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What Are Points and Miles Worth? July Monthly Valuations

July 22, 2014

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much is a point or mile worth?” That question varies from person to person and depends on how well you can maximize a particular currency for your needs. Still, some points are worth more than others. To give readers – both old and new – some context, I’ve included […]

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Strategies for Minimizing the TSA Fee Hike

July 14, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele looks at ways to mitigate the increased TSA security fees set to begin next week. As TPG reported recently, the TSA will soon be raising its fees, making airfare more expensive. The current fee is $2.50 per leg, with a cap of $5 per one-way trip or $10 per round trip. Beginning […]

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Ticketing Errors, Schedule Mix-ups, and Wrong Destinations

July 8, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at common ticketing errors, how to avoid them, and how to survive them if they happen to you. As a travel enthusiast and die-hard soccer fan (still smarting from last week’s dramatic US-Belgium result), I couldn’t help but cringe when I read about the Australian couple who thought they had booked […]

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Will Hyatt to Southwest Transfers Count Towards the Companion Pass?

July 6, 2014

TPG reader Kristen tweeted this week asking: “I’m trying to get the Southwest Companion Pass by transferring Hyatt points. Does the article you posted still work?“ I’ve said time and time again that the Companion Pass is an incredible benefit of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program since it lets a companion fly free with you for […]

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Win Trips To Las Vegas, Disney, India, Brazil & Nantucket

July 4, 2014

There are a few fun travel contests and sweepstakes going on around the web this week. Here are my top picks to win some great travel prizes! Win a Trip to India: You could win an eight day trip to India for signing up for SmarTours mailing list by July 8, 2014. The prize trip includes international […]

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Free Drinks for TrueBlue Mosaic Members This Summer

July 3, 2014

Elite status for Jet Blue has a new perk this summer: one free alcoholic beverage. TrueBlue Mosaic members are entitled to one complimentary cocktail, wine or beer on most JetBlue flights during July and August of 2014. In theory, all TrueBlue Mosaic members should have received an email with this new offer, but even if you […]

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Southwest Begins Operating International Flights Today

July 1, 2014

I used to fly Southwest a lot in college between Pittsburgh (where I went to school) and Philadelphia (home). It was pretty awesome – every 8 roundtrips gave me a free flight, which meant affordable visits to Las Vegas or wherever my alma mater (The University of Pittsburgh) was competing in a (admittedly lame) bowl game. […]

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Status Matcher Helps Travelers Attain and Keep Elite Status

June 30, 2014

Yesterday I answered a reader question about airline status matches and challenges, and I mentioned a website called Status Matcher, which provides a bounty of information about the status match and challenge policies of most airlines, hotels, and even auto rental companies (hat tip to TPG reader Ali who introduced me to the site!). I think this website […]

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Do I Have to Cancel a Card Before Applying a Second Time?

June 29, 2014

TPG Reader Christopher emailed me to ask: “if I apply for the same card multiple times (like you did with the Citi AA) do I have to cancel the existing card first?” The short answer is “maybe”. Some card issuers are more lenient than others and it even depends which specific product you’re trying to get. The Citi Executive AAdvantage […]

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Top Credit Card Offers And Deals Ending This Week

June 24, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express have expired. View the current offers here –personal, business. As June comes to a close and we swing into the summer months, many bonuses and promotions are also ending. Here is a round up of the current offers that will no longer be available after […]

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Can I Earn Multiple Signup Bonuses for Southwest Cards?

June 15, 2014

The Chase Southwest credit cards are among the most lucrative deals out there. If you know how to leverage them, the 50,000 Rapid Rewards points earned from each card (after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months) can get you about $800 worth of Wanna Get Away fares, and if you earn one of their prized Companion Passes (which […]

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A New Parents Guide To Traveling With Children

June 13, 2014

Traveling with young children can be both a blessing and, well, a less happy blessing. Family vacations call for more planning, stricter budgeting, and better organization than the average couple’s holiday. Despite the challenges, my wife and I have taken our two daughters on several lengthy international vacations, and countless domestic ones. Not only did we survive these trips, […]

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10 of the Best Credit Cards for Travel- June 2014 Edition

