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Membership Rewards

Credit Card Annual Fees: When Does Paying Make Sense?

December 11, 2014

Maximizing award travel means not only getting the most out of your points and miles, but also limiting your cash expenses. To earn big credit card sign-up bonuses, you often have to strike a balance between your rewards and the amount you pay in annual fees. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers his analysis of how to find that […]

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How to Use No Annual Fee Cards to Earn Points that Transfer

November 28, 2014

Annual fees for credit cards can eat up a significant chunk of the rewards you earn, but you may sacrifice important benefits if you’re not willing to pay the up-front cost. Today TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Jason Steele looks at how you can make use of cards with no annual fee and still have access to the best redemption […]

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Three Credit Cards for International Premium Class Travelers

November 19, 2014

One of my foremost pieces of advice to award travelers is to make sure you earn points and miles on every dollar you spend, and the best way to do that is by using the right rewards credit card, or in many cases, cards. Today TPG Senior Points and Miles Correspondent Jason Steele looks at credit card combinations tailored […]

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Three Credit Cards for the Domestic Economy Traveler

November 17, 2014

One of my foremost pieces of advice to award travelers is to make sure you earn points and miles on every dollar you spend, and the best way to do that is by using the right rewards credit card, or in many cases, cards. Today TPG Senior Points and Miles Correspondent Jason Steele looks at credit card combinations tailored […]

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Can I Use Amex Membership Rewards to Book Travel for Others?

November 16, 2014

TPG reader Darlene emailed me to ask: “My mother-in law has a ton of American Express Membership Rewards points, and she wants to use them to send me and my husband on a vacation. Can she book the travel through her account and put our names in?” Over the years, credit card programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards […]

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Redeem Amex Membership Rewards Points at McDonald’s

November 14, 2014

American Express recently announced a partnership with McDonald’s that lets you redeem Membership Rewards points to pay for your purchase when you use your eligible Amex card at participating locations. This service — which follows a similar Amex partnership with Uber earlier this year, and one with Amazon last year — is available at some locations now, and will be […]

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Delta SkyMiles Program Changes: Winners and Losers

October 28, 2014

When loyalty programs change (as they invariably do), it’s easy to judge those changes based on how they impact your own travel. But looking at the bigger picture can help you assess whether a program is moving in the right or wrong direction overall. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at recent changes to the Delta SkyMiles program, […]

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Transferable Points Showdown – Which Program Wins?

October 27, 2014

I often preach the importance of diversifying your loyalty currencies, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to focus on earning points that you can transfer to airline and hotel partners. However, not all transferable points are created equal. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele compares the major transferable points programs to see which one comes out […]

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Amex Membership Rewards 33% Transfer Bonus to Hilton (Targeted)

October 17, 2014

Following yesterday’s announcement of a targeted 50% transfer bonus to Starwood, American Express Membership Rewardshas also launched a targeted offer for a 33% transfer bonus to Hilton through November 30, 2014.  Membership Rewards is the points program of American Express credit cards such as the Platinum Card, Premier Rewards Gold Card, and the new EveryDay cards, and Hilton HHonors is one of its four hotel […]

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Top UK Credit Cards: British Airways, Hilton, and More

October 15, 2014

If you’re a U.S.-based reader of The Points Guy, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you’ve applied for at least one credit card offer with a large sign-up bonus. Unfortunately, most (if not all) of these offers are unavailable to readers outside the country. To help our readers elsewhere make the most of credit card […]

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How to Avoid Fuel Surcharges on Award Travel

October 15, 2014

Call me crazy, but I tend to think that if you have to pay for something, it isn’t free. Yet many airlines charge frequent flyers for the privilege of redeeming miles by adding fuel surcharges to award travel. Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele explains which airlines are the worst offenders, and offers some tips for how to avoid these […]

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3X Membership Rewards at Restaurants Until 2015 (Targeted)

October 13, 2014

American Express is offering bonus Membership Rewards points to targeted cardholders for purchases made at restaurants in the U.S. through the end of 2014 (promotion landing page). For each dollar you spend, you’ll earn 2 bonus points in addition to the points you normally earn, for a total of 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. […]

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Sapphire Preferred vs. EveryDay Preferred – Which Card Wins?

