Reader Giveaway: TPG Swag Bag and 10,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

by on March 7, 2014 · 371 comments

in Appearances, Southwest, Thursday Giveaway, TPG Maximizer

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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to speak at the 2014 New York Times Travel Show for the third year in a row, and it was a great opportunity to connect with readers about some of the exciting new changes in point valuations, frequent flyer programs (I’m looking at you Delta!) and credit card bonuses.

I have uploaded the presentations from Day 1 and Day 2, and they provide tons of useful information regarding all of the topics I discussed. Every year, I am always amazed by the scope of questions that I get from  audience members, and I love to see how many people have taken the tips and pointers we provide in order to maximize their travel.

Me speaking at the 2014 New York Times Travel Show

Me speaking at the 2014 New York Times Travel Show

One of the topics I touched upon both days was TPG Maximizer, my new free online tool that shows how you can take advantage of your credit cards to maximize your spending for points, cash and rewards. This is just one of the exciting new extensions of The Points Guy coming down the line, and I’m very excited to share with my readers.

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 2.50.47 PM

The new TPG Maximizer Tool

Following the travel show, I was able to meet with several of my NYC-based readers at my first ever Reader Meet-Up. It was great to meet and engage with people and get some good face time with my most loyal readers. Everyone who attended received some cool brand new TPG swag, including branded computer cases, luggage tags, journals and leather passport holders. So for this week’s giveaway, I will be giving one lucky reader the chance to win their own swag bag, as well 10,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points to pad their account pre-devaluation!

TPG Swag

Our new TPG Swag Bag: Computer case, journal, luggage tag and leather passport case!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me what you think the most valuable lesson garnered from my travel show presentations is. Maybe it’s how to leverage open-jaw and stopovers for an extended trip around the world. Or perhaps it’s how you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to get 2x points on travel and dining. Whatever it is, tell me your favorite points maximizing tip by 5pm ET on Monday, March 10 to be eligible. You can only enter once. The winner will be chosen at random and announced next week. Good luck!

And the Winners of Last Week’s Prize of an iPad Mini with Retina Display is…

In conjunction with the launch of TPG Maximizer last Thursday, we included a giveaway in our announcement post asking readers to tweet me @thepointsguy telling me where you would like to go with your maximized miles and points. I received a ton of tweets with some great destinations and points/miles aspirations, but we could only choose one winner so the lucky recipient of a new iPad Mini is Drew @dlnbk!


Drew wrote:

@thepointsguy Your SYD trip inspired me. Want to go for Mardi Gras 2015! #TPGMaximizer.”

I had an amazing time in Sydney and I’m sure Mardi Gras would be an absolute blast. Hopefully card recommendations from TPG Maximizer can help you get there and if you have any questions about snagging award tickets to Australia tweet me @thepointsguy!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Brad

    For me the the finding cheap flight websites was the most helpful.

  • John N

    The open jaw rules are something that I never quite understood, but with your help will be perfect for my trip to Asia later this year!

  • Justin

    The breakdown of the different points programs and who transfers to what…I can never see that enough because it just opens up so many different options I may not realize I have. Thanks Bri!

  • Carey

    Using the Chase Sapphire to maximize my point earnings was the best for me.

  • Aristo

    Sapphire Tips!

  • mary

    I’ve benefited most from how your advice on maximizing Ultimate Reward points via Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • Phil

    It was the stopover tips. Why wouldn’t I want to make that one-country trip a multi-country trip?

  • Leigh

    Definitely getting a better understanding of how to plan routes.

  • ljauss

    I’ve never quite gotten the open jaw stuff as well until now- thanks!

  • Richard

    Understanding how to maximize “open-jaws.”

  • Jonathan Brewer

    I thoroughly enjoyed the breakdown of each of the three main points programs (Amex/UR/SPG), and what airlines/hotels are partners with each. Ended up downloading the slides to print and keep as a quick breakdown at a glance when I book. :)

  • greg

    Open jaws! Awesome way to get more from award flights

  • Julia

    Ditto on better understanding open jaws / stopover options.

  • Cliff

    The importance of being decisive in the face of devaluation.

  • lmcsawyer

    I’m a new reader. I currently have a platinum delta skymiles card and was trying to find out how to earn miles faster. I just applied for the chase sapphire preferred per your recommendation. Since I spend most of my money on dining and travel, it’s perfect!

  • jennybento

    open jaws! :)

  • Nancy Powell

    My favorite tip in your presentation was the detail about how to use membership reward cards like Amex to transfer to airlines.

  • NKP

    open jaws!

  • Harlan Vaughn

    Open jaws + Avios for maximizing award tickets (I added in the Avios part). Open jaws are great for building more flexible itineraries and seeing more places!

  • Rachit

    One of the best things I have learned from this blog is surely to wait and have patience. I would often times use my rewards for gift cards or some merchandise which never gave me great values but I used it up just because I thought I was getting it for free. But in the past month I have already upgraded myself to a Business class flight to Asia and redeemed my Hyatt points for a night in one of their Category 1 hotel and I am already packing almost $660 thanx to the arrival card!!

