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Guest Post: Credit Card Rewards and Cancer

This is a guest post from my friend Kevin, who you probably know from (and if you don’t, you should!). He has recently created a really cool site, Reward Boost, to help you find and maximize credit card rewards for free! I was able to beta test the site and I was amazed to see some of the rewards I’d been missing out on. Kevin is here today to share one of the reasons he was inspired to develop Reward Boost – I think many of you will be able to identify with his story.


Over a year ago I got a call from my mother. She told me that she hadn’t been feeling well for a long time, wasn’t really able to eat. She had been especially uncomfortable because she wasn’t able to have a bowel movement in weeks.

She couldn’t pass anything through her intestines because there was a huge tumor growing on her ovaries that was pushing on her colon and blocking passage.

My mom had Stage 3 ovarian cancer.

She was scheduled to go into surgery a few days later and she told me she would be fine. She didn’t want me to take time off work and spend money to travel and be with her.

I never was very good at listening to her.

If you’ve ever tried to buy a plane ticket 2-3 days before your expected departure, you know the prices are downright astonishing. It was going to cost over $500 per ticket for me to fly round trip from Dallas to St. Louis. Considering I wanted my fiancee to be with me, I was looking at over $1,000 to be with my mom before her surgery.

So what did I do? I logged onto my British Airways account, found some rewards tickets, and got two round trip tickets for 18,000 Avios miles and $10.

It wasn’t until returning from the trip and my mom’s successful surgery that I realized how valuable the miles I had earned on my credit card truly were.

I had originally gotten the British Airways card because I wanted to take my mom to Vatican City to see the Pope and all the beautiful buildings and art in that part of the world.

Instead I used those miles to be with my mother before her surgery and hear directly from the doctor that they had removed most of the tumor and that she should make a full recovery after a few rounds of chemotherapy.

Credit Card Rewards Are More Than Just Money to Me

Credit card rewards are way more than just money to me. They were a ticket to see my mom before her cancer surgery.

They have paid for my flight two months ago to spend time with my father while he was in hospice care. He died soon after I saw him.

Now I’m saving up points to (hopefully) pay for a honeymoon for me and my future wife when we are married next year. We are paying for the wedding ourselves so we certainly won’t have the cash to take a big trip. However, if my rewards keep building up we just might be able to pay for something with all my points.

Points and cash back are more than just money to me. They represent opportunities for incredible life experiences, and that’s why I do everything I can to earn the most rewards as possible.

It’s also why I created a site to help other people get the most out of rewards credit cards. My website is called Reward Boost and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen on the web.

There are lots of websites that try to “sell” you on a new credit card by promising huge rewards and pretending that you aren’t currently earning anything. Reward Boost helps you get the most rewards possible out of the cards you already have. We do also recommend new cards, but only if we find you something that will give you MORE than you are getting with your current cards.

If you’re interested in increasing your credit card rewards I encourage you to check out this video and sign up for a free account at Reward Boost.

My Mom is Doing Great

My mom’s surgery was in February of 2012. Late last year she had her final round of chemotherapy and she is currently in remission. The 5 year survival rate for Stage III ovarian cancer is only 34%, but I’m cautiously optimistic that my mom is going to beat the odds.

And if I get a phone call tomorrow that I need to get back home to visit her, I have enough points to make that happen and still be able to pay for my wedding.

This was a guest post by Kevin McKee, founder of Thousandaire and co-founder of Reward Boost.


  1. Thanks for letting me post here Andrea, and thanks for being one of my beta testers! It took a long time to get this site ready and it was partially due to your help!

  2. This site looks awesome, and what a great story and use of your rewards. I’m so sorry to hear about your father, but it’s nice that you were able to spend time with him before he passed. It’s easy to get caught up in the “fun” rewards ideas (like vacations) that you don’t really see the value they can actually bring.

    • Of course I would prefer that my father got better, but I am just so grateful I was able to spend time with him. And while I’m glad I could use rewards to see my sick family, I’m also looking forward to (hopefully) going on a honeymoon with reward points!

  3. That is a really nice post. Hope your mother gets well soon Kevin. Being with your mom before her surgery to give her support is something that money can’t buy. Good call for using those reward points to be with her and for a cheap price too.

  4. Though its sad its great that you were able to be able to spend time with your father before he passed. I don’t even think about rewards. In this case it was surely helpful in getting to the places you needed to be.

  5. teinegurl says

    i will def. check it out because i want to learn more

  6. Nice work on the new site Kevin. It looks awesome. I just went over and tried it out and I like what I see. I didn’t even know you were building this.

  7. I am glad your mom is doing great. It’s a sad way of learning about the value of credit card rewards but I know exactly what you mean. My grandmother passed away in January of this year. My folks who live out in NJ wanted to be with her. The prices were ridiculous to get from Jersey to CA. I had a bunch of air miles saved up from my year long travel and was able to use the air miles to get both my parents to Sacramento.

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