Could Selfie Payment Verification Replace the PIN?

In a move that is targeted toward the “selfie generation,” MasterCard has begun a payment verification trial with 500 card holders to snap away instead of typing in a PIN or, heaven forbid, signing for a purchase. MasterCard is reportedly working directly with phone manufacturers to integrate selfie-based security, which requires the MasterCard app to authenticate transactions — since these…

What Are Points & Miles Worth? July Monthly Valuations

You can view all posts in the Monthly Valuation Series here. One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much is a point or mile worth?” The answer varies from person to person and depends on how well you can maximize a particular currency for your needs. Still, some points are worth more than others. To give readers…

Should I Get the Citi AA Executive Card with the 75,000-Mile Bonus?

TPG reader Mike messaged me to ask a credit card question: “Should I sign up for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard with a 75,000-mile bonus?” Just this week, Citi announced a new sign-up bonus for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard, offering 75,000 miles after making $7,500 in purchases in the first three…

What’s the Best Card if I Travel a Lot and Only Fly AA?

TPG reader Robbie tweeted me to ask about the best card for a unique situation: @thepointsguy – “Should I get SPG Amex, ThankYou Premier or Sapphire Preferred? I travel a lot for work and fly AA exclusively, but don’t have a preferred hotel chain.” This is an interesting question, because these three cards have unique…

How Many Credit Cards Should I Have at Once?

TPG reader John messaged me to ask a credit card question: “How many credit cards is too many? Given what you’ve said about the relatively low impact on your credit score, it would seem that 5-10 would be okay. Do you agree? How many cards do you have open at once? What kind of strategy do you recommend?”…

What Are Your Favorite Noise-Canceling Headphones?

TPG reader Marcus tweeted me to ask about travel gear: @thepointsguy – “What are your favorite noise-canceling headphones for travel?” I think it’s important to have a great pair of headphones for air travel. It’s nice to be able to control your airplane environment, and even if you’re flying in first class, it can get loud. People…

Which Airlines Offer the Best Million Miler Status Benefits?

TPG reader Sasha tweeted me to ask about elite status: @thepointsguy – “What airlines offer the best million miler elite status benefits?” To reward long-term loyalty, some airlines offer special lifetime benefits for customers who reach a cumulative total of one million miles flown. My pick for the best million miler elite status would be United, and you…

Where Have All the Amex Transfer Bonuses Gone?

TPG reader Kathryn tweeted me to ask about Amex transfer bonuses: @thepointsguy – “Where have all the Amex Membership Rewards transfer bonuses gone?” There’s a famous song by the esteemed singer/songwriter Paula Cole called “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone,” and that’s the inspiration for your question today, Kathryn. It’s a great one! American Express…

Travel to Malta on Points and Miles

Island hopping in the Mediterranean doesn’t have to be a pricey endeavor. TPG Contributor Lane Nieset takes us to the Mediterranean’s history-rich Maltese Islands, which are a calmer — and dare we say it, more beautiful — version of their club-centric neighbors, offering suggestions for what to do and how to save using points and miles. (All photos are by the…

10 Photos: Fourth of July on LA’s South Bay Beaches

In his travel photo essays, TPG Contributor (and pro photographer) Patrick T. Fallon includes tips on exploring destinations, redeeming miles, gaining elite status and improving your own photography while traveling. Between TPG posts, follow his photo work and travels on Instagram. (All photos by the author.) If you find yourself in the Los Angeles area this Fourth of July holiday and are…