What Should I Do with Over One Million Points?

TPG Reader Micah tweeted to ask about how to make use of a large bank of rewards. @ThePointsGuy — “What should I do with over 1.1 million IHG points?” One of my cardinal rules of award travel is that you should earn points and miles with a plan to use them. Because of the risk of…

Do Rewards Vary Between Brands in Each Hotel Chain?

TPG Reader Charles sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning hotel rewards: “Do some hotels within one chain give you more points than another? If so, which Marriott and Hilton hotels give you the most?” Hotel loyalty programs offer a pretty wide spread of earning rates. Even within individual programs, your points might vary by a factor of…

Do Authorized User Purchases Count toward Credit Card Bonuses?

TPG reader David tweeted to ask about credit card spending by authorized users: @ThePointsGuy — “Do purchases by an employee on my SPG Amex count toward the minimum spending requirement and Gold status?” Travel rewards credit cards are among the best tools for boosting your loyalty account balances, since you can take advantage of lucrative sign-up offers and spending bonuses to earn points and…

How Can I Keep Airline Miles from Expiring?

TPG Reader Tim sent me a question on Twitter about how to keep travel rewards active: @ThePointsGuy — “I have a bunch of United miles that are about to expire. What’s the best way to save them?” One of the most costly mistakes award travelers can make is to let points or miles expire. Once you’ve put all…

Is the Arrival Plus Card Better than 2% Cash Back Rewards?

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard TPG Reader Maxwell emailed to ask about why one cash-back card doesn’t get more attention: “Why the love for Barclaycard Arrival Plus, when Citi Double Cash offers 1% back initially plus another %1 with no annual fee?”…

How Do I Redeem Leftover Rewards from a Foreign Airline?

TPG Reader Kayla emailed with a question about how to book awards with LAN Airlines: “I have 35,000 LANPASS kilometers that I’ve been trying to use for ages, but I’m having trouble finding awards from the US online, and calling LAN is frustrating. Is there a way to book these flights without too much hassle?” LANPASS is the loyalty program of Chilean carrier…

What’s Your Favorite Hotel Program for Stays in the US?

TPG Reader Carrie sent me a tweet to ask about hotel programs: @ThePointsGuy — “What’s your favorite hotel program domestically? I’m mostly a US hotel user, but want to use abroad eventually.” It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Starwood Preferred Guest. From New York to Miami to the St. Regis Princeville on Kauai, I’ve had great experiences at…

Is the Capital One Venture Rewards Card Worth Getting?

TPG reader Anna-Lena emailed me with a question about the Venture Rewards program: “Is the Capital One Venture Rewards card worth it? It sounds good (thanks to no blackout dates) — what’s the catch?” Not all travel rewards are created equal; some programs (such as Chase Ultimate Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest) offer incredible value…

Do Amex Centurion Lounges Require a Printed Boarding Pass?

TPG reader Ben tweeted me with a question about lounge access: @ThePointsGuy — “Do I need to print out my boarding pass to access a Centurion Lounge?” The Amex Centurion Lounges are among my favorite recent developments in the travel world. While there are still only six locations across the country — with a seventh slated to open…

Should I Use a Rewards Credit Card If It Incurs Fees?

TPG reader Chris tweeted me wondering when it makes sense to pay with a card that incurs extra fees: @ThePointsGuy — “Can you explain if/why I should use a rewards credit card that adds on a (3%) transaction fee for using the card?” You can use a credit card to pay for pretty much anything…