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Should I Downgrade My Amex Platinum to the Everyday Card?

August 17, 2014

If you use Delta lounges or Priority Pass Select, or if you live or fly out of one of the cities has has a Centurion Lounge (New York, Dallas, Las Vegas or later this year, Miami and San Francisco), it makes the Amex Platinum card much more attractive. The $200 a year airline credit automatically […]

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Do I Earn 2x Points With Chase Ink for an Event at Marriott?

August 10, 2014

Running events at hotels (like weddings or corporate meetings) can be very lucrative for earning points. Not only do you get points that you normally earn on your credit card, but also you can earn bonuses from credit cards that offer extra points for hotel spending. There are also corporate meeting planner programs, which offer an additional bonus to meeting […]

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Do You Pick a Date Every 3 Months for Card Applications?

August 10, 2014

TPG Reader Michael sent in a question: “…if you do a new round of applications every three months or so, do you choose an exact day in January, April, July and October?” I’ve got 23 different active credit cards right now, and I know a lot of people who have many more than that. My personal […]

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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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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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Do I Earn a Bonus on Starpoints Purchased With an SPG Card?

August 3, 2014

Starpoints are among the most valuable points out there, with 32 airline transfer partners, a ton of hotel partners, and more. That’s why I use my Starwood Preferred Guest Card From American Express for any purchase that isn’t going to earn a bonus on any other card, even if I’m only earning 1 Starpoint per dollar spent. As an […]

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Can I Link a Corporate Card to My Amex Membership Rewards?

August 3, 2014

TPG reader Johnny tweeted this week: “@thepointsguy I’ve heard I can pay a fee to link my corporate amex to my personal MR account. Got any info or a link you can share?” There’s nothing better than getting miles and points when your company pays for them. When I worked at Morgan Stanley, I was […]

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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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Should I Pay a Fee to Meet Credit Card Spend Requirement?

July 27, 2014

‪TPG reader Carla tweeted this week: “@thepointsguy do you think it makes sense to pay my expensive NYC rent on a credit card to meet min CC spend if there’s a $50 fee to do so?” In an ideal world we would be able to pay any bill with a credit card with no fee […]

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What’s The Best Way To Find AA Awards For Use On US Airways?

July 20, 2014

This week, TPG reader Monica sent me a Facebook message with a great question: “I’ve read several of your articles about US Airways miles eventually transferring to AA miles. Is that option getting closer? We have US Airways miles that we want to use, but the flights we can afford are on AA. When I called US […]

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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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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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Which Credit Card is Best for Large Business Expenditures?

July 13, 2014

TPG reader Mark sent me a question on Facebook: “I’m a business owner and charge between $100,000-$200,000 per month. I’ve been using the Citi AAdvantage & Executive Mastercard, but they don’t have high enough limits. Any suggestions?” As a business owner, it’s awesome to be able to put all of your business expenses on a points earning credit […]

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Should I Use the Delta Amex to Get Silver Elite Status?

July 13, 2014

TPG reader Joe emailed me to ask: “My new husband and I have both the Platinum Delta Amex and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (both in my name with him as an authorized user). We currently don’t have status with any airline, but primarily fly Delta from Kansas City, and have been working towards our $50,000 spend […]

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Will Hyatt to Southwest Transfers Count Towards the Companion Pass?

July 6, 2014

TPG reader Kristen tweeted this week asking: “I’m trying to get the Southwest Companion Pass by transferring Hyatt points. Does the article you posted still work?“ I’ve said time and time again that the Companion Pass is an incredible benefit of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program since it lets a companion fly free with you for […]

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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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Can I Use British Airways Avios to Travel in North America?

July 6, 2014

This week’s “rookie” question (no offense–we all have to start somewhere with the points game) is from TPG Reader Suzy, who tweeted: “@thepointsguy Can you use British Airways Avios points to book airfare within North America?” Suzy is wondering if she can use her British Airways Avios to book airfare within North America. She lives in Vancouver […]

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Should I Aim for Delta Diamond Status Instead of Platinum?

July 6, 2014

This week TPG reader Lev tweeted: “@thepointsguy I’m at 80K Delta MQMs so far this year. Is reaching for Delta Diamond Elite Status vs. aiming for Delta Platinum Elite Status more worthwhile than before, given the planned 2015 changes? (I live by JFK airport.)” The general trend that I’ve seen with airline elite status is […]

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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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Can You Transfer Chase Freedom Points to Marriott?

June 29, 2014

This week TPG reader Carli tweeted: “@thepointsguy is there any way to transfer chase freedom points to Marriott Rewards without having a chase premium card?” Unfortunately the answer to Carli’s question is no. In order to transfer points earned from the Chase Freedom Visa, you need to also have a premium Chase card like the Sapphired Preferred, Ink Bold […]

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If I Ditch the Last Leg of My Ticket Will I Earn Miles?

June 29, 2014

This week TPG reader Alan tweeted: “@thepointsguy if I don’t fly the last leg of my ticket will I still earn QM for the ones I did?” Ditching the last leg of an itinerary is known as “throw away ticketing” where you may book a cheap ticket to a destination, but at the end of […]

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Should Spouses Be Loyal to the Same or Different Airlines?

June 22, 2014

This week TPG reader Nate asked a question via Twitter: @thepointsguy–” My wife and I both travel for work. Should we be loyal to the same airline or different airlines?” Coordinating your travel and credit card strategies with your spouse or family can take a lot of effort, but can pay off if you do it […]

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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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