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Online Travel Agency Loyalty Programs – the Basics

July 17, 2014

Lately, there have been quite a few changes in the world of online travel agencies (OTAs), including the launch of Expedia + Rewards, a new credit card from Orbitz, and the end of Chase Ultimate Rewards’ online shopping portal bonuses at a number of sites like Travelocity and Priceline. With all that in mind, I thought […]

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Maximizing Points and Miles on Summer Road Trips

July 14, 2014

Summer is in full swing, and that means Americans are on the move. According to surveys by both Orbitz and Trip Advisor, nearly 90% of Americans plan to take a summer vacation this year, hardly surprising given the Arctic conditions that had a death grip on much of the country this winter. Over 40% traveled […]

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Strategies for Minimizing the TSA Fee Hike

July 14, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele looks at ways to mitigate the increased TSA security fees set to begin next week. As TPG reported recently, the TSA will soon be raising its fees, making airfare more expensive. The current fee is $2.50 per leg, with a cap of $5 per one-way trip or $10 per round trip. Beginning […]

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What Are the Fees to Transfer Points to Airline Partners?

July 13, 2014

My favorite kind of points are those that you can transfer to numerous different programs. The three key transferable-points programs that I bank to are Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. I love educating fellow travelers about these programs, so I was glad when TPG reader Therese messaged me on Facebook this week […]

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What’s the Best Way to Redeem Ultimate Rewards for Travel?

July 13, 2014

This past week, TPG reader Hareesh tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Is it better to redeem Ultimate Rewards directly through the Chase portal, or should you transfer points to a partner and then redeem?” When you redeem Ultimate Rewards (earned from Chase credit cards like the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold Ink Plus, Chase Freedom, and Sapphire) through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, your points […]

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Which Credit Card is Best for Large Business Expenditures?

July 13, 2014

TPG reader Mark sent me a question on Facebook: “I’m a business owner and charge between $100,000-$200,000 per month. I’ve been using the Citi AAdvantage & Executive Mastercard, but they don’t have high enough limits. Any suggestions?” As a business owner, it’s awesome to be able to put all of your business expenses on a points earning credit […]

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Should I Use the Delta Amex to Get Silver Elite Status?

July 13, 2014

TPG reader Joe emailed me to ask: “My new husband and I have both the Platinum Delta Amex and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (both in my name with him as an authorized user). We currently don’t have status with any airline, but primarily fly Delta from Kansas City, and have been working towards our $50,000 spend […]

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Maximizing Hilton HHonors For Family Travel

July 11, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele continues his series on family travel options in the most prevalent hotel brands with a look at Hilton HHonors. Previously, we looked at the family friendly aspects of two popular hotel loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest and Hyatt Gold Passport. Today, I want to examine Hilton HHonors and see how it stacks up in accommodating family travelers. How HHonors […]

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Lifetime Hotel Elite Status: a Hilton HHonors Proposal.

July 10, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen begins a new column called The Weekly Wish, where he’ll look at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Each hotel chain has its own unique ways of attracting and maintaining profitable customers. These methods can include enhancing on-property benefits, expanding ways to earn and redeem points, and introducing […]

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Best Mileage Transfer Partners For Awards To Japan

July 7, 2014

TPG contributor Jason Steele writes today about how to maximize your award redemptions to get to one of our favorite Asian countries- Japan.  Japan is a popular tourist destination, and award travel there can be a great use of frequent flier miles. Flights to Japan from North America travel much farther than most flights to Europe, […]

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Should I Aim for Delta Diamond Status Instead of Platinum?

July 6, 2014

This week TPG reader Lev tweeted: “@thepointsguy I’m at 80K Delta MQMs so far this year. Is reaching for Delta Diamond Elite Status vs. aiming for Delta Platinum Elite Status more worthwhile than before, given the planned 2015 changes? (I live by JFK airport.)” The general trend that I’ve seen with airline elite status is […]

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How to Get the Best Value for Starwood Hotel Redemptions

June 27, 2014

TPG contributor Jason Steele returns this Friday to talk maximizing Starwood Preferred Guest promotions, just in time before the limited time 30,000 point offer on the personal and business Amex cards ends on June 30, 2104.  According to TPG’s most recent monthly valuations, Starwood points continue to be the single most valuable point or mile […]

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Maximizing JetBlue Redemptions on New Mint Business Class

June 25, 2014

Last week I released the June installment of my monthly point valuations, which included a significant boost to the value of points in JetBlue’s frequent flyer program TrueBlue. Like Southwest Airlines, JetBlue uses a fare-based redemption system, so the number of points required for an award flight corresponds to the going cash price. This means that […]

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Top Credit Card Offers With No Annual Fee

June 23, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Chase Freedom Visa has expired. View the current offer here.  So far 2014 has been a great year for new credit cards and increased sign up bonuses. Most notably, American Express came out with the first Membership Rewards earning card with no annual fee, the Amex Everyday. While […]

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Amex Las Vegas Centurion Lounge Review

June 23, 2014

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, TPG Points and Miles editor Peter Rothbart visited the American Express Centurion Lounge at McCarran Airport (LAS). Here’s what he found. For several years American Express has operated Centurion Clubs and Platinum Lounges in various airports abroad, including Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Mumbai and elsewhere. Their recent (and welcome) […]

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Best Card For Starwood Stays: SPG Amex or Amex Platinum?

June 22, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express have expired. View the current offers here –personal, business. This past week, TPG reader JG tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy I’m going on a two-week trip and staying at Starwood hotels. Is it more worthwhile to use my SPG Amex or the Amex Platinum, which  just offered me […]

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What Are Points and Miles Worth? June Monthly Valuations

June 20, 2014

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much is a point or mile worth?” That question varies per person and how well they can maximize a particular currency for their needs, but still there are some points worth more than others. To give readers – both old and new – some context, […]

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Discounted Fairmont Hotels in Hawaii and Arizona

June 20, 2014

American Express and the US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) have partnered to offer discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs during the next month, including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts and more. These deals are called the Daily Getaways. Each day we’ll hash out the details […]

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The Top 5 Reasons I’m Loyal to SPG & 90,000 Point Giveaway

June 19, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express have expired. View the current offers here –personal, business. There are a lot of companies out there competing for our business whenever we leave home and need to rest our heads somewhere. Whether it’s luxury hotel chains or sites that allow people to rent out […]

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Discounted Caesars & Harrah’s Hotel Packages- But Beware

June 19, 2014

American Express and the US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) have partnered to offer discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs during the next month, including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts and more. These deals are called the Daily Getaways. Each day we’ll hash out the details […]

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Daily Getaway June 18: Universal Studios Orlando

June 18, 2014

American Express and the US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) have partnered to offer discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs during the next month, including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts and more. These deals are called the Daily Getaways. Each day we’ll hash out the details […]

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Daily Getaway June 17: Club Carlson Points

June 17, 2014

American Express and the US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) have partnered to offer discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs during the next month, including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts and more. These deals are called the Daily Getaways. Each day we’ll hash out the details […]

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Getting The Most Rewards For Your Minimum Spend

June 16, 2014

TPG contributor Jason Steele comes back this week to analyze minimum spend. Perhaps we are living in the golden age of credit card rewards, where banks are eager to offer us so many valuable points and miles just for giving them a chance to earn our business. Nevertheless, most of these offers require a significant […]

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Daily Getaway June 16: Las Vegas Hotel Packages

June 16, 2014

American Express and the US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) have partnered to offer discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs during the next month, including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts and more. These deals are called the Daily Getaways. Each day we’ll hash out the details […]

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