  • Amanda K.

    open jaws and stopovers!

  • mpkomo

    The tip to earn extra dining points via OpenTable, Chase Sapphire and the dining programs – great way to get extra points for something I’m already doing!

  • William Chang

    It’s always harder to earn and easier to spend. Always calculate your $/pt conversion before spending to ensure you get the most bang for your buck. Do the research and know the value of each of your program conversions

  • Ryan K

    Understanding stopovers and open jaws. They are sooo valuable. Almost like a two for one coupon!

  • Jacob K

    Definitely the value of open-jaw routings–leveraged it on my most recent trip to Europe to hit three different cities on ANA miles!

  • JosephCabrera

    Open Jaw. If knew of the sapphire from other sources but the open jaw is a great tip.

  • james

    Open jaws

  • cyclefan

    I have the SW and UAL cards and am considering changing to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Your information really helped me in my consideration. I travel to see my 97 year old Dad once a month on SW, and I would LOVE to pad my account with those 10,000 points. It would sure help.

  • r0m8470

    The open jaw routing!

  • Bryce Griffler

    Definitions of fixed-value cards–makes enough sense! Looking forward to using the TPG Maximizer.

  • Josh

    I learn so much with each new talk/blog about the best way to use my credit card to maximize my points income!

  • Rod L

    It’s definitely the open jaws and stopovers. It’s never something I thought about when booking travel, but wanting to maximize how many cities I see I will definitely be taking advantage of this in the future!

  • MarcMon

    I would say stopovers and open jaws, before delving into the points community, I never knew they existed!

  • julie hirschfeld

    your estimated value of each chase point i accumulate. it really helps me determine if i am getting a good deal on a flight!

  • Jay Dela Cruz

    the valuable lessons were how to use credit card wisely to score travels and which ones are better to have.

  • David Tolson Smith

    I like the idea of open jaw as American allows us to make our entry point into American an extended stay for no extra points. We used it in NYC and will use it in Honolulu this summer!

  • NYCPetWriter

    Maximizing points by doing multiple transfers!

  • Larry Mack

    I got a lot out of the section on maximizing rewards point accumulation through everyday spending.

  • Katey M

    I love my Chase Sapphire card – racking up double points on dining and travel and today got my triple dining points for First Friday of the month – boom!

  • nrdk

    Definitely open jaws

  • Jonny

    I liked the section on maximizing rewards point accumulation through everyday spending.

  • Ree

    I use the Chase Freedom card to get 3 times the points on first Friday of the month dining, PLUS I get bonus points when going to a restaurant on’s list.

  • Michael H.

    Your piece on open jaws and stopovers was a good reminder to plan multiple trips ahead.

  • Bhasu Risal

    To me, the most most valuable lessons were on maximizing open jaws and stop overs.

  • Stephen

    I think it has to be maximizing rewards point accumulation through everyday spending. I love open jaws but I just don’t have the time to take advantage as much as I would like.

  • Michael Paul

    I think Positioning Flights is a very interesting concept that I had never thought of before… creates many more options when you have points to burn on other airlines, for example when the flight you want leaves out of SAN and you’re stuck at SMF.

  • Adeline

    Open jaws.

  • eric

    Chase Sapphire Preferred extra dining points!

  • Brandon

    I loved learning more about open jaws. Definitely going to put it to use for my anniversary trip coming up this fall.

  • Nicole D.

    For me Chase Sapphire…..3 points on 1st fridays and transferable points….based on your discussions on it and presentation, I signed up for it !

  • Sean

    The most interesting aspect was definitely Open Jaws!

  • steve

    using your home city as a stopover.

  • Jason McClure

    Good points on avoiding fuel surcharges.

  • Ang

    Definitely the Chase Sapphire bonus points!

  • Brett Albertson

    I’d say the open jaw

  • Uri

    The importance of having flexible currency (SPG, membership rewards, Chase…)

  • scott

    I like using your home city as a stopover to get a second trip free!

  • Emily Lai

    I love you simply putting the pros and cons of each type.

  • Larry

    First Fridays with Chase Sapphire 3x!

  • bryanschmiedeler

    Avoiding fuel surcharges was some of the most valuable information for me….

  • Rick U

    Earning extra dining points.

  • Kristen

    Definitely the better understanding of open jaws.

  • Scott M.

    Love using my Chase Sapphire Preferred for double points on dining and triple points for First Friday of the month… which I will be taking advantage of tonight!

  • Linda

    Learning about open jaws was really great!

  • TheSterlingTraveler

    Consider UR/MR partner transfer to other airlines/hotels not offered by ChaseAmEx.

  • CJ

    Stopovers and open jaws

  • suburbanmom

    I have learned so much from you. Your ability to sift through all of the programs and use that information to leverage deals is amazing, I have afforded travel i would not have otherwise been able to do. My favorite lately is your information regarding the Barclay card and it’s usefulness for otherwise nonrewardable costs.

  • Jordan McGirk

    Chase sapphire preferred bonus points!

  • Bradley B

    Ideas on route planning

  • Roy Rausch

    learning more abut open jaws

  • lifero

    My Chase Sapphire to get 2x points for dining.

