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FAA Suspends US Flights to Tel Aviv – Options for Travelers

July 23, 2014

After a combat missile launched from Gaza landed approximately one mile from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) early Tuesday, the FAA grounded all U.S. flights to Tel Aviv for 24 hours (through 12:15 pm Wednesday EDT), by which time they will further advise. In the meantime, the European Air Safety Agency has issued a strong recommendation that European […]

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What Are Points and Miles Worth? July Monthly Valuations

July 22, 2014

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much is a point or mile worth?” That question varies from person to person and depends on how well you can maximize a particular currency for your needs. Still, some points are worth more than others. To give readers – both old and new – some context, I’ve included […]

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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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Free Wi-Fi in Business and First Class – the Weekly Wish

July 17, 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. There’s no doubt that we live in a connected world. With smartphones, tablets, laptops, and all the other ways we communicate, access, and share information, it’s oftentimes hard to […]

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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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Bonus AAdvantage, Skymiles, Wyndham, IHG Points & More

July 12, 2014

Here’s a recap of the top points and miles news from this week: Reminder: Buy AA Miles and Earn Up to 16,500 Bonus Miles: American Airlines has a limited time offer for AAdvantage members to purchase up to 80,000 miles and receive bonus miles based on how many you buy. In order to maximize this promotion you […]

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Gilt City & Delta Launch First Class Flight Sale on July 10

July 9, 2014

Since 2013, discounted couture shopping portal Gilt and Delta Air Lines have partnered to offer SkyMiles for purchases on the Gilt and  Gilt City websites. Their first joint promotion is an exclusive sale of up to 57% off first-class flights to/from Austin (AUS) and Los Angeles (LAX) or New York City (JFK), with each flight purchase earning 500 bonus […]

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Ticketing Errors, Schedule Mix-ups, and Wrong Destinations

July 8, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at common ticketing errors, how to avoid them, and how to survive them if they happen to you. As a travel enthusiast and die-hard soccer fan (still smarting from last week’s dramatic US-Belgium result), I couldn’t help but cringe when I read about the Australian couple who thought they had booked […]

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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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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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Status Matcher Helps Travelers Attain and Keep Elite Status

June 30, 2014

Yesterday I answered a reader question about airline status matches and challenges, and I mentioned a website called Status Matcher, which provides a bounty of information about the status match and challenge policies of most airlines, hotels, and even auto rental companies (hat tip to TPG reader Ali who introduced me to the site!). I think this website […]

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How Do You Complete An Airline Status Match Or Challenge?

June 29, 2014

This past week, TPG reader Jordan tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Do you have any advice on how I should complete an airline status match or challenge?” If your goal is to earn airline elite status as fast as possible, it’s important to have a status match and/or challenge strategy. When you start to gain elite […]

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Top Credit Card Offers And Deals Ending This Week

June 24, 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. As June comes to a close and we swing into the summer months, many bonuses and promotions are also ending. Here is a round up of the current offers that will no longer be available after […]

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Best Starwood Transfer Partners for Flights to Israel

June 23, 2014

Israel is a popular destination for American tourists as well as VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) travelers. It’s also a fairly complicated award trip to book, as the award charts of different airlines place Israel in different regions. Since the most valuable points are those earned in flexible transfer programs, we thought it would be […]

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Have Devaluations Made Credit Card Points More Valuable?

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. Both 2013 and 2014 have seen a trend in loyalty program devaluations. Hilton kicked off the devaluation parade in early 2013, followed by Delta and United over the past several months. Even Southwest devalued their Rapid Rewards program […]

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Standby Rules and Strategies for International Flights

June 11, 2014

What can you do if you need to take an earlier flight to get to your destination on time? Can you switch from an international connecting flight to a non-stop to your destination? Standby rules are pretty clear for domestic flights, but can get murky when traveling internationally. Read on to learn more about the policies of major […]

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3X JetBlue Points, Bonus for LA Marriott Sunday Stays & More

June 7, 2014

Here’s a recap of the top points and miles news from this week: Reminder — Week Four Daily Getaway Deals Start June 9: This coming week the Daily Getaways for June 9-13 will be unveiled daily at 1 pm EDT, and will be available to any US resident age 18 or older to purchase throughout the promotion period until the limited inventory is […]

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Delta Adds More Comfort to Transcontinental Economy Comfort

June 4, 2014

Delta announced today that their Economy Comfort product on all premium transcontinental routes (JFK to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle) will enjoy new benefits that will hopefully take the sting out of turning right upon boarding the plane. In addition to the existing perks of 50% more recline and leg room, priority boarding and free beer, […]

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Win 1 Million Airline Miles, Trips to Portugal, Paris & More

June 4, 2014

Here are my top picks for travel contests circulating the web this week. Join Points.com to Win One Million Airline Miles: You could win one million airline miles by registering for the contest here and then joining Points.com. You can only enter if you are not already a registered user of Points.com, and you must be a legal resident […]

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Mileage Run Deal: New York and LA to Asia via Europe ~ $130

May 22, 2014

Mileage runs can be a funny thing. To some people it’s worth flying 48 hours straight in coach to rack up tens of thousands of extra miles for a few hundred dollars, while other folks do everything they can to avoid setting foot on a plane. Whether or not a deal is worth it to […]

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Is the Amex Centurion Card Worth The $2,500 Annual Fee?

May 22, 2014

With all the recent changes to the American Express Platinum Card, including the loss of American Admirals Club and US Airways Club access in March, and restrictions on Delta SkyClub access to the cardholder only (no guests) starting May 1, premium Amex cardholders might be looking for a new product. Some of you may even be considering Amex’s highly-touted […]

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How to Use Virgin Atlantic Miles Without Fuel Surcharges

May 21, 2014

TPG Contributor Jason Steele returns to tell us how to take advantage of Virgin Atlantic miles without getting hit with huge fuel surcharges and fees The American Express Membership Rewards program is offering a 30% bonus on points transfers to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program through May 31. While this could be a terrific […]

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Increased Signup Bonuses for Dining Rewards Programs

May 20, 2014

Dining rewards programs are an easy way to double dip on earning miles and points. You can use a points or miles earning credit card to front the bill, and link that card to your airline or hotel dining program of choice in order to earn even more points per dollar for dining out. Delta was the […]

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Flight Review: Delta BusinessElite Newark – Paris

May 20, 2014

Last month a few friends and I decided to take a trip to France in May. My prime motivation was to get to the Cannes Film Festival with them, but I also had some Delta SkyMiles burning a hole in my account that I wanted to put to use on a great award before the […]

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