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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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Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall Drops Travelocity and More

July 10, 2014

Online shopping portals are a no-brainer. Never, ever shop online by directly going to a retailer (whether that be Neiman Marcus or American Airlines). Always go through a portal so you get extra miles or cash back. American Express shut their earning portal down last year, but luckily Chase has a pretty generous portal (Ultimaterewards.com […]

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Expedia Launches Expedia+ Rewards

July 10, 2014

Expedia has had a rewards program for a few years now, where members can earn up to 2 points per dollar on flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages. These points can then be redeemed for travel with no blackout dates, or can be used to bid on special redemption offers. This week Expedia announced that they […]

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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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Which Credit Cards Are Best for Free Hotel Stays in Europe?

July 6, 2014

I love Europe (I was in London last weekend, and I’m actually filming this week’s reader questions in beautiful Madrid, Spain), and I thought it was topical that TPG reader Anthony tweeted me to ask: “What are your thoughts on the best credit cards for free hotel stays in Europe?” Hotels can be expensive in […]

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Chase Sapphire Preferred First Friday + Dining Program Bonus

July 4, 2014

For those of you who are opting out of the 4th of July BBQ, a reminder that this is the first Friday of the month, which means you can earn 3x points on dining purchases with the Chase Sapphire or Sapphire Preferred cards. And thanks to the annual 7% points dividend on the Sapphire Preferred, earning 3x points really means earning 3.21x points per […]

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Maximizing Hyatt Gold Passport for Family Travel

July 2, 2014

TPG Contributor Jason Steele continues his series on family travel options in major hotel loyalty programs. Up this week: Hyatt Gold Passport. Previously, we looked at family friendly hotel options within the Starwood brands, and readers commented that they wanted to compare that perspective to other brands. For starters, we’ll look at the Hyatt Gold Passport program […]

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Southwest Begins Operating International Flights Today

July 1, 2014

I used to fly Southwest a lot in college between Pittsburgh (where I went to school) and Philadelphia (home). It was pretty awesome – every 8 roundtrips gave me a free flight, which meant affordable visits to Las Vegas or wherever my alma mater (The University of Pittsburgh) was competing in a (admittedly lame) bowl game. […]

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Best Chase and Amex Transfer Partners for Travel to Israel

June 30, 2014

Recently, we took an exhaustive look at the best Starwood Ultimate Rewards airline mileage transfer partners for award trips to Israel. Today I want to look at the best options for using American Express Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points. American Express Membership Rewards This program offers a number of airline transfer partners […]

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Can You Transfer Chase Freedom Points to Marriott?

June 29, 2014

This week TPG reader Carli tweeted: “@thepointsguy is there any way to transfer chase freedom points to Marriott Rewards without having a chase premium card?” Unfortunately the answer to Carli’s question is no. In order to transfer points earned from the Chase Freedom Visa, you need to also have a premium Chase card like the Sapphired Preferred, Ink Bold […]

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Do I Have to Cancel a Card Before Applying a Second Time?

June 29, 2014

TPG Reader Christopher emailed me to ask: “if I apply for the same card multiple times (like you did with the Citi AA) do I have to cancel the existing card first?” The short answer is “maybe”. Some card issuers are more lenient than others and it even depends which specific product you’re trying to get. The Citi Executive AAdvantage […]

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards: Double Elite Nights and 100K Points

June 24, 2014

In the wake of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards‘ significant category changes last year, the luxury hotel chain’s loyalty program seems to be heating up for summer (and beyond) with two new promotions: 1) Members of The Ritz-Carlton Rewards can earn up to 100,000 points - 50,000 points for a Ritz-Carlton stay of five consecutive nights, plus another 50,000 for another Ritz-Carlton stay of […]

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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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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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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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What Are The Best Ways To Maximize Expiring United Miles?

June 15, 2014

I was recently tweeted a great “newbie question of the week” by TPG reader @Mommalogues: “@thepointsguy My 18,000+ United MileagePlus miles will expire on July 31st. Can I trade them for American AAdvantage miles?” The answer to your question is yes, you can trade your expiring MileagePlus miles for American AAdvantage miles through points/miles exchange and clearing house points.com … but at a […]

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What is the Value of Ultimate Rewards Points vs. SPG Points?

June 15, 2014

This week TPG reader Stephen asked a question via Twitter: “@ThePointsGuy how much do you value Ultimate Rewards Points vs Starwood points? I know you value Starwood at about 2.5 cents” In this day and age of airline programs and hotel programs constantly moving the needle, changing how many points or miles you need for an […]

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Can I Earn Multiple Signup Bonuses for Southwest Cards?

June 15, 2014

The Chase Southwest credit cards are among the most lucrative deals out there. If you know how to leverage them, the 50,000 Rapid Rewards points earned from each card (after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months) can get you about $800 worth of Wanna Get Away fares, and if you earn one of their prized Companion Passes (which […]

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10 of the Best Credit Cards for Travel- June 2014 Edition

June 9, 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. Update: The offer mentioned below for the Chase Freedom Visa has expired. View the current offer here.  Getting in on the most lucrative credit cards is key to maximizing your miles and points. With the continuously shifting nature of the […]

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What’s The Best Credit Card for a Trip to the World Cup?

June 8, 2014

Things are heating up in the Southern Hemisphere as the World Cup gets ready to kick off in Brazil; TPG reader Justin emailed me with a question about his upcoming trip to Rio: “I’m soon off to Brazil for the World Cup, and I’m thinking of getting a new card specifically for the trip. I currently only […]

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