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This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. If you want to earn full bonus points on purchases, you'll have to check (or hope) that the businesses MCC is coded properly!

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains merchant category codes, and how understanding them can help you get the most out of category bonuses offered by your credit cards.
TPG often preaches the importance of maximizing the points and miles you earn not only in your travels, but also from your… Read More

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. Ritz-Carlton-Logo-Rewards-Program

Ritz-Calrton usually flies under the radar a bit, since you are limited to only having a Ritz-Carlton or Marriott account, but they currently a lucrative bonus offer that is going on through the end of October. If you’ve already met status requirements for the year with other chains like Hyatt… Read More

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. You could stay at the InterContinental London Park Lane for $287.50 vs paying the regular rates of $550.

IHG Rewards is offering up to a 100% bonus for purchasing 50,000 or more points through September 22, 2014. IHG offers bonuses for points purchases every so often, ranging from 25% to 100%, so this is one of the better buy points promotions you’ll see from them.

You can purchase points in… Read More

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page. Be sure to have some foreign currency on hand ahead of time.

TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen spends about six months of the year on the road, much of that traveling abroad for weeks at a time. Over the years, he has come up with a handy checklist that makes traveling international easier and more efficient. Here are his tips.
When it comes to travel,… Read More

10 New Things to See in L.A. This Fall

September 15, 2014

Planning an autumn trip to Los Angeles? TPG Assistant Editor Melanie Wynne lives there, and shares her picks for the best new experiences in the City of Angels.  L.A.’s a generally laid-back city, but it can sometimes feel like it’s moving at the speed of light, with a constant flood of new restaurants, nightlife, cultural attractions and entertainment experiences to […]

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Credit Card Companion Tickets: Ins, Outs & Current Offers

September 15, 2014

 I often travel solo, but I also like sharing the road (and the skies) with friends from time to time. Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses the companion pass benefits available with current credit card offers, and explains the features that set them apart from one another. The credit card industry learned long ago that there are few offers […]

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How Can I Earn AAdvantage Platinum Status Besides Flying?

September 14, 2014

TPG Reader Tim tweeted me to ask: “‪@thepointsguy: Does American Airlines offer alternatives to obtain Executive Platinum status? If so, who do I call? I am currently an AAdvantage Platinum member.” We’re more than halfway through 2014, and I know that many elite travelers (myself included) are looking at their elite status qualification requirements, as we only […]

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Which Credit Card Is Best for Economy Awards to London?

September 14, 2014

TPG Reader Steven tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy: “I value free/low-cost economy flights to London Heathrow. On which credit card should I concentrate my spending? I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, and the Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard.” I usually use my miles and points to book business class flights or […]

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Which Credit Card Is Best for Miscellaneous Travel Expenses?

September 14, 2014

TPG reader Gisele emailed me to ask: “I’m organizing a trip to Italy in the spring and would like to know if there’s a good credit card for less obvious travel expenses, such as Eurorail passes, museum tickets, tour buses, etc. I also would like to use Airbnb instead of a hotel. Do you have […]

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Should I Call if I Don’t Get Instant Credit Card Approval?

September 14, 2014

TPG reader Brian asked me on Facebook: “If my online credit card application isn’t approved instantly, is there any benefit to calling the reconsideration line right away rather than waiting until I receive a yes or no decision? Would it be better to wait and then call if the decision is no?” Applying for credit cards […]

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Hotel Review: Hôtel Belles Rives, Juan-Les-Pins, Cap d’Antibes, France

September 13, 2014

TPG Creative Director Adam Daniel Weiss recently traveled to Antibes, France where he stayed at the Hôtel Belles Rives . Read on for his review on the property. After a few nights in the hustle and bustle of Cannes, I decided it was time to move to a more low key location. The traffic and crowds surrounding the Cannes Film Festival […]

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Bonus Club Carlson Points, BA Adds SFO A380 Service, & More

September 13, 2014

Here’s a round-up of the week’s points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed: Club Carlson Bonus Points For Bookings Via App: You can earn 3,000 bonus Gold Points for each stay booked through the Club Carlson mobile app. You must book AND stay via the app by November 14, 2014. The app […]

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GoGo WiFi Offering Free Texting for T-Mobile Customers