October 10, 2014

Last week, American Express announced that, starting in 2015, the Premier Rewards Gold card would no longer offer a 15,000-point bonus for spending $30,000 or more in a calendar year. That prompted us to reevaluate Amex’s Membership Rewards cards in a showdown that pitted the Premier Rewards Gold against the Platinum and EveryDay Preferred cards. […]

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Amex Membership Rewards Transfer Bonuses: The Weekly Wish

October 9, 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. Today’s wish: consistent transfer bonuses from Amex Membership Rewards to airline and hotel travel partners. Last Thursday, my Weekly Wish focused on how the Starwood Preferred Guest program could improve by offering […]

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Amex Membership Rewards Card Showdown – Which Card Wins?

October 2, 2014

Yesterday, American Express announced that, starting in 2015, the Premier Rewards Gold card would no longer offer a 15,000-point bonus for spending $30,000 or more in a calendar year. Many readers had questions about the change, so today TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen looks at the benefits of this card going forward, and compares it to two […]

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Instant Starwood Points Transfers: The Weekly Wish

October 2, 2014

In the world of award travel, there’s little more frustrating than hunting down the perfect itinerary and locking in on scarce award availability only to have your plans undone by a delay in transferring points from one program to another. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen calls out one notoriously slow transferable points program, and explains why […]

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American Airlines Is Ending Partnership with El Al

September 24, 2014

American Airlines just announced that they will be ending their partnership with El Al Airlines effective November 1, 2014. Presently, you can earn and redeem American AAdvantage miles on El Al, and vice versa, though award availability isn’t great and you can’t book first class. This partnership wasn’t that useful, especially since saver US Airways availability on Philadelphia-Tel Aviv is […]

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No Foreign Transaction Fee on Premium Cards: The Weekly Wish

September 11, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at how some of the best travel credit cards shoot themselves in the foot by charging foreign transaction fees, and explains why it’s in everyone’s best interest to do away with those international charges. I’m sure that like me, the vast majority of TPG readers travel at least occasionally outside of the country. […]

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Top Canada Credit Cards: Aeroplan, Marriott Rewards & More

September 10, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen reviews some of the top credit cards available to Canadian readers, including offers from Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines and Marriott Rewards, transferable programs like Amex Membership Rewards, and other flexible cash back programs. There’s no doubt that credit card sign-up bonuses are among the best ways to rack up loyalty points and […]

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Transferring Points and Awards to Maximize Family Travel

August 29, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at ways to make family travel planning easier by taking advantage of transfer options for various loyalty programs. One of the challenges of award travel for families is keeping track of all of the programs that you and your family members belong to, and figuring out how to use your points collectively to […]

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Amex Platinum vs. Visa Black Card vs. Citi Prestige: Who Wins?

August 26, 2014

Rewards credit cards come in a wide variety of flavors. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at the bonuses, benefits, and other aspects of three premium cards to see how they stack up against one another. With the economy slowly recovering, travel providers and financial institutions have stepped up their games to try to woo high spenders. We’ve seen this […]

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Comparing the Transferable Points Programs: Partners & More

August 20, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the prominent transferable points programs to help readers strategize when deciding where to bank their points and miles. Last month, Citi’s ThankYou Rewards became the fourth major transferable points program, joining Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR), American Express Membership Rewards (MR), and the Starwood Preferred […]

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Top 0% APR Credit Cards That Earn Points & Miles

August 19, 2014

Generally when I write about credit cards, it’s to tell readers about the sign-up bonuses and other benefits they offer that can help enable and enrich your travels. But there are other important factors to consider when getting a new card – most critically, the impact that opening an account has on your credit score, and how applying for and using a card fits […]

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Maximizing Stopovers and Open Jaws on Award Tickets

August 19, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers insights into two lucrative routing strategies that will help you get farther on your frequent flyer miles: the stopover, and the open jaw. Everyone loves a free flight (well, maybe not airlines). My guess is that if you’re reading this post, then like I do, you try to squeeze every bit […]

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