Can I Stack Elite Status and Credit Card Baggage Benefits?

TPG reader Ken sent me a message on Facebook to ask about checked bags: “Can I combine the benefits of my AAdvantage Gold status and my AAdvantage Platinum Select card to get two free checked bags?” There are plenty of ways to avoid fees for checked baggage. Many co-branded airline credit cards offer a free checked bag for the cardholder…

Should I Redeem Citi ThankYou Points for Hotels on Expedia?

TPG reader Chad emailed me to ask about a new Citi ThankYou Rewards partnership: “Is there a way to maximize the value of ThankYou points by booking hotels with Expedia, or are there better options?” Citi’s partnership with Expedia extends back nearly a decade. For most of that time, the partnership has been defined by various co-branded credit cards, but it expanded…

Do I Have to Pay Taxes on Cash Back Rewards?

TPG reader Tina sent me a message on Facebook to ask about taxes: “Are cash back rewards that get deposited directly into a bank account taxable?” Credit card rewards can be incredibly lucrative; not only do the points and miles you earn from everyday spending offer a solid return, but also the top sign-up bonuses can easily be worth over $600…

Is Amex Platinum or Delta Reserve Better for Delta Flyers?

TPG reader Jimmy sent me a message on Facebook to ask about two premium credit cards: “I travel nearly every week, mostly on Delta. Which card offers better value in those circumstances: Amex Platinum or Delta Reserve?” Using the right credit card is an easy way to maximize the points and miles you earn on spending, but there are other factors to…

Should I Take a Mattress Run to Complete a Status Challenge?

TPG reader Hunter sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning Marriott elite status: “I’m currently two stays away from completing the Marriott Platinum challenge. I normally spend about 50 nights each year with Marriott, but I don’t have any plans to travel before my challenge period ends. I found a local hotel where I can…

Can I Earn Miles When I Get Rebooked on Another Carrier?

TPG reader Allisa sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning miles: “My family booked a trip to Hawaii on United, but at check-in we were rebooked on Delta. That worked out fine since our original flight was delayed, but we didn’t earn any miles or elite credits for the Delta leg. Should I be able to get credit for that flight?” Delays, cancellations…

Does Alliance Elite Status Give Me Status with Each Airline?

TPG reader Creighton sent me a message on Facebook to ask about airline elite benefits: “I have Cathay Pacific Silver status, which earns me Oneworld Ruby status. Since AAdvantage Gold also corresponds to Oneworld Ruby, can I use my Cathay Pacific status to get AAdvantage Gold?” Airline alliances can help you maximize travel by giving you access to rewards across a…

Which United Club Lounges Are Most Worth a Visit?

TPG reader Kai sent me a message on Facebook to ask about United Airlines lounges: “I have a United Club pass that expires at the end of the year. The ones I’ve been to at EWR and JFK were not particularly impressive. Which ones are your favorites? I’m not expecting Centurion Lounge features, but I’d like…

Does the Amex Platinum Companion Fare Offer a Good Deal?

TPG reader Eric sent me a message on Facebook to ask about Amex Platinum benefits: “I’m curious about the first/business class companion fare on Amex Platinum. I haven’t heard much about it; can you expound on whether this is worthwhile?” There have been a lot of questions in the past few weeks about the Platinum Card from American…

Is Elite Status Worth Being Loyal to a Single Airline?

TPG reader Josh sent me a message on Facebook to ask about being a frequent flyer: “I love to travel abroad and always try to fly United, but other airlines seem like better options for a few big trips I’m planning. I also haven’t been able to accrue as many United miles as I would like…