What Is the Best Credit Card for a First Time Applicant?

TPG reader Kashif tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy I’m turning 18 this week and I’m thinking of signing up for a credit card that I could pay off. What’s your suggestion for the best points card for a first-timer?” Happy 18th birthday, Kashif! Before you choose any card, I’d suggest checking your credit score for free…

Benefits and Costs of Adding Additional Cardholders on Credit Cards

New offer: The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card is a great way to pad your IHG balance with 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within the first 3 months. Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, Capital One Venture Card Readers often…

Attaining Airline Elite Status Series: The Basics and Why People Mileage Run

This is an installment in my Maximizing Elite Status series. Articles include; The Basics and Why People Mileage Run, Using ITA Matrix to Find Cheap Flights, How Much is Elite Status Worth?, Comparing Top Tier Status, Comparing Mid-Tier Status, Comparing Low Level Status, How to Get Elite Miles Without Flying, Understanding Elite Status Bump Thresholds, The Lowdown on Soft Landings, How to Cope with Losing…

My Ranking of Airline Frequent Flyer Programs

All airline miles were not created equal. And while some programs are clearly better than others, the only thing that matters is how much value you get from your frequent flyer program. For example, if your preferred airport is only serviced by American – you may value your AAdvantage miles much more than any others….

Video Blog Post: When Should I Cancel My Credit Card?

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get is, “When do I cancel my credit cards?” I filmed a short video while recently at the Andaz West Hollywood to answer this question, however I’ll recap my thoughts below for those who don’t feel like watching. (Pardon the background music in the video –…

Sunday Reader Question: How Can You Spend Your Way to Airline and Hotel Elite Status?

Savvy TPG reader thegasguru asks: “I’d like to see a post on how to “spend” your way to status in various programs. Can the very top tier status be obtained without ever stepping foot on the plane or in the hotel? If not, what’s the highest you can go via spend only” These days, its…

Using ExpertFlyer.com for Award Availability

Airline websites are notoriously horrible for award searches – especially when it comes to partner availability. Even ANA’s site, which is revered as possibly the most accurate search engine for Star Alliance availability, has a frustrating and time-consuming interface that only searches simple routes day-by-day. While not perfect, I religiously use Expertflyer.com to identify accurate…

Maximizing Stopovers, Transfers and Open Jaw Ticketing on American Airlines Awards

This is the fourth installment in the series. See also Delta, British Airways and US Airways. To come: Continental, United and Air Canada. American Airlines was the first US legacy carrier to institute one-way awards and when that happened, they greatly scaled back the flexibility of awards when it came to stopovers. As the saying goes, as…

Reminder – Join a Mileage or Points Dining Program

I’ve gotten a bunch of new credit cards recently (thanks to some amazing sign-up bonuses) and it dawned on me the other day that I hadn’t registered them all to a dining program. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Rewards Network is a company that will automatically give you miles…