Points Guy Pointers

Using Miles for a Last Minute Family Emergency

December 9, 2013

Although I normally dedicate space on the site to talking about how to maximize miles by earning them and redeeming for high-value trips and premium travel, one of the ways miles are most valuable is for last-minute emergencies when airfares can skyrocket and be a huge blow to your wallet and your morale when you’re […]

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Have Any Tips For Avoiding Jet Lag?

December 8, 2013

TPG reader Jason tweeted me with a question about a problem that plagues many long-distance travelers – jet lag: “@thepointsguy With your constant int’l trips and multiple time zone changes, how do you reduce the effects of jet lag?” If you’ve never experienced it before, jet lag can be brutal because it’s not just about […]

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Allied Visa & Passport Now Offering A Free Visa Service To China, Kenya And Tanzania, Now Through January 10, 2014

December 4, 2013

Keeping with the season of giving, Allied Passport & Visa are waiving their fees on visas to China, Tanzania and Kenya now through January 10, 2014 – just in time to plan your big trips in the new year. Normally TPG readers receive a $5 discount from Allied on any order but pay Allied’s service […]

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What You Can Do If Weather Disrupts Your Thanksgiving Travel Plans

November 27, 2013

With a massive Noreaster bearing down on the East Coast, Atlanta being slammed with storms, dozens of other airports affected during the busiest travel weekend of the year and 43 million Americans expected to fly, I know that many folks’ travel plans are being affected over Thanksgiving so I wanted to put together a few […]

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Do You Need A Valid Passport At The Time Of An Award Booking Or Just By The Travel Day?

November 3, 2013

TPG reader Jake asked: “Do you need a valid passport at the time of an award booking or just at the travel day?” To put it simply, you don’t need a passport at the time of an award booking, however you do need it by the time you travel and I would strongly advise that […]

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What To Do If The Tragic LAX Shootings Disrupt Your Travel Plans

November 1, 2013

If you’re anywhere near a TV, radio or computer, you’ll have seen that the major news story of the day was that a gunman attached Terminal 3 at LAX and killed a TSA agent and wounded seven others before being shot himself (details are still coming in, so the numbers may change as the story […]

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Using to Combine Miles and Points: A Good Deal?

October 28, 2013

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here. is a points exchange and clearing house that allows members to trade one kind of points and miles for another and to track your balances and see certain promo offers. You can also redeem your points […]

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T-Mobile Introduces Unlimited Global Roaming – Data and Text and Flat Rate International Calling

October 11, 2013

One of the biggest worries about international travel these days is how to stay in touch and get the data and calling features you need on your Smartphone without racking up hundreds or even thousands of dollars extra on your monthly phone bill. It is possible with some carriers to unlock your phone and get […]

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How To Get A Second Passport

September 24, 2013

If you’re like me and constantly traveling, one of the issues you might run into is that your passport gets filled up pretty quickly – especially if you travel to countries that require visas that take up an entire page. Although it will be valid for a few more years, my passport is pretty much […]

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Saving Money By Using Miles in an Emergency: A Rundown of Last Minute Airline Award Booking Fees

September 11, 2013

I flew to South Africa last week to visit some friends on a quick trip that I had decided to go on last-minute when they invited me and I was able to find a roundtrip economy ticket on KLM from New York to Cape Town via Amsterdam for $1,540. I was having a fantastic time […]

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I Survived and Thrived in Coach!

September 5, 2013

Well, after 18 hours of flight time and a 3-hour layover, I finally made it from New York to Cape Town on Wednesday, and I had an overall solid experience flying in KLM Economy Comfort. For those of you expecting a whiny, complaining post, you may want to skip this one When I originally posted […]

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How Am I Going To Survive 21 Hours In Coach?

September 3, 2013

Some people call me a diva because I rarely fly anything but first or business class – but that’s one of the most beautiful perks about what I do. I invest my time, money and expertise racking up the points, miles and elite status to travel where I want, the way I want. Keep in […]

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How Do I Follow The Site And How Do I Contact The Points Guy With Questions?

