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Sunday Reader Questions

How Should I Use Chase Ultimate Rewards for Hotel Stays?

October 19, 2014

TPG reader Ali tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy–”I am looking to book a trip to the Caribbean in January and sitting on a lot of Chase points. Any recommendations on hotels?” Winter is coming, at least for those of us who live in colder climates like the Northeast. A nice getaway to the Caribbean may […]

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Which Delta Choice Benefit has the Most Value?

October 19, 2014

TPG reader Ryan sent me a message on Facebook to ask: “I will achieve Platinum status on Delta this year. Which is the best option of the choice benefits?” We’re more than halfway through October at this point, which means there’s not much time left before the end of the year. If you’re going for […]

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How Can I Use Amex Membership Rewards at Ritz Carlton?

October 19, 2014

TPG reader Scotty tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy–”What’s the best way to use rewards points earned from my American Express Platinum card toward staying at The Ritz-Carlton?” I love Amex points, but I almost never use them for hotel stays. Generally, the transfer partners aren’t that lucrative, and you get less than one cent per […]

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What Are The Best Sites To Purchase Airline Tickets?

October 19, 2014

TPG reader Victoria tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy–”Are there pros/cons to purchasing tickets directly from an airline versus an online travel agency like Expedia or Travelocity?” I spend a lot of money on airfare, whether it’s for me or for my employees, so it’s extremely important that I maximize every dollar. When deciding where to […]

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Which Credit Card Is Best for Groceries?

October 12, 2014

TPG reader Chris tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy- “In your opinion, what is the best credit card for making purchases at the grocery store?”  Credit card spending bonuses can be an easy way to rack up miles. These days, you can find cards that offer bonuses in a wide variety of spending categories, from office supplies […]

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Can I Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Sign-Up Bonus Twice?

October 12, 2014

TPG reader AnneMarie messaged me on Facebook to ask: “Are you allowed to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign up bonus more than once? Is there a certain time that you can wait between cards to get the bonus more than once?” The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has been one of my go-to travel cards […]

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How Does the Economy Affect the Value of Points and Miles?

October 12, 2014

TPG reader Eric tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy- “With all the major devaluations recently, I was wondering if there are often positive valuation changes when the economy weakens?” I’m generally a positive person, but I feel like lately I’ve been a Debbie Downer, writing constantly about devaluations, programs making negative changes to benefits, and becoming less […]

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Will a Lower Credit Limit Help Me Get Approved for Cards?

October 12, 2014

TPG reader Blake messaged me on Facebook to ask: “Do you ever recommend calling in to receive a lower credit limit than what is granted to you after an instant approval? Is it advantageous to keep limits lower to make room for more cards with the same bank?” I’ve got a huge amount of credit […]

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Sapphire Preferred or Arrival Plus for General Spending?

October 5, 2014

TPG reader Kenny emailed me to ask: “I have both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. I’ve already met the minimum spending requirements to get the bonuses. For all of my travel and dining, I use Sapphire Preferred on top of the Chase Freedom bonus categories. For all my other spending, where […]

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Can I Separate a Two-Night Hotel Stay to Earn Elite Credit?

October 5, 2014

TPG reader Junaid asked me on Facebook: “I recently signed up for the Marriott Rewards Premier credit card, and was curious about an upcoming two-night hotel stay. Can I book each of the two nights separately and get credit for two different stays with Marriott in order to earn elite status? Basically I’d reserve one […]

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If I Just Got a New Credit Card, Can I Apply for Another?

October 5, 2014

TPG reader Luis tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy- I just got approved for a credit card. When can I apply for another one?” I’ve said it time and time again, but credit card bonuses are probably the most lucrative and easiest way to bring in tons of points and miles. A 60 second application online (and meeting spending […]

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Can I Book Hotel Award Nights for Someone Else?

October 5, 2014

TPG reader Christopher emailed me to ask: “I want to book an award stay in Las Vegas for my brother-in-law using Hyatt Gold Passport points. Is this possible?  Can you book an award stay without actually being there in person?” The short answer here is yes-you can book an award stay for someone else, and […]

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Do I Have to Pay Taxes on Credit Card Bonuses?

