Which Frequent Flyer Programs Charge Award Booking Fees?

TPG reader Max sent me a tweet to ask about booking airline awards: “Which frequent flyer programs charge fees when you book with miles?” Airlines aren’t shy about tacking on fees for just about everything from checking a bag to printing a boarding pass. Still, I find award booking fees to be particularly insidious, since they generally don’t reflect any service or value added…

Should I Transfer Points to Southwest for a Companion Pass?

TPG reader Tina sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning the Southwest Companion Pass: “Is it worthwhile to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to a hotel program and then to Southwest in order to earn the Companion Pass?” The Southwest Companion Pass is perhaps the most valuable travel benefit out there, so it’s no surprise that I get a…

What’s the Best Credit Card with No Annual Fee?

TPG reader Nick sent me a message on Facebook to ask about cards with no annual fee: “In your opinion, which is the best travel credit card without an annual fee? I never carry a balance.” In January, we wrote about the best no-fee credit cards for 2016, all of which offer good opportunities to earn rewards….

When Should I Start an Airline Status Match or Challenge?

TPG reader Russ sent me a message on Facebook to ask about matching elite status: “When is the best time to status match to another program? I have AAdvantage Executive Platinum status through February of 2017, and I’m wondering when I should match to Alaska Mileage Plan.” Status matches and challenges are a great shortcut to earning…

Is My Companion Ticket Valid If I Cancel My Credit Card?

TPG reader Steven sent me a message on Facebook to ask about companion fares: “Will I lose my Travel Together Ticket from British Airways if I cancel my card, or does it stay with my Avios account?” There are a number of rewards credit cards that offer airline companion tickets either as a standard benefit or as a reward for spending. Some…

Can I Use IHG Rewards to Book Award Stays at Kimpton Hotels?

TPG reader Matt sent me a message on Facebook to ask about redeeming IHG Rewards: “Can I use IHG points to book a stay with Kimpton Hotels?” When IHG acquired Kimpton in 2014, it was announced that the two brands and their loyalty programs would not be merged — at least, not yet. That plan was reinforced in June 2015,…

Can Credit Card Authorized Users Access Account Info Online?

TPG reader Eric sent me a message on Facebook to ask about account access for credit card authorized users: “Do authorized users get their own account login to view charges and set up payments? I’m specifically asking about the Chase Ritz-Carlton card.” There are several good reasons to add users to your credit card account. For starters, secondary cardholders can help you earn…

Do Foreign Transaction Fees Apply If I Book on a US Website?

TPG reader Ric sent me a tweet to ask about booking hotels internationally: “Will I get charged a foreign transaction fee for booking a room at the Hilton Dubai on Hilton’s US website?” Foreign transaction fees are a nuisance to international travelers. It’s pretty disappointing to come home from a trip abroad and find 3% tacked on to all…

Will I Earn Elite Credits When I Pay with Miles on Delta?

TPG reader Daniel sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning elite credits on Delta: “Will I earn elite credits when I use Pay with Miles to buy a Delta ticket?” Award flights generally don’t earn miles or elite credits, which is one reason why you may be better off paying cash for airfare when prices are…

Do Credit Card Points Stack with Loyalty Program Rewards?

TPG reader Scott sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning Marriott Rewards: “I recently got the Marriott Premier credit card. I realize I earn 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott locations, but do I also still earn 10 points per dollar through Marriott Rewards? Essentially, can I earn 15 points per dollar when I use the card to…