What Time Should I Depart for Asia to Avoid Jet Lag?

TPG reader Brandon sent me a message on Facebook to ask about jet lag: “My wife and I are flying from San Francisco to Hong Kong this fall. What’s easier on the body: arriving in the morning or evening?” There are entire books on the subject of how to avoid jet lag, and you can find all kinds…

Can I Earn Points for Hotel Stays If Someone Else Checks in?

TPG reader Jeff sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning hotel points: “On an upcoming trip, my wife will arrive at our hotel 10 hours before me. Can I still make the reservation and earn points for our stay with Marriott?” Award travel is a great multi-player game, and a lot of opportunities open…

Does the Chase Amazon.com Rewards Card Offer Good Value?

TPG reader Matt sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning rewards for Amazon purchases: “What do you think of the Amazon branded Visa from Chase. I know I can use the points for cash back and travel; is that a good option?” There are a lot of cash-back credit cards out there, offering a variety of…

Will I Earn AAdvantage Miles Based on Distance or Price?

TPG reader Ben emailed me to ask about earning AAdvantage miles: “I know American Airlines is changing how miles are earned in the second half of 2016, but if I purchase a ticket now for a flight in October, will I earn miles based on the current system (flight distance) or the new system (ticket price)?” Last fall, American Airlines…

Do Refunds Count Against Spending Toward a Sign-up Bonus?

TPG reader Lance sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning a credit card sign-up bonus: “If I’m trying to meet the spending requirement for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, will refunds count against my total? The terms and conditions don’t mention refunded purchases in the list of non-qualifying transactions.” The top credit card sign-up bonuses can…

Can I Use Award Booking Services for Help Redeeming Miles?

TPG reader Karen sent me an email to ask about award booking services: I read your post about not using brokers, but what do you think about paying someone to help me figure out how to use my own points? I’ve learned a lot about award travel, but I’m still a newbie, and I think it’s…

Can I Get Full JetBlue Mosaic Benefits with the New Cards?

TPG reader Brian sent me a message on Facebook to ask about JetBlue Mosaic benefits: “I saw that spending $50,000 or more on the new JetBlue Plus or Business cards gets you Mosaic status for one year. Does that include the 15,000 bonus JetBlue points normally offered to Mosaic members?” Earlier this year, Barclaycard introduced three new co-branded JetBlue…

How Does Star Alliance Gold Differ from United Premier Gold?

TPG reader Doug sent me a message on Facebook to ask about Star Alliance elite status: “Does United distinguish between Star Alliance Gold and Million Miler lifetime Premier Gold?” Airline alliances offer a lot of opportunities to award travelers, including more ways to earn and redeem miles, and the chance to earn elite benefits across multiple carriers. However,…

Does Amex Platinum Still Offer Starwood Gold Elite Status?

TPG reader Wissam sent me a message on Facebook to ask about Amex Platinum benefits: “I had SPG Gold status from my Amex Platinum card, but for some reason I was recently demoted back to Preferred Guest. Did that benefit disappear?” One valuable benefit of the Platinum Card and the Business Platinum Card from American Express is that…

Should I Earn Miles with Two Airlines in the Same Alliance?

TPG reader Sujay sent me a message on Facebook to ask about airline partnerships: “I tend to use United for domestic flights and Lufthansa for long-haul travel to Europe/Asia. Does it make sense to earn miles with different airlines in the same alliance?” As much as I preach the importance of diversifying your travel rewards, it’s also important not to spread yourself…