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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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United and Hawaiian Launch New Self Service Baggage Options

August 26, 2014

I’m not normally one to check bags. I much prefer a carry on to save time at check-in, eliminate the risk of the airline losing it and avoid extra fees. However, sometimes it’s just not possible to fit everything into your carry on. With this in mind, United and Hawaiian Airlines both recently announced new self-service baggage check options, including […]

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Best Travel Credit Card Offers for August 2014

August 20, 2014

Sign-up bonuses for travel credit cards are always changing, and as part of your strategy for maximizing points and miles earning, it pays to stay informed so you don’t miss the best deals out there.  To help you weigh your options, I like to provide an updated monthly list of the top travel credit card offers. Below you’ll […]

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Paying College Tuition on a Credit Card: Fees vs. Rewards

August 20, 2014

I always advocate using rewards credit cards to help you fulfill your award travel aspirations. As one of the foremost expenses for many Americans, college tuition can be a great opportunity to earn points and miles, but the fees involved with using a credit card can make it a losing proposition.  Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen explains when paying college tuition with a credit card […]

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Maximizing Stopovers and Open Jaws on Award Tickets

August 19, 2014

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen offers insights into two lucrative routing strategies that will help you get farther on your frequent flyer miles: the stopover, and the open jaw. Everyone loves a free flight (well, maybe not airlines). My guess is that if you’re reading this post, then like I do, you try to squeeze every bit […]

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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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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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United Explorer 50,000 Mile Bonus With $50 Statement Credit

August 4, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Chase United Explorer Visa is no longer available. View the current offer here. Last Friday, Chase relaunched a limited-time public offer for the United Explorer card, though I realized after I wrote about it that there is actually an even better public offer with an increased sign-up bonus of […]

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Should I Purchase Airline Accelerator Miles?

August 3, 2014

TPG reader Vishal tweeted this week asking: “@thepointsguy is it worth purchasing airline accelerator miles? United offered me 3,000 miles for $63. Are such offers worth it?” I generally don’t recommend buying frequent flyer miles unless there’s a valuable promotion going on. At regular prices, you’re looking at spending 3-4 cents per mile or point, […]

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50,000 Mile United Explorer Offer Plus 5,000 Additional Miles

August 1, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Chase United Explorer Visa is no longer available. View the current offer here. Chase has relaunched the United Explorer card with an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles (after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months from account opening) plus an additional 5,000 when you add an authorized user […]

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Count Change Fees as MQDs/PQDs – the Weekly Wish

July 31, 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: count change fees towards elite qualification on United and Delta. It sure seems like 2014 has been the year of the “$” in the frequent flyer world. Delta started the […]

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FAA Suspends US Flights to Tel Aviv – Options for Travelers

July 23, 2014

After a combat missile launched from Gaza landed approximately one mile from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) early Tuesday, the FAA grounded all U.S. flights to Tel Aviv for 24 hours (through 12:15 pm Wednesday EDT), by which time they will further advise. In the meantime, the European Air Safety Agency has issued a strong recommendation that European […]

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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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Avianca Lifemiles Program Changes & Share Miles Last Day

July 21, 2014

Sometimes I hate getting emails from airlines. While some contain information on bonus promos, others are like the one that Lifemiles, the mileage program of Star Alliance carrier Avianca, sent out to members yesterday announcing sweeping changes to its award chart. Here’s what the email said: “To maintain a reasonable relation between the miles we […]

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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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Do You Earn 2x Points for Buying Miles from United?

July 20, 2014

I often purchase airline miles, especially when they’re offered at a good rate during a promotion. I never purchase them from the airline kiosk, because those rates can be up to $0.05 per mile, which is highway robbery. Usually when airlines do run specials, they’re processed through a third party called Points.com. The purchase isn’t billed […]

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Free Wi-Fi in Business and First Class – the Weekly Wish

July 17, 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. There’s no doubt that we live in a connected world. With smartphones, tablets, laptops, and all the other ways we communicate, access, and share information, it’s oftentimes hard to […]

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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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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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Flying a Round the World Award Using US Airways Miles

July 7, 2014

TPG special contributor Eric Rosen recently used his US Airways miles to book a round-trip business class award…that instead let him fly round the world. Here’s how he did it. The sweet spots in US Airways’ award chart combined with its lax routing rules make it possible to fly around the world for the same […]

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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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50% SPG Transfer Bonus, 10k AAdvantage Dining Miles & More

July 5, 2014

Here’s a recap of the top points and miles news from this week: Hilton HHonors 2X/3X Miles For China Eastern: Hilton HHonors is offering 2X or 3X miles for China Eastern frequent flyer stays until September 30, 2014. You can earn triple miles for stays at 44 participating Greater China hotels and double miles everywhere else. In […]

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Chase Sapphire Preferred First Friday + Dining Program Bonus

July 4, 2014

For those of you who are opting out of the 4th of July BBQ, a reminder that this is the first Friday of the month, which means you can earn 3x points on dining purchases with the Chase Sapphire or Sapphire Preferred cards. And thanks to the annual 7% points dividend on the Sapphire Preferred, earning 3x points really means earning 3.21x points per […]

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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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