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Best Card For Starwood Stays: SPG Amex or Amex Platinum?

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. This past week, TPG reader JG tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy I’m going on a two-week trip and staying at Starwood hotels. Is it more worthwhile to use my SPG Amex or the Amex Platinum, which  just offered me […]

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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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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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What’s The Best Credit Card for a Trip to the World Cup?

June 8, 2014

Things are heating up in the Southern Hemisphere as the World Cup gets ready to kick off in Brazil; TPG reader Justin emailed me with a question about his upcoming trip to Rio: “I’m soon off to Brazil for the World Cup, and I’m thinking of getting a new card specifically for the trip. I currently only […]

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus vs. Southwest Premier Visa

June 8, 2014

It’s been a busy couple of months in the credit card world, with sign-up bonuses increasing across the board. Amidst all this excitement, TPG reader Ignacio tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Between two credit cards – Arrival Plus World Elite (4o,ooo-point sign-up bonus, $89 annual fee waived in the first year) OR Southwest Premier Rapid Rewards […]

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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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Does Chase Sapphire Preferred Get a 10% Exclusives Bonus?

June 8, 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. The Chase Freedom card is tied into a program called Exclusives, which gives a 10% bonus on all points earned throughout a year (including the 5X bonus points) to customers who […]

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Barclaycard Arrival vs. Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex

June 1, 2014

This past week, TPG reader Manu sent me a message via Facebook: “What is the advantage of the Barclaycard Arrival over the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card, which also gets 2% cash back on all purchases, but (unlike the Barclaycard) has no annual fee?” When it comes to cash back, the Fidelity American Express (which earns 2% across the board and has […]

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Southwest Airlines Premier Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred?

June 1, 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. This past week, TPG Reader James tweeted me with the following question: “@thepointsguy Can you help me decide between the Southwest Airlines Premier card and Chase Sapphire Preferred? I usually fly domestic on Southwest, […]

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Should You Get Amex Platinum for Its 100,000 Point Bonus?

June 1, 2014

This week, I again received one of the questions I’m asked most frequently, via a tweet from TPG reader Stephen: “@thepointsguy Do you recommend the American Express Platinum (or its business version), with its 100,000-point sign-up bonus?” In short, the answer is absolutely. Even if you don’t know how to really maximize Amex points, those 100,000 points are worth at least $1,000 […]

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Should You Get US Airways AND American Cards Before the Merger?

May 25, 2014

Earlier this week, TPG Reader Chris tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Is it worthwhile to get separate US Airways and American Airlines cards for individual signup bonuses before merging into a single oneworld account?” Though their merger has been underway since last December, and though flyers on both American and US Airways can earn/redeem miles on both […]

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Where Should You Bank Miles When Flying Royal Air Maroc?

May 25, 2014

Recently, TPG reader Rosie emailed me to ask: “If the airline I’m soon flying, Royal Air Moroc, is not affiliated with any alliance, am I out of luck when it comes to banking miles? Does this mean that the miles won’t count?” I’ve been to Morocco, and it’s a pretty amazing country. However, I’ve never flown their official […]

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How Can I Get Global Entry If I Already Have TSA Precheck?

May 18, 2014

TPG reader Kathi messaged me on Facebook this week asking: “I currently have TSA pre check. If I want to apply for Global Entry, do I have to start the process from the beginning and pay the $100? I may have done it backwards!” Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of showing up at the […]

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Should I Accept An American Airlines Platinum Status Match?

May 18, 2014

The Pacific Northwest is the place to be based these days. Flyers in Seattle and Portland have been benefiting from the battle between partners-turned-rivals Delta and Alaska, and it looks like American is muscling in on the territory now as well. Portland-based TPG reader Edwin got a targeted offer from American this week, and Tweeted me […]

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Sapphire Preferred vs. Arrival Plus: Which Is Best Abroad?

May 18, 2014

TPG reader Tammy recently asked on Facebook: “I’m traveling overseas and looking for the best credit card with no foreign exchange fees. I’ve read about Barclaycard Arrival Plus and Chase Sapphire Preferred on your FB page. Both have no annual fees, so which one do you recommend, or is there another, better option?” When traveling […]

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SPG Amex vs. Barclaycard Arrival: Which Points Are Worth More?

May 11, 2014

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Chase Ink credit cards has expired. View the current offers here – Ink Plus, Ink Bold, Ink Cash.   TPG Reader Vick recently tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Help! Should I use my SPG Amex or my Barclaycard Arrival for fixed monthly costs like cell, cable etc.? Which card’s points […]

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Is The US Airways 100% Buy Miles Bonus Offer Good for Economy Awards Too?

May 11, 2014

With the announcement of yet another US Airways 100% Buy Miles Bonus this week, TPG Reader Vincenzo tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Is it ever a good idea to buy US Airways bonus offers in order to redeem them for economy seats? The difference between economy and business class is a lot – 30,000 miles +!” […]

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Can You Transfer Points From The SPG Amex To Earn Elite Status On American Airlines?

May 11, 2014

Today’s newbie question is one that we get quite often, so if you’re an experienced points expert, you can probably skip this post! TPG Reader Vick tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Can you transfer points from the SPG Amex to earn elite status on American Airlines? And if so, is it a good idea?” People get […]

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Should I Downgrade My Capital One Venture To A No Annual Fee Or Get A New, Better Card?

May 4, 2014

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Capital One Venture Card has expired. View the current offer here.  TPG reader Dan emailed me with a credit card quandary this week: “I enjoy reading your blog and I had a quick question. I currently have a great credit score (780+) and have 2 credit cards. I have […]

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Can You Earn Qualifying Miles On An Airline Ticket When You Also Use A Companion Pass?

April 27, 2014

This week we wrote about 11 different airline and hotel co-branded credit card anniversary perks that far outweigh their annual fees. One of these perks is the Annual Companion Certificate that comes with the Platinum Delta SkyMiles American Express, whereby if you purchase one economy ticket (in L, U, T, X or V fare classes) for a roundtrip […]

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Is There a Minimum Age Limit To Get An Airline Frequent Flyer Accounts?

April 27, 2014

Earlier this week, TPG reader (and responsible parent) JB tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy Brian, is there a minimum age limit for setting up a frequent flyer account? For instance, can my six-year-old start accumulating miles?” My answer is – absolutely!  After all, as the saying goes: “The family that accrues miles together, stays together.” (Okay, […]

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What is the Best Frequent Flyer Program for Transcontinental Travel?

April 20, 2014

Major airlines battle each other for customers on the US’s most popular transcontinental routes. With this in mind, TPG reader Marco tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy: What’s the best frequent flyer program for coast-to-coast travel?” That’s a good question, and one common among business travelers as the transcontinental US routes are some of the busiest and most […]

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What Is the Best Credit Card for a First Time Applicant?

April 20, 2014

TPG reader Kashif tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy I’m turning 18 this week and I’m thinking of signing up for a credit card that I could pay off. What’s your suggestion for the best points card for a first-timer?” Happy 18th birthday, Kashif! Before you choose any card, I’d suggest checking your credit score for free […]

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A Reminder on Passport and Visa Requirements for International Travel

April 20, 2014

TPG reader Adam wants to make sure I – and you all, as well – know something important about passports: “@thepointsguy: Are you aware that if your passport is set to expire within three months of your return date from a trip, you won’t be allowed entry to EU countries? The answer is yes, absolutely! And […]

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