Should I Pay to Transfer Points or Miles to My Account?

TPG reader Krupa sent me a message on Facebook to ask about transferring points: “I have A-list and Companion Pass status with Southwest. Meanwhile, my husband (who is my listed companion) has accumulated about 20,000 points in his Rapid Rewards account. It would cost around $200 to transfer them to me. Is that worthwhile?” Most airline and hotel loyalty programs…

Will the AAdvantage Program Waive Revenue Requirements?

TPG reader Alex sent me a message on Facebook to ask about AAdvantage elite status: “If my address is not in the US, do I still need to meet American’s EQD requirements to earn status in 2017?” After holding its ground for several years, American Airlines recently announced that it will follow Delta and United by adding a revenue component…

Does the Amex Platinum Airline Credit Cover Lounge Access?

TPG reader Louis sent me a message on Facebook to ask about getting into the Admiral’s Club: “Can I use the airline fee credit on my Amex Platinum card to get into the American Airlines lounge in Chicago?” There are a number of travel rewards cards that offer credits for airline incidentals. These can help you cover expenses like checked bag…

Should I Fly Business Class to Europe or on the Way Back?

TPG reader Ali emailed me to ask about transatlantic flights: “I’m planning to fly from Miami to Madrid with my wife and three young children. I have enough miles to fly business class in one direction; would you recommend we do that on the way to Europe or on the way back?” I try to fly in business…

Can I Lock in an Award While I Wait for Points to Transfer?

TPG reader Ahmed sent me a message on Facebook to ask about transferring points: “I’ll be transferring Amex points to Etihad Guest to book an award on American Airlines. I confirmed the availability, but how can I make sure it will still be there once the transfer goes through? I don’t want my points to be stuck with…

Should I Try to Match Status with Every Airline and Hotel?

TPG reader Michael sent me a message on Facebook to ask about status challenges: “I have Platinum status with American Airlines and Gold status with SPG. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t try to match status with all the other carriers and hotel groups? I figure I might as well get benefits from every hotel and airline; Delta won’t know if I try…

When Can I Use the Citi Prestige $250 Air Travel Credit?

TPG reader Abhinav sent me a message on Facebook to ask about a credit card benefit: “Is the Citi Prestige airline credit available immediately after I get the card, or do I have to wait an entire calendar year before I use it? Also, does it ever expire?” Some travel rewards cards offer benefits that don’t kick in until the…

Should I Upgrade to First Class on a Transcon Flight?

TPG reader Lucas sent me a message on Facebook to ask about upgrades: “Is it worth paying 15,000 AAdvantage miles and a $175 copay to move from business to first on American’s A321T transcontinental service? Alternately, I could pay a $515 fare difference.” Domestic first-class service can be pretty lackluster, especially in comparison to the impressive premium cabins available internationally. However, there are…

Should I Apply for a Card if I Can’t Earn the Sign-Up Bonus?

TPG reader Nick sent me a message on Facebook to ask about getting a new credit card: “I’d like to sign up for Chase Sapphire Preferred, but I know I won’t be spending $4,000 in 3 months. Does it make sense to get the card even without the sign-up bonus?” Travel rewards credit cards offer a lot…

Which Flights Count Toward a Status Challenge?

TPG reader Jason emailed me to ask about the AAdvantage status challenge: “If I initiate a status challenge with American Airlines, do existing reservations count, or can I only count flights booked after the challenge begins?” Status challenges are a great shortcut to earning elite benefits with both airlines and hotels. By completing a specified amount of travel during the challenge…