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Sunday Reader Questions

Should I Drop the Admirals Club for the Centurion Lounge?

November 9, 2014

TPG reader Adam tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy– “Is it worth keeping my Admirals Club membership, or should I drop it for the new Centurion Lounges?” I generally don’t think it’s worth paying for lounge access. Spending $500 for a membership alone doesn’t make sense when you could get that same Admirals Club membership through either the Citi […]

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What Should I Do with My Amex Points if I Cancel My Card?

November 9, 2014

TPG reader Dror sent me a message on Facebook to ask: “I have 170,000 Membership Rewards points through my Amex card spending. I’m planning to close my credit card, but I don’t want to lose those points. What are my options?” Dror, your best option is to simply downgrade your card to the American Express Everyday card, […]

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How Can I Get a Better Airplane Seat at the Last Minute?

November 9, 2014

TPG reader Albertina tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy– “Is there a way to get a better seat last minute? I got stuck in the back in a middle row from Buenos Aires to Miami! Ugh!”  Getting a bad seat on a long flight is no fun. Airlines typically block off a lot of window or […]

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Can I Get Sapphire Preferred Right After Other Applications?

November 2, 2014

TPG reader Amanda sent me a message on Facebook to ask: “I’m interested in building a great credit score along with earning cash back or travel rewards. I have the Chase Freedom and Barclaycard Arrival Plus (with the 40,000 mile sign-up bonus), and I’m considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred, since dining out is a big chunk of my budget. […]

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Should I Go for Delta Diamond Medallion or Stay Platinum?

November 2, 2014

TPG reader Ryan tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy– “I will be very close to Diamond Medallion elite status this year on Delta. Is it worth aiming for Diamond Medallion, or should I keep Platinum Medallion and roll over the extra miles?” The end of the year is time to start thinking about your airline elite status. You have […]

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Which Card Is Best for Hotel Elite Status Through Spending?

November 2, 2014

TPG reader Chris sent me a message on Facebook asking: “My wife and I both have jobs with minimal travel (less than 10 days a year), but have considerable personal credit card spending, and we’d like to know which is the best hotel branded credit card that offers elite status through spending but doesn’t require […]

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Will Hotels or Airlines Extend Elite Status If I Fall Short?

November 2, 2014

TPG reader Angie emailed me to ask: “In 2013 I hit Platinum status in both Delta and Starwood. However, I was pregnant and hardly going to be traveling in 2014. I called Delta to ask if I could suspend my status until 2015; they said that wasn’t possible, but that they might be able to extend it. […]

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Will Citi Executive AAdvantage Offer 100,000 Miles Again?

October 26, 2014

TPG reader Chris tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy– “Do you think that American Airlines and Citi will offer the 100,000 miles sign-up bonus again for the Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card?” 2014 has been a great year for credit card sign-up bonuses across the board, and a lot of the issuers are really upping their […]

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What Are The Best Sites To Book Hotel Rooms?

October 26, 2014

TPG reader Denise tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy– “When booking a hotel stay, is it  better to go directly through SPG, or should I book on a third party website like Orbitz or Expedia? Will I earn elite benefits if I book through a third party site?” Just like with airfare, there are plenty of options […]

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Which Delta Diamond Medallion Choice Benefits Are Best?

October 26, 2014

TPG reader Issac emailed me to ask: “I will be achieving Delta Diamond Medallion status again before the end of the year, and was wondering which are the best Choice Benefits to choose? Last year the international upgrades worked well, but do you have any better suggestions?” One of the unique things about Delta Platinum […]

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When Does Elite Status Reset and How Long Does It Last?

October 26, 2014

TPG reader Keith tweeted me to ask: @thepointsguy– “Can you clarify the reset dates for United Premier status? If I earn elite status this year, how long will it last?”  Tick tock, tick tock…hear that? That’s the elite status qualifying clock, and you have until December 31, 2014 to get your elite miles in. Keep in mind […]

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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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