  • Kevin

    The open jaws myself. Thanks for that!

  • SSM

    extra dining points!

  • Grant

    Learning about open jaws and stopovers is what I found the most fascinating!

  • arthur hsu

    I heard about wallaby several months back and had intended on using it, but had enough on my mind before I forgot. I’ll be using TPG Maximizer to maximize my points/miles. Especially since I used my last 280K skymiles for an RTW trip.

  • Erin Kendall

    Using the online shopping portals. It’s like free points.

  • nagrom9

    The most valuable lesson was about stopovers!

  • tiffany l

    i think that the info on avoiding fuel surcharges was most valuable

  • Howard

    Chase Sapphire for extra dining points

  • Henry

    I find the open jaws very interesting. Going to look for ways to utilize for future trips.

  • Jason J

    Stopovers and open jaws!

  • Paul Teixeira

    Great info on open Jaw. I used that last year on my RTW trip!!

  • Tony

    The shopping portal refresher was great. I ALWAYS forget to do my research on them before I make an online purchase!

  • SC

    Stopovers and open jaws

  • Chase

    Lots of great info, but I personally plan on taking advantage of a free stopover on my next award trip. thanks!

  • District Downer

    Appreciated the mention and link back to short and mid-haul BA opportunities — I had been meaning to study up on those!

  • Robert

    Stopovers/Open Jaws! The redeeming side of miles and points is often overlooked.

  • WBTM

    stopovers definitely

  • Jake

    Never knew about ITA matrix before. Very useful!

  • KarenC

    Open jaws 4 sure, who knew!

  • Burton

    Stop over and the credit card pointers!

  • Alex

    Maximizing Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • Dawn

    Fuel Surcharges

  • s_k

    CSP + open jaws. thanks tpg

  • Stogs2

    Using the shopping portals to pad my CSP or to top off for my companion pass on SW

  • Candace P

    I had forgotten about the 3x points for dining! Thanks for reminding me!

  • Megan

    The top 10 current deals, and the perks are always good to know!

  • Mike

    Mine would be the current offer for 100k AA points with the Citi Exec AAdvantage card that you listed on your Top 10 Current Deals. Just got approved and I can already taste the champagne in Cathay Pacific first class!

  • suzsy

    Refresher info on stopovers and open jaws.

  • Matthew Ender

    The open-jaw and stopover discussion helped me book my parents for the cruise in July — MIA-ARN/CPH-BCN/BCN-MIA

  • Jessica Jones

    Open jaw for sure! I start my RTW trip in July 2014, with a couple pre-booked flights on Cathay Pacific, Qantas and AA – ALL in business class! Swag bag would be a big boost :)

  • Naif

    I learned a lot about Open jaw and stopovers. Thank you!

  • Kevin

    Short haul BA flights. Great option for UR, especially post-United deval. Turns a $300 flight CVG-ORD into just 9,000 points

  • Michael K.

    stopovers and open-jaw

  • David Miller

    Definitely stopovers

  • Stephanie

    Very handy credit card benefit comparison – I learned about some benefits I get from a card I already have.

  • Mike

    Stopovers on AA

  • John Fox

    Open jaws rule. I especially like AA since we often fly one-way and with AA we can always visit friends on the way into or out of the country.

  • dee seiffer

    Adding legs with stopovers through US hubs on international flights on AA. I’m still confused, but I’ll understand one day. ;-)

  • scott

    Open jaws combined with stopovers make for interesting combinations/options!

  • Patrick

    Loved learning how to double up on points with Chase Sapphire

  • LMP

    The new TPG Maximizer! Great presentation and gr8 idea!

  • Greg

    3x friday on CSP is key, as its always a lunch and sometimes a dinner

  • Katherine

    How to maximize SWA Rapid Rewards CCs. Thanks!

  • cory

    open jaw and stopovers info!

  • Thomas

    I have no idea I wasn’t there, but I’ll say Open Jaws like everybody else.

  • Jaime Mendez

    the TPG Maximizer is a good idea/lessoned learned as it can inform u of the spending limits you need to get the bonus points, thats great for people like me that are new but is picking up speed, which could get a bit overwhelming at times1

  • jonathan


  • simona

    Open jaw. Might make a repositioning cruise (transatlantic) much more viable.

  • Joe-SC1

    The TPG Maximizer. I always try to pair best CC with best portal. This tool should help with that.

  • Chris Horsman

    3X the points on Fridays on the Sapphire Preferred Card is awesome!

  • Jackie

    I’d say the most important thing learned is to do what is DOable for you when it comes to credit cards and promos. Category bonuses are great, but some people might need a simpler, more streamlined approach to earning miles and points – and there’s nothing wrong with that! Thanks for your great presentation at the NYT travel show 2014!

  • El_Prez

    TPG Maximizer no doubt.

  • Devin

    Really liked your updated rankings with pros and cons of the various frequent flyer programs. With all of the changes and devaluations of the programs, I had been curious to see a new list. Thank you, great power-point.

  • Jeff

    open jaw and stopover

  • Mike D

    I read on here previously on the open-jaws, definitely had no idea and now can’t wait to take advantage of the perk.

