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Credit Cards

Best Travel Credit Card Offers for July 2014

July 18, 2014

Update:  As of July 20, 2014, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card no longer offers the 7% annual points dividend. The travel credit card marketplace is an ever-shifting landscape. Offers come, offers go. Bonuses rise, bonuses fall. It pays (literally) to stay on top of the latest news to make sure you get in on the […]

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Rental Cars For Family Travel

July 18, 2014

Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at strategies for renting cars that can fit the whole family without breaking the budget. When I travel by myself, I have a simple formula for choosing which size rental car to reserve: I pick the smallest and least expensive car available. Rental car agencies rarely stock sub-compact cars, […]

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Online Travel Agency Loyalty Programs – the Basics

July 17, 2014

Lately, there have been quite a few changes in the world of online travel agencies (OTAs), including the launch of Expedia + Rewards, a new credit card from Orbitz, and the end of Chase Ultimate Rewards’ online shopping portal bonuses at a number of sites like Travelocity and Priceline. With all that in mind, I thought […]

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Citi Hilton Reserve Card: $100 Statement Credit Ending Soon

July 16, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card has expired. View the current offer here.  The Citi Hilton Reserve card is one of the top travel credit cards on the market and one that I’ve had for a couple years and plan to have in perpetuity as long as the card […]

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How Card Applications Affect Your Credit Score

July 16, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele reviews how new credit card applications impact your FICO score, and reminds us to consider the big financial picture when playing the points and miles game. There’s no way around the fact that credit card sign-up bonuses are among the quickest and easiest ways to earn points and miles. Even if you […]

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Hotels.com and Sapphire Preferred UR Portal = Power Combo

July 15, 2014

Update:  As of July 20, 2014, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card no longer offers the 7% annual points dividend. View the current sign up offer here. In my opinion, hotel loyalty programs have lost some luster over the past couple of years, with promotions getting weaker and most programs devaluing- sometimes significantly (ah, hem Hilton). […]

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Citi Executive AAdvantage 100,000 Mile Offer Going Strong

July 14, 2014

One of the best deals out there is the 100,000 mile offer for the Citi Executive AAdvantage, which I posted about earlier this month. I myself have gotten 3 of them (yes, that’s right, 3), and all three accounts are still open. You might wonder why I would keep all three cards when each one incurs a […]

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Maximizing Points and Miles on Summer Road Trips

July 14, 2014

Summer is in full swing, and that means Americans are on the move. According to surveys by both Orbitz and Trip Advisor, nearly 90% of Americans plan to take a summer vacation this year, hardly surprising given the Arctic conditions that had a death grip on much of the country this winter. Over 40% traveled […]

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Strategies for Minimizing the TSA Fee Hike

July 14, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele looks at ways to mitigate the increased TSA security fees set to begin next week. As TPG reported recently, the TSA will soon be raising its fees, making airfare more expensive. The current fee is $2.50 per leg, with a cap of $5 per one-way trip or $10 per round trip. Beginning […]

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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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Maximizing Hilton HHonors For Family Travel

July 11, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele continues his series on family travel options in the most prevalent hotel brands with a look at Hilton HHonors. Previously, we looked at the family friendly aspects of two popular hotel loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest and Hyatt Gold Passport. Today, I want to examine Hilton HHonors and see how it stacks up in accommodating family travelers. How HHonors […]

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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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Lifetime Hotel Elite Status: a Hilton HHonors Proposal.

July 10, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen begins a new column called The Weekly Wish, where he’ll look at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Each hotel chain has its own unique ways of attracting and maintaining profitable customers. These methods can include enhancing on-property benefits, expanding ways to earn and redeem points, and introducing […]

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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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My New York – The City for Culture, Foodies and Adventure

July 7, 2014

This week, we introduce you to the TPG staff based far and wide across the United States and Europe. To learn a little more about them, they’re sharing with you their experiences in the destinations that they call home. Today, meet Creative Director Adam Daniel Weiss and his New York City. New York City is the greatest city in […]

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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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Should I Aim for Delta Diamond Status Instead of Platinum?

July 6, 2014

This week TPG reader Lev tweeted: “@thepointsguy I’m at 80K Delta MQMs so far this year. Is reaching for Delta Diamond Elite Status vs. aiming for Delta Platinum Elite Status more worthwhile than before, given the planned 2015 changes? (I live by JFK airport.)” The general trend that I’ve seen with airline elite status is […]

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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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Making Family Travel Easier with Car Seats & Strollers

July 4, 2014

For those of you whose adventures come with infants and toddlers in tow, today TPG Contributor Jason Steele advises on how to minimize the hassle of traveling with a car seat or stroller. My wife and I find that the rewards of family travel exceed the challenges, but there really is little upside to towing child car seats and […]

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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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