Behind the Curtain of Travel Loyalty Programs, Bilt Rewards, Venture X & Family RV Travel with Richard Kerr

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Miles to Memories podcast episode 117

Behind the Curtain of Travel Loyalty Programs, Bilt Rewards, Venture X & Family RV Travel with Richard Kerr

In this episode we speak to Richard Kerr who is the Director of Travel Rewards for Bilt Rewards. He gets a little nerdy with us and pulls back the curtains a bit into the other side of travel loyalty programs. What goes into developing a great program and how it may be different than you think.

We also dive into Bilt Rewards including how it works and why it is different than other “rent payment” services that have come before. We also talk family RV travel on the heel of Richard’s recent 40+ day RV trip and discuss the brand new Capital One Venture X card including what we like and some of the questions we still have about this premium card.

Episode Notes 
  • 2:28 – Talking Atlanta & Braves World Series Win
  • 7:39 – Richard’s long stories background in points & miles
  • 11:12 – Working directly with 2 U.S. presidents
  • 12:06 – How Bilt allows you to earn rewards on rent
  • 17:04 – The Bilt Mastercard, ecosystem & transfer partners
  • 20:49 – Behind the scenes of the formation of the Bilt loyalty program
  • 24:28 – Pulling back the curtain on loyalty programs – the other side
  • 27:49 – The RV lifestyle and family road trips
  • 31:32 – Over the top campgrounds and the ones that are scary
  • 35:07 – Planning a 40+ day family RV road trip
  • 37:17 – RVing and camping at Walt Disney World – Worth the effort?
  • 42:49 – New Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card
  • 46:49 – Unique tech behind Capital One’s travel portal
  • 49:39 – Will Venture X Keep People in Capital One’s ecosystem?
  • 54:22 – How to apply for Venture X & support MtM

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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I agree with Richard. I don’t see the hype surrounding this card when the best way to earn (and take advantage of the annual credit) is by way of a travel portal.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this hobby during the pandemic is how much I HATE dealing with travel portals. It’s all good…until it’s not.

    There aren’t words to describe how much I hate dealing with these folks when things go wrong. I know folks hated the Expedia backed, Chase portal but I can tell you that dealing with cxLoyalty isn’t fun either.

    They’re the folks behind the ThankYou portal and unless you enjoy dealing with incompetent people after hours of waiting on hold, you’re not going to be happy with these folks either.

    I have honestly walked away from points due to me from cancelled routes because my sanity was worth more than the points.

    I’d rather jump off the Empire State Building with hopes of getting my eyelids caught on a rusty nail than to deal with the customer service behind these travel portals.

    • I think there are a lot of people that feel that way. If Cap One, and Hopper, somehow figure out a better experience that could change things but we won’t know for several months if that is the case.


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