Articles by Nick Ewen

How to Redeem Avios Without Huge Fees and Surcharges

December 18, 2014

Surcharges and fees are the scourge of award travel enthusiasts, but since they’re unlikely to be going away anytime soon, learning how to avoid them can help you make the most of your points and miles. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers strategies for getting around these extra costs on one of the more egregious offenders: British Airways. British Airways […]

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Guide to Maximizing Points and Miles for Baby Purchases

December 17, 2014

 I often stress the importance to award travelers of earning points or miles on every dollar spent, and since having kids isn’t known for being cheap, today TPG Contributor (and new father) Nick Ewen offers his strategies for earning travel rewards from baby (and parent) related purchases. If you’ve read some of my posts from earlier in the year, you […]

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Hotel Elite Status Match and Challenge Plans for 2015

December 16, 2014

Hotel elite status is great when you have it, but earning it takes determination. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at ways to circumvent the usual qualification requirements by way of status matches and challenges. As 2014 comes to an end, I’m sure that elite status qualification is (and will remain) on many of your minds. Last week, I […]

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Credit Card Annual Fees: When Does Paying Make Sense?

December 11, 2014

Maximizing award travel means not only getting the most out of your points and miles, but also limiting your cash expenses. To earn big credit card sign-up bonuses, you often have to strike a balance between your rewards and the amount you pay in annual fees. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers his analysis of how to find that […]

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What To Do with Small Points and Miles Balances

December 10, 2014

Travel rewards enthusiasts tend to focus on the big aspirational awards like first-class flights and top-tier hotels. However, maximizing your points and miles is sometimes a matter of getting what you can out of not very much. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen lays out some strategies for doing just that. The points and miles game […]

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Airline Elite Status Match and Challenge Plans for 2015

December 9, 2014

Elite airline status is great when you have it, but earning it takes determination. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at ways to circumvent the usual qualification requirements by way of status matches and challenges. With the end of the year inching closer, the push to qualify for elite status is ramping up. Last month I wrote about […]

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How to Redeem Points for Adventures, Events and Experiences

December 4, 2014

I typically encourage readers to use points and miles exclusively toward award travel, since gift cards, merchandise, and other alternatives provide less value. However, there are some exceptions, and today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen shares some redemption options apart from flights and hotels that can still offer an excellent return. Most discussion of award redemptions centers around airfare and hotel stays, but there are […]

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Top Business Credit Cards with No Annual Fee

December 3, 2014

Part of maximizing your award travel is learning to weigh the value of the points and miles you earn against the cost of earning them. This is particularly evident when deciding whether to get a credit card with an annual fee, so today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at several business cards with no annual fee to determine whether each one […]

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Maximizing Charitable Donations this Holiday Season

December 2, 2014

I often tell new award travel enthusiasts that one of the keys to accumulating points and miles is learning how to earn rewards on every purchase, and charitable donations are no exception. While your first consideration should be to the charity, today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains ways you can also get while you give. The focus of this site is to help […]

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How the Travel Industry’s Heart Can Grow 3 Sizes this Year

November 27, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen continues his series The Weekly Wish, looking at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Today’s wish: for airlines and hotels to spread some cheer and goodwill in the holiday spirit. Though I started listening to Christmas music weeks ago, for most people Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season. […]

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7 Ways to Get Great Value from the British Airways Visa

November 26, 2014

In the travel rewards game, earning points and miles is only one half of the equation. How you spend them is what really determines what they’re worth, and how far they’ll take you. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers suggestions for using British Airways Avios earned from the co-branded Chase credit card. In this month’s ranking of TPG’s top […]

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How and When to File a DOT Complaint

November 25, 2014

Getting a plane full of people and stuff from one place to another is no easy task, and mistakes are inevitable. The important consideration for travelers is how airlines respond, and what to do when that response is inadequate. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen discusses one tool every frequent flyer should know how to use, the DOT complaint. Air travel […]

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Tips for Delta MQD and United PQD Requirements in 2014

November 20, 2014

With the deadline for elite status qualification looming, this week TPG Contributor Nick Ewen discusses strategies to help you earn or maintain your status into the new year. 2015 is rapidly approaching, which means we’re also in the home stretch for elite status qualification. Once the calendar flips, the balances for all of your elite qualifying miles and segments (as well as […]

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Tips to Qualify for Delta and United Elite Status in 2014

November 19, 2014

With the deadline for elite status qualification looming, this week TPG Contributor Nick Ewen discusses strategies to help you earn or maintain your status into the new year. 2015 is rapidly approaching, which means we’re also in the home stretch for elite status qualification. Once the calendar flips, the balances for all of your elite qualifying miles and segments (as well as […]

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Tips to Qualify for American and US Air Elite Status in 2014

November 18, 2014

I’m often asked how much I value elite status; while I no longer prize certain benefits (like lounge access) as much as I used to, in the long run elite status makes my travel smoother and more enjoyable, sometimes in unexpected ways. With the deadline for elite status qualification looming, this week TPG Contributor Nick Ewen discusses strategies to help […]

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Hotel Credit Cards with No Annual Fee: Hilton, Choice & More

November 14, 2014

A crucial step in maximizing your points and miles is figuring out how much value you’re getting out of any given transaction. Annual fees are a direct hit to the value you can get out of a credit card, making cards with no annual fees attractive even though they typically offer more modest benefits. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen analyzes several […]

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Elite Status Qualification with PQD/MQD: The Weekly Wish

November 13, 2014

In theory, elite status exists to reward an airline’s most loyal and profitable customers. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains how that isn’t always the case, and offers his suggestions for how airlines can improve elite status requirements while improving their bottom line. Last year, the frequent flyer community was hit with the news that Delta and United were […]

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Top 10 Airport Lounges in the U.S. & How to Gain Access

November 12, 2014

Airline travel isn’t exactly the most glamorous way to get from Point A to Point B, but there are aspects of it that can help you feel like a true high roller. One of my personal favorites is lounge access. Having an oasis from the chaos of the terminal or the infestation of gate lice can […]

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Free Hotel WiFi – How to Get Online While You’re on Property

November 11, 2014

Staying connected is crucial for me when I travel, and unless I’m really going off the grid, I prefer hotels that have high-speed internet access, especially when getting online won’t add a huge amount to my final bill. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at which hotel brands offer free WiFi as a standard or elite […]

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Hotel Review: St. Regis Bal Harbour – Grand Luxe Oceanfront Suite

November 8, 2014

TPG contributor Nick Ewen recently stayed at the luxurious St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami. Here’s his review of the property. The rain was coming down in buckets as my wife and I pulled up to the St. Regis Bal Harbour, the first stop on our “stay-cation babymoon” in South Florida. Little did I know that […]

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Hotel Choice Benefits for Top Tier Elites: The Weekly Wish

November 6, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen continues his series The Weekly Wish, looking at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Today’s wish: offer choice benefits to top tier hotel elites. The first class I ever attended as a college freshman was Economics, and on the board, the professor wrote, “There’s no […]

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The Fidelity Amex Card: Is 2% Cash Back Good Enough?

November 5, 2014

Cash-back rewards are often passed over by award travel enthusiasts for more glamorous airline and hotel points, but they can play an important role in your overall earning strategy. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at one of the stronger cash-back credit card options, and discusses whether it should have a place in your wallet. When it comes to […]

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What to Do When a Hotel Room Upgrade Is Really a Downgrade

November 4, 2014

Hotel upgrades are usually great when you get them, but what should you do if your hotel upgrade actually equates to a downgrade? Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen shares a recent experience he had at a Starwood property in Florida, and offers some tips in case you find yourself in similar circumstances. Upgrades can be like a drug […]

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JetBlue Mosaic Improvements: The Weekly Wish

October 30, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen continues his series The Weekly Wish, looking at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Today’s wish: step up the benefits in JetBlue Mosaic to make it more useful to frequent flyers. I love elite status and all the perks that come with it. Whether I’m […]

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