Can I Book AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards Both Ways?

TPG reader Kadri sent me a message on Facebook to ask about reduced mileage awards: “With regard to AAdvantage reduced mileage awards, does it matter whether an eligible city is your origin or destination? Also, how many tickets can I get at the lower rate? I’d like to book for my family of four.” American Airlines offers a wide variety…

Can I Stack Elite Credits from Ritz and Marriott Cards?

TPG reader Mike emailed me to ask about earning elite status from hotel credit cards: “Can I stack automatic Gold Elite status from the Ritz-Carlton card with the 15 elite nights from the Marriott Rewards card? I’m trying to earn Platinum status, and wanted to know if the two could be combined to give me a boost.”…

How Far in Advance Should I Book Award Flights?

TPG reader Steve emailed me to ask about finding award availability: “I would appreciate your thoughts on when to book award flights. I’ve heard booking 331 days out is a good strategy. Should I call in at midnight EST as soon as the schedule opens?” One common criticism of airline loyalty programs is that there’s not enough saver level award…

When Does My Hotel Elite Status Expire?

TPG reader Robert sent me a message on Facebook to ask about the calendar for hotel elite status: “Does Hiliton HHonors status carry over to the new year? I’m trying to figure out how long my status is valid.” Last week I answered a question about the elite status calendar for airlines, after which I got several…

How Do I Redeem Miles for Flights with Airline Partners?

TPG reader Paul emailed me to ask about booking awards with airline partners: “I’ve been booking award flights on Air Canada for years. However, I’ve seen your articles about using miles to book with other airlines. Does that mean I can bypass the Aeroplan site and use my miles to book travel directly with any Star Alliance partner?” The process…

Are Authorized Users Still Eligible to Earn Sign-Up Bonuses?

TPG reader Angela sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning credit card sign-up bonuses: “My fiancé applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card recently, and got an additional card for me as an authorized user. I later received a pre-approved offer for the same card, but it says current cardholders are ineligible for…

Can I Combine Hilton or Hyatt Free Night Certificates?

TPG reader Jared sent me a message on Facebook to ask about redeeming free hotel night certificates: “Are there any restrictions with using Hyatt or Hilton free nights consecutively? In other words, if my wife and I both earn two free nights, can we combine them for a four-night stay?” Hotel free night certificates are…

How Often Can I Match or Challenge for Airline Elite Status?

TPG reader AJ sent me a message on Facebook to ask about matching airline status: “I completed a status match about a year ago, but didn’t travel enough to maintain it. However, I’ll be traveling a ton in 2016 and would like to see if I could get another shot. Is there a limit to how often…

Do Hotel Points + Cash Awards Offer Good Value?

TPG reader Linda tweeted at me to ask about booking hotel awards with cash and points: “Is the IHG Points and Cash option worthwhile?” As an award travel enthusiast, I’m always happy when loyalty programs offer more ways to redeem my rewards, so I’m glad to see points and cash options becoming more widespread. Wyndham introduced its Go Fast rate earlier this…

Is Amex Platinum or Citi Prestige Better for Lounge Access?

TPG reader Matt emailed me to ask about airport lounge access: “What’s the difference between the Priority Pass benefit for Citi Prestige versus Amex Platinum?” There are plenty of credit cards that offer lounge access of some kind, but the number of lounges covered and the level of access granted vary widely between them. The Citi Prestige Card and the Platinum Card…