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Southwest Airlines Announces New Service to Costa Rica

September 12, 2014

Earlier this year I visited the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica and fell in love with the “pura vida” lifestyle. Traveling there, I flew into Liberia Airport, though newly minted international airline Southwest just announced that they have plans to serve the countries’ other main airport, San Jose. Southwest Airlines is planning to launch new service to San Jose, Costa Rica next […]

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No Foreign Transaction Fee on Premium Cards: The Weekly Wish

September 11, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at how some of the best travel credit cards shoot themselves in the foot by charging foreign transaction fees, and explains why it’s in everyone’s best interest to do away with those international charges. I’m sure that like me, the vast majority of TPG readers travel at least occasionally outside of the country. […]

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Southwest Airlines Rebrands With New Look and Livery

September 8, 2014

TPG Content and Community Manager Ryan Gaines takes us through the new Southwest Airlines look. See what Southwest has in store with their rebranding.  With the merger of Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways well underway, Southwest was going to have to repaint all the existing Boeing 737s from AirTran with their livery anyway, so they […]

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Flexible Airline Travel Vouchers – the Weekly Wish

September 4, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen continues his series The Weekly Wish, looking at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Today’s wish: more flexible airline travel vouchers. I’m sure many of you have experience with airline travel vouchers. Sometimes they appear as gift cards, while others may be earned via status (like Delta’s […]

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Last Minute Travel: Finding Award Availability & More

September 1, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers insights into booking last minute flights, including tips for finding late award availability and minimizing costs when cash tickets are your only option. Travelers who book their flights far in advance generally enjoy the least expensive airline tickets and the most award availability. Nevertheless, there are many reasons why people […]

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Should I Get Amex Gold Premier or Southwest Rapid Rewards?

August 31, 2014

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express TPG reader Noah tweeted me to ask:  @thepointsguy “Which card should I get? The American Express Gold Premier Rewards credit card with the 50k bonus or Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier credit card with the […]

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Win Trips to Nassau, Scotland, Japan, a River Cruise & More

August 15, 2014

Here are some fun travel contests and sweepstakes from around the Web this week – and here’s hoping you win a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go! Win a Diving Trip in Nassau’s Paradise Island: Sponsored by Southwest and the Discovery Channel to promote Shark Week, the “Dare to Dive” sweepstakes is giving away a trip […]

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Airline Credit Cards That Offer Elite Status and Benefits

August 13, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Delta Gold and Platinum cards are no longer available. View the current offers here: Gold Delta SkyMiles Personal, Gold Delta SkyMiles Business, Platinum Delta SkyMiles. While many airline co-branded credit cards simply offer award-redeemable miles that have no bearing on elite status, there are several out there that do offer elite airline status, benefits, […]

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DOT Considers Cell Phone Ban, Orbitz Dining Rewards & More

August 9, 2014

Here’s a rundown of points, miles and travel industry news you may have missed this week: Department of Transportation Considers Ban on In-Flight Cell Calls: In response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s December 2013 proposal to overturn technical rules barring in-flight cellphone use (as well as a general public outcry about the potential annoyance of other passengers gabbing away for hours […]

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Win Trips to South Africa, Peru, the Cote d’Azur & More

August 8, 2014

Here are a few of this week’s most fun online travel-related contests and sweepstakes: My Destination Story from Fairmont & GoPro: Create and submit a unique video of one of your favorite places, and you could be one of 42 winners of a trip for two to a Fairmont Hotels & Resorts property, plus a GoPro camera and a $500 Visa gift […]

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Southwest Premier Personal Card 50K Offer Still Live

August 5, 2014

Last week, TPG Special Contributor Jason Steele was on a Southwest flight from New York to Denver, and while rifling through the carrier’s inflight magazine, Spirit, he noticed an advert with a URL for a 50,000-point sign-up bonus offer on the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier personal card. Via free inflight Wi-Fi, he was able to access the valid link […]

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Airlines Sue the TSA, Hilton Guests Can Choose Rooms & More

August 2, 2014

Here’s a recap of points, miles and travel industry news from the past week: Airlines Suing the TSA Over Security Fee Uncapping: This past Wednesday, July 30, 2014, two airline lobbying groups - Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association – sued the TSA over one key detail of the administration’s recent security fee hike. With Congress’ […]

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What Are Points and Miles Worth? July Monthly Valuations

July 22, 2014

You can view all posts in the Monthly Valuation Series here. 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 […]

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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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