September 12, 2014

Gogo WiFi and T-Mobile have partnered up to offer T-Mobile customers free text messaging on Gogo WiFi equipped planes starting next Wednesday,  September 17th. This means T-Mobile customers will be able to send and receive text messaged aboard over 2,000 commercial aircraft including those from Delta, American, United, US Airways, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines. Here’s what […]

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Southwest Airlines Announces New Service to Costa Rica

September 12, 2014

Earlier this year I visited the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica and fell in love with the “pura vida” lifestyle. Traveling there, I flew into Liberia Airport, though newly minted international airline Southwest just announced that they have plans to serve the countries’ other main airport, San Jose. Southwest Airlines is planning to launch new service to San Jose, Costa Rica next […]

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Quarterly 5% Bonus Categories: Chase Freedom & Discover It

September 12, 2014

In my ongoing quest for award travel, I tend to be pretty mindful of which credit card I use for various purchases. A card that offers a good return on groceries might offer only a pittance for hotel spending, so to maximize points and miles earnings, I’m keenly aware of which cards have the best bonuses in each category. For most […]

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10 New Things to See in New York This Fall

September 12, 2014

There’s always a lot going on in New York City, but the fall is a time when the city kicks off some of its most anticipated new projects. Contributor Adee Braun gives us the run down of the latest and greatest happenings in New York City in the autumn months. After the sleepy days of summer (or […]

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Travel Organization: Tracking Award Accounts & Travel Plans

September 12, 2014

With dozens of loyalty programs, credit cards, and itineraries in play at any given time, I need a system to keep track of all my points, miles, and travel plans. Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers strategies for staying organized to help you keep your travel house in order. I’m old enough to remember using a travel […]

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Is Upgrading to the American Express Platinum Worthwhile?

September 11, 2014

I recently helped my parents book an epic trip to Italy using 125,000 Delta SkyMiles each for Alitalia business class from New York (JFK)- Rome and returning from Milan back to JFK. My parents used their miles from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus to pay for some nice bed and breakfasts in Italy, and then used Hyatt and Starpoints to […]

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Thursday Giveaway: US Open Gift Pack & $200 Amex Gift Card

September 11, 2014

Every year, tens of thousands of tennis fans descend upon Flushing, Queens, New York to watch athletes compete for our nations biggest prize at the US Open. Officially touted as the World Largest Attended Annual Sporting event, the two-week long event brings together the world’s greatest players, from lauded champions like Roger Federer to up-and-comers like Belinda […]

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Amazon Payments Removing Free $1,000 Monthly Transfers

September 11, 2014

We recently wrote about Amazon Payments and the Ability to Send and Receive Money with a credit card. Currently with Amazon Payments, users can send and receive up to $1,000 each calendar month using a credit card without being charged any fees, creating the opportunity to earn credit card points for expenses that might otherwise be paid in cash or […]

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Exploring the Ancient Angkor Wat Temples in Cambodia

September 11, 2014

Situated just outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia, Angkor Archaeological Park houses several temple remains that were once the grand Khmer Empire, dating back to the 12th century. TPG Foreign Correspondent Lori Zaino guides us through exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site. Wandering around completely alone in the deserted, ancient Preah Khan Khmer temple in the […]

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No Foreign Transaction Fee on Premium Cards: The Weekly Wish

September 11, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at how some of the best travel credit cards shoot themselves in the foot by charging foreign transaction fees, and explains why it’s in everyone’s best interest to do away with those international charges. I’m sure that like me, the vast majority of TPG readers travel at least occasionally outside of the country. […]

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Win Trips to Mexico, Belize, Mauritius & New York City

September 10, 2014

Here are some of this week’s fun travel contests and sweepstakes from around the Web – and here’s hoping you win a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go! Win a Trip to Baja California From Discover Baja  Follow these steps: Follow @Discoverbaja on Twitter Send a tweet to share how you Do Baja, including the hash tag #DoBaja (e.g., […]

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Delta Forces ExpertFlyer to Remove All Availability

September 10, 2014

When it comes to searching for flight availability and setting alerts for award seats, I usually turn to ExpertFlyer. Their flight availability tool shows you the availability of certain paid fare classes and gauges your chances at getting upgrades, same day confirmed changes, and standbys if you’re an elite frequent flyer. If delays or cancellations occur, you can also […]

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