How Important Is Maintaining My Credit Utilization Ratio?

TPG reader Richard sent me a message on Facebook to ask about managing his credit score: “My travel has decreased significantly, and I’m thinking about canceling several hotel-branded cards with annual fees. Should I replace them with other cards that have no annual fee in order to maintain a low debt-to-credit ratio?” Your debt-to-credit ratio (also known as your…

Can I Apply TSA PreCheck to Flights I’ve Already Booked?

Update: A representative from American Airlines emailed us with some clarification regarding this issue: “If you book via a travel agency, you will also want to ensure they have the correct KTN and DOB. For example, how American is setup: if your travel agency submits a KTN, but it is wrong, the AAdvantage profile won’t…

Should I Keep Both the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige?

TPG reader Will sent me a message on Facebook to ask about premium rewards cards: “I’ve had the Amex Platinum card for four years now, but I recently got the Citi Prestige. What are your thoughts on keeping them both or downgrading to the Premier Rewards Gold card? I have Delta Diamond Medallion status, so the Sky Club…

Why Does Booking a Second Award Raise the Price per Ticket?

TPG reader Stacey emailed me to ask about booking flight awards: I was trying to book an award using Aeroplan miles at the Market Fare rate; I got one price for a single seat, but when I tried to buy two seats (for the same flights), the price per ticket jumped by almost 35%. Why wouldn’t two tickets just cost twice as…

How Can I Get a Credit Card Bonus for Referring a Friend?

TPG reader Jenna sent me a message on Facebook to ask about referral bonuses: “I thought all credit cards offered a bonus for getting a friend to apply (with approval), but Citi told me there’s no benefit to current clients for referring someone to the AAdvantage Platinum Select card. Does that sound right? It seems crazy to not get rewarded…

How Should I Pursue a Missing Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus?

TPG reader Marc sent me a message on Facebook to ask about missing rewards: “My wife and I both got Citi AAdvantage cards. I received my sign-up bonus, but hers didn’t come through, so we’re wondering if something isn’t syncing correctly. What should we do?” Credit card sign-up bonuses are a great way to boost your loyalty accounts, since you…

Can I Earn Hyatt Status at M Life Properties in Las Vegas?

TPG reader Victor sent me a message on Facebook to ask about a shortcut to earning Hyatt status: “I read that Hyatt Diamond status translates to M Life Platinum status, but does this work the other way around? I’ll likely reach M Life Platinum on my next visit to Las Vegas, and I’m planning a honeymoon at the Andaz in Costa Rica, so it…

Can I Transfer Hotel Points to My Spouse’s Airline Account?

TPG reader Lee sent me a message on Facebook to ask about transferring points: “I know I can transfer some hotel points to Southwest for the Companion Pass. Do the names on the accounts have to match, or could I transfer from my hotel account to my spouse’s Rapid Rewards account?” Transferring points between hotel and airline…

How Should I Start When Planning a Big Trip with Rewards?

TPG reader Elliot sent me an email to ask about planning award travel: “I have rewards from Amex, Chase, SPG and American Airlines; now I’m planning a honeymoon with my wife (maybe to Southeast Asia or South Africa), but I have no clue where to start! What’s your advice?” There seem to be two prevailing approaches to award travel. Some people…

When Does My Free Checked Bag Benefit Become Active?

TPG reader Robin sent me a message on Facebook to ask about credit card benefits: “I was approved for a Citi AAdvantage card, and flew on American Airlines 10 days later. I was disappointed to find that my free checked bag benefit wasn’t active, and I was charged $25 each way. Citi said the account had…