  • Eric

    TPG Maximizer. Very useful tool. Keep it up.

  • Ruthlessly Absurd

    A valuable lesson? Why it must be the TPG Maximizer of course!

  • cotoneloc

    I didn’t realize how much more spending has to be done on fixed rate cards compared to a branded card in order to earn the same purchasing power.

  • Dan

    I love the TPG Maximizer. I’m looking forward to using it.

  • crimsonablue

    Pros/cons of all the FF programs!

  • snakedoc1

    Using open-jaws and stopovers is the key feature for me. Powerful stuff!

  • jlgctm

    I didn’t realize my husband and I could transfer SPG points between our accounts. Thanks!

  • Martin Bartels

    Definitely the open jaw – was not aware of that until now.

  • Chrissy

    It’s hard to choose just one valuable lesson….so I won’t. I will tell you my list of most valuable takeaways…..all equally important.
    1) American Airlines 100,000 mile reward offer. Love it! Applying next week and told a bunch of my friends already.
    2) Finding the top list of cards best for maximizing spending; Chase Sapphire, Amex Membership Rewards and Amex SPG. I was soooo not maximizing my spending! Will be applying for those very soon.
    3) Open jaw stopover deal on American. Already making plans to maximize my next trip.
    4) Knowing I am right on track with breaking up with Delta. Broke up with them last year and started a bright new relationship with American Airlines.
    5) Maximizer tool. Using it. Will let you know its value in time. So far so good.

  • John Hill

    the Open Jaw and Stopover finally makes sense! thanks

  • tassojunior

    Yep- Open jaws rock.

  • Sean

    Really useful info on the open jaws and stopovers!

  • Allie39

    I always love learning new ways to maximize chase sapphire benefits!

  • Greg

    The stopovers are key.

  • Kari

    Definitely stopovers…thanks!

  • Jerry

    The TPG Maximiser

  • AZL

    Clearly describing all the different programs

  • Joseph Mansour

    Definitely the maximizer!

  • Ronette

    The maximizer

  • Fishing4Deals

    I liked the clear way you lay out the pros and the cons of various programs.

  • NVD

    Sapphire 3x on first Friday dining!

  • josh f

    The maximizer seems awesome!

  • Raymond_G

    Definitely what you covered on open-jaws and stopovers. I have a “dream trip coming up this summer that I’m looking to book now, and the info has been invaluable. Thanks!

  • Dustin

    Open Jaws and Stopovers can be a beast to understand, so your explanation on this was def the most helpful!

  • Ben Price

    New ways to maximize my Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  • Andrea

    It was nice to get a deeper understanding of the various FF programs out there and helped push me into some new ones

  • Elmer Smith

    The pros and cons of all the different cards. Thanks for sharing.

  • Paul

    Anyone can do it! Just gotta be committed!

  • Eva

    I am such a beginner–I only just signed up for rewards programs. Your site has been super helpful, I’m looking into getting a points credit card now!

  • Kevin W.

    The best thing is open-jaws and stopovers.

  • BunMama

    A good review of stopovers and open jaws, so I can finally explain this to my husband!

  • ASW

    If your doggy’s unhappy expression is any indication, then the most valuable lesson I learned is that pets cannot accumulate frequent flyer miles even if their name is “Miles”… either that or the champagne was stale… or both things.

    Who won the cool LAX United Amenity Kit and 10K Mileage Plus miles? I must have missed the announcement in a prior post.

  • r Hirsch

    open jaws and layovers allow one….on his/her way….to pause and see family or fiends on the way to the ultimate destination. thanks for helping us enhance and renew or rejuvenate relationships!

  • Eddy

    Open jaws and stopovers for sure. Great way to maximize miles, assuming I can get the extra time off!

  • Ralph

    Understanding open jaws and stopovers is very valuable…you can desintations or trips for the same amount of miles!

  • dean

    open jaws. booked a stopover for the first time….excited to work in an OJ in a future trip

  • Mark R.

    My favorite maximizing tip is registering for EVERY IHG promotion taht’s posted on the Priority Club websites. Also, stopovers & open jaws are good.

  • jeff

    I never knew about open-jaws until hearing about it from you. Such a great way to book travel, I will definately use it in my future plans.

  • MissChele

    Open jaws!

  • tshark42

    Yours was the first blog I started reading when I got into this “game”. I learned so much from reading your blog and from seeing some of your presentations. But how to maximize each card has probably been most beneficial to me.

  • Will


  • pat

    open jaws!!! ahhhhH!!!

  • MLS

    Thanks so much for the information you provide. Sure saves a lot of time sorting through different sites and trying to decipher it all!

  • Andrew P

    The dollar value of points for a few rewards programs

  • Jim

    open jaws

  • enaybler

    The link to the ITA Matrix software. Not sure why I’d never really seen it before, although your post about it pre-dates when I started reading TPG. :)

  • Elizabeth

    Open jaws and stopovers!

  • Daniel

    When Hyatt rolled out their Branded Credit Card you had a tip to get a statement credit which wasn’t necessarily public…bit learning about open jaws was a real eye opener!

