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TPG Contributors

Transferable Points from Bank of America: The Weekly Wish

September 18, 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: a transferable points program from Bank of America. 2014 has seen its fair share of improvements on the loyalty front. Sure, there have been devaluations (ahem, Delta and United, ahem), […]

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Is the Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard Worthwhile?

September 17, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen takes an in-depth look at the Amtrak Guest Rewards MasterCard, including its earning potential, redemption options, and unique features, to see whether it deserves a place in the pantheon of award travel credit cards. Most of the content at TPG involves tips for maximizing free travel with award flights and hotel rooms. However, there […]

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Non-Alliance Airline Partners: Knowing Is Half the Battle

September 17, 2014

Airline partners make award travel much easier, since they expand the network of carriers and routings available to you when redeeming your points and miles. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele walks us through some of the lesser known airline partnerships, and offers tips for how you can take advantage of them. The best features of the […]

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Using Merchant Category Codes to Maximize Bonuses

September 16, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains merchant category codes, and how understanding them can help you get the most out of category bonuses offered by your credit cards. TPG often preaches the importance of maximizing the points and miles you earn not only in your travels, but also from your day to day spending. If, for example, you spend […]

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How to Prepare for International Travel: Tips. Tricks & More

September 15, 2014

TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen spends about six months of the year on the road, much of that traveling abroad for weeks at a time. Over the years, he has come up with a handy checklist that makes traveling international easier and more efficient. Here are his tips. When it comes to travel, heading abroad […]

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Credit Card Companion Tickets: Ins, Outs & Current Offers

September 15, 2014

 I often travel solo, but I also like sharing the road (and the skies) with friends from time to time. Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses the companion pass benefits available with current credit card offers, and explains the features that set them apart from one another. The credit card industry learned long ago that there are few offers […]

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Travel Organization: Tracking Award Accounts & Travel Plans

September 12, 2014

With dozens of loyalty programs, credit cards, and itineraries in play at any given time, I need a system to keep track of all my points, miles, and travel plans. Today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers strategies for staying organized to help you keep your travel house in order. I’m old enough to remember using a travel […]

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Exploring the Ancient Angkor Wat Temples in Cambodia

September 11, 2014

Situated just outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia, Angkor Archaeological Park houses several temple remains that were once the grand Khmer Empire, dating back to the 12th century. TPG Foreign Correspondent Lori Zaino guides us through exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site. Wandering around completely alone in the deserted, ancient Preah Khan Khmer temple in the […]

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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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Top Canada Credit Cards: Aeroplan, Marriott Rewards & More

September 10, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen reviews some of the top credit cards available to Canadian readers, including offers from Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines and Marriott Rewards, transferable programs like Amex Membership Rewards, and other flexible cash back programs. There’s no doubt that credit card sign-up bonuses are among the best ways to rack up loyalty points and […]

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Discount Redemptions: How to Find Award Chart Sweet Spots

September 10, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at discounted airline awards among domestic and international carriers, and offers tips on how you can use your points and miles for award flights below the published redemption rate. Most frequent flier programs publish an award chart, while others have some sort of distance or revenue-based way of calculating how many points and […]

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Maximizing Sports Purchases: Tickets, Apparel, TV, and More

September 9, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen looks at ways to maximize purchases for sports fans. Fall is my favorite time of year, not just for the approaching cooler weather and the holidays it ushers in, but also because fall (in my humble opinion) is the absolute best time to be a sports fan. The college football season is less than two […]

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Maximizing TripAdvisor: How To Find Your Perfect Hotel

September 8, 2014

TPG Foreign Correspondent Lori Zaino stayed in nine different hotels and Airbnb rentals during her recent five-week trip to Southeast Asia. When I asked her which properties were the best and the worst, she said that all of them exceeded her expectations. I was surprised to hear that and asked how she managed to find […]

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World Elite vs. World MasterCard: Benefits and Value

September 8, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at the differences between two common but infrequently discussed types of MasterCard, and explains the benefits of each. If you’re a MasterCard account holder, you may have noticed the label WORLD or WORLD ELITE just above the two globes of the MasterCard logo. If so, you might have wondered what these terms mean, […]

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Traveling While Pregnant: Safety, Comfort, and Other Tips

September 5, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers advice for pregnant travelers, including medical concerns, logistical considerations and more for those who are traveling for two. For frequent travelers, nine months is a long time to stay at home. So its no wonder that many women (and their families) are interested in learning about traveling during pregnancy. Although my wife and I […]

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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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Maximizing Flying Blue: Earning, Redeeming, Transfers & More

September 3, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at opportunities for maximizing award redemptions in Flying Blue, which is now a transfer partner of three out of four of the major points programs. Here’s his take on finding the sweet spots in their award chart. Last week, Citi announced that Flying Blue, the frequent flyer program for […]

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Citi ThankYou Premier: Should This Be Your Next Card?

September 3, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen takes an in-depth look at the Citi ThankYou Premier, including its earning potential, redemption options, and how it stacks up against its main competitor, the Chase Sapphire Preferred. A few months ago, Citi announced changes to the ThankYou Rewards program, adding 8 airline transfer partners to go along with their existing hotel partner, […]

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Maximizing Computer Purchases: Points, Bonuses, & More

September 2, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers suggestions for how to get the most out return from a new computer purchase, including how to find the best price, maximize rewards, and protect your investment.  This week, students and teachers across their country are begrudgingly setting their alarms, sharpening pencils, and preparing for a new school year. With more and more […]

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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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Transferring Points and Awards to Maximize Family Travel

August 29, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at ways to make family travel planning easier by taking advantage of transfer options for various loyalty programs. One of the challenges of award travel for families is keeping track of all of the programs that you and your family members belong to, and figuring out how to use your points collectively to […]

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List Calories on Airline & Airport Menus: the Weekly Wish

August 28, 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: include calorie counts in airline and airport menus. Eating healthy on the road isn’t easy. Sometimes your only option is the drive-thru of a local fast food joint in between meetings, […]

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10 Unexpected Things I Learned On My First Trip to Southeast Asia

August 27, 2014

Foreign correspondent Lori Zaino just returned from an incredible five week trip through Southeast Asia. Here, she recounts the most surprising encounters from her journey, packed with travel tips you can use. Fully vaccinated and backpack in tow, I embarked on my first journey through Southeast Asia for five weeks. In Thailand I visited Bangkok, Koh Samui and […]

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Travel Refunds: How to Save Money After Your Trip

August 27, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses the importance of getting what you paid for (and not paying for what you didn’t get), and offers some strategies for collecting refunds on travel and service that comes up short.  Award travel enthusiasts pride themselves on planning vacations with points and miles and very small cash outlays. Unfortunately, the cost of award travel in […]

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