
Credit Cards Page
As a real expert in opting for the best cards that meet specific travel needs, The Points Guy shares detailed, structured information. All the content is written in such a comprehensive way that even people with minimum financial literacy can understand and relate. Each presented card is linked to the website where the user can easily purchase it after comparing the pros and cons of all the offers.
The website asses the cards using the same criteria for each of those. It mentions the sign-up bonus, standout benefits, which consumer’s needs it will meet the best, etc. This method makes the comparison even easier for the user.
For major credit card companies and banks, the website offers separate sections with reviews on entire card line-ups. While navigating through the website The Point Guy constantly suggests useful links to tips and advice to its users, before they can make a buying decision and opt for a specific product.
The Points Guy has gained its popularity by offering content that is credible and based on personal experience. The website is still loyal to its main strategy and provides its readers with detailed reports on flights, hotels, lounges, credit cards, and even travel gears that might be useful on the road.
The articles are accompanied by visual components, which makes the reader feel like they are undergoing the experience personally.
For example, you can get a full overview of how to spend quality time in Orlando International Airport lounge with your credit cards. It dramatically facilitates consumer decision, doesn’t it?
Points and Miles Page
As one of the core sections of the website, this menu offers comprehensive content for everyone on collecting and benefiting from points in the hotels and from the miles during flights.
The indispensable Beginner’s guide suggests detailed information, which can help anyone to start their journeys easily, without fear of getting into the advertising traps of experienced marketers.
In this section, The Points Guy provides the user with information on the latest travel deals, tips on reaching maximum comfort in the airport as well as information on tourist attractions in different locations and much more.
The Points Guy is also filled with audio and video content. TPG video and podcast series are focused on the same type of content: miles, credit card, and various travel-themed reviews.
You won’t find much content here yet. However, considering that audio and video solutions are becoming more and more popular and bring more engagement, The Point Guy might be interested in enriching this section as well.
TPG family section
This section might be closely linked with the fact that his first planned trip Brian Kelly organized at the age of 13 for his family in the Cayman Islands. His father was a health-care consultant who constantly needed to travel for work.
That’s why he was able to collect miles, and Kelly found on the internet that he could use them for booking a trip for his family. The story is presented in detail below.
If you want to get the latest news and updates, you can also subscribe to the website’s newsletter and special email promotions. Moreover, The Points Guy has already become a community for enthusiastic travelers, who enjoy sharing their own experience in the comments section as well as propose tips and clarifications for those who ask questions.
Aiming to show its accountability, The Points Guy made sure that users are alerted about advertisement in each article where they come across a product placement. In the linked Advertising Policy, the user can already consult the full list of website’s partners.
The Points Guy is very popular with business-oriented media. Brian Kelly’s typical day is hard to define with spending most nights in hotels. Nevertheless, a few interviews per day are already a routine.
Among the ones with whom Brian Kelly has shared his experience are renowned magazines like Forbes, New York Times, news websites like Business Insider and Quartz, etc. Most notably in 2017, Forbes ranked The Points Guy as the leader on the list of Top Influencers for travel.
In the article devoted to Kelly, he shared with the interviewer his passion for collecting miles, drawing parallels with solving crossword puzzles. Kelly said. “I like to sit down and be challenged. Say I have 200,000 points and I want to go to Paris.
The airlines say no. Can it happen?”
Nevertheless, the coverage that has led The Points Guy onto the top tier of traveling websites was in 2011, when The New York Times’ Frugal Traveler section accorded Brian Kelly, an Expert Status. Since then, the Points Guy website has doubled in size every year.
In the pre-Christmas article published by the New York Times, Kelly shares his theory saying that the holidays are the best time to increase the number of our points and miles.
This is a time when almost everyone is ready to cross many miles simply to spend the holidays with their families and close ones. In order to do it wisely, Kelly proposes 5 real and handy tips on how to do it efficiently and benefit as much as possible.
The income of the website
The business model of the website has also evolved in time. Originally, The Points Guy was a site where novices could submit their frequent flyer miles and credit card points on a form, along with their travel goals. Kelly would review it, and for a $50 fee, he’d suggest the best travel option for the user.
Nevertheless, Kelly came to the conclusion that the loyalty of the community was a more significant asset than rapid money gaining. Therefore, Kelly shifted his attention to consistently creating content that would engage users.
The website started to provide Kelly with real income in 2011. Adopting an affiliate marketing program through LinkShare Kelly was able to link credit-card offers to his site so that the users could proceed to purchase a card directly from The Points Guy.
If a reader signed up for a card from The Points Guy website, Kelly would get paid. At first, Kelly didn’t know if he’d ever see a dime. But then a post that linked to a British Airways Visa promotion went viral, and he estimated that if just 10% of his roughly 25,000 readers at the time signed up, he could make six figures.
This system is still the source of income for the website. The Points Guy receives compensation when someone is approved of a card.
As Kelly calls himself, he is a natural-born traveler. Frankly speaking, he has all the rights to call him one. His first “meet-cute” scene with using points happened when he was only 13 years old.
His father was a health-care consultant who traveled for work, and Kelly found on the internet that he could use the points—then a relatively new invention—to book a family vacation. He rented a house, using the travel site VRBO, on the Cayman Islands, which Kelly had just read about in the John Grisham legal thriller “The Firm.” He booked the flights for a family of six online.
In the position of a recruiter for Morgan Stanley, Kelly was traveling a lot. Therefore, as a frequent flyer, his miles allowed him to check in to first-class, even sitting next to Madonna on British Airways a few times. Kelly is also very generous towards those who helped him shape his dream life.
When in June 2010, he launched a WordPress blog by paying only 10 dollars for the domain, it was the husband of a Morgan Stanley colleague who’d offered him a helping hand in figuring out SEO. Little did he know that at one of the TPG holiday parties, Kelly would reward him with 300,000 Starwood points, allowing him to take his family on a trip to Ireland.
For Kelly, traveling has already ceased to be merely about the destination; it has become a Purpose Project. His exceptional skills of procuring miles and credits are now used for philanthropy. His Points for Peace partnership with nonprofit the PeaceJam Foundation encourages readers to join him in donating miles to allow Nobel Peace Prize winners to travel to developing countries, where they meet with students and young people.
Brian Kelly is also resolute and unambiguous in his aspiration to help people. A proudly gay man, Kelly has also been working with Rainbow Railroad, a nonprofit that helps LGBTQ community members to leave countries like Jamaica and Iran where they face persecution, and worse.
Once informed about the roundups, torture, and murder of gay people in Chechnya, he donated 200,000 miles and points to help refugees escape and resettle.
In conclusion, one cannot help but praise the utility of The Points Guy for netizens. While the influencer marketing is reaching its apogee by creating content that is filled with excessive product placements, one cannot deny that most of the travel blogs have come to prove to be just dazzling, flawless carapaces, empty inside but trying to fill into each content piece as much advertisement as possible.
In the meantime, TPG offers its expertise and consultancy by giving the freedom to the consumers to make their own purchase decision. I believe The Points Guy’s main asset is its credibility, which guarantees its loyalty to millions of users. The founder of the website has set up strict rules of collaboration with marketing specialists, advertisers, and credit card companies, abiding by which is mandatory for the website.
While the advertisers show strong interest in cooperation with such a powerful influencer, The Points Guy is not open to all of them. A loyal user already expects The Points Guy to always adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, credibility, and accountability.
Concluding from the traffic and overall interest of the users, one can be convinced that the objective of transparency is achieved.
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