  • Matthew Riter

    How to use stopovers. A great benefit!

  • Eric

    Maximizing Chase Sapphire benefits!

  • aitchly

    Open jaws and stopovers

  • Karl P

    I just went out to dinner and got 3X points, thanks to you and the Chase Sapphire! Your seminar reminded me about it! From now on, I am putting it in my calendar!

  • Dina

    Open jaws are something I knew little about and now that I’ve learned about them I’m itching to put my new knowledge to action!

  • Patrice

    My favorite maximizing tip is to sign up for every IHG promo. Thank you!

  • David

    Open jaws!

  • Lindsay

    Credit card sign-up rewards!

  • AYD

    Your site is very helpful. I have used many of your tips to help me maximize my travel. I have an upcoming trip to NY for a Broadway Show, Jamaica, and Paris by utilizing the helpful tips.

  • phil

    Discussions on open jaws and stopovers are very much appreciated.

  • Chanel @ La Viajera Morena

    One of my favorite tips was about the AMEX Membership Rewards uses. :D Very beneficial!

  • Patrick Mc

    I love all the tips on how to maximize the Sapphire Preferred and Ultimate Rewards Points!

  • Or N

    The most valuable lesson for me was using the ITA Matrix. Up until now I never used it and started just because of you and I already see the huge differences and benefits.
    Thank you!

  • Noy

    I learned alot about redeeming UNITED miles as I have a small pile of those and I don’t really know how to begin to redeem them. Thanks to you now I do a little better.

  • Eric

    I never actually knew about the TPG maximizer, which I need to use because I recently got a few cobranded cards for a year of heavy traveling and I need help prioritizing them.

  • Jay

    Learning how to leverage open-jaw and stopovers for an extended trip around the world.

  • Dan

    Thanks to you, I now know how to maximize award redemptions with stopovers. I can’t wait to surprise my wife with a trip to South Africa and a stopover in Amsterdam – the two cities she’s been dying to go to!

  • Gin

    Definitely the open jaws and stopovers are very nice tips!

  • Santafefran

    How to get the most from my Sapphire Preferred card.

  • Yati

    The ITA Matrix is new to me. Thanks.

  • Luis

    The American Airlines stopover trick!

  • Adrian Garcia

    The AA Stopover workaround is insanely cool

  • Roberto

    My favorite is how to maximize card signups and use. Very helpful, and I’m thankful for your blog!

  • Joseph Hsieh

    The best thing is to buy 5x gift cards in office depot with Ink Plus!

  • JR

    The most valuable lesson has to be maximizing the open jaws and stopovers on award itineraries. That really shows how to get the most value out of your miles and points.

  • Chris

    The most valuable lesson has been how to get a companion pass with the Southwest 50K bonus!

  • Jason

    Definitely the info on maximizing the CSP – best card around and definitely worth the $95 annual fee. Thanks for all of the tips.

  • clarelouise44

    Most valuable lesson: discussion of co-branded vs fixed value credit cards.

  • Michael

    Most valuable lesson leverage open-jaw and stopovers for an extended trip around the world

  • glen

    Open jaws and stopovers for sure. Great way to maximize miles, assuming I can get the extra time off!

  • sanyi

    I didn’t know about the open jaws and stopover rules before. It is great info!

  • Melinda Fulner

    It’s got to be understanding the stopovers that are allowed on award tickets. Thanks for all the great advice!

  • Gabriel

    Stopovers and open jaws

  • Nick O (PIT)

    I love the first Friday 3x points on the Chase Sapphire. Grab some gift cards each month to eat at 3x points all the time

  • CherylD

    Your blog is the first one I read every morning. Definitely, the stopover information is one of the more valuable pieces of advice from you. Thank you!

  • BN126


  • Beth @ Hungry Happenings

    How to maximize use of the Chase Sapphire card.

  • Octavian

    leverage open-jaw and stopovers!

  • Aby

    Learnt a lot about the Southwest companion pass. So many great locations become accessible through this. I can enjoy so much with a partner now. Thanks!

  • SajerGuy

    Great presentations! I loved the details on incorporating open jaws to optimize itineraries.

  • mjm122696

    When we first began this adventure, it was seeing how to better use different cards for different types of purchases. Thank you.

  • Charlene K

    Learning about the TPG Maximizer.

  • Ron

    Using stopovers to maximize value.

  • Journey4Happy

    I’ve glanced over the TPG maximizer… but finally deciding to give it a try

  • Brad

    You’ve really changed my life with your credit card discussion. My kids thank you too! Traveling for free is fun

  • Jason

    For me it’s the open-jaw thing. I had no idea what that was and now am totally going to utilize it while I travel.

  • Robert

    The free Hawaii stopover trick, I’m going to use it next week!

  • Kevin

    How to leverage the open-jaw that I have never heard about before. Awesome tip!

  • garyw622

    The TPG Maximizer seems like a great addition

  • joanne

    I always forget the extra points for dining on the first friday. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Deejay714

    Good reminder of the benefits of fixed-value cards

  • Mizliz

    How to maximize Chase UR points!

