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Using the United Explorer Bonus in a Post Devaluation World

August 27, 2014

In light of the limited-time sign-up bonus offer for the United MileagePlus Explorer Card of 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months, I thought I would revisit what I think are the best United award options since the recent United devaluation. (Note that there’s a better offer of 50,000 miles plus a $50 statement credit for existing United members.) This […]

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Chase Freedom Ends 10% Annual Bonus & Other Changes

August 26, 2014

On the heels of the recent Chase Sapphire benefit changes (like the addition of primary auto rental insurance and the elimination of the annual 7% points dividend), Chase is making some major changes to the Chase Freedom program as well. However, unlike the changes to Sapphire Preferred (which were a mixed bag), these appear to all be negative. Per the […]

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Can I Earn an Additional 1Point/ $1 By Booking Via Amex’s Travel Website?

August 24, 2014

TPG reader Dan tweets: @thepointsguy– “Can you still earn an additional 1pt/$1 by booking travel via AMEX’s online travel center? Paying for travel with a credit card can be very lucrative. I really try to discourage people from going directly to airline and hotel websites because you rake in tons of extra points by booking […]

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Will I Lose Points Earned on a Chase Card If I Close the Account?

August 24, 2014

TPG Reader William emailed The Points Guy asking: “I have all three Chase cards now (Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, Ink Plus) and have points balances for each. I was thinking about cancelling one of the Ink cards and possibly the Sapphire so as not to pay the annual fees on three cards. Would I be […]

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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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Best Travel Credit Card Offers for August 2014

August 20, 2014

Sign-up bonuses for travel credit cards are always changing, and as part of your strategy for maximizing points and miles earning, it pays to stay informed so you don’t miss the best deals out there.  To help you weigh your options, I like to provide an updated monthly list of the top travel credit card offers. Below you’ll […]

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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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Comparing the Transferable Points Programs: Partners & More

August 20, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the prominent transferable points programs to help readers strategize when deciding where to bank their points and miles. Last month, Citi’s ThankYou Rewards became the fourth major transferable points program, joining Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR), American Express Membership Rewards (MR), and the Starwood Preferred […]

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Top 0% APR Credit Cards That Earn Points & Miles

August 19, 2014

Generally when I write about credit cards, it’s to tell readers about the sign-up bonuses and other benefits they offer that can help enable and enrich your travels. But there are other important factors to consider when getting a new card – most critically, the impact that opening an account has on your credit score, and how applying for and using a card fits […]

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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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SPG Amex or Sapphire Preferred for Rental Cars?

August 17, 2014

We’ve seen some significant changes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s benefits in the last few weeks, prompting me to answer a question from TPG Reader Victor: “@thepointsguy Which credit card is better for rental cars – Starwood Preferred American Express or Chase Sapphire Preferred?” Quite frankly, I admit that I also chose this question […]

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Thursday Giveaway: $500 Office Depot Back-To-School Gift Card

August 14, 2014

Much to the chagrin of kids all over, summer is slowly coming to an end which mean’s it’s back-to-school shopping season! Every day you open your mailbox to new mailers advertising sales left and right for items ranging from mechanical pencils to steals on laptops and tablets. All of these items are necessities for the beginning of […]

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Airline Credit Cards That Offer Elite Status and Benefits

August 13, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Delta Gold and Platinum cards are no longer available. View the current offers here: Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal, Gold Delta SkyMiles Business, Platinum Delta SkyMiles. While many airline co-branded credit cards simply offer award-redeemable miles that have no bearing on elite status, there are several out there that do offer elite airline status, benefits, […]

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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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Do I Earn 2x Points With Chase Ink for an Event at Marriott?

August 10, 2014

Running events at hotels (like weddings or corporate meetings) can be very lucrative for earning points. Not only do you get points that you normally earn on your credit card, but also you can earn bonuses from credit cards that offer extra points for hotel spending. There are also corporate meeting planner programs, which offer an additional bonus to meeting […]

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Can I Convert Chase Ultimate Rewards to Starwood Points?

August 10, 2014

TPG reader Suzette sent me a message on Facebook asking: “Hey –  need your help, how can I convert my Chase Points to SPG Points?” I always get questions from people wanting to convert one type of frequent flyer mile, hotel point, or credit card point into another. Generally you don’t do that - once you […]

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Credit Cards That Offer Primary Car Rental Coverage

August 8, 2014

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, two valuable (but often overlooked) benefits of credit cards are travel insurance and secondary auto rental insurance, even though terms are sometimes poorly disclosed and policies can be inadequate. For instance, when you’re covered  by secondary car rental insurance provided by your credit card and you damage a rental car in the US, you’ll still have to file a claim with your […]

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Sapphire Preferred vs. Arrival Plus: Have the Tables Turned?

August 7, 2014

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Barclaycard Arrival Plus have topped my list of best credit cards for travel awards for some time now, with the edge going to Sapphire Preferred for its valuable transfer partners and the lucrative 7% annual dividend on point earned each year. However, with recent benefit changes to both cards (and the announcement of that 7% dividend […]

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My Four New Credit Cards and 205,000 Miles & Points

August 5, 2014

I currently have 23 active credit cards, and my credit score is consistently in the high 700s. Earlier this year I canceled and applied for 4 new cards for 230,000 miles/points, and recently I did another round of applications to bring my year-to-date sign-up bonus total to 435,000 miles/points. Some people’s eyes pop out of […]

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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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United Explorer 50,000 Mile Bonus With $50 Statement Credit

August 4, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Chase United Explorer Visa is no longer available. View the current offer here. Last Friday, Chase relaunched a limited-time public offer for the United Explorer card, though I realized after I wrote about it that there is actually an even better public offer with an increased sign-up bonus of […]

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Citi Prestige Changes Coming: Free Hotel Nights & More

August 4, 2014

Citi has announced sweeping changes coming this fall to the Citi Prestige, the flagship card of Citi ThankYou Rewards. This card doesn’t get as much ink as some of its competitors, partly because ThankYou Rewards has historically been weaker than programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. However, the recent addition of […]

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Best Transfer Partners for Award Flights to Alaska

August 4, 2014

Alaska is a fantastic destination for sightseeing and outdoor recreation, but it’s a long flight from what Alaskans call “the lower 48,” and it’s truly vast. At twice the size of Texas, Alaska is by far our largest state.  It’s also an interesting award travel destination, since some airlines include Alaska as part of the continental United […]

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Can I Redeem on Any Airline With Sapphire and Arrival?

August 3, 2014

In our newbie question for today, TPG reader Jessica asks on Facebook: “can I book any airline with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Barclaycard Arrival?” The basic answer is yes. If you’re looking to book any airline, use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, because that card allows you to pay for the actual flight no matter what airline […]

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