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Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred First Friday – 3x Points on Dining

August 1, 2014

The First Friday of the month is here, which means you can earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on dining purchases with the Chase Sapphire or Sapphire Preferred cards. No registration is necessary, Chase will award the bonus points automatically for any qualifying purchases made by 11:59 pm in whatever time zone you happen to find yourself. While Chase has announced plans to get rid of the […]

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Announces More Benefit Changes

July 31, 2014

Chase recently announced upcoming changes to benefits for the Sapphire Preferred card, including the demise of the  7% annual points dividend and the addition of primary auto rental insurance. Chase has now released a complete list of the upcoming changes, and while they aren’t as newsworthy as last week’s changes, they aren’t great. Changes to Ultimate Rewards Portal Earning Chase will […]

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IHG Rewards PointBreaks List For July 28-September 30

July 28, 2014

IHG Rewards, the points program of chains including Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo and more, has released its latest list of PointBreaks hotels for July 28 – September 30 and they are now bookable. Simply search for eligible properties and 5,000 point award nights will show if they are still available. Book quickly because […]

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How Do I Use Points And Miles from a Rewards Credit Card?

July 27, 2014

I received our “super-newbie question of the week” from TPG reader Jessica, via Facebook: “I’m interested in getting a credit card for miles and points, but I’m not sure which one to choose. My main question is, how do you use the miles and points? Do they automatically come off your account when you pay, or do you […]

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Flight Review: Singapore Economy Class HKG-SIN

July 26, 2014

On his recent round-the-world trip, TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen made a quick stop in Bali. To get there from Hong Kong, he flew Singapore Airlines economy via Singapore. Here’s his review of the experience. Until my recent trip around the world, the last time I flew Singapore Airlines was back in 1992 when I […]

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IHG Rewards Club 60% Buy Points Bonus

July 26, 2014

IHG Rewards (formerly Priority Club) is offering a 60% bonus for purchasing 10,000 or more points through August 18, 2014. IHG offers bonuses for points purchases every so often, ranging from 25% to 100%, so this offer is about average compared to past promotions. Points can be purchased in increments of 1,000 at the following rates: […]

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70,000 Point Signup Bonus for Chase Ink Plus

July 24, 2014

Chase is currently offering a signup bonus of  70,000 Ultimate Rewards points for the Ink Plus card when you apply in a Chase branch. That’s 20,000 points more than the current standard 50,000 point offer, however, the $95 annual fee is not waived. I value Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2.1 cents each because they have strong […]

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Citi ThankYou Rewards: Earning, Redeeming, and More

July 23, 2014

Citi ThankYou Rewards doesn’t get as much attention here as its competitors (Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest). However, with the recent announcement that Citi will add eight new transfer partners to the program, I thought it was time to revisit and share with readers what I think are its strengths and shortcomings. Earning […]

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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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Flight Review: Cathay Pacific Economy BKK-HKG

July 22, 2014

During his recent round-the-world trip, TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen took a few regional flights within Asia. Here’s how he scored a good-value award on Cathay Pacific, and his review of the service in economy from Bangkok to Hong Kong. One of the loose ends in my big itinerary traveling around the world was how to […]

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Best Transfer Partners For Flights To Hawaii

July 21, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Jason Steele looks at the best points and miles transfer options from Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest for travel to Hawaii. When it comes to redeeming miles for vacation, for many people, Hawaii is the dream destination. Perhaps that’s why Hawaii is also one of the hardest award tickets to […]

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Online Travel Agency Loyalty Programs – the Basics

July 17, 2014

Lately, there have been quite a few changes in the world of online travel agencies (OTAs), including the launch of Expedia + Rewards, a new credit card from Orbitz, and the end of Chase Ultimate Rewards’ online shopping portal bonuses at a number of sites like Travelocity and Priceline. With all that in mind, I thought […]

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Hotels.com and Sapphire Preferred UR Portal = Power Combo

July 15, 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. In my opinion, hotel loyalty programs have lost some luster over the past couple of years, with promotions getting weaker and most programs devaluing- sometimes significantly (ah, hem Hilton). […]

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What Are the Fees to Transfer Points to Airline Partners?

