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Maximizing Citi Hilton Reserve Free Nights

July 22, 2014

Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers insight into how (and where) to use the 2 free weekend nights that come with the Citi Hilton Reserve card.  One of the best hotel credit cards out there right now is the Citi Hilton Reserve Visa card. I added it to my wallet just a few months after it was […]

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Citi ThankYou Rewards Adds New Transfer Partners

July 21, 2014

Citi ThankYou Rewards has for a long time been the pipsqueak little brother to the major transferable points programs: Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Without transfer options, the most you could hope to get from ThankYou points was about 1.25 cents apiece, and that was only for Citi Premier and Citi Prestige […]

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Avianca Lifemiles Program Changes & Share Miles Last Day

July 21, 2014

Sometimes I hate getting emails from airlines. While some contain information on bonus promos, others are like the one that Lifemiles, the mileage program of Star Alliance carrier Avianca, sent out to members yesterday announcing sweeping changes to its award chart. Here’s what the email said: “To maintain a reasonable relation between the miles we […]

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Ups Auto Coverage, Nixes Dividend

July 21, 2014

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the top all-around travel credit cards- offering both valuable earning capability (2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining) and strong redemption options with 11, 1:1 transfer partners and 1.25 cents per point when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards. Benefit Changes This weekend, Chase made […]

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Best Transfer Partners For Flights To Hawaii

July 21, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at the best points and miles transfer options from Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest for travel to Hawaii. When it comes to redeeming miles for vacation, for many people, Hawaii is the dream destination. Perhaps that’s why Hawaii is also one of the hardest award tickets to […]

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Do You Earn 2x Points for Buying Miles from United?

July 20, 2014

I often purchase airline miles, especially when they’re offered at a good rate during a promotion. I never purchase them from the airline kiosk, because those rates can be up to $0.05 per mile, which is highway robbery. Usually when airlines do run specials, they’re processed through a third party called Points.com. The purchase isn’t billed […]

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Can I Transfer Amex Membership Rewards to Someone Else?

July 20, 2014

I love transferable points. I’ve said it time and time again; the best way to protect yourself from program devaluations is to built up points in one of the three major transferable points programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. TPG reader Blayne recently tweeted at me: “‪@thepointsguy Can I transfer […]

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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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