AAdvantage Now Lets You Route to India and Maldives via Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific

Great news for those of us with American Airlines miles — without any fanfare, American Airlines changed its award chart this week to allow transpacific routings when flying from the US to the “Indian Subcontinent.” Note that this option is only available for award flights on Cathay Pacific or American Airlines metal via Hong Kong (HKG). Otherwise, you’re still limited to previous…

When Should I Start an Airline Status Match or Challenge?

TPG reader Russ sent me a message on Facebook to ask about matching elite status: “When is the best time to status match to another program? I have AAdvantage Executive Platinum status through February of 2017, and I’m wondering when I should match to Alaska Mileage Plan.” Status matches and challenges are a great shortcut to earning…

What Are Points & Miles Worth? April Monthly Valuations

You can view all posts in the Monthly Valuation Series here. One of the questions I’m asked most often is “How much is a point or mile worth?” The answer 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…

AA’s Devaluation, Costco Switching to Visa, Marriott’s Plans for SPG & More

Each Saturday, we round up news stories that you may have missed from the week before, including several that already appeared on The Points Guy, and some more that we haven’t covered yet. If you’re an avid TPG reader, scroll down for the new stuff. Here’s the top miles, points and travel news you may have missed this week:…

What’s the Difference Between Award Miles and Elite Miles?

TPG reader Matt emailed me for help making sense of his frequent flyer account: “In 2015, I earned over 27,000 Elite Qualifying Miles on American Airlines, but I don’t understand what that means in terms of redeeming for flights. What’s the difference between award miles and EQMs?” Loyalty programs use a lot of special lingo that takes some getting…

The Ins and Outs of American Airlines 500-Mile Upgrades

If you’re an American Airlines Gold or Platinum member, you can get a free upgrade to first class on domestic and select international flights by using “500-mile upgrades.” TPG Contributor JT Genter walks you through earning, purchasing and — most importantly — using these upgrades. Whether you realized it or not, one part of your AAdvantage…

Do EQMs Earned from Spending Count for a Status Challenge?

TPG reader Chris sent me a message on Facebook to ask about the American Airlines status challenge: “If I spend $20,000 on the AAdvantage Aviator Silver card, do the elite miles I get count toward an American Airlines status challenge?” Status challenges can be a great shortcut to earning elite benefits with both airlines and hotels, especially if you already have…

Which Card Is Best for AAdvantage Awards After Devaluation?

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard TPG reader Adam sent me a message on Facebook to ask about using rewards on American Airlines: “ With the upcoming devaluation of AAdvantage miles, do you think the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard or Citi Prestige is better…

3 Weeks in France on a College Budget — Reader Success Story

One of the things I love most about being The Points Guy is getting to hear stories from readers about how award travel has affected their lives — the exotic vacations they’ve planned, the trips they’ve made to be with family and friends, the premium seats and suites they’ve experienced and so much more, all…

Is There a Limit to Free AAdvantage Award Ticket Changes?

TPG reader Sholom sent me a message on Facebook to ask about AAdvantage award changes: “Is there a limit to how many times I can change an American Airlines award ticket if my origin and destination stay the same?” Whether you’re flying on an award ticket or a paid fare, most airlines impose a fee for changes made to your…