Articles by Jason Steele

5 Sunny Award Travel Destinations for the Holiday Season

October 24, 2014

I’m a sucker for warm climates pretty much any time of year, but I especially relish a nice beach getaway in the middle of winter. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele points out some hot award travel vacation ideas that you can still book for this coming holiday season. After last year’s Polar Vortex, many Americans would prefer a sunny […]

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Best Ways to Avoid Airline Change and Cancellation Fees

October 22, 2014

This year some airlines have continued to find new and creative ways to charge customers for basic services, but have no fear, they’re sticking to the tried and true ways as well. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses change and cancellation fee policies, and what your options are to avoid paying them. Airlines frequently change schedules, or […]

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Why Gas Credit Cards Can’t Compare to Travel Rewards

October 20, 2014

Most airlines and hotels have co-branded credit cards that offer a good (or sometimes great) return on spending within the brand. Many gas brands have similar card offerings, but today TPG Contributor Jason Steele explains why the value of these cards just doesn’t measure up. Gas isn’t cheap, and it’s a product that most Americans need regularly, so […]

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Long Term Family Travel and the Perks of Extended Vacations

October 17, 2014

While I love slipping off for a weekend or overnight getaway, there’s much to be said for longer trips, which give you the opportunity to fully unwind and explore your surroundings. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele chats with family travel blogger Shawn Coomer about the benefits, challenges, and logistics of traveling for an extended period, and offers some […]

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How to Avoid Fuel Surcharges on Award Travel

October 15, 2014

Call me crazy, but I tend to think that if you have to pay for something, it isn’t free. Yet many airlines charge frequent flyers for the privilege of redeeming miles by adding fuel surcharges to award travel. Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele explains which airlines are the worst offenders, and offers some tips for how to avoid these […]

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Top Cards That Offer Credits for Airline Incidentals

October 13, 2014

An important step toward getting the most out of your travel is to not only maximize your points and miles, but also to minimize your expenses. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele explains how you can lower your cash outlay for both paid and award tickets by taking advantage of some very useful credit card benefits. Call it unbundling, […]

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11 Tips for Traveling with Senior Citizens

October 10, 2014

One of my favorite award trips of all time was accompanying my grandmother to California three years ago to visit family. At (then) 89 years old, it wouldn’t have been possible by herself, but together we were able to make the trip, and I was so thankful for being able to travel with her. Today, TPG Contributor […]

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Are Fuel Surcharges Legal? A Consumer Advocate Weighs In.

October 8, 2014

Alongside devaluations, Fuel surcharges are the bane of all award travel enthusiasts, and as someone who has made a career out of being a savvy award traveler, there’s little that irks me more than when airlines nickel and dime customers by imposing these bogus (and sometimes deceptive) charges. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses the legality (or […]

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Diners Club Rewards Launches Transferable Points Program

October 6, 2014

I often preach the importance of diversifying your loyalty currencies, and one of the best ways to do that is to focus your earnings in transferable points programs. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele introduces us to a new transfer program from Diners Club International, and explains how we can use it to maximize award travel. This has […]

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Saving on Family Ski Trips – Flights, Hotels, Lifts & More

October 3, 2014

Maximizing travel is often as much about saving money as it is about earning points. Since winter is coming, I asked TPG Contributor (and avid skier) Jason Steele to share his strategies for keeping family ski vacations affordable. Ski trips make for great family vacations, but the total price can be stunningly high. It’s not uncommon […]

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Strategies For Minimizing Credit Card Annual Fees

October 1, 2014

Update: The 70,000 point Ink Plus offer is no longer available online but may still be available in a Chase branch. View the current online offer here. As a points and miles devotee, I’m always trying to get the best return I can on my rewards, and an important part of my strategy is knowing how to […]

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Credit Cards that Offer Elite Status for Car Rentals

September 29, 2014

At a time when elite benefits are shrinking and those that still exist are becoming more elusive, I’m appreciative of any elite status that I can get and maintain the easy way, even for rental cars. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses credit cards that let you circumnavigate the elite status requirements at rental car agencies, so you can reap the […]

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Family Award Travel Destinations and Availability for Summer

September 26, 2014

Booking award travel early has its merits, since you’re likely to see better availability and find the seats and routings you want. Summer is 9 months away, and while not everyone knows their schedule that far in advance, it’s not too early to start planning. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at some great international family destinations and award […]

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8 Travel Hacks to Save Time and Money

September 24, 2014

Obviously I love travel, but even under favorable conditions, there are times when getting from point A to point B feels harder than it should be. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele shares some tips for making your trips smoother, less expensive, and more pleasant. Having just returned from my fifth trip in the last four weeks, […]

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Banking Relationships that Earn Points and Improve Benefits

September 22, 2014

When it comes to earning travel rewards, many points and miles enthusiasts pay great attention to credit cards, and little or none at all to other methods. However, focusing on just one strategy can keep you from maximizing your earnings. So today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses banking relationships that can help you boost your loyalty account balances, avoid […]

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Unaccompanied Minors: Tips to Help Kids Fly Solo Safely

September 19, 2014

Air travel is a bit like riding a bike; after you’ve done it for a while, it becomes second nature. However, the world of airport terminals and baggage claims can be pretty overwhelming to the uninitiated, especially kids traveling alone. So today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers guidelines for helping unaccompanied minors get from gate to gate worry free. […]

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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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