Should I Buy Airline Mileage Multipliers During Check-In?

TPG reader Robert sent me a message on Facebook to ask about buying miles: “I fly every week for work, mostly with Delta or American. Both airlines offer mileage multipliers whenever I check in for a flight; are those a good deal or just a sucker punch?” Airlines like to portray frequent flyer programs as a way to give back to loyal…

Which Premium Card is Better for Authorized User Benefits?

TPG reader John sent me a message on Facebook to ask about credit card benefits: “Which is better for authorized user benefits: Amex Platinum or Citi Prestige?” One common feature of premium travel rewards credit cards is that they offer benefits not only to the primary cardholder, but also to authorized users. Since the cost to add users is…

Should I Rebook AAdvantage Awards When the Price Drops?

TPG reader Dwayne sent me a message on Facebook to ask about changing award tickets: “If I book an American Airlines award at the standard level and then saver availability opens up, should I rebook at the lower price?” Most airlines charge a fee for changing award tickets, which can become especially costly when traveling with family or in…

How Do Charge Cards Affect My Credit Score?

TPG reader John emailed me to ask about credit scores: “How do charge cards like Amex Platinum affect my debt-to-credit ratio? I know the limit doesn’t show up on my credit report, but what about the balance?” Your debt-to-credit ratio (also known as your utilization ratio) represents the balance on your credit accounts in relation to your total credit line (for each…

Should I Earn Airline Miles or Transferable Points?

TPG reader Bill sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning points: “Would it be better to get a United card and earn miles, or get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and transfer those points to United?” Deciding which credit card to use is an important step in maximizing your return on everyday spending. A lot of cards offer…

Can I Upgrade a Ticket Booked with Credit Card Points?

TPG reader Jeff emailed me to ask about upgrading flights booked through a third party: “If I book a flight through Citi ThankYou Rewards, can I then use my airline miles to upgrade my ticket?” One nice aspect of credit card loyalty programs (including Citi) is that you can use points to book flights and still earn rewards in the…

When Can I Earn a Second Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus?

TPG reader Cindy sent me a message on Facebook to ask about credit card bonuses: “I earned a sign-up bonus from the Marriott Visa in September of 2014. Chase says I need to wait 24 months before I can earn another one. Do I need to wait that long before I open a new card, or just make sure 24…

Can I Earn Airline Miles from Someone Else’s Ticket?

TPG reader Tyler emailed me to ask about earning airline miles: “My wife and I each have our own frequent flyer accounts, and we each earn miles when we pay for flights. It would be easier if we could accumulate the miles in one account, since we’d build up a larger balance more quickly. Is there a way to get credit for both…

Should I Ever Use a Card that Earns One Point Per Dollar?

TPG reader Graham sent me a message on Facebook to ask about mile and point valuations: “I use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus since it earns two points per dollar on everything. Is there any reason to use another card (like Chase Sapphire Preferred) if I’m only earning one point per dollar? Isn’t it better to earn double the…

Are Airline Flight + Hotel Vacation Packages a Good Deal?

TPG reader Everett sent me an email to ask about flight and hotel packages: “A lot of airlines offer vacation packages online; are these good buys, and do they earn rewards like normal?” Even though I book a lot of my travel with points and miles, I’m always interested in paid airfare when a particularly sweet deal pops up. Vacation packages offered by airlines and online travel agencies…