September 28, 2014

TPG reader Rushabh tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy– Do banks report sign-up bonuses to the IRS? Do we have to pay taxes on sign-up bonuses from credit card offers?” Rushabh wants to know what his tax liability is for points and miles earned from a credit card, and is concerned he might have to forfeit some […]

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Do I Earn MQDs for Delta Tickets Booked on Ultimate Rewards?

September 28, 2014

TPG reader Philip tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy If you book Delta tickets through Chase Ultimate Rewards, will you get MQDs? I’ve started to NOT get MQDs on recent tickets I have purchased through Ultimate Rewards.” Credit card points can be especially valuable when redeemed directly for airfare, because you usually earn miles on the […]

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Should I Drop United if I Fly Mostly Long Haul?

September 28, 2014

TPG reader Alvin asked me on Facebook: “I’m an infrequent flyer with United and Star Alliance (two long haul domestic round-trips and a transpacific each year). Since United is shifting to a fare-based mileage plan, this negates my travel style. Should I cash out soon and put my miles on another Star Alliance carrier?” This […]

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Should I Switch From United Premier 1K for More Upgrades?

September 28, 2014

TPG Reader Kyle tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy I’m a United Premier 1K based in San Francisco (SFO). There are too many 1K members in San Francisco, meaning I miss too many upgrades. Does it make sense to switch airlines?” A lot of things are happening for elite flyers this year. First off, United and […]

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Which Credit Cards Are Best for Building Credit?

September 21, 2014

TPG reader Martine asked me on Facebook: “I just completed paying off my consolidated debt and am looking to build my credit, if possible with some type of rewards credit card. My credit score is 694 with Transunion, but 744 with Experian.  Do you have any recommendations?” Maintaining a high credit score is critical if […]

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Which Starwood Hotel Should I Stay at in Puerto Rico?

September 21, 2014

TPG reader Drew asked me on Facebook: “I’m going on a honeymoon in April, 2015, and I’m trying to use Starpoints and Delta SkyMiles to make it more affordable. Because of its proximity to Atlanta, I was thinking Puerto Rico might be a good option. Would you recommend staying at the St. Regis Bahia Beach […]

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What’s the Best Way to Get Airport Lounge Access?

September 21, 2014

TPG reader Gagan asked me on Facebook: “What is the best option to get airport lounge access throughout the U.S. and internationally? I’m not a member of any frequent flyer club and have no status. Will I have to buy a pass?” Lounge access is nice to have when traveling. Not only can you get […]

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Are Award Booking Services Worth the Price?

September 21, 2014

TPG reader Todd tweeted  me to ask: @thepointsguy -”Are award booking services worthwhile?  If so, do you have any recommendations?” The Points Guy website actually started out as an award booking service, so before I ever wrote my first blog post, I was helping people book awards. The website had a form for people to explain where […]

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How Can I Earn AAdvantage Platinum Status Besides Flying?

September 14, 2014

TPG Reader Tim tweeted me to ask: “‪@thepointsguy: Does American Airlines offer alternatives to obtain Executive Platinum status? If so, who do I call? I am currently an AAdvantage Platinum member.” We’re more than halfway through 2014, and I know that many elite travelers (myself included) are looking at their elite status qualification requirements, as we only […]

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Which Credit Card Is Best for Economy Awards to London?

September 14, 2014

TPG Reader Steven tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy: “I value free/low-cost economy flights to London Heathrow. On which credit card should I concentrate my spending? I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, and the Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard.” I usually use my miles and points to book business class flights or […]

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Which Credit Card Is Best for Miscellaneous Travel Expenses?

September 14, 2014

TPG reader Gisele emailed me to ask: “I’m organizing a trip to Italy in the spring and would like to know if there’s a good credit card for less obvious travel expenses, such as Eurorail passes, museum tickets, tour buses, etc. I also would like to use Airbnb instead of a hotel. Do you have […]

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Should I Call if I Don’t Get Instant Credit Card Approval?

September 14, 2014

TPG reader Brian asked me on Facebook: “If my online credit card application isn’t approved instantly, is there any benefit to calling the reconsideration line right away rather than waiting until I receive a yes or no decision? Would it be better to wait and then call if the decision is no?” Applying for credit cards […]

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