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TPG Contributors

Choosing a Rewards Credit Card: 5 Questions Before You Apply

October 7, 2014

In the time I’ve spent mastering the art of award travel, I’ve learned that there are many ways to get from A to B, but they’re far from equal. One airline or hotel might suit you where another won’t, and the same goes for rewards credit cards. Having a card that meets your particular needs is an important step toward traveling the […]

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Amex Membership Rewards Card Showdown – Which Card Wins?

October 2, 2014

Yesterday, American Express announced that, starting in 2015, the Premier Rewards Gold card would no longer offer a 15,000-point bonus for spending $30,000 or more in a calendar year. Many readers had questions about the change, so today TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen looks at the benefits of this card going forward, and compares it to two […]

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Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card: Should it be in Your Wallet?

October 2, 2014

Like its hotels, Ritz-Carlton’s co-branded credit card comes at a premium, but the travel and elite benefits offered by the Ritz-Carlton Rewards card can make it well worthwhile. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains how. Many of the most prominent hotel brands have their own “luxury” brands embedded within their portfolios, such as St. Regis or Park Hyatt. […]

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Instant Starwood Points Transfers: The Weekly Wish

October 2, 2014

In the world of award travel, there’s little more frustrating than hunting down the perfect itinerary and locking in on scarce award availability only to have your plans undone by a delay in transferring points from one program to another. Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen calls out one notoriously slow transferable points program, and explains why […]

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Train or Plane? U.S. Routes Where Amtrak Beats Flying

September 30, 2014

Unlike European trains, which are known for comfort and punctuality, Amtrak doesn’t have the same allure as air travel. Still, there are some domestic routes where the train competes (or even comes out ahead) in terms of time and cost. TPG Contributor Nick Ewen took a deeper look at these routes to see when the train is the better option. […]

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Hotel Review: W New York Times Square

September 29, 2014

The TPG team recently met in New York for strategy meetings and checked into a variety of hotels across the city. TPG International Correspondent Lori Zaino stayed at W New York Times Square. Here’s her review of the property. Stay tuned for more New York City hotel reviews from the rest of the team. Having once lived in New […]

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Family Award Travel Destinations and Availability for Summer

September 26, 2014

Booking award travel early has its merits, since you’re likely to see better availability and find the seats and routings you want. Summer is 9 months away, and while not everyone knows their schedule that far in advance, it’s not too early to start planning. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at some great international family destinations and award […]

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Truly Pet-Friendly Hotels: The Weekly Wish

September 25, 2014

Many of you know that I’m the proud parent of a sweet, styling, jet-setting little Blue French Bulldog named Miles. He travels with me whenever it’s feasible, and I love having him along. TPG Contributor Nick Ewen is also a dog owner, and like me, he’s encountered some inhospitable policies from hotels that advertise themselves as […]

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus or No-Fee Version: Which Card Wins?

September 24, 2014

There are a number of factors that go into choosing a travel rewards card. Since credit cards have a wide range of unique benefits, comparisons are often apples to oranges. However, some cards are similar enough that deciding between them boils down to just a few key points. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen compares the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite […]

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8 Travel Hacks to Save Time and Money

September 24, 2014

Obviously I love travel, but even under favorable conditions, there are times when getting from point A to point B feels harder than it should be. Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele shares some tips for making your trips smoother, less expensive, and more pleasant. Having just returned from my fifth trip in the last four weeks, […]

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Credit Card Benefits to Maximize Before 2015

September 23, 2014

As I’ve often said, one of the great tragedies for travelers is letting loyalty points and frequent flyer miles expire, and I think the same goes for unused credit card benefits. Today, TPG Contributor Nick Ewen will guide us through some of the best offers and benefits whose days are numbered, to help you make […]

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Banking Relationships that Earn Points and Improve Benefits

September 22, 2014

When it comes to earning travel rewards, many points and miles enthusiasts pay great attention to credit cards, and little or none at all to other methods. However, focusing on just one strategy can keep you from maximizing your earnings. So today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele discusses banking relationships that can help you boost your loyalty account balances, avoid […]

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Flight Review: United 767-300 BusinessFirst Transatlantic

September 20, 2014

TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen took advantage of some great summer business class airfares to Europe this spring to score a cheap ticket to Rome in August on United. Here’s his review of the airline’s flagship BusinessFirst cabin aboard a Boeing 767-300. Back in April, The Flight Deal found that United was offering some amazingly low […]

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Unaccompanied Minors: Tips to Help Kids Fly Solo Safely

September 19, 2014

Air travel is a bit like riding a bike; after you’ve done it for a while, it becomes second nature. However, the world of airport terminals and baggage claims can be pretty overwhelming to the uninitiated, especially kids traveling alone. So today, TPG Contributor Jason Steele offers guidelines for helping unaccompanied minors get from gate to gate worry free. […]

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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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