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TPG reader Dan tweets:
@thepointsguy— “Can you still earn an additional 1pt/$1 by booking travel via AMEX’s online travel center?
Paying for travel with a credit card can be very lucrative. I really try to discourage people from going directly to airline and hotel websites because you rake in tons of extra points by booking through online travel agencies and shopping portals as well as through credit portals themselves.
TPG reader Dan tweeted me to ask if he could still earn 1 point per dollar when booking through American Express Travel Online. The answer is yes. If you’ve got a Membership Rewards Amex card, like Premier Rewards Gold that give 3 points per $1 on all airfare, you can also earn an extra 1 point per $1 spent when you book your travel through the Amex Online Travel website.
Most of the time Amex Travel has very competitive rates, however I would always recommend price checking beforehand just in case. But to earn four Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on airfare is pretty solid, especially since if you spend $30,000 in one calendar year you get a 15,000 Membership Reward Point bonus, which is a great benefit of that card that I always try to hit yearly.
Amex isn’t the only one that does this. Chase does give an extra point per $1 for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel, but sadly they recently announced that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card will lose that benefit started January of 2015. However, if you have a Sapphire Preferred card, don’t fret, you can still book travel online through the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Portal and you can also currently get one extra point per dollar spent if you book through Expedia or Hotwire, so not all is lost there.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards