Articles by Nick Ewen

Train or Plane? U.S. Routes Where Amtrak Beats Flying

September 30, 2014

Unlike European trains, which are known for comfort and punctuality, Amtrak doesn’t have the same allure as air travel. Still, there are some domestic routes where the train competes (or even comes out ahead) in terms of time and cost. TPG Contributor Nick Ewen took a deeper look at these routes to see when the train is the better option. […]

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Truly Pet-Friendly Hotels: The Weekly Wish

September 25, 2014

Many of you know that I’m the proud parent of a sweet, styling, jet-setting little Blue French Bulldog named Miles. He travels with me whenever it’s feasible, and I love having him along. TPG Contributor Nick Ewen is also a dog owner, and like me, he’s encountered some inhospitable policies from hotels that advertise themselves as […]

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus or No-Fee Version: Which Card Wins?

September 24, 2014

There are a number of factors that go into choosing a travel rewards card. Since credit cards have a wide range of unique benefits, comparisons are often apples to oranges. However, some cards are similar enough that deciding between them boils down to just a few key points. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen compares the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite […]

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Credit Card Benefits to Maximize Before 2015

September 23, 2014

As I’ve often said, one of the great tragedies for travelers is letting loyalty points and frequent flyer miles expire, and I think the same goes for unused credit card benefits. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen will guide us through some of the best offers and benefits whose days are numbered, to help you make […]

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Transferable Points from Bank of America: The Weekly Wish

September 18, 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: a transferable points program from Bank of America. 2014 has seen its fair share of improvements on the loyalty front. Sure, there have been devaluations (ahem, Delta and United, ahem), […]

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Is the Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard Worthwhile?

September 17, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen takes an in-depth look at the Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard, including its earning potential, redemption options, and unique features, to see whether it deserves a place in the pantheon of award travel credit cards. Most of the content at TPG involves tips for maximizing free travel with award flights and hotel rooms. However, there […]

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Using Merchant Category Codes to Maximize Bonuses

September 16, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains merchant category codes, and how understanding them can help you get the most out of category bonuses offered by your credit cards. TPG often preaches the importance of maximizing the points and miles you earn not only in your travels, but also from your day to day spending. If, for example, you spend […]

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No Foreign Transaction Fee on Premium Cards: The Weekly Wish

September 11, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at how some of the best travel credit cards shoot themselves in the foot by charging foreign transaction fees, and explains why it’s in everyone’s best interest to do away with those international charges. I’m sure that like me, the vast majority of TPG readers travel at least occasionally outside of the country. […]

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Top Canada Credit Cards: Aeroplan, Marriott Rewards & More

September 10, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen reviews some of the top credit cards available to Canadian readers, including offers from Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines and Marriott Rewards, transferable programs like Amex Membership Rewards, and other flexible cash back programs. There’s no doubt that credit card sign-up bonuses are among the best ways to rack up loyalty points and […]

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Maximizing Sports Purchases: Tickets, Apparel, TV, and More

September 9, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at ways to maximize purchases for sports fans. Fall is my favorite time of year, not just for the approaching cooler weather and the holidays it ushers in, but also because fall (in my humble opinion) is the absolute best time to be a sports fan. The college football season is less than two […]

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Flexible Airline Travel Vouchers – the Weekly Wish

September 4, 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: more flexible airline travel vouchers. I’m sure many of you have experience with airline travel vouchers. Sometimes they appear as gift cards, while others may be earned via status (like Delta’s […]

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Citi ThankYou Premier: Should This Be Your Next Card?

September 3, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen takes an in-depth look at the Citi ThankYou Premier, including its earning potential, redemption options, and how it stacks up against its main competitor, the Chase Sapphire Preferred. A few months ago, Citi announced changes to the ThankYou Rewards program, adding 8 airline transfer partners to go along with their existing hotel partner, […]

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Maximizing Computer Purchases: Points, Bonuses, & More

September 2, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers suggestions for how to get the most out return from a new computer purchase, including how to find the best price, maximize rewards, and protect your investment.  This week, students and teachers across their country are begrudgingly setting their alarms, sharpening pencils, and preparing for a new school year. With more and more […]

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List Calories on Airline & Airport Menus: the Weekly Wish

August 28, 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: include calorie counts in airline and airport menus. Eating healthy on the road isn’t easy. Sometimes your only option is the drive-thru of a local fast food joint in between meetings, […]

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Amex Platinum vs. Visa Black Card vs. Citi Prestige: Who Wins?

August 26, 2014

Rewards credit cards come in a wide variety of flavors. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at the bonuses, benefits, and other aspects of three premium cards to see how they stack up against one another. With the economy slowly recovering, travel providers and financial institutions have stepped up their games to try to woo high spenders. We’ve seen this […]

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Hilton & Hyatt Elite Status Beyond Diamond: the Weekly Wish

August 21, 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: Hilton and Hyatt elite status beyond Diamond. I tend to analyze every purchase, hotel stay, and airline ticket to make sure that I maximize my return from a points & miles standpoint. […]

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Paying College Tuition on a Credit Card: Fees vs. Rewards

August 20, 2014

I always advocate using rewards credit cards to help you fulfill your award travel aspirations. As one of the foremost expenses for many Americans, college tuition can be a great opportunity to earn points and miles, but the fees involved with using a credit card can make it a losing proposition.  Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains when paying college tuition with a credit card […]

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Maximizing Stopovers and Open Jaws on Award Tickets

August 19, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers insights into two lucrative routing strategies that will help you get farther on your frequent flyer miles: the stopover, and the open jaw. Everyone loves a free flight (well, maybe not airlines). My guess is that if you’re reading this post, then like I do, you try to squeeze every bit […]

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More Power Outlets in Hotel Rooms: the Weekly Wish

August 14, 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: more power outlets in hotel rooms. As fellow frequent travelers, I’m sure many TPG readers experience the same need I do to be connected on the road. The last several […]

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Back to School Shopping Strategies for Points and Miles

August 12, 2014

With a new academic year nearly upon us, Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen discusses strategies for back to school shopping to help you save money and maximize points & miles earning for your expenses. It’s hard to believe, but back-to-school season has arrived again. For some, classes have already begun, while others have just a few days or […]

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Make AA a Citi ThankYou Transfer Partner: The Weekly Wish

August 7, 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: add American Airlines to the list of Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partners. Last month Citibank announced a significant enhancement to their ThankYou Rewards program: the addition of eight airline […]

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Maximizing Avios through British Airways and Iberia

August 5, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains the differences and similarities between British Airways and Iberia Avios, and how the two programs can be used together to maximize award travel. Many points & miles enthusiasts have a love/hate relationship with British Airways, specifically due to their loyalty program “reboot” back in 2011 (which annihilated the value of the old […]

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Count Change Fees as MQDs/PQDs – the Weekly Wish

July 31, 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: count change fees towards elite qualification on United and Delta. It sure seems like 2014 has been the year of the “$” in the frequent flyer world. Delta started the […]

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Which Hilton HHonors Credit Card Is Best For You?

July 29, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen compares the benefits of all four credit cards in the Hilton HHonors family, and analyzes which ones should be in your wallet. Last week I highlighted one of the key benefits of the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card: the free night certificates that come with the initial sign-up bonus and after spending […]

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