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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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Status Matcher Helps Travelers Attain and Keep Elite Status

June 30, 2014

Yesterday I answered a reader question about airline status matches and challenges, and I mentioned a website called Status Matcher, which provides a bounty of information about the status match and challenge policies of most airlines, hotels, and even auto rental companies (hat tip to TPG reader Ali who introduced me to the site!). I think this website […]

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How Do You Complete An Airline Status Match Or Challenge?

June 29, 2014

This past week, TPG reader Jordan tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Do you have any advice on how I should complete an airline status match or challenge?” If your goal is to earn airline elite status as fast as possible, it’s important to have a status match and/or challenge strategy. When you start to gain elite […]

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Top Credit Card Offers And Deals Ending This Week

June 24, 2014

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: The Miles & More Premier World MasterCard, US Airways Premier World MasterCard, Starwood Preferred Guest Personal and Business Cards As June comes to a close and we swing into the summer months, many bonuses and promotions are also ending. Here is a round […]

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Best Starwood Transfer Partners for Flights to Israel

June 23, 2014

Israel is a popular destination for American tourists as well as VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) travelers. It’s also a fairly complicated award trip to book, as the award charts of different airlines place Israel in different regions. Since the most valuable points are those earned in flexible transfer programs, we thought it would be […]

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Have Devaluations Made Credit Card Points More Valuable?

June 22, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express have expired. View the current offers here –personal, business. Both 2013 and 2014 have seen a trend in loyalty program devaluations. Hilton kicked off the devaluation parade in early 2013, followed by Delta and United over the past several months. Even Southwest devalued their Rapid Rewards program […]

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2X United Miles EWR-VIE, 25% Transfer Bonus to Avios & More

June 21, 2014

Here’s a recap of the top points and miles news from this week: Reminder: US Airways Share Bonus Back with New Terms: US Airways has again launched a 100% Share Miles Bonus through June 30, 2014; however, the terms are slightly different this time around. Normally, the Dividend Miles member who received the miles would get the 100% bonus, but now the bonus […]

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What Are Points and Miles Worth? June Monthly Valuations

June 20, 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 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 […]

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What Are The Best Ways To Maximize Expiring United Miles?

June 15, 2014

I was recently tweeted a great “newbie question of the week” by TPG reader @Mommalogues: “@thepointsguy My 18,000+ United MileagePlus miles will expire on July 31st. Can I trade them for American AAdvantage miles?” The answer to your question is yes, you can trade your expiring MileagePlus miles for American AAdvantage miles through points/miles exchange and clearing house points.com … but at a […]

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The Winners and Losers of United’s New Revenue Program

June 13, 2014

This week United dropped the bombshell that their MileagePlus frequent flyer program would be moving to  a revenue-based earning model starting in 2015. Long story short, moving forward you’ll earn miles based not on how far you fly, but on how much you spend. At a high level, those who spend a ton on their tickets […]

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Standby Rules and Strategies for International Flights

June 11, 2014

What can you do if you need to take an earlier flight to get to your destination on time? Can you switch from an international connecting flight to a non-stop to your destination? Standby rules are pretty clear for domestic flights, but can get murky when traveling internationally. Read on to learn more about the policies of major […]

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United Moves to Revenue Frequent Flyer Program for 2015

June 10, 2014

Airlines are big copycats when it comes to negative changes and it looks like United and their un-creative folks in the MileagePlus program are proving that once again. Today United confirmed that starting in March 2015, like Delta, they will be moving to a revenue-based frequent flyer program in 2015. Simply put, they’ll stop awarding […]

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If I Status Match to United Will I Lose My AA Status?

June 8, 2014

This past week, TPG reader Ben sent me a message via Twitter: “‪@thepointsguy if I do a status match (from AA to UA), does that mean I lose my status on the airline I’m currently with?” Airlines are very competitive these days, especially when it comes to getting top tier elite fliers. If you ever want to switch […]

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