  • KLM

    The Open Jaw section and the the TPG Points Maximizer!

  • Paul

    Stop overs and open Jaws

  • TerryH

    Maximizing stopovers!

  • Joshua C

    The open-jaw section, with a breakdown for each airline! Those that know this are missing out!

  • bunchafool

    definitely the opan jaw trick

  • Biggles209

    Information on cash back cards is always welcome!

  • Susan_N

    Southwest points & companion pass. Sounds awesome can’t wait to get one.

  • Bob Herrington

    How best to use Fixed-value cards.

  • Nick H

    Love the help with stopovers and open jaws.

  • Leo Alvarez

    Learning how to maximize rewards with bluebird and vanilla reload has been eye opening! Thanks TPG!

  • chris

    Open jaw and stop-overs! What an amazing “trick.”

  • DJ

    Getting to Maui with British Airways points on Alaska from the W. Coast was a great tip! We’re booked for Thanksgiving!

  • Sean

    Definitely open jaws and stop-overs.

  • eli104

    The list of lessons learned is far too extensive to choose just one. From Bluebird and Vanilla reloads, to tracking credit card bonuses (I was always afraid of having too many cards, but now better understand the benefits and how to manage the process). If I have learned any one thing from all of this, it’s that just because you achieved one sign on bonus, does not mean you can not get more. Retention bonuses have made the process of annual fees (which can be removed) far more palatable. Thanks!

  • Robin P

    The best tip for me (so far) has been the points using Vanilla and a bluebird account. This is awesome!

  • Ashley

    The open jaw information helped me. We are planning a trip to Asia and want to make the most of our roundtrip flights.

  • Jess Ridgway

    The Chase Ultimate Reward tips were really great. I have already identified ways to get more points for my buck. Thanks, TPG!!

  • Safuvan Padannayil

    I loved the information on Open Jaws! I always knew this, but never really knew how to really book an award with Open Jaw and included the places that I really wanted to go to!!

  • tifhill

    The most important thing I learned is that the Chase Sapphire MC is still available! I’m definitely applying for that next round! Swag bag woot woot!

  • Todd

    I love the flexibility that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card allows with the Ultimate Rewards. I recently transferred the points to BA for a first class round trip flight from Dallas (DFW) to Cancun (CUN) for my bachelor party in Playa del Carmen. The flight cost 30,000 British Avios, while the price of that seat would have been well over $800. Love the advice!

  • Vicki

    The info on open jaw’s and stopovers is very helpful!

  • Margo Martinez

    The travel tips for airline employees and the amazing posts you have breaking down point valuations! You rock dude!

  • purplelotus

    Want to check out the TPG points maximizer. Sounds very useful. Thanks.

  • Max

    Open jaw combined with stop overs was eye opening!

  • Rick B

    Using the Sapphire on the first Friday of the month to get the additional 3x per dining and linking that up with the united dining portal to double dip

  • Edgar Perez

    The most valuable is the maximizing southwest companion pass status. Thanks to your tips I got it in 8 weeks and only one 50k bonus needed.

  • Doug S

    Information on open jaw along with stopover I found most helpful

  • Alice Liu

    Definitely free one-way stopover

  • ennelai

    the components and factors that go into calculating my credit score!

  • fotobrad

    We’re on our second round of companion passes from Southwest. I had for 2 years, and just completed the process, so my wife lets me tag along free for 2 more! Thanks!

  • Nancy Buchanan

    Like some of the other posters, there are far too many “gems” to list just one. For me, the most valuable point, is the TPG Maximizer tool. You can have all the “right” cards but if you don’t know how to maximize their potential (or in some cases, remember how!!) you are leaving points on the table!! Thank YOU so much for this tool – I’ve been wanting this forever!!!!

  • shonuffharlem

    The best tip is how to get a Southwest Rewards Companion Pass. I’ve used it 3 times already and about to use it a fourth time!

  • Morris

    I think enrolling in dining awards is an easy way to get points.

  • John Ruda

    Free stopover

  • Shamika Morris

    The open jaw

  • Tim

    My favorite tip was how to use free stopovers/open jaws

  • SM

    Had to be the discussion on fixed value and co-branded cards.

  • Sahil

    Open jaw, definitely!

  • MSPTraveler

    The Southwest Companion pass has meant a ton of free family travel for us.

  • Randy

    The Chase Sapphire first Friday bonus is one of the best ways to maximize dining out!

  • Elena Garcia

    I like the discussion of how to use open jaws and stop overs

  • Andrea

    I love my Chase Sapphire card and the bonus of eating out on the first Friday of the month. I used it last night!

  • Rich

    Be sure to watch the Bonous ‘s so you get more than 1 point per dollor spent !

  • Michael

    I had planned on just visiting a few cities in Europe using US Airway Partners Business Class award. But with TPG open jaw tip, continued east to China than back to US, traveling Lufthansa First Class for just 20K more miles.

  • Sanders

    I like the CSP to use on first Friday dining or out at bars.

  • Brian

    I love the how you explain to use open jaws and stopovers.

