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Ultimate Rewards

Back to School Shopping Strategies for Points and Miles

August 12, 2014

With a new academic year nearly upon us, Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen discusses strategies for back to school shopping to help you save money and maximize points & miles earning for your expenses. It’s hard to believe, but back-to-school season has arrived again. For some, classes have already begun, while others have just a few days or […]

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Can I Convert Chase Ultimate Rewards to Starwood Points?

August 10, 2014

TPG reader Suzette sent me a message on Facebook asking: “Hey –  need your help, how can I convert my Chase Points to SPG Points?” I always get questions from people wanting to convert one type of frequent flyer mile, hotel point, or credit card point into another. Generally you don’t do that - once you […]

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Sapphire Preferred vs. Arrival Plus: Have the Tables Turned?

August 7, 2014

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Barclaycard Arrival Plus have topped my list of best credit cards for travel awards for some time now, with the edge going to Sapphire Preferred for its valuable transfer partners and the lucrative 7% annual dividend on point earned each year. However, with recent benefit changes to both cards (and the announcement of that 7% dividend […]

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Maximizing Avios through British Airways and Iberia

August 5, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains the differences and similarities between British Airways and Iberia Avios, and how the two programs can be used together to maximize award travel. Many points & miles enthusiasts have a love/hate relationship with British Airways, specifically due to their loyalty program “reboot” back in 2011 (which annihilated the value of the old […]

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Best Transfer Partners for Award Flights to Alaska

August 4, 2014

Alaska is a fantastic destination for sightseeing and outdoor recreation, but it’s a long flight from what Alaskans call “the lower 48,” and it’s truly vast. At twice the size of Texas, Alaska is by far our largest state.  It’s also an interesting award travel destination, since some airlines include Alaska as part of the continental United […]

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Can I Redeem on Any Airline With Sapphire and Arrival?

August 3, 2014

In our newbie question for today, TPG reader Jessica asks on Facebook: “can I book any airline with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Barclaycard Arrival?” The basic answer is yes. If you’re looking to book any airline, use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, because that card allows you to pay for the actual flight no matter what airline […]

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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

Update: This offer is targeted. The 10% redemption rebate is for those who have the Chase IHG Rewards Club credit card. 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 […]

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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

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offer here – CitiBusiness ThankYou Card 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 […]

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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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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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