How to Avoid Checked Baggage Fees on Major Domestic Carriers

A key component of maximizing your travel is learning to avoid the extra “gotcha” fees, which can add up quickly. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers tips for one of the most ubiquitous hidden costs, checked bag fees. Happy New Year! If 2014 is any indication of what’s to come in 2015 with regard to airline…

Audit Your 2014 Airline Miles, Hotel Points & Elite Credits

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to take a last look at your loyalty accounts to make sure everything is in order. I asked TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen to round up some good housekeeping tips to help you make sure you’ve received all the points and miles you’re entitled to from this past…

Last Chance For Elite Status, Bonus Marriott and Club Carlson Points

Here’s a round-up of the week’s points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed:  Reminder: Just a Few More Days To Qualify For Elite Status You have until December 31, 2014 to qualify for airline or hotel elite status for 2015. If you find yourself short, you still have a couple of days…

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card 140,000 Point Sign-up Bonus

An important part of maximizing award travel is taking advantage of big bonus opportunities when they pop up. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at a current Ritz-Carlton credit card offer that can get you free hotel nights at premier properties and more. Back in October, I wrote a review of the Ritz-Carlton Visa card to see…

How to Get Free Hotel Breakfast at Points Properties

Maximizing your award travel goes beyond how you redeem for flights and hotel stays; you can also leverage your points, miles, and elite status to get other perks. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains how you can get free or discounted breakfast from the top hotel brands. It’s safe to say that if you’re reading this post, you…

26 South African Protea Hotels to Join Marriott Rewards

There’s some good news for those of you who love traveling in South Africa as much as I do. This past April, after acquiring the 116-property Protea Hospitality Group, Marriott became the largest hotel company in Africa, and has now announced that 26 Protea properties in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa will be joining Marriott Rewards on February 23, 2015. The 26…

Man Finds New Companion With Same Name as Ex-Girlfriend

Looks like there’s a happy ending to the sad tale of the boyfriend who was dumped by his girlfriend and left with a round-the-world itinerary in her name: he’s now found a (platonic) taker for the free trip, a young woman with the same nationality and name. Jordan Axani, a 28-year-old guy from Toronto, recently parted ways with one Elizabeth…

8 Nights of Hanukkah Hotels

Like a bag of shiny gelt (gold-wrapped chocolate coins), it’s a treat to gather with your extended mishpachah (family) for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which this year spans December 16-24. Based on the eight U.S. cities with the largest Jewish populations, TPG Assistant Editor Melanie Wynne suggests a menorah’s worth of hotels to inspire celebrating the Festival of Lights…

Hotel Elite Status Match and Challenge Plans for 2015

Hotel elite status is great when you have it, but earning it takes determination. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at ways to circumvent the usual qualification requirements by way of status matches and challenges. As 2014 comes to an end, I’m sure that elite status qualification is (and will remain) on many of your minds. Last week, I…

Earning Airline & Hotel Reciprocal Elite Status for 2015

Everyone values elite status differently, but clearly the more useful the benefits are, the more meaningful status becomes. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Jason Steele looks at reciprocal airline and hotel benefits, and how they impact the value of elite status in the respective programs. One recent innovation in the travel industry is the emergence of reciprocal status agreements between airlines and…