Can I Book Marriott Hotel + Air Packages Without Set Dates?

TPG reader Kenneth sent me a message on Facebook to ask about Marriott Hotel + Air packages: “I’m thinking of booking a Marriott Hotel + Air package to get the Southwest Companion Pass, but I don’t have any upcoming stays planned. Can I buy the package, get the Companion Pass, and then redeem the hotel portion later?”…

When Should I Pay Cash Rather Than Redeem Points?

TPG reader Irka emailed me to ask about striking a balance between earning and redeeming points: “I stay with Hilton when I travel for work, so I tend to stick with Hilton properties when I travel for pleasure. Is there a simple formula for deciding when to pay cash for my room and when to redeem points? How do I account for…

Can I Use the Citi Prestige 4th Night Free Twice in One Stay?

TPG reader Scott sent me a message on Facebook to ask about Citi Prestige benefits: “If I use the Citi Prestige card for a 10-night stay at a hotel, do I get both the fourth and eighth nights free?” Based on the emails and comments coming into TPG each day, there’s a lot of interest right now…

Should I Earn SPG and Marriott Points While I Still Can?

TPG reader Kavin emailed me to ask about strategizing for the Marriott-Starwood merger: “Should I sign up for both the Marriott Rewards Premier Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex before the two programs merge?” There’s been both a lot of excitement and anxiety over the future of SPG since Marriott announced plans to acquire Starwood back in November. Marriott CEO…

Does Chase Sapphire Trip Insurance Apply to Award Tickets?

TPG reader Zach sent me a message on Facebook to ask about trip insurance: “I recently used AAdvantage miles for a flight, and paid the taxes using my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Is the trip interruption/cancellation insurance through Chase still applicable, or does it only apply to paid fares?” Many rewards credit cards offer a variety of travel and consumer coverage to…

What Are the VIP Member Benefits of Airline Dining Programs?

TPG reader Kevin sent me a message on Facebook to ask about dining programs: “Dining programs list special benefits for VIP members, but don’t provide many details. Do you have examples of what extra perks one can expect?” Airline and hotel dining programs are an easy way to boost your rewards for dining purchases. Once you sign up and register your credit card, you’ll earn…

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…

How Can I Earn Rewards Quickly for Upcoming Travel Plans?

TPG reader Aaron sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning rewards for an upcoming trip: “My wife and I were planning a trip to Cancun in July, but we bumped it up to March since we just found out she’s pregnant! Can I sign up for a credit card and quickly earn enough miles to book…

Does the Citi Prestige Concierge Offer Good Hotel Rates?

TPG reader AJ sent me a message on Facebook to ask about booking hotels: “Does the Citi Prestige Concierge offer good rates on hotel rooms? How do prices compare to direct bookings?” Perhaps the most lucrative travel rewards credit card perk out there is the 4th Night Free benefit on the Citi Prestige Card. As the name implies, you can get a free…

Does Marriott Platinum Premier Status Offer Extra Benefits?

TPG reader Robert sent me a message on Facebook to ask about elite status: “I’ve had Marriott Platinum Elite status for a while, but after staying 175 nights last year, I was recently bumped up to Platinum Premier. However, no one at Marriott can tell me what this means! Can you explain?” The benefits of top-tier hotel elite status run…