How Do I Choose the Best Routing to Maximize Elite Miles?

TPG reader Andrew emailed me to ask about routing: “I have the Gold Delta Amex Card, and I’ll be traveling from Los Angeles to London soon. It will likely be one of two big trips I take this year, and I want to maximize the trip in terms of MQMs/MQDs. Would you recommend flying through Detroit, Minneapolis or Atlanta?” With…

Will I Earn Miles If I Don’t Complete My Full Itinerary?

TPG reader Bert emailed me to ask about earning airline miles: “If I book a round-trip flight and don’t use the return, will I still be credited for the outbound portion? What if I book a flight with a layover and simply end my trip at that point?” It seems counterintuitive, but you can sometimes save money by purchasing more airfare than…

Should I Earn Cash Back Rewards or Transferable Points?

TPG reader Janelle emailed me to ask about choosing between different travel rewards: “I just got a Capital One Venture card and earned a sign-up bonus, but now I’m wondering if the Sapphire Preferred or another card is better. My husband and I mainly travel to Las Vegas (on Hawaiian Airlines) with the occasional staycation at a hotel near…

Should I Redeem Airline Miles for Hotel Rooms?

TPG reader Matt sent me a message on Facebook to ask about redeeming airline miles: “Do airline miles offer good value for booking hotels? Specifically, should I redeem 200,000 United miles for four nights in a 4-5 star hotel in Napa?” Frequent flyer programs offer a wide variety of ways to redeem miles. Aside from flight and upgrade awards, you can use miles to…

When Should I Avoid Being Listed as an Authorized User?

TPG reader Frankie sent me a message on Facebook to ask about improving his credit score: “I recently realized that my credit score has dropped because of one of my parents’ credit cards. I was added as an authorized user long ago, and now they have a high balance on that account. Will removing myself as an authorized…

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…