July 13, 2014

My favorite kind of points are those that you can transfer to numerous different programs. The three key transferable-points programs that I bank to are Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. I love educating fellow travelers about these programs, so I was glad when TPG reader Therese messaged me on Facebook this week […]

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What’s the Best Way to Redeem Ultimate Rewards for Travel?

July 13, 2014

This past week, TPG reader Hareesh tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Is it better to redeem Ultimate Rewards directly through the Chase portal, or should you transfer points to a partner and then redeem?” When you redeem Ultimate Rewards (earned from Chase credit cards like the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold Ink Plus, Chase Freedom, and Sapphire) through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, your points […]

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Expedia Launches Expedia+ Rewards

July 10, 2014

Expedia has had a rewards program for a few years now, where members can earn up to 2 points per dollar on flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages. These points can then be redeemed for travel with no blackout dates, or can be used to bid on special redemption offers. This week Expedia announced that they […]

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Best Mileage Transfer Partners For Awards To Japan

July 7, 2014

TPG contributor Jason Steele writes today about how to maximize your award redemptions to get to one of our favorite Asian countries- Japan.  Japan is a popular tourist destination, and award travel there can be a great use of frequent flier miles. Flights to Japan from North America travel much farther than most flights to Europe, […]

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Which Credit Cards Are Best for Free Hotel Stays in Europe?

July 6, 2014

I love Europe (I was in London last weekend, and I’m actually filming this week’s reader questions in beautiful Madrid, Spain), and I thought it was topical that TPG reader Anthony tweeted me to ask: “What are your thoughts on the best credit cards for free hotel stays in Europe?” Hotels can be expensive in […]

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Maximizing Hyatt Gold Passport for Family Travel

July 2, 2014

TPG Contributor Jason Steele continues his series on family travel options in major hotel loyalty programs. Up this week: Hyatt Gold Passport. Previously, we looked at family friendly hotel options within the Starwood brands, and readers commented that they wanted to compare that perspective to other brands. For starters, we’ll look at the Hyatt Gold Passport program […]

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Best Chase and Amex Transfer Partners for Travel to Israel

June 30, 2014

Recently, we took an exhaustive look at the best Starwood Ultimate Rewards airline mileage transfer partners for award trips to Israel. Today I want to look at the best options for using American Express Membership Rewards points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points. American Express Membership Rewards This program offers a number of airline transfer partners […]

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Top Credit Card Offers With No Annual Fee

June 23, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Chase Freedom Visa has expired. View the current offer here.  So far 2014 has been a great year for new credit cards and increased sign up bonuses. Most notably, American Express came out with the first Membership Rewards earning card with no annual fee, the Amex Everyday. While […]

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What Are Points and Miles Worth? June Monthly Valuations

June 20, 2014

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “how much is a point or mile worth?” That question varies per person and how well they can maximize a particular currency for their needs, but still there are some points worth more than others. To give readers – both old and new – some context, […]

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Getting The Most Rewards For Your Minimum Spend

June 16, 2014

TPG contributor Jason Steele comes back this week to analyze minimum spend. Perhaps we are living in the golden age of credit card rewards, where banks are eager to offer us so many valuable points and miles just for giving them a chance to earn our business. Nevertheless, most of these offers require a significant […]

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What is the Value of Ultimate Rewards Points vs. SPG Points?

June 15, 2014

This week TPG reader Stephen asked a question via Twitter: “@ThePointsGuy how much do you value Ultimate Rewards Points vs Starwood points? I know you value Starwood at about 2.5 cents” In this day and age of airline programs and hotel programs constantly moving the needle, changing how many points or miles you need for an […]

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