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…

Maximizing Stopovers, Transfers and Open Jaw Ticketing on US Airways Awards

(This post is focused on maximizing US Airways awards. Future posts will focus on American, Delta, United/Continental, Air Canada and British Airways. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment below or email me). US Airways is a Star Alliance member, which means you can redeem your miles on all 26 other Star…

How to Use the ANA Award Tool to Search Star Alliance Award Availability

All Nippon Airways (ANA) is one of Japan’s premier airlines and a Star Alliance member. While many of you will never set foot on an ANA plane, you should be a member of their frequent flyer program, Mileage Club, because it allows you access to near perfect Star Alliance award availability. This means you can search…

Understanding How Your Credit Score Works

One of the easiest way to accrue a ton of miles is through credit card sign-ups. In fact, this year has been a banner year with the 100,000 mile British Airways deal (expired), 100,000 point Amex Platinum Card (expired), 75,000 AA cards (active) and 50,000 point Sapphire Preferred card (active). All it takes is a…

Understanding How Credit Card Travel Rewards Work

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.  Update: The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Rewards Card has expired. View the current offer here.  This is the first post of a new series designed to help beginners understand the points and miles world….

Avoiding Foreign Transaction Fees on Points and Miles Earning Credit Cards

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Platinum Card from American Express, Capital One Venture Rewards Card If you aren’t already aware, many credit card issuers charge ridiculous foreign transaction fees on every purchase you make on your credit card outside of the USA. In fact, you may even be…