June 9, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express have expired. View the current offers here –personal, business. Update: The offer mentioned below for the Chase Freedom Visa has expired. View the current offer here.  Getting in on the most lucrative credit cards is key to maximizing your miles and points. With the continuously shifting nature of the […]

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus vs. Southwest Premier Visa

June 8, 2014

It’s been a busy couple of months in the credit card world, with sign-up bonuses increasing across the board. Amidst all this excitement, TPG reader Ignacio tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Between two credit cards – Arrival Plus World Elite (4o,ooo-point sign-up bonus, $89 annual fee waived in the first year) OR Southwest Premier Rapid Rewards […]

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Maximizing Choice Hotels Privileges For European Travel

June 2, 2014

Let’s face it, the Choice Hotel brands don’t have the best reputation here in the United States. In fact, two of them made TripAdvisor’s list of the America’s Dirtiest Hotels. But as is often the case, American budget hotel chains can offer some pretty nice properties overseas, and even a few luxury hotels here at […]

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Southwest Airlines Premier Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred?

June 1, 2014

Update:  As of July 20, 2014, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card no longer offers the 7% annual points dividend. View the current sign up offer here. This past week, TPG Reader James tweeted me with the following question: “@thepointsguy Can you help me decide between the Southwest Airlines Premier card and Chase Sapphire Preferred? I usually fly domestic on Southwest, […]

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Coordinating Credit Card Strategies for Couples

May 30, 2014

Equitability in relationships is crucial, including financial decisions like which credit cards to apply for, who does the applying, and who reaps the benefits. I asked resident TPG family man Jason Steele to share his strategies for maintaining balance and harmony in a credit sharing couple. Couples need twice as many points and miles to travel together, […]

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Southwest Merger: AirTran’s Final Flight & End of A+ Rewards

May 27, 2014

It’s official: AirTran is finally coming to an end after what must be one of the longest mergers in airline history. The carrier will operate its final flight as AirTran on December 28, retracing its original Atlanta-Tampa route from October 1993 when it was called ValuJet (it purchased AirTran and took the name in 1997). Southwest […]

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Family Travel Tips for the Southwest Companion Pass

May 23, 2014

As families grow, trips together get more expensive. With summer vacations approaching, I asked father and TPG contributor Jason Steele to write about how he uses the Southwest Companion Pass to keep costs down on his family travel. The United States may be the hardest place to find multiple award seats at the lowest mileage levels. That ‘s why families often turn […]

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Win 100k Starpoints, 300k LifeMiles, European Cruise & More

May 21, 2014

There are a few fun travel contests and sweepstakes going on around the web this week. Here are some of my top picks to win great travel prizes! Win Up to 100,000 Starpoints for your Vacation Action Photos: Send Starwood your best vacation action shot and win Starpoints. Participants must first register on the Action […]

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Daily Getaway May 21: Choice Privilege Points

May 21, 2014

American Express and the US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) have partnered to offer discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs during the next month, including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts and more. These deals are called the Daily Getaways. Each day we’ll hash out the details […]

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Increased Signup Bonuses for Dining Rewards Programs

May 20, 2014

Dining rewards programs are an easy way to double dip on earning miles and points. You can use a points or miles earning credit card to front the bill, and link that card to your airline or hotel dining program of choice in order to earn even more points per dollar for dining out. Delta was the […]

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Southwest Announces New Washington Dulles and Dallas Love Field Routes Plus Mexico City and Punta Cana

May 19, 2014

Southwest has been making a lot of expansion announcements lately including seven new routes from Washingon Reagan DCA, new service from Dallas Love Field once the Wright Amendment expires in October, and new routes to various Caribbean destinations including Aruba, Montego Bay and Nassau. Today, Southwest extended its schedule through January 4, 2015, and it […]

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Daily Getaway May 19: Wyndham Points

May 19, 2014

American Express and the US Travel Association (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting US travel) have partnered to offer discounts and deals with various travel brands and loyalty programs during the next month, including hotel packages, points/miles purchase promos, rental car discounts and more. These deals are called Daily Getaways. Each day we’ll hash out the details […]

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