August 18, 2013

Multiple TPG readers have asked: “How do I get in touch with the Points Guy to ask questions about miles and points, and how do I follow the site via e-mail or a feed?” I have been asked countless times by readers how to follow the site via e-mail or a feed, or how to […]

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Avoiding ATM Withdrawal Fees When Traveling Abroad

July 30, 2013

Although using ATM’s when traveling abroad is generally a smart strategy for getting the best exchange rates for your dollars, many ATM transactions come with fees that cancel out any savings you might expect. Luckily, as TPG contributor Nick Ewen illustrates, there are some ways to avoid these fees, including knowing which foreign banks your […]

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Just Say No To Dynamic Currency Conversion

July 22, 2013

If you’ve traveled abroad lately and used a credit card (or even if you’ve just charged something from a company outside the US on PayPal) you’ve probably noticed the increasing prevalence of something called “dynamic currency conversion.” Basically, instead of just charging the amount in Euros or pounds or whatever currency the purchase is in, […]

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What the Crash of Asiana Flight 214 Can Teach Us

July 8, 2013

While the cause of the Asiana Boeing 777 crash-landing in San Francisco that left two passengers dead is yet to be determined, the accident has reminded me to brush up on safety procedures. Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about since hearing about the crash (via Twitter): 1. Pay attention to the […]

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Celebrating The 4th Of July With Travel Independence

July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July everyone! In celebration of our country’s Independence Day, while you are all hopefully at the beach, BBQing or enjoying time with friends, I wanted to share my thoughts on how travel symbolizes independence to me. Knowing I can go almost anywhere in the world – all at an affordable price – […]

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Top 10 Airline Errors That Can Ruin Your Trip and How to Avoid Them

June 25, 2013

Travel is inherently stressful and can be complicated. While consumers can make a lot of different mistakes, airline and other travel employees are humans too, and they royally mess up your travel plans. To help you avoid some common pitfalls and perils, TPG contributor Jason Steele breaks down some of the most common airline mistakes […]

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How to Minimize Costs When Using Your Phone Internationally and Top Apps for Communicating Abroad

June 17, 2013

TPG contributor Debbie Emery did some research on the top ways to use your phone to communicate while traveling international, so read up before you get stuck with a huge bill after your summer trip abroad! A mammoth cell phone bill after an international trip can wipe out any savings you might have gotten by […]

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Travel Tuesday Top 10: Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Award Trip – And How To Avoid Them

June 11, 2013

We at TPG are a knowledgeable bunch of award travelers, but as TPG contributor Jason Steele relates, everyone makes mistakes – and some of them can keep your trip from getting off the ground. Here are some of the top mistakes that award (and revenue) travelers can make as well as his tips on how […]

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Getting Around The Global Entry Appointment Backlog

June 6, 2013

Lately I’ve been covering Global Entry a lot since it’s such a great travel program that speeds you through customs and immigration as well as giving you a Trusted Traveler ID number that will qualify you for TSA PreCheck. Plus, if you have the Amex Platinum, Mercedex-Benz Platinum or Business Platinum (or Centurion) cards, the […]

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Maximize Monday: Airport WiFi

June 3, 2013

Summer is here, which means that more of us will be traveling. A lot more. Approximately 209 million Americans will be flying this summer between June and August according to estimates by trade group Airlines for America, and of those, 27 million will be traveling internationally. With all that action, keeping in touch and staying […]

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ExpertFlyer To The Rescue: Save Time and Miles With Flight Alerts

April 24, 2013

I’ve been using ExpertFlyer for years, whether its searching for award availability, routing options or fare information, it’s got a lot of functionality. However, the one tool that I can’t sing enough praises about is the flight alert feature which allows you to set alerts for award tickets so as soon as the airline releases […]

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Sequestration Air Traffic Control Cuts Go Into Effect – Tips On Avoiding Huge Air Travel Delays

April 22, 2013

Well, today’s the day that Congress’s sequestration cuts finally go into effect for the FAA and air traffic controllers have to start taking one furlough day per 10 work days. The FAA and major news outlets are all predicting huge delays – up to 6,700 flights per day – but is all this going to […]

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