  • Jack

    I really liked learning about the CSP first Friday 3x dining. It was a benefit I previously did not know about.

  • Liz

    The open jaw info was definitely extremely informative, but I’m also excited about the TPG Points Maximizer!

  • CR

    The Top Ten Current Deals were very helpful, but I resisted the temptation to apply for 10 (or more) new cards!.

  • Todd S

    How to use open-jaws to leverage my awards!

  • janie

    Southwest Companion Pass — working on it now!

  • Russ Hearn

    How to use vanilla reloads & amex bluebird to meet the 10k minimum spend requirements on my Citi AA Executive Mastercard for 100k miles! Also, being able to refer these presentations to coerce friends/family who need an introduction to points strategy so they stop “wasting” with their debit/credit cards!

  • Darren Z

    Maximizing dining out on First Fridays with the CSP

  • Ernest S.

    Seeing you calculations on the fixed-value airline miles (JetBlue, Southwest & Virgin America). Very helpful and useful!

  • Wendell C

    My favorite tip is which credit card will maximize the most points for me on a daily basis!

  • [email protected]

    I’d fly to NYC to see my old buddy Adam Weiss! :-)

  • Kevin D

    Southwest Companion Pass…almost there and already planning how it maximize it.

  • Jain

    I think the the Top Ten Current Deals were very helpful, I am just about to go for my next round of applications. THANKS !!

  • Mendy

    Learnt how to use cc in the right way!

  • Rob P

    How to leverage open jaws and stopovers for an extended trip! Thank you!

  • Steven

    The Vanilla Reloads and Bluebird are my favorite tips. Makes it easy to complete those Bonuses!

  • Angela

    Open jaws baby. Need to try this trick next time I book my award flights.

  • audisfo

    How to maximize the benefits by using the open jaw and stopover allowed by each program…

  • sam

    I’m excited about the TPG Maximizer

  • Nguyen

    My favorite lesson is about open-jaw and stopovers use for extended trip. Thanks.

  • Nick Stenzel

    definitely the information on open jaws, can hopefully utilize that on my dream trip to SE Asia and Australia. I also like how your slides are available online so I have something to show people when I tell them about all of the things you write about!

  • jccleveland

    Learning how to best use my CC is the best part for me. Thank you for all your great work!

  • Steve

    Finally understanding the stopover procedure has really helped, working on booking my first round the world with Southwest as my domestic positioning airline

  • Kent S

    I’ve appreciated the guidance on the best credit cards to earn a Southwest companion pass.

  • Brandon Torok

    Top deals and transfer partners for different cards! Thanks!

  • Skor

    I like your new TPG Maximizer tool for credit card strategy. I am already using it and will be using it in future! Thanks for introducing it

  • frenchman619

    I definitely want to take advantage of open jaws and stopovers on my next redemption…

  • avi

    open jaws!

  • Stu

    TPG Maximizer gives good recommendations.

  • Rene Villarreal

    I thought most valuable lesson from the presentation was the information about avoiding airline surcharges Thanks TPG :)

  • Corinne

    Open jaws. Open jaws.

  • Chris

    Southwest Companion pass!

  • Billy

    How to leverage open-jaw and stopovers!

  • John

    The many different options available. I’m new to this and believe I have done well for an upcoming family vacation. I was worried I have used up my options for next year. Now, I know there are several avenues I have yet to travel.

  • Tatyana

    One way addition to award ticket is the best advice!

  • Claudia Jin

    Open jaws!!

  • Kevin Pang

    The open jaw

  • Rivkah T

    Open Jaw. So important. Finally understanding it more after a trip to China.

  • Ncsam

    Open jaw refreshers are always good

  • Vikas

    Definitely open jaws!!!

  • Mark

    I learned a lot about open jaws. Thanks Points Guy!

  • Siddharth

    How to add a free one way to an award ticket

  • Andrew Glazier

    Open jaw for sure!

  • bobbybobs

    open jaw!

  • Gallivant

    definately how to visit more places on one award trip with stopovers and open jaws like my recent travel to Thailand, Cambodia and Bali.

  • benstephens

    Gotta love the stopover + open jaw.

  • Tony

    I am a new reader to your blog, I absolutely loved all your posts, especially the vanilla reload…I feel like I got a 4.21% pay hike..saving for the world tour..

  • Xavier

    Stopovers info is great!! I can’t wait to try next vacation

  • Rick S

    the primer – best cc sign-ups; it allowed me to fly my 2 kids and myself

  • Annalisa

    That ATW trips are possible using miles. Never knew that before.

  • Esteban

    I always appreciate your tips pn maximizing the Chase Sapphire Prefered.

  • Bert

    Learning how to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to get double points

  • SillyBilly

    Open Jawing World Cup 2014! Thanks Points Guy

  • Jamie

    I always like refreshers about free one ways

  • Duane

    The most valuable is how to add a free one way to an award ticket.

  • Matt S

    I’ve used your tips for open jaws and stop overs multiple times to make for some great vacations. After getting 2 Southwest credit cards I have 100,000 miles and am almost to companion fare status.

  • Drew

    Free one -ways!

