Articles by Jason Steele

Non-Alliance Airline Partners: Knowing Is Half the Battle

September 17, 2014

Airline partners make award travel much easier, since they expand the network of carriers and routings available to you when redeeming your points and miles. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele walks us through some of the lesser known airline partnerships, and offers tips for how you can take advantage of them. The best features of the […]

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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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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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Discount Redemptions: How to Find Award Chart Sweet Spots

September 10, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at discounted airline awards among domestic and international carriers, and offers tips on how you can use your points and miles for award flights below the published redemption rate. Most frequent flier programs publish an award chart, while others have some sort of distance or revenue-based way of calculating how many points and […]

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World Elite vs. World MasterCard: Benefits and Value

September 8, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at the differences between two common but infrequently discussed types of MasterCard, and explains the benefits of each. If you’re a MasterCard account holder, you may have noticed the label WORLD or WORLD ELITE just above the two globes of the MasterCard logo. If so, you might have wondered what these terms mean, […]

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Traveling While Pregnant: Safety, Comfort, and Other Tips

September 5, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers advice for pregnant travelers, including medical concerns, logistical considerations and more for those who are traveling for two. For frequent travelers, nine months is a long time to stay at home. So its no wonder that many women (and their families) are interested in learning about traveling during pregnancy. Although my wife and I […]

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Maximizing Flying Blue: Earning, Redeeming, Transfers & More

September 3, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at opportunities for maximizing award redemptions in Flying Blue, which is now a transfer partner of three out of four of the major points programs. Here’s his take on finding the sweet spots in their award chart. Last week, Citi announced that Flying Blue, the frequent flyer program for […]

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Last Minute Travel: Finding Award Availability & More

September 1, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers insights into booking last minute flights, including tips for finding late award availability and minimizing costs when cash tickets are your only option. Travelers who book their flights far in advance generally enjoy the least expensive airline tickets and the most award availability. Nevertheless, there are many reasons why people […]

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Transferring Points and Awards to Maximize Family Travel

August 29, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at ways to make family travel planning easier by taking advantage of transfer options for various loyalty programs. One of the challenges of award travel for families is keeping track of all of the programs that you and your family members belong to, and figuring out how to use your points collectively to […]

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Travel Refunds: How to Save Money After Your Trip

August 27, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses the importance of getting what you paid for (and not paying for what you didn’t get), and offers some strategies for collecting refunds on travel and service that comes up short.  Award travel enthusiasts pride themselves on planning vacations with points and miles and very small cash outlays. Unfortunately, the cost of award travel in […]

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Maximizing IHG Rewards Card For Free Nights

August 25, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele explains how to maximize the IHG Rewards Card to redeem for free nights at their properties.  Credit card users have become accustom to earning some sort of anniversary bonus, especially from Chase cards. For example, their Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit cards offer cardholders 3,000 or 6,000 points each year, depending on if they […]

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Comfort Inn Bolivar Rome: Family Travel in the City Center

August 22, 2014

On a recent trip to Italy, TPG Contributor Jason Steele and his family spent three nights at the Comfort Inn Bolivar in Central Rome. Here’s what they found. Our family loves to visit Italy, but it can be very difficult to find family friendly accommodations there. Italian law requires hotels to collect passport information from all guests, […]

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Comparing the Transferable Points Programs: Partners & More

August 20, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the prominent transferable points programs to help readers strategize when deciding where to bank their points and miles. Last month, Citi’s ThankYou Rewards became the fourth major transferable points program, joining Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR), American Express Membership Rewards (MR), and the Starwood Preferred […]

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Computer, Mobile, & Internet Security Basics for Travelers

August 18, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele explains why computer and mobile security are important considerations for all travelers, and how you can help prevent yourself from getting hacked. Before I became a writer, I spent many years working as a computer systems administrator and technical support analyst at Boeing, IBM, and at state and federal government offices. […]

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Large Family & Group Travel Tips, Tricks, and Strategies

August 15, 2014

With a family of four, I sometimes envy the ease of travel enjoyed by singles and couples. One or two award seats aren’t too hard to find, you can fit into virtually any car or hotel room, and you can travel very light. On the other hand, I know other families that routinely travel as a […]

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Luggage Tracking Devices: LugLoc, TrakDot, Okoban & More

August 13, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele delves into the world of luggage tracking technology, exploring options for keeping an eye on your bags even when your airline doesn’t. There’s a sinking feeling you get when you’ve watched all the checked luggage emerge from the baggage carousel, and one of your bags is not among them. Your fellow passengers […]

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Maximizing Citi ThankYou Rewards Unique Transfer Partners

August 11, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at travel possibilities with the newly expanded list of Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partners, focusing on the unique options of EVA Air and Malaysia Airlines. Last month, Citi announced that it would be adding eight airline transfer partners to its ThankYou rewards program, joining the ranks of three existing flexible […]

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Maximizing IHG Rewards Club for Family Travel

August 8, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele continues his series on family travel options in the most prevalent hotel brands with a look at IHG Rewards.  Check out his earlier posts on Family Travel with Starwood, Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott. The InterContinental Hotels Group, better known as IHG, features over 4,600 properties in over 100 countries. Other than InterContinental, its most prominent brands […]

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Review: LOT Business Class Warsaw-JFK on 787 Dreamliner

August 6, 2014

On the return flight of his recent trip to Europe, TPG Contributor Jason Steele had the chance to try out LOT’s Business Class from Warsaw to New York (JFK). Here’s his experience on this Polish carrier. Sure, the 787 Dreamliner has been in service (off and on) for nearly three years, but it’s still a treat for me to […]

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Best Transfer Partners for Award Flights to Alaska

August 4, 2014

Alaska is a fantastic destination for sightseeing and outdoor recreation, but it’s a long flight from what Alaskans call “the lower 48,” and it’s truly vast. At twice the size of Texas, Alaska is by far our largest state.  It’s also an interesting award travel destination, since some airlines include Alaska as part of the continental United […]

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Planning a Family Vacation to Italy: Agriturismos

August 1, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele shares his experiences  Italy is a very rich destination for travelers. Certainly, there’s the ruins of the ancient Roman empire to see, and the art of the Renaissance to appreciate, but a trip to Italy is also about experiencing the people, culture, and cuisine of the countryside. Visitors have a unique […]

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Which Are The Best Hotel Credit Cards For Free Nights?

July 30, 2014

Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele analyzes current credit card offers to see which ones can get you free hotel nights fastest among the top brands. Hotel awards can can be underrated. Unlike most airline frequent flier programs, many hotel loyalty programs offer awards with no blackout dates or capacity controls. Furthermore, most hotel award nights are truly free, with no taxes […]

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Amazon Payments – Send and Receive Money with a Credit Card

July 28, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers insights into using Amazon Payments, a program for sending and receiving payments online with the option of using a credit card. Perhaps you’ve heard of Amazon Payments from Amazon.com, the retailing giant’s web-based payments platform. Amazon recently issued a high profile announcement that it would offer a smartphone integrated with Amazon Payments to allow […]

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Maximizing Marriott Rewards for Family Travel

July 25, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele continues his series on family travel options in the most prevalent hotel brands with a look at Marriott Rewards. Previously, we looked at several of the major hotel loyalty programs to evaluate how family friendly they are, including Starwood Preferred Guest, Hyatt Gold Passport, and Hilton HHonors. Today I want to look at the Marriott Rewards program, which […]

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