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Using Merchant Category Codes to Maximize Bonuses

September 16, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains merchant category codes, and how understanding them can help you get the most out of category bonuses offered by your credit cards. TPG often preaches the importance of maximizing the points and miles you earn not only in your travels, but also from your day to day spending. If, for example, you spend […]

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How Can I Earn AAdvantage Platinum Status Besides Flying?

September 14, 2014

TPG Reader Tim tweeted me to ask: “‪@thepointsguy: Does American Airlines offer alternatives to obtain Executive Platinum status? If so, who do I call? I am currently an AAdvantage Platinum member.” We’re more than halfway through 2014, and I know that many elite travelers (myself included) are looking at their elite status qualification requirements, as we only […]

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Which Credit Card Is Best for Economy Awards to London?

September 14, 2014

TPG Reader Steven tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy: “I value free/low-cost economy flights to London Heathrow. On which credit card should I concentrate my spending? I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, and the Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard.” I usually use my miles and points to book business class flights or […]

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No Foreign Transaction Fee on Premium Cards: The Weekly Wish

September 11, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at how some of the best travel credit cards shoot themselves in the foot by charging foreign transaction fees, and explains why it’s in everyone’s best interest to do away with those international charges. I’m sure that like me, the vast majority of TPG readers travel at least occasionally outside of the country. […]

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Maximizing Sports Purchases: Tickets, Apparel, TV, and More

September 9, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at ways to maximize purchases for sports fans. Fall is my favorite time of year, not just for the approaching cooler weather and the holidays it ushers in, but also because fall (in my humble opinion) is the absolute best time to be a sports fan. The college football season is less than two […]

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Citi ThankYou Premier: Should This Be Your Next Card?

September 3, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen takes an in-depth look at the Citi ThankYou Premier, including its earning potential, redemption options, and how it stacks up against its main competitor, the Chase Sapphire Preferred. A few months ago, Citi announced changes to the ThankYou Rewards program, adding 8 airline transfer partners to go along with their existing hotel partner, […]

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Maximizing Computer Purchases: Points, Bonuses, & More

September 2, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers suggestions for how to get the most out return from a new computer purchase, including how to find the best price, maximize rewards, and protect your investment.  This week, students and teachers across their country are begrudgingly setting their alarms, sharpening pencils, and preparing for a new school year. With more and more […]

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Will I Earn a Bonus for Upgrading to Citi Executive Card?

August 31, 2014

TPG reader Marty tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy “Does American Airlines ever give mile bonuses to upgrade your existing credit card from Platinum Select AAdvantage to Citi Executive AAdvantage?” The Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card is one of the most lucrative deals out there. This year alone, I’ve gotten two different Citi AAdvantage cards; both are […]

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Citi Double Cash: a New Cashback Credit Card Option

August 29, 2014

Citi just announced the launch of a new cash back credit card with a unique twist on earning. Unlike most cards, which offer rewards based solely on spending, the Citi Double Cash Card awards 1% cash back per dollar spent, and then offers another 1% cash back as you pay down your balance. The earning structure is […]

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Amex Platinum vs. Visa Black Card vs. Citi Prestige: Who Wins?

August 26, 2014

Rewards credit cards come in a wide variety of flavors. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at the bonuses, benefits, and other aspects of three premium cards to see how they stack up against one another. With the economy slowly recovering, travel providers and financial institutions have stepped up their games to try to woo high spenders. We’ve seen this […]

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Flying Blue Added as Citi ThankYou Transfer Partner

August 25, 2014

Last month, Citi ramped up the value of their Thank You program by adding 8 new transfer partners, including Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. While most of these Asian/Middle Eastern frequent flyer programs are not as lucrative as programs based in North America, there are still great values to be had, as we […]

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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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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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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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Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards for Cardholders

August 11, 2014

On the heels of the (recently expired) 100,000 mile offer for the Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard, I wanted to remind readers of some of the valuable benefits of co-branded Citi AAdvantage cards. Specifically, cardholders can earn 10% of redeemed AAdvantage miles back (up to 10,000 AAdvantage miles each calendar year), and have access to reduced price domestic awards. A new […]

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Maximizing Citi ThankYou Rewards Unique Transfer Partners

August 11, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at travel possibilities with the newly expanded list of Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partners, focusing on the unique options of EVA Air and Malaysia Airlines. Last month, Citi announced that it would be adding eight airline transfer partners to its ThankYou rewards program, joining the ranks of three existing flexible […]

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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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Make AA a Citi ThankYou Transfer Partner: The Weekly Wish

August 7, 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: add American Airlines to the list of Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer partners. Last month Citibank announced a significant enhancement to their ThankYou Rewards program: the addition of eight airline […]

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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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Citi Prestige Changes Coming: Free Hotel Nights & More

August 4, 2014

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Citi Prestige 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 […]

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Which Hilton HHonors Credit Card Is Best For You?

July 29, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen compares the benefits of all four credit cards in the Hilton HHonors family, and analyzes which ones should be in your wallet. Last week I highlighted one of the key benefits of the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card: the free night certificates that come with the initial sign-up bonus and after spending […]

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Credit Cards That Offer Free Credit Scores

July 28, 2014

Earlier this year, I shared how credit scores are calculated and which credit cards offer cardmembers a free look at their credit scores. In late February, though, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that it’s urging major credit card issuers to provide free credit scores and related information to their customers. Several more cards and issuers have since hopped […]

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