  • David

    2x points on dining and travel with the Chase Sapphire card!

  • Melissa Morrison-Webb

    Your advice on the chase sapphire card and 2 times points in travel – it’s what made me switch cards a couple years ago!

  • texaslady22

    I like how to get the free one way tickets!

  • Jim

    Companian pass
    Using this weekend!

  • PC

    Free one way
    Have used twice for Chicago Hawaii bounce for free

  • Big matt

    Maximizing open jaw

  • howaaman

    I enjoyed the information about stopovers!

  • Alexis Lavko

    For me, the most valuable tip is how to add a free one way trip to an award ticket

  • Steve

    The stopover information is fantastic. Thanks!

  • Kim @ StuffedSuitcase

    I love my current fixed value card, but your presentation made me see there might be better options and I need to reevaluate.

  • Mike S.

    Open jaws information was a game changer!

  • Pendar K.

    Not going to lie…had no idea about the open jaws info, but definitely going to change how i travel now.

  • Bear

    Open jaws and stopovers for sure. Cool!

  • Nicole

    My favorite is using UR for BA/AA short haul flights.

  • Ariel Auman

    Using different cards for different purchases to maximize points earned was amazing. I never want to earn 1x again. And manufactures spending was an absolute game changer!!

  • Jill

    I’m going to try the TPG Maximizer. I’m in the credit card game, but I never feel like I’m working it to the height of my potential. Really enjoying the AA Citi Executive Lounge access right now. Thanks TPG!

  • Alex

    Best idea is that anything is possible if given some dedication, some time and a lot of love for what you trying to do! Keep on going!

  • kestanto

    Let’s just say, the Chase Sapphire Card is in the mail. Looking forward to using it for the 2X points!

  • Tatiana Fandino

    Open Jaws and Stopovers information. Super!!

  • Caitlin

    Hello!! I’d have to say it was learning about your amazing new tool – the TPG Maximizer! Thank you so much!

  • Jon

    I know everyone is saying it, but it’s gotta be the open jaw. Just totally changed my entire perspective and how to think about award tickets. Horizons expanded and hope to hit a few new places!

  • Meredith

    Learning how to add a free one way at the end of an award ticket is just plain awesome!!

  • Ryan

    I’m new to the points game but I love earning 8-10x points in shopping portals for purchases I was already going to make.

  • Aimee

    Your top card deals are always great to check when it’s time to apply for new cards. And so I was able to apply for the Southwest card

  • Jeff M

    I am fairly new to the points game and having a tool like the TPG Maximizer to help me pick cards for churns is a great help.

  • Sruti

    My favorite points maximizing tip is adding a free domestic one-way to international flights.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Ben Wise

    I liked the part how to avoid fuel surcharges on all three alliances

  • Jonathan

    Thanks for the info on the stop overs I plan to use it in the future.

  • WD

    The TPG Maximizer hit the spot for me!

  • teresa

    tpg maximizer was helpful

  • Megan

    Using category spending to maximize points!

  • LR

    Most valuable lesson: I never would have known about free stopovers with AA miles without TPG. Tomorrow I’m going to be able to stop for a few days to visit friends in Miami as a free extra with my one way flight to Central America. SAN-MIA for a few days and MIA-GUA for just 15K miles!

  • helixcon

    Maxing out 5% categories on Freedom.

  • Cami Sanders

    I was glad to learn more about the TPG Maximizer tool. I registered for an account and I’m already finding it very helpful. Thank you!

  • Mei

    It’s a toss-up between TPG Maximizer tool and the open-jaw procedure. You have helped me learn so much about being a smarter flyer!

  • Marian

    First visit to much to learn the open-jaw procedure will certainly help. I just got my new SWA card with the 50,000 pts…so happy

  • KTM

    Combination of Chase Sapphire Preferred and Barclaycard Arrival mean lots of free trips for me recently!

  • jimmymurphy

    Maximizing stopovers to see more of the world!

  • Michael A. Gould

    Honestly it was getting Chase Sapphire Preferred to transfer Chase points to Southwest (and other travel partners) at a 1:1 ratio. 5000 points is $50 chase dollars, while 5000 points buying directly from Southwest is $130.

  • Nilina Mason-Campbell

    The most notable tip in my opinion is finding out EXACTLY what airlines allow stop over and open jaws. i previously didn’t know, but have seen you mention the possibility in previous posts.

  • Barb

    The stoppovers are interesting. Now, I just need to work on hotel rewards. As a newbie, I loved your input on anything. I attended the Chicago seminar and look forward to it again.

  • Chase

    Definitely the information about stopovers. Haven’t taken advantage of them before, will be sure to now!

  • Erin Siodmak

    There is so much information on your site and I’m just starting to feel like I know a little something (or at I know how little I know). The information on stopovers and open jaw flights was interesting but, honestly, is still an enigma to me as far as booking goes. Is it a matter of searching partner airlines sites and then piecing an itinerary together (whether for award travel or not)? I’ve been trying to figure out how to get a good price on Iceland Air with a stopover but need help!

    Also, I really don’t fully understand what mileage runs are or how to do